REVIEW: COSRX AC Collection

In today’s post I will be reviewing 5 products from COSRX’s new AC Collection! For those of you who don’t know, COSRX is a low to mid-price K-Beauty brand that focuses on skin’s health with good ingredients – I find it a mix between science-backed ingredients as well as the trendy ones like Snail, Propolis and Galactomyces, to name a few. Based on their website, the AC Collection in particular is meant for those whose main focus is on pore, sebum and/or acne trouble. I tested them out on my acne prone, normal to dry skin and I’m ready to share my thoughts!


These products were sent to me by StyleKorean for review purposes. That in no way effects my opinion on these products. My reviews are honest, always *casts doe patronus*

This post also included affiliate links. If you click on the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.


ABOUT the COSRX AC Collection

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  • Their newest line for pore / sebum solutions
  • Tea Tree Oil (I assume Essential Oil) is the main acne treatment in the leave-on products in the line
    • Soothing
    • Antibacterial
    • Shown to be as successful as Benzoyl Peroxide in same percentages, but it may take longer to see results
  • All products contain Centella Asiaticas main constituents, which are wound-healing, anti-inflammatory, and have antioxidant benefits –
    • Asiaticoside
    • Asiatic Acid
    • Madecassic Acid
  • Products are made in Korea
  • Cruelty-Free
  • $-$$ pricepoint

COSRX AC Calming Foam Cleanser

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AMOUNT: 150ml
PRICE: $14.30 USD
WHERE TO BUY: https://bit.ly/2UJCewn
INGREDIENTS: 

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Highlight ingredients:

  • Glycerin – humectant and 2nd ingredient
  • Salicylic Acid – oil soluble chemical exfoliant that help to decongest the pores of excess sebum and dead skin
  • Centella Asiatica molecules

Surfactants/cleansing agents: Lauric Acid (also shown to be anti-acne), Myristic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Lauramide Dea, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Potassium Cocoate

Fragrance: Lavandula Hybrida Oil

INCIDecoder

 

Experience:

  • Feels like a cream
  • Very dense foam once you lather
  • Lavender fragrance quite noticeable
  • After rinsing my skin feels slightly tacky, in an unpleasant way

COSRX AC Calming Liquid Mild

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AMOUNT: 125ml
PRICE: $24.20 USD
WHERE TO BUY:
https://bit.ly/31JDrFr
INGREDIENTS:
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Highlighted Ingredients:

  • Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water – the extract is an antioxidant, helps with pores and antibacterial, so for the water ingredient these benefits may be reduced. I’ve personally seen benefits from applied tepid steeped tea on my skin
  • Betaine Salicylate – combo of salicylic acid and betain, to make it a mild exfoliant
  • Gluconolactone – is a PHA, a gentler type of chemical exfoliant than AHA, also moisturizing
  • Panthenol and Allantoin for soothing
  • Arginine and Sodium Hyaluronate as humectants
  • Tea Tree Oil as active anti-acne treatment
  • Also has the 3 centella asiatica molecules

INCIDecoder

 

Experience:

  • Watery consistency with little residue
  • Smells like mint
  • Leaves a slight, refreshing sensation
  • Makes skin look slightly smoother
  • Most reached for product out of the 5

COSRX AC Blemish Spot Clearing Serum

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AMOUNT: 40ml
PRICE: $27 USD
WHERE TO BUY:
https://bit.ly/31JE4yN
INGREDIENTS:
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Highlighted Ingredients:

  • Propolis Extract – base of the formula and is soothing
  • Niacinamide – best ingredient ever! In terms of acne prone skin, will help regulate sebum production and reduce the look of pores, it’s also supposed to help brighten any post-red marks
  • Allantoin for soothing
  • Tea Tree Oil as the active anti-acne ingredient
  • Sodium Hyaluronate, sunflower and macadamia seed oil as additional moisturizing ingredients
  • Ceramide NP and Niacinamide to help maintain skin barrier
  • Rh-Oligopeptide – Epidermal Growth Factor that is supposed to help with wound-healing and skin renewal

