The Best Korean Cleansers for Acne-Prone Skin

Woman applying facial cleanser to her face

If you’re currently on the lookout for the best Korean cleansers for acne-prone skin, you have to keep in mind a few things before running off and buying one: the cleaner’s ingredients, whether it is non-comedogenic or not, and its pH level. I reviewed below the best Korean cleansers based on the aforementioned features.

After a long day at work or at school, there’s nothing more satisfying than going home to strip myself off of all the makeup I’ve been wearing for eight (or more!) hours. A cleanser that’s good for my skin type and skin concerns is just the perfect way to end the day and start a relaxing night.

Through years of experimenting with multiple skincare products and routines, I realized one thing: using the perfect cleanser for my skin day in and day out is the key and start of my journey to a more healthy and radiant skin.

I have proven throughout the years that I should never sleep in any makeup or whatever face product I put on during the day. This is especially true if I have been experiencing a lot of breakouts due to hormones and the environment. Whenever I sleep with makeup on, I wake up with my face feeling dirty and even a new pimple or two.

Including a Korean cleanser to your everyday routine to address skin concerns, including persistent and occasional acne, is a step-up in your skincare game. Korean skincare products are known to be generally gentler on any skin type as they mostly use natural ingredients in their products.

Keep reading for some of the best Korean cleansers I reviewed that are great for acne-prone skin thanks to their gentle nature and acne and breakout fighting ingredients.

What is a Face Cleanser?

Cleansing should always be an important and foremost step in any skincare routine. WIthout this essential step, you wouldn’t be able to achieve your desired skin no matter how many products you have and how much time you spend on your skincare routine.

A face cleanser is a skincare product used to help remove excess dirt, oils, makeup, dead skin cells, and other gunk that has taken the time to stick itself onto your skin. You should make sure to cleanse your face twice a day: once in the morning before you put on your makeup to make sure you don’t trap dirt under it and once in the evening to make sure you remove all dirt and makeup before you put on your skincare products.

A good facial cleanser should be able to do just that and in addition, and probably a very important aspect of your facial cleanser, it should be able to address your specific skin concerns.

Why Isn’t Soap Enough?

It is generally advised to not use soaps on our faces. While they may clean our bodies, soaps may be too harsh for our face. The skin on our face is more sensitive. While the skin on our body can handle the way soaps clean, our face may not handle it the same way.Consistently using soap for cleansing your face can cause more damage than good to your skin. You may develop even more sensitivities and irritation if this goes on for a longer period of time.

Our skin has a normal pH level of 5.0 to 5.5, making it acidic in nature. Soaps are naturally alkalines with a pH level of 9 to 10. Using regular soap on your face will likely disrupt your skin’s natural pH balance and cause further damage and make your skin condition worse. It would also strip your face off of its natural oils thus causing dryness and irritation.

Face cleansers, especially those from Korean brands, aim to restore and maintain your skin’s natural pH balance for a healthier skin. Cleansers, unlike regular soaps, also address specific concerns instead of simply cleaning.

Now that we have all that sorted out, are you ready for our favorite Korean cleansers for acne-prone skin?

Our Picks for the Best Korean Cleansers for Acne

Product ImageProduct NamePrice
Our PickCosrx Good Morning Gel CleanserCosrx Good Morning Gel CleanserCheck Price
Best for Sensitive SkinEtude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip CleanserEtude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip CleanserCheck Price
Best for Skin RepairMizon Snail Repairing Foam CleanserMizon Snail Repairing Foam CleanserCheck Price
Be Plain Greenful pH-Balanced Cleansing FoamBe Plain Greenful pH-Balanced Cleansing FoamCheck Price
essenHERB Tea Tree Foam CleanseressenHERB Tea Tree Foam CleanserCheck Price

The Best Korean Cleansers for Acne-Prone Skin

1. Cosrx Good Morning Gel Cleanser – Our Pick!

Cosrx Good Morning Gel Cleanser

Our pick for the best Korean cleanser for acne-prone skin is the Cosrx Good Morning Gel Cleanser is a gentle gel cleanser that has pH balancing components, tea tree oil, and BHA to soothe and strengthen your skin after every wash. This cleanser focuses on restoring your skin’s natural pH balance while not stripping your face off of its natural oils and causing an uncomfortable tight and dry feeling. It’s also great for calming and soothing sensitive and acne-prone skin.

