[REVIEW] Cosrx AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream (Before and After)
Price (use this link): 17.31$ (If you use my code: DEWILDE you can get up to 5% off on any YesStyle purchase at checkout)
Texture: Greasy ointment
What you get: 100 ml
Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Butylene Glycol (Moisturizer/Humectant + Solvent + Viscosity Controlling), Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Glycerine, Zinc Oxide, ♦️Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethyl Sulfone (Solvent + Viscosity Controlling), Betaine (Moisturizer/Humectant), Polysorbate 60 (Emulsifying + Surfactant/Cleansing), Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil (Emollient), Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Kernel Oil (Emollient), Cetearyl Olivate (Emulsifying) , Sorbitan Olivate (Emulsifying), 1,2-Hexanediol (Solvent), Calamine (Absorbent/Mattifier), Dimethicone (Emollient), Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Controlling + Emulsifying + Surfactant/Cleansing + Emulsion Stabilising), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Ethyl Hexanediol (Solvent) , Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid
🌴 Interesting Ingredients:
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water: The water of Aloe Barbadensis Leaf is not well researched, but usually water extracts have the same properties as their non-water counterparts but weakened down. Here are the properties known on Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract + Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice: Treats burns (Inhibits thromboxane, which causes restriction in blood supply to affected skin tissues) + Moisturizer (mucopolysaccharides (water-binding) along with amino acids and zinc) + Wound Healing (Stimulates Collagen production pathways)+ Anti-inflammation (Magnesium lactate in the gel prevents Histamine production).
Glycerine: Widely used as a quality Hydrator (occurs naturally in skin and its chemical structure attracts water). You can find this ingredient in most good skin-replenishing products.
Zinc Oxide: Sunscreen + Colorant (white)
Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract: Antioxidant (Flavonoids baicalein, Oroxylin A, and Wogonin) + Anti-inflammatory (Inhibits substances and growth factor related to macrophage proliferation) + Antimicrobial (flavonoids and phenolic acids) + Prevents hyper-pigmentation (Inhibits Melanin forming activity of Tyrosinase)
Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil: Anti-acne (has Antibacterial, Antifungal and Antiviral properties)
Asiaticoside: Derivative of Centella asiatica. Wound healing (promotes cell migration to healing sites, and enhances skin cell adhesion)
Asiatic Acid + Madecassic Acid: Both of these compounds are major constituents of Centella Asiatica Extract, several studies point to them promoting Collagen I synthesis (anti-aging), and being anti-inflammatory.
Cetearyl Alcohol: Emollient + Viscosity Controlling + Emulsifying + Surfactant/Cleansing + Emulsion Stabilising
[Claims put together from e-pamphlet]
I found it hard to review this product due to its peculiar formula. Let’s go back to basics for a second and remind ourselves what acne is. No matter the kind of acne you have, and how or where it originated, acne is a pore-clogging problem. Sebum or bacteria accumulate in the pores, they clog it, and as your skin grows and dead cells get pushed to the surface, they accumulate in the clogged pore area, leading to inflammation, puss, and comedones. This sebum or bacteria accumulation can be due to diet -which changes the rate of your sebum production - the constant wearing of facial masks - which create a moist environment perfect for bacteria to thrive - hormones - which influence sebum production rates- or even an imbalance of specific vitamins or minerals in your skin - which lead to low or accelerated skin cell renewal rate. Acne has many different origins, and depending on its roots; some anti-acne treatments can work or not on your skin. I have had many kinds of acne, from hormonal to mask to food-related. I’ve found that topical treatments that combine anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and exfoliating (to promote skin cell renewal) properties work on all types of acne. You may need stronger or weaker treatments or more potency in one property over the other, but this combination works against any acne origin.
Now, the Cosrx AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream issue is that it doesn't have any real anti-acne ingredients except for the presence of anti-inflammatory ones. It is mostly composed of Aloe Barbadensis leaf water and Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, both anti-inflammatory and in adequate concentrations. It also has Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract (anti-inflammatory and a bit antibacterial) and Tea Tree Leaf Oil, which is a known anti-acne ingredient. However, these two are in low concentrations - so they probably don't do much. I'll talk about the combination of Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, and Madecassic Acid in the below points, but mainly, again, they are present in low concentration.
The only ingredient present in high concentration which could perhaps fight acne is Zinc oxide, since certain forms of zincs are anti-acneic in some cases, mainly if you are Zinc deficient. However, the studies mainly focus on oral supplementation, and if topical, only Zinc PCA so far has real promises of clearing up your skin. Zinc Oxide is a form of sunscreen, and it's good for acne-prone skin since it has fewer chances of further irritating your acne, but it doesn't have much data on its own to support anti-acne properties. Aloe Vera also contains Zinc minerals, but probably not enough of the substance to do much either. Another ingredient to note that could perhaps fight acne is Dimethyl Sulfone, a form of sulfur. Like Zinc, sulfur is a well-researched ingredient that is considered anti acneic due to its drying and antibacterial properties. However, although oral administration of Dimethyl Sulfone has been shown to improve overall skin health, no topical studies have been made.
