Best Korean Skincare For Acne 2021 | Top Korean Acne Skincare Products and Routine for Acne

by Jih Yun

Acne breakout and scars troubling you? Check out these best Korean skincare for acne to keep those pesky pimples and scars in control!

Best Korean Skincare for Acne: Quick Summary of Products

Acne is the much-dreaded skin problem most of us face. As teenagers, we are given a promise that acne will disappear once we touch our mid 20’s. But that is rarely the case as most of us have experienced. 

Best Korean Skincare Brand For AcneBest Korean Skincare For Acne Best for
BentonBenton ALOE PROPOLIS SOOTHING GELSensitive skin
Innisfree Innisfree Green Tea Pure Cleansing Foam – Best Korean Products For Oily, Acne-Prone SkinOily, acne prone skin
Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay MaskOily, acne prone skin
MISSHA MISSHA Time Revolution Clear Toner – Best Korean Toner For AcneBalancing skin’s pH levels
Klairs Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner – Best Korean Toner For Acne With Sensitive Skin TypeSensitive skin prone to prone
Cosrx COSRX Centella Blemish Cream – Top Korean Products That Fade Acne ScarsFading acne scars
Cosrx Acne Pimple Master PatchReducing pimples
Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence – Best Korean Essence For Acne-Prone SkinHydration
Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid – Best Korean Exfoliator For Acne Prone SkinReducing occurrence of breakouts
Heimish Heimish All Clean Balm – Best Korean Products That Fade Acne ScarsFades acne scars
Dr. Jart+Dr. Jart Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution Mask Sheet – Best Korean Products For Dry Acne-prone SkinDry and acne prone skin

With acne-prone skin, you moisturise too much and you get breakout, you don’t moisture, you breakout. It’s not just about moisturiser though. Any skincare product you use for acne prone skin – you simply have to be careful. One wrong product and the consequence? All sorts of bad skin reaction including pimples!

Also, no, popping your pimples is NOT the solution!

There are lots of us dealing with acne plus the scars they leave behind, way into our 30’s and sometimes even into our 40’s. Diet, stress, and lifestyle choices might be a major cause but there are ways of dealing with this externally as well through the right skincare products and routines. 

The Korean range of skincare products and routines seem to be very effective in healing and preventing acne and leaving us with smooth, glowing skin. 

Let’s check out the best Korean skincare for acne:

Top Picks For Best Korean Skincare For Acne

Top Korean Skincare For Acne

Medicube Zero Foam Cleanser

A rich lather cleanses skin while maintaining its natural oil and moisture balance, according to Allure Korea beauty editor Minji Kim. Contains patented pore care ingredients that deeply cleanse pores. It then creates extra rich, creamy lather to provide gentle face wash. 

Cleansing ingredients derived from nature and salicylic acid provide deep cleansing. As well as deeply cleansing pores and removing fine dust, it has been clinically tested for effectiveness

Banila Co Clean It Zero Pore Clarifying Foam Cleanser

The Banila Co Clean It Zero Pore Clarifying Foam Cleanser comes from the makers of Korea’s best-selling cleansing balm. 

This gentle but effective face wash sweeps dead skin cells away, keeping pores free and skin clear by containing AHAs, BHAs, and LHAs that Allure Korea editors recommend.

Dr.G Red Blemish Clear Soothing Toner

This Allure Korea Best of Beauty Award winner offers a water-like consistency and leaves skin feeling so smooth it’s like silk. It soothes skin while aloe and cica calm irritation while salicylic acid naturally derived from willow bark removes dirt and makeup.

 Moreover, it contains redness-reducing niacinamide, a vitamin B3 derivative that helps give skin a plump and luminous appearance and reduce the appearance of large pores.

Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum

Propolis is the most popular K-beauty ingredient in Joseon Glow Serum. It is a glue-like mixture that bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax along with botanical exudate. 

The Glow Serum addresses acne and calms and heals itching flare-ups as it boasts antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. 60% propolis extract offers antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.