If one of your concerns include stubborn acne scars from previous breakouts, you might want to consider this cleanser as it helps in fading away acne scars. It also helps keep acne under control and doesn’t cause any more damaging breakouts. It has a natural tea tree oil scent that can magnify its calming and soothing effects. Don’t worry if scented products aren’t your thing because it doesn’t linger on your face.

Long term effects of using this cleanser include a more radiant and glowing skin. The product is cheap and could last you for a long time as a little goes a long way and you won’t need to squeeze much whenever you’re cleansing your face. As this is SLS-free, some might note that this doesn’t lather much. It might also cause skin purging for some, so be sure to do a patch test first, as you should with other skincare products as well.

Pros:

  • pH balanced
  • Tea tree oil and BHA
  • Keeps acne under control
  • Fades acne scars
  • Calming and soothing
  • SLS-free

Cons:

  • Doesn’t lather much
  • Scent not for everyone
  • Might cause skin purging for some

2. Etude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser – Best for Sensitive Skin!

Etude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser

The Etude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser is a non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic whipped cream textured cleanser that works great for those with sensitive acne-prone skin! It’s also fragrance-free and very gentle on the skin. It cleans up the skin well but doesn’t strip off its natural oils that leaves your skin feeling tight and dry. This cleanser restores your skin’s natural pH balance and doesn’t ruin your skin’s natural barrier and leaves your skin feeling softer after every wash.

It’s a great cleanser choice for those with sensitive skin and acne-prone skin. It’s very lightweight, calms the skin down, doesn’t cause breakouts, and clears up acne for a healthier skin. The formula itself foams up nicely and the pump design of the bottle is very convenient to easily squeeze out the product everytime you need to cleanse.

Pros:

  • Non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic
  • pH balancing
  • Fragrance-free and gentle
  • Clears up acne
  • Calms down skin
  • Convenient pump design

Cons:

  • None

3. Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser – Best for Skin Repair!

Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser

The Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser, part of the brand’s famous Snail Repair Line, is a gentle cleanser and contains Centella Asiatica known to soothe and calm skin, and helps acne heal and prevent scarring and is our favorite for skin repair! That very ingredient already makes it a great go-to cleanser for those suffering from acne. Aside from acne healing properties, this facial cleanser also restores damaged skin and helps in repairing wrinkles to bring back youthful glow.

Using this cleanser leaves your skin feeling smooth and clean but makes sure it doesn’t strip you off your natural oils resulting in a dry and tight feeling on your face. It minimizes the appearance of pores and tightens it as well. Squeezing out just a small amount of this cleanser goes a long way and a single bottle would last you a long time.

It is noteworthy though that because of the snail extract in this cleanser, there is a scent that may be overwhelming for some, so do keep that in mind.

Pros:

  • Soothes and calms skin
  • Heals acne and prevents scarring
  • Restores damaged skin
  • Repairs wrinkles
  • Minimizes and tightens spores

Cons:

  • Scent may be overpowering and is not for everyone

4. Be Plain Greenful pH-Balanced Cleansing Foam

Be Plain Greenful pH-Balanced Cleansing Foam

The Greenful pH-Balanced Cleansing Foam from K-beauty brand Be Plain is a gentle and pH balancing everyday cleanser that is great for sensitive skin and acne-prone skin. This cleanser has mung bean extract as one of its main ingredients that helps remove lodged impurities inside pores. It also has organic green tea powder which helps in eliminating dead skin cells and excess oil produced by skin. Since it is pH balancing, it keeps acne at bay and doesn’t cause breakouts.

Using this cleanser leaves your skin feeling fresh but without stripping off natural oils and leaving you with a drying feeling. It also has a granular texture which makes for a gentle exfoliator without damaging skin cells. The product itself foams up nicely and you only need a little for every wash, making a bottle last for quite some time.

Some users have complained that there is discoloration upon receiving their products, that instead of the usual green cleanser, theirs were brown. However, the manufacturer has cleared this up saying that the discoloration in some is to be expected because of the natural green tea powder ingredient.

