Disclaimer: The product (COSRX Two-In-One Poreless Power Liquid) featured in this post was sent by @theskincarecurator for PR consideration. All thoughts are my own.
I’ve been using this almost daily for several months now and I’m currently on my 2nd bottle (repurchased). It has a watery gel consistency but runny enough to apply with a cotton pad.
Before we had water filter installed, I used to apply one layer with a cotton pad first because water in our residence building leaves rusty brown watermarks on the dish drain. I like to imagine I was wiping rust off my face. Then I apply a second layer (one pump) directly on my skin. The toner gives a subtle cooling minty feel that I really appreciated last summer.
The product has 0.1% Betaine Salicylate (which I thought was negligible) and 88% Willow Bark Extract. I spent a good number of hours googling for studies on the latter when used topically.
Willow bark extract contains salicin. The latter doesn’t convert to salicylic acid when applied on the skin but it has anti-inflammatory and aspirin-like properties. I found this to be true for me. The overall reddish cast my face had from using retinoids is significantly reduced. Note: Redness reduction is not included in the product’s claims. Just something I noticed.
Willow bark extract also has tannins that constrict pores. My first week of using it, I did not see any improvement. My pores look better now but not to the extent that I would describe my skin as “poreless”. If you have high expectations with this product when it comes to pore (dis)appearance, I’m hesitant to recommend it.
What I did notice is that my pores looked clear and not congested. I used to use 2% Salicylic Acid at least once a week to manage ruddiness and blackheads. I don’t find myself needing the latter as often anymore.
At one point I doubted my perception and thought it wasn’t really doing anything so I stopped using it. I WAS WRONG. My face looked less ‘maaliwalas’ when I took a break. (I’m not sure there’s a direct english translation for this word but it means clean, clear, and bright). Generally, it makes me look well-rested.
Maybe 0.1% Betaine Salicylate is not as negligible as I thought. That said, I still think this product is more of a toner/astringent (like Witch Hazel Extract which incidentally also has tannins) rather than a BHA treatment product. If you’re looking for the latter, COSRX Blackhead Power Liquid with its 4% Betaine Salicylate could be the better option or look for a 2% salicylic acid product (my preferred).
Overall, I really like this as a toner used on my Salicylic Acid off days. The only con I can think of is the cost (Php 990), but I like it enough to repurchase.
Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Water 88.0%
Betaine Salicylate 0.1%
Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Water, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Water, Pentylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine Salicylate, Arginine, Betaine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Allantoin, Panthenol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carbomer, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, Menthyl Lactate, Mentha Haplocalix Extract
COSRX products can be purchased from the following official distributors in the Philippines: Watsons, Shopee (theskincarecurator), Beauty Bar, and theskincarecurator.com