If you’ve heard of COSRX, you’ll know they’re somewhat of a legendary brand in the K-beauty world. Simplistic formulas, innovative ingredients, and an adorable animated brand ambassador called Mr Rx have turned this one-time small Indie brand into a worldwide skincare powerhouse. And now I couldn’t be more excited that COSRX has landed at Kosame! In today’s post I’m going to take a deep dive into the brand story, their best-sellers, and the purpose of each product. As a long-time fan of the brand, I’ll also be sharing why I love so many of the COSRX products, how they work for my skin, and why I always come back for more!
COSRX was founded in 2013 as a small Korean skincare brand with a handful of products and big goals. By 2014, their products were making significant online ripples among the international skincare community with customers reporting fantastic tangible results. The Korean skincare blogs were all talking about COSRX and the brand really began to gain momentum outside of Korea. That’s when I first heard of them and had to get in on the action! You could say I’ve been hooked ever since. With the simple, basic packaging and no-fuss formulas, COSRX was a breath of fresh air from the often gimmicky and overly packaged Korean skincare you frequently saw in the market at the time. My first purchases included the snail mucin line of products and it was genuinely love at first try. Snail mucin was an ingredient that completely grossed me out at first but quickly became my COSRX go-to. I’ve been fortunate enough to try and test the majority of COSRX product releases over the past 6 years and the brand still holds a central spot in my skincare stash. More on my favorites further through this post!
The brand name comes from the combination of Cosmetics + Rx (Prescription) and the mission is to provide the best solutions for a variety of skin problems. Expecting Tomorrow is the brand’s slogan because “with skin-friendly ingredients that alleviate irritated skin, we want to provide a better tomorrow for our customers”. I feel like this sentiment is so genuine and sweet, and really aligns with the brand’s simplistic, targeted formulas.
The three brand concept pillars are:
- Soft Skin Care – mild skin care for sensitive skin
- Feeling – skin friendly/gentle touch/soft texture
- Solution- tailor-made/perspective/life/sympathy
Again, it’s clear that the brand is looking to create real solutions to the skincare issues we all face. The branding of COSRX is seen throughout every product launch and every line the brand creates. The consistency and dedication to gentle, solution-focussed skincare are arguably what has made them the global go-to they are today.
Many of the original COSRX products are based on a central ingredient proven to target a specific issue. As the brand grew, they also focussed more on sensitive skin and creating gentle, as well as targeted, formulas. The products listed below have been hailed as some of the best skincare products in the world and many have been recognized both by beauty awards and extensive recommendations within the grassroots skincare threads and discussions. Let’s get stuck in so I can explain why these are so well loved!
This COSRX cleanser was one of the first cleansers on the K-beauty scene that combined a gel consistency and a low pH formula. Why low pH? Low pH cleansers are inline with our skin’s natural acidic state and therefore help prevent the cleanser drying our skin and damaging the delicate barrier. If your skin barrier is damaged, this can result in difficulty retaining moisture as well as potentially making your skin more prone to bacterial acne. Not ideal! pH is definitely an important factor to consider when selecting a cleanser.
This is a fantastic option for all skin types but particularly those with dry or sensitive skin. What makes it a winner is how easy the cleanser is to incorporate into ANY routine, whether you have 10 steps or 3 steps, and it can be used both day and night. The tea-tree scent gives a fresh, sensory experience while the gel effectively removes all grime and residue for a thorough cleanse. And bonus, it’s one of the most affordable cleansing options at just £12 a tube…! Not to be missed.
Yep, an essence that contains a whopping 96% snail mucin (collected safely and without harm to the snails!). An essence is a product that should be patted into the skin after cleansing and can have several purposes from hydrating to brightening. So, what’s the purpose of this snail essence? Snail mucin is somewhat of a multi-tasking ingredient- it moisturizes, soothes, and heals the skin and that’s exactly why this essence is my favorite COSRX product of all time. The gel essence helps maintain a healthy complexion by replenishing moisture and gives my skin a bounciness. It’s a go-to when I’m breaking out because I need a product both to calm my skin but also aid in the healing, which this essence certainly does! The gel texture is admittedly a little unusual if you haven’t tried snail mucin before. It’s gel-like and not slimy as you may imagine, but definitely a little stretchy. It absorbs quickly but most importantly, leaves the skin feeling moisturized, plumped, and glowing.
