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We get so many queries from customers everyday here at Buttermilk Skincare asking for advice on their skincare routine.  The most popular question is, can Korean skincare help with my acne prone skin?  So, I thought I’d write a blog on a Korean skincare routine for acne prone skin for those customers too shy to ask 🙂

Like many of you out there, I suffer from quite oily skin which is very prone to acne.  Even in my thirties I still suffer from hormonal acne and during my recent pregnancy, my skin generated a lot of excess oil. I, like many others, used to think that drying out my skin would reduce spots and oiliness, but this is not the case!! Stripping your skin of its natural oils encourages more sebum production and damaging the protective barrier can encourage more bacteria to enter the skin. It’s important that you restore your skin to prevent reoccurring acne and achieve a clear glowing complexion. The right K-Beauty routine for acne prone skin should follow these principles:

  1. Balance your skin with the right PH
  2. Keep your skin hydrated
  3. Use chemical exfoliation to rid of spots
  4. Use lightweight products and layer if necessary
  5. Tailor to the season

We have put together an Korean Acne Prone Skincare Kit which contains everything you need to achieve clear skin.  Only £45, the box contains two full size products, masks and lots of miniatures. Please note we only have a limited amount of these boxes!

Acne Prone Package

Full Size: Klairs Deep Black Cleansing Oil, Cosrx Low PH Cleanser

Miniature Bottle: Benton Aloe Skin Toner Miniature Bottle, Benton Aloe Soothing Gel Miniature Bottle, Benton Snail Bee Essence Miniature Bottle, Whamisa Water Cream Miniature Tube

Masks: Whamisa Finger Mitt Pad, Cosrx Pimple Patch, Cosrx Pimple Clear Mask, Lindsay Tea Tree Rubber Mask

Samples: AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid Sample, BHA Blackhead Power Liquid Sample

You can buy the kit here.

I wanted to share with you my Korean Skincare routine for acne prone skin, it really helps balance my skin and reduces acne, I swear by it!

Step 1: Double cleanse

Koreans swear by the double cleanse routine and you can read more on this method here. It’s so important for someone with acne prone skin to double cleanse to ensure a deep clean, ensure all makeup is removed and unclog pores. Firstly, use an oil based cleanser then follow with a water based cleanser.  Cleansers should be used to deep cleanse and not dry out the skin with harsh ingredients, acne treatments can then follow on from cleansing.

Note: Oil cleansers do not cause acne!

Tip: In the morning just use the foam cleanser as not to over wash and risk drying out your skin.

I recommend the Klairs Deep Black Cleansing Oil, I cannot tell you how effective this oil is at removing make-up whilst also being super gentle on your eyes.

Follow up with the Cosrx Low PH Cleanser, a gel cleanser that won’t disturb your skin’s PH. Use the Bamboo Charcoal Konjac Sponge with the foam cleanser – it’s a unique cleansing tool for acne prone skin that will effectively remove the cleanser and dead skin cells.

Step 1: Massage the oil into dry skin, then use water to rinse off.

Step 2: Use the foam cleanser on wet skin and massage in circular motions. Use the Konjac Sponge with step 2, drench the sponge in warm water and use to remove the cleanser.

Klairs Double Cleanse

Step 2: Chemical Exfoliation

Exfoliation is essential for acne prone skin. Exfoliating 2-3 times a week will get rid of those dead skin cells and unclog those blocked pores to help prevent and reduce acne. For example, acne prone skin should steer away from rough physical scrubs and use products with AHAs or BHAs.

Three times a week I use Whamisa’s Fruits Finger Mitts. They contain a blend of BHAs that deep cleanse the pores, reduce excess oil and clear dead skin cells.  Where I have pimples, I pat on a little of Cosrx Whitehead Power Liquid, using the power of AHAs, this liquid works hard on the skin’s surface to unclog blocked pores.

Front and Back of Whamisa Organic Fruit Peeling Finger Mit

Step 3: Toner

Gone are the days of alcoholic toners Western firms used to recommend, Korean toners are about hydration and it’s important to set your skin back to PH 5.5 after cleansing.  I have two favourite toners depending on my skin that day.  If my skin is in need of hydration I like to use Whamisa Deep Rich Toner it’s an essence-like toner, fantastic for the seven skin method.  If my skin is in need of soothing and calming from acne my favourite toner to use is Benton’s Aloe BHA Skin Toner.  The BHA’s deep cleanse pores and the aloe has amazing soothing properties.

Benton BHA Aloe Toner

Step 4: Treat your skin

I like to mask up at least twice a week, my skin always looks amazing after a good mask, hydrated and with that all important glow. We have a great Korean mask bundle which helps to control excess oil, reduce spots and regenerate scarred skin, great for a Korean Skincare Routine for acne prone skin. My favourites are the Cosrx Pimple Clear Mask and Lindsay Tea Tree Rubber Mask.

COSRX Acne Pimple Clear Kit

Step 5: Essences

I use an essence to help repair my acne scaring.  An essence is not a toner, it delivers active ingredients deep into your skin. Every other night I use a pump of Benton’s Snail Bee High Content Essence, which contains Snail Mucin and Bee Venom, known to regenerate skin and reduce scarring and redness.

Benton Snail Bee Essence

Step 6: Nourish

A light serum is perfect for Korean skincare routine for acne prone skin.  I use 2 drops of Klairs amazing Vitamin C Serum twice a day, it’s very lightweight, doesn’t clog my pores, vitamin C is fantastic for healing the skin and it really brightens my skin making it radiant and glowing.

Vitamin C Juice Drop on hand

Step 6: Hydrate

Heavy creams aren’t for me, I prefer to layer hydration which is why Whamisa’s Water Cream is perfect for a Korean skincare routine for acne prone skin (see picture below). It’s a beautiful lightweight organic cream, although when my skin needs extra hydration I pop Klairs Blue Calming Cream on top, this cream is magic, it will reduce any redness.

Whamisa Water Cream

Step 7: SPF (Day)

I’m so worried about ageing and skin pigmentation that I use SPF EVERYDAY, even when its cloudy and raining. Missha’s All Around Safe Block Sebum Zero Sun SPF50+ controls excess oil while protecting your skin.


If you still have any more questions on the products or on a Korean skincare routine for acne prone skin please email us at and we’ll be happy to help.


Jenna Holmes

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