SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #11: Klairs Mid Day Blue UV Shield SPF50+ PA++++

This item was sent for review purposes.

Years ago I reviewed the 1st version of Klairs Mid-Day Blue Sun Lotion SPF40 PA++. They came out with a 2nd version a year or so later which I also tried, and now they have the 3rd! Klairs Mid Day Blue UV Shield SPF50+ PA++++.

This Sunscreen Sunday deserved a little intro blurb because I am very excited to discover how far this mineral sunscreen has come along since its beginnings!


INFORMATION ON KLAIRS MID DAY BLUE UV SHIELD SPF50+ PA++++

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This physical sunscreen is hydrating, lightweight, non-irritant, and gentle for any skin type, even sensitive skin. It is SPF 50/PA++++ and contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect your skin against UVA/UVB. By containing guaiazulene it also helps calm the skin. It has a natural tone-up effect after application with a semi-matte finish. Recommended for combination and oily skin.

– Wishtrend

Klairs is finally back with the newest updated version and it is called the Mid day Blue UV Shield! Get excited because compared to the previous versions, it has now become even 1) fresher, 2) smoother to apply on the skin, 3) more hydrating on the skin with a semi-matte finish, and 4) still remains to give a significant calming effect for irritated skin under the strong UV rays. 

– Wishtrend blog post

Price: $23 USD
Amount: 80 ml

UV FILTERS:

Type: Mineral
Zinc Oxide – Unknown
Titanium Dioxide – Unknown

Protection:
UVB: SPF50+ (~SPF60)
UVA: PA++++ (>PPD 16)

HIGHLIGHT INGREDIENTS (skinthusiast perspective):
Guaiazulene – what makes the formula blue! Has been described as a calming, soothing ingredient due to it being derived from the chamomile plant. INCIDecoder however lists this ingredient as antimicrobial/perfuming
Tocopherol – antioxidant
Comparing the 3rd version’s ingredients list to the first formulation, I can’t help but be a little sad. The first original formula had a handful of nice ingredients in it (Niacinamide, Panthenol, Arginine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Tinosorb S!).
However I see why they have simplified the formula. Mineral sunscreens in general are recommended to those with sensitive skin, so a reduction in ingredients means less likelihood of problems. Niacinamide for example is one of my favourite ingredients of all time, and some people cannot tolerate it at all.
To add to the sensitive skin note – this does have fragrance. However on Wishtrend’s Instagram, they have answered that it is formulated with allergen free fragrance and it has been tested on sensitive skin.
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I personally don’t mind fragrance in products, as long as it’s
1. Not overwhelming
2. I’m using one fragrance included product in my routine
This sunscreen also has a few silicone ingredients in it. I don’t know about you, but the smell of silicone to me is not pleasant at all!

MY EXPERIENCE WITH KLAIRS MID DAY BLUE UV SHIELD SPF50+ PA++++

PACKAGING:  Opaque blue plastic tube with small spout.

CONSISTENCY:  Thick cream, but not heavy.

FRAGRANCE: Light, candy-corn scent. I have no other way to describe it other than it smells candy sweet, but corny? It isn’t offensive and it fades.

APPLICATION: Need to work it into the skin in order for it to spread well. The first time I used this I applied my standard amount too much at once and it looked REALLY weird and I definitely saw a blue cast. The second time I applied it in thin layers, and it looked MUCH better, but it seems to always pill around my hairline.

FINISH: Semi-matte. It isn’t flat, and I have a skin like finish on my face.

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FEEL: Slightly greasy. This has a handful of silicones in the formulation, and on my face it feels as if I applied something oily. When it has time to set, it feels slightly tacky. It is slightly drying around my eyes.

STINGS EYES? No.

WHITECAST / TINTED? I’m confused as to whether or not I’m mistaking the “tone up” claim of this product as a minimal cast, or vice versa. I see this “tone up” effect where my skin does look brighter and even. There is no obvious whitecast, but there is some sort of blue going on. When I look at myself in certain lighting, there is a blue sheen on my skin. I also find on my neck, which has a more distinct undertone, seems to neutralize in colour.

WATER RESISTANT? No.

SKIN BENEFITS? Klairs claims that it is hydrating, but I don’t find it adds any extra moisture. Because it has a semi-matte finish, I find it can feel a little drying, but not uncomfortable. I don’t find this “instantly” calming, but what’s good is that it doesn’t irritate my skin and it keeps my skin collected in the warmer weather.

