Confused about what to try out from the popular Korean brand Cosrx? Then, this post is exclusively for you. Find out what are the best and worst out of Cosrx Products. This is a super long post, so grab your snacks or coffee before going ahead.
A little about the brand and my thoughts on them:
- Cosrx (Cosmetics + Prescription) is a new age Korean skincare brand that provides the best solution for various skincare problems. Unlike the traditional Korean brands, Cosrx is ingredient focussed and uses minimal yet effective ingredients without unnecessary fillers in their products.
- Cosrx is generally termed as a clean beauty brand as it is believed to contain only safe ingredients. Cosrx Products are free of artificial fragrances, artificial color, sulphates, parabens, pthalates, mineral oil, formaldehyde, and formaldehyde-releasing agents.
- Although their products are suitable for most skin types, I personally feel Cosrx is the brand for oily and acne-prone skin. A majority of their products are targeted towards treating and healing acne and acne-related issues. Since I have a similar skin type, I consider that as a boon.
- Pricing-wise, they are reasonably priced. At first glance, the price range looks high, but considering the quantity and how long they last (each product lasts really long, about 4-10 months), I feel the pricing is ok.
- The packaging is the only thing that is a bit plain and basic. But then Cosrx is a minimalistic brand on the whole and I haven’t experienced any damage or leakage with any of their product packagings. They could have added a bit of color to identify them easily, at least to the bottle products.
Moving on, let’s get into the individual reviews of each product that I have tried so far.
Cosrx Products Review
1. Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
This is a highly raved Korean cleanser, so I had my expectations high with this. The cleanser has got noteworthy ingredients – Saccharomyces Ferment (the potent anti-aging ingredient that brightens, hydrates, and firms up skin), Tea Tree Oil (excellent acne controller and healer), Cryptomeria Japonica Leaf Extract (stimulates skin renewal giving smoother & softer skin texture) and small doses of Betaine Salicylate (a milder form of Salicylic Acid that helps with acne). Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser has got the ideal pH of 5 to maintain the skin’s natural balance. It’s free from added synthetic fragrance however due to the presence of Tea Tree Oil in it, it has a strong scent of Tea Tree Oil.
The texture is that of a clear gel that has a nice consistency. A tiny dollop is more than enough to cleanse the face and neck. The cleanser is not very foamy, but lathers enough to give you that smooth cleansing action. It rinses off quite easily without leaving any slippery residue behind. The cleanser is very efficient in removing sunscreen, oils, impurities, and dirt from the skin. It even removes light makeup with ease. I have used this on various seasons and on various skin days. I find this cleanser to be best suited for summers and oily skin days as sometimes I found this to be a tad bit drying on my skin. The cleanser as such hasn’t broken me out. It doubles up as a body wash and is great for those suffering from back acne.
In all, Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is an effective and efficient cleanser that gives squeaky clean skin. It may not be an every skin type cleanser as it can be drying for some people. Also, tea tree oil may not suit sensitive skin types. Personally, I liked using this cleanser. It’s not my HG, but still worth giving a try.
2. Cosrx One Step Pimple Clear Pad
Cosrx One Step Pimple Clear Pads are ideally formulated for those dealing with acne and pimples. It has got 85% Willow Bark Water (a natural anti inflammatory ingredient that calms acne) and 1% Betaine Salicylate BHA (to unclog pores and prevent pimples). The active ingredients are in mild doses, so beginners in chemical exfoliation can start with this product.
Typically these are pre-soaked exfoliating pads that come as the second step (toning step) in your routine, just right after your cleansing step. One side of the pad is embossed to loosen up impurities that are deep inside and the other side is softer to pick up the remaining debris. Each pad is well soaked that one can easily use a pad not only for the face and neck but also for the hands and legs or your body. The pad is that moist. The exfoliating pad has caused a mild tingling sensation on sensitive skin days due to the tea tree oil. Other days it felt totally normal, with no tingling sensation at all. These pads don’t make the skin dry like most exfoliating products. In fact, this gives a tacky feeling initially which subsides after a minute or two, until it dries. The brand recommends using this every day, indicating that it’s gentle. Personally, I feel using it thrice a week is sufficient as too much exfoliation is not good however mild it is. In terms of effectiveness on my skin, I don’t think this did anything much. A few times I woke up with whiteheads whilst using this. The pads have a tea tree oil + chemical acid fragrance that’s not too overwhelming, but it might be a hindrance for those sensitive noses.
