Last Updated on April 15, 2022 by Olivia Herlihy RN
Are you looking for Korean skincare for acne? These are the tested and approved Korean products that suit acne prone skin.
The Koreans are well known for their multi-stepped skincare routines. If you are trying to build a skincare routine for acne-prone skin the below list will help you form your full routine.
The list includes the best Korean toner, face mask, serum and cleanser for acne prone skin. They address a variety of skincare concerns including cystic and hormonal acne, as well as acne scars, and would suit all age groups including teenage skin!
This Post is all about the best Korean skincare for acne
Korean Skincare for Acne
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1. NEOGEN – Real Fresh Green Tea Cleansing Stick
This green tea cleansing stick is perfect for removing dirt and makeup from acne prone skin! It won the 2017 Teen Vogue Acne Awards and was labelled “one of the coolest creations to come out of Korea”.
To use the cleanser stick you simply twist it from the bottom to reveal the product, and then smooth it over damp skin. Once enough of the product is on your skin massage it in with your hands until it forms a lather. Finally rinse it off with warm to cool water.
The Real Fresh Green Tea Cleansing Stick is made with thirteen natural oils which breakdown SPF and makeup. The cleanser has a low pH which is ideal for cleansing the skin, and the green tea leaves help to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. With regular use your skin will become clearer and brighter.
This oil cleanser is packed full of natural ingredients which promote clear skin and help to remove excess oil. It is a fantastic travel-friendly, all-in-one cleanser, created by Soko Glam co-founder Charlotte Cho!
2. THEN I MET YOU – The Skin Balancing Duo
The Skin Balancing Duo is made up of both a toner and an essence. The products are supposed to be used after doubling cleansing with The Cleansing Duo.
Once you have cleansed your skin, shake the Birch Milk Refining Toner, and pour a small amount onto your hands. Rubs your hands together and then pat the toner onto your face and neck. Then, once the toner has dried repeat the process with the essence.
The two products are designed to work together and compliment each other to promote a firmer, clearer complexion.
The birch toner contains 75% birch juice, which along with squalane and marshmallow root extract, helps to keep moisture in the skin. It also contains a 1% concentration of AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and PHAs (polyhydroxy acids) to help exfoliate any dead skin cells and unclog pores.
The essence has a more velvety, silky texture compared with the toner. When applied over the top it helps to seal in even more moisture. It contains over 80% naturally fermented ingredients, which are known for their anti-aging properties.
This duo is specifically recommended to help acne suffers achieve honey skin!
3. BENTON – Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream
This cream is specifically recommended for acne prone and sensitive skin types. It contains snail mucin which is extremely gentle on sensitive skin and helps the skin to retain moisture.
The product is called “steam cream” because steam is used to emulsify the cream. Steam creates a very loose and silky emulsion which is broken down easily on the skin. It absorbs well and doesn’t leave any greasy residue.
Added bee venom also helps to promote collagen production in the skin and hyaluronic acid increases skin hydration.
4. SOME BY MI – AHA-BHA-PHA 30Days Miracle Toner
If you are looking for Korean exfoliator this is the best exfoliating Korean toner for acne! Due to its effectiveness in clearing the skin it has become a cult favourite and one bottle is sold every three seconds!
It contains three different types of exfoliant (AHA, BHA and PHA), as well as witch hazel, papaya, tea tree water, niacinamide and adenosine. This combination works together to keep the skin smooth and clear. It soothes any inflammation and makes the skin appear brighter.
The formula is specifically designed for sensitive, acne prone skin and has an optimal pH of 5.5. It is also free from fragrance, colours, parabens, sulfates, alcohol, mineral oil and silicone.
5. THE KLOG – Soft Shield Pimple Patch
Buy from: Soko Glam
These patches are applied onto spots overnight to speed up the healing process by gently absorbing impurities from beneath the skin.
Each patch has beveled edges so it fits securely. They have been developed to mould to curved areas of the face like the nose, chin or jawline.
They work well for all types of acne including hormonal and cystic acne. Each patch blends into the tone of the skin to appear discrete and they work on all skin types and tones!
6. DR ORACLE – A-Thera Cream
Acne prone skin needs the right moisturizer! The Dr Oracle A-Thera Cream moisturises the skin but does not clog the pores. It is a lightweight, non greasy formula which soothes and heals the skin.
