If you deal with acne and breakouts, you know how difficult it can be to find a skincare routine that works. With so many different products on the market, it can be hard to know where to start.
But if you’re looking for a cleanser that will help keep your skin clear and prevent breakouts, look no further than Korean cleansers.
The best Korean cleansers for acne prone skin are gentle yet effective and will help remove excess oil and dirt from your skin without stripping it of its natural moisture.
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8 Best Korean Cleansers For Acne Prone Skin
Korean skincare products for acne prone skin avoid harsh irritants in their formulas. This is especially true when it comes to cleansers.
The best Korean cleanser for acne? It will depend on your skin’s needs:
- If you want to try a Korean cleanser that contains salicylic acid, Peach Slices Acne Clarifying Cleanser is a great choice for its strong 2% salicylic acid concentration.
- If you need some extra soothing, Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser contains snail mucin to soothe irritated skin.
If you’re on the hunt for a new Korean cleanser for acne prone skin, these are a few great options:
1. Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser
Acne can leave your skin irritated and reddened. Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser uses snail secretion filtrate (snail slime!) to help soothe and calm your skin while removing excess sebum and dead skin cells.
It contains natural plant-based cleansers to remove dirt, oil, and other debris that can clog pores and cause breakouts.
This Korean cleanser is an excellent choice if you have a sensitive skin type prone to acne and breakouts.
Please note there is added fragrance in this cleanser.
Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser Key Ingredients
- Lauric Acid: A natural fatty acid derived from coconut oil, lauric acid is an anti-acne agent that helps kill bacteria and prevent new breakouts from forming.
- Snail Secretion Filtrate: Also known as snail mucin or snail slime, this key ingredient is filled with beneficial proteins, elastin, and glycol acid that help condition your skin and keep it clear. It also has moisturizing benefits and anti-aging properties that smooth out the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Carica Papaya Fruit Extract: Papaya extract is an enzyme exfoliant that helps to gently remove dead skin cells, dirt, and impurities from your skin’s surface. This helps prevent clogged pores and keeps your skin looking clear and smooth.
- Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract: Also known as green tea extract, this ingredient is rich in antioxidants that help protect skin from the damaging effects of free radicals from environmental factors like UV rays and pollution and fight off acne-causing bacteria.
2. Peach Slices Acne Clarifying Cleanser
Peach Slices Acne Clarifying Cleanser is formulated with a potent 2% salicylic acid concentration to help prevent and clear acne breakouts.
This effective concentration of salicylic acid works to unclog pores, reduce inflammation and remove excess oil.
In addition to salicylic acid, the cleanser contains nourishing plant-based extracts and hydrating and soothing ingredients to calm redness and irritation.
Perfect for oily and acne-prone skin, this foaming salicylic acid cleanser dives deep into pores, eliminating impurities without stripping your skin’s natural moisture.
Peach Slices Acne Clarifying Cleanser Key Ingredients
- Glycerin: Glycerin is a humectant that helps bind moisture and soften and soothe your skin, making it an ideal ingredient for sensitive complexions.
- Betaine: Betaine is a natural amino acid derivative that helps maintain your skin’s natural moisture balance.
- Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Water: Cucumber fruit water is a natural source of skin-protective antioxidants and vitamins.
- Sodium Hyaluronate: This salt form of hyaluronic acid draws moisture to your skin and helps keep it plump.
- Centella Asiatica Extract: Also known as cica, Centella asiatica extract is a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps soothe your skin and reduce the look of redness.
- Malpighia Emarginata (Acerola) Fruit Extract: This antioxidant-rich plant extract helps protect skin from free radical damage and environmental stressors. It is rich in vitamin C and also contains vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
3. COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is a foaming gel cleanser that you can use both day and night to remove dirt and impurities while strengthening your delicate skin barrier.
The pH-balanced cleanser is formulated for all skin types and is ideal for acne prone skin thanks to tea tree oil and a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) in the formula for clearer, more radiant skin and improved skin texture.
COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser Key Ingredients
- Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract: Move over hyaluronic acid, Ulmus extract is a new kid on the block for skin hydration! This ingredient helps keep your skin hydrated by attracting and holding water in your skin thanks to sugars such as glucose, rhamnose, and galactose. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits and offers photoprotection for the skin.
- Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil: Tea tree oil is a popular ingredient for its acne-fighting benefits. It’s antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and has antiseptic properties.
- Allantoin: This calming ingredient is derived from the comfrey plant and is often found in skincare products for its ability to heal and soothe your skin.
- Betaine Salicylate: This ingredient combines the BHA salicylic acid and the moisturizer betaine to create an acne-fighting, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing ingredient.
4. COSRX AC Collection Calming Foam Cleanser
COSRX AC Collection Calming Foam Cleanser is a daily acne foaming cleanser that treats acne and breakouts and helps your skin recover and heal by minimizing irritation.
This Korean cleansing foam contains COSRX Centella AC-Rx Complex, which uses three active ingredients from the Centella asiatica plant (madecassic acid, asiaticoside, and asiatic acid) to calm inflammation, fight bacteria, and speed up wound healing.
Salicylic acid targets clogged pores for improved skin clarity.
While perfect for acne-prone skin, this Korean salicylic acid cleanser can be used by all skin types, including sensitive skin.
It removes dirt, debris, and excess oil while fighting acne, whiteheads, and blackheads.
This is the upgraded version of COSRX’s popular Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser.
COSRX AC Collection Calming Foam Cleanser Key Ingredients
- Lauric Acid: This ingredient has antibacterial properties and can help reduce acne breakouts.
- Salicylic Acid: This exfoliating acid is a beta hydroxy acid that helps exfoliate your skin, remove dirt and debris, and unclog pores.
- Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, and Madecassic Acid: Found in COSRX’s proprietary Centella AC-Rx Complex, these three active ingredients from the Centella asiatica plant have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help repair damaged skin, reduce redness and inflammation, and speed up wound healing.
5. Etude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser
Etude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser is a moisturizing cleansing whip with a pH of 6.5, which is ideal for the skin.
It contains 98.9% natural ingredients to remove dirt, oil, and other impurities without stripping your skin.
The cleanser uses minimal ingredients to avoid irritating your skin and contains soothing madecassoside and panthenol to calm sensitive skin.
It has a rich white foam that leaves your skin soft and smooth.
Etude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser Key Ingredients
- Panthenol: Also known as pro-vitamin B5, panthenol is a moisturizer that helps keep skin hydrated. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe irritation and redness.
- Madecassoside: Madecassoside is a compound from the Centella asiatica plant. It has been shown to improve wound healing, has antioxidant properties, and even helps inhibit melanin (pigment) production in your skin, which is ideal for acne scars, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and dark spots.
- Tocopherol: Also known as vitamin E, tocopherol is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals.
- Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract: Better known as green tea extract, Camellia sinensis leaf extract has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help to calm and soothe irritated skin.
Green tea also has antimicrobial properties, which can help treat acne and keep your skin clear of blemishes.
6. Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Acne Clear Foam Cleanser
Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Acne Clear Foam Cleanser is an award-winning Korean cleanser for acne-prone skin, oily skin, and sensitive skin types.
This cleanser removes skin impurities, dead skin cells, and residual makeup that can clog pores and cause breakouts.
A combination of AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), BHA (beta hydroxy acid), and PHA (polyhydroxy acid) works to clear pores and smooth your skin.
The BHA salicylic acid clears out pores and dead skin cells, and the AHA and PHA replenish moisture and improve skin resilience.
Some By Mi’s Truecica Complex contains mugwort, tea tree, and Centella asiastica extract to soothe your skin and support a healthy skin barrier.
A naturally derived surfactant from coconut creates a rich foam reminiscent of shaving cream. Please note that this Korean face wash contains peppermint oil that imparts a light minty scent.
Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Acne Clear Foam Cleanser Key Ingredients
- Lauric Acid: Lauric acid is a fatty acid found in coconut oil, and it has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It’s been shown to be especially beneficial for acne-prone skin, as it helps reduce inflammation and prevent the overgrowth of certain types of bacteria.
