Hydrium Centella Asiatica Aqua Soothing Ampoule
COSRX’s Hydrium Centella Asiatica Aqua Soothing Ampoule is a good hydrating serum, but one whose formula we wish were a bit more robust.
Before we get down to the heart of this review, first, a quick note on ampoules. From a technical definition it refers to a vial containing solutions, but in the world of Korean skin care (K Beauty), ampoules are essentially serums – concentrated formulations of key ingredients meant to bolster a skin care routine.
This particular ampoule comes in a frosted bottle with a dropper dispenser. Its texture is serum-like and lightweight, making it workable for all skin types. While it is light, it has an interesting effect when initially worked into skin, in that it almost appears to “foam” (particularly if you’re using this in conjunction with one of COSRX’s toners). This effect goes away after a couple of minutes, when it sinks into skin with no residue – still, it’s something to note if you encounter this and wonder what’s going on!
As advertised, this has Centella asiatica (tiger grass) extract front and center in its ingredients. In addition to having antioxidant properties, tiger grass extract also soothes and helps to heal skin. In addition, there’s also hydrating algae and sugarcane extracts, and calming allantoin.
This all adds up to a good mix of hydrating and soothing ingredients, though we wish it had a little more going for it, particularly a greater complement of antioxidants.
Still – this is a good fragrance-free serum that works for all skin types.
- Light texture is suitable for all skin types.
- Contains soothing and antioxidant Centella asiatica extract.
- Includes proven hydrating ingredients.
- Fragrance free.
- Slight foaming effect upon initial application.
- Formula would be more impressive with additional beneficial ingredients.
A lightweight, fast-absorbing ampoule that delivers immediate, pure hydration even for angry, red acne skin.
COSRX is one of a growing number of Korean beauty brands – a category known by many simply as K Beauty – that’s gaining a foothold in the Western cosmetics world. COSRX got its start in 2014, though it’s essentially an offspring of older “sister” brands, including C20 and Gatzmen, which have longer-standing histories in the Korean market. As the story goes, COSRX came about after the parent company compiled a decade’s worth of research based on customer data and beauty consumer research.
The brand name, as you might have guessed, is a mash-up of “cosmetics” and “RX” (for prescription), and illustrates COSRX’s overall philosophy. Whereas some other K-beauty brands are known for whimsical packaging and brightly-colored products, CosRX’s focus is minimalistic packaging and products designed to target specific skin care concerns, each highlighted by active ingredients.
To that end, the brand is largely successful. Most of the packaging is designed to protect light- and air-sensitive ingredients, though there are some jars in the mix. The formulas focus on active ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids, hyaluronic acid, and beta hydroxy acid (though it should be noted, COSRX uses BHA derivatives, since salicylic acid’s use is restricted in Korea).
Most of the exfoliants are formulated at the optimal pH for exfoliation, which is between 3 and 4, and are fragrance free. Unfortunately there are some formulas that include natural ingredients that can potentially sensitize skin, including pine and cedar extracts, and anise fruit extract – proof once again that natural isn’t always better! Some products also contain drying alcohol, which is interesting since other products are specifically advertised as being “alcohol-free.”
Overall, this line is worth considering, especially if you prefer a more targeted approach to skin care that focuses on science rather than trends. For more information, visit cosrx.kr, the brand’s official Korean site. COSRX is available for purchase at several U.S. and online retailers, including Ulta, Amazon, and SokoGlam.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.