I bought a bottle of CosRx Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion when it launched in March 2016 and I’ve been using it on and off since receiving it. In the lead-up to this review, I’ve been using it consistently to pull together my thoughts.
My thoughts? Well, they’re mixed, but ultimately favorable.
CosRx Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion Review
About the brand: CosRx is a no-nonsense Korean skincare brand that focuses on proven ingredients, good formulations, and affordable prices.
What it is: a lotion/emulsion. Wtf is the difference btw? In practice, they seem the same.
Where to put it in your routine: in the lotion/cream slot at the end of your routine, right before sun protection. Need a basic outline of when to use your products? Here you go:
Ingredients: Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Betaine, Cetearyl Alcohol,1,2-Hexanediol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Lactate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Panthenol, Xanthan Gum, Ethyl Hexanediol, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil. CosDNA analysis.
Ingredient breakdown: Cetearyl Alcohol rates 2 out of 5 as both a potential acne and sensitive skin trigger, Dimethicone and Butylene Glycol rate 1 out of 5 as a potential acne triggers. Despite the “oil-free” in the product name this does contain some essential oils.
What type of skin might like this: I have oily-to-normal skin, depending on the season and movement of Jupiter’s fifth moon or whatever (not really, but it really feels like my skin is controlled by something completely Out There). My skin likes this. Friends with dry skin and sensitive skin like this. If I had dry skin, I might apply a double layer or slap a cream over it at night.
Packaging: a hard bottle with the typical CosRx pump. The pump doesn’t have a locking mechanism, so keep the clear plastic cap if you plan to travel with the whole bottle.
Smell: the tea tree scent comes through very clearly. I wish it didn’t; if this smelled like lemon or something less medical/acne treatment-ish it would verge on an HG for me.
Does it play well with makeup and sunscreen: YES! I find that the longer dry-down time makes sunscreen application trickier (I really need to just give it time to dry), but this sinks in well and doesn’t ball up or go white due to unwanted on-face emulsification when it comes into contact with other products.
The big test is running my hand over my face at the end of the day: gross creams that don’t play well with makeup tend to mix with my base makeup and then come off in what looks like eraser shavings at the end of the day. That stuff sitting on my skin is really annoying. Good creams have less in the way of nasty eraser shavings. This one is on the minimal side.
Price: about $20 or so
Value: the bottle is 100ml, which is double the size of most creams. If you end up liking this lotion and using only as much as you would a cream, that’s like getting a standard-size cream for $10. CRAZY. I have oily skin and like products to dry quickly, so I don’t end up using more of this lotion than I do a cream, so it’s a tremendous value.
What’s good: this lotion is CREAMY. It delivers a ton of moisture without being suffocating or icky in summer. This works for lots of different skin types. It’s a great formulation and dead cheap when you consider how much product is in a bottle.
What’s not good: it takes longer to dry than the harder-to-find SN-T Plant Stem Cell Cream that I’ve been a fan of for ages. I don’t like the feeling of dimethicone; my HG cream doesn’t have it. The tea tree scent is not a fav.
How it compares to similar creams (from best alternative to good, in my oily-to-normal book):
- SN Plant Stem Cell Moisturizer Goddess Cream: SN cream smells better, controls oil, has an even lighter consistency, it’s a bit less hydrating, has a more natural face-feel due to a lack of ‘cones.
- Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream: I don’t love the smell of either cream. The consistency and face-feel is pretty different; CosRx feels waterier and like it absorbs more deeply into my skin.
- belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb: the CosRx lotion contains no simple alcohol, it’s cheaper, and it’s about equally as hydrating. Similar dry-down times for me.
Will I repurchase it: I’m never going to run out of this bottle, I suspect. I think this is good, but it doesn’t beat SN Plant Stem Cell Cream for my oily skin, so I doubt I’ll rebuy it.
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