If you're into Korean beauty you've undoubtedly come across COSRX. Celebrities like Alexa Chung, Emily Ratajowski, and Kim Soo-Hyun have all backed the brand at one point or another and if you find yourself researching on YouTube you'll come across the likes of influencers like Skincare by Hyram and James Welsh discussing these products in length.
Today we want to break down and review the top three most popular products they make and discuss if any of them are worth a try. Here is a sneak peek:
- Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
- BHA blackhead Power Liquid
- Acne Pimple Master Patch
Although very clearly the most popular, the Acne Pimple Master Patch we will save for last because it has a very specific purpose and may not apply to a traditional skincare routine.
One other thing that should be mentioned before we review each individually is that all COSRX products are designed to be minimal and are fragrance free. Those are both very important factors for a lot of people when determining what skincare is best for them.
Let's jump in!
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
Hands-down the most popular (outside of the master patches) and the product almost everyone would say introduced them to the brand. Everywhere you look this product has thousands of five-star reviews, but are these justified?
With this product we need to address the obvious... it is 96% snail mucin (that's a lot of snail mucin). If you aren't familiar with snail mucin we have other articles on exactly what the benefits are, but for now just know that it is a very popular Korean ingredient that helps with moisture loss and skin elasticity. Oh, and yes, it is what you think it is (the mucin left behind from snails). If you like snail mucin then you're going to like this product.
Second thing worth noting is that it contains Sodium Hyaluronate which is a concentrated form of hyaluronic acid and serves as a great humectant fur trapping moisture against the skin. This is key if your goal is apply an essence daily for soft supple skin.
Overall this product aims to soften the skin prevent damage due to aging, and I would say it delivers.
COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
Like the Snail 96 Power Essence this is another product that introduces people to the brand. This is a popular product that differs from others like it in three main ways.
The base uses willow bark water which is a natural BHA ingredient instead. This is in contrast to most that would use plain mineral water. Willow bark water gives you the same chemical exfoliant properties as BHA, but in a milder version. 4% BHA makes this a powerful product that is still gentle based on a naturally derived BHA formula.
Secondly, it doesn't contain salicylic acid, but rather contains Betaine Salicylate, which according to COSRX is gentler on the skin.
Lastly, and a a theme you'll notice around a lot of COSRX products is minimalism within the ingredient list. It is a focus for the brand overall and it is a focus for this product. The importance of that here is that when you are trying to exfoliate clogged irritated skin it's important to also not overdo it with excess ingredients at risk causing further irritation. Keep what you need in their gentlest forms, and don't add anything that isn't needed. That is the best way to ensure you're being as kind as possible to your skin.
Pimple Master Patches
These are popular probably in part due to their price point, but we can't discredit their effectiveness in getting them to the top of this list. We added these last because they serve a very specific purpose that may not be something you're dealing with. However, if you do deal with occasional breakouts or blemishes, then you might want want to consider making these your go to because they are definitely effective.
Very simply they are uniquely developed hydrocolloid patches applied to blemishes overnight. They create a moist environment that makes healing faster while the hydrocolloid extracts impurities. So, breakouts that are here today can be gone tomorrow. These are also unique in their coloring which makes them almost completely invisible in case you wanted to wear one during the day and get a jump start on ditching the breakouts.
In summary, for each of these products the hype is warranted, however, with all skincare what works for some people may not work for others. For that reason I always recommend looking at and learning about the ingredients in each.