Overall, though it’s a nice product, I think my skin didn’t need this. It’s pretty gentle and mild so it doesn’t show drastic effects. In all, if you are a beginner at exfoliating acids and in need of a ready-to-use exfoliating pad, you can give this a try.
3. Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is a chemical exfoliant that contains 4% Betaine Salicylate, a gentler form of Salicylic Acid but is as effective as 2% Salicylic Acid. BHA clears congested and clogged pores, revealing smooth and clearer skin. BHA is oil-soluble, unlike AHA, hence it is known to be the best bet for blackheads. This liquid is more concentrated and potent than the Pimple Clear Pads.
The Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is a clear liquid that is runny like water. It has a chemical scent from the acids used in it. Out of all the drying BHA exfoliants, this one is on the moisturizing side. It applies a bit tacky which settles down to a comfortable finish. There is no dryness-induced itchiness or any tingling sensation. I apply it with my fingers with a gentle pressing motion. Some people follow a wait time of 20 minutes after a BHA product. Myself being lazy, I tend to wait until it dries a bit which is about 5 minutes or so, and then follow up with the rest of my routine. Performance-wise, it does not work miraculously for blackheads. It takes its own sweet time to reduce them. But then blackheads, in general, are high maintenance and I don’t think any product would remove them in one go, except if you go for extraction with a tool. What I liked the most are its brightening and smoothening effect. It noticeably improves skin texture and tone by clearing out the clogged and congested pores. It also helped with healing acne, whiteheads, and further prevented breakouts.
In short, I love how well the Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid suited my combination skin. It’s a gentle yet effective BHA product that exfoliates, unclogs pores, and brightens up the overall skin. Generally, BHA’s are recommended for Acne and Oily skin types, but this would be a great choice for dry acne-prone skin as well.
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4. Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
I never had an essential step in my skincare routine before I got this product. This is my very first Korean essence and I had mixed thoughts on whether I needed this or not. Upon googling, I felt even more confused. From my understanding, Essences are a bonus step to boost skin’s hydration level which also tends to contain high amounts of soothing ingredients. Depending upon your skin’s need or preference, you can use this in place of or along with a serum or layer with other products in your 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine. Whenever I used this, my routine would be Foam Cleanser, Watery Mist Toner, Snail Essence followed by either the Cosrx Honey Mask or two drops of Rosehip Seed Oil. I generally skip serums or heavy moisturizers if I’m using this essence as the hydration it provides is sufficient for my skin. The essence is highly efficient in tackling problematic skin issues like acne, redness & dryness. I had a bad breakout in January with lots of cystic acne and trying out various harsh acne products damaged my skin further. That’s when I gave a pause to all those harsh products and started using soothing ingredients. This essence was a major addition to my routine that definitely helped my skin heal faster. I once had redness after sheet masking and this essence was able to soothe within an hour. The product has a unique gooey texture with a slip to it. I use just one pump of it. Using it more feels a bit occlusive and doesn’t let other products sink in properly. One needs to get used to its texture. The product is completely fragrance-free which is a great thing.
Snail Mucin, in general, is an all-rounder ingredient that contains a lot of amino peptides which is responsible to strengthen and heal damaged skin. Snail Mucin has anti-inflammatory properties, hence it repairs skin, hydrates, reduces redness, inflammation, fine lines, and wrinkles. This Essence from Cosrx contains high amounts of this Snail Secretion Filtrate, about 96% to be precise. In short, if you have damaged skin barrier, sensitivity issues, recurrent acne problems, dehydrated skin, you will definitely notice a good difference in your skin by using this product.
5. Cosrx Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask
Cosrx Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask is a multi-purpose product that can be used a moisturizer, sleeping mask, and wash-off mask. Widely loved for containing 87% Propolis Extract, the Honey Mask has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and acne healing properties. It has also got noteworthy ingredients like Glycerin, Panthenol, Beeswax, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate to name a few.
The Cosrx overnight mask is a honey-colored gel that has a smooth consistency. Basically, I am all in for gel moisturizers and I loved this one as well. The gel is lightweight yet very hydrating. It is not the type that dries down to a stretchy matte finish. It feels very comfortable on the skin. It soothes, repairs damaged skin and keeps them nourished throughout the night. Above all, it is fragrance-free and doesn’t contain alcohol and other irritants. But it does contain silicones.
Although it’s not an extraordinary product, the lightweight gel formulation is surely something that will be loved by oily skin types.
