COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner Ingredients Explained

4.3   from 11 reviews
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Last updated on July 18, 2023. Published on July 13, 2020.

Overview

What it is

Toner with 11 ingredients that contains AHA and BHA

Cool Features

It is cruelty-free, fungal acne (malassezia) safe, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for anti aging, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

COSRX is from South Korea. This product is used in 935 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients, and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Spot an error? 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

AHA
BHA

Benefits

Good For Oily Skin (2)
Redness Reducing
Reduces Irritation
Skin Texture
Reduces Large Pores (2)
Anti-Aging
Dark Spots
Scar Healing (2)
Brightening

Concerns

Irritating
Rosacea (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
Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing, Tonic
3
Masking
4
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
1 / 0
5
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
6
Buffering, Humectant
7
Buffering
AHA IconGood for Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
8
Antimicrobial
BHA IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
9
Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
0 / 0
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
10
Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Helps reduce irritation Icon
11
Solvent

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 11 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: Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing, Tonic
Community Rating: Liked

Salix Alba Bark Water is created by distilling parts from the white willow tree. The white willow tree is native to Europe and Central Asia.

Salix Alba Bark has often been described as salicylic acid's cousin. This is due to the salicin it contains. However, studies are limited showing salix alba bark to be an effective salicylic acid alternative.

Salicin does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has shown to decrease the formation of inflammatory mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor-Ξ± and nuclear factor-kappa B. Salicin also has a mildly exfoliating effect on the skin.

As an astringent, salix alba bark water helps tighten the skin by drawing water out. This helps reduce the appearance of large pores.

Learn more about Salix Alba Bark Water
3
What it does: Masking

Pyrus Malus Fruit Water is created by distilling parts of the apple.

Apples contain a large amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

The sugar in Apples helps keep the skin hydrated. Apples also contain some acids, such as malic acid. These acids may have a mild exfoliating effect.

Apples also contain Vitamins C and B.

Learn more about Pyrus Malus Fruit Water
4
What it does: Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

5
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

1,2-Hexanediol is a multi-tasker ingredient. It acts as a preservative to increase shelf-life and can aid other preservatives in preventing microbe growth. 1,2-Hexanediol also helps the skin retain moisture as a humectant.

In products that are water-based, this ingredient can help stabilize perfumes and fragrances. It can also help make the texture of products softer and more smooth.

6
What it does: Buffering, Humectant
Community Rating: Loved

Sodium Lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid, an AHA. It is a humectant and used to adjust the pH of a product.

Sodium Lactate is part of our skin's NMF, or natural moisturizing factor. Our NMF is essential for the hydration of our top skin layers and plasticity of skin.

It also influences our skin's natural acid mantle and pH, which protects our skin from harmful bacteria.

Our NMF is formed from amino acids, lactic acid, sugars, minerals, peptides, and electrolytes. As we age, our NMF naturally depletes. Other sources of NMF depletion include harsh and drying ingredients such as denatured alcohol. Sodium lactate can help replenish our NMF, leading to more hydrated and plump skin.

High percentages of Sodium Lactate can have an exfoliating effect.

Sodium Lactate is produced from fermented sugar.

Learn more about Sodium Lactate
7
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Liked

Glycolic Acid is arguably the most famous AHA with research to back up its benefits. Its main role is to peel the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Glycolic Acid has shown to boost collage production, a protein that helps skin stay firm. Overall, Glycolic Acid helps with improving uneven tone, rough patches of skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. It also increases skin hydration by playing a role in creating molecules that create hyaluronic acid naturally.

When applying Glycolic Acid, it is normal to feel slight stinging. The pH value and concentration of glycolic acid play a role in the effectiveness of the product.

Recent studies have shown Glycolic Acid may protect the skin against UV damage. However, you should always wear SPF, especially when using exfoliants.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Glycolic Acid
8
What it does: Antimicrobial
Community Rating: Liked

Betaine Salicylate is a salicylic acid alternative. It is created with betaine and salicylic acid.

Betain Salicylate is a keralytic ingredient. This means it breaks down the top layer of skin. Due to its similarity to salicylic acid, it can be considered a BHA alternative.

This ingredient is most effective at a pH range of 3.8-4.2.

Learn more about Betaine Salicylate
9
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
Community Rating: Loved

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

Some studies have shown this ingredient can promote wound healing with higher concentrations.

Allantoin is derived from the comfrey plant but produced synthetically for cosmetic products to ensure purity.

Learn more about Allantoin
10
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Panthenol (also referred to as pro-vitamin B5) is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin.

lt is a humectant, meaning that it helps the skin attract and retain moisture.

Another benefit is the anti-inflammatory abilities. This means that it's great for sensitive, irritation-prone skin.

Once oxidized, panthenol converts to pantothenic acid. Panthothenic acid is found in all living cells.

Learn more about Panthenol
11
What it does: Solvent

Ethyl Hexanediol is an aliphatic alcohol. It is a solvent.

Solvents are used to keep ingredients together in a product. They can help dissolve ingredients to stable bases or help evenly distribute ingredients throughout the product.

Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 11 ingredients in this product ✨

64% are loved or liked
18% have mixed ratings
0% are disliked or very disliked
18% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner ->

Alternatives

Our Dupe Finder has found 43 potential alternatives that have similar ingredients to this product.

See 43 alternatives

Compared With

Here are some products that COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner is often compared with.

Want to compare it with a different product? Head on over to our comparisons tool and you can!

Verified by SkinSort

We're dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date and science-backed ingredient info out there.

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

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Community reviews (11)

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