6-Step Skincare Routine For Acne-Prone Skin

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I had been struggling with acne-prone skin for years before I discovered Korean skincare products. You see, I didn’t want to use the typical products you buy from your local drugstore because they are filled with chemicals and all sorts of other ingredients that can irritate your skin.

Many effective Korean skincare products can help treat both mild and severe acne. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on different skin-care products, and these specific products may help give you the best results if you combine them into one single routine as a part of your typical daily facial care regimen.

There is not a single person who wishes to have acne. If you find yourself suffering from acne, you will have tried every remedy that you have heard from friends as well as what you read on various websites. Today, I’m going to share with you the list of Korean skincare products for acne-prone skin that I have accumulated to help keep acne at bay and for good.

A basic skincare routine looks like this:

  • Oil cleanser (PM)
  • Gel cleanser
  • Toner
  • Treatments
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen (AM)

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through the link.

1. Heimish –  All Clean Balm

This balm is from a Korean brand named Heimish (hey-mish), which focuses on bringing you products with natural plant-based ingredients.

Use this product as the first step in your skincare routine to remove makeup, sunscreen, and dirt.

The brand’s website states that the product removes waterproof products, and I have read a few reviews supporting that claim.


  • Removes waterproof products
  • Super gentle for sensitive eyes
  • Vegan
  • Comes with a scooper
  • Natural non-irritating fragrance

2. COSRX – Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser


Use this cleanser as the second step in your night skincare routine to wash off any excess makeup or oil residue from the first cleanse.

A gentle cleanser with low pH (mildly acidic) cleanses the skin without stripping it of its natural oils and drying it out. Perfect for acne-prone skin, breakouts, and pH balancing.

You can read more about this cleanser in my previous article: Top 10 Popular Korean Skincare Products 2022


  • Gentle cleanser
  • pH is similar to that of skin
  • Refines the skin’s texture
  • Cleans blackheads
  • Gentle on the sensitive areas of the skin

3. Isntree – Green Tea Fresh Toner

isntree green tea toner

This step is all about protection and balance. This toner is infused with 80% green tea extract that will help nourish, brighten, and revitalize the skin.

Toners are usually applied to the skin to minimize the visibility of pores, and restore hydration to your skin.


  • Protects the skin
  • Balances out the skin’s pH
  • Minimizes the appearance of pores
  • Tightens the skin temporarily
  • Controls oil production
  • Has Centella extract which is a great ingredient for acne
  • Moisturizes the skin

4. Glow Recipe – Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Serum

This step is where you need to apply the treatments and serums to address certain skin concerns. This powerful lightweight serum gently smooths rough textures and clears out pores and breakouts.


  • Visibly refines pores
  • Hydrates the skin
  • Gently smooths rough textures
  • Soothes and decongests skin
  • Helps prevent blemishes
  • Minimizes breakouts, blackheads, and whiteheads

5. Isntree – Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Gel Cream

After cleansing and treating your skin, it is crucial that you moisturize it and provide hydration, and this product will do just that! It will thoroughly hydrate the layers of the skin while still being lightweight and long-lasting.


  • Lightweight
  • Long-lasting hydration
  • Strengthens the moisture barrier
  • Brightens skin
  • Fades hyperpigmentation

6. Isntree – Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel SPF50+ PA++++

As the last step in your AM routine only, apply sunscreen. This step is non-negotiable if you are going out, even on cloudy days. Sunscreen must be applied every day.


  • Broad-spectrum
  • Blocks harmful UV rays
  • Long-lasting
  • Some say it feels hydrating
  • No white-cast
  • Does not pill
  • Does not sting the eyes

Acne is a skin condition that can be caused by many factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, and stress. It is not always easy to find the right acne care routine and products for your skin type. However, with a little research and patience, you can find the perfect products for your needs.

Lactic Acid Benefits For Skin and Acne-Prone Skin

Acne is a skin condition that many people struggle with. It can happen to anyone and it is not something that you can just get rid of overnight. It is caused by excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells clogging the pores on the skin.

