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The Ultimate Korean Skincare Routine For Acne

Korean people have fantastic skin thanks to their attitude towards intelligent skincare routines. Here's our ultimate guide to Korean skin.
Updated: November 9, 2022
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Throughout our lives, our skin will be confronted with many challenges. From oiliness, to environmental hazards, and annoying breakouts, we must always be prepared for bumps along the road.

However, one of the most crippling and uncomfortable conditions our skin can fall victim to is acne, which can be a nightmare for both our skin and self-confidence.

Thankfully, acne can be managed by using the correct cosmetic products, and by following the example of Korean skincare routines, which can work wonders for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Read on for our ultimate Korean skincare routine for acne.

What is acne?

First, let’s briefly cover what acne actually is. Acne is a very common skin condition that millions of people across the world experience. It can cause varying degrees of irritation on the skin and lead to breakouts, oiliness, dryness, and painful patches.

Acne is usually triggered by hormonal changes during puberty, but many people can develop acne at any point in their lives. Acne can also be a genetic condition that is passed down through DNA. While acne can’t be cured, it can be maintained and managed effectively by using the correct products and implementing healthy skincare routines.

The best qualities of Korean skin

Korean skin, like Asian skin as a whole, has many unique properties that make it highly desired by other people. It’s no surprise that Koreans are always praised for their beautiful skin, but they have to work hard at it like everyone else. The amazing rise of Korean pop culture also brings a lot of attention to their skin, with Korean dramas and dreamy K-Pop bands appearing all over our screens. If you want to learn more about what makes Asian skin so fantastic and the best Asian skincare routine, check out our post here.

The thing that truly makes Korean skin so good is the attitude Korean people have towards skincare in general. From a young age, Korean women are very aware of the importance of taking good care of their skin. Their skincare philosophy is one of prevention, as in, they take great measures to protect their skin to prevent big problems from appearing in the first place. This is a lesson we can all learn from, as many people tend to be reactive to skin issues, rather than proactive.

Here are some defining elements of Korean/Asian skin and their mindset towards skincare.

Sun protection

Koreans are much more likely to take sun protection more seriously than those in the western world. It’s not uncommon or unusual for Asians to use sunscreen or an SPF product on a daily basis, even if the weather isn’t particularly summery. This is because Asian people understand that the sun’s UV rays, even on overcast days, can impact the skin quite severely.
When the skin is always protected with sunscreen and SPF, the sun has a lower chance of damaging the skin and causing burning, stinging, hyperpigmentation, and other forms of irritation.

A slower rate of aging

Asian skin has a thicker dermis, which is a layer of the skin that contains elastin and collagen. Collagen is perhaps the most important bodily protein for skin health, as it helps bind different layers together, smooths lines and wrinkles, makes the skin look more youthful, and promotes healthy skin cell turnover. The less collagen people have, the older their skin tends to look.

Because of this, Asian skin, on average, ages at a slower rate than other groups. That means Asian skin displays fewer visual signs of aging, such as lines, wrinkles, bagginess, and blemishes than everyone else. There are exceptions to this, of course, but as a whole, this proves to be true.

Oily skin

Koreans tend to have oilier skin. The reasons for this can vary, but the most obvious one is probably due to the climate in Korea. Overall it is warmer and more humid than in western countries, which means there’s no shortage of moisture in the air.

Because of this, Koreans have crafted their skincare routines to manage their oil production better. Using products such as serums and exfoliators, Koreans can keep their sebum production under control, creating a healthy environment for their pores and always removing dirt, pollutants, and dead cells from the surface of the skin. Doing this regularly will help the skin to look cleaner, more balanced, and radiant.

The ultimate Korean skincare routine for acne

If you want to get perfect, smooth skin like your favorite K-Pop star or Korean actress, we have the best Korean skincare routine for you. This routine can reduce acne, boost skin tone and radiance, promote youthfulness, and give the skin a lot of healthy ingredients for the long term.

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Double cleanse

We’re starting with a bang. A prime component of a Korean skincare routine is the fabled double cleanse. This will do wonders to prepare the skin for the rest of the routine. Once you start double cleansing, you won’t be able to go back to just one.

Oil-based cleansers are what we recommend. They are fantastic at removing every last piece of dirt, makeup, debris, and environmental particles that have accumulated on the skin over time. Mix with lukewarm water to give your face the best cleanse possible.

Step 2: Exfoliate

The next necessary step in our Korean skincare routine is exfoliation. Exfoliation is the best method of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the face. If these dead cells are left unchecked, they can block pores, which can lead to breakouts, and give the skin a dull and tired complexion.

Exfoliators are also excellent at stimulating the production of collagen, which will help improve the physical appearance of the skin, reduce the signs of aging, and restore that vital elasticity in the skin. This is an incredible way of keeping the skin looking youthful and glowing.

Step 3: Toner

Using a toner after the skin has been cleansed and exfoliated, is a brilliant way of balancing the skin’s pH levels and prepares it for the next steps in the routine. A lot of modern toners in Asia contain nourishing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which will help the skin retain a beautiful balance. Be sure to use an alcohol-free toner to avoid irritating dry skin.

Step 4: Essence

The heart and soul of any Korean skincare routine is an essence. A well-produced essence product can not only hydrate the skin thanks to its effective ingredients, but it can also help to increase skin cell turnover, soothe irritation, and heal damaged areas of the skin. We’re not saying it’s a miracle tool, but it’s pretty damn good.

Step 5: Moisturize

An unmissable element of a great Korean skincare routine is moisturizer. Moisturizer will restore vital hydration to the skin and fortify it for the rest of the routine. The moisturizer also works to lock in all the previous products, which extends their effectiveness. Depending on your skin type, there are different moisturizers that are better for the job. For example, if you have more oily skin, you should opt for a thinner moisturizer like a gel or light lotion. If you have dry skin, a richer cream will be perfect.

Step 6: Sun protection

The final but perhaps most important step to our Korean skincare routine is SPF sun protection. Koreans take sun protection very seriously. The sun’s UV rays can do a lot of damage to our skin, but SPF in a good sunscreen can provide a lot of vital protection and shielding. Adding sunscreen to your skincare routine will ensure your skin can face the day ahead without fear.


Koreans have amazing skin because they invest a lot of time and effort into their skincare routines. Not only is this Korean skincare routine great for soothing acne, but it’s also a fabulous routine to improve the overall health of your skin overall.

Get into the mental habit of double cleansing to start off your skincare routine, before layering the skin with more helpful products for the best results. Good luck!

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