Yes, I already have facial cleansers that I love. No, I cannot be loyal to them. First off, I get tired of them and the siren call of newwww thinnnnngs is irresistible. Second off, trying different stuff gives me something to talk about on le blogue (unless you really want to hear about Thank You Farmer Back to Pure Foaming Gel Cleanser over and over again). So today we have ANOTHER ONE!
WHAT THAT IS :
Just like the post title says, it’s Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser, which is currently $9.70/5.1oz on Amazon. Why I picked this one to try :
* Cosrx is a k-beauty brand I’ve heard of, but I really only ever see enthusiastic mentions of their acne patches, so I was curious too see what other products they had.
* It’s a foaming gel formula but lacks the usual sulfate-based surfactants (SLS/SLeS).
* Unlike a lot of other k-beauty cleansers I looked at, it also lacks myristic and stearic acids, which I learned the hard way will break me out like a MOFO. (For real, if you have acne at all, AVOID THOSE.)
* The packaging isn’t hideous, it’s not expensive, and ingredients/reviews indicated it was unlikely to have a fragrance I’d consider “effing nast.”
WHAT’S IT LIKE :
Before we get all up in the ~experience~ let’s look at what’s in there :
Ingredients : Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Polysorbate 20, Styrax Japonicus Branch/Fruit/Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Saccharomyces Ferment, Cryptomeria Japonica Leaf Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract, Pinus Palustris Leaf Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Flower Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Allantoin, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Betaine Salicylate, Citric Acid, Ethyl Hexanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA
So we’ve got two very mild non-sulfate surfactants (note that both are coconut-derived, in case you have any allergies or sensitivities there), Styrax extract (an aromatic, possibly with skin-soothing properties, but those with sensitive skin might not like), a yeast ferment, Japanese cedar extract (aromatic, possibly with nice phenols and fatty acids), long-leaf pine extract (antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory), elm extract (conditioner), evening primrose (woo!), kudzu root extract (an A+ antioxidant), tea tree (woo!), allantoin (woo!), a gentler/less-likely-to-irritate version of salicylic acid (woo!) and some preservatives, emulsifiers and other solvents, etc.
You may read that list and think “wow that is heavy on the botanicals, with an emphasis on piney/tree things (styrax, cedar, pine, elm, tea tree) I wonder if that means it smells like … “ YES. YES IT DOES. It definitely smells like you think it smells. Tea tree is dominant, but I also detect other resinous/arboreal notes — kinda piney, kinda woody in general. If you know me, you know that is 100% my jam, so yeah, I’m SUPER down with the fragrance. As far as the “low pH” in the title goes — well, I’ll have to take their word for it, because I don’t have any pH testing strips, and it’s not mentioned elsewhere. The stuff itself is a perfectly crystal clear gel, and dispenses easily and non-messily out of its flip-cap squeezy tube :
HOW DOES IT DO THO
First, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t take much (about the size of a chick pea, if that) to do a very thorough job. A lot of sulfate-free cleansers don’t seem to want to lather or slip against the skin well unless you use a huge gob — that’s not the case here. A fairly small blorp of product was enough to feel like it was Definitely Cleansing My Face, was nicely bubbly, and took off my makeup with ease. (And again, the scent is invigorating as all get-out. However, I can’t detect the scent on my skin after rinsing, so.) It rinses off easily and quickly, and afterwards my skin definitely doesn’t feel tight or “stripped.”
THE VERDICT : SO GOOD! This has a lot of great ingredients, especially for oily or acne-prone skin (salicylic, tea tree, evening primrose). As always, these things will likely be more effective if you apply them in a serum or something else that stays on your face for more than a minute or two — I’m not counting on my cleanser to transform my skin, but it can’t hurt, right? Also I love the bright fresh astringent scent, and the price is more than reasonable. I like it every bit as much as my previous fave Thank You Farmer Back To Pure, and probably more than Acure Sensitive Skin (which is excellent but has a bit of coconut oil in it, which makes me nervous on the breakout front). DO YOU NEED THIS? If you have an allergy to coconut-derived compounds, very sensitive skin that doesn’t like strong resinous/benzoin stuff, or you just hate the smell of evergreen things like tea tree oil? Then no. Otherwise, if you have normal to oily skin, enjoy a brisk/fresh bubbly yet non-drying cleanser, and/or you love tea tree stuff? Resounding YES.
Tried it? Dig it or loathe it? Share!