[REVIEW] COSRX One Step Moisture Up Pad

If there’s a K-beauty brand that I haven’t really said anything bad about, it has to be COSRX. Its products are formulated to be suitable for even the most sensitive and acne-prone skin, so you can imagine what a life-savour they have been when I was facing one of the worst breakouts in my life.


Product Description

Hydrate and smooth skin with this genius and convenient invention from Cosrx! The first ingredient in these pads is propolis extract, a naturally-occurring antiseptic that is effective in treating blemishes, acne, and redness.

Also included in the formula is hyaluronic acid, the Korean skin care favorite that provides long-lasting moisture benefits. The softly embossed texture of these pads makes them gentle enough for daily use yet effective in keeping skin soft and smooth. Use these pads to prep your skin for makeup or take them on-the-go for quick and easy exfoliation!

Fragrance-free.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 22.90 (Watsons)


Ingredient List

Propolis Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Betaine, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine Salicylate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil

I’m not too keen on the presence of Butylene Glycol (I talked about this previously in my other posts) because it poses a risk for sensitive skin:

Although butylene glycol has many benefits for the skin, one of the likeliest side effects from this chemical is the potential for skin irritation. Several studies suggest that this ingredient can cause a rash around the eyes and other forms of irritation in individuals with sensitive skin. (Source: The Derm Review)

Other than that, I do like some other ingredients that I am familiar with: Propolis Extract (used in COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol), for instance, helps to heal and repair damaged skin, so this is definitely great for people with blemished skin (aka me haha).


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Packaging: The packaging is very similar to that of COSRX’s One Step Pimple Clear Pads, so you have these individual pre-soaked pads that you can just easily swipe on your skin. I think it’s definitely more hygienic than having to scoop product out with your hands, and also easy to bring around when you travel (you can just pack the number of pads you think you’ll need, much better than bringing a bottle around).

Texture: The pad’s texture is exactly like the pimple clear pads, rough on one side and smooth on the other. I’m assuming that you use the rough side to clear away any dead skin while you hydrate, and I’m definitely not complaining if my product is able to multi-task 😀

The liquid that the pads are pre-soaked in (and which will come off on your skin when you use the pads) is easily absorbed by skin, which I like much better than a lot of moisturizers that are too oily/thick for me. I find this especially good to use in the morning, because using heavy creams before I apply makeup is a clear recipe for breakouts.

Effectiveness: In terms of hydration, I think this definitely works as it should. My skin feels instantly refreshed and moisturized after this, and the hyaluronic acid definitely plays a big part.

I’m still seeing blemishes and acne, but it’s definitely calmed down quite a fair bit compared to how it was before I started using this.


Final Verdict

I think this is a great alternative to the moisturizers we are used to – it definitely saves me a lot of time, and feels much better for my skin than normal creams and gels. It’s also affordable in the long run, retailing at SGD20+ for 70 pads.

However, I’m speaking as a person with oily skin living in a humid country, and frankly I’m not too sure if this level of hydration will be enough if you have really dry skin / living in a dry climate. You might want to use this mainly in the summer, or you can try to follow up with a hydrating mask / other moisturizing creams.


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮

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[REVIEW] COSRX Centella Water Alcohol-Free Toner

If there’s one skincare product I use everyday (and twice a day at that!), it’s definitely toner. I actually emptied my previous COSRX toner in just a few months because I was using it so diligently, so I had no choice but to get a new toner. I was actually quite happy that I had the chance to try out a new toner because the COSRX one wasn’t very effective towards the end, so I got this one from COSRX instead.

(Anyway as a side note, I love COSRX’s skincare products. I’m not endorsed to say this but just really wanted to put it out there that this brand is seriously good for your skin.)


Product Description

This highly concentrated Centella Toner provides relief to irritated, specifically and sensitive stressed-out skin while replenishing lost moisture.

