There is absolutely no doubt that acne can really strip one’s confidence. And we all know that in life, confidence is key. So if you have acne, the struggle is real.
Let’s admit it, getting flawless skin is the biggest win! There is no doubt that we all want it. And with K-beauty, achieving it gets easier and easier, especially with the right consistency and patience.
Wait no longer; let’s talk about how to get flawless skin with the ultimate power of K-Beauty.
How Korean Skin Care Can Help Your Acne
What does Korean skincare bring to the table that other skincare regimens do not? Korean skincare focuses on natural ingredients to fill all of the skin’s needs layer by layer. It supplements the skin with important nutrients that make the skin healthy from within and glow on the outside.
How does Korean skincare do all of this? It’s accomplished with its infamous 10-step skincare routine.
Let’s break down the 10-step Korean skincare routine to understand exactly how Korean skincare can clear up acne like magic.
Step 1: oil-based cleansers to prevent acne
Oil-based cleansers deeply & thoroughly clean out oil-based impurities such as makeup, sebum, sunscreen, and more.
It’s the first product used in double cleansing. Why use oil-based? Traditional cleansers aren’t potent enough or don’t have the ability to rigorously get rid of oil-based products laid on the skin.
Remember, residue on your skin leads to clogged pores and breakouts. That’s why this step is essential in Korean skincare to prevent and treat acne.
Step 2: water-based cleanser to reduce acne
Any form of dirt can lead to bacteria build-up which of course, brings you acne. That’s why it’s crucial that after cleansing your face, it should be squeaky clean without any residue at all.
After an oil-based cleanser, the next step is cleaning your face again with a water-based one. This ensures that there is absolutely no more dirt, impurities, and pollutants left on your face. Again, this a step crucial to keep acne at bay.
Step 3: Exfoliating to prevent acne
Exfoliating removes pore-clogging dead skin cells, which are the root cause of many types of acne.
It also reveals new skin, which brightens up the complexion. Regular exfoliation, about 2 to 3 times a week, also greatly contributes to an improved skin texture and a reduction in dark spots and acne scars, regardless if you have mild or severe acne.
However, it’s important to still be cautious and avoid over-exfoliating your face since too much of it can aggravate the skin.
Step 4: Application of essence to control acne
The ingredients in essence boost the skin’s nutrients and increase cell turnover.
This helps the skin absorb products better. So with an essence, your acne spot treatment becomes more absorbed and thus more effective on the skin.
It even expedites the process of skin healing, so fresh pimples heal faster than usual.
Best part? if your essence is infused with vitamin C, it can lighten stubborn acne scars and improve skin tone.
Step 5: Application of serum to prevent acne
Most serums include ingredients such as Vitamin C, Salicylic acid, Tea tree oil, or Niacinamide. These active ingredients are superheroes that combat acne breakouts, excess sebum production, and skin irritation.
The role of salicylic acid and Tea tree oil is to get rid of excess oil and control acne formation. Salicylic acid works specifically by breaking down the dead cells on the skin’s top layer.
Vitamin C serums have anti-inflammatory properties and help reduce sebum production. With lower oil production, there will be fewer chances of zits popping up.
Serums, with their many acne-fighting acids, can gently yet effectively reduce the formation of other skin concerns such as blackheads and whiteheads.
Step 6: Application of sheet masks to improve acne
When you have acne, you may notice your face is usually inflamed. Sheet masks help reduce inflammation and balance troubled skin.
Because they reduce skin inflammation and irritation, they prevent breakouts and help improve the look of your complexion. Especially when the sheet masks have ingredients that target pimples, such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
On top of that, they also hydrate the skin, making it supple and glowy after application.
Step 7: Application of eye cream to prevent acne
Pimples can form anywhere on the face, even near the eyes.
While an eye cream’s main purpose is to brighten up and moisturize the areas near the eyes, it can also combat pimples since some include ingredients that remove old skin cells that can build up inside the pores.
An eye cream also acts as a protective barrier against the skin, which means it can protect your skin from pollution.
Step 8: Application of emulsion to control acne
Emulsions are an important element of Korean skincare. Emulsions bring back moisture into your skin and balance the skin barrier. A lack of moisture causes the skin to produce excess sebum in order to compensate. Emulsions hydrate the skin and combat sebum production.
They are also non-comedogenic, meaning they don’t aggravate any skin concerns because they don’t have ingredients that clog pores.
And because clogged pores plus too much sebum production equals pimples, you can ensure that emulsions can seal in hydration most safely and effectively.
To learn more about how emulsions can help you achieve the skin of your dreams, click here.
Step 9: Application of moisturizer to deter acne
Did you know that when your skin is too dry, it comes up with a way to compensate for its dryness? Thus, it produces more oil!
With the production of excess oil, more breakouts happen. A moisturizer lessens that chance because it provides just the right amount of hydration to balance and protect your skin barrier, even if you have oily skin.
Step 10: Application of SPF to prevent acne
When acne is exposed to the sun’s harmful rays, it flares up & makes everything worse.
That’s where the importance of SPF protection comes in. It’s a common misconception that because SPF is known to be oily or greasy, it aggravates your acne.
That’s totally false!
The right SPF applied daily is actually ideal for acne-prone skin because it protects the skin from further sun damage and scarring.
Many sunscreens have zinc oxide and other anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness and inflammation.
Finding a non-comedogenic sunscreen is key. Be sure to scroll down to the best Korean skincare products to treat your acne to find out which SPF we recommend for acne-prone skin.
How Korean Skin Care for Acne is Different from Western Skin Care
To start, it’s integral to know what makes Korean skincare stand out among all the others. Since it’s been a well-favored routine all around the globe, it must have some real life-changing results!
