I immediately tore this from Renee’s hands when she arrived from NY with COSRX One Step Moisture Up Pads, compliments of COSRX at a K-beauty meetup. Each tub has 70 pads and can be found online for about $19.
A pad that swipes on moisture instead of an astringent or acid? Count me in. This is the type of novel idea (like my sunscreen balls–which still need YOUR vote to get made and sold) that I jump all over.
My interest was only heightened by seeing swoonworthy Mr. COSRX on the lid. Naturally, this post shows off all my man stickers as much as it does COSRX. I have…just a few of those.
Check out @nu1t on Instagram for more manliness.
COSRX One Step Moisture Up Pad Ingredients
The pads boast two star ingredients: 70% propolis extract and 0.5% betaine salicylate.
Propolis extract soothes skin and possibly helps acne. Betaine salicylate is often used in K-beauty for the same functions that salicylic acid serves in Western skincare: gentle pore-clearing and exfoliating BHA. (Snow White and the Asian Pear explains and compares these ingredients here when she describes COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid.)
COSRX One Step Moisture Up Pad Review
With my dry, redness-prone skin, I love these pads as a convenient and pumped-up hydrating toner but could also see them being used as a lazy morning cleanser. (If only I didn’t love the foam life so much…) With only 0.5% betaine salicylate, they don’t sting or cause flaking (but also don’t do serious pimple-fighting).
And being pads, they also exfoliate physically. Amp up the exfoliation by using the textured side or by swiping with more pressure. I have sensitive skin so I only use these 1x/day at most and usually use the smooth side. Sometimes I don’t even swipe. Just press and pat.
The pads are pretty big and thoroughly soaked. There’s enough liquid for your neck, chest, and then some! (I swipe my elbows and knees with the excess.) Despite essential oils at the bottom of the ingredient list, I don’t detect much of a scent.
The pads leave skin very wet; I can even see the droplets on my skin. The formula is purrrrfect for the 4 Skin–sorry, 7 Skin–Method. I think it’s heavy enough to count for, like, 3 skins. Heavier than toner and reminiscent of sheet mask residue–in a good way.
Sadly not as plumping because the pads aren’t on long enough to force the liquid into skin. But they do leave a thin layer that hydrates even after drying down.
I’ve been loving the combo of COSRX pads + Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil. Massaging in the medium-weight oil while skin’s still wet creates a smooth and cushiony layer, which I then bury with creams and sleeping packs. Like some sort of luscious layer cake.
To sum up, these pads are a welcome addition to my hydration AND exfoliation arsenal. Five out of five man stickers agree:
Cons: Chemical exfoliation might be too gentle/ineffective for thicker skins. Physical exfoliation might be too much for sensitive skins.