REVIEW: COSRX AHA/BHA CLARIFYING TREATMENT TONER

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This week I"m going lớn be doing a mini-Đánh Giá of the Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner & comparing it khổng lồ my trusty Mizon AHA BHA Daily Clean Toner. Why a mini-reviews, và not a full đánh giá, you might ask? You"ll see shortly.

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Before we start, I just want to add a note about what I expect out of these types of toners. My expectations are pretty low
, actually:
I expect them khổng lồ be a suitable pH lớn lower my skin"s pH after cleansing lớn prepare it for my actives (Vit C, BHA, and AHA),I expect them not to leave sầu residue on the skin that would interfere with the ability of my actives to work directly in my skin,I expect them lớn be non-irritating.
That"s all I need. With such minimal expectations (I pay no need to the brand"s claims such as"prevents whiteheads, blackheads, & blemishes with the perfect blend of all-natural ingredients và mineral water to lớn rejuvenate & replenish your skin." Yeah, no. It"s a just a pH-adjusting toner. Its job is to lớn ready my skin for my next steps, I"m not expecting magic here. Most people don"t even need a pH adjusting toner, I just live sầu in the desert so my skin dries out too fast to wait around for it lớn naturally adjust itself. But I bởi, & it does, so here I am. Onward!
Ingredients overview of Cosrx vs MizonA small pH testing snafu & ensuing rage-shoppingpH of Cosrx Natural BHA Skin Returning A-SolpH ofMizon 8% AHA Peeling Serum (control) and AHA BHA Daily Clean TonerpH ofCosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment TonerMy observations và experience with Cosrx vs Mizon
I"m also incredibly surly today because I realized halfway through my prep, when it was too late khổng lồ stop, that I had ordered the wrong kích thước of chạy thử tubes. RAGE!
Let me start by saying I was really looking forward khổng lồ trying out the Cosrx AHA BHA toner, because I absolutely love the Cosrx BHA Blackhead nguồn Liquid, and I am reasonably satisfied with the CosrxNatural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol spot treatment.
I have sầu repurchased 5 bottles of Mizon"s AHA BHA toner (to lớn date) and obviously I am very happy with it, but it is constantly selling out và is hard to find, whereas Cosrx products have been pretty easy to lớn source so far. Would the Cosrx be a dupe of the Mizon? I hoped so!
Even more encouraging was the ingredients breakdown between them, with Cosrx seeing khổng lồ be the clear winner:
CosrxMizon
Mineral WaterWater
Salix Alcha (Willow) Bark WaterButylene Glycol
Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit WaterAlcohol
Butylene GlycolGlycerin
1,2-HexanediolCarica Papaya Fruit Extract
Sodium LactatePortulaca Oleracea Extract
Glycolic AcidArnica Montana Flower Extract
WaterArtemisia Absinthium Extract
Betaine SalicylateAchillea Millefolium Extract
AllantoinGentiamãng cầu Lutea Root Extract
PanthenolGlycolic Acid
Ethyl HexanediolPEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
Lactic Acid
Sodium Lactate
Salicylic Acid
Disodium EDTA
Methylparaben
Propylparaben
Fragrance

