Review: COSRX one step pimple clear pad

An alternative to the much loved stridex in a red box? How does COSRX one step pimple clear pad compare?


COSRX has finally hit it big time in Korea. Almost every drug store style cosmetic shop carries at least the One Step Pimple Clear pad. This product has won multiple awards this year for its effectiveness and gentle prevention for pimples.

COSRX describes this:

“Betain Salicylate cares dead skin cells without irritation and makes clear skin tone. It’s a trouble & sebum care pad accomplishes matte skin by clearing skin trouble, sebum, and oil.

One-step pimple clear pads that reduces acne breakouts and promotes clearer skin. Promotes exfoliation of dead surface cells resulting in enhanced cellular renewal with Betaine salicylate. Leaves skin cleaner, clearer and blemish free.

As with all new skincare products, you should do a test patch and slowly introduce this into your skincare routine. If you have a sensitivity to salicylic acid (often used in the stridex pads) this uses the alternative, Betaine Salicylate, for its chemical exfoliate. Betaine Salicylate is a much gentler treatment; for more severe acne issues it won’t be as effective. The pads are pre-soaked, slightly textured and have a fruity chemical scent. There are a few potential irritants: Butylene Glycol (acne), PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethyl Hexanediol (fragrance), Sodium Hydroxide. If you are sensitive to fragrance, skip it!

Cost : $17 USD for 70 pads

PH (30℃) 4.0±0.5


Instructions are as follows:

1. After face wash, sweep lightly according to skin texture with 1 pad.

2. Then apply basic skin care products.

3. After use, make sure you close the cover.


For people with dry skins, use 1~2 times a day.

After 6 months of use, I will this at most every other day to maintain the ph balance in my skin. I love this after using stridex (in the red box) for so long; unlike with stridex, my skin stays hydrated while preventing my whiteheads /blackheads. The sebaceous filaments on my nose and cheeks have lightened in color with consistent use. These pads are made to apply on entire face so if you only need them for small sections (like your t-zone) I’d suggest cutting them in half with sterilized scissors to double their lifespan.  I’ve also found this works well for post-shaving care to prevent razor burn and bumps (my husband love it). Overall I’m very happy with this addition to my routine and will repurchase.

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


Available on their Amazon shop or http://cosrx.kr/

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