Effectively targets acne and blemishes at the source. A spot treatment adheres to growing acne to effectively and quickly overcome areas of concern: No, the Cosrx AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream does not effectively treat acne. From what I've written above, you can probably gather that this is mostly an anti-inflammatory cream rather than an anti-acneic one. This means that it will serve a purpose; notably, your pimple's redness should get subdued, but the acne growth itself will not go away. Perhaps if it's still in its early stages, this cream could be used as a preventative measure. I've personally used it on my cheeks when wearing a mask and have seen a decline in acne I got from that. But for developed acne with white puss showing, this hasn't worked for me. So I disagree with this claim.
CentellAC-Rx Complex:this formula not only treats acne, but also helps revitalize and recover the skin without any irritation through COSRX Centella AC-Rx Complex.The calming formula includes three legendary healing ingredients--Madecassic acid, Asiaticoside and Asiatic acid: Again, this is mostly an anti-inflammatory formula. Notably, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, and Madecassic acid are all derivatives and constituents of Centella Asiatic, one of my favorite ingredients for overall wound healing and skin-calming effects. When combined in formulas with potent anti-acne actives, this works well since it ‘combats’ the potential adverse effects such as skin peeling or irritation, which can come with ingredients like Benzoyl peroxide or Salicylic acid. However, like many interesting ingredients in this formula, these three are present in very low concentrations; they are the last ingredients on the list. Compare their positions to the ones in the Purito Centella green level eye cream, or anti-acne products like the Pyunkang Yul Acne Spot Cream. You will see that they probably don’t contribute much to the properties of this Cosrx product. As for my personal experience, I have not found this cream calming, nor did it revitalize or recover my skin.
3.Overnight Magic for Visible Acne: This formula gently and effectively dries out visible acne overnight using a skin-recovery complex that blends Zinc Oxide, Calamine, CentellAC-RX Complex and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water. No overnight magic for me. I wrote about the ingredients mentioned here above, so I won’t do that again. However, note that Calamine is simply a drying solution as it absorbs any excess sebum or oil. You’re probably familiar with it as it is the main constituents of products such as the pink spot treatments of Mario Badescu, Etude House, and other brands who’ve decided to put their spins on this product type. The issue is, Calamine works by drying out your pimples, but when you mix it into a formula with lots of gentle and emollient ingredients, you lose this mechanism of action. I have not experienced any drying out of my skin, and my acne has not visibly changed overnight.
As you can see from the before and afters, the cream reduced the inflammation on the smaller upper zit eventually but did absolutely nothing on the lower one, which was more cystic.
Honestly, I wouldn't consider the Cosrx AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream as a spot treatment. Spot treatments are created to work on your skin's targeted area and are supposed to be quick and efficient. This cream doesn't have potent or targeted enough ingredients to work this way. I think its popularity is probably because most people with acne usually over-dry or further irritate their skin by only using harsh products. Here this cream comes as a great surprise as it doesn't irritate skin and calms down inflammation. You can read its reviews on reseller sites: 90% of people talk about 'redness diminishing,' not acne going away.
And I agree with them, let me take it a step further: this could work as a preventative measure to acne if you caught your pimple forming in the very early stages of acne formation. However, if you have acne with white puss, or if your primary concern is these pesky annoying small bumps, the chances of this cream working for you are low due to the ingredients' properties I've mentioned. I'd recommend reading this post out if you're looking for better products: Anti-Acne products that actually work + A Skincare routine.
So do I recommend this? Honestly no. I don’t think it’s a bad product even though most of its claims are not met. It still works well as an anti-inflammatory and possibly even a preventive one. I don’t recommend it because there are better products out there for each of the uses it claims to have. Notably, I still prefer the Pyunkang Yul Acne Spot Cream as a targeted spot cream, the Pyunkang Yul Acne Toner as an acne-preventative product, and the Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream for any anti-inflammatory or irritation concerns. In comparison, the Cosrx AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream doesn’t work as a targeted treatment, works as a preventative method but is 1] too thick for my liking, and 2] contains Zinc Oxide: I don’t particularly appreciate using sunscreen during the night. This particular sunscreen is also white and thick, so it could be a problem with darker skin tones since it has some white-cast. Its use as an anti-inflammatory treatment does work, but again the Klairs blue cream is just so much better when it comes to efficiency and ingredients. But if you want to try this product, be my guest. The chances of it doing bad things to your skin are pretty low; the worst thing that could happen is you wasting 15 or 20$.
Contains a lot of product, will last you a long time
Low potential of irritating your skin
Presence of Zinc Oxide (this is a con personal to me as I don’t like using sunscreen containing products overnight). Which also has white-cast
Majority of interesting ingredients present in too low of a concentration
Doesn’t really do much except for calming down red skin, and potentially calming down acne over many days.
Does not work fast
🍅Score: 2.5/5 ——— Very average product that doesn’t do much. Better ones in the market.