I’m not quite sure which one is worse: acne, or the dreadful scars they leave behind. Neither of them is a fun experience, and if your skin type is anything like the slip-n-slide oil breeding ground mine has been for the past several years, I know you are sick and tired of the BS. So—as a regular girl from New York City bitten by the K-beauty bug who wants YOU to truly feel and look as beautiful as you possibly can—I’m giving you want you want: a list of the five Korean products that faded my acne scars.
Like I said, I’m a New Yorker, so what you see is what you’re gonna get. I’m not going to paint you a story of magical proportions and unrealistic expectations. In the photo below, you’ll see that it took a good year for my acne scars to fade:
But the scars did fade. Now, there are different types of acne scarring. Pitted, which tend to be “ice-pick” (like an ice pick has done a number on the smoothness of your skin), and hyperpigmentation, which is when excessive melanin leads to discoloration as a result of acne.
The most important thing about fading acne scars is exfoliation. It physically removes oily build-up and dead skin cells, which is crucial to maintaining healthy skin and a smooth complexion. There are so many ways to exfoliate your skin, but my current faves are my Clarisonic (it gives me the baby soft skin of my dreams!) and exfoliating skin care products with invigorating enzyme action.
So here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…my favorite acne scar-fading products:
This bar soap from is from the Phillipines but I had to include it! It contains natural Kojic acid made from rice. Vitamin C, orange extract, and virgin coconut oil are some of minimal ingredients that pack a powerful punch in this soap! Bonus: This soap is super affordable at 2 bars for about $7. Those with extra sensitive skin might want to it use every other day instead of daily, or try the anti-aging collagen version, which is gentler.
A great affordable dupe for the SK-II First Treatment Essence at a fraction of the cost. It’s super ingredient is saccharomyces, which brightens the skin, reduces wrinkles, and skin stress.
Vitamin OST Serum
This magical serum is a game changer for fading acne scars. Loaded with ascorbic acid (vitamin c), green tea extract, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, which each focuses on brightening skin/evening tone, exfoliating skin and reducing inflammation.
The Amore-Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel is fun to use. It’s an off-white powder that lightly bubbles when mixed with water. Natural Papaya enzymes that exfoliate skin cells while removing toxins are the source of its skin brightening powers.
A new favorite of mine, the Goodal Phytowash Yerba Mate Bubble Peeling combines green tea and yerba mate, as well as more than 28 natural extracts. In addition, salicylic acid removes dead skin cells, leaving your skin smooth and bright. Plus, I love how it transforms from a gel to a mega bubble party on your skin. It’s almost like a bubble bath for your face!
Benton has easily become one of my ultimate favorite brands in Korean skin care. This line is perfect for oily, dry, acne-prone, and sensitive skin types. The magic in this comes from the holy matrimony of snails and bees!
Yes, you read that right: Snail mucin (65 percent) and bee venom, along with willowbark extract are some of the super ingredients that make this a remarkable product for reducing redness and accelerating the fading of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation scars. (I use every product from their line!)
Bonus: My top acne-clearing skin care products:
A.C. Clinic Bee Venom Cleanser
Salicylic acid and beeswax target acne while white mulberry extract focuses on brightening hyperpigmentation. If you’re sensitive to lauric acid you might want to test a small area first.
This is designed for ALL skin types and it promises to treat acne while preventing skin damage due to stress. It’s power ingredients are snail mucin, aloe, and salicylic acid.
See the section above for details.
Extra bonus: My favorite spot treatments:
I love how lightweight this is, perfect for summer acne control! You can dab it on trouble areas or use it on your full face. Salicylic acid and willow bark extract are some of the super fighters here! Everything from this Innisfree line has been promising for fighting acne for my skin.
Did you know there are “acne band-aids” for your FACE!? I didn’t either until I came across these amazing tea tree oil and salicylic acid that you stick over your pimple to reduce redness and inflammation. They’re perfect for those unwelcoming surprises the morning after one too many cocktails and pizza!
And there you have it: The five Korean products that faded my acne scars. These are all of my personal tested and true favorite acne fighting & fading scar secrets! If you have any favorites that I haven’t tried yet please let me know. Now stop stressing over that zit and know it’s gonna be alright!
Oily but still fabulous!
Tiffany Marie is a glitter obsessed New York City native with a penchant for all things nautical! She’s a freelance journalist, public speaker, and healthcare ePatient advocate with a burning passion for advocacy, Asian skin care, fashion, food, beauty & K-pop! You can find her on Twitter @TiffanyAndLupus.