So what makes it different? Specifically, what makes it different from its counterpart–western skincare?
First, western skincare focuses on revealing a new layer of the skin through exfoliation. It’s focused on correction rather than prevention.
In contrast, prevention is the name of the game in Korean skincare. While K Beauty has always emphasized the importance of SPF application, western skincare has only in recent years put more value into applying sunscreen for improved skin health and appearance.
And while Western skincare also values anti-aging, it doesn’t always highlight a holistic approach like Korean skin care.
Korean skin care is ultra-focused on natural, nontoxic, and often cruelty-free ingredients. Much more so than Western skin care.
And what makes Korean skincare most distinguishable from the West is its notorious 10-step skincare routine.
The 10-step Korean skincare routine consists of:
Step 1: Face cleansing with an oil-based cleanser
Step 2: Face cleansing with a water-based cleanser
Step 3: Exfoliating
Step 4: Application of essence
Step 5: Application of serum
Step 6: Application of sheet mask
Step 7: Application of eye cream
Step 8: Application of emulsion
Step 9: Application of moisturizer
Step 10: Application of SPF
All these steps make up a routine that really gets into the layers of the skin, nourishing and bringing out the healthiest version possible.
When done consistently, you can count on it to clear up your skin & reveal its beautiful inner glow.
The Best Korean Skincare Products to Treat Your Acne
After giving you the essence of how the Korean skincare routine can clear up your skin, here are some Korean skincare products we recommend to give you a smooth, flawless complexion.
For your cleanser, you should never miss out on the Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser. What makes this a top-tier cleanser for acne-prone skin is that it has a mildly acidic ph level making it suitable for all skin types.
Because of this, it restores the ph balance of the skin keeping the moisture in and the bacteria out. All of its ingredients are known to be pore-friendly, so you’re assured that clogged pores are never an option!
An exfoliator that gets rid of dead skin cells but still soothes & balances oil is the Mother Made Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel. Despite it being an exfoliator, it isn’t too abrasive on the face. It’s made with moisture-rich cellulose fiber which doesn’t apply a lot of stress on troubled skin.
Although, you can best believe that your dull and flaky skin is set to disappear once and for all once you try out this product. It rubs and collects grime gently but efficiently. But what makes it a goodie for acne is that it helps fade away the appearance of acne spots as it reveals new & glowy skin!
This is best for those with severe acne because the beads are very soft. If you prefer a more abrasive exfoliant, you may choose the Black Sugar Mask Wash Off!
The Some By Mi AHA-BHA-PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner contains some very powerful ingredients, that cleanse the skin from within & remove dead skin cells effectively. You may think that because it’s filled with chemical exfoliants, it would be harsh on the skin. It’s the opposite!
It’s actually gentle and never feels overly dry, making it perfect for acne-prone skin.
Plus, aside from the chemical exfoliants, it has more natural exfoliants infused in it! It even contains Tea Tree extract, Papaya extract, and Witch Hazel extract that perform well in removing dead skin cells.
Still doubting if it’s a good acne product? To give you extra assurance, this toner has passed the dermatological testing for sensitive skin. So, compared to others, it has less chance of irritating your skin!
The COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is non-comedogenic, soothing, and has all sorts of healing properties that your skin will surely thank you for. It helps acne because it calms the redness of the skin, and prevents new breakouts with its 96% snail secretion.
This special ingredient is key in giving your skin a boost as its fights outside aggressors that ravage the skin!
What makes the COSRX Centella Blemish Cream the ultimate acne treatment is its power to repair acne skin damage. It soothes blemishes and lightens up scars with its infusion of about 50% of Centella Asiatica Leaf Water.
It also controls the sebum production of the skin which halts the process of zits popping up! Its formulation targets the concerns of those with acne-prone skin the most since it’s non-oily, nutrient-packed, and super duper gentle!
Looking for the perfect moisturizer for any situation? The COSRX Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap is calling out to you!
This intensely hydrating moisturizer penetrates deep into the layers of the skin. It’s known to be one of the best daily acne moisturizers as it has no oil & gives enough nourishment for sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Best part? If you have oily skin, this is perfect for you! It doesn’t leave any greasy film and it’s completely weightless, while still giving you that supple feel!
Finding a suitable sunscreen can be quite challenging if you are acne-prone. Luckily, the ETUDE HOUSE Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF50+ / PA++++ is here to save the day. This 100% mineral sunscreen is ideal for sensitive skin types because it’s light, non-oily, and does not leave any white cast.
It’s also formulated with Aloe Vera & Hyaluronic Acid to supply generous hydration. It contains Centella Asiatica & Mistletoe leaves to soothe irritated skin.
So while your skin is being protected with this sunscreen’s 50+ broad spectrum, it also has a soothing feeling and prevents future pimples by enhancing the skin’s natural barrier.
And, yes! It’s lightweight & leaves no white cast. Perfect in every way, shape, and form indeed!
What Causes Acne?
If you want to target your acne & bid your sweet goodbye to it, you should first know the roots of where it usually comes from.
What causes acne? There are numerous causes, but one of the most common is excess sebum. Sebum is a component of oil produced by the sebaceous glands. Specifically, it’s when sebum and dead skin combined block the hair follicles.
However, that’s not always the case. Some people have dry skin yet still manage to suffer from acne! And when there are clogged pores, there is an acne breakout waiting to happen.
Here are the top 10 causes of acne:
- Too much oil (excess sebum)
- Genetic influence
- Frequent touching of skin
- Pore-clogging makeup or skincare
- A change in the environment
- Popping zits
We hope this article has helped you to see how the right Korean skin care products can dramatically improve your acne! For more on Korean Beauty and Skincare check out these articles: