COSRX AC Collection Calming Foam Cleanser Ingredients Explained

There is an older formulation of this product:

Last updated on December 27, 2023. Submitted by linhjanettale.

Overview

What it is

Face cleanser with 24 ingredients that contains BHA

Cool Features

It is cruelty-free and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, dry skin, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores and scar healing

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

COSRX is from South Korea. This product is used in 88 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

BHA

Benefits

Hydrating
Good For Oily Skin
Reduces Large Pores
Scar Healing
Acne Fighting
Brightening (2)

Concerns

Drying (3)
May Worsen Oily Skin (4)
Acne Trigger (4)
Irritating (2)
Rosacea (2)
Eczema (2)

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
3
Cleansing, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Masking
2-3 / 0
May worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
4
Cleansing, Emulsifying
3 / 0
Bad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
5
Humectant, Solvent
6
Buffering
7
Emollient, Emulsifying
2 / 0
May worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
8
Cleansing, Emulsifying
4 / 1
May worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
9
Emollient, Emulsifying
1 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
10
0 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
11
12
Cleansing
May worsen Eczema Icon
13
Emulsifying
14
Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconGood for Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
15
Masking
Can worsen Dry Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
16
Cleansing, Emulsifying
2 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
17
Emollient
Oil Icon
18
Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen Icon
19
20
Emollient, Emulsifying
May worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
21
Perfuming, Solvent
Fragrance Icon
22
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant Icon
23
Skin Conditioning, Stabilising
24
Skin Conditioning

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 24 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
3
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Masking
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Stearic Acid is a fatty acid. It is an emollient, emulsifier, and texture enhancer.

As an emollient, stearic acid helps soften skin. It aids the skin's protective barrier by preventing water loss. It also provides a gentle cleansing effect without stripping away natural oils.

Stearic acid may also be used to enhance the texture of products. It can add volume and stabilize ingredients such as water and oil. This can help water and oil ingredients from separating.

Sources of stearic acid include animal or vegetable fats/oils such as coconut or shea. It can be naturally found in butter, cocoa butter, shea butter, vegetable fats, and animal tallow.

This ingredient may not be Malassezia folliculitis, or fungal-acne safe.

Learn more about Stearic Acid
4
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Myristic Acid is a saturated fatty acid. It is naturally found in milk fat. Other sources include palm oil, coconut oil, and butter fat.

Myristic Acid is an emulsifer and cleanser. As an emulsifer, it stabilizes a product by preventing ingredients from separating. Myristic Acid helps clean your skin by acting as a surfactant. It tends to gather oil and dirt on your skin to be easily rinsed away.

One study from 2021 found Myristic Acid to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Learn more about Myristic Acid
5
What it does: Humectant, Solvent

We don't have a description for Peg-32.

6
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Disliked

Potassium hydroxide is commonly known as caustic potash. It is used to fix the pH of a product or as a cleaning agent in soap. In cleansers, it is used for the saponification of oils.

Sapnification is the process of creating fatty acid metal salts from triglycerides and a strong base. During this process, Potassium Hydroxide is used up and is not present in the final product.

Using high concentrations of Potassium Hydroxide have shown to irritate the skin.

Learn more about Potassium Hydroxide
7
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Palmitic Acid is a fatty acid found in our skin. In cosmetics, it is usually derived from palm oil. It is a cleanser, emollient, and emulsifier.

As an emollient, it helps hydrate the skin. The emulsifying properties keep ingredients together in a product.

Palmitic Acid may not be fungal-acne safe. It can worsen oily skin and cause breakouts due to its emollient nature.

Learn more about Palmitic Acid
8
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Lauric Acid is a fatty acid or lipid. About half of fatty acids in coconut oil is lauric acid.

This ingredient helps hydrate and sooth skin. As a humectant, it helps trap moisture. It also aids in cleaning and enhancing the texture of products.

Emerging studies show Lauric Acid to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The antimicrobial property helps strengthen the skin barrier by fighting off bad bacteria.

Lauric acid may not be Malassezia folliculitis, or fungal acne, safe.

Learn more about Lauric Acid
9
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Disliked

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

Glyceryl Stearate is used to stabilize the mixing of water and oil ingredients. By preventing these ingredients from separating, it can help elongate shelf life. It can also help thicken the product's texture.

As an emollient, it helps soften skin and supports barrier-replenishing ingredients.

In cosmetics, Glyceryl Stearate is often made from vegetable oils or synthetically produced. The human body also creates Glyceryl Stearate naturally.

Learn more about Glyceryl Stearate
10
What it does:
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Peg-100 Stearate is an emollient and emulsifier. PEGS are a hydrophilic polyether compound . There are 100 ethylene oxide monomers in Peg-100 Stearate. Peg-100 Stearate is polyethylene glycol ester of stearic acid.

Peg-100 Stearate helps keep skin soft by trapping moisture in. It helps prevent oil and water from separating in a product. By binding oil and water, it helps remove dirt and oil to be rinsed away.

11
What it does:

We don't have a description for Lauramide Dea.

