cosRX released a PHA peeling cream last year and they are continuing to release some PHA and BHA products this year. As part of Cupidrop‘s 6th generation Beautiful Pioneer, I received the cosRX Low pH BHA Overnight Mask, which is the newly formulated and repackaged replacement to their cosRX BHA Blackhead Power Cream ~ which is surprisingly strange, as the BHA Blackhead Power Cream is fairly new. I actually love the BHA Blackhead Power Cream and am sad to see it discontinued, but have hopes that this new version will replace it. This is an initial impressions review and I will follow up in about a month with more insights and a comparison between this product and the BHA Blackhead Power Cream ~ I will do a little bit of comparison here with the formula and texture, but not in-depth. Cupidrop also sent me a surprise item as well ~ the new cosRX Low pH PHA Barrier Mist! I received that without any expectations for review, but I will give a quick impression of it and post more on it after I have used it for a proper amount of time.
Skin Type/Concerns: Oily, blemish prone, pores, aging skin with hyper-pigmentation and fine lines/wrinkles.
image credit cosrx.co.kr
The ingredient list between the two BHA products are very similar ~ the main differences are the additions of a PHA and AHA to the reformulated version and that the BHA betaine salicylate is now near the end of the ingredient list ~ that always bothered me that in the BHA Blackhead Power Cream that the BHA was one of the top ingredients. BHA’s should be near the end, so cosRX fixed that. The percentage of the betaine salicylate has changed as well ~ it went from a 4% BHA to a .9% BHA. The AHA of lactic acid is .7% and I do not know what the percentage strength of gluconolactone (PHA) is. I actually am not worried now with the lactic acid addition, as its placement in the ingredient list is way down and near the bottom ~ AHA’s should be in the top 1/3 of the ingredient list and its percentage is fairly weak.
This has BHA betaine salicylate, an exfoliator that helps reduce pore size, helps prevent acne, remove dirt and debris from clogged pores by dissolving the dead skin cells and smooths the skin. It is also an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. It is supposed to be more gentle than salicylate acid. This contains 50% of Centella asiatica is a common herbal ingredient that is used medicinally to help speed up wound healing, such as blemishes and skin rashes. It also helps minimize the appearance of pores, and since it stimulates collagen production, it will make your skin more supple and firm. Tea tree is known for its topical antiseptic and anti-fungal properties and help target and treat blemish-prone skin. It also reduces oil and sebum production on your skin, while not disrupting the moisture level.
Niacinamide is a powerful antioxidant that acts as an anti-inflammatory, improves your skin elasticity, enhance the skin barrier function and also it helps to even out skin tone and reduce post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. Betaine issuperior for its intense moisturization and hydration properties, without the stickiness, and also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while attracting moisture (humectancy) and relieving skin irritation.
PHA gluconolactone is dervived from glucuronic acid, which is a sugar acid and it is suitable for sensitive or mature skin. It functions like an AHA and will help improve your skin’s texture by aiding in cellular turnover, unclogging pores and removing dead skin cells. Recent studies show it might be effective in treating blemishes, due to some anti-bacterial properties. AHA lactic acid will help exfoliate dead skin cells, excess oil and other debris, while moisturizing and brightening skin tone and firming your skin.
This has some occlusive and emollient ingredients that contain antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids with sunflower and palm kernel oils, along with beeswax, so it “coats” your skin to prevent water loss, as well as binding moisture to your skin. This is not a vegan product, nor do I know if the palm oils used are a RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil. These ingredients will help keep your skin very soft and smooth, as well as provide an occlusive layer.
All in all, this has a lot of ingredients for oily, blemish prone skin and should be used as a night pack. cosRX states you can use it during the daytime, but I feel this would be very rich and too much for oily skinned people. If you do use it in the daytime, make sure your SPF is 30 or higher. BHA’s are for clogged pores and excess sebum, but with all of the moisturizing ingredients, I think dry skinned people who are suffering from blackheads might be able to use this as well.
