Among all the acne talk that you’ll usually find across my blog and social media channels, I’m trying to focus more on nailing down some reviews of some new, up-and-coming brands.
There are lots of top acne-targeting skincare ranges out there – new and old – but I’m currently seeing a lot of hype from Korean skincare brands (also referred to as K-Beauty).
So when COSRX – The AC Collection – landed on my desk, I was keen to put a bit of research into to write about this brand, for you spot sufferers out there like me. Plus, I’m very rarely without an acne breakout, so I decided to give the range a whirl so I could discuss my own findings.
First up, a small bit of background (I know most acne sufferers are already quite impatient like me, so I’ll cut to the chase, I promise). COSRX use a CentellAC-RX formula which has been perfected, to optimise the efficacy of the natural centella ingredient. This key ingredients not only treats acne but also heals any damage that has already been made to the skin. So, that’s those pesky red marks and sluggish cell renewal.
According to the brand, this formula allows the skin to return to its healthy state through a new approach to solving acne related concerns, which also means controlling excessive sebum and balancing the skin’s natural pH level. Lots of us acne sufferers experience oily skin, so it’s nice to use a range which fights the active acne yet controls other skin issues, too.
That being said, some effective acne brands can have a tendency to dry out the skin, so I wanted to see how this range would tackle this…
How I tried out the collection
From the range, there is the Acne Pimple Master Patch (which apparently sells every 25 seconds!), The AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream, AC Collection Calming Foam Cleanser, The AC Collection Calming Liquid Mild, The AC Collection Calming Liquid Intensive, AC Collection Lightweight Soothing Moisturiser, The AC Collection Blemish Spot Clearing Serum and Ultimate Spot Cream.
From the list, you’ll see it’s quite an extensive collection! When trying the range, I didn’t use every product on one day. For the mornings, I started off my using the foam cleanser, followed by the calming liquid mild, and then the soothing moisturiser. I’d then alternate, and use the serum instead of the calming lotion on other days. For evenings, I’d switch up either using the spot clearing serum and the calming liquid Intensive. Then I’d apply a small dab of the spot cream on any active spots.
Thoughts on the products…
Let’s break it down into each product, with a little bit of my research ans thoughts on each one:
AC Collection Calming Foam Cleanser, £16.50
Let’s start with the foaming cleanser, because I always find if you nail it with your cleansing step, you’ve got something seriously right. This formula is said to not only treat the active acne, but also helps revitalise and recover the skin without any irritation, due to it’s COSRX Centella AC-Rx Complex.
Because it’s labelled as ‘calming’, I instantly checked to see if it contained Salicylic acid, which to my delight, it did. I do find some skincare brands will try to remove acids and use other natural ingredients, in aid to calm the skin, but without Salicylic acid, I feel you really miss out on the acne reducing part.
Alongside my hero (Salicylic), this cleanser works with three calming, legendary healing ingredients -Madecassic acid, Asiaticoside and Asiatic acid – which are said to help to protect from scarring. I have lots of scarring from acne, so I feel like the ingredients in this must work to increase cell turnover to reduce those pesky marks.
It foams lightly, doesn’t dry the skin, and I’m super happy with the ingredient list. It probably needs a couple more weeks of use for me to start commenting on my active acne reduction, but so far, so good! And my skin looks so much less angry and irritated after I’ve used this too (I’m sometimes quite red after cleansing normally!).
The AC Collection Calming Liquid Mild, £28
It’s normal to be acne prone yet have real sensitive skin. When this is the case, a lot of products can make your skin look more pink and sore as the ingredients work on the problem areas.
Those with sensitive skin are recommended to use this mild calming liquid, and also those who suffer acne on an ongoing basis and don’t want to be too harsh on their skin.
It’s made as an alcohol free liquid, helping the skin maintain the oil-moisture balance and calms irritation. I have to say it’s super gentle, and absorbs nicely into the skin. I use this straight after cleansing.
The AC Collection Calming Liquid Intensive, £28
For those who get occasional bursts of angry acne, or have a much higher tolerance to ingredients, this is a a great skin clarifer. It works to a more concentrated acne treatment ingredient list than the mild, enriched with Propolis extract and Zinc PCA which help to reduce the risk of infection and relieve cystic acne.
The liquid also contains skin renewing acids such as BHA’s, AHA’s and plant-driven alcohol to remove excess oil, clarify, and freshen the complexion. I’d say it’s one to be used 1-2 times a week to soothe a spot-prone complexion, or lightly applied to angry areas of the skin to instantly calm them down.
AC Collection Lightweight Soothing Moisturiser, £20
This product is one of my favourites of the range. It’s a no-frills, no fancy scented moisturiser which cools down any areas of inflamed skin and balances while it hydrates.
It has a lightweight finish and literally just absorbs nicely, keeping any shine lightly controlled and making a lovely fresh base for makeup.
The AC Collection Blemish Spot Clearing Serum, £28
I’m a huge fan of serums, and I’ll always recommend to anyone that no matter what your skin type or skin issues are, there is always a serum out there which can act as the ‘treatment’ step, before applying moisturiser and then make up (if you wish to wear makeup.)
This spot clearing serum works as a treatment for calming, tone-balancing, and recovering the skin from acne damages. It helps to heal up any old spots and work on making the complexion much more even looking.
The AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream, £25
When I first used this product, I was immediately sent back to the days when I would go to the doctor about my acne when I was in my teenage years. They would hand me a squeezy metal tube, and this reminded me exactly like that. Except, it doesn’t smell of peroxide!
It’s actually a super gentle formula which I didn’t expect, made up of Zinc Oxide, Calamine, CentellAC-RX Complex and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water. So as well as working to dry up the spots, it nourishes and calms, too.
I’ve used this on a couple of occasions when I’ve had a cluster of spots on my jaw and it’s worked a treat, straight from the first use!
The AC Collection Acne Patch, £7
When I heard that this product is a best-seller, I knew it was going to be good. I’ve used acne stickers and patches before and I do love the concept – they are so discreet to wear around the house, and I always think they work their magic best overnight while you sleep.
The nice things about these patches is that they don’t just help the acne disappear and reduce the active spot, but they help spots heal without leaving scars, soothing and calming the spot and the skin around it, too.
They come in small, medium or large sizes, so I’ve mainly been using the large around my jaw and cheeks, where I get a lot of my bigger, angrier breakouts. These patches stick on fine, they don’t come off while I sleep, and I find they massively reduce the time it takes for the spots to heal.
I would definitely say this range is an expertly led targeted acne range that aims to do exactly what it says to do. It doesn’t mix itself up with treating acne and reducing fine lines or giving you glowing skin. It works to calm down acne prone skin, shrinking spots and reducing the risk of scarring.
For it’s high quality ingredients, it’s reasonably priced and is totally fuss-free, which I mentioned before. It doesn’t rely on fancy packaging or uplifting scents. It comes rather clinical looking, just concentrating on delivering acne-fighting ingredients to your skin.
I’m keen to use these a little longer, and when I’ve got even more results for you, I may film a tutorial using each one of the products for both day and night.
The range can be found at FeelUnique.