April 8, 2021

8 Best Korean Products for Acne Scars and Dark Spots

Best Korean Products for Acne Scars and Dark Spots
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We know you’ve been watching K-Dramas and K-Pop stages, wondering how these idols always seem to have their skin glow onscreen.

How do they keep their complexion look so radiant and hydrated all the time? It sounds unfair if you ask us.

Luckily, the industry has since acknowledged this demand from people all over the world.

We’ve prepared a curated list of our top Korean skincare picks for the treatment of acne scars! Let’s get into it, shall we?

Best Value
Some By Mi Snail Truecica Miracle Repair Serum
Our Pick
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
Budget Pick
Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel
Table of Contents

Best Korean Skincare Products for Acne Scars

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

Our Pick

Key Ingredient: Snail Mucin

The COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is formulated with 96% snail secretion filtrate. The product revitalizes your skin against acne scarring, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation.

We have to put this on top of our best acne mark-removing skincare products because of its ingredients’ harmony. Firstly, its snail mucus ingredient works to repair your damaged skin via the growth of new skin cells.

And yes, we are talking about actual snails.

Helpful in correcting marks, the collagen it helps produce also makes for firmer skin!

In addition to this, the product’s butylene glycol component works to help the other ingredients penetrate your skin more effectively. As such, this essence is the perfect supplement to your moisturizer.

The essence is not meant to replace your moisturizers completely. Rather, it is a perfect addition to your routinely used Korean skincare products for your face. And whether you have oily, dry, acne-prone, or sensitive skin, you’ll find this snail product perfect for all skin types.

Pros

  • Lightweight and refreshing
  • Helps moisturize irritated skin
  • Aids in the growth of new and healthy skin
  • Suitable for all types of skin
  • Vouched by lots of users

Cons

  • Sticky and slimy texture
  • Might be uncomfortable if new to snail mucus-based products

Some By Mi Snail Truecica Miracle Repair Serum

Best Value

Key Ingredient: Snail Mucin

This potent serum from Some By Mi specifically uses black snail secretion filtrate to repair damaged skin and add a rejuvenating glow.

Quite nothing like that Korean skin dewy glow, right?

At $40, the Snail Truecica Miracle Repair Serum balances uneven skin tone and addresses hyperpigmentation for a smooth complexion. Active ingredients also include propolis and camellia extracts, both of which help with skin rejuvenation!

When applied correctly, the product also helps fade acne scars and acne marks. This has been especially effective when addressing persistent skin concerns.

Say goodbye to skin sensitivities because Some By Mi has perfected a product for anyone and everyone to use! Don’t be afraid to get that K-beauty glow and even skin tone for a price, okay?

Pros

  • Gives you that rejuvenating glow
  • Active ingredients that help in skin rejuvenation
  • Perfect for sensitive skin

Cons

  • Sticky texture can be uncomfortable for others

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel

Budget Pick

Key Ingredient: Aloe and Propolis

With key ingredients that are inherently gentle to the skin, the Benton Soothing Gel is perfect if you have skin sensitivities and oily skin around the face.

The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe work particularly well to calm irritations, even out brown spots, and fade acne scars. Coupled with propolis’ antibacterial properties, future breakouts are also minimized in favor of a healthy and dewy glow.

Perfect for all skin types and priced at just around $20, this is definitely the best budget-friendly K-beauty product out there!

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Addresses uneven skin tone
  • Gives you that Korean dewy look after use
  • Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties

Cons

  • Can cause whiteheads on sensitive skin

COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid

Key Ingredients: Glycolic Acid and Niacinamide

The second COSRX product featured on this list is also one of the more popular and best Korean beauty products in the market right now. This exfoliant aims to help clear out your pores and rejuvenate your skin!

A vegan and cruelty-free product, the COSRX AHA Power Liquid helps exfoliate your skin without irritation. And this is all thanks to the gentleness of its natural ingredient: apple fruit water.

With extra care for exfoliation, it would be best to use this product along with your trusted sunscreen. By doing so, you ensure that your skin remains hydrated with the definitive glow, all while the product works hard to effectively even your complexion.

You see, AHA works by evenly thinning your skin to even it out with your marks and scarring. However, this may leave you with sensitive skin, especially when exposed to the sun.

However, the CORSRX skincare product is acid-based, so expect a stinging sensation during your acclimation period.

Pros

  • Renews skin by removing dead skin cells
  • Exfoliates while also hydrates
  • Gentle yet effective on skin
  • Brightens complexion
  • Lightens hyperpigmentation

Cons

  • May cause a stinging sensation during first use
  • Might smell acidic
  • Can make skin more sensitive to the sun

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Key Ingredients: Niacinamide and Zinc

This is quite easily among the brand’s best-selling products. And rightfully so!

The Ordinary incorporates 10% pure Niacinamide into the product, making it the perfect choice to balance out skin blemishes: dark spots are reported to lighten easily, and uneven skin tone to easily even out!

And when combined with Zinc, this exfoliator makes for an excellent solution to acne-prone skin. Not only will it help unclog your pores, but it also helps out in oil production. Really, what’s not to like?

Though maybe there is just one thing you have to be careful about: make sure not to use it simultaneously with Vitamin C serums. Both ingredients work to counter the other’s effects, so be sure to use them at different times.

Pros

  • Balances out hyperpigmentation and dark spots
  • Incorporates two key components
  • Effective in controlling oil production

Cons

  • Cannot be used simultaneously with a Vitamin C serum
  • May be too strong for those with sensitive skin

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

Key Ingredient: Vitamin C

Despite being on the more expensive side of Kbeauty products at $35, you can definitely count on the Klairs Vitamin Drop to help address your skin concerns!

The Klairs Vitamin C serum contains 5% ascorbic acid, which fades brown spots and acne marks. It will surely up your Vitamin C game.

If you have a sensitive skin type, you will greatly benefit from this product, especially because of the increased skin collagen production. The fading of your spots and scarring should take place, which results in firmer and healthier-looking skin!

This serum can definitely give you that effortless no-makeup glow you’ve been eyeing for.

Pros

  • Helps fade brown spots and scarring
  • Increased production of collagen
  • Perfect for sensitive skin

Cons

  • Expensive

Mizon All-In-One Snail Repair Cream

Key Ingredient: Snail Mucin

Our third product with the snail mucus extract, the Mizon Repair Cream is popular for its lack of strong smell!

As the cream feels almost gel-like, it is expected to be silky and light to the touch. And rather than feeling sticky and stuffy, users instead report the overwhelming satisfaction from the soft and moisturizing feeling it leaves the skin.

Leaving you with a visible glow, the Mizon Cream addresses dark spots and is one of the must-have Korean beauty products out in the market right now. An essential to your daily facial skincare routine, if you must.

Pros

  • No strong smell