It is important to remember that there is no one way to treat acne because everyone’s body reacts differently to different products and routines. What works for one person might not work for another person with a different type of acne or skin type.

Girl with bandaid
Photo by ShotPot from

There are many products that you can use to help combat acne such as cleansers, moisturizers and treatments.

There are also many different types of treatments available to help reduce the appearance of acne including laser therapy, chemical peels and more.

What is lactic acid?

Photo by Jill Burrow from

Lactic acid is a natural chemical found in the human body and in sour milk.

Lactic acid is one of the most popular ingredients in skin care products. It’s an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that has been used for centuries to treat skin conditions like acne and wrinkles.

Lactic acid works by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, which helps to prevent clogged pores and reduce dryness on the surface of the skin. It can also be used to help treat hyperpigmentation and melasma.

Lactic Acid helps with many different problems that we face with our skin like acne, hyperpigmentation or even wrinkles.

Photo by cottonbro from

Benefits of lactic acid for acne-prone skin

Lactic acid has been shown to have great effects on the skin because it helps remove dead skin cells and stimulate new cell growth.

  1. Helps control excess sebum production. By exfoliating the outermost layer of the skin and keeping the pores clean and clear.
  2. Fights acne. Dead skin cells often clog pores and cause breakouts. Lactic acid exfoliates the skin and has the ability to break apart dead skin cells, opening any clogged pores.
  3. Fades acne scars. Due to its exfoliating nature, lactic acid helps lighten dark spots and fade acne scars by removing the dead skin cells off the surface.
  4. Hydrates the skin. Lactic acid is one of the most hydrating AHA. It helps keep the skin moisturized and hydrated. This, in turn, speeds up the cell turnover process to produce new healthy skin.
  5. Works as a mild exfoliator. Lactic acid is safe for sensitive acne-prone skin due to its mild exfoliating nature. Let’s talk science here for a little bit, since it has a large molecular weight, it makes it difficult for it to penetrate into the deep layers of the skin, making it suitable for all skin types.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from

When and how should I apply lactic acid in my skincare routine?

Products containing lactic acid come in different concentrations. 

A higher concentration does not always mean better for your skin.

When using a product containing acids for the first time, you must test a small amount on a small part of your skin, to check if it irritates your skin.

After seeing if the product is suitable for your skin and does not irritate it, you can start introducing it slowly (once or twice a week) into your skincare routine with low concentrations, increasing it to higher concentrations and building up to daily use if needed.

Skincare product lineup
Photo by Polina Kovaleva from

The layering of skincare products in a routine is the most important thing. Applying a product in the wrong order will not do your skin any good.

As a golden rule, apply products from thinnest to thickest, and water-based products before oil-based products.

Lactic acid is an exfoliating acid that can cause sun sensitivity, so it is recommended to apply it at night, and since it is technically a serum, it must be added to your skincare routine after toning your skin.

What to mix (and not to mix) with lactic acid

Since this acid is an alpha hydroxy acid, it is best not to mix it with other acids or retinol, because you will end up with irritated skin instead of mild exfoliation. 

With glycolic acid (yes, but costly and not significantly beneficial)

Both of these acids will have the same benefit on the skin using different concentrations and intensities. They can be used if they were in the same product, however, applying them both using two separate products will not benefit your skin significantly and will only cost you more money.

With vitamin C (nope)

These two ingredients should never be mixed together, since vitamin C is also acid, using them in one skincare routine will cause an imbalance in the skin’s pH levels.

With hyaluronic acid (YESSS PLEASE)

Definitely! Hyaluronic acid is a miracle hydrating ingredient that is perfect for every skin type. Using these two ingredients together will prep the way for your skin to the perfect glow.

Lactic acid will clear out dead skin cells, making way for hyaluronic acid to hydrate the lower layers of the skin.

Photo by Valeriia Miller from

The Complete Guide to Acne – Scars, Types, Treatment, and Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through the link.

Acne is the most common skin condition in the world, it can happen to anyone. It is a skin condition that affects most people at some point in their lives.

