[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.







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.


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