This post has been very long overdue and it’s because these products have been part of my skincare routine for so long that I kind of stopped actively thinking about them. When Korean skincare first became popular in the states, COSRX was one of the first brands I heard about. They have a pretty extensive range that incorporates effective ingredients without creating any further damage to the skin, a philosophy that I am always behind. All K-beauty products that I have used have a big moisture component, which for a majority of my life I was not accustomed to. I always thought that by using more drying products, I was doing my naturally oily skin a favor. Boy, was I wrong. Moisturizing your skin is so important, it can plump up your skin, balance oil production, and give you a very natural looking glow. Therefore, it is super important to use products that address your concerns without stripping your skin and causing further irritation. COSRX hits the nail on the head with this 🙂
BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
Let’s start with the fact that this has salicylic acid (BHA), one of my favorite ingredients to keeping acne-prone skin in check. Salicylic acid is anti-inflammatory, mildly antibacterial, and is able to penetrate deeper into the skin because it is oil-soluble. It works by dissolving the ‘glue’ that holds skin cells together and then the bacteria underneath the skin can be easily removed.
Salicylic acid is primarily known as a treatment for breakouts, but its exfoliation properties help to diminish wrinkles and fine lines, assist with hyperpigmentation, and shrink pore size! The COXRX Blackhead Power Liquid contains 4% betaine salicylate, which is equivalent to 2% salicylic acid. It also has niacinamide and white willow bark which are both wonderful at brightening and moisturizing the skin.
Despite the name, I did not get this to get rid of blackheads (I don’t really get those.) Instead, I picked this up as a preventative measure for breakouts and was pleasantly surprised when it not only helped on that front, but brightened my skin as well. And, I have not found it to be drying whatsoever, which was a huge bonus. I use it after washing my face and toning with a gentle toner. I pump out about 2 squirts and massage it into my skin and wait a bit for it to absorb. If I am using any other products, I use those afterwards since my belief is that I want anything that contains salicylic acid, or has exfoliation properties, to absorb into my skin first. That way it can do its job more effectively, rather than having to penetrate through other products first and it may help everything else absorb deeper into the skin. I use this pretty much every day in the morning and it has helped keep my breakouts at bay. If my skin is misbehaving, I will use this at night too. If you do have blackheads, I would highly recommend this because it will help to de-clog your pores and help get rid of the dead skin cells trapped inside. And, if you have manually extracted your blackheads, this would be great to use afterwards to keep that area clean and prevent more blackheads from appearing.
Main takeaways: Great for daily exfoliation and breakout prevention/treating existing blackheads.
Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
Okay, those of you who don’t know much about Korean skincare maybe slightly taken aback by this one. This product contains 96% snail mucin (aka slime.) Why would anyone put that on their face? Because it is insanely moisturizing. This water-based formula is perfect for oily skin and contains sodium hyaluronate to help grab onto all the moisture and keep your skin hydrated and plump for hours. Additionally, it helps with preventing and repairing existing damage to your skin. I like to use this on days that my skin feels more dry and tight (doesn’t happen too often, but with the constantly changing weather in Texas, my skin is never prepared.) And, this is great to use after you have had any procedures done that can cause irritation, such as peels, microneedling, microdermabrasion, etc. because it’s soothing and can speed up any potential “downtime.” The consistency of this unfortunately does replicate slime, but don’t let that be a deterrent. It rubs into skin really well and feels comfortable. I would put a light moisturizer on top if you are wearing this during the daytime to temper any shine you may get.
Main takeaways: Very moisturizing and perfect to use to heal your skin if it is irritated or gets easily irritated.
Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence
If you have been wanting to try out the SK-II facial treatment essence (the one that is $99 for 2.5oz), hold onto your wallets because this essence is a cheaper alternative! The star ingredient in the SK-II is Pitera, otherwise known as galactomyces ferment filtrate (GFF). GFF is a mold strain found in yeast. It was discovered that sake brewers in Japan had really smooth hands that did not seem to reflect their true age and after doing some digging, skincare experts discovered that GFF was the reason for that. GFF is proven to help with aging, brightening, firming, and cell regeneration. The SK-II essence contains 90% of GFF…COSRX contains 95%! COSRX also includes niacinamide (which you have probably grown tired of hearing about from me) and panthenol (anti-inflammatory.) The SK-II essence is a very watery consistency that can be used with or without a cotton pad, and the COSRX essence is more of a gel-like consistency that you should apply with your hands. Getting the COSRX over the SK-II was a no brainer for me. I have tried a sample of the SK-II essence and I felt like the COSRX essence gave me the same results AND my wallet was happy 🙂 This has really helped brighten my skin and helped speed up the lightening of any hyperpigmentation I have. Use this after cleansing and toning, and I would recommend using a moisturizer after this.
Main takeaways: Dupe for SK-II, anti-aging, and brightening.
How I incorporate all 3 of these products into my daytime skincare routine:
-BHA Blackhead Power Liquid (this I use pretty much every single day)
-Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence (I use this on days when my skin is behaving and I just want to target skin tone issues)
-Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence (I use this whenever my skin is breaking out or irritated because of its soothing properties)
I don’t use all three at once because I am afraid if I did, it would cause some pilling issues. So I only use 2 depending on what my skin is needing that day.
Please let me know if you try any of these products out and what you think of them 🙂