Korean Skincare Guide: Best Ingredients For Acne Prone SkinPosted on 05/11/2018
[By Biscuits & Makeup] Monday, 5 November 2018
Acne is a dermatological disorder that no one invited to the party. Having acne is never a positive experience; it lowers our confidence and our self-esteem, the way we look at ourselves. It is definitely a tricky skin concern to tackle since there are so many different types of acne. No two people are exactly alike when it comes to their skin. So, this means finding the right combination of treatments will be no easy task to take on alone. As our final blog post in our Korean Skincare Guide to Treating Acne series, we’ll be discussing the different acne treatments and the 5 best ingredients for acne prone skin.
When it comes to acne treatment, the objective is to control, treat and cleanse the acne in the best way possible. Once the acne has settled, you then must work on a preventative skincare routine that works best for you and your skin type. The tricky thing about all of this is that you need to find the best regimen that will not only prevent new acne from appearing, but also heal the old ones. This process in itself can potentially take up to 3 to 8 weeks (to even see results). Consistency and diligence are key!
Before we get into telling you about some amazing and effective ingredients that will help with your acne, you must first completely understand the state of your skin. Consider other factors such as your medical condition, your hormone balance, your lifestyle, your endocrine history and so on. We go into more detail about this in our first part of this series; Korean Skincare Guide: Treating Acne.
Because there are different types of acne, there must be different treatments or alternatives to treat each unique type. Over the years, treatment for acne has dramatically changed due to the advancement of skincare technology and the growth of many amazing companies that now have a deeper understanding of acne and how to better treat it.
In the past, we were urged to seek our dermatologist for all our acne problems, even with the smallest lesions or comedones. That is no longer the case. We now have other solutions that are cost-effective, efficient and can be done in the comfort of your home. Obviously, we are not suggesting that we ignore our trustworthy dermatologists. But we are giving you alternatives and suggestions to try to achieve the best skin that you deserve as a treatment and a preventative measure.
Acne can be treated in four different ways;
Treatment that can applied immediately to body surfaces. It is often in a form of a cream, gel or ointment. It is the standard treatment for mild to moderate acne. For example,
- Antibiotic creams
- Salicylic acids
- Chemical peels
- Pimple Patches
- Benzoyl Peroxide Creams
This treatment can only be prescribed by your dermatologist and is only used when your skin finds topical treatment ineffective. This form of treatment is normally taken orally by the person. Commonly used for moderate to severe acne. For example,
- Antibiotic Tablets
There are alternative treatments for acne that are generally safer (not all) and use botanical or natural ingredients to treat the skin. For example,
- Green tea
- Sunflower Oil
- Witch Hazel
- Tea Tree Oil
This method of treatment involves using physical forces or machinery to help the skin be clear from acne in different ways. As technology grows, this category of treatment can only expand. For example,
- Comedone Extraction
- Cryoslush Therapy
- Needle rolling
- Photodynamic Therapy
Each of these treatments are designed to target different skin types and different acnes. You have the choice of choosing which one is best for you. However, it has been generally noted by a lot of researchers that a combination of treatments may be more effective than exclusively using one type. A perfect example of this is; using a physical treatment called the “comedone treatment” (which can be done by your trusted dermatologist or your local spa salon) to remove all your blackheads/whiteheads and using a topical treatment such as CORSX Two in One Poreless Power Liquid to maintain the skin.
Best Ingredients for Acne Prone Skin
Now that you understand more about your acne, what causes it and so on from our previous post, Korean Skincare Guide: Pimple Popping, we can look at what ingredients are good for our acne-prone skin. There is an incredibly overwhelming amount of ingredients that exist to treat acne. Here we are going to tell you the top five ingredients that will help you fight the acne battle.
This is one of the most well-known ingredients to treat acne. It effectively treats acne by killing the bacteria in the acne, removes excess oils and exfoliates dead skin cells. When added to a cleanser, lotion, creams and so on, it increases the effectiveness of the product in treating acne by 3-10%. It’s a very powerful ingredient that serves well to fight off your acne. However, Benzoyl Peroxide does not help prevent further acne breakouts. It only treats the acne you currently have.
Keep in mind Benzoyl Peroxide is great to treat practically all types and levels of acne, but can be quite drying when used in higher concentrations. So please treat your skin accordingly when using it.
In our Ultimate Guide On Exfoliation, we explained the benefits of using Salicylic Acid. But how can it also help those with acne? This ingredient is known to be a powerful and effective exfoliant that helps to not only promote skin cell turnover, but to effectively cleanse the hair follicles in your skin (where the problem starts). It is both fungistatic and bacteriostatic (meaning it stops fungi and bacteria from reproducing on the skin). It deeply penetrates the barriers of the skin so that it can do its magic whilst cleaning your pores and reducing the oil production in your skin without stripping the moisture in your skin. In addition, Salicylic Acid also has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the redness that often appears around an infected or swollen pimple.