As you can see, there are a lot fewer ingredients in the Cosrx. Neither one of them have sầu any "big" flags on Cosdna: click here for the Cosrx Toner entry on Cosdna, cliông xã here for the Mizon Toner entry on Cosdmãng cầu. The "worst" offender is the Salicylic Acid in the Mizon toner, but of course it"s supposed khổng lồ be there as that"s the BHA, & it"s in low concentration.
I notice that the Mizon has moisturizers listed much earlier than Cosrx, although it does contain alcohol which the Cosrx dos not. I would have sầu thought that would mean the Mizon would be less irritating, but I"m getting ahead of myself.
I use a digital pH meter with a two-point calibration for pH testing acids, as pH strips can react oddly with acids & give sầu inaccurate readings. I vị still use pH strips for general products, especially things with a lot of lipids, lượt thích creams và emulsions. You can learn more about my kit here:Better Beauty Through Chemistry: Unboxing of my digital pH Meter supplies.
As I grumbled about in that post, I was unhappy with not having a suitably long-and-narrow glass container that would allow me khổng lồ sacrifice minimal product yet still completely immerse the electrode of the digital meter. I was unimpressed with my DIY emergency solution to use wine glasses, và thought I"d be all smart & get chạy thử tubes off Amazon. Designed for the purpose và all, amirite?
Well, due to lớn the weather delays in shipping, I received them just in the nick of time for this post & when I unwrapped them, my relief turned lớn disbelief, despair, and then rage very quickly.
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Buffer liquid of pH 7.01 & buffer liquid of pH 10.01 pictured at far right.
As you can see in the image, the test tubes are approximately twice the height my meter needs in order lớn reach the liquid at the bottom.
I am not about to waste an entire bottle of product to lớn bring the surface of the liquid up lớn a cấp độ that the pH meter needs, so I said a bunch of really foul words that made my husband flee to lớn his gaming computer (with headset) và angrily stormed onkhổng lồ Amazon to find 75milimet thử nghiệm tubes. I would have realized that"s what I needed in the first place if I had not been too lazy khổng lồ dig my digital meter out of storage và measure the darn thing.
Did you know you can buy wine on Amazon? Amazing the versatility it has. Anyway, back to testing with my wine glasses "shabby chic" method.
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That wineglass. Ugh. ANYWAY, this thử nghiệm result is quite interesting because I have sầu been asked (& have been wondering myself) where exactly this hàng hóa goes in one"s routine order.
The order of your products is pretty important when you"re working with pH dependent products like actives. You can read more here:Putting your products in order, including pH dependent acids.
As I explain in that post, normally BHA goes before AHA, due to lớn it requiring a lower pH to lớn be effective sầu (below 4.2) và also because it"s oil-soluble and does a great job of clearing out your pores so your AHA hàng hóa has a clear shot at your skin afterward. However, the A-Sol is neither high enough in concentration (according khổng lồ the bachồng, it"s only 0.5% ) nor low enough pH for exfoliation.
That doesn"t mean that it"s not going to lớn help your skin, as BHAs do have other benefits even at a higher pH, but it does mean that it needs to shuffle to the baông xã of the line and go on after you are done all your other actives. I still like to lớn give sầu it a bit of a wait time lớn work on my skin before I add any layers, though.