6. Cosrx One Step Pimple Clear Kit
This is a 3 step kit targeted towards healing acne. It consists of 3 products – Cosrx Low PH Good Morning Cleanser, One Step Pimple Clear Pad and the Holy Moly Advanced Snail Mucin Power Mask. I have already talked about the first two products above. Basically, you cleanse and tone with them and then sheet mask. The Sheet Mask was previously available for sale individually, but now you can only get it with this kit.
The Holy Moly Sheet Mask is a nourishing and calming mask that is drenched in Snail Mucin, Red Ginseng, and Glycerine. Snail Mucin is excellent for acne. The mask fit well and felt very soothing on application. However, it left my skin a little tacky post-sheet masking. By morning, my skin felt a lot calmer and plumper. Oily skin types will find this too moisturizing. This will be a good mask for dry acne-prone skin types.
The Cosrx One Step Pimple Clear Kit is a one-time use kit. That said, you cannot expect it to heal your acne with just one usage. I found this kit a great way to try out samples of Low pH cleanser and One Step Pimple Clear Pad, which gives you an idea of the products. If you like them, then you can easily invest in full-sized products. The Holy Moly Mask is also a decent moisturizing mask that calms acne and irritations.
7. Cosrx Acne Master Pimple Patch
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love these patches. These are saviors for acne-prone skin types. Cosrx Acne Master Pimple Patch are hydrocolloid patches that protect pimples from secondary infection and prevent them from further swelling. In simple words, it is just like a sticker that you need to put on top of your pimple. This will protect and heal the pimple. You get 24 pimple patches in various sizes. Depending on the size of the pimple, you can choose one. Apply it on the pimple after cleansing your skin, no need to tone or moisturize. Replace it every 12 hours or until you see the patch go white in color.
The Pimple Patches zaps tiny zits, whiteheads, and small pus-filled pimples overnight. Medium & Big pimples do take two to five days to heal completely. Typically the patches suck out the bacteria-filled pus from the pimples and flatten them down with minimal scarring. It also helps to keep our hands away from pricking. The patches do not have any fragrance. They are so lightweight on the skin that you don’t feel you have it there on your face until someone points it out to you. This has been such a great invention according to me and I highly recommend anyone who gets breakouts to keep these handy. Many Korean bands have such pimple patches but the ones from Cosrx are the best.
8. Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF 50 PA+++
I got a couple of samples of this Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream along with one of my Korean beauty products purchase. Let me first tell you, when it comes to sunscreens I’m more focused on the ingredients. I try to avoid controversial UV filters and this product contains one of them which is Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, a potential endocrine disruptor. Also, this sunscreen contains alcohol, fragrance, silicones, and acne-causing ingredients. Simply put, I am not too happy with the ingredient list so obviously I wouldn’t be buying this product. Anyways let me share my experience with the samples.
The Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream has the look and feels of fairness cream. It is a thick cream and has that typical floral scent. However, it does spread well and gets absorbed quickly. It leaves the skin moisturized with a dewy finish. This sunscreen will suit normal, combination, and dry skin types. Personally, I found this sunscreen quite comfortable. It did not make me perspire more nor did it have that moist feeling like the Klairs UV Essence. The Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream is one of those sunscreens that doesn’t leave any white cast.
Overall, it works as a pretty good sunscreen. The only thing I don’t like is the ingredients that go inside it.
9. Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream
This is another snail product from Cosrx. It’s a cream version, so someone who is not comfortable with the essence version can go for this. However, this has got a lot more ingredients that than the essence version wherein the cream have ingredients that may not be ideal for all skin types.
The Cosrx AIO Cream has got a slimy, bouncy, gel-cream texture with a medium consistency. It spreads moderately well. Just spread it evenly and press and pat, instead of rubbing vigorously. It goes on a bit tacky but settles down to a smooth dewy finish. I cleanse, tone, and moisturize with this cream if I am using this product. The Snail All in One Cream is highly moisturizing, so I don’t layer on any other products with this. This snail cream plumps up the skin and makes skin soft.
In short, the Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream is a good skin repairing moisturizer. It’s particularly recommended for those dealing with a damaged skin barrier and with acne.
That’s all I have to say about Cosrx Products. I took a really long time to test out and jot down this review. If you found this post helpful, do share it with your friends & family. Also, don’t forget to share your thoughts & experiences with Cosrx in the comments section below. I would love to hear them out.
(Disclaimer: Products sent by BeautyBarn India in exchange for my unbiased review. BeautyBarn is an online portal that sells korean beauty products in India.)