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How to use a Korean skincare routine for acne-prone skin

To use a Korean skincare routine for acne-prone skin, you need to find the right ingredients for your skin. Many Korean products can help your skin with acne. Whether you have acne that doesn’t go away or an odd breakout, it’s essential to follow a skincare routine that treats acne scars and stops new ones from appearing.

How to use a Korean skincare routine for acne-prone skin
Korean skincare routine for acne-prone skin. Photo from Imaging Inflammatory Acne: Lesion Detection and Tracking.

Some of you might need more time to do the whole step-by-step skin care procedure. But there are three key steps you should never forget: clean, treat, and guard. You can take advantage of this article if you’d like to learn how to use a Korean skincare routine for acne-prone skin.

What characterizes skin that is prone to acne

Not only may acne bother teenagers 1, but it can also bother adults. However, there are methods for managing acne-prone skin. In the medical community, acne is referred to as acne vulgaris and is a chronic facial illness. The number and location of pimples on the body are ever-changing. You most likely have acne-prone skin if you’ve observed that your acne flares up at certain periods.

A recent study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology investigated these subclinical characteristics and potential treatment options.2 The study found that a combination of:

  • Probiotic supplementation: with Lactobacillus strains.
  • Topical medications containing azelaic acid and retinoids.

Acne-prone skin goes beyond the occasional breakout and is often characterized by specific signs and causes:

  • Recurring breakouts, including blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, or deeper cysts
  • Oily skin throughout the day
  • Enlarged pores
  • Flare-ups linked to hormonal fluctuations (e.g., during your menstrual cycle)

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Korean skincare routine for acne-prone skin

How to know if you have acne-prone skin

If you often get blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and cysts, especially in clusters or on certain parts of your face, you may have acne-prone skin. Oily skin, enlarged pores, and a familial history of acne may also cause this problem. Untreated acne-prone skin may cause scarring and discolouration. Managing and caring for your skin may reduce acne and improve your appearance.

The key steps in a Korean skincare routine for acne-prone skin

There are a few main things that a Korean acne treatment regimen does. Let’s look at the most important steps and why they’re important. To use a Korean skincare routine for acne-prone skin consists of the following steps:

Double Cleanse your face

Double cleansing is a Korean beauty tip that involves using an oil-based cleaner first and then a water-based one to remove dirt, sunscreen, and makeup for a deep clean. People who worry that oil-based soaps will clog pores are wrong; they can help balance the skin and keep moisture in. Choose Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser, which has natural BHA to smooth and protect your skin and tea tree oil to keep it from getting too oily.

Exfoliant with AHA/BHA

Exfoliation is very important for acne-prone skin. To help avoid and get rid of acne, blackheads, and pimples, you should clean your face once or twice a week with Miracle Toner. Chemical exfoliants containing AHAs (such as glycolic acid) or BHAs (such as salicylic acid) are more desirable due to their lower abrasiveness compared to physical scrubs.

Hydrating Toner

If you use the right toner, your pores will look smaller, and your oil output will be more balanced. Toner evens out your skin’s pH levels and gets it ready for the next steps of treatment after washing and scrubbing. But the right cleaner can help fight pimples as well. Look for hydrating toners with soothing ingredients like Aloe or Centella asiatica.


A clarifying mask helps boost the balance of acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide clarifying masks remove oil and dirt from pores. Apply spot therapy to specific blemishes. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid in spot treatments penetrate deep into the skin to reduce irritation, redness, and swelling and fight breakout-causing germs. Last, a Vitamin C-rich antioxidant serum may prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring.


If you think that because you have acne-prone skin, you don’t need to moisturize, you are wrong. Even beautiful people with thick skin shouldn’t skip the holy grail of skincare. A light lotion that isn’t oily or greasy should be a part of your skincare practice.


Don’t even think about skipping sunscreen, even if you tend to break out. Did you know that the sun can actually make acne inflammation and scarring worse? It’s true! Choose a sunscreen that won’t clog pores and make sure to apply it generously every morning.

Ingredients to look for in Korean skincare products for acne

Salicylic Acid: A potent BHA that effectively eliminates dead skin cells within the pores, aiding in the prevention of breakouts.

Tea Tree Oil is a fantastic option for those seeking a natural solution to soothe irritated skin and combat acne-causing bacteria. It possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that work wonders.

Centella Asiatica is a fantastic plant extract that works wonders in calming irritated skin, reducing redness and inflammation, and even aiding in the healing of wounds.

Niacinamide is a fantastic ingredient that can do wonders for your skin. It helps to regulate oil production, brighten your complexion, and even fade those pesky acne scars. It’s definitely worth considering adding to your skincare routine!

Hyaluronic Acid is a fantastic ingredient that works wonders for your skin. It effortlessly attracts moisture, leaving your skin looking plump and well-hydrated without any greasy residue.

Snail Mucin is a unique ingredient packed with moisturizing and restorative properties. It helps calm inflammation, reduces redness, and aids in the healing process of acne scars. Learn more about the benefits of snail mucin in my dedicated article.

Common questions about Korean skincare for acne

What is a Korean skincare routine for acne-prone?

A Korean skincare routine involves several steps to deal with acne. You start with double cleansing, followed by using toners and essences. And don’t forget to moisturize twice a day! Adding a weekly mask and exfoliation is a common part of Korean skincare routines.

Is Korean skincare good for acne?

Korean skincare is ideal for acne-prone skin, featuring key ingredients: Salicylic acid clears pores, tea tree oil reduces inflammation, Centella Asiatica heals, niacinamide regulates oil, hyaluronic acid hydrates without clogging, and snail mucin soothes and repairs.

Korean skincare routines have many steps. Can I simplify it and still fight acne?

Yes, Korean skincare has 10-12 steps. If you are busy, double-clean your face in the morning. Put on the toner and moisturize. After this, use the serum. Dont forget the sun protection.

My acne flares up during my period. Does a Korean skincare routine help with hormonal acne?

Yes, a Korean skincare routine can help manage hormonal acne. Here’s how:

  • Double cleansing: Removes excess oil and impurities that contribute to breakouts.
  • Exfoliating acids (BHAs/PHAs): Unclog pores and prevent new acne.
  • Soothing ingredients: Reduce inflammation and redness (tea tree oil, Centella asiatica).
  • Targeted treatments: Acne patches and peeling sticks tackle active breakouts.
  • Hydration: Lightweight moisturizers balance skin without clogging pores.
  • Sun protection: Prevents worsening of acne scars and hyperpigmentation.
How does double cleansing help acne-prone skin?

Double cleansing is highly effective for acne-prone skin. It starts with an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup, sunscreen, and excess oils, lifting impurities that may clog pores. Following up with a water-based cleanser ensures deeper cleaning without stripping natural oils, helping remove dirt, bacteria, and pollutants that accumulate during the day.

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Source: Ohlolly, Wikipedia


  1. Hay, R.J.; Johns, N.E.; Williams, H.C.; Bolliger, I.W.; Dellavalle, R.P.; Margolis, D.J.; Marks, R.; Naldi, L.; Weinstock, M.A.; Wulf, S.K.; et al. The Global Burden of Skin Disease in 2010: An Analysis of the Prevalence and Impact of Skin Conditions. J. Investig. Dermatol. 2014, 134, 1527–1534.[MDPI] [Google Scholar] ↩︎
  2. Characterization of Acne-Prone Skin with Reflectance Confocal Microscopy and Optical Coherence Tomography and Modifications Induced by Topical Treatment and Probiotic Supplementation by [MDPI] ↩︎

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash.

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