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pH result: 3.83I have tested this hàng hóa before, in theBetter Beauty Through Chemistry: Unboxing of my digital pH Meter suppliespost, but I am testing it again today for a few reasons.
One, I want to lớn show how consistently the Mizon AHA serum tests (this is my 5th bottle, & all have sầu tested in the same range), và also lớn provide a relative ph result to lớn compare the others to lớn. 3.83 is definitely firmly in the "exfoliation" range, as 4.5 is the high over for AHAs.
I also am testing this instead of the Mizon AHA BHA toner, because as you can see from the first picture on this post, I am dangerously low và could not afford khổng lồ waste the product. However, I vị have sầu pictures of its thử nghiệm results in the liên kết above, which came out lớn 4.30 for the Mizon Toner
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Just let that sink in for a second, if you would ... the Mizon AHA BHA toner is 4.30, and natural skin pH is between 4.2 and 5.6 . The Mizon 8% AHA Peeling Serum is between 3.83 và 3.89, but it is also a serious exfoliant that I don"t use daily. Ready for the Cosrx toner result, by comparison?
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Say what. And thus the great mystery of why my skin was reacting to lớn this toner is solved, at least this is the most plausible explanation in the absence of any other explicable factors. I"ll get inkhổng lồ this more below.I have sầu no idea why this "toner" has such a low pH, because it"s really completely unnecessarily for a "prepping" step be right down-n-dirty in the exfoliating pH range. Also, this sản phẩm has low concentrations of both BHA & AHA, so it"s not even packing much exfoliation ammo khổng lồ begin with, so why have such a low pH? It makes no sense to me, và it"s overkill for what pH-adjusting toners are supposed to lớn vị ... aka, adjust the pH of the skin after cleansing, in preparation for pH-dependent products, without irritating the skin.
As you"ve sầu probably guessed, I"m really not happy with the Cosrx AHA BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner. It"s one of those products where my head tried lớn convince my skin that it was really ok:"No honest, it"s really better than the Mizon, look at the ingredients list!""But it"s so easy khổng lồ source and it"s so cheap!""Look, it comes in a handy spray bottle!"Yeah, no. Somehow, the Cosrx Toner is very irritating lớn my skin, và my skin loves acids. Looooves them! I tested this sản phẩm, despite the burning face effect, for a whole week, trying every application method I could think of. I applied it with a cốt tông padas Cosrx"s website directs, I tried spraying it onkhổng lồ my hands và then patted onto my skin lượt thích I vì with the Mizon, I even sprayed directly onkhổng lồ my face with enough distance that it was a fine mist. Nope.I tested it on the left side of my face, with the Mizon as a control on the right side of my face. From the very first application, I could feel that my left side felt hot và irritated, whereas the Mizon side was happy as usual. The sensation persisted all day, which is also uncommon for me. I figured it was the application method, but even as I switched it around in ensuing applications, the result was always the same. The Cosrx side persisted in having an irritated sensation.I even tried patch testing it on the Mizon side, just khổng lồ make sure it wasn"t some sort of inexplicable effect on only the left side (was I sleeping on my left side all of a sudden?) but nope. Same effect.This is super disappointing khổng lồ me because I expected something with 1. no alcohol, và 2, fewer ingredients khổng lồ be gentler, safer on the skin, and of courseless irritating. What the heông xã, Cosrx?!I did pH kiểm tra it with my strips but got a really confounding result, so I decided khổng lồ hold off until I could phối up và calibrate the digital pH meter, and when I finally pH tested everything today, it made more sense. 3.80 is sort of unnecessarily low, and therefore potentially irritating, for a product that doesn"t contain enough concentration of acids to function as a "true" exfoliant. There is nothing wrong with something being sub-pH 4, it"s just strange that it is that low when it doesn"t actually vày anything.
As you can see in the close-up of the label, it contains only 0.1% AHA and 0.1% BHA, which is hardly enough to justify it as its own independent exfoliator.Moreover, if it"s not meant to be an exfoliator, why bother with a super low pH, that dips below the 4.2 threshold? Of course my immediate thought was that I must be reacting to lớn something in the sản phẩm, but there are no flags in the ingredients for me, so I have sầu to lớn conclude it must be the pH. I"m not convinced that the pH is the reason for the irritation, but I know others have had the same experience, so there"s something up with it. In the face of a total laông xã of anything else I can come up with khổng lồ cause the irritation, I"m reluctantly going to lớn conclude it might be the pH because there"s nothing else I can think of that would cause it.All in all, this was a huge disappointment and as you can see from the image, I"m back to my dire need lớn find either a replacement for the Mizon or somewhere that stocks it so I can repurchase it. Obviously, it"s possible that my bottle was a one-off defect of some kind và it might work perfectly for you, but it"s definitely not something that I will be recommending to lớn anyone. Update:
After being "confirmed" discontinued by an official Mizon distributor, it"s now available again, & I"m thrilled. Where to get the Mizon toner:Amazon Prime for $20|eBay for $18|Testerkorea for $25|Now I"ve sầu got to figure out if there"s a way for me khổng lồ dilute it without playing pH roulette (it"s not as straightforward as "add pH 7 water to pH 3 liquid and get pH 5!", for example) or whether I just need lớn banish it khổng lồ my drawer of duds và never speak of it again. Yep, it"s going to lớn be the latter. Goodbye, CosrxAHA / BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, we shall not meet again.Ah well, you can"t win "em all!-Cat**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned in my blog, are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested và reviewed in 2015 which swore me off of them forever. This blog contains both affiliate và non-affiliate liên kết, and clicking the former before you siêu thị means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself. Please see my Liên hệ Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.
Labels:actives đánh giá,asian skin care,Cosrx,ingredients,korean beauty,Korean beauty products,korean skin care,PH levels,review,toner
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51 comments
Unknown8 March năm ngoái at 18:36

Thanks so much for this review, Cat. I am a huge fan of the Mizon Toner và have been looking for an alternative sầu since it can be pretty difficult khổng lồ find, & I've sầu seen quite a few people buzzing about the Cosrx one so I considered giving it a try. Looks like I'll just have lớn continue hunting down my Mizon until another alternative sầu pops up!

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Samantha Pierce8 March năm ngoái at 21:58

Would you recommover the CosRX toner for someone who's allergic khổng lồ alcohol? I can't use the Mizon toner so I've been on the hunt for an alternative.

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Catherine9 March 2015 at 09:07

That's interesting, because lớn me the Cosrx toner feels like putting water on my face while iirc the Mizon had a little bit of tingle. So the Cosrx feels much milder, to the point where I cannot tell if it's doing anything. Which was the same experience I had with the Mizon ; apart from the tingle from the alcohol there didn't seem lớn be anything. Neither one vày anything for me.

