As someone who’s had acne since the ripe age of 13, it’s hard to imagine a life without pesky, painful bumps, enlarged pores, and a skillet’s worth of grease on my face. But I explore Korean skincare for acne and I follow these tips. If you have acne- prone skin, it’s crucial to use a combination of products to treat your problem areas- gentle cleanser to sweep dirt and bacteria off your face, mild exfoliants from serums, and gentle non-comedogenic (pore-clogging) moisturizers.
I appreciate that there’s many Korean skincare products that can target any of these concerns. The more products I find, the more I can tailor to my skin type. I do my best to find products to calm my acne- prone, sensitive skin and also diminish my acne scars.
WHAT IS ACNE?
Acne (acne vulgaris) is a skin condition caused by clogged pores and bacteria buildup. It occurs when hair follicles on your skin get clogged with dead skin cells and oil.
Acne is basically the result of hyperproliferation- of sebum, of dead skin cells, and thus bacteria. When your skin doesn’t turn over and regenerate as quickly as dead skin cells form, your pores become clogged.
As we all know, this turns into pesky little blackheads, whiteheads, and in a more severe form- cysts and papules.
There’s many methods to cure acne. You’ll find it beneficial to use products that suit your skin type. Also make sure to avoid direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time and apply sunscreen everyday. Here are my tips for Korean skincare for acne:
6 TIPS OF KOREAN SKINCARE FOR ACNE
Here are all tips you should save note to fight acne with Korean beauty products, let’s start:
Tip 1: You’re gonna need an oil cleanser.
I’ve already written at length about why oil cleansers are essential, for all skin types. As Korean skincare for acne tips: If you’re acne prone, though, I will go out on a limb and call oil cleansing Super Essential. These first cleansers, as they’re commonly referred to, help to dissolve oil based makeup and oily sebum. A foaming cleanser cannot remove 100% of makeup or sebum, which acne prone skin typically has an excess of. Remember to follow your cleansing oil with a low-pH foaming cleanser. Using a foaming cleanser with a low pH will help to keep the moisture barrier of your skin calm and healthy, helping to keep skin acne free by allowing skin to remain in it’s own healthy pH range. If you don’t wear makeup everyday, I suggest doing an oil cleanse twice a week to deep cleanse the skin. You can leave your oil cleanser on for a few minutes. Then gently massage your face to help grime dissolve and dislodge from pores.
Tip 2: Savor that cleansing time!
(I recommend a full minute and a half of foam cleansing- just trust me.)
As a person with acne prone skin, I’ve found that cleansing can be disappointing sometimes, when you’re spending an extended period touching your face and feeling the bumps and lumps that are annoying and stressing you out on a daily basis. Try to remember that cleansing is actually super important, and you’re actively working to clean up and help those spots to heal as you’re gently massaging that beautiful, pH balanced cleanser into your skin. Take the time to take a mental inventory of what’s up with your skin today. Is the pimple on your chin smaller than yesterday? That’s amazing, and you should give yourself credit for that small victory. Once you’ve rinsed off your face, take a look at your skin to see if you’re experiencing any dark spots or scarring, and take stock of the spots that are fading. Each day, you’ll see a little progress. By doing these daily check-ins, you’ll be more aware of what’s happening and you’ll make skincare and masking decisions that are better informed.
Also, when you’re cleansing, remember to use just the pads of your fingers to create little circles all over your face. Be gentle and thorough.
Tip 3: Vitamin C/exfoliation
Vitamin C is a recent addition to my routine. I’ve owned Vitamin C serums for months now, but they ended up in my fridge in hopes of staving off oxidation after an initial test of both. Here’s the thing about Vitamin C: it will rip the fluff through your skin if you have blemishes and the necessary waiting time to let it work is a pain. I kind of love the skin destruction effect, since it means that even stubborn cystic acne is forced to have a reckoning and die, but there’s a whole lot of drying and purging all at once. Don’t start this immediately before a big event or something if you have acne because, seriously, your skin will be coming to Jesus whether it wants to or not. This apparently has brightening effects and it helps with lightening hyperpigmentation left over from past blemishes. At this point I’m still riding the crazy train, but my skin does look quite bright.
I apply a ton of this since I feel like my time is more valuable than the serum. I’d rather waste serum than time (I apply a lot to ensure that all parts of my face are coated when I haven’t known about any Korean skincare for acne). I give it 15 minutes to do its thing, spray it with some water micro mist, and then wipe off anything that wants to budge. Sometimes I straight up rinse it off in the sink. If I were to apply skincare over this much dried Vitamin C serum I’d have gritty, peely makeup by the end of the day.
Tip 4: Find the ingredients and textures your skin loves…
The ingredients that work for some people might not work for others. Tea Tree, for example, never helped my acne at all, while for other people it’s the only thing that will work. In fact, the LJH Tea Tree essence is an amazing acne busting product that I recommend all the time to other acne prone people with great success.
The only way to figure out what ingredients your skin and acne are improved by is to do a little research. Look at the ingredients in the products you’re sure help your skin already. Then search for some different textures or variations on those.
… and know which ingredients you can use to your advantage!
Licorice and niacinamide are two common ingredients featured in K-beauty products that will help lighten up dark spots and PIH, while Honey and propolis are both antibacterial wonder-ingredients that will soothe breakouts. Knowing your parsley from your sea kelp is helpful. Take a moment when you’re checking out your skin and think about which mask or serum you should feature in your routine on any given day to help get your skin back on track.
Tip 5: Hydrating layers are your best friend
Korean skincare for acne will complete with that step. Move over, angry red spots and enlarged pores can both be calmed and minimized with layers of hydration. I like to use a watery toner and first essence right after my exfoliators to plump up my skin and minimize any flakiness post breakout or sensitive patches. Watery textures are great because they help to moisturize, which you need. But they also don’t overwhelm or exacerbate the the skin when it’s in finicky breakout mode.
To apply any kind of essence, serum, or ampoule: keep in mind that a good method is smoothing the product between your palms and pressing your palms into your face evenly and gently. Continuing until the product is no longer tacky before moving onto the next step of your routine. This helps your skin to absorb each of your products effectively, and minimizes irritation that comes from tugging and pulling at the skin. It also helps you to take a moment to enjoy the act of caring for your skin.
Tip 6: Don’t touch your face.
Just don’t do it! Also, change your pillowcase every week for the obvious reasons. That way, you’re not laying your face on a bacteria laden surface every night. That’s all my tips of Korean skincare for acne as my experience for you.