cosRX Low pH BHA Overnight Mask Ingredients: Centella Asiatica Leaf Water, Butylene Glycol, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Betaine, Panthenol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Kernel Oil, Beeswax, Gluconolactone, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine Salicylate (.9%), Ethylhexylglycerin, Lactic Acid (.7%), Water, Niacinamide, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethyl Hexanediol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil cosDNA
cosRX BHA Blackhead Power Cream Ingredients: Centella Asiatica Leaf Water, Butylene Glycol, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Betaine Salicylate (4%), Cetearyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Dimethicone, Betaine, BeesWax, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Elaeis Guineensis(Palm) Oil, Elaeis Guineensis(Palm) Kernel Oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Niacinmide, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil cosDNA
The packaging is a tad different from the BHA Blackhead Power Cream ~ that one came in a white metal tube with a black band and this one is in a white plastic tube with a periwinkle blue band. I do know that the metal tubes will start to flake paint after a while, so maybe that is why they replaced the tube material. The cream has a rich thick gel texture, very easy to spread and has a slight tea tree fragrance.
I don’t need a lot of this product and it spreads easily and quickly on my skin ~ since this is an acid, I do not use it as the last step. Acid products should be closer to your skin, so I will use my watery layers first, then massage the Low pH BHA Overnight Mask into my skin and then top with a sleeping pack. You don’t need to add another layer over this, but you should not use oils or other moisturizers before this one if you really want to use it as an acid treatment.
Despite all of the occlusive ingredients, this does not leave my skin feeling too oily or greasy ~ I can feel it on my skin, just like I did when I used the BHA Blackhead Power Cream, but it isn’t sticky. It increased my moisture levels by 14% and decreased my oil levels by 47%.
This has a pH rating of a little over a 5, which is not the best and effective pH level for a BHA product, especially with .9% BHA. They rate it 4.5 (-/+ 1) but I have never seen them with a 3.5 pH level. I would say they did not improve on the pH level as the BHA Blackhead Power Cream was pH 4 – 5 but had 4% BHA. This is quite disappointing for those who wanted to have a more aggressive exfoliator but this level and percentage also makes this a nightly gentle treatment for your skin.
Bonus Low pH PHA Barrier Mist
This was totally unexpected ~ Cupidrop also sent me the cosRX Low pH PHA Barrier Mist, which will strengthen your skin’s barrier, while providing gentle exfoliation and protection. It contains .5% PHA gluconolactone and it is a very fine mist. I just started using it, so how I feel about it is still unclear. So far, it is nice refreshing mist and provides hydration to my skin. It does have a pH level of a 3.5 or so, so that is pretty good for a PHA product, although I would say with only 1/2% of PHA, it is a very weak acid mist, is gentle to use daily and is probably great for sensitive skin. This product has no scent that I can detect. I might have to a comparison between this product and one of my favorite cosRX items, AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner.
Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Gluconolactone (.5%), Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Polysorbate 60, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Allantoin, Sodium Hydroxide cosDNA
I am not sure why cosRX reduced the percentage of BHA and didn’t make the pH level really low. One of the major complaints with the BHA Blackhead Power Cream was that people felt its pH level was too high for the percentage and now they made it even more weak. That said, I actually do like this overnight mask pack ~ it is gentle enough for me to use after I micro needle my skin ~ it won’t irritate it and I can use it nightly if I want to. I actually layer some other watery BHA acid products on my skin before applying this ~ and I can say that this product does work in the same manner as the BHA Blackhead Power Cream ~ my skin looks clearer and feels smoother and softer. However, if you have blackheads, you will need to use a stronger BHA product to tackle those, but for those who do not suffer all the time with blackheads, this is a good product. I just wish cosRX had made the pH level a 3 and had a stronger percentage of BHA in here. Maybe with the next reformulation, they will. The old formula had its issues as well, so I am not in despair over these changes ~ it works just as well, I believe and it doesn’t cause me to break out. My skin is soft, smooth, blemishes are reduced in size and my skin looks clearer. All in all, if you liked the BHA Blackhead Power Cream, you will like this product as well
Where to Purchase
Cupidrop carries the new line of low PH products by cosRX. The mask may seem expensive, but really, a little goes a long way ~ you do not need a lot of this product at all.
- Low pH BHA Overnight Mask 50 mL RV $21.00
- Low pH PHA Barrier Mist 75 mL RV $21.00
- PHA Moisture Renewal Power Cream 50 mL RV $25.00 (review here)
Cupidrop has free USA shipping on orders $40.00+ , along with free samples or sheet mask with every order.