Pros:

  • pH balanced
  • Cleans deep into pores
  • Keeps acne under control
  • Gentle exfoliator

Cons:

  • None

5. essenHERB Tea Tree Foam Cleanser

essenHERB Tea Tree Foam Cleanser

The Tea Tree Foam Cleanser from brand essenHERB is a hypoallergenic cleanser that has tea tree leaf extracts, helping to calm and soothe the skin and especially troubled areas. It helps in healing acne and doesn’t cause breakouts. It also helps with the inflammation caused by acne. It cleans skin well without stripping and drying your skin. Having this in your routine keeps your skin moisturized, smooth, and clear.

This cleanser is also a great help in diminishing acne scars and other blemishes. The tea tree oil scent also adds to the soothing and calming factors of this cleanser. The formula itself lathers up well and thus you would only need a small amount for every wash.

Pros:

  • Tea tree oil for acne treatment
  • Calms and soothes skin
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Fades away scars and blemishes

Cons:

  • None

How to Choose the Best Korean Cleanser for Acne-Prone Skin

If you have acne-prone skin, choosing a cleanser that works best for your skin’s needs and concerns is a very important step in achieving a healthier skin. It’s important to research and know what’s good for your skin before you try a new and different cleanser especially if you have acne-prone skin because we don’t want to worsen your skin’s conditions, do we? Here, we’ve listed some things we think you should take into careful consideration:

Before purchasing and using a new Korean cleanser, or any product for that matter, you should always look into the ingredients contained in it and make sure it has all the right ingredients for your acne-prone skin. Tea tree oil is one of the more famous ingredients known to help fight and treat acne. Centella asiatica is also known to soothe and calm sensitive, especially acne-prone skin. It helps acne heal and prevent scarring.

If you’re suffering from acne, it’s best for your skin if you opt for a non-comedogenic facial cleanser. If you don’t already know, a non-comedogenic skincare or cosmetic product is formulated to not cause blockage on pores whenever used. Using a product that falls under this category is especially important so as not to clog your pores and cause acne breakout.

Look for a cleanser that helps balance the pH level on your skin. If your pH balance is disrupted, it could most likely lead to bacteria growth and acne breakout. Other skin issues might also arise if you let your skin’s pH balance be off and unbalanced. If you’re prone to acne, it’s very important for you to go for a cleanser that will restore your skin’s natural pH balance to avoid further bacteria and acne growth.

Just remember to always, always do some research on a product before using it on your face. It also doesn’t hurt to test a product first before fully committing it to your face to avoid further damage.

Korean Facial Cleansers Hacks

Cleansing your face two times a day sounds pretty basic and easy, right? Sure, it’s simply damping your face and using a cleanser to remove a day’s worth of dirt. But certainly there are more ways and hacks you can cleanse your face to get the most of your product.

First, you’d want to make sure that your hands are completely clean, this means it’s free of any dirt and pollutants too because your goal here is to clean your face, not to add more dirt to it. Wet your face with lukewarm water – not too hot and not too cold either. Use only your fingertips to apply the cleaner to your face. Using something that might be too hard can only cause more damage than good.

Avoid scrubbing your face when cleansing. Since the skin on our face is very sensitive, scrubbing could lead to irritation and skin damage. Make sure to also use lukewarm water in rinsing out the cleanser. After all the washing, use a soft cloth or towel to dry your face, but never tug on it as it may also cause damage.

Conclusion

Adding the best Korean cleanser for acne to your skincare routine will bring you closer to a healthier and more radiant skin you’ll surely be proud of. A cleanser would not only free your face from excess dirt, oil, and debris your skin has accumulated during the day, it would also address certain skin issues like acne.

The Cosrx Good Morning Gel Cleanser has so many good things in store for you with its pH balancing, tea tree oil, and BHA components to soothe, strengthen, and restore your skin’s health and vitality. It also helps fade away acne scars and is SLS-free! The Etude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser is also a great choice in restoring your skin’s pH balance and doesn’t cause the clogging of pores. The Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser has Centella Asiatica to help soothe and calm sensitive skin and fight acne and prevent scarring it can cause. The Be Plain Greenful pH-Balanced Cleansing Foam is also a great cleanser for acne-prone and sensitive skin for its pH balancing components and mung bean extract which helps remove lodged impurities inside pores. And the essenHERB Tea Tree Foam Cleanser boasts of its tea tree leaf extracts that helps to calm and soothe the skin. It helps in healing acne and doesn’t cause further breakouts.

We hope our list and guide have given you peace of mind in choosing the best Korean cleanser for your skin’s needs. Happy skincare shopping!