INCIDecoder

 

Experience

  • Slightly hydrating on my normal to dry skin, feels lighter than the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner
  • Face feels sensitized because the “refreshing” feeling takes a while to subside
  • A very light residue, barely noticeable and I still question whether or not the finish is the same as the Calming Liquid Mild

COSRX AC Lightweight Soothing Moisturizer

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AMOUNT: 80ml
PRICE: $19 USD
WHERE TO BUY:
https://bit.ly/38q1tb6
INGREDIENTS:
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Highlighted Ingredients

  • Propolis extract, Aloe leaf water and green tea leaf water for soothing
  • Glycerin, Betaine, sodium hyaluronate, Arginine for moisturizing
  • Niacinamide – the all-rounder for skin health
  • Panthenol and Allantoin for soothing
  • Zinc PCA both for moisturizing and limiting acne bacteria
  • Tea Tree Oil for anti-acne
  • Centella asiatica molecules

INCIDecoder

Fragrance: Menthyl Lactate

Experience:

  • Smells like mint
  • Very nice light gel texure
  • Made my skin feel lightly moisturized and smooth, but not enough for my dry skin type – best used as a humectant before a more occlusive moisturizer
  • Face felt sensitized for 30 mins – 1 hour – I suspect it’s the Menthyl Lactate

COSRX AC Ultimate Spot Cream

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AMOUNT: 30g
PRICE: $22 USD
WHERE TO BUY:
https://bit.ly/2SBwfXD
INGREDIENTS:
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Highlighted Ingredients:

  • Aloe Water for soothing
  • Sunflower Seed Oil, Glycerin,  Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Kernel Oil as moisturizing
  • Calamine – pink substance that you use on bug bites and the sulfur based spot treatments
  • Tea Tree Oil as active anti-acne treatment
  • Centella asiatica molecules

INCIDecoder

Experience:

  • Quickly calmed any inflamed, sore feeling lesions
  • Brought the bacteria to a head
  • Did not sensitize my skin
  • Works like other ones I’ve tried on the market

Final Thoughts

Overall PROS:

  • All products contain Centella Asiatica constituents Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid
  • Leave-on products contain Tea Tree Essential Oil, a gentler anti-acne active
  • Impressed with the additional concoction of soothing, wound-healing, moisturizing ingredients
  • Pleasant light consistency that does not make you feel congested
  • Suitable line for oilier skin types with light to moderate acne
  • A good quantity of product in each formulation
  • Packaging is sanitary A.K.A. no jars

CONS:

  • Skin felt sensitized; I think it’s because the formulas are so thin and my skin drinks them up so fast; I imagine those with oilier skin types would experience something more gentle
  • COSRX is not the only K-Beauty brand at fault for this, but no indications of percentages for its actives
  • Not super sensitive-skin friendly – my skin is somewhat sensitive but the constant sensitized feeling on my skin after all products (except the spot cream) definitely makes me believe that those with known sensitivity will not like the Tea Tree Oil in these products

I can see how COSRX put in effort in the AC Collection to create gentle acne-fighting products to help those with troublesome skin. While not entirely meant for my skin type, I still noticed some of  the products calmed my skin down from active acne lesions and made my skin look smoother.

Overall if you have light to moderate acne, check this line out! I used to use Tea Tree Essential Oil as an acne active back in my teens, and with proper dilution it definitely helped. However as someone who’s been through a vicious cycle of controlling acne in different ways, I advise you to buy ONE of the following reviewed products. I never got on well with my entire routine consisting of an acne-fighting ingredient, and it’s a very easy way to overwhelm your skin with actives (especially since the percentages are not listed). Also the products in general were either a hit or a miss, so the one I recommend the most is my favourite product out of the bunch, the Calming Liquid Mild. It has Tea Tree Oil for treatment of active acne, (low %) chemical exfoliants to help speed up the healing process and slightly improve skin’s texture, and it’s a product I can easily associate as a treatment and use 1-2x a week.


I hope you found this post helpful and informative!

xo, M

One thought on “REVIEW: COSRX AC Collection

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