How are you doing? I'm still being pretty busy with my internship, staying about 9 hours in the office everyday...but at least I already could put my Japanese skills to good use =D
Today I bring you the review of a product that is very well-known and hyped in the Asian Skincare and Beauty community:
The Cosrx Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol.
What they say:
Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol is a skin-type solution product that solves the daunting problem of complex skin trouble with a combination of Propolis, AHA natural BHA, and natural moisture-retention ingredients, as well as helping with control of sebum and clearing of dead skin cell.
Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol contains little oil, helping with managing sebum and pores, to give the skin cleanliness with no shine or trouble.
Propolis Extract, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, water, Glycolic Acid, Betaine Salicylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethyl Hexanediol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil
cosdna looks more than fine (even though it's outdated so don't put too much trust into it - it's better for a general overview than an in-depth analysis of the ingredients)
Since Cosrx is an amazing company they even provide a list with all the ingredients and what they are/why they are included (can other companies start doing this as well, please?!)
You can see that the first ingredient is Propolis extract. Propolis is an extract made by bees including their own secretion and various plant extracts. Propolis has been used in folk medicine for a very long time and lately it seems to become popular again.
Propolis is said to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and antioxidant properties (amongst other properties; Source which provides quite a few more links in case you are interested).
Propolis also shows to improve wound healing (Source), so combined with its other properties it seems perfect for any product targeting inflammation, wounds, breakouts, etc on the skin.
Apart from Propolis this product also contains AHA and BHA, chemical peeling agents about which I talked already here.
Generally AHA is better for sun-damaged, dry skin while BHA is better for oily skin.
If you are wondering why this product uses Betaine Salicylate as a BHA and not Salicylic Acid: The use of Salicylic Acid in cosmetic products in Korea seems to be heavily regulated.
I initially purchased this product as my sole BHA exfoliator. I already had an AHA in my routine, the Mizon 8% AHA peeling (review here) but I noticed pretty fast that having normal skin with an oily T-zone a BHA might be a better investment.
So I searched and found Cosrx's products. And this one seemed to be good choice.
The bottle is plastic with a pump, containing 100ml of product. Not as elegant as glass but at least the chance of breaking it is pretty slim.
The overall design is very simple and almost "medical" - something that you will notice with all Cosrx products.
In the end the product on the inside is the most important thing (although I never mind a nice package design "^^)
The product itself is a light-yellow liquid that spreads very easily on the skin.
There is a faint but distinct scent, lightly of tea tree and something else. To me it is on the herbal/medical side but since it isn't a strong smell I don't mind that much. Other people have said that they really hate the smell so YMMV.
|Before using A-Sol|
|After using A-Sol|
On to the most important thing: how it worked.
I tried using it on my whole face for a while and then only on my T-zone but I must say that for my face it doesn't really do what I wanted it to do.
As you can see in the pictures there is no drastic improvement in the condition of my skin and especially the appearance of my SFs hasn't changed one bit. In the products defense, I have to admit I tested it during a rather stressfull time and I always start getting pimples when I have stress (eating a lot of sweets when I'm stressed doesn't help either).
The product couldn't prevent those breakouts BUT(!) it proved to be a wonderful spot treatment. Even though I got a new pimple as soon as the last one vanished during the test phase (the pimple on my chin in the before and after isn't the same for example...I just got a new one on almost exactly the same spot as soon as the other vanished) the A-Sol really helped to calm them down and reduce the redness.
While it wasn't what I was initially looking for (a true BHA peeling) it was more than a pleasant surprise and I really don't wanna miss it. I know that I will always get a few pimples (thanks to stress, hormones and diet) and I feel so much better knowing that I now have a product that will make dealing with those nasty little things a lot easier. The only downside is that it can be a bit sticky, even after waiting for 20 minutes but it's not to a degree that would make me consider stop using the product.
To show you the calming effect of this product: those two pictures were taking 2 days apart.
The Cosrx Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol will definitely continue being my beloved partner in fighting (hormonal) breakouts!
You can get it at Jolse for around 15 Dollar, wishtrend for around 16 Dollar, testerkorea for around 16 Dollar or roseroseshop for around 14,50 Dollar.
Pros: contains propolis, effective spot-treatment, helps calming down the pimples, lightweight
Cons: didn't work for me as an overall BHA, some people don't like the smell