COSRX One Step Clear Pimple Pads Review

cosrx one step pimple pads review


Hiya! My name is Shaleen- I am a 22 year old from the bottom of the world with a skincare obsession. 

So chances are you're like me and haven't ever given a second thought to toner. I had the crazy acidic Proactiv toner when I was going through puberty and it basically stripped my skin of anything. Let's just say it didn't leave me with a good impression of toner but considering how much my parents were paying for the kit, I was sure gonna use it. Over the last few years I started using the Eau Rosa Water toner from Lush- mainly because it smells like roses and who doesn’t want to wake up and spritz that everywhere. Other than that I've never seen or felt results from a toner and therefore thought it was useless.

Ho ho ho boy was I wrong. Toner is important for a number of reasons and so I'll dedicate a post explaining it in all its glory but for now, the main points are as follows. 1) It is a water/gel/alcohol liquid that essentially balances your pH levels after you cleanse your face. 2) It preps your skin so that it can absorb your next products (essence, serum, moisturizer etc) like a sponge. 3) A lot of toners these days are also exfoliants as many contain BHA and leave your skin nice and clean. They are not supposed to strip your skin but actually leave it feeling hydrated!

I probably would have disagreed with all three of those statements after my affairs with Proactiv but COSRX (the holy grail company) changed my mind.


  • Super easy and convenient to use- no excuses!
  • Calms down skin and reduces redness thanks to the real OG tea-tree oil.
  • Actively fights against pimples.
  • Made from natural products.
  • Pretty unlikely that it will break you out.

The product:

COSRX One Step Pimple Clear Pad's come in a fairly decent sized, white plastic tub and is full of 70 pre-soaked cotton pads. The packaging is simple and very typical of COSRX, featuring my favorite little skin mascot. When I was introducing one of my favorite pals to my skincare collection this was the first product she noticed. According to the tub itself, this product aims to "cleanse, exfoliate and treat breakouts conveniently with pre-moistened pads. Designed to wipe away excess dirt, oil and purify clogged pores with the daily natural BHA treatment pads. It leaves the skin feeling clean and smooth." Normally the descriptions given to products by their brand are a little far fetched but after one month of using, I have to say this one was pretty darn accurate.

 Simple packaging is what COSRX is known for. Definitely one of the nicer and more consistent skincare brand marketing.

Simple packaging is what COSRX is known for. Definitely one of the nicer and more consistent skincare brand marketing.


How to use:

  • Pick up the moistened pad after you've finished cleaning as it will set the foundation for the rest of your routine.
  • Using circular motions, swipe the embossed side all over your face, neck and chest.
  • Then swipe the smooth side all over once again.
  • Do not use as a DIY mask- dispose.
  • Once finished, make sure the tub it sealed tight as to not dry out the product.


The main effect I felt from this toner was the hydration. Hydration is surprisingly important and doesn't actually just come from splashing water on your face. Water particles are actually too large for our pores to soak up effectively so more often than not you'll need to add hydration by means of skincare products. I had bought this little guy about a month before I started seriously using it. I was still in the mindset that it wasn't a big deal and I would just use it when I wore makeup for extra cleansing. Every time I did use it, however, I was continuously shocked by its magic. It left my skin feeling smooth and so so hydrated. Most importantly, it even seemed to reduce the redness in my cheeks and even out my skin tone- something I was not expecting but am more than happy with. Stoked even. The pads are super durable and do not tear easily despite being thin.  Whilst I personally haven't had to deal with the same acne I had in my preteen years, this product is known for fighting the good fight against pimples.

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You can watch such trusted reviews here: MASSIVE KOREAN SKINCARE HAUL ft. COSRX (Joan Kim), My Skincare Essentials! - Edward Avila (Edward Avila) & HYPED-UP KOREAN BEAUTY PRODUCTS 2: Are They Really Worth It? COSRX, Son & Park, A'Pieu, Su:m37  (Meejmuse)



It is a pretty great deal and markets fairly normally for its field. It's valued at around 30 NZD (it's a little pricier here in New Zealand), and 16 USD and considering how much product you get it's well worth the cash. If you are a little frugal at times, cut the pads in half for even more use! If you've got oily or normal skin using it every night will last you a little longer than two months and if you've got dry skin even longer.



Ingredients: why they're there and what they do.

I put down a lot of this products magic to the presence of tea-tree oil which is its main fragrance (if you're not that into the smell which many people aren't, not to worry as it fades very quickly). By now, I'm sure you know the qualities of tea-tree (click here to read about some), it has certainly made its mark in skincare in recent years. It is predominately used to treat active acne and calm down inflammation which it does with a gentleness but also gusto. I've been using tea-tree spot treatments for a while now and all of them have been very successful, the One Step Pimple Clear Pad is no different. 

 My favourite little skin mascot. Disclaimer: this product will not give you two extra arms. 

My favourite little skin mascot. Disclaimer: this product will not give you two extra arms. 

A lot of the success of this toner also comes from the use of betaine salicylate. Betaine Salicylate is a fatty-acid ingredient derived from plants (woo nature!) and is considered to be a wonderful moisturizer and skin soothing ingredient. What it's most famous for is its in-depth exfoliation powers, otherwise termed 'BHA'. Exfoliants are helpful in reducing acne because it helps speed up the turnover of your skin cells! Medications like Accutane and Doxycycline help the skin by chemically speeding up this turnover so it's a very popular means to combat acne. Why is this good? Faster turnover= new and fresher skin!  Combined with the tea-tree this combo is a surefire way to calm down your skin, particularly at the end of a long day or that time of the month (yikes!).

The main ingredient, however, is Willow Bark water (salix alba extract if we're being fancy) which is particularly effective on oily skin types. Other than being my favorite type of tree, it's greatness comes from the fact that it is again a natural exfoliant and a form of BHA. Like most other plant extracts, it also contains flavonoids and tannins which are powerful antioxidants that help protect your skin from all the nasties in the air. It is also a fab anti-aging ingredient so you might as well start young!

There is also the good ole' citrus aurantium dulcis (orange peel extract) which serves as an emollient or lubrication for the skin making it super soft as well as an antiseptic to help fight those pesky pimples.

  • A brief warning, if you do have dry skin, I would recommend testing this out on your skin every second day just incase it strips your skin.

Of course, it is not without a couple of ingredients that may react with your particular skin type mainly butylene glycol so if you know that you're allergic, it might be best to avoid. However, this product is so gentle and made for sensitive skin that the chances are honestly pretty darn slim. For more information on what might break you out in the ingredient list- here is the COSDA entry for it.


New Zealand/Australia:

Nashi Lab-



Style Korean-


1/5: Negative, nada, no.

2/5: Definitely not enough magic to consider re-purchasing.

3/5: It had its effects but there are many more products out there that do better.

4.5/5: Going great! Going to keep using until I find something more effective. I am pretty well sold on this product and

will definitely be using it for a long time to come.

5/5: Holy grail!



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