UNDER MAKEUP: Like other mineral sunscreens I have tried, it’s good at gripping on to makeup so I can see this performing well under foundations. When I tried it with my Mac Face & Body, my skin looked way more bright and even than usual.


PROS:

  • Highest protection you can find in Asian sunscreens – SPF50+ PA++++.
  • Feels gentle and fairly light considering how much I apply.
  • Good amount of product for the price.
  • “Tone up” aspect – brightens and evens complexion.
  • For the most part, I feel comfortable wearing it on its own.

CONS:

  • Pills around my hairline a lot.

IN-BETWEEN FEELS:

  • Not-so-easy application; It is not streaky, but it’s not as effortless as the Soft Airy UV Essence, and on my normal to dry skin it has the potential to pick up dry flakes more easily. However because the weather is warmer, I can work with it better.
  • I like the semi-matte finish, especially during these warmer months, but it can feel a bit drying. Not uncomfortable, but I notice it.
  • While I like the brightening and evening perks of the “tone up”, it constantly makes me question if there is actually a cast. I have this problem with mineral sunscreens in general so it’s not like the Klairs one is unique in that regard. That being said, if you’re my shade (light-medium) or darker, you may prefer this more underneath makeup instead of on its own.
  • While this is advertised more for our oily-skinned peeps, it does feel tacky on my skin for a bit. Not sticky, but tacky.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON KLAIRS MID DAY BLUE UV SHIELD SPF50+ PA++++

Klairs Mid Day Blue UV Shield has had its rounds, and I like that overall the 3rd version has the least bit of cast and has a higher protection. I personally prefer sunscreens that have either hybrid (mineral-organic) or pure organic UV filters, but I found the Klairs Mid Day Blue UV Shield overall enjoyable to use and I like reaching for it.

WHERE TO BUY:
Wishtrend
Use code “MichXMash15” to get 15% off your order

YesStyle
Use code “YESMICH” to get 5% off your 1st order, 2% off your next orders

These are affiliate links and codes. If you use them to make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you are uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.

I hope you found this post helpful and informative!

xo, M


[RELATED CONTENT]

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
REVIEW | Klairs Mid-day Blue Sun Lotion SPF40 / PA++

REVIEW: I’m From Fig Collection – Cleansing Balm, Scrub Mask, Boosting Essence

The skincare world seems to not be on pause, for I’m From recently launched their new Fig Collection. I’ve never heard about Fig in skincare before, but I’m always down to learn about new and potentially skin beneficial ingredients!

I’m From decided to launch three products with fig as their main ingredient and it is targeted to help you achieve ‘clear skin’. Whether used all together in a single routine or separately, you can expect

  1. delivery of antioxidants
  2. hydrating finish on the skin
  3. removal of dead skin cells
  4. enhanced skin’s texture.

GENERAL CLAIMS:

  • Cruelty-free
  • For all skin types
  • Made in Korea

Wishtrend.com

Looking more into Fig, there’s not really a whole lot I could find. Here are the ones a mere skinthusiast like me came across, so I thought I’d share (note the emphasis on “skinthusiast.” I’m not a skin professional, just a skincare consumer that’s interested in how ingredients work).

  • One study talking about how a 4% cream was applied on human volunteers for 8 weeks
    • Significantly decreased:
      • skin melanin
      • trans-epidermal water loss
      • skin sebum
    • Significantly increased:
      • skin hydration
    • Insignificant effects on skin erythema
  • Paula’s Choice lists it as a “BEST” plant ingredient
    • High in antioxidants
    • Prevents TEWL
    • Reduces the formation of dark spots

I took these sources with a grain of salt, but I definitely didn’t expect to find such a number of benefits Fig Extract could provide! Needless to say, I like testing skincare, but I tried these products with no expectations.

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Wishtrend provided me all 3 of I’m From’s latest Fig products for review purposes, and I am ready to share my thoughts and experience with each item!

  • Cleansing Balm
  • Scrub Mask
  • Boosting Essence

The products provided are for review purposes, however that does not effect my opinion in any way.

My thoughts are honest, always *casts doe patronus*


I’M FROM FIG CLEANSING BALM

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Amount: 100ml
Price: $30 USD
7.8% Fig and Oil Water

Other Beneficial Ingredients:

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Packaging: Opaque, violet coloured plastic jar. Comes with a small plastic spatula.

Texture: Sherbet, classic formulation among other Korean cleansing balms.

Fragrance: Artificial sweet smell.

