Finding the right toner for acne-prone skin can be a struggle, as it’s a balance between finding a product that will assist to manage oil and congestion while not irritating already sensitive, damaged skin.
Cult K-Beauty label COSRX’s products are specifically formulated with acne-prone and oily skin in mind, so today we’re taking a look at the COSRX Skin Returning A-Sol – an exfoliating toner that promises to prevent breakouts and heal existing acne.
COSRX BHA Skin Returning A-Sol is a mild form of BHA in a toner formula.
It has a watery consistency, and a very faint scent of tea tree.
The formula is light but slightly sticky once applied to the skin, although the stickiness fades away quickly on application. For those of us who need to watch our pH levels, this toner has a pH of 4.3.
The idea behind BHAs (or Beta Hydroxy Acids) in general is that they work by “degunking” your pores. They’re oil soluble, so they penetrate through any oil that’s clogging your pores and exfoliate the dead skin cells that have built up. Removing dead skin and debris clears the skin, meaning it’s less congested. This also allows your other skincare products to better penetrate your skin.
BHAs also have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, which are useful for acne prone skin.
COSRX BHA Skin Returning A-Sol will be a good fit for people with sensitive, acne-prone skin who are not irritated by alcohols or chemical exfoliants.
It will also be a good fit for those who live in hot, humid climates, as it will assist to control oil.
We wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with a compromised skin barrier, people who have problems with alcohols, or those with dry and dehydrated skin.
It may also be a problem for those who live in really dry or cold climates (i.e. Seoul in winter!)
The 2018 formulation contains:
“Propolis Extract, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, Betaine Salicylate, Glycolic Acid, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Water, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Tea Tree Leaf Oil”
The first ingredient, propolis, is a type of resin made by bees. It’s a great ingredient for acne-prone and sensitive skin in general, as it has cleansing properties, is lightly moisturising and has wound-healing capabilities.
Alcohol and butylene glycol are in the formula to help the ingredients spread on easily, but as mentioned above, are better avoided if you have a sensitivity to alcohol. For more deets on why not all alcohol in skincare products is evil, check our previous blog post here.
Sodium lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid, and functions as an exfoliant, helping to gently slough away dead skin.
Betaine salicylate, one of COSRX’s signature ingredients, is the BHA in the product. This is the one that will penetrate the pores and help unclog them.
Sodium hyaluronate is the humectant (water-binding ingredient) that helps attract and bind moisture to the skin. The addition of sodium hyaluronate will help to prevent skin from drying out too much.
Tea tree leaf oil is another solid addition for acne-prone skin, as it functions as a disinfectant. It also gives the product its very faint scent of tea tree, which shouldn’t be enough to bother those who don’t like a tea tree smell.
There are a couple of different ways you can make this toner work for you. The first is as a traditional toner that you pop on after cleansing; apply it to a cotton pad (or your bare hands) and simply wipe the cotton pad over your face or pat the toner in with your hands.
The second way is as a spot treatment. If you’re plagued by spots on a combination skin face, this may be a good way to target pimples – simply dab a little toner onto a cotton tip and tap it into the spots directly. Avoid applying the toner to any dry patches of skin though, as this will only exacerbate them even further.
This toner helps to clear skin trouble in those with acne prone skin.
If you’re experiencing the types of pimples and cysts commonly associated with acne, this will help to dry and flatten them out. It also removes dead skin cells that clog up the pores and cause trouble in the first place.
If you suffer from oily, sensitive, acne-prone skin and aren’t affected by alcohols, this is a great product for you.
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