One of the main ingredients is bamboo extract which has been proven to help wounds heal faster. Using this product in your skincare routine along with other acne treatments will help acne scars to heal quicker.
The product feels like a thin gel which absorbs quickly into the skin. It effectively hydrates and moisturises the skin leaving a matte finish.
7. BENTON – Snail Bee Ultimate Serum
The Snail Bee Ultimate Serum is the best Korean serum for acne. It consists of a base of snail secretion filtrate which has been fermented and then filtered. This helps the skin to heal acne scars and dark spots.
The product also contains bee venom which is a key ingredient in Korean skincare for acne since it calms and targets breakouts. The formula also contains tea tree and camellia sinensis leaf which also soothe the skin and calm inflammation.
Added niacinamide and adenosine brighten the overall complexion and leaves the skin clearer and smoother.
8. BENTON – Tea Tree Cleansing Water
This cleaning water is designed to be used as the first cleanse in your routine, to remove the first layer of makeup.
To use the product, simply saturate a cotton pad and then sweep it across your face. You will see makeup coming off onto the cotton wool.
The water contains 70% tea tree leaf which has soothing and acne fighting properties. It effectively removes dirt and grime while treating the pores with antibacterial ingredients to stop spots from forming.
Tea tree oil is an excellent natural ingredient for fighting acne since it has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Tea tree is one of the best natural remedies for troubled skin to prevent acne breakouts.
9. ACWELL Bubble Free pH Balancing Cleanser
This cleanser contains salicylic acid which is known to help prevent breakouts. It has a low pH of 5.5 which is the optimal pH for cleansing skin, and comes in a lightweight gel formula.
Other ingredients include Centella, aloe, witch hazel and licorice root. This combination cleanses and brightens the skin, removing dirt and unclogging pores.
This is a top recommended cleanser if you are building a Korean skincare routine for acne prone skin.
10. NEOGEN – Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Green Tea
NEOGEN originally made the Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine before creating the newer Green Tea version for acne prone skin!
The tub contains 30 single use exfoliating pads which you smooth in a circular motion over the face and neck. The pads remove any dead skin cells and dirt leaving the skin clean and the pores clear.
Green tea is a powerful antioxidant that helps soothe inflamed acne prone skin and prevent future spots from appearing.
11. MISSHA – Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream
When it comes to acne prone skin, snail is a star ingredient! The MISSHA snail cream contains 70% snail mucin extract which helps to heal acne scars and soothe any inflammation, leaving the skin moisturised and dewy.
This cream comes in a light gel texture which absorbs well into the skin and leaves a matte finish. It was so popular among acne sufferers it ended up winning the Soko Glam Beauty Awards in 2014.
12. ACROPASS – Trouble Cure
This is a two step acne treatment designed for hormonal and cystic acne. The treatment consists of two patches. The first is soaked in salicylic acid and tea tree leaf oil, and is used to clean the area of the spot. The second is a pimple patch that you apply to the spot.
The pimple patch uses microneedle technology to deeply penetrate the skin with anti-bacterial ingredients. Each microneedle is extremely thin (about a third of the width of a hair) so you won’t feel any pain, although it may sting slightly.
If you wear the patch overnight, when you wake up the area of the spot will be flatter and less inflamed.
13. KLAIRS – Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Drop
This vitamin C serum is gentle enough for sensitive, acne prone skin types. It helps to fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation, prevents further dark spots from forming and evens out the skin tone.
Vitamin C increases collagen production, rebuilds healthy skin, and speeds up the healing of acne wounds and scars. The KLAIRS Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Drop is the best Korean skincare product for acne scars
14. DR ORACLE – A-Thera Tea Tree Peeling Sticks
This is another targeted acne treatment. It uses powerful bacteria fighting acids to unclog pores and remove blackheads and excess sebum.
The product comes on a large cotton swab which enables you to apply the product precisely onto the spot. The acids in the formula include lactic acid and glycolic acid which, together to remove dead skin and smooth any uneven surface.
The stick also contains tea tree extract, lemon extract, and bamboo extract which also help to exfoliate the skin irritating skin.
These peeling sticks work on blemishes, cystic acne and hormonal acne to help spots appear less inflamed and calmer.