Application: Nickel-size scoop, melt between fingers and gently massage all over face and neck. Fragrance does not linger for long. With wet fingers, massaged face again and product emulsifies.

Feel: I reminisce about the Banila Co. cleansing balms, but this one feels like it has more moisture to it.

Overall Thoughts: Performs similarly to other cleansing balms I’ve tried. It has a nice texture, don’t need a lot to effectively remove a day’s face, leaves a moisturizing residue, does not dry out my skin.


I’M FROM FIG SCRUB MASK

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Amount: 120g
Price: $32 USD
1.2% Fig Powder

Other Beneficial Ingredients:

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Packaging: Transparent glass jar with plastic top. Comes with a large spatula.

Texture: Thick and grainy.

Fragrance: Artificial sweet smell.

Application: Covered face and neck in a thin layer and left it for 5-10 minutes. With wet fingers, massaged skin gently and the scrub emulsified.

Feel: Fairly gentle scrub, left face feeling moisturized and smooth, did not dry out my face when I left the mask in place and after washing it off.

Overall Thoughts: I personally don’t care to use sugar scrub masks on my face, but the experience was still enjoyable – at first.

What I did not enjoy was the lingering fragrance and the slight irritation I experienced 10 minutes after washing the mask off and finishing up my skincare routine. I suspect it’s because I’m using Differin, otherwise I feel like my skin prior to Vitamin A would tolerate it better.


I’M FROM FIG BOOSTING ESSENCE

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Amount: 150ml
Price: $35 USD
62.7% Fig Extract

 

Other Beneficial Ingredients:

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Packaging: Glass bottle with plastic cap, dispenser is a small spout.

Texture: Slippery water, reminds me of the By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence.

Fragrance: None.

Application: 1-3 nickel-sized layers massaged all over face and neck and patted in.

Feel: Surprised at how gentle and hydrating it was! Skin felt very comfortable for a period of time before applying moisturizer.

Overall Thoughts: Favourite product out of the whole Fig Collection. It is hydrating, did not irritate my skin, skin maintained brightness throughout the day.


FINAL THOUGHTS ON I’M FROM FIG COLLECTION

1st place – I’m From Fig Boosting Essence

My overall experience with this skincare item was very enjoyable. At first, I felt like I have seen the most benefits when it comes to Fig Extract – hydrating, brightening, maintains skin’s moisture. Looking closer at the ingredients list however, it seems to contain quite a number of other notable ingredients that are beneficial for the skin, and can also provide the mentioned benefits. Whether it’s the Fig Extract or not, we can’t be certain, but at least the overall formulation seems very skin-friendly.

2nd place – I’m From Fig Cleansing Balm

Although it is a sherbet texture like other makeup removing balms on the market, I do like that bit of extra moisture it provides while not feeling too heavy like richer cleansing balms. It feels like when I follow up with my second cleanse, my skin does not feel as stripped. The only thing I didn’t really care for from this product was the artificial fragrance. If you like shopping on Wishtrend, it is also the only cleansing balm they currently offer.

3rd place – I’m From Fig Scrub Mask

It did also provide extra moisture to my skin and makes it feel very smooth, although I feel like I would have enjoyed the experience more if it not for it irritating my face after use. In addition, both of the cleansing products do have fragrance, but because I left the Scrub Mask on for 5-10 minutes, I had a little bit of a headache because of how fragrant it was.

And that is it for this review! As always, I hope you found it helpful and informative if you were considering purchasing one of these products to incorporate into your skincare routine.

Before you leave, did you like that I linked every beneficial ingredient? INCIDecoder and Paula’s Choice help me so much when learning about ingredients, and I want to promote every consumer to look at the INCI list instead of the marketing claims 🙂

xo, M


WHERE TO BUY:

These are affiliate links and codes. If you use a link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.

Wishtrend:
Cleansing Balm
Scrub Mask
Boosting Essence

Use “MichxMash15” at checkout for an addition 15% off your order

YesStyle:
Cleansing Balm
Scrub Mask
Boosting Essence

Use “YESMICH” to get 10% off your order

REVIEW: By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence

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If you know me, you know I love me some hydrating toners, essences, and lotions in my skincare routine. When it comes to satisfying dehydration on my acne-prone, normal to dry skin, I prefer layering light hydrating products so I don’t feel overly congested, but still satisfyingly moisturized. By Wishtrend recently launched their newest product, the Quad Active Boosting Essence, specifically targeted for those with inflamed, acne-prone skin! I tested it out for a couple of weeks and am ready to share my thoughts with you all!