Centella Water Alcohol-Free Toner is made of skin friendly plants extracts and calming botanical ingredients to relax and comfort stressed-out skin. This gentle toner contains Centella Asiatica Leaf Water 10% and mineral water from JEJU 82% which effectively improves skin condition while providing vitamins and minerals. It’s suitable for sensitive skin.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 22.90

Image credits


Ingredient List

Mineral Water, Centella Asiatica Leaf Water, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine, Panthenol, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethyl Hexanediol

The top ingredient in this toner is mineral water, which is kind of worrying because it feels as though you’re probably just spraying plain water on your face. On the other hand, it is very comforting to see that this toner is free of irritants and has kept ingredients to the minimum – more ingredients don’t necessarily mean that the product will do more for your skin.

If you’re curious as to what Centella Asiatica Leaf Water can do for you:

When applied topically, Centella extract is effective in treating wounds. In a 2012 study, researchers found that Centella extract facilitates the healing of incisions and burns. Centella not only promotes collagen production but also inhibits inflammation that leads to scarring.

Collagen production? Healing of wounds? Inhibits inflammation? Consider me sold!


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Packaging: It comes in pretty typical COSRX fashion – simple, clean, and straight to the point. I am a big fan of skincare products that look like these, and I have to say that COSRX really does its packaging very well. The bottle can be slightly cumbersome if you want to pack this into a small luggage or bag, but should fit nicely in most other normal-sized luggages if you’re planning to carry out for travels. If you are worried about the size, you could always pour it into a smaller spray bottle for convenience.

One weird thing about this, however, is that I haven’t been able to spray a lot of product out nicely. It tends to come out in small spurts, and not exactly the mist shown in the product photo. I don’t know if it’s just my bottle that’s weird, because I haven’t seen other reviews complaining about this yet TT___TT It’s not that big of a problem, but obviously it would be better if I could get more product out smoothly, right?

Texture: As with my experience using toners, this pretty much felt just like water. I’m not complaining about that though, because I love skincare stuff that gets absorbed easily by my skin. I don’t like the heavy and oily feeling some products leave on your skin – I can almost imagine my skin clogging up just from that feeling.

Effectiveness: My skin is, unfortunately, a fast and accurate reflection of my health, moods, and life in general. When I’m stressed, eating badly, or spent a day getting burnt in the sun (I honestly strongly advise against this), my face immediately reflects the effects after one night’s sleep. There was a period of time that I was quite stressed, and (unfortunately) spent one day sweating in the hot afternoon sun, so the next day my skin immediately broke out with pimples and red patches.

I’ve had experience using toners that actually made the situation even worse – I’ll talk about that in future posts – but this toner has actually helped to calm my skin down quite a fair bit. I know toners don’t really promise to give you dewy skin, kill all acne etc., but this has been really great for prepping my skin. This definitely doesn’t make my skin itch or feel inflamed when it is dying from the environmental damage inflicted on it.

I’ve also seen a marked improvement in how well my skin reacts to the products in the rest of my skincare routine, where my usage of MISSHA’s Cell Renew Snail Cream actually made my skin glow and my acne scars lighten!


Final Verdict

Another great product from COSRX – though someone really needs to look into that spray nozzle thing. I think I would love this product a lot more if it would actually spray properly.

I also do think that it is slightly expensive in Singapore retail stores (pharmacies), so I would recommend getting your hands on this online instead. I got mine from a Shopee seller for $15 – still not the cheapest toner around, but definitely one that is worth the money.


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮

mustbuy

[REVIEW] COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol

One K-beauty brand that I’m super happy I discovered from watching beauty influencers’ (more specifically, Joan Kim!) Youtube videos is COSRX. This skincare brand has never disappointed, and I like how everything is so fuss-free and straightforward – kind of like a drastic change from the usual amazing packaging of K-beauty products, but not a bad change to have once in a while.


Product Description

The Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol is a toner that works hard to hydrate and prep your skin for the next steps in your skin care routine and maintains your pores as a gentle chemical exfoliator.

This formula contains 69.8% Black Bee Propolis to soothe, repair and hydrate skin while inhibiting bacterial growth—perfect for breakouts and acne-prone skin. Natural AHAs and BHAs also aid in controlling excess sebum, clearing impurities and dead skin cells, and helping your skin cells renew so your skin becomes clearer and brighter while maintaining natural moisture-retention.

This is a great toner for sensitive, combination, or oily skin, and especially those dealing with breakouts and acne.

