Friday, November 13, 2015

COSRX Memebox Review

Way back in August I finally broke down and bought my first Memebox.  It's a rabbit hole I've been avoiding, because you know, I tend to overdo stuff.  Plus, there is so many friggin' Asian brands and Asian beauty seems to have a never ending sequence of steps and who has that kind of time?  But I digress....
The COSRX box is the one that tipped the iceberg for me.  I've been using the products to varying degrees for 3 months now, so let's take a look at the items in the box and see if this was a worthwhile foray.
First of all, I do like the minimalistic packaging of COSRX.  The mission/aesthetic of this South Korean company is to make effective products with safe and natural ingredients, all while keeping prices lower by minimizing advertising and design costs.  The brand is also known for it's AHA/BHA products, two of which are included in this Memebox.  My oily skin should, in theory, benefit greatly from AHA/BHA's, so that was one of the draws for me in purchasing.
The AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner ($13) is supposed to be a gentle pH balancing toner, and the AHA/BHA properties come in the form of the Willow Bark Water, Apple Fruit Water, and Glycolic Acid.  This is one of my favorite items from the box, and the one I've been the most faithful in using.  I tended to spray it all over my face as opposed to using cotton pads, especially in the mornings.  I've got about 1/4 of a bottle left and have purchased another, so I'd say I'm a fan.
Tied with the toner in my affection is the Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence ($19).  This is my first snail product, and it's composed of a whopping 96% of the clear gel-like substance that is secreted when snails crawl across rough surfaces.  Why spread snail slime on your face, you ask?  Well, apparently it has some powerful skin healing properties.  Plus, it works well on my oily skin as a light moisturizer and does not interfere with my foundation.  My skin absorbs it quickly and I then apply my moisturizer of choice.  I dunno,  gels and I are compatico.
The product that has seen the least amount of use from me is the BHA Summer Pore Minish Serum ($15).  Notice the demarcation in the ingredients?  There is a powdery essence in the mix that is supposed to help absorb oil, although my skin seems to defeat everything.  I admit to getting a bit lost with how to layer Asian products, and I'm just not really sure how to incorporate this in my routine. Plus, it lives in my refrigerator and I tend to forget about it as a result.  Once I get over these hurdles it could well turn out to be a star.
Shake, shake, shake to mix!
Last up is the Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser ($7.50).  I'm educated about Asian beauty enough now to know that many consider low pH cleansers to be de riguer, and this one has a high pH level of 9 or so.  Personally, I haven't had a problem with it, but the issue is that high pH cleanser may disrupt the skin's protective lipid barrier, making it more prone to irritation, bacteria, and other less than optimal things.  High pH cleansers also mean you need to use a pH adjusting toner to get your skin back to the levels that will work with AHA/BHA's, so there's that as well.  COSRX has now come out with a lower pH level cleanser, but I'll continue to use this one at night as part of my double cleansing routine.  It smells of tea tree oil, which I happen to enjoy, and lathers up nicely if that is important to you.
Ingredients:  Glycerin, Water, Stearic Acid, Myristic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Lauric Acid, Peg-32, Cocamidopropyl Betaine Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyquaternium-7, Lauramide Dea, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Polysorbate 60, Peg-100 Stearate, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sorbitan Olivate, Cellulose Gum, Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Leaf Extract, Disodium Edta

Overall, I feel like my skin is looking pretty good!  My pores look smaller/more refined and breakouts are minimal.  I've actually got a COSRX sleeping pack on the way in addition to the AHA/BHA toner, so I'm branching out.  I'm also reading the No/Low Buy Asian Beauty thread on reddit.com just in case.  It's a rabbit hole, I'm telling you.

The COSRX Memebox is still available for $46 ($67 value), and there are usually some discount codes floating around (I always Google for those) that can help lower the cost.  Here is my referral Memebox link if you'd like to use that, which I believe nets me some Memebox dollars?  I really can't remember.

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