The most common cause of acne is the formation of pore-clogging oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. This mixture can lead to an inflammatory response that may be visible on the skin surface as redness, swelling, or pus-filled bumps. Another cause for this condition is puberty because hormones result in an increase in oil production in your body which can clog pores and lead to breakouts.

Acne treatment options are plentiful, but not all treatments work for everyone. They can be divided into – medical treatments (prescriptions), and over-the-counter treatments, choosing the right treatment will depend on the type of acne you have, however, you can visit a dermatologist.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing advice. With that being said, let’s dive right in!

What are Acne Scars and What Causes Them?

It is important for you to know the different types of acne scars so you can better understand your options for treatment.

Acne scars are a result of inflammation in the skin.
They are often caused by picking at pimples or blackheads, which causes the pimple to spread under the skin and create a raised bump or nodule that takes much longer to heal than if it was left untouched.

This occurs when the engorged pore or follicle swells and causes a break in the follicle wall. Superficial wounds that are closer to the skin’s surface tend to heal quickly and without leaving any scars behind. However, when the wound damages the second layer of the skin (dermis), scars form on the skin.

The greater and deeper the inflammation, the more likely scarring is to occur. In order for the skin to repair the damage done to the dermis, collagen is produced. This protein is what gives the skin its flexibility and strength.

The Different Types of Acne Scars

Acne scars generally come in two main categories; atrophic and hypertrophic. Atrophic scars are those caused by a loss of tissue, and hypertrophic are those caused by an excess of tissue. Among these two categories, there are 4 types of scars; ice-pick scars, boxcar scars, rolling scars, and keloid scars.

Ice-pick Scars

These scars are deep and narrow, they’re so deep that they sometimes pierce the skin and go down to the level of the dermis, which means that they can’t be treated with topical treatments like retinoids or lasers.

They can also be difficult to conceal with makeup.


There are a few treatment options for treating or removing ice-pick scars.

The most effective treatments are the best scar treatments and they include punch excision and punch grafting.

Punch excision is where scar tissues are removed surgically using a tool called: the punch tool, and then followed by stitching the skin.

Punch grafting, the second most effective scar treatment involves removing the scarred tissue and replacing it with a new skin graft taken from the back of the ear.

Boxcar Scars

Boxcar scars look like round or oval depressions in the skin with sharp vertical sides and give an uneven appearance to the skin.

Just like icepick scars, deeper scars are harder to treat than shallow ones.


Scar removal treatments vary depending on the size of the scar, how deep it is, and its location.

Microdermabrasion is a superficial treatment that treats the top layer of the skin.

Dermabrasion is similar to microdermabrasion but works deeper by removing the whole top layer of the skin. It is most effective on shallow scars, not deep ones.

Fillers are used to fill the space under the scar and make the skin appear level and smooth.

Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to treat scars. It can also be used to improve skin texture, reduce wrinkles, and improve skin elasticity.

The procedure consists of using a controlled device with multiple rows of needles that are passed over the surface of the skin. This process stimulates collagen production, which can help with scarring and elasticity. This procedure is done by a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon and it usually takes about 15 minutes. The microneedles will puncture the surface of the skin, but they won’t go deep enough to cause any damage to the underlying tissue or create scars.

Rolling Scars

These scars are wider than ice-pick scars but not as deep. They have a smooth surface and blend well with makeup but they cannot be completely concealed by it either. They make the skin look craggy and uneven.


Scar removal treatments are various, some examples are subcision, punch excision, punch elevation, punch grafting, dermabrasion, microneedling, and chemical peels, to name a few.

The goal of these treatments is to reduce the depth of the scar so that the surface of the skin returns flat, although discoloration might occur.

Keloid/Hypertrophic Scars

These scars are firm, raised scars that grow above the surface of the skin, this is the result of excess production of collagen. Keloid scars typically are larger than hypertrophic scars and have the potential to be painful and itchy.


If the keloid scar is relatively new, less-invasive treatments are recommended, such as silicone pads, pressure dressings, or injections. If the scar is an older one, laser treatments are one way to address it. The goal of this treatment is for the keloid to resurface and create a smoother appearance. The most effective treatment is cryosurgery, where the keloid is frozen using liquid nitrogen.

