Monday, January 6, 2020

COSRX | One Step Original Clear Pad: Review

Disclaimer: The product featured was purchased by me.
COSRX | One Step Original Clear Pad: Review
Recently I've been experiencing quite a bit of pore congestion and hormonal acne so I wanted to re-introduce BHA (beta hydroxy/salicylic acid) back into my skincare routine. However, as mentioned in past skincare reviews (ex. my post on the Paula's Choice 2% BHA Skin Exfoliant), I am very sensitive to salicylic acid, which usually results in irritation and dryness for me even after just a couple of uses. Earlier this year I finished a bottle of the COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner (reviewed here) and found the betaine salicylate used in place of salicylic acid to be much gentler but just as effective. Therefore, I decided to give the brand's best-selling One Step Original Clear Pad (~C$22 for 70 Sheets) a try. Designed for oily, acne-prone skin, this toner pad promises to remove excess oil and dead skin build-up to achieve clearer, more refined skin. So how well does it work? Read my review to find out......
COSRX | One Step Original Clear Pad: Review
COSRX | One Step Original Clear Pad
Similar to the AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, the COSRX One Step Original Clear Pad is a clarifying toner but packaged as a set of 70 pads as opposed to liquid inside a spray bottle. The sturdy pre-soaked cotton pads are super convenient for both traveling and everyday use. Pre-soaked toner pads tend to be a tad dry which is why I rarely buy them. However, the COSRX One Step Original Clear Pads are generously saturated with toner and are textured for some gentle physical exfoliation. 

Ingredients: Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Betaine Salicylate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Arginine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Panthenol, Allantoin, Ethyl Hexanediol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate

Infused with soothing willow bark water, tea tree oil, and 4% betaine salicylate (a gentler alternative to salicylic acid), the toner pads have a subtle citrus scent. There's no stinging sensation upon application and because the formulation is alcohol-free, the toner pad doesn't dry out quickly so I have plenty of time to massage it all over my face. The toner absorbs just fine and leaves behind no discernible residue. The formulation is very similar to that of the COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner with the exclusion of apple fruit water, which contains AHA. However, because the One Step Original Clear Pad also contains tea tree oil, it is more geared towards acne-prone skin whereas the AHA/BHA Clarifying Toner is intended for all skin types looking for glow and refinement.
Even with just a few uses, the COSRX One Step Original Clear Pad provides visible blackhead decongestion. My pores, especially the ones around my T-zone, appear smaller and less visible. The pads won't dramatically reduce visible breakouts but they do help prevent them. The best part, however, is the gentle formulation. With regular use, salicylic acid-based toners/pads make my skin super dry and itchy but with the COSRX betaine salicylate alternative, I've not experienced any issues. So if you are on the market for a gentle yet effective toner that targets pore congestion, definitely give this a try!

I purchased the COSRX One Step Original Clear Pad in stores at Walmart in Canada but COSRX is available online at various retailers.
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