It’s been a long time since I’ve made any article on skincare, but the time has finally come! I was selected to be a part of StyleKorean’s “Try Me Review Me” program for their new COSRX AC Collection, which is the feature of today’s post. I’ve used a number of their products before, but I have to say that this series is their finest yet – or, at least, the one that works best for my skin.
What Is COSRX?
COSRX is a very well known Korean beauty and skincare brand. They derived their name from combining the two words “cosmetics” and “RX” (for prescription), as their company mission is to provide solutions for various skin problems.
The company was formed in 2013 but started officially selling their products until 2015. Although relatively new, they’ve been making plenty of skincare products that are both effective and gentle.
In addition, they’re hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and focus on developing clean products. The company avoids using various ingredients such as talc, mineral oil, sulfates SLS and SLES, phthalates , parabens, etc. It focuses on making pharmacy-quality cosmetics that target specific skin conditions utilising EWG green grade products, vegan-friendly ingredients, and, most of all, cruelty-free ingredients.
COSRX AC Collection
The company’s new line, called the AC Collection, focuses on their newly developed centella complex, called CentellAC-RX complex.
What is centella?
Centella asiatica, a.k.a Gotu Kola, Indian pennywort, and more. Centella asiatica is a perennial herb, native to Asian wetlands. This herb is often an ingredient in food and medicine. It has various beneficial uses in skincare in that it can strengthen skin, treat wounds and acne, help manage stretch marks, and more. The AC Collection focuses on treating acne and scars as well as controlling excess oils.
What’s In The Box
When I first received an email saying I was chosen, I thought I was only going to be receiving just one item to try from their line. I was surprised to find their entire product lineup in the box! Well, almost everything … I didn’t receive their “calming liquid intensive” but that’s alright.
- Calming foam cleanser
- Acne Patches
- Ultimate Spot cream
- Calming liquid mild
- Blemish spot clearing serum
- Lightweight soothing moisturizer
BONUS Aromatic Aloe Vera & Vitamin E cream samples
Before I get into reviewing these, let me give you an idea of how my face was before trying these products.
Currently, I am somewhat in a stressful, somewhat sleepless phase in life with a lot of things to juggle. I have some small bumps and acne on my face, and usually they appear in twos or threes at a time.
There aren’t any major pimples or scars on my face, if there are any scars at all. I do feel like I have a few “stretch marks” on the sides of my nose? They’re not very noticeable though. That’s pretty much it. Oh, and I don’t follow do the ten-step Korean beauty routine.
I’ve been using these products for testing twice a day for about a week now, and I feel that they’ve cleared up quite a bit of the bumpy, rough spots on my face. However, NEW spots have surfaced. It’s not to say that they’re not working though! Like I said, I’m kind of in a rough spot in life right now where I’m juggling school, work, and trying to open an online shop!
1. Calming Foam Cleanser – $15
First in the lineup – COSRX’s AC Calming foam cleanser. The cleanser contains 0.5% salicylic acid as well as three main ingredients in the CentellAC-RX complex: Madecassic acid, Asiaticoside and Asiatic acid.
- Madecassic acid protects the skin and produces a calming effect.
- Asiaticoside “helps keep the skin transparent and clear”.
- Asiatic acid strengthens the skin barrier.
My initial thoughts on the cleanser was on the scent of the product. I was expecting that it would have a fragrant scent like other K-Beauty products I used, like Innisfree and Tony Moly. Instead, it has a more medicinal, herb-y and earth-y smell, which I don’t mind at all. The scent isn’t strong at all either, which is nice.
It felt really great on my face! It was very gentle in that I didn’t feel like a dried up prune after I washed my face, yet I felt really clean. A small amount of it also foams up a lot and goes a long way. This cleanser will definitely last me a while! The picture above doesn’t actually show the full amount of foam there was … by the time I got to take a decent picture, the bubbles all were slowly starting to deflate!
2. Ultimate Spot Cream – $23 USD
According to the ten-step Korean beauty routine, you would apply the spot cream and the acne patch prior to using toner.
This spot cream also contains Madecassic acid, Asiaticoside and Asiatic acid. It also blends ingredients Zinc Oxide, Calamine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water and their CentellAC-RX complex together to make a good overnight mask. I’d assume you wouldn’t literally put it all over like a mask. The directions do say to put it on your skin and leaving it overnight.
I don’t have much redness on my face, even on my small acne bumps. I applied a bit to the bumps and they did appear to shrink even more! They were basically flat by two or three days. 10/10 for me.
3. Acne Patch – $7 USD
I don’t have an awful lot of skin problems or acne, but recently a few small pimples started forming on my temples and forehead. I got to try these acne patches on a few of them!
The acne patches come in three different oval-shaped sizes that can cover from small pimples to cystic acne. There are a total of 26 patches to play around with!
For a size reference, the smallest patch can accommodate a large pimple or two small ones if they’re close enough. I tried the acne patch on the pimple close to my eyebrows, and the small ones on my cheek. The directions for the patches are to leave them on until the patch, or your pimple spot turns white. I put them on in the evening and basically left them on overnight.
The following morning after removing the patch, this is what the pimple looked like. I’m sorry about the difference in lighting here but the pimple was definitely less red the following morning and slightly smaller.
I put on another patch that evening and left it overnight again. The following morning, it was even smaller (sorry no pics). It was pretty much close to being flat. There is still some redness there, however!
I’ve never tried acne patches before this, so I found it fascinating to see the effects after one or two nights. It was also gross but still satisfying to pull it off and see the grossness come out with the patch!
4. Calming Liquid Mild -$19.99 USD
Next, is the calming liquid mild, a.k.a the toner. Again, it contains key ingredients Madecassic acid, Asiaticoside and Asiatic acid. It’s also alcohol free to help maintain oil-moisture balance, which was really nice! I don’t have much to say other than that. Again, that slight medicinal, earthy smell was present here but very slight.
5. Blemish Spot Clearing Serum – $26.99 USD
Key ingredients in this spot clearing serum are the CentellAC-RX complex, 4% Niacinamide, EGF, Propolis, and Ceramide.
These ingredients all play a role in calming the skin of dark or red spots, clearing acne, and recovering the skin and preventing spots or scars from forming.
I haven’t tried a lot of serums, but I’d say this one was the least viscous. In other words, it was the runniest (is that a word?), not that it’s a bad thing! I guess its viscosity helped give that lightweight feel. It didn’t dry sticky either, so that’s always a good thing!
6. Lightweight Soothing Moisturizer – $19 USD
Lastly, the moisturizer. It contains the same ingredients like the CentellAC-RX complex, Niacinamide, etc. It does contain a bit of AHA and BHA to help remove dead skin cells. As the other products in the AC Collection, it is lightweight and doesn’t dry sticky. It also doesn’t give my face a greasy shine, which is really nice.
Overall, I feel that the COSRX AC Collection is effective and true to their word. The products are definitely calming for my skin, really gentle, and lightweight.
Unfortunately for you (but fortunately for me), there isn’t much of a change in the before and after because I just don’t have that many skin problems to deal with at this time.
It DOES calm down your pimples and reduce their size to where they basically become flat. I can also say that I felt it clean my face really well too! My skin looks noticeably clearer and brighter as well.
Would I go out and buy this again myself? I might buy the cleanser and serum, but as far as the other products go, my skin is generally good about clearing the small pimples away so I feel like I wouldn’t need them.