- Centella Asiatica Extract: This extract is rich in compounds that promote wound healing and help reduce the appearance of acne scars. It also has anti-inflammatory properties making it ideal for acne-prone skin.
- Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water: Tea tree oil is known for its ability to fight acne and reduce inflammation, making it a great ingredient for combating acne-prone skin. Tea tree water is the diluted form of tea tree oil.
- Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid is an excellent acne-fighting ingredient, as it helps reduce inflammation and slough off dead skin cells. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits, making it a go-to for acne-prone skin.
- Gluconolactone: A polyhydroxy acid (PHA), gluconolactone is a gentle exfoliant that helps remove dead skin cells and improve the overall look of your complexion.
- Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate: This ingredient is derived from licorice root and has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. It also helps balance oil production in your skin, making it an excellent active for those with oily skin.
- Citric Acid: Citric acid is a mild AHA that helps exfoliate your skin and improve the appearance of skin texture.
- Artemisia Vulgaris (Mugwort) Extract: Mugwort extract is anti-inflammatory and soothing, perfect for irritated and sensitive skin.
- Madecassoside, Asiaticoside, Madecassic Acid, Asiatic Acid: These components of Centella asiatica have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties.
They help to work to soothe and calm your skin while also improving the appearance of scarring.
7. Etude House AC Clean Up Daily Cleansing Foam
Etude House AC Clean Up Daily Cleansing Foam is a low pH cleansing foam formulated to cleanse your skin while reducing acne and excess sebum with the beta hydroxy acid (BHA) salicylic acid.
Salicylic acid is oil-soluble and a type of exfoliating acid that can penetrate deep into the pores to remove excess oil and dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause acne.
It’s a favorite of those with oily and acne-prone skin.
This Korean salicylic acid cleanser contains an amino acid base that is gentle on irritated and sensitive skin. It also contains Centella Asiatica extract, tea tree, and madecassoside to clarify, soothe and calm your skin.
The cleansing foam has a somewhat medicinal scent and contains added fragrance.
Etude House AC Clean Up Daily Cleansing Foam Key Ingredients
- Salicylic Acid: An acne-fighting BHA exfoliant. Salicylic acid differs from other exfoliating acids such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid in that it can exfoliate the surface of your skin like AHAs, but it is also oil-soluble and can penetrate deep into pores to clean them out.
- Centella Asiatica Extract: An anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps soothe skin. Centella asiastica is also known as gotu kola. It is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine and has been shown to have wound healing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits for your skin.
- Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract: A soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help calm your skin. Also known as chamomile extract, this plant extract has been used for centuries to soothe and relieve irritation.
- Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water: Tea tree is a popular ingredient for acne-prone skin because it has antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Tea tree leaf water is the diluted form of tea tree oil and is less likely to irritate your skin.
- Houttuynia Cordata Extract: Another active ingredient with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, Houttuynia cordata extract also is an antioxidant that can help protect and repair your skin.
- Portulaca Oleracea Extract: A purifying and anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help soothe acne, Portulaca oleracea extract is also high in omega-3 fatty acids and contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can protect and repair your skin from sun damage and environmental aggressors.
- Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil: Tea tree oil is one of the most popular acne-fighting ingredients for oily and acne-prone skin because it has powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce acne, prevent breakouts, and minimize redness and irritation.
- Madecassoside: Madecassoside is a compound found in Centella asiastica that is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help reduce redness and calm inflamed skin.
8. Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser
Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser is a foaming whip cleanser that gently cleans and conditions your skin without leaving it feeling tight or dry.
It’s chock full of skin-loving ingredients like tea tree, hyaluronic acid, and plant extracts to moisturize and nourish your skin while removing dirt, oil, and debris.
Instead of a sodium lauryl sulfate base, this cleanser uses an amino acid base to ensure that skin stays moisturized and the skin barrier stays intact, making it ideal for sensitive skin types.
This Korean cleansing comes in a container with a pump that dispenses the gentle moisturizing foam.
Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser Key Ingredients
- Lauric Acid: Lauric acid is used in skincare products as a cleansing agent, and it also is a powerful antimicrobial and antibacterial ingredient that can help reduce inflammatory acne caused by P. acnes bacteria.
