Review | COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid Review

Hello! Today I want to make a review of another skincare product, COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid. This is a Korean brand, and you know that Koreans are taking their skincare routine very, very seriously. I always swoon over their dewy, soft, bright skin that looks just as smooth as baby’s butt. I wonder, are mosquitos slipped when it perched on their skin? Maybe it can also play slide on the skin 😀

By the way, just a disclaimer. I’m not a skin care guru, a pharmacist, or even a dermatologist, but I’m a girl that trying out some skincare products and just want to share a bit of what I know based on my experience. Every skin is different. So what works on my skin may be work differently on your skin.

I tried this product since the mid of June, and in fact I am still in doubt to make this review today as I’m afraid that I haven’t given enough time for this product to show me its best of the best result. But anyway let me just share you my experience with this product now and if there are any further changes I will update anything later here.

Just a brief info about my skin condition that made me buy this, there were lots of tiny bumps that doesn’t come to the surface. This has happened since I stopped using a prescribed skincare from a beauty clinic since March, I thought it would be gone on its own, but it did not. And I don’t know how to clear them up. Then I tried to read the various articles, reviews, and watched a lot of YouTube videos that discuss about how to eliminate these tiny bumps. Actually a lot of ingredients and products were suggested, but then what interested me the most is this COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid.

If you are confused about what BHA really is, and why I choose this product…


So my answer for this; BHA, or Beta Hydroxy Acid (or salicylic acid), is one of the chemical exfoliants, just like AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids). I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard of this AHA & BHA thing before, yes, both of them are often used in skin care products as exfoliants. The difference between the two is that AHAs are water soluble, while BHAs are oil soluble. So BHAs may be better for oily skin types and at treating acne. It increases cell turnover, which is great to help remove the outer layer of the skin. And as it open pores, it helps clean your pores, which is good for acne prone skin, and also remove redness and inflammation. Isn’t it great?

In terms of ingredients, the ingredients contained in it this product is the reason why this product is worth to try. The ingredient list of this product is quite short, which is good to me, not too much unnecessary additions.

So here’s what written on the packaging : (I underlined some ingredients that I find important).


Salix alba or willow bark water, is a liquid extracted from Salix alba, a plant that contains salicin, which is a natural source of salicylic acid (BHA). But this salicin guy, it will only turn into salicylic acid if processed by digestive system. So, for the topical application on the skin it won’t be happening. I think COSRX adds this ingredient because of the soothing and anti-inflammatory effects that it has. The actual salicylic acid source in this product is Betaine salicylate 4%. And I read somewhere that there is a study that suggests that 4% betaine salicylate works just as effectively with 2% salicylic acid. Salicylic acid has irritating effects when used in excessive concentration, so 2% alone is strong enough for your skin. I read that in Korea the use of salicylic acid is stricted and limited, so maybe this is also the reason why COSRX uses betaine salicylate as an alternative as it is more gentle, moisturizing and less irritating than salicylic acid.

This product also contains niacinamide, an ingredient that does a little bit of everything. Niacinamide can help brighten skin tone, overcome hyperpigmentation, as well as moisturize the skin. And then there is sodium hyaluronate, or hyaluronic acid. Seriously, who has never heard of this guy? I’ve given my patient a mouthwash with sodium hyaluronate in it to treat oral stomatitis (ulcer on your oral mucous aka sariawan) several times, and this can help speed the healing of the ulcers. Hyaluronic acid works by retaining the water deep within the skin layer, thus keeping the skin from dehydration. There is also arginine, one type of antioxidant; and panthenol, which is one part of the B complex vitamin. I will not discuss every ingredients in detail, but you must get I mean, right? This product is loaded with some very good ingredients for the skin! And also, it’s very affordable.

My first try…..


Many people said on their review that this product is good, holy grail, and everything. But I can’t believe it unless I have tried it. Haha. Finally one night I decided to use it for the first time. I poured 2 or 3 pumps onto a cotton pad (you can also apply it directly with your hand if you like it that way) and applied it to the skin areas that I thought was problematic. I applied it on the area where clogged pores often occur and on the area where I get lots of tiny bumps, which the area around the jaw and my right cheek (I don’t know why it’s more on the right side). I used it after washing my face, as a substitute for toner. (I only use it on night time, once a week, because my skin is kinda sensitive. And always, ALWAYS use sunscreen in the morning/day)

Consistency of this product like velvety water, when applied to the skin does not leave any stickiness, the skin feels more hydrated and smooth.

Before you proceed to the next skincare, let it sit and absorbed for 20 minutes. Because BHA will only work well in acid state, so if you use another product right after the application of BHA, I’m afraid it will change the pH of the skin so that BHA will not work effectively.