The next best Korean skincare for acne is the Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream. This cream is formulated with Guaiazulene extracted from camomile oil that has a soothing effect on the skin. 

The formula of this cream is extremely gentle on the skin and calms the skin. If your skin is irritated or sunburnt, this is a great cream for you to use. Klairs midnight blue calming cream is the perfect Korean face cream for acne as it reduces the irritation and redness. 


The next skincare product on our list of best Korean skincare for acne is the ACWELL Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist. 

This Korean face mist for acne prone skin is formulated with licorice water and root extracts, centella asiatica leaf water, bamboo water, and saccharomyces ferment filtrate. 

It has a milky texture and the gives out an ultra fine mist that you can evenly spray over your skin. 

Why this is one of the best Korean skincare products for acne prone skin is that it soothes inflammation and hydrates the skin. 


If you have acne prone skin then you should definitely include this Korean vitamin C serum in your skincare routine. 

It has a gentle formulation with non-comedogenic ingredients only. It reduces scarring caused due to acne breakouts. It also reduces hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and evens our the skin tone. 

Vitamin C has healing properties which helps healing the skin of acne wounds. Vitamin C also boosts collagen production that helps improve overall skin health. 


Best Korean skincare for acne scars

The first product on this list of best Korean skincare for acne is the Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing gel. It has two main ingredients aloe vera and propolis. Both these ingredients work together to heal troubled and irritated skin which makes it perfect skincare product for acne prone skin.

The formula has healing and anti bacterial properties that soothes sensitive skin, brightens skin tone, reduces acne scars, and keeps the skin hydrated through the day. With a pH level of 6.5-7.5, this Korean skincare for acne is suitable for most skin types but is specially formulated for oily and acne prone skin.

Innisfree Green Tea Pure Cleansing Foam

Best Korean Products For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

The core reason behind breakouts is oil and dirt clogged pores of your skin. While people with dry skin have other issues like wrinkling of the skin and parchedness, those with oily skin keep getting acne. A cleanser that can remove this oil, and penetrate deeply to clean out the dirt is sure to be effective. 

Try the Innisfree Green Tea cleansing foam. Green tea is known to have properties that are anti-inflammatory, which is perfect for those with acne prone skin. 

It not only deeply cleanses the skin and removes the oil, but also soothes any redness or inflammation of the skin, keeping your skin cool. 

It has a pleasant fragrance that is not too strong that it might irritate you. Green tea also has the property of drying out your skin quite a bit as it removes the oil, so this Korean brand of cleanser works best for those with very oily skin. 

MISSHA Time Revolution Clear Toner

Best Korean Toner For Acne

Missha time revolution clear toner works beautifully for oily skin. Though this Korean brand of skincare has a wide range of toners out of which quite a few are designed for oily skin, this is our favorite. 

It removes any last bit of dirt or makeup that is left over by your cleanser and closes and tightens the open pores. Using this regularly shows a definite decrease in the appearance of blackheads and consequently, acne as well. 

It preps your skin and makes it palette-ready to receive other acne treatments over this. Though this is meant for oily skin, it does not dry out the skin. 

The skin feels smooth and soft after using this toner. It maintains the hydration in the skin through the help of the Alpha hydroxy and Beta hydroxy acids along with a fermented yeast extract.  

Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner

Best Korean Toner For Acne With Sensitive Skin Type

Klairs is a brand establishing itself across the Asian market slowly. This brand is known for its quality products that manage to be less expensive than most other brands. 

The Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner is true to its name. It’s an excellent toner for sensitive skin type that’s prone to acne. It prepares the skin by balancing the pH level of the skin with its Phyto-oligo and hydrates the skin, keeping it from drying up. 

The wheat amino acids present act as anti-inflammatories and help heal the skin from fine bruises due to sun damage and pollution. The plant extracts cool and soothes skin, helping it rejuvenate, ready for the next layer of treatment. 

