By Kathy Pham  

         I have been fighting acne since I first hit puberty, which was when I was only 10 years old! At first, my acne was just small bumps on my forehead, and they did not really hurt. However, as those bumps started to clear up on my forehead (without leaving any scars), I started to break out around my sides and chin! These pimples were a lot more painful and actually left scars! This breakout occurred when I was about 15 years old. Which meant I fought forehead acne for 5 years! I remember going to my family doctor, in which they prescribed me topical medication such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, but they did not work. I was then referred to a dermatologist and they still did not help. After being prescribed an oral antibiotic for acne and finding out I was allergic to the medication, I gave up on dermatologists. This article is not meant to say that dermatologists are not useful, but it is meant to share how I, personally, got rid of my acne!

As I searched through the internet and spent tons of money on skin care, many things did not work and caused me to break out more! I realized that I was being too harsh on my skin, thinking that salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide were my holy grail. I was wrong. However, when I was 18 years old, I finally discovered Korean skin care products! At first, I assumed that any Korean skin care product would not cause me to break out, so I bought several products from Laniege in their water series. This caused me to have the worst break out I have ever experienced. I was stubborn, I thought my skin was just purging. I was wrong. After this experience, I learned to do thorough research on my skincare products, especially to read reviews from other customers to see if they have ever broken out. Though this journey was expensive, it was worth every penny. And despite the process being lengthy and that it required a lot of effort and commitment, I stuck with it and it has shown great results after a couple months! The photos show when I first severely broke out versus now, which is about two years after.

The 10-step Korean skin care routine is as follows, with recommended products that I used!

  1. Oil Based Cleanser: Squalene + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil by Biossance
  2. Water based cleanser: Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam by The Face Shop
  3. Toner: Thayer’s Witch Hazel with Rose Petal and COSRX One step Original Clear Pads
  4. Exfoliate (once a week): St. Ives Apricot
  5. Essence: COSRX Snail Essence
  6. Sheet masks (once a week): Various Korean brands (The Face Shop, Innisfree, etc.)
  7. Serum: Rose Hip Seed Oil
  8. Moisturizer: Laniege Water Bank Gel (one of the products that did not break me out)
  9. Eye cream: Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream
  10. SPF (during the day): Neutrogena NO BREAKOUT Sun Lotion

Along with this skin care routine, I made sure to change my pillow case every other day. When you are sleeping, you rub your face on your pillow, which means the sebum on your face transfers to your pillow case! As well, make sure to buy a soft face towel to dry your face so you do not further irritate your skin!

Please keep in mind that these are the products that personally helped me! Everyone is different, so do your research before purchasing anything! As well, I am aware that not all products are Korean in my routine, but the point is that it is 10 steps and in the specific order laid out.

IMG_1441Acne is a hard battle and there are many who are lucky and do not suffer from it. Just because you have acne does not mean you are any less beautiful. Acne takes time and effort, and with the right products and routine, good results will show! Also, keep in mind that you may still get a few pimples here and there, but that is natural! I hope this article has helped you in some way and maybe even inspired you, good luck with your journey!


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