The bottom line is, that the best acne scar treatments for you will depend on your skin type and the severity of your acne scar.

Acne Treatments

Before you make your purchase, it is important to consider what type of acne you have and what your personal preferences are. There are many different types of treatments available today, so finding one that works best for you may take some time and patience, but it will be worth it in the end.

Treatment options depend on your age, skin type, acne severity, and type of acne. Acne can be treated using topical treatments, oral medications, or laser therapy.

Topical treatments include benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and salicylic acid.

Oral medications include antibiotics and hormonal therapy. They work by reducing oil production or by treating bacterial infections in the body, two of the many causes of acne.

Laser therapy includes pulsed dye laser or intense pulsed light therapy.

Acne Treatment Side Effects

Acne treatments come with side effects. The most common side effects of acne treatments include dryness, redness, and peeling of the skin. These side effects usually subside after the first few weeks of treatment. Another common side effect is the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, which may cause redness and dryness.

7 Things You Can Do To Treat Acne

  1. Exfoliate regularly. Exfoliating is an extremely important step in any skincare routine because it gives you a clean slate to work on. Exfoliating your skin regularly (1-2 times a week) will remove dead skin cells and any excess oils found on your skin.
  2. Exercise daily. Daily exercise will help improve blood circulation in the body thus helping nourish the skin and healing acne.
  3. Tea tree oil spot treatment. This holy grail essential oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics which calm the skin’s irritation.
  4. Fish oil supplements. Fish oil has a blend of healthy fats that reduce acne by decreasing inflammation.
  5. Cut back on dairy. Eating less dairy will reduce acne-related hormonal changes.
  6. Reduce stress. Stress increases inflammation in the body, reducing stress will balance hormones and reduce inflammation.
  7. Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps reduce the redness and swelling that is caused by acne.

3 Natural DIY Recipes That Help Treat Acne

  1. Exfoliating scrub: Mix 1 cup of brown sugar with ½ cup of ground coffee and 2 tbsp carrier oil of your choice. Optional: You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to add an antibacterial property to the scrub.
  2. Oil-controlling face mask: Mix 1 tbsp of honey with enough oatmeal to create a paste. Apply for 10-15 minutes then rinse with lukewarm water.
  3. Hydrating face mask: Mix ¼ cup of honey with half an avocado and ½ cup of yogurt. Apply for 15-20 minutes then rinse with lukewarm water.

DIY recipes are endless. You need to choose what works for you and your skin type, oily skin, dry skin, or sensitive skin.

4 Foods That Cause Acne

  • Sugar
  • Dairy
  • Bread
  • Oil

…and the list goes on!

Foods That Help Clear Acne

A proper diet that contains tons of vitamins and minerals is always healthy, but it is especially for people with acne.

Vitamins and minerals help reduce inflammation in the body and increase antioxidants. Here are some ingredients that are healthy and good for clearing acne.

Of course, it goes without saying, water is the most important one and should be consumed daily.

  • Spinach
  • Green tea
  • Avocado
  • Salmon
  • Carrots
  • Berries

eat better, not less!

Get Rid of Acne Quickly With These Effective Tips

  1. Proper skincare routine. A proper skincare routine is important for preventing acne breakouts. It includes washing your face twice daily, once in the morning and once at night using the proper face wash for your skin type. Moisturizing immediately after washing. Applying face masks and exfoliating regularly.
  2. Pat dry. After washing your face, use a tissue and pat your face dry to avoid any harsh friction, instead of rubbing your face dry with a towel.
  3. Do not pick on/touch your pimples. Picking at your pimples or touching them frequently will, first of all, inflame the pimple, and second of all, spread the bacteria to different areas of your body.
  4. Follow a healthy diet. Diet does not mean starving yourself, it rather means having a healthy food routine with a balanced portion of vitamins and minerals. A healthy balanced diet will keep your skin nourished and healthy.
  5. Use OTC treatments. Over-the-counter treatments are an affordable way to help keep your acne at bay.
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