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Six Important Lessons We Learned at an Acne Master Class With Charlotte Cho

Charlotte Cho hosted a skin care master class at Soko House and lucky for you we took notes. Read on for her best tips!

Charlotte Cho is not only the co-founder of Soko Glam and The Klog, did you know she’s an esthetician as well? The point is, she seriously knows her stuff.

Earlier this week at Soko House, Charlotte hosted a master class in a topic that’s likely on most people’s minds now that we’re in the throes of summer: Acne. In addition to her best breakout-busting advice, Charlotte also shared some of her favorite acne “game changers” from COSRX, a K-beauty brand known for effective acne-fighters.

Missed the event? Not to worry. We’re sharing the highlights below!COSRX Charlotte Cho

Betaine salicylate is a gentler alternative to salicylic acid, but no less effective.

Salicylic acid is a popular acne treatment because it cleans out the pores and gets rid of excess sebum. “It’s oil-loving so that means it goes straight to the source of what’s causing breakouts,” said Charlotte. The flip side is that it can dry and strip your skin of natural oils which can actually make you more susceptible to acne.

This is why Charlotte likes products that contain betaine salicylate, a gentler form of salicylic acid. “It’s so important that you maintain the oil-moisture balance of your skin,” she said.

One of her favorite products that contain it is the COSRX One Step Original Clear Pads. “It’s been a game-changer for my hormonal acne. It really helped me get rid of it faster. Now I can go 3-4 weeks without any breakouts at all,” she said.

If you’re peeling, you’re over-exfoliating.

Even though betaine salicylate is less harsh than other BHAs, Charlotte still recommends applying a product with it 2-3 times per week to avoid over-exfoliation. Peeling, redness, and irritation are all signs that you’re overdoing it.

That said, it may take some trial and error to find the right frequency for your skin. “It really depends on the thickness of your skin,” Charlotte said. “The thicker skin – large pores, a lot of oil production – can take more exfoliation.”

She also advised always wearing sunscreen after using a chemical exfoliant such as a BHA because your skin will be more sun-sensitive.

Vitamin C is a must-have ingredient for treating acne scars.

“Vitamin C is the best antioxidant ingredient and is the most proven and powerful way to get rid of dark spots like acne scars,” said Charlotte. “My biggest thing after I get a pimple is pigmentation. It’s a constant cycle with hormonal acne especially because you always get it in the same area.”

Charlotte said that it was her own experience with acne scars that inspired Triple C, the mega-popular vitamin C serum she collaborated on with COSRX.

You can even use it as a spot treatment! Just remember to alternate use between vitamin C and BHAs and AHAs as using the two together can cause irritation.

Acne-prone skin types still need to moisturize!

Charlotte said that this is one of the biggest misconceptions about acne. “It’s as important to protect as it is to cleanse and treat. If you don’t have the right oil-moisture balance, it compromises your skin, and can result in inflammation and bacteria getting in, causing acne,” she explained.

A product she recommended is the COSRX Balancium Comfort Ceramide Cream. “Ceramides are a great way to protect your barrier without clogging your pores. They’re a lipid – they’re like blocks that fill in gaps between skin cells.

You don’t have to apply all the steps on every part of your face.

“I don’t have the same goals for every part of my face. The top part of my face, I don’t have to worry about pimples, but the bottom part, I’m dealing with acne,” said Charlotte. I treat the top part very differently – I have dry cheeks, fine lines, and brown spots. Then I do a very simple routine on my chin; I don’t do that many layers of hydration.”

You can assess your skin, and if you have different goals for different areas, you can play with routines to see what works best.

You’re not going to “achieve the world”.

“A lot of people come to me and they say, ‘I want dewy skin, and no spots’ all at once,” said Charlotte. That might not be realistic. She recommends targeting and focusing on specific skin issues instead of trying to achieve perfection. “You have to be consistent and patient.”

For the full calendar of Soko House events, click here!

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