Willow Bark is a great alternative to Salicylic Acid. It’s a botanical ingredient that naturally contains Salicylic Acid.
Tea Tree Oil
This Australia-born ingredient is a natural ingredient that is well-known for its blemish-fighting abilities. It contains anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that have been tested to have incredible results in treating and preventing mild to moderate acne. Tea Tree Oil also has the capability to calm your acne once it appears on your skin. The common misconception behind this ingredient is that because it is a “natural” ingredient, it will not cause irritation. However, even though it is a “natural” ingredient, those with a higher skin sensitivity or those with problematic skin such as eczema, may find this ingredient to be too harsh and it may cause some discomfort.
Always test your skincare products on a small part of your body to check for any irritations, allergies and so on!
In the last five years, researchers have discovered why the Japanese and Korean have soft, supple, almost acne-free skin (which is what they are well-known for): Green Tea. Not only is Green Tea digested in the body, but it is absolutely amazing as an extract in acne-treating products.
Unlike the other ingredients we have mentioned, Green Tea works differently in terms on what it can do for your acne. Green Tea is primarily a preventative and supportive ingredient to help keep your acne under control. It has the ability to reduce oil production and block the over-production of sebum. In turn, this decreases the appearances of blemishes. Something as little as 2% of green tea extract can reduce acne severity. Besides having anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, it is also anti-oxidative. This means Green Tea has the potential to protect the skin from UV Radiation which will help your skin to heal a little faster from scarring. This ingredient is a must-have in your daily skincare routine.
Other Hydroxy Acids (HA)
If you have blemishes or acne that you want to treat, there are also other hydroxy acids as well. Salicylic Acid is a type of HA that is generally for those with oily/combination or acne-prone skin.
In our Ultimate Guide On Exfoliation, we mention the benefits of Hydroxy Acids and the different types that exist. Exfoliation is also a major part of treating acne and it is something that must be included in your skincare routine. There are three types of HAs; AHAs (e.g. Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acids), BHAs (e.g. Salicylic Acids) and PHAs. They promote skin cell turnover, remove dead skin cells, clean the skin from bacteria and reduce excess oils. HAs generally work to dissolve sebum under the skin and control the oil levels in your skin. They’re usually used as a topical treatment to treat mild to moderate acne and are considered to be a treatment as well as a preventative. What’s amazing about hydroxy acids is that they work on all skin types, not just acne-prone/oily skin.
Also related: Best Skin Care Acids: Types, Benefits and How To Use.
These active ingredients are truly remarkable ingredients to treat your acne! Generally, if you have mild acne, you should be using lower concentrations of these ingredients so as to not stress your skin.
Here are some of our favourite Korean skincare products that contain these amazing ingredients and treat acne-prone skin;
- Some by Mi “AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner”
- COSRX “Two in One Poreless Power Liquid”
- Pyunkang Yul “Acne Cream”
- Pyunkang Yul “Acne Facial Cleanser”
- COSRX “AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner”
- COSRX “Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser”
- Dr Jart+ Cicapair Cream
- Dr Jart+ Cicapair Serum
- Dear Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream
- Pyunkang Yul “Acne Spot Cream”
We hope this article, and our Korean Skincare Guide: Treating Acne series has been informative and helpful to you.
Don’t forget, first it’s important to know your skin, whether you have Inflammatory or Non-inflammatory Acne and what causes it. This will help you to treat the root cause of your acne. We went into detail about this in Part I of this series, Korean Skincare Guide: Treating Acne.
Secondly, figure out what type of Acne you have based on its severity: Mild, Intermediate, Severe. These include Blackheads / Whiteheads, Papules, Cysts and more. Find them all in Part II of our series, Korean Skincare Guide: Pimple Popping. And remember: Don’t Pop It, Treat It!
Lastly, if you are currently suffering from acne and/or have acne-prone skin, look for specific ingredients in your skincare that not only treat current acne but also prevent further acne breakouts from occurring. The best ingredients for acne prone skin are Benzol Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil, Green Tea and other Hydroxy Acids.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Our Korean Skincare Guide to Treating Acne series was written by Biscuits n Makeup, a talented beauty & skincare blogger based in Sydney. Find out more about Biscuits n Makeup and read all her in-depth product review blogs on not only Korean beauty brands but also Western beauty brands on her blog here. If you love all things makeup & skincare related, be sure to give her Instagram account a follow (@biscuitsnmakeup)!
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