When I was a teenager, I had really bad acne. I never really researched much about acne back then, I just attributed them to puberty and genetics. I never cared much about the type of acne I have and thought that people who used skincare were vain. Until one day, my mum told me that I am an adult now and should start taking care of my skin before I regret it. I am relatively new to skincare, and I am constantly reading up and learning new things about my skin.
I never knew what blackheads were until videos of people extracting their blackheads were surfacing on the internet. It was then I realized that it was a problem for me as well and I tried ways to get rid of them. I have blackheads on my nose and whiteheads around my nose and right under my lower lip.
I first started using those Biore black pore strips, didn’t work for me. Then I tried the highly-raved My Scheming Blackhead Charcoal Mask, which worked wonders, but the peel-off mask irritated my sensitive skin so much that it became dry and itchy with red patches. It was then I felt that I needed a less harsh method to effectively remove blackheads.
Then I discovered BHA.
A Layman Explanation of BHA
I don’t wanna deal too much about the science behind our skin, so I’ll make it easy to understand.
Our face contains pores, and inside our pores contain oil, a.k.a. SEBUM. Sebum is good as it keeps our face hydrated and waterproof, but too much can be bad. Blackheads occur when excess sebum excrete out of our pores and get exposed to the air, resulting it to oxidise into a black colour, thus creating blackheads. Things like pore strips and peel-off masks can remove blackheads, but only on the surface. They do not remove the sebum right inside the pores. Therefore, more sebum will be produced and thus more blackheads. Peeling off blackheads are not only less effective, they also can be harmful to the skin.
BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid), on the other hand, works as a chemical exfoliant. It penetrates deep into the pores and remove sebum, thus preventing blackheads from even happening. Examples of BHAs include salicylic acid and betaine salicylate. The COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, which I’m going to review, contains the latter.
I got my bottle of COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid from Qoo10 for SGD17.90 (before shipping), which was pretty affordable for 100ml of product. I have heard a lot of positive reviews about this product, with some even calling it a holy grail in their daily skincare routine. Therefore, I was pretty excited to try this out.
Luckily, the box came with instructions in English.
What caught my eye was that the instructions called to use sunscreen after applying this product. I did some research and learnt that BHA causes the skin to become more sensitive to sunlight, therefore we should use sunscreen to protect our skin. Nevertheless, I decided to only use this product at night.
The liquid was pretty easy to dispense, with a pump at the top. It allowed me to control how much product I wanted. The texture and consistency of the product is somewhat in the middle of a toner and essence. It doesn’t have a pleasant smell, but neither is it unpleasant to me, which was good.
The way I initially used this product was, after cleansing and toning, I soaked a cotton pad with a 2-3 pumps of the product and applied it evenly to my face. After letting it sit for 30 minutes (apparently the wait time is important), I continued with the rest of the products in my skincare routine.
What confused me were the instructions. The box said to use it in the toner and essence stage, which I interpreted it to use it in replacement for a toner. However, the bottle itself asked to use it after a toner. I did the latter initially, but after a few days of using it I couldn’t see any results.
Therefore, after three days of using it, I decided to apply it on my bare skin after cleansing, and this time putting 2 pumps on my hand and applying it to my face. It was probably the best decision I ever made to my skin. Within a week of using this product, my skin tone has become more even and more glowy, and my blackheads has also reduced a lot. The BHA liquid had no effect on my whiteheads, however.
As I have to wait for 30 minutes for the product to set into my skin, I usually apply this at night, when I have more time to spare.
Overall, it is a really great product that worked quite well for my skin (which is combination skin) and I will continue to use it daily. For its price point, it is highly value for money. It is also my first time trying out a product from COSRX and I would like to try more of their products in future. I have heard wonderful things about their other products as well.