How I Used Korean Skin Care to Treat My Hormonal Acne


Picture-Illustration: by Stevie Remsberg

Charlotte Cho is a Korean skin-care knowledgeable. A California native, Cho turned immersed on this planet of Okay-Magnificence after transferring to the South Korea after school to work for Samsung. Impressed by her experiences, 4 years later, she and her husband, David, based Soko Glam. All through the years with trial and error and information, Cho has fastidiously honed her routine to successfully deal with her hormonal acne and hyperpigmentation. In her personal phrases, right here’s what she’s realized and why it really works.

Although I’m the co-founder of a skin-care start-up, I too cope with pimples. I’ve all the time had pimples right here and there, however on the day of my thirtieth birthday I woke as much as cystic, painful acne alongside my jawline. It’s been clockwork ever since. Each month, I get inflammatory pimples on my chin that additionally leaves behind marks. My pores and skin issues modified from lowering fantastic traces and brown spots to additionally battling hormonal acne.

Hormonal and cystic pimples can happen in anybody and is definitely extra frequent in adults than teenagers. Fifty percent of women ages 20 to 40 are dealing with adult acne, in response to the nonprofit group, American Academy of Dermatology. These are brought on by a mix of things: micro organism, extra sebum, useless pores and skin cells and hormones. I’ve additionally discovered that my weight-reduction plan would enormously have an effect on my breakouts. Whereas on the Whole 30 diet some time again, I really didn’t expertise hormonal pimples the complete time, and was in a position to deal with therapeutic the marks beforehand left behind from my different hormonal breakouts. By my very own skin-care journey, I’ve realized to create a holistic strategy to scale back my breakouts and has allowed them to heal quicker as effectively. Right here’s the skin-care routine I’ve discovered to be the very best for clear, bump-free pores and skin.


I started double-cleansing once I was 22 and simply found the world of Korean skincare after transferring to Seoul from Southern California. I by no means used to consider cleansing my pores and skin commonly, not to mention cleansing it twice, two instances a day! Nevertheless, as soon as I realized that oil cleansers successfully deep-clean pores, take away extra sebum and acne-causing micro organism, I used to be offered. I’ve used quite a bit since then, however after creating hormonal pimples, I started utilizing the Hanskin Cleansing Oil & Blackhead
. This cleanser is specifically formulated with polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), a delicate acid appropriate for delicate pores and skin sorts, to calmly exfoliate and assist maintain my blackheads and useless pores and skin cells at bay. It removes all oil-based impurities equivalent to make-up and air pollution. The tea tree oil in it additionally helps struggle breakouts whereas jojoba, olive, grapeseed oils and aloe vera extract hydrate pores and skin.

After I rinse off the oil cleanser, I exploit the Dr. Oracle A-Thera Cleansing Foam for my double-cleanse. Dr. Oracle is a well known skin-care model based by dermatologists and offered in over 70 clinics in Korea for its efficient outcomes. This water-based cleanser foams right into a wealthy lather and makes use of salicylic acid, inexperienced tea extract, and tea tree oil to deep-clean my pores and eliminate micro organism and extra sebum that trigger blemishes. It’s actually mild and doesn’t strip my pores and skin of moisture. The mix of inexperienced tea and sage extracts helps soothe my pores and skin and likewise fortifies my skin barrier, which is essential when coping with cystic pimples.

This double-cleansing pairing may be very mild for delicate, acne-prone pores and skin, particularly grownup or hormonal pimples due to their highly effective cleansing and soothing properties. It’s an effective way to stop extra breakouts and the outcomes are evident after day by day use (morning and evening)!


This step is essential for once I’m coping with a hormonal pimples breakout. If I’ve new painful, cystic pimples, I really put an pimples remedy on earlier than toner so it could possibly straight deal with it. I open a packet of the Dr. Oracle A-Thera Tea Tree Peeling Sticks and apply the distinctive stick soaked in a 6 % AHA and BHA resolution, straight onto my drawback areas. It’s formed like an enormous cotton swab and permits me to exactly goal any nooks and crannies.

AHA and BHA, powerful acne-fighting acids, successfully clear my pores and blackheads. Lactic acid gently lifts useless pores and skin cells whereas glycolic acid works to exfoliate and resurface the pores and skin, smoothing bumpy pores and skin texture. A mix of tea tree extract, lemon extract, and bamboo extract work to naturally exfoliate with out irritating my pores and skin. I’ve seen an enormous distinction after utilizing these sticks on a weekly foundation. I’ve observed my blemishes disappearing quicker once I included this into my routine. That is additionally TSA-approved because it’s a non-liquid and I journey one-third of the yr for work, so that is all the time in my bag for any journey! It makes it simple for me struggle breakouts whereas on the street.


