COSRX AC Collection Acne Line Review

With the emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak, the year 2020 has been a very interesting year so far for an Infectious Disease Specialist fellow-in-training like me. Being overworked and wearing N95 mask almost 24/7, a few zits started appearing on my face, especially on part of my face that touches the mask. I knew I needed to work on my skincare to battle impending breakouts.

So I got excited to try the CosRx AC Collection Acne line. CosRx has been one of my favourite Asian Beauty Brands and I’ve been meaning to incorporate Centella Asiatica into my skincare. So what’s new with this collection? Well, CosRX developed this CentellAC-Rx Complex, which according to them, not only treats acne but also helps revitalize and recover the skin without any irritation. This formula contains three legendary healing ingredients–Madecassic Acid, Asiaticoside and Asiatic acid.

So what’s science behind Centella Asiatica? The mechanism of action involves promoting fibroblast proliferation and increasing the synthesis of collagen as well as acidic mucopolysaccharides, increasing intracellular fibronectin content and mitotic activity in the germ layer, significantly improving the tensile strength of newly formed skin. 1

In a study done in 2016, concentrations of Centella asiatica extract showed efficacy in improving skin moisture by the increase of skin surface hydration state and decrease in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) as well as anti-inflammatory properties based on the methyl nicotinate model of microinflammation in human skin. based on their results, they have concluded that formulations containing Centella asiatica extract not only have antiaging but also moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.2

So enough with the nerdy stuff, let’s go down to business. The entire set contains:

  1. COSRX AC Collection Calming Foam Cleanser 150ml
  2. COSRX AC Collection Calming Liquid Mild 125ml
  3. COSRX AC Collection Blemish Spot Clearing Serum 30g
  4. COSRX AC Collection Lightweight Soothing Moisturizer 80ml
  5. COSRX AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream 30g
  6. COSRX AC Collection Acne Patch
COSRX AC Collection Acne Line
COSRX AC Collection Acne Line

A little background on my skin type: I have oily skin and my face used to be acne-prone during my teens and early 20’s, good thing it already calmed down. But factors like hormones (premenstrual) and stress (such as the outbreak) would cause my skin to break out.

COSRX AC Collection Calming Foam Cleanser 150ml

Soft bubble acne daily cleanser without stripped feeling. Ideal for all skin types including sensitive skin and daily use. It gently removes dirt and excess oil while fighting acne breakouts, leaving the skin soft, smooth, and fresh.

Aside from the CentellAC-Rx Complex this cleanser also contains Salicylic acid, which is known to reducing acne by exfoliating the skin and keeping pores clear. This cleanser foams very well and a pea size of this product is enough to give your face a thoroughly clean feeling. Though it leaves the skin a bit tight, it’s not as drying as most of the other foam cleansers.

COSRX AC Collection Calming Liquid Mild 125ml

Recommended for sensitive skin or anyone who wants to prevent acne or deals with acne occasionally. Made as an alcohol-free liquid, it helps the skin maintain the oil-moisture balance and calms irritation.

 The mild version of this toner contains Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water that helps sooth and recover sensitive skin, and also Gluconolactone, a chemical exfoliant. It has a watery consistency that is absorbed in the skin easily. It doesn’t sting nor leaves a sticky feeling. I use this with a cotton pad in the AM or if I’m in on the go I’d splash this on my face. I love the fact that this gentle toner provides a hydrating and refreshing feel.

COSRX AC Collection Blemish Spot Clearing Serum 30g

Multifunctional serum which provides a total solution for calming, tone-balancing, recovering from acne damages. EGF helps acne skin to boost production of collagen and elastin. 4% Niacinamide refines dullness and reduces hyperpigmentation caused by acne for clear, radiant skin.

This is one of my favourites out of the AC line. It’s a clear runny serum that is very lightweight, perfect to use in the morning. This sinks into the skin easily and also sits well with my makeup. Over the short duration I have used this, I noticed that it already reduced some of my blemishes and dark spots.

COSRX AC Collection Lightweight Soothing Moisturizer 80ml

It gives a light and non-sticky moisturizing sensation and it is suitable for acne prone skin. This moisturizer soothes the highly heat sensitive skin and cool down the acne prone skin. 

This light-weight moisturizer contains Aloe Vera extract, Propolis extract and Green tea extract that moisturizes and soothes irritated skin. The consistency of this product is gel-like and a little product comes a long way; it’s easy to spread and is absorbed easily. Although it contains exfoliants BHA and AHA it doesn’t feel irritating. I prefer using this in the AM because it’s not heavy and it sits well with my makeup.

COSRX AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream 30g

A spot treatment which adheres to growing acne to effectively and quickly overcome areas of concern.

This spot cream contains Zinc Oxide, Calamine as well as Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water that claims to gently dry out acne. This thick cream has mousse consistency that helps speed up healing of my acne but doesn’t dry out the skin. I like the easy to control squeeze tube packaging that dispenses a thin amount of cream, making sure that you won’t waste any product, although I’m pretty sure this product will last a long time.

COSRX AC Collection Acne Patch

Oval shaped, highly adhesive acne patch suitable for covering several adjacent acne spots at once.

The pack contains 26 oval-shaped acne patches that come in 3 different sizes. I like how the border of the patches are much thinner making it more adherent on the curved areas. It does its job on concealing and drying cystic acne. It contains Centella Asiatica that helps soothe and calm inflamed acne.

* * * *

Verdict: So far, I have been loving the entire AC line with special mention to the Calming Liquid Mild and Blemish Spot Clearing Serum. The ingredients are relatively mild and all of the products are non-irritating. It does its job in calming the skin as well as effective in controlling acne. The only thing I didn’t like is the strong tea tree medicinal scent of the entire line. But if you don’t mind fragrance in skincare I highly recommend the entire set.

If you also want to try the COSRX AC Collection Acne Line, it’s available in Style Korean check out this link  ▶


  1. I’m an Internist NOT a Dermatologist, so I am not a skin expert.
  2. YMMV. Your mileage may vary. It worked for me but it may not work for you.
  3. The products were gifted to me but all opinions are my own.


  1. Centella asiatica in cosmetology. Wiesława Bylka, Paulina Znajdek-Awiżeń, Elżbieta. Postep Derm Alergol 2013; XXX, 1: 46-49

  2. Moisturizing and Antiinflammatory Properties of Cosmetic Formulations Containing Centella asiatica Extract Indian J Pharm Sci. 2016 Jan-Feb;78(1):27-33

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