And the next morning………

I woke up with so many pimples rising up on my face! Oh my god I freaked out hahaha. Actually I’ve anticipated this, because so many reviews that say this might happen for the use of BHA, which is called purging state. As it lifted almost all the dirts and gunks clogged deep inside the pores onto the skin surface. But I did not expect this to happen instantly overnight and in one usage. Maybe my skin is too reactive? Well, I don’t know, but what I obviously know is that this product really works for my skin. The next thing I should do is be patient because this purging period will be so hard, hahaha.

So now it’s been 8 weeks of usage of this product, I will summarize what happens to my skin each week.

1st week – angry skin! All the pimples that are buried deep within the skin rose to the surface of the skin.
2nd week – pretty calmed down pimples, my skin peeled lightly, and I got so many acne scars due to purging stage the previous week.
3rd week – exfoliation was complete, and the skin became smoother, acne scars were still there.
4th week – no effect whatsoever, acne scars still existed.
5th week – no effect whatsoever, as I had my period so there are new pimples appear, but disappeared quickly. Acne scars slightly faded.
6th week – no effect whatsoever, skin tone seemed a little brighter.
7th week – nightmare! It was like a repeat of the first week, but not as bad as the first time, only got few pimples.
8th week – calmed down pimples, skin is lightly peeling again.

I’m so confused, is the purging state happening again? Do any of you experienced the same thing? Well, honestly on the week 7 was pretty tiring for me, I didn’t get enough sleep for 3 nights in a row, I even didn’t sleep at all in one day. So maybe it was more like hormonal and stress factor that causing my acne.


Well,…. I have such a love and hate relationship with this guy.

What I love is, this product really does get rid of anything that sitting deep under your pores by pushing them up onto the surface of the skin. Even though not all of my tiny bumps has disappear until today, but it is pretty much reduced. And I can feel my skin is brighter, and the texture is smoother. It comes with a pump, and also quite affordable.

What I hate is, I hate the purging stage! 😦 It makes me having more acne scars, and removing acne scars is much more difficult and takes more time than the acne itself.

Okay, that’s all I can share for now. I hope it may be useful for you somehow.

P.S. Some products also helps me out with the irritation and the nasty exfoliating process, they are Bioderma Sebium Hydra Moisturising Compensating Care and Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence. I will write about them later! 😀



3 thoughts on “Review | COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

  1. Help! How do I know if I’m purging or not?
    Skin Type: Oily although it seems the oiliness is lessening? It is shiny though. Asian. Fairly Hot & Humid Weather.
    Current Routine
    CosRx Good Morning Cleanser
    Klairs Supple Preparation Toner
    CosRx Snail Essence
    CosRx Birch Sap Moisturizer
    Heimish Cleansing Balm
    CosRx Good Morning Cleanser – everyday
    CosRx Pimple Pads – everyday
    CosRx AHA Whitehead <REASON
    CosRx Snail Essence – everyday
    CosRx Birch Sap Moisturizer – everyday
    CosRx Centella Blesmish Cream – everyday
    Klairs Vitamin C Serum
    Face Masks
    How long with current routine: 3 months
    How long with product in question: 4 weeks with CosRx AHA Whitehead. I've introduced it slowly by mixing it with my moisturizer/centella blemish cream for 2x a week for the past 2 weeks. This week I applied it after the pimple pad without mixing it through a cotton pad.
    Problem: I can't know for certain if it's purging or breaking out. I've been reading blogs and it said that it can cause purging to the areas where you have clogged pores (which is all over my face), closed comedones (cheeks & chin) & pimples in my forehead. I've been recently getting red inflamed ones overnight and I'm just not sure if I'm purging or not. I get it in my forehead a lot, a few on my chin and really tiny skintone bumps in the cheeks. I took pictures of my skin on a weekly basis but it doesn't seem to improve. In fact I think it's getting worse now on the 4th week. I know blogs said 6-8weeks but for AHA it might be just for 2 weeks. So, I don't know if I should ditch the product and run to the dermclinic. 😭


    • Purging is supposed to make your skin better time to time. Other than that, you may be experiencing breaking out because the product irritared your skin. I am sure that you have read some articles too, and yes, purging state should be around a 6-8 weeks. If you suspect that you’re experiencing an adverse reaction from an exfoliant, stop using it immediately and pay attention to how your skin responds. I suggest you to give it more time and use it up to 6 weeks, but of there is no improvement, just stop using it. Consulting with your dermatologist may help if it’s getting worse. Hope this helps! ☺


  2. Pingback: Review | Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence | Dian's Journal

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