Of the many acne treatments available in South Korea – countless lasers, in-office exfoliating peels, and Skin Botox, included – the country’s innovative beauty products are the easiest for us to access stateside. Korean skin care places an emphasis on treating zits gently without drying them out. (The latter approach may be what you’re used to here in America.)
In fact, when I was in Korea pre-pandemic in 2020, I asked dermatologist Cho Yun Joo what’s the number one piece of advice she has for people battling breakouts, and “moisture, lots of moisture,” was her immediate answer.
Lim Ee Seok, the head dermatologist at Seoul’s Thema Dermatologic Clinic, shared similar sentiments with me. Typically in the U.S., the oil buildup on skin is usually focused on first instead of the fact that you probably just have dry or sensitive skin, and your complexion is trying to balance itself out.
Address inflammation is also key, according to dermatologist Shin Hae Won at Oracle, a major dermatology and skin-care clinic in Seoul. Seeking out soothing ingredients like cica, allantoin, and niacinamide will help calm redness while clearing up your complexion.
With all this in mind, we gathered up the Korean acne products editors from Allure and Allure Korea swear by, as well as dermatologists.