This product has a pH level of 4

Fragrance-free.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 26.90


Ingredient List

Propolis Extract, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, water, Glycolic Acid, Betaine Salicylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethyl Hexanediol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil

I know this ingredient list sounds quite scary, especially when you see alcohol ranked 2nd(!) I had a lot of doubts when I was looking at this product, but the product description seemed to fit what I was looking for. I was hoping to buy a toner that could hydrate my skin while keeping my acne at bay, and this toner seemed to do just the thing, so I took a leap of faith and went ahead with this purchase.


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Packaging: I don’t really like my skincare products to look too frivolous, although I do love pretty makeup packaging. Having something clean and sophisticated gives the impression that it’s more scientifically-formulated, if you understand what I mean haha. I’ve brought this along on my travels and had no problems with leakages whatsoever. It’s not too bulky too, so it can definitely fit snugly into your luggage.

Texture: Like most other toners, it feels just like water, so it gets absorbed by the skin very easily. I’m not too big a fan of the smell, though.

Effectiveness: I have pretty mixed thoughts about this, but mostly positive.

So when I first started using this product, I was going through a lot of stress, bad eating, terrible sleeping habits (all thanks to school) and I felt like my skin might die if I didn’t use a toner that could at least promise to keep my skin looking like it won’t die any time soon. I’m not exaggerating when I say this toner SAVED my skin during those dreary, exhausting weeks. My internal organs might have been dying, but my skin was clearly surviving. It remained relatively clear for weeks with the occasional zits, but nothing drastic!  It was the best condition that I had seen my skin in for a long time, and I really was quite amazed.

However, after I used it for a period of time, it seemed a little like it wasn’t so effective anymore. My lifestyle habits have definitely been improving since then, so I don’t know why I still sprout acne patches so often these days.


Final Verdict

I hate having mixed feelings about a product that clearly worked for me, and which I would definitely want to recommend 😦

I might give this another shot in future with a new bottle (I just finished mine!) to see if I can still make this work for me, because this is honestly the best toner I’ve used in a long time. I do think this will work great for people with sensitive and acne-prone skin – I can truly vouch for this. I’m just slightly puzzled by the reduced efficacy towards the end of the bottle. Maybe something else in my makeup routine is messing my skin up rather than the toner, but it still shows that this toner is not 100% effective at preventing acne. Oh well.


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮✮

mustbuy

K-Beauty Items For SGD10 & Less

K-Beauty, with a heavy focus on 10-step skincare regimes, natural make-up looks that uses more products than you can count, as well multiple celebrity endorsements, is often viewed as an expensive affair. Indeed, having to keep up with multiple award-winning K-Beauty products doesn’t seem to bode well for your wallet. Luckily, you don’t have to break your bank to get the best of K-Beauty, thanks to these affordable gems:


COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

(Watsons SGD5.20, 24 patches)

COSRX is the skincare brand that everyone is talking about, including Youtubers such as Joan Kim, who sings praises of their products in almost all her videos. COSRX’s Acne Pimple Master Patch is one of their star products, and has even had an entire Buzzfeed article dedicated to how effective it is. All you need to do is paste one of these patches on your pimples – the patches absorb oil and dirt from the zits so that they literally flatten and disappear overnight. Miracles do exist, and at an affordable price!

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Etude House Dear Darling Water Gel Tint

(SGD8.90, 4.5g)

You know that a product is truly worth buying when it is awarded an accolade by one of the biggest K-Beauty curators. This tint from Etude House is a 2017 Soko Glam Best of K-beauty Award winner for its smooth application, vibrant colour payoff and of course, its lasting power.

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Etude House Drawing Eye Brow

(SGD5.90)

Everyone needs good brows, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive and complicated affair. This product from Etude House not only boasts a triangular-shaped pencil to help you draw from appropriate angles but also a brush to help your eyebrows look naturally on-point.

Read my review of this product here. 

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Innisfree Eco Flower Tint

(SGD10, 10ML)

Lip tints are a lazy people’s answer to surviving long days without any reapplication. Innisfree’s Eco Flower Tint ensures that your lips look as good as when you first applied it, with its long-lasting, beautiful tint. The product also tastes and smells as good as it looks – almost as though you have flowers blooming on your lips.