This routine effectively closes the pores, reduces blackheads and keeps acne at bay.  

Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch 

The Acne Master Patch is a genius product that you must try if you suffer from annoying acne. 

It comes as small dots that are almost the shade of your skin. Simply apply this on the skin that has been cleaned. One dot lasts for about 12 hours after which you can replace it, just like a band-aid. 

Depending on the size and severity of the pimple, you’ll see it disappear in a couple of days or longer. This also works on a pimple that has already erupted, helps it dry up and heal quicker. 

It keeps your fingers off your face, reduces the pain significantly and keeps germs and bacteria from infecting the area. There is also a version that is thinner and can be applied beneath makeup. I mean, now that’s a winner!

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Clay in a lot of forms has been traditionally known to be effective in leaving the skin clean and smooth, while the nutrients present in it nourish the skin inside out. 

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask feels like an absolute luxury when you apply it. Use a thin layer on cleansed and toned skin and leave it on for about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Relax during this time with your eyes closed and some pleasant music in the background, perfect to de-stress. 

The 15 minutes are sufficient for the clay to do its work of cleansing, tightening your skin, removing excess oil, and gently exfoliating as well. Wake up to fresh, soft and brighter skin. 

COSRX Centella Blemish Cream

Top Korean Products That Fade Acne Scars

Finally, on our list of the best Korean skincare to deal with acne, we have the Centella Blemish cream by Cosrx. This cream has the extract of the Centella Asiatica leaves as the main ingredient, which is very effective in fading scars and dark spots. 

Centella leaves have a lot of interesting properties that not only help in reducing scars but also slow down ageing. It’s basically like the well-balanced nutrition-rich meal for your skin. 

It is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and collagen repairers that all together work to tighten your skin, heal the damage due to age, pollution and sun exposure, and of course, prevent acne. 

Use this cream after your moisturiser, or if you wish, in the place of your moisturiser after you are done with the toner. A little bit goes a long way, spreads beautifully and gets absorbed into the skin very quickly. 

It is light and does not clog the pores. Within two to three weeks, you see visible results. 

Heimish All Clean Balm

Best Korean Products That Fade Acne Scars

This is one of the best Korean skincare for acne. This cleaning balm cleanses your skin and pores deeply to keep acne at bay! Even though it’s a balm, it has a cream-like consistency so it spreads well and absorbs quickly as well. 

This Korean balm contains tea-tree oil, citrus oil, and white flower complex. Tea tree oil has a soothing effect on your skin. The citrus oil content helps reduce the acne scars and marks. ANd the white flower complex helps in brightening the skin. 

It doesn’t contain any paraben or artificial fragrances so it’s suitable for sensitive skin as well. 

Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

Best Korean Essence For Acne-Prone Skin

This Korean essence for acne-prone skin contains 96.3% of snail mucin and is one of the best Kore skincare for acne prone skin. It’s meant to intensely hydrate your skin and also heal acne. 

The essence has a gentle formula so it’s suitable for most skin-types. Packed with snail mucin, this Korean anti-acne product locks-in moisture and improves the elasticity of your skin. This product is free of parabens and phthalate. 

Dr. Jart Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution Mask Sheet

Best Korean Products For Dry Acne-prone Skin

This mask is specially developed for acne-prone skin and soothes your skin. It works by reducing the redness and irritation – thanks to the tea-tree oil and salicylic acid present in the mask. 

The mask also keeps the oil production of your skin in check as it contains niacinamide. Niacinamide is also known for fading pigmentation and blemishes. 

The sheet mask is free of sulfate, phthalate, and parabens. It’s also alcohol-free. It doesn’t contain any artificial fragrances. It’s free of mineral oils and Triethanolamine. 

Since this sheet mask has no irritants, it’s suitable for sensitive skin as well!

Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

Best Korean Exfoliator For Acne Prone Skin

This is one of the best Korean skincare for acne prone skin, even though it’s an exfoliator, as the formula is gentle. The BHA content (betaine salicylate) helps exfoliate your skin gently. This process of exfoliation continues even after the product has been absorbed into the skin!

The Korean exfoliator also contains willow bark extracts and Vitamin B5 that help keep your skin hydrated. 

This is suitable for sensitive skin as well as its free of parabens, triethanolamine, and phthalein. It’s also free of artificial colors and fragrances. 

So, there you have the best Korean skincare for acne. Do use them to get rid of the annoying problem of pimples and sign up for happy, clear skin. 

Korean Acne Skincare Routine and Products

Here’s a simple morning Korean skincare routine for you to follow in order to reduce acne breakouts and nourish your skin. 

Step 1: Cleansing Oil 

If you haven’t already, it’s time for you to jump on the bandwagon of the double cleansing method. This is specially recommended for those with oily and acne prone skin. There’s a common misconception that an oil cleanser is not good for oily, acne prone skin. 

Korean oil cleansers formulated for oily skin are light on the skin. It works on the surface of your skin and doesn’t seep in – which means that it can’t clog your pores! 

Take some of the oil cleanser on dry hand and start massaging over the dry face (even if you have makeup on). Massage for a couple of minutes and rinse thoroughly. 

If you’re not sure which Korean oil cleanser for acne skin is the  best – here’s my recommendation – Innisfree Green Tea Hydrating Cleansing Oil

After this you follow it with a gentle foaming cleanser which brings us to our step 2 of the Korean skincare for acne. 

Step 2: Foaming Cleanser

A Korean foaming cleanser is gentle on the skin. Use a foaming cleanser to get rid of any remaining makeup or oil in your face. 

The point of double cleansing method is to make sure that your face is completely clean of any impurities before you start layering skincare products. 

To use a foaming cleanser, squeeze a dime sized amount of the cleanser on your palm. And massage it into wet skin for a couple of minutes in circular motions. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. 

Here’s my recommendation of Korean cleanser to include in your Korean skincare for acne – ETUDE HOUSE SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser

Step 3: Exfoliator (twice in a week)

Exfoliating regularly is good. It keeps your pores clean and skin smooth. This inturn helps your skin absorb your skincare products well. 

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and promotes skin regeneration. Exfoliation can help even out skin tone, reduce pigmentation, unclog pores, and improve skin texture. Using an exfoliator in your morning skincare routine will prove to be more beneficial than in the night. 

How to use an exfoliator: Take some product in your palm. Gently massage over wet skin (emphasis on gently). Don’t ignore areas like your neck and jawline. Rinse and pat dry. 

Here’s my recommendation for an exfoliator to add to your Korean skincare for acne – COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid. This is a great product for those with oily, acne prone skin.

Step 4: Toner 

The next step in your Korean skincare for acne is to tone your skin. A toner is formulated to balance your skin’s pH levels and get rid of dead skin cells. This helps your skincare products like serum and moisturizer absorb better into the skin. 

Use a cotton and soak it with your toner and sweep it across your face gently Wait for a few seconds for it get completely absorbed into your skin. 

Here’s my recommendation for Korean toner for acne prone skin – COSRx AHA BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner

Step 5: Essence

Essence is a concentrated liquid that intensely hydrates your skin. Korean essences are extremely popular and a vital part of the Korean skincare regimen for acne. 

Korean essences prepare your skin for the next set of skincare ingredients and makes way for better absorption of the products. 

Using an essence is easy. Just apply some of the product on a cotton pad or on your fingers and pat it on your face. 

Here’s my recommendation – COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

Step 6: Sheet Mask (twice a week) 

Acne prone skin can constantly feel irritated and inflamed. Sheet masks are a great way to calm your skin and soothe it. Korean sheet masks for acne prone skin are formulated with targeted ingredients that help reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. 

If you have other skin concerns like pigmentation, wrinkles, etc – you can look for a sheet mask that’s formulated with ingredients that target that particular skin concern. 

