COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

COSRX — Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser Review

COSRX is a Korean cosmetic brand that is famed for its tidy line of minimalistic and effective skincare products. Their packaging reflects the concept well—while I do appreciate cutesy or more fanciful design choices made by many other Korean brands, COSRX keeps their products neatly labeled and functionally housed.

That said, I would have preferred that their popular Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser came in a pump bottle. I just prefer dispensing cleansers from pumps because it makes it easier to get a second pump when one hand is already covered in cleanser!

But to be fair, it’s really easy to dispense the correct amount of this cleanser from the first squeeze. This cleanser is a clear gel, not to liquid and not too goopy. A pea-sized dollop or two will do, and I usually aim for a pea in the morning and pea-and-a-half after oil cleansing.

Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

As the name implies, this is a fine cleanser for mornings, when you don’t have any makeup or much grease on your face. It also works very well as a second cleanser, once you’ve removed makeup with an oil cleanser or similar. It won’t do a great job removing the day’s grime off your face, nor have they marketed it as such a cleanser.

The advertised low pH (they claim 5.0–6.0) is actually around 5.5, which is—not coincidentally—the approximate pH of the surface of your skin. Cleansers are often too alkaline (higher on the pH scale), which causes drying of the skin.


Mildly acidic pH 5.0 ~ 6.0 Good Morning Gel Cleanser
pH 5.0 ~6.0 : similar to skin’s natural pH level
Contain tea-tree oil : control oily skin, shrink pore size
Contain natural BHA : refine skin texture
Gel type : smooth and skin friendly

I have dry skin, and am usually careful with gel cleansers since they tend to be too drying on my face (and foam cleansers can just go away). The rub is, of course, that I generally can’t stand milky, creamy cleansers and I love gel cleansers! I’ve found a few gel and gel/cream type cleansers that I really like and that my skin handles well (fresh Soy Face Cleanser, Nuxe Melting Cleansing Gel, philosophy Purity, and pūr~lisse pūr~delicate Gentle Soy Milk Cleanser, sadly discontinued) but this is the first inexpensive one that I’ve found that does the trick.

Literally the only thing I do not like about this cleanser is the scent. It’s not a bad scent, really it’s just a blend of the various herbal ingredients so it’s overall a light, herbaceous and green scent. But there is something about it that strikes me as being off, and rather like mildew. It’s not horrible, and I can deal with it, but on the other hand, I love the herbal scent of philosophy Purity and the lush rose of Nuxe Melting Cleansing Gel—so I’m a bit torn as to which one I will repurchase!

As you can see from the ingredient list, there is no additional fragrance. Just a lot of plant extracts. Other reviewers have mentioned that it smells of tea tree oil. I’m not sure I remember tea tree oil smelling mildew-y, but then again, I don’t really like the smell of tea tree oil, either!


Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Polysorbate 20, Styrax Japonicus Branch/Fruit/Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Saccharomyces Ferment, Cryptomeria Japonica Leaf Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract, Pinus Palustris Leaf Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Flower Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Allantoin, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Betaine Salicylate, Citric Acid, Ethyl Hexanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA

I have a feeling I will probably stick with philosophy Purity (it’s actually very economical when I pick up a huge bottle on sale, and a little really goes a long way with it). But overall, COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is a really good, simple cleanser and I wholeheartedly recommend it. The scent is a bit funky to me, but it’s not awful, and if you like tea tree oil then you probably won’t have a problem.


COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser contains 150 mL and retails for US$11 (at Korean retailer Cosmetic Love [referral link], where it is currently 15% off).

COSRX (Cosmetic + RX). From their website: “COSRX means efficacious cosmetics that are RX-ed with natural skin care components based on dermatology.” The company is based in Seoul, South Korea.

🇰🇷Made in South Korea
🇰🇷Company based in South Korea

3 thoughts on “COSRX — Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser Review

  1. Not that I need to tell you this, but be careful around mildewey smells. I always err on the side of it’s just some combination of ingredients that are coming out smelling a bit moldy, but sometimes the product’s actually gone bad, or a component has gone bad. Heeding your sniffer is never a bad idea, especially with stuff you’re putting on your face (had a recent bad reaction to a sheet mask recently; never again, dude.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • UGH, you know that vaguely crossed my mind but I forgot about it. But this could definitely be. Nowadays companies avoid putting preservatives in products, and this had to be shipped halfway around the world. Thankfully I have not had any issues with the product. Cheers for the reminder!


  2. Hmm you’re turning me off from the scent! Herbal + mildew…? Is it like a wet rag or a wet dog smell? 😛
    I’m using a Trader Joe’s cleanser at the moment and it smells like… dry wall. I can’t explain it any other way but dry wall. So weird! I miss the Shiseido smell…


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