- Betaine: A gentle amino acid-derived humectant and moisturizer that helps prevent your skin from losing moisture.
- Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract: A soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help reduce redness and irritation. Licorice root also is a well-known skin lightener that can help fade dark spots and brighten the complexion.
- Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract: A natural source of the exfoliating ingredient, bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that can help to break down dead skin cells, dissolve excess sebum and unclog pores.
- Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil: Tea tree oil is a popular essential oil and natural anti-acne remedy. It has antimicrobial properties that help to get rid of acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. This clinical study found that a 5% tea tree gel oil provided comparable results to 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion in the treatment of acne. While the tea tree oil gel took longer to see results, it had fewer unwanted side effects.
- Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract: Also known as Skullcap root extract, this multi-benefit herbal extract used in traditional Chinese medicine offers antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits for your skin.
- Sodium Hyaluronate: A form of hyaluronic acid, this ingredient helps to keep your skin hydrated and plump by attracting and holding water in your skin.
- Panthenol: Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) is a humectant that helps to keep your skin moisturized by attracting water to your skin and also helps soothe and repair your complexion.
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice: An extract from the aloe vera plant, this ingredient offers calming, soothing, and hydrating benefits for your skin.
- Portulaca Oleracea Extract: A plant extract rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, and flavonoids. Portulaca oleracea extract offers antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and soothing benefits for your skin.
- Centella Asiatica Extract: A plant extract rich in beta-glycosides, triterpenoids, and flavonoids. This ingredient offers anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and wound-healing properties that can help soothe irritated acne-prone skin.
Korean beauty brands were the pioneers of the double cleansing method, which involves using an oil-based cleanser, such as a cleansing balm or cleansing oil followed by a water-based cleanser, such as a Korean foam cleanser.
This method is very effective at removing makeup, dirt, and other impurities from your skin without stripping it of its natural oils.
Popular in the Korean skin care routine, the double cleanse is a great way to deeply cleanse and nourish your skin.
Perfect for your evening cleanse when you may be wearing makeup or have accumulated a day’s worth of pollution and dirt on your skin, the double cleanse will leave your skin feeling refreshed, hydrated, and radiant.
How to Double Cleanse Your Skin (PM Skincare Routine)
Step 1: Apply an oil-based cleanser.
Start with an oil cleanser like a cleansing balm or oil to remove makeup, dirt, and oil from your skin.
Simply massage the oil cleanser onto dry skin before adding water to emulsify it. Rinse the oil cleanser off your skin with lukewarm water.
Step 2: Follow with a water-based cleanser.
Now that your makeup is effectively removed, it’s time to cleanse your skin with a water-based cleanser. This will help to remove any remaining impurities and balance your skin’s pH levels.
Apply the water-based cleanser to damp skin and massage it in before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Any of the Korean cleansers in this post would be a great option for the second step in your double cleanse.
If you’re new to cleansing your face with two steps, it may seem like a lot of work, but your skin will thank you for it!
The double cleanse is an excellent way to deep cleanse your skin and keep it healthy, clear, and nourished.
Final Thoughts on The Best Korean Cleansers For Acne Prone Skin
If you’re looking for a way to keep your skin healthy and clear, the best Korean cleanser for acne prone skin will work for your skin type and skin concerns.
So if you’re looking to take your acne treatment routine to the next level, consider adding one of these top-rated Korean cleansers for acne prone skin to your regimen.
Key active ingredients like tea tree, salicylic acid, snail secretion filtrate, and lauric acid in these cleansers will help deeply cleanse and nourish your skin without leaving it feeling stripped or dry.
For more of the best Korean skincare products for acne prone skin, check out these posts:
- Best Korean Toners For Acne Prone Skin
- Best Korean Serums For Acne Prone Skin
- Best Korean Moisturizers For Acne Prone Skin
- Best COSRX Products for Oily Acne-Prone Skin
- Best Korean Niacinamide Serums
- Best Korean Skincare Gifts
Thanks for reading, and until next time, here’s to your good skin health!