The 8 Best Korean Skincare Products for Acne in 2024

Author: Veruska Anconitano, Korean Beauty Lover And Korean Beauty JournalistAuthor information
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Veruska Anconitano
Veruska Anconitano is a Korean beauty expert, combining her expertise as a seasoned journalist with a deeply personal passion for K-beauty.
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Acne is one of the most sensitive topics when it comes to beauty, just like oily skin. That’s why we’ve written down our list with the Best Korean Skincare Products for Acne, in the hope to help all the people looking for effective products to treat their skin.

What is acne?

Acne is a skin disease involving the oil glands; they produce the so-called sebum in a small sachet on the skin. For different causes the “sachet” can get infected with bacteria, resulting in acne.

We’re inclined to think it only affects young people but in reality, it can affect every person at every age, even if it’s predominant among people of 11 to 30 years of age.

The causes of acne

There are multiple reasons why acne appears. Among them:

  • Hormonal factors
  • Greasy cosmetics
  • Stress
  • Period
  • Medications

Home remedies to cure acne

Lighter forms of acne can be treated at home and in general, it is a good thing to know how to treat acne, in case of problems. These are some of the most famous home remedies to cure acne:

  1. Diet: avoid fat food and focusing on vegetables, low carb foods can be a good way to get rid of acne;
  2. Tea-tree oil: this is one of the most famous remedies, and it can be applied directly on the area;
  3. Lemon: same as the tea-tree, it’s strongest so the skin can get dehydrated.

What are the best acne-fighting ingredients

If you’re looking to purchase specific products, these are the ingredients you’ve to check out because they’re the best acne-fighting ones.

  • Alpha-hydroxy acids
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Clay
  • Salicylic acid
  • Sulfur
  • Tea-tree oil
  • Lemon
Best Korean Exfoliators

Read Also: The Best Korean Exfoliators to exfoliate your skin

What to look for in makeup and beauty products for acne-prone skin

These are the types of makeup and beauty products you might want to buy to avoid breakouts in your acne-prone skin:

  • Non-comedogenic;
  • Oil-free;
  • Formulated with ingredients we’ve explained in the list above;

Ingredients formulated with cetearyl alcohol and oleyl alcohol have to be avoided at any cost because they’re occlusive. The same goes for silicone and silicone derivatives.

Prescription Acne Treatments

If you go to the doctor to get drugs and medicines for your acne, you can expect to be given one (or more than one) of these:

  • Antibiotics
  • Birth-control pills
  • Azelaic acid
  • Oral/Topical retinoids

The Best Korean Skincare Products for Acne

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

If you’re dealing with an inflamed pimple, the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patches are amazing. You only have to apply the patch over the affected area and wait for them to act.

COSRX – Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser

COSRX - Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser

A holy grail item for cleaning the face. It’s gentle and refreshing, it doesn’t contain any oil and it’s perfect for oily skin with acne. it contains salicylic acid and tea tree oil able to combat blemishes, remove excess oil and gently buff away dead skin cells, blackheads, whiteheads and other impurities.

COSRX – One Step Original Clear Pad

COSRX - One Step Original Clear Pad

The COSRX pads are soaked in betain salicylate that helps to combat breakouts and exfoliates to prevent sebum build-up. They’ve to be applied to cleansed skin.

Annie’s Way Aloe+Seaweed Anti-Acne Jelly Mask

Annie's Way Aloe+Seaweed Anti-Acne Jelly Mask

A wash-off formula that softens blackheads and dries acne, making it easy to scrape them away for enhanced skin clarity with improved health. The Jelly Mask is really useful against acne.

Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

Using an oil cleanser on oily skin is beneficial and this Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil is the perfect product for oily skin. It’s formulated with black bean oil and packed with antioxidant-rich black sesame and black currant seed oil.

Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon

Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon

This chemical exfoliator works beyond the surface to deep clean and dissolves any impurities lurking beneath. The Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon is a must-have!

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum

Light and highly hydrating, Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum calms and cools the skin but most of all it keeps the skin’s pH level all day long.

SOME BY MI 30 Days Miracle Acne Clear Foam

SOME BY MI 30 Days Miracle Acne Clear Foam

The SOME BY MI 30 Days Miracle Acne Clear Foam treats acne at every level thanks to its 5,000ppm of salicylic acid (AHA, BHA, and PHA). AHA refine skin texture and increase skin firmness, BHA alleviates symptoms of acne-prone skin, PHA moisturizes skin, and removes dead skin cells without irritation. This product contains 70% naturally-derived compounds and the exclusive soothing care component Truecica.

How to clean your skin with acne?

A good skincare routine is important when you’re prone to acne: the routine doesn’t have to be complicated at all, but you need to establish what’s important and really necessary, based on your skin type and the problem you’re facing. There are 4 important things you need to follow when it comes to cleaning skin prone to breakouts.

Always cleanse your skin gently

You don’t need to rub your face to get it cleaned; instead, your goal is to clean it gently and focusing on the good products. Never use harsh bar soaps, antibacterial hand washes, and any kind of strong soap.

Always use a toner

Toners can help remove excess oil and also hydrate your skin. They are essential to clean acne-prone skin. Make sure the alcohol content in the product you’ve chosen is not too high because alcohol can be drying and irritating.

Apply a medication if needed

Once you’ve cleaned and applied the toner, immediately put on your acne treatment. This is a perfect time because the skin is clean and it’s prone to accept creams and treatments better.

Apply a gel

After your treatment and unless is specified in a different way, your routine should always end with the application of a gel. A gel helps reduce dry skin and at the same time allow the medication to absorb better; always go for an oil-free and noncomedogenic gel.

Read Also: Korean Skincare Routine

korean sunscreen

Sun and acne

Aside from choosing the best products ever and following a specific beauty routine, you always need to apply sunscreen. Either you’re using products that exfoliate your skin or not, sunscreen is absolutely necessary to keep the skin in a good condition.

How to prevent acne or manage it

There are several things one can do to prevent acne or to manage, that complement the beauty routine:

  • Wash your face no more than twice each day with warm water and soap made for acne;
  • Do not scrub the skin or burst/pop the pimples;
  • Avoid touching your face;
  • Hold the smartphone away from the face when talking;
  • Wash hands frequently;
  • Choose makeup for sensitive skin and avoid oil-based products;
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure;
  • Avoid emotional stress.

Can I use a derma roller on my face?

Dermarolling is one of the ways to smooth acne and it is effective. Not that one needs approval, but the Korean beauty routine for acne allows the use of the derma rolls. Dermarolling is a form of micro-needling and it involves using a mini wheel covered with hundreds of tiny needles to prick the face. The use of the derma roller is easy: roll horizontally over the forehead, cheeks, chin back and forth. Then, go vertically on the forehead up and down up to three times. Finally, go diagonally across the face.
These repetitive movements will stimulate the production of collagen and at the same will help cleaning the skin by removing impurities and dead cells. This means the reduction of the acne.

There are different types of derma rollers and of course the larger the needle you use, the more painful it’s going to be but, to be honest, it is a perfectly bearable pain.

The results are not overnight miracles but if you follow a Korean beauty routine for acne and you combine it with the use of a derma roller, you’ll notice the results.

Make sure you always sanitize your roller and that you always follow these steps:

  1. Wash your face to remove any makeup and dirt;
  2. Use the derma roller;
  3. Apply a serum;
  4. Apply a night cream.
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