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


INFORMATION ABOUT BY WISHTREND QUAD ACTIVE BOOSTING ESSENCE

This essence is recommended as a serum booster that contains ‘Quad Active’ Ingredients: 3 Complex Ingredients (Morus Alba Bark Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract, Schisandra Chinensis Fruit Extract), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water, and Propolis. These ingredients are widely known to help with anti-inflammatory, anti-pollution, and anti-bacterial effects to maintain your skin to stay healthy and lively. Also, with supporting ingredients Black Tea and Honey, it provides moisturizing effects to the skin. Recommended using this essence in between your toner and serum step!

– Wishtrend.com

  • Price: $23 USD
  • Amount: 100ml
  • Made in Korea
  • Cruelty-free
  • pH: 5.2 – 6.2
  • Free of 5:
    • Ethanol-free
    • Silicon-free
    • Steroid-free
    • Artificial coloring
    • Artificial fragrance
  • Quad Active: 3 Complex Ingredients
    • Morus Alba Bark Extract (8.7%)
    • Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract (8.7%)
    • Schisandra Chinensis Fruit Extract (9%)
  • Also contains:
    • Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract (10%)
    • Propolis Extract (1%)
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial

INGREDIENTS

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Aqua(Water), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract(10%), Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water(9%), Schisandra Chinensis Fruit Extract(9%), Morus Alba Bark Extract(8.7%), Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract(8.7%), Methylpropanediol, Glycerin, Saccharomyces/Honey Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment, 1,2-Hexanediol, Propolis Extract(1%), Butylene Glycol, Benzyl Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin

SKINTHUSIAST PERSPECTIVE…

First off… I’m not sure what the “Quad Active” ingredients actually are, since they list 6 ingredients as their key ones and don’t really focus on 4. Am I missing something? Aside from that, I am impressed that those key ingredients make up 47% of the formula! I appreciate that they share the percentages, this way we know for sure ingredients like these may/or may not be working for our skin. The only key ingredients I am familiar with are Propolis Extract and Willow Bark Extract, which are primarily soothing. I know it says 10%, but I personally would not rely on Willow Bark Extract to provide similar effects as Salicylic Acid if you were thinking this may be an exfoliating essence.

Here’s a sum of what Paula’s Choice has to say about these plant extract ingredients (no INCIDecoder list unfortunately):

Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water – soothing
Schisandra Chinensis Fruit Extract – rich in antioxidants, humectant, soothing, restoring
Morus Alba Bark Extract – antioxidant, soothing, brightening
Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract – antioxidant, soothing

Overall, a nice blend of moisturizing and soothing ingredients with some antioxidant properties, nothing that should sensitize already impaired skin.


EXPERIENCE

Packaging: Glass bottle with a spout.

Fragrance: None.

Texture: Thin and watery with some slip.

Application: Apply nickel-size amount 1-3 times, depends if I need extra moisture that day.

Finish: Slightly tacky, skin does not look overly shiny or under-replenished.

Feel: Lightweight, skin feels soft.

Instant Results: Moisturized, calm skin. I applied a bit of this on a freshly popped, not-ready-to-be-popped pimple (you know what I’m talking about) and I was surprised at how much it calmed that area! I was ready for it to increase in size and become more inflamed due to my impatience.

Long Term Results: Helps maintain skin’s moisture, clarity and calmness.


FINAL THOUGHTS

I wasn’t expecting to be this impressed with By Wishtrend’s Quad Active Boosting Essence, but I am! A little goes a long way, it’s watery texture provides a light moisturized residue, it has never irritated my skin (even on a day I felt like I had a pretty impaired barrier), and managed to calm down a freshly popped zit. Similar to their Polyphenols In Propolis 15% Ampoule, there is also no additional fragrance or fragrant ingredient in the product, and the essence’s texture is mostly due to skin-beneficial ingredients. Word of caution, even if you have acne, do not expect this to be a treatment, it may just be a nice supplement in your routine help to ease some inflammation and keep skin comfortably hydrated while using more heavy-duty actives like Vitamin A or Benzoyl Peroxide.

Overall I definitely think any skin type can use it, it all just depends what you need out of your routine.

WHERE TO BUY:
Wishtrend USE “MichXMash15” at checkout to get 15% off (affiliate code)
YesStyle

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

As always, I hope you found this review helpful and informative!

xo, M

My 3 Must-Have Actives After 3-6 Months of Differin

Recently I shared my *simple* skincare routine – basically the go-to products in my routine to tackle my top priority skin goals: acne control, hydration, barrier protection.