15. BENTON – Aloe BHA Skin Toner
This toner contains all the best ingredients to help acne prone skin including snail mucin, salicylic acid and aloe.
The aloe and snail mucin soothe and moisturise the skin whilst the salicylic acid exfoliates, and reduces sebum and inflammation.
Any skincare products you apply after this toner in your skincare routine will be absorbed better since it primes the skin ready for the next layer!
16. ACWELL – Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist
The ACWELL essence mist is a new companion to the brand’s best selling Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner.
The mist has a milky texture that delivers an ultra-fine, even spray. Its ingredients include: saccharomyces ferment filtrate, licorice water and root extracts, bamboo water and centella asiatica leaf water.
It works to soothe inflammation and rebalance the skin leaving smoother, more hydrated and clearer skin.
17. BENTON – Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel
This gel was designed for oily or congested skin. It contains propolis which is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and good for acne prone skin.
If you have oily skin, aloe is the perfect ingredient as it won’t make the skin greasy or clog the pores. Aloe helps to soothe irritation and fade acne scars, Over time the skin will become brighter and more even.
18. BENTON – Snail Bee High Content Mask
This beautiful sheet mask is made of pure cotton soaked in snail mucin. It is recommended specially for acne prone skin. It contains bee venom extract which helps sooth inflammation and improves skin texture and tone. Snail mucin deeply hydrates and nourishes acne prone skin leaving it clearer and more even.
Sheet masks are an excellent way to add targeted treatments to your skin care routine. This snail mask can be used as a spot treatment since the ingredients are both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and help to soothe acne-prone skin.
Related: Best Korean Sheet Masks for Acne
19. KLAIRS – Midnight Blue Calming Cream
This Korean moisturizer is recommended for oily, acne prone and sensitive skin. It is extremely gentle and perfect to calm stressed skin. It can even be used on sunburnt skin or on skin that is irritated from shaving.
The cream contains Guaiazulene which is extracted from camomile oil and is extremely calming and soothing on the skin. It is the Guaiazulene which gives the cream its blue colour!
This cream is perfect to reduces redness and irritation, and a must in any Korean skincare routine for acne.
20. KLAIRS – Supple Preparation Facial Toner
This toner is excellent at removing and excess dirt or sebum that was missed by your cleanser. It also restores the skins pH balance. It contains aloe and licorice to soothe any redness or irritation, and helps prime the skin to absorb the next step in your skincare routine.
Aloe vera is packed full of antioxidants, enzymes, Vitamins A and C, and it is highly anti-inflammatory. It can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions including to hydrate dry skin, reduce fine lines and protect the skin barrier.
21. KLAIRS – Rich Moist Soothing Cream
This is a rich cream designed for sensitive acneic skin. It is enriched with yeast-derived beta glucan, jojoba oil, and ceramides which strengthen your skin’s protective barrier. It helps to calm irritated skin whilst improving your skin’s ability to repair itself.
Due to it’s effectiveness in calming inflamed skin this product became one of the 2017 Soko Glam Best of K-beauty Award winners.
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FAQs on Korean Skincare for Acne
Which Korean skincare brand is the best?
Nine excellent Korean skincare brands include: Klairs, Neogen, Then I Met You, Benton, Some By Mi, The Klog, Dr Oracle, Acwell, and Missha.
What skincare products do Korean celebrities use?
South Korean singer Sunmi admitted one of her staples is Dr. Jart’s Cicapair Cream. South Korean model Lee Sa-Bi uses Ceramiracle Cell Soldier Cleansing Balm, Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser, Koconoi Bora Bora White Sand Face Scrub, Cosrx Hydrium Watery Toner, Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Mist, Madeca Derma Revitalizing Serum, Lapcos Aloe Sheet Mask, Julep So Awake Depuffing Gel Eye Cream, Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb, Ipkn Big Apple Sun Cream SPF 50, and May Coop Raw Concentrate Night Cream.
When do you use a clay mask in the Korean skincare routine?
Two to three times a week apply a clay mask after double cleansing and before applying toner and essence.
Why does Korean skincare take so many steps?
The Korean method is about layering each product in an order which makes them the most effective on your skin. Each product prepares the skin for the next step. For example a good toner helps your essence to be more effectively absorbed. Any products applied after the essence will penetrate deeper since the essence has primed the skin and opened the pores.
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