After the peeling stick remedy is absorbed into my pores and skin, I exploit a chilled, pores and skin balancing toner. The Dr. Oracle A-Thera Toner [Editor’s note: This is sold out, but ACWELL Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner is similar] immediately calms my infected hormonal pimples with its primary ingredient, bamboo extract. It is stuffed with antioxidants to assist my pores and skin heal quicker and keep hydrated. Plus, it’s freed from synthetic perfume, parabens, and mineral oil! I like utilizing this with a cotton pad and sweep it throughout my face. This toner is nice for delicate pores and skin sorts and has a pH stage of 5.5 to steadiness pores and skin.

Spot Remedy

To double-treat my cystic pimples, along with the remedy sticks above, I’ll use the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch. They’re pimples stickers that are available in three totally different sizes and are tremendous reasonably priced at $5 a packet, with 24 patches. When I’ve infected pimples, I put the patches on them to attract out impurities. They’re skinny clear hydrocolloid patches that really feel much like a hydrogel sheet masks in texture and strongly persist with my pores and skin — I by no means have to fret about these sliding off my face!

They deal with breakouts by eliminating an infection and micro organism, that are what causes them within the first place. The patches breakdown particles from blackheads and soak up gunk from whiteheads in a single day, so there aren’t any harsh dry patches from utilizing these. The patches are nice for cystic pimples, like mine, as a result of they flatten them quick. I’ve additionally discovered that utilizing these with the Dr. Oracle Tea Tree Peeling Sticks really make them work even higher!


To comply with up, I exploit the Dr. Oracle A-Thera Emulsion [Editor’s note: This is currently sold out, but Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum is similar], which treats acne-prone pores and skin whereas hydrating it. Even oily and acne-prone pores and skin want moisture too with a view to forestall pores from over-producing oil. The formulation additionally consists of bamboo extract and inexperienced tea extract. Lighter than a moisturizer and extra substantial than an essence, this emulsion leaves my pores and skin plump and moisturized with out inflicting extra breakouts.


For my day by day moisturizer, I exploit the Dr. Oracle A-Thera Cream. This moisturizer soothes and nourishes my infected pores and skin. It’s mineral-rich and accommodates Celtic mineral water, to assist fortify pores and skin barrier, whereas bamboo extract locks in moisture and gives anti-aging advantages by boosting collagen manufacturing. That is my favourite moisturizer for once I’m coping with pimples, as a result of it’s calming.

Eye Cream

Although this doesn’t assist the hormonal pimples round my jawline, it’s nonetheless all the time a part of my routine! I’m loving the Benton Fermentation Eye Cream. It accommodates fermented and anti-aging components to maintain the attention space hydrated and comfortable. Bifida ferment lysate and galactomyces ferment filtrate are in it — fermented components are well-known in Korean skincare to assist restore pores and skin injury. The formulation accommodates ceramides, hyaluronic acid, aloe, and panthenol to deeply hydrate the pores and skin. Additionally, beta-glucans and adenosine plump and clean my eye space for brighter-looking eyes!


Throughout the day, I all the time apply Missha Mild Essence Sun Milk SPF 50/PA++++ [Editor’s note: This product is currently out of stock, but Cho recommends the Thank You Farmer Sun Project Light Sun Essence, which is similar], my final skin-care-routine step. I’ve been carrying it for years! It’s a light-weight sunscreen that gives highly effective broad spectrum UVA/UVB safety. And the essence formulation nourishes and hydrates my pores and skin as effectively. I really like the way it doesn’t go away my pores and skin with a greasy feeling or white solid as effectively.

Zits Marks

When my hormonal breakouts heal, they like to go away reminders behind on my face. To do cope with the pimples marks, I exploit the COSRX Triple C Lightning Liquid [Editor’s note: COSRX discontinued this product, but Cho recommends this product, which is similar] twice a day. I really collaborated with COSRX to develop this as a result of I knew how badly it was wanted. Coping with pimples is irritating, however therapeutic the marks left behind is complete one other ball recreation.

This serum accommodates 20.5 % of pure vitamin C, a identified ingredient that treats darkish spots. It’s highly effective in restoring radiance again to the pores and skin and likewise treats and prevents pigmentation. It’s infused with 72 % black chokeberry too, an ingredient that works to stabilize the vitamin C and hydrates the pores and skin. It’s all the time recent as a result of it’s made in small batches and consistently flown from Korea to the States. I like preserving mine in my fridge to maximise its effectiveness and to make it last more!

This text was initially printed March 9, 2018. It has been up to date all through. For those who purchase one thing by our hyperlinks, New York might earn an affiliate fee. | How I Used Korean Pores and skin Care to Deal with My Hormonal Zits


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