In today’s post, I’m sharing with you the three extra actives I added to my skincare routine once my skin adjusted to my prescription topicals. They are powerful ingredients that are no one-trick ponies, but have a multitude of functions that contribute to skin’s overall health!


Products marked with * are PR Samples/gifts. Links marked with a * are affiliate links. This means when you use the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.


Niacinamide

Niacinamide is an amazing all rounder ingredient that addresses multiple skin issues, it is actually my favourite ingredient out of the 3! It is an antioxidant, increases skin’s lipid production to improve skin barrier, minimizes pores, helps refine wrinkles, brightens and evens skin tone, helps with sebum control, and fades pigmentation.

Current go-to: The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide + Zinc

  • $5.90 USD, $10.60 USD
  • 30 ml, 60ml
  • Use PM, mixed with Hada Labo Premium Lotion before Differin

Why it’s my go-to:

  • Cheap, lol!
  • A simple, straight-shooter formula that I like to use to mix in with my HLPL
  • Provides pH level and percentages
    • pH: 5.5 – 6.5
    • Niacinamide: 10%
    • Zinc PCA: 1%
  • Skinthusiast perspective: Niacinamide and Zinc PCA are the only star actives in the formula, but the bulk of the formula still has solvents doubled as humectants.

I  currently have a rotation right now of other Niacinamide serums/boosters out of my sheer curiosity (Niacinamide battle soon), but TO’s has been a constant repurchase for me and it’s a staple in my skincare collection.

Where to buy:


Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid is a water-soluble chemical exfoliant. It increases cell turnover on the top-layer of skin, the Stratum Corneum, acts as a humectant, and increases Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid in the dermis, making it thicker and less prone to TEWL. For my skin, GA has also shown to be the most effective with improving my skin texture, most notably in smoothing out my atrophic acne scars.

Current go-to: Krave Beauty Kale-lalu-yAHA *

  • $25 USD
  • 200ml
  • Use AM 1-2x week, before Vitamin C

Why it’s my go-to:

  • Low percentage Glycolic Acid that’s gentle but can still exfoliate
  • KB also provides pH level and active percentage
    • pH: 3.0-4.0
    • AHA: 5.25%
  • Skinthusiast perspective: Also has additional ingredients that promote skin’s health:
    • Aloe, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin B5 – humectants and skin soothers
    • Dark leafy greens kale, spinach, parsley – antioxidants
    • Allantoin – skin soother

KB was a good product to reintroduce after acclimating to Differin. However, after I finish this bottle, I will move on to Paula’s Choice 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant. KB is still unavailable to Canadians to purchase, and also I am ready to move up in strength. I opted for PC because I find they do a great job at formulating high percentage active products that don’t irritate my skin.

Where to buy:


L-Ascorbic Acid

LAA is the best researched Vitamin C ingredient compared to its derivatives; It is an antioxidant, provides photoprotection, promotes collagen synthesis, brightens and evens skin tone, and fades pigmentation. Combining L-Ascorbic Acid, Ferulic Acid, and Vitamin E has shown to increase the effectiveness of LAA and improve its stability.

Current go-to: Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Booster

  • $49 USD
  • 20ml
  • Use AM daily, freshly cleansed skin

Why it’s my go-to:

  • PC uses the most well studied ingredients in this formulation and tries (or maybe did) dupe the famous Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum
  • Provides the percentage of LAA as well as the pH level of this product:
    • pH: 3.0
    • LAA: 15%
  • Skinthusiast perspective: Contains additional ingredients that are good for the skin:
    • Sodium Hyaluronate and Glycerin – humectants
    • Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate – hydrates, improves skin texture
    • Panthenol and Bisabolol – soothing
  • Only LAA Vitamin C serum at a high concentration that does not burn my skin

I already repurchased my 3rd bottle of this booster! I have tried the infamous Timeless Vitamin C serum – 2 bottles worth actually – and it stung a LOT! And for those of you who may mention MaeLove’s Glowmaker Serum – no shipping to Canada! I believe they’re working on that, so maybe once it does become available I will purchase. In the mean time, I’m content with spending the extra cash on the PC C15 Booster.

Where to buy:


And that is it for this blog post! I know all too well how overwhelming the skincare world is. Lot’s of good ingredients, but not sure where to start or understand what exactly makes it so good! I hope my top 3 helped you out with your own skin journey, especially if it’s similar to mine! (Acne prone, dry, preventative aging…)

xo, M

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