12
What it does: Cleansing
Community Rating: Disliked

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a fatty acid created by mixing similar compounds in coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. Dimethylaminopropylamine is a diamine, an amine with two amino groups.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a surfactant and cleanser. It helps gather the dirt, pollutants, and other impurities in your skin to be washed away. It also helps thicken a product and make the texture more creamy.

Being created from coconut oil means Cocamidopropyl Betaine is hydrating for the skin.

While Cocamidopropyl Betaine was believed to be an allergen, a study from 2012 disproved this. It found two compounds in unpure Cocamidopropyl Betaine to be the irritants: aminoamide and 3-dimethylaminopropylamine. High-grade and pure Cocamidopropyl Betaine did not induce allergic reactions during this study.

Learn more about Cocamidopropyl Betaine
13
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

This ingredient is the potassium salt of coconut acid. Coconut acid is created by mixing fatty acids from coconut oil.

It is an emulsifier, surfactant, and cleanser. According to a manufacturer, it contains glycerin.

14
What it does: Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

This multitasking property makes it a great ingredient for cleaning out pores, controlling oil production, and reducing inflammation.

Unlike AHAs which are water soluble, Salicylic Acid is oil soluble. This means that it's able to exfoliate the inside of pores and reduce blackheads.

Concentrations of 0.5-2% are recognized by the U.S. FDA as an over-the-counter topical acne product.

It can cause irritation and/or dryness if one's skin already has a compromised moisture barrier, so it's best to focus on repairing that before introducing a Salicylic Acid into your routine.

In general, Salicylic Acid is a great ingredient for oily acne-prone skin.

While salicylic acid does not increase sun-sensitivity, we still recommend wearing SPF.

If you are looking for the ingredient called BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, click here.

Learn more about Salicylic Acid
15
What it does: Masking
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Chances are, you eat sodium chloride every day. Sodium Chloride is also known as table salt.

This ingredient has many purposes in skincare: thickener, emulsifier, and exfoliator.

You'll most likely find this ingredient in cleansers where it is used to create a gel-like texture. As an emulsifier, it also prevents ingredients from separating.

There is much debate on whether this ingredient is comedogenic. The short answer - comedogenic ratings don't tell the whole story. Learn more about comegodenic ratings here.

The concensus about this ingredient causing acne seems to be divided. Research is needed to understand if this ingredient does cause acne.

Scrubs may use salt as the primary exfoliating ingredient.

Learn more about Sodium Chloride
16
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Disliked

Arachidic Acid is a fatty acid naturally found in peanut oil and cocoa butter. Like other fatty acids, arachidic acid moisturizes the skin.

Synthetically created arachidic acid comes from linoleic acid.

This ingredient may not be safe for Malassezia Folliculitis, or fungal acne.

Learn more about Arachidic Acid
17
What it does: Emollient

Lavandula Hybrida Oil is an oil.

18
What it does: Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Linalool is a fragrance and helps add scent to products. It's derived from common plants such as cinnamon, mint, citrus, and lavender.

Linalool has the same effect as Limonene when exposed to air. Oxidized linalool can cause allergies and skin sensitivity.

Linalool has a scent that is floral, spicy tropical, and citrus-like.

Learn more about Linalool
19
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
20
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Oleic Acid is an Omega-9 fatty acid. It can be found in many plant oils such as avocado and marula oils.

Oleic Acid is used to enhance the texture of products. It is also a cleansing agent. As an emollient, it can help hydrate and soften the skin.

Oleic Acid isn't fungal acne safe. It can be bad for oily skin and be bad for acne prone skin.

We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any questions or concerns.

Learn more about Oleic Acid
21
What it does: Perfuming, Solvent
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Limonene is a fragrance that adds scent and taste to a formulation.

It's found in the peel oil of citrus fruits and other plants such as lavender and eucalyptus. The scent of limonene is generally described as "sweet citrus".

Limonene acts as an antioxidant, meaning it helps neutralize free radicals.

When exposed to air, oxidized limonene may sensitize the skin. Because of this, limonene is often avoided by people with sensitive skin.

The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term. For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance.

Learn more about Limonene
22
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Asiaticoside comes from the super popular skin-soothing ingredient, Centella asiatica. It is one of four active compounds found in the extract of Centella Asiatica.

Asiaticoside is an antioxidant and helps with wound healing. It has been shown to increase antioxidant activity during the wound healing process.

23
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Stabilising
Community Rating: Loved

Asiatic Acid is a major component of Centella Asiatica Extract. It has wound-healing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

Studies show Asiatic Acid is able to block the pathway for skin inflammation receptors, helping to soothe skin.

As an antioxidant, asiatic acid helps protect our skin against damaging environmental factors.

Learn more about Asiatic Acid
24
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Madecassic Acid is a major component of Centella Asiatica Extract. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

It is a triterpenoid, meaning it naturally acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect your skin against damage from environmental factors such as pollution and UV.

Studies show Madecassic Acid helps soothe the skin due to its ability to block inflammation pathways.

Learn more about Madecassic Acid
Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 24 ingredients in this product ✨

25% are loved or liked
0% have mixed ratings
63% are disliked or very disliked
13% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use COSRX AC Collection Calming Foam Cleanser. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use AC Collection Calming Foam Cleanser ->
Verified by SkinSort

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The data we've presented on this page has been verified by a member of the SkinSort Team.

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