SKINCARE | Let's Fight Hyperpigmentation with Holy Snails Shark Sauce!

Part of my nightly routine now always includes a niacinamide serum. What began as just a methodical way of using the many niacinamide serums I had in my collection has become an essential in my skincare routine! I have tried a few niacinamide products in serum or booster form and lemme tell ya, I did not think I would have become quite so picky! It's hard to know who to trust when it comes to a recommendation as now the "influencer" is no longer truly unbiased so I decided to go with kind of an OG "skinfluencer" - Jude Chao of Fifty Shades of Snail! I first came across her blog years ago for a VERY in-depth review of Sulwhasoo's First Care Activating Serum and enjoyed her research-driven approach to specifically Asian skincare. 

Holy Snails Shark Sauce Review
Purchased by me

I feel that adding a niacinamide serum to my routine has truly made a difference in terms of keeping my skin consistently bright even if I skip a few days of exfoliation. I also have realized that I prefer my niacinamide to be fairly straightforward without a whole lot around it so when I see an all in one serum that has everything under the sun including niacinamide, I tend to wonder what concentration of niacinamide is REALLY in there and whether the formulation of ingredients are indeed doing anything. Shark Sauce is the result of all of these questions skincare lovers have had about their niacinamide serums and I was over the moon when I discovered last year that Canadian e-tailer Bellbees carried Holy Snails!

Holy Snails Shark Sauce Review

Firstly, let's get the visual! The packaging is definitely more on the cute and indie side than luxe, but remember, it's all about the results and ingredients! A stickered cartoon shark is wrapped around a plastic squeeze tube that reminds of those fabric paint bottles. FYI, there are no actual bits of shark in this brightening serum and the name is really an hommage to Fiddy Snails as it is derived from a nickname of hers! 

Holy Snails Shark Sauce Review

This serum has 5% niacinamide (vitamin B3) and 3% N-acetylglucosamine which when paired together, work synergistically to improve hyperpigmentation. We know how brightening niacinamide is in addition to its skin barrier and elasticity improvement abilities but what is great about N-acetylglucosamine is not only does it brighten and strengthen the skin barrier, but also helps with UV damage and wound healing. It is also an especially hydrating serum as it uses sea kelp bioferment which smooths skin and traps moisture without feeling heavy. 

Also, to address the "green skincare elephant" in the room, there are parabens in this, but I've come to a new level of understanding with parabens and the two used are the most well-known and well-studied preservatives we know. I trust them. It's also at the very end of the ingredients list and not in a higher concentration than the actives.

The consistency is slightly viscous, easily spreadable and most importantly to me, not sticky! There is also no scent. Most of the niacinamide serums I have used are pretty sticky so having this one just glide on, absorb and feel fresh is such a welcome change! It pairs so nicely with sheet masks afterwards or any other skincare I have tried that I am almost done my bottle!

Holy Snails Shark Sauce Review

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Lactobacillus/Nereocystis Luetkeana Ferment Filtrate (Sea Kelp Bioferment), Niacinamide, Licorice Root Extract, N-Acetylglucosamine, Sodium Lactate, Panthenol, Hyaluronic Acid, Green Tea Extract, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA

Holy Snails Shark Sauce Review

Final verdict: I am DEFINITELY picking this up again after I finish it in probably a few weeks! I might wait a bit as I still have a couple of other niacinamide/brightening serums to use up, but I believe that when I finally get to a point where I only have a single shelf of skincare, Shark Sauce is going to be on it! I feel like it has kept my skin consistently bright and I haven't felt the need to exfoliate quite as often to combat any dullness. The texture and the formula are beautifully done and you can tell that this was created by someone who wanted a product that worked by using ingredients backed by science. It wasn't about being super fancy and luxe (though I love the cartoons), it was about "getting the point across" so to speak and just getting people results they deserved! Hyperpigmentation justice has been served!

You can find Holy Snails Shark Sauce at and

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