A perfect follow-on to the snail essence, this snail cream is ideal as both a daytime and evening moisturizer option. With its gel-cream texture and enriched with 92% snail mucin, the cream sinks into the skin and deeply nourishes. It’s a fantastic moisturizer and leaves my skin feeling silky soft, with no greasy residue. I use the cream regardless of my skin condition, but I particularly appreciate it when my skin is sensitive or irritated, for helping with soothing and healing. You need little of the cream to achieve a healthy-looking, plumped complexion and it’s a firm favorite in the skincare community. I find it particularly useful for helping skin retain moisture throughout the day.
COSRX is revered for their acne care line because they’ve successfully produced a range of products to address a wide variety of breakout issues. From controlling sebum production to helping target active pimples, there seems to be a solution from the brand for every concern. The two products below are my absolute stars when it comes to maintaining clear skin and treating my pimples and breakouts.
This may appear to be a simple watery toner, but the BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is a powerful product. The liquid contains 4% betaine salicylate, a beta-hydroxy-acid, which helps exfoliate the pores. Exfoliating within your pores reduces the appearance of the pores and sebaceous filaments (those black dots you may see in porous areas) and helps control sebum and oiliness. I personally find that it helps reduce the appearance of my large pores, reduces the frequency of pimples, and plays a large role in helping maintain a clear complexion. The liquid is gentle enough to be used every day, but in case of a reaction, it’s always best to start slowly with BHA products and work your way up to daily use. Simply pat on the skin with hands, or swipe across face with a soaked cotton pad, after cleansing.
I’ve tried a LOT of acne patches and COSRX patches are still the best, in my humble opinion. Pimple patches are small, translucent, circular adhesive patches that are placed over a pimple to protect it from bacteria and to speed up the healing process. Most people, including myself, apply them before bed and remove in the morning. Others decide to wear them during the day for protection and healing (this is particularly common in Korea, where you frequently see men and women wearing pimple patches!). You do you because it all works and just depends on when you’re comfortable wearing them!
The COSRX patches utilize a hydrocolloid material that the brand claims extracts impurities and creates a moist environment to make the healing process faster. I can never quite believe just how effectively these patches speed up the healing process for me. I find they are best applied when a pimple is at it’s peak or if it has recently been popped (no I know we shouldn’t pop our pimples, but I can’t always resist!). The redness and size of the pimple is always reduced when I wear a patch overnight.
Another of the standout properties of the COSRX patches - in comparison to other brands - is how well they adhere and stay on the skin. For pimple patches to work effectively, they really need good adherence and these patches do not budge.
COSRX has produced several sunscreens over the years, but the best is easily the original formula, the Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF 50+ PA+++. I have to admit, I only recently tested this sunscreen for the first time, and I was blown away by the quality of the formula as well as the affordability (just £12 on Kosame). I’ve already purchased two more tubes in back up!
Firstly, the packaging is a hygienic, small tube that is perfect for dispensing the correct amount of sun cream and the ideal size and shape for tossing in your handbag. The scent is rather nice in my opinion. It’s a fresh, lightly floral scent that dissipates within a few minutes of application. The texture is a light cream. It’s not the lightest sun cream I’ve used but it still absorbs relatively quickly with no white cast. Although it doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy, it does moisturize my skin and give it a glow. It may be a touch too heavy for oilier skin types whereas for my normal-dry skin, it is totally comfortable to use in this current mid-summer heat. My skin has a soft glow after applying the sun cream and feels quite soft- it works well both on its own or under makeup and I haven’t had any issues with pilling.
Most importantly, I really like that the cream protects against both UVA and UVB rays, with the high levels of protection SPF50+ and PA+++. That’s a level of protection I’m always looking for in a daily facial sunscreen. Combined with the texture that works well for my skin, it’s quickly become a favorite of mine!
COSRX are ultimately a brand you can rely on. If I’m having skin issues, anything from breakouts to dry flaky skin, I know that I have a trusty COSRX product I can reach for. Over the past seven years, time and time again they have proved their consistency and dedication to simple, effective formulas. And I’ve met so many people who feel the same, from the Instagram community to my mum! The brand fills a substantial space in my skincare wardrobe, and I’ve repurchased so many of their products. Perhaps one of the aspects I love the most about this brand is their accessibility and affordability. Good skincare does not need to be extortionately priced and I really appreciate that almost all COSRX products are under £30 while providing a decent amount of product which lasts well. Can you tell I’m a huge fan?! Have you guys tried this brand? Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
Katherine Spowart from www.skinfullofseoul.com