 Read my review of this product here 

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Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder

(SGD10, 5g)

What’s better than an affordable product? An affordable multi-purpose product!

A holy grail item for many beauty bloggers, Innisfree’s No Sebum Mineral Powder is guaranteed to win you over with its 10 different uses. Besides functioning as a finishing powder, you can also use it to blot oil from your face throughout the day, prime your eyes, and even freshen up by using it as dry shampoo and deodorant. Talk about maximizing your every cent!

Read my review of this product here.  

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 Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Color Clay Mask

(SGD7.90, 70ML, Shopee)

Innisfree’s Jeju Volcanic products are famous for their effectiveness in cleaning pores without being rough on the skin. Now, you can clean your pores while combating different skin concerns such as rough skin, dryness, dullness etc with the Color Clay Masks. With 7 different mask packs to choose from, this is a godsend for people with combination skin, or those who have multiple problems on the same face.

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[REVIEW] COSRX One Step Pimple Clear Pads

COSRX is the skincare brand that everyone seems to be talking about, including Youtubers such as Joan Kim, who sings praises of their products in almost all her videos. I knew I had to try it out when I went to Korea, so I bought one of their star products, the One Step Pimple Clear Pads.


Product description

Oil and excess sebum control just got easier. The award-winning COSRX One Step Pimple Clear Pads are pre-soaked in betaine salicylate and willow bark water to chemically exfoliate without drying out your skin. Active ingredients penetrate deeply into pores to dissolve oil and dead skin cells, which help in controlling breakouts. Not only are they good for the face but also recommended for blemishes on the chest and back..

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 19.90 (MyBeautyMoments)


Ingredient list

Salix Alba(Willow) Bark Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Betaine Salicylate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Panthenol, Allantoin, Arginine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate,Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Ethyl Hexanediol, Sodium Hydroxide

I did a bit of research on the Internet to find out what this product’s star ingredients (Betaine Salicylate & Willow Bark Water) are supposed to do for your skin:

Betaine Salicylate: A fatty acid-type ingredient derived from plants. Beta-sitosterol occurs naturally in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It is similar to cholesterol, which occurs naturally in skin. Applied to skin, it is considered a good moisturizing and skin-soothing ingredient.

Willow Bark: Plant extract that contains salicin, a substance that when taken orally is converted by the digestive process to salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid). The process of converting the salicin in willow bark into salicylic acid requires the presence of enzymes, and is complex. Further, salicin, much like salicylic acid, is stable only under acidic conditions. The likelihood that willow bark in the tiny amount used in cosmetics can mimic the effect of salicylic acid is at best questionable, and, in all likelihood, impossible. However, willow bark may have soothing benefits for skin.

Credits: Paula’s Choice


The first time I used this, the first thought that popped into my mind was how much it smelt like herbs. I think it’s the smell of willow bark – not unpleasant, but not my favourite scent either.

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There are 2 sides of the pad, one is slightly more corrugated for you to “scrub” your skin, and other smoother side for you to wipe off any excess dirt and oil. As far as I have observed, the pads do a really good job in exfoliating. I usually use these after I have washed my face with a cleanser, and I still see traces of dirt on the pads (yikes).

I’ve been using these for a few months (70 pads is really a lot) and I’m still nowhere close to finishing them. You shouldn’t be using them everyday anyway – treat this as the exfoliation step in your skincare, and you should just be exfoliating a few times per week. I can safely say that I’ve seen an improvement in my skin condition. The acne is reduced by a fair bit, and my pores don’t feel quite as clogged as they used to.


Final Verdict

I feel like a lot of skincare products are either a hit or a miss with my sensitive skin, because they are either too mild or too strong. However, I would say that COSRX’s One Step Pimple Clear Pads has been more of a hit with me.

I had a very bad time with acne during my time in Korea due to a cocktail of factors (the weather, terrible eating & sleeping habits, applying makeup almost everyday), but this product really helped me to keep the problem in control.

I think at its retail price, this is pretty reasonable, and is something you should definitely get your hands on if you’re also suffering from breakouts.


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮

mustbuy