Check the instructions on the packaging to understand how to use the face sheet mask. Typically, all you have to do is align the face mask to you face and let it sit for some time (this is usually indicated in the packaging soc heck before you apply the mask. It can be anywhere between 10 – 30 minutes).

Remove the mask after you’ve let it sit for the instructed amount of time. Pat your skin so that the remaining essence is absorbed. Don’t rinse your face after this. You can continue with the next step in your skin care routine. 

My recommendation for sheet mask to add to your Korean skincare for acne – Celavi Essence Tea Tree Paper Sheet Mask.

Step 7: Serums

Serums are concentrated liquids with active ingredients that penetrate deep into your skin. Serums are formulated with targeted ingredients. So choose a Korean serum depending on what results you want. Some people layer multiple serums to get the desired results.

It’s your choice if you want to do that. Or you can target one skin concern at a time (I recommend this as it’s easier on your skin). If you want to use multiple serums then you can use one serum during your morning skincare routine and a different serum to target a secondary skin issue during your night time skin care routine. 

To apply the serum – take one pump of the product on your palm. Massage it gently all over the face. Let it sit for 30 seconds so it’s properly absorbed. You can follow this with your second serum by doing the same. 

My recommendation for serum to add in your Korean skincare for acne – Dear, KLAIRS Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

Step 8: Eye Cream

The undereye skin is often ignored during skincare. Your under eye is the most fragile part of your skin. And because it’s so sensitive, it’s more prone to dehydration, wrinkles and fine lines. Eye creams help improve your undereye skin and prevent wrinkles, dark circles, and dehydration. 

To apply undereye cream take a little but of the product you ring finger tip. Then, pat the cream on the orbital bone, eyelids, and the temple area. Avoid massaging the cream into your skin as this can make wrinkles worse and cause irritation. Don’t apply it too close to your eye as it can get into your eye which can be dangerous. 

You can apply it once in the morning and night. Applying it once a day is also fine. 

Here’s my recommendation to add to your Korean skincare for acne – ​​Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream

Step 9: Moisturizer

Moisturizing is so so important to skin that’s prone to acne. A moisturizer hydrates and locks in moisture so your skin remains plump all day. For acne prone skin, use a light moisturizer that’s hypoallergenic and use ingredients that soothe acne prone skin. 

My recommendation for moisturizer to add to your Korean skincare for acne – Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream

Step 10: Sunscreen

Finish your morning skincare routine with a Korean sunscreen formulated for acne prone skin, especially if you’re going to be stepping out. Sunscreen protect you from the UVA and UVB rays that cause premature aging and sunburns. Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 – 50 and PA +++ to PA ++++ 

My recommendation for sunscreen to add to your Korean skincare for acne is  – DERMALOGY by NEOGENLAB SUNSCREEN

Does Korean skin care work for acne?

Best Korean skin care products for acne uses ingredients like tea tree oil, snail mucin, salicylic acid that is known to soothe your skin, and keep your skin hydrated. Korean products are also packed with many natural ingredients that help fight against acne and also help in fading acne scars. 

Which is the best Korean acne skincare product? 

Finding products for acne-prone skin is not easy. But Korean skincare brands have specially formulated skincare products for acne-prone skin and reduce acne scars. Here’s the best Korean skincare product for acne. 
Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is the best Korean skincare product for acne. It’s a gentle exfoliator that works to effectively remove dead skin cells. The BHA gently exfoliates your skin while the willow bark extracts and Vitamin B5 helps keep your skin hydrated.

Also Read:

  1. Best Korean Oil Cleanser for Oily Skin
  2. Top Korean Moisturizer for Oily Skin
  3. Best Korean BB Cream for Oily Skin
Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

Check out the best Korean skincare products for acne here!

Product SKU: 00958LKJ744582

Product Brand: CosRx

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Product Price: 17.68

Price Valid Until: 2021

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