How Do Koreans Deal with Pimples?


by Angelina Wu ,

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Wait… do Koreans even get pimples? If you’ve ever watched a Korean drama, you’d ask the same question. All the actresses on screen seem to have near-perfect complexions free of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, large pores, and all other skin troubles that only fall on the rest of us. So what exactly are the skincare secrets to their blemish-free skin?

  1. Be gentle

Koreans see pimples or breakouts as a cry for help from the skin. In contrast to the Western approach of responding to pimples with full-on, aggressive attack from acne-targeting products, the Koreans emphasize the need to pamper and de-stress your skin instead by minimizing the amount of products used, especially harsh skincare products.

From a gentle face wash like the Pyunkang Yul Cleansing Foam, down to a gentle toner such as the Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Essence Toner, Koreans adopt an overall simple and gentle skincare routine when dealing with pimples. This allows you to respect your skin by taking a break from all the heavy products and allowing it to just breathe. It’s sort of how we approach detoxing the body via fresh juices and eating organic food.

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  1. Exfoliate!

Pimples are formed when pores become clogged, so it makes perfect sense that unclogging your pores is the first thing you want to do. A chemical exfoliant such as COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid can penetrate deep into your pores to clear out all the gunks and prevent your skin from future breakouts.

  1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

The Korean approach can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your skin hydrated while treating your acne. This means that aside from acne treatment products, a good moisturizer should also be included in your routine. This step not only adds another layer of moisture to prevent dryness caused by acne medications, it also “locks in” previous layers of treatments to make them more effective.

Other than sheet-masks, my favourite moisturizers are facial oils. While using oil over your pimples might seem like a crazy idea, if you use the right oil, you will see major differences in your skin over time. For oily and acne-prone skin, choose a lightweight, dry oil such as Huxley Oil Light and More, which is a combination of cactus seed, jojoba and sunflower oils that can penetrate into the deepest layers of your skin, providing the much-needed hydration without leaving a greasy finish.

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  1. The Importance of Vitamin C

In the aftermath of a pimple, Koreans also like to add Vitamin C serums in their skincare routine to help lighten dark spots, acne-scarring, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Vitamin C products have also been proven to aid in the skin’s collagen production, promoting dewier and more supple skin.

At the end of the day, skincare routine is also a lifestyle. So in addition to good acne products, you should also eat healthy, sleep well, and drink loads of water. Remember that treating and healing your skin is a process that won’t happen overnight, and obsessing over a pimple will only make it worse. Learning how to love your own skin — pimple, large pores, whiteheads and all — is the first step to blemish-free skin!


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