COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser Review

I’m a little embarrassed to say this… maybe even with a bit of shame… but I’m currently battling a concerted enemy fully intent on making my life hell.

I call this enemy the devil itself. But for a lot of people fighting against this foe as well, it’s what is called adult acne.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not as if acne is something new to my skin. I battled it to the ends of the world during my teenage years. I won and finally claimed victory. Allowing me to enjoy normal acne-resistant skin for a number of years in my twenties.

In recent years, the enemy has regrouped and back with a vengence.

In the last year, it has given me so much stress that I have turned to more and more skin care products as a form of token resistance. I know… I should have started years ago and not take my “normal” skin for granted.

But it is what it is. I have now arrived at this state. And I am determined to claim ultimate victory this time.

It’s also a different set of circumstances:

  • I definitely pack more punch in my wallet compared to my younger days
  • The internet provides an easy convenient place to read reviews of products
  • And any product is so easy to buy on online marketplaces

As I used to be a K-drama addict, it’s only natural that some of that longing for Korean-styled flawless skin rubbed off on me. I turned to Korean skin care products.

With watching some skin care routines online, I’ve learned about the acids AHA and BHA. I was very new to this. Maybe I had used products containing them in the past. But I wasn’t made aware of these gentle acids that combat acne.

Going more in-depth in the how these acids are used, I also learned that they work best under low pH conditions… lower than the natural pH of our face.

This means that in order to get the most effective and efficient use out of these AHA and BHA products, a user usually uses a toner to “adjust” the pH level of the skin before applying the acids.

I hate toners. To me, it’s just an extra step in the skin care routine. Maybe the 6 sigma background I have has something to do with this line of thinking.

I asked the question on everyone’s mind in this situation: Since the toner is used after wash to lower the pH level, why can’t the facial wash itself do that dirty job in the first place?

And to no surprise, a cosmetics company has answered that question. But I’ve since learned that the benefits of low pH cleansers are not for actives after the wash. It is to avoid letting high pH cleansers strip the natural acidic mantle of skin.

Disrupting this pH balance can irritate the skin and cause problems like break outs.

The surprise however, is why not more manufacturers have created such a product. Maybe because they want us to spend more on an extra product that cost pennies to make?

Anyway, COSRX came up with the low pH good morning gel cleanser. I’m really beginning to become a cult fanatic of this brand.

I heard somewhere about the story behind this product. True or not, I don’t know. And I’m too lazy to verify it. You decide whether you want to believe it.

Once upon a time, the great people at COSRX asked their loyal customers what they would like them to create next. And they received an overwhelming response requesting for a low pH facial cleanser. And bang bang! They created it!

And here I am grinning from ear to ear with a tube of it in my possession. 😀

The low pH cleanser

Actually it was by a little stroke of coincidence that eventually landed this on my lap. My trusty Laneige facial foamy cleanser was running out. And I was already going to buy a new tube of it. Honestly, I’ve already added it to my cart in my favorite ecommerce store. Just waiting to pull the inevitable trigger.

But something flipped a switch in my head. I have been using that wash for a long time. And it is not doing anything to control my acne. All it does is cleanse and moisturize. And I have started to buy other lotions, essence, masks and creams to do the job of moisturizing. So in effect, I can let it go and use something else as a facial cleanser.

Since I have bought COSRX’s blackhead and whitehead power liquid, I might as well get their low pH gel cleanser as well.

This effectively killed two birds with one stone. I get to replenish my facial cleanser. And I prepare my face with low pH before applying the acids.


Anyway, regarding AHA and BHA, don’t be intimidated by the word “acid”. These are not going to make your face combust and disintegrate. It’s just the proper scientific term to label these solutions as.

Back to the product of discussion.

This gel cleaner comes in a 150ml (5oz) squeeze tube. That’s a lot of product you get when you compare it with the stingy cosmetics companies out there. And the price is VERY affordable. Making this a very good value practical cleanser.

It’s form is a clear gel when you squeeze out from the tube. Yet it lathers up very fast into thick foam when you rub it.

The immediate observation after the first time I washed it off my face is that it feels like it leaves a layer of moisture on my face. It’s as if a shield is erected to protect the face from the environment.

This means that I don’t feel that it has stripped my face bare of moisture. And it sure doesn’t feel squeaky after wash. I use this everyday unless it’s exfoliating day which I will use a scrub or chemical wash.

I like it. Even if it’s just used as a cleanser instead of doubling up as a preparation stage before AHA/BHA.

And don’t limit yourself by thinking this is a product that should only be used in the morning due to the words “Good Morning” in it’s name. This is a proper cleanser that can be used whenever you wish to cleanse your face.

Don’t however, expect it to help you exfoliate as well. It already does a double job of cleansing and lowering pH level. Don’t overwork it by giving it an expanded job description… which it is not meant to do.

There is a small drawback of COSRX’s low pH good morning gel cleanser though. And that is the scent. It can be overwhelming to some users.

I had anticipated a strong smell as I had came across user reviews of this product. But no matter how mentally prepared I was, the aroma still took me by surprise the first time I used it.

It was strong and reminded me of antiseptic alcohol at first. It was like swiping your whole face with a magazine-sized alcohol swab.

But when my senses came back to me, my brain told me that it’s more like the smell of tea tree. I have now got used to this part of the wash.

Anyway, the smell doesn’t linger. It dissipates as you massage your face with the foam. And disappears when you wash it off.

It’s a small price to pay for the convenience and benefits this product offers.

Maybe the formulation had to be this way in order to create a safe product that does the required job while being lenient with the pockets of consumers.

I’ll take that.

So if you are running out of facial wash and open-minded enough to try a new one, or you have also begun an AHA/BHA routine, I urge you to give the good morning gel cleanser a try. It is a product that I can truly whole-heartedly recommend.

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