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Dini - Wished Chronicles9 March 2015 at 11:04

I have sầu almost the same type of skin as you & I was really interested in getting Mizon's toner. I've been looking for it everywhere & it seems like it's sold out all over the place. I was then contemplating getting the Cosrx one, lượt thích you said is cheaper & the ingredient danh mục is shorter than the Mizon one. Not to lớn sure about trying Cosrx now, where vị you think I can find the Mizon please ? (Just discovered your blog.. And I have sầu lớn say, I love your spreadsheet organization ! )

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Jamie B2 April năm ngoái at 11:23

Hello! I have a question :)The CosRx A-Sol has a pH of 4.3, and not enough concentration (or low enough pH) to exfoliate, The CosRx AHA/BHA Toner has not high enough concentration to lớn exfoliate, but has that super low pH of 3.85.You mentioned in another post that you lượt thích to use your Mizon AHA/BHA toner after your actives to lớn clear the gunk off your skin before moving on to moisturizing agents. My question is, since the A-Sol has that higher pH and the AHA/BHA Toner has a lower pH, but neither have the concentration to lớn exfoliate, can you phối them together và apply with a cốt tông pad to lớn clear the gunk in the same manner you use your Mizon?I ask because I have both of these products and I would lượt thích khổng lồ get some use out of them lol.Thanks

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Anonymous26 April năm ngoái at 16:35

I am going to lớn be writing a reviews on the CosRX toner & I have sầu quite the difference experience than you. My skin loves it & there is no irritation at all. I have very oily skin, not sensitive sầu, so maybe that is it.

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seppinator111125 May 2015 at 08:44

I seriously need help. I just bought a slew of new products to lớn fill in gaps in my routine, including the Mizon AHA và BHA toner, and I can't figure out which order everything should go in. The last thing I want to lớn bởi is get it wrong & have my face blow up. I would prefer lớn be pretty. Would you be up for a bit of coaching? I can write up everything I'm using, all the new stuff and how I think I should be using, along with info on my skin, và maybe you can give me a tip or steer me away from something obviously wrong? I'm new to Korean skincare and I'm feeling the newbie nerves. Thanks for your awesome article!

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熊の娘11 July 2015 at 03:35

This was a really interesting comparison!I've sầu just recently read this post by SkinandTonic: http://skinandtonics.com/the-importance-of-fatty-acids-ph-moisture-barrier-how-i-eliminated-my-acne-decreased-my-skin-sensitivity/And am now hunting down a acid toner. The P50 raved about there will be too difficult for me lớn get, living in Europe, but that one is at a ph màn chơi of 3! So I'm considering the CosRX toner as an alternative sầu since it also has a low pH. But since you mention that this level of ph is unnecessarily low, I'm now pretty confused. Is it just because it happened khổng lồ be irritating for you, or is there another reason this low ph is problematic? (I'm very new to all this so sorry if I misunderstood something)

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Unknown21 July năm ngoái at 09:18

I'm a little confused as khổng lồ why the Cosrx Asol one is not a good pH adjuster. Per your tests, it has almost the same pH as the Mizon toner. Am I missing something?

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Unknown25 July năm ngoái at 23:19

Quichồng question, let's say my second wash is a low pH cleanser, the Inniskhông tính phí Jejubija gel cleanser. It's super gentle & according lớn picoprince has a very low pH. Do I still need a pH adjusting toner?

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Unknown15 January năm 2016 at 22:41

Hi! I really want lớn try the Mizon AHA/BHA toner but I hear so many negative things about alcohol damaging skin? should i be worried about the alcohol nội dung in Mizon toner? Thank you!

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Daquila.10 February năm 2016 at 11:17

Hi! This is kind of unrelated lớn the post but, can I just use BHA instead of AHA?Poor college student here ;o;

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Unknownđôi mươi June 2017 at 10:33

Just one question, did you use a buffer solution during before testing a different product? Cuz that could affect pH results too.

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Adelia d Anjou23 November 2017 at 13:52

I tried lớn convince me as well saying come on is cosrx, you will love sầu. The ingredient menu is great... butt.... xD for me was just lượt thích... okay...My favourite toner is the klairs one but I want as I'm in love with the aha 8% serum, I 've sầu always wanted to lớn try this toner from mizon :/

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Unknown5 December 2017 at 07:35

Hi :) what is different between 4% Betaine Salicylate & 2% Salicylic Acid? Which is better và effective?

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Samic3 January 2018 at 18:19

After reading your post on other skincare products Salicylic acid being 1 và the proper order khổng lồ put them in I bout the CosRX Salicylic acid daily cleanser & i cant believe sầu the difference in my skin!! I'm going khổng lồ try a few more products that you have listed but am wondering if you know of a reasonably priced anti ageing/rejuvenating moisturiser?? I recently had a facial và they told me thats what I need. I have normal lớn oily skin thats dehydrated.And in your post where you said about the "crust" on your skin & needing lớn get that off your face before being able to cleanse it properly... thats why I bought the salicylic acid, worked a miracle! So yeah just looking for advice on an anti ageing/rejuvenating moisturiser.Thanks a bunch!!