A 3-step K beauty Routine for Acne

How do you choose products and put them into a routine? Well firstly, remember to stick to three steps: Cleanse, consistency, and then complete. More simply, pick a good cleanser, be consistent with a treatment product, and use sunscreen or a moisturizer to wrap everything up. And even though K-beauty is known for its numerous steps, you can get your K-beauty routine down to three steps as well. And yes, it will still be effective!

Let’s begin with cleansers. K-beauty is known for its gentle cleansers. And as mentioned before, it’s better to use a gentle cleanser for acne.

Cleanse (Choose 1)

Pyunkang Yul Acne Facial Cleanser - $10

This is one of the best K-beauty acne cleansers. This foams up gently on the skin, but it doesn’t overly strip the skin. It’s not like a 2% or 5% salicylic acid wash for acne that can really strip the skin and remove the oils. Even though salicylic washes are wonderful, harsh actives don’t really align with K-beauty. K-beauty is super gentle, and if you’re looking for an acne-friendly cleanser, this is it. This has willow bark and licorice.

Salicylic acid is related to the willow bark or wintergreen tree. Willow bark extract is a more gentle form, and the licorice inside helps with any dark spots from acne. This is one of the best cleansers, and it’s listed at a fantastic price. This is a great option if you don’t want to use a treatment cleanser every time. 

Be Plain Greenful pH-Balanced Cleansing Foam - $30 

This is one of Cassandra’s favorites. She’s been using it for 3 years. This has a beautiful, fluffy texture with green flecks in it. This is fantastic because it cleans the skin and removes makeup, dirt, and oil from the skin. The ingredients are acne-friendly, and it’s more of a gentle cleanser whereas the Pyangkul cleanser is more intense. You pick which one suits you, and both aren’t required. 


After we cleanse, we tone or use an essence.  Even though a toner or essence is not essential, they can be your treatment step in a K-beauty routine.

Treatment products address specific skin concerns such as acne, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and inflammation. Treatments have actives which are ingredients that are medically proven to work for a specific skin concern. Treatments can involve products like serums, but for this K-beauty routine, we’re using a toner! Toners are different than a serum. They’re normally thinner than a serum, they balance the skin’s pH, and they further purify the skin.

Depending on the formula, they can also deliver actives and treat the skin. Moreover, toners can prep the skin for treatments that might be in your moisturizer. Cassandra loves this toner for acne-prone skin, and it uses tea tree.Tea tree is a medically proven ingredient for helping mild acne because it kills acne bacteria. 

iUNIK Tea Tree Relief Toner 

When you look at K-beauty products, a lot of them rely on tea tree. It’s because it’s more gentle. But at the same time, it’s antibacterial, antimicrobial, and nourishing to the skin. Tea tree also helps with irritation, redness, and blemishes. Likewise, the main ingredient in this toner is tea tree leaf water. You don’t see that in a lot of products. This is not overly stripping to the skin, and it feels nice and hydrating on the skin. Even though it smells like tea tree and is 67% tea tree water, it won’t make your face burn.

This is the highest percentage Cassandra has ever come across, but it’s also19.5% centella asiatca. Centella asiatica is another ingredient proven to soothe redness and irritation. Overall, with 6 plant extracts, this toner is super hydrating and antioxidant-rich. It’s a challenge to find efficacious, gentle, and effective acne products so this toner is pretty unique. 


PURE'AM Authentic Barrier Cream Balm -$37

PURE’AM stands for “pure I am,” and the founder of this brand is from Korea. She created this line to help people love their authentic selves. She wanted to create a beauty line that had scientific backing, and her barrier cream is so good for dry or tired skin. This is a very thick moisturizer that doesn’t irritate acne.  If you have acne-prone skin, you know that some moisturizers can make the situation worse.  But, this moisturizer was tested in Korea and Germany. They did a skin penetration and a skin irritant test, and they worked until they got it right. It’s one of the best formulas, especially if your skin is dry or needs extra hydration. 

Furthermore, the ceramides within this product are actives that work to rebuild the skin barrier. And applying the toner beforehand preps the skin to fully absorb and benefit from the actives in this moisturizer. 

So, now that we know the three most important steps of a skincare routine and how certain products work, it will be easier to pick what works best for you. You can try this K-beauty routine, or you can use it for inspiration to build your own. Remember, everyone’s skin is different, and if you use this as a daytime routine, remember to wear a sunscreen!