How I Cured My Hormonal Acne With The Korean Skin Care Routine

By March 31, 2017

My name is Diana, and I’m the marketing manager at Soko Glam. I’m letting you in on my skin care journey and showing you how the Korean skin care routine helps hormonal acne.


Growing up, I had fairly good skin—that is, until I turned 21 and my face broke out with cystic, hormonal acne. To move up fast at a high pressure job, I dramatically changed my lifestyle to accommodate the long hours. I was sleeping three hours every night, and I was not eating healthy.

At the time, I had no idea how to treat hormonal acne. I also didn’t know how to properly conceal acne, so I put on a thick wad of heavy-duty concealer everyday to hide my pimples. As you can imagine, this resulted in cakey, bumpy-looking skin, and it made my acne worse.

When I switched jobs and started working at Soko Glam, I became exposed to the world of Korean skin care. At first, I was puzzled by some of the concepts in Korean skin care. But the more I learned, the more I realized that Korean skin care is more than fun products with obscure ingredients; it’s also about the know-hows Koreans have in taking control of their skin.

When I started using Korean products that actually worked for me, I felt empowered in a way I hadn’t before. It was a sense of personal achievement that’s different from getting a promotion or landing a big deal. Thanks to my job, I came to experiment with more and more products over the years. Now I’ve arrived at a place where I know what routine works for me and keep my acne at bay—and I hope my routine helps you, too.

Enature Moringa Cleansing Balm

When I began properly treating my cystic acne, double cleansing was the first thing I incorporated into my routine. I saw major improvements in my skin, not just in the texture but also in clearing breakouts.

Because I have oily skin and I wear makeup, using an oil cleanser is very important. When you have oily, acne-prone skin, you might think that an oil-based product will make you oilier or won’t wash off all the way. But actually, an oil cleanser is what makes my skin feel fresh and clean afterwards, and it balances my moisture level so I actually produce less excess oil.

This balm contains Moringa seed extract, which is great for anti-aging and for breaking down makeup, dirt, excess sebum, and pollution. A little goes a long way with this balm, and I love how clean my skin feels after.

Erborian Black Soap

My go-to water-based cleanser is this soap. For me, I love that this is like a throwback cleanser. I remember when everyone used to use bar soaps in the shower. Soap is something I never used to use on my face since a lot of generic bar soaps disrupt your skin’s low pH acid mantle, but this one is designed for your face, and I’ve completely fallen in love with it. It contains charcoal to draw out all the toxins and impurities for my face, and it’s an amazing product for oily skin. My face always feels smooth and clean after.

Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon

I exfoliate 2-3 times a week using the Bio Peel in Lemon. It has a fresh scent that lifts my mood each time, and it’s super fun to use. It has a chemical acid called AHA to clean pores and smooth skin texture. On top of that, it’s seriously brightening, which I really need coming out of a long New York City winter. Charlotte has personally reviewed this product, and it’s popular among my co-workers as well.

Son & Park Beauty Water

After I’m done cleansing, I triple cleanse with Beauty Water. I use it very often, but the bottle lasts me a long time. I love that this is a multi-purpose product; I also use it in the morning before I put on makeup because it hydrates my skin, giving me a smooth canvas for foundation.

Klairs Supple Preparation Toner

Even though I have oily skin, my skin always needs hydration. I used to get this tight feeling after I cleanse, but this toner totally eliminated that problem. It’s super hydrating, and it has this slight gooey texture, which I like so that it doesn’t slip between my fingers so easily like some watery toners out there. My skin drinks this up. My former co-worker said this toner changed her skin in a week, and I can see why.

Missha The First Treatment Essence

I use this essence every single day. It not only brightens my complexion, but I also noticed that it helps me get rid of acne scars from hormonal breakouts.

Neogen White Truffle Serum in Oil Drop

As much as I know layering my skin care products is best, serums are something I don’t use everyday. But when I feel like I need a boost of moisture or a brightening effect, I reach for this serum. It contains white truffle, and it has oil drops dispersed throughout. I know it sounds scary when you have oily skin, but this doesn’t make my skin feel oily afterwards, and it’s my favorite at the moment.

Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream

This product is great because it combines two of my favorite things: snail mucin and gel texture. Snail mucin is what you need to use if you want to fade acne scars or lock in moisture. This cream gives me that really bright, dewy look without adding extra oil to my face, and I’ve noticed that it heals active breakouts as well.

Goodal Mild Protect Watery Sunscreen

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For me, sunscreen is the most important part of my skin care. The sun is so damaging for your skin, causing sun spots, premature aging, and other skin issues. I’ve tried so many sunscreens, but I love this one because it’s hydrating without being oily. It has a watery texture so I no longer have to feel icky putting sunscreen on my oily skin.

Depending on how busy I am, and depending on the season, my routine changes a bit. If I’m in a rush, I just double cleanse and apply toner and moisturizer, which is the bare minimum that keeps my skin free of cystic acne. But I see a huge difference when I follow the full routine. Of course, a few pimples might still pop up once in a while, but with the Korean skin care routine, they never stick around as long as they used to. And the best part is, now with breakouts or dark spots, I now know how to treat them and keep them under control, and that’s the most exciting part.

+ How do you think the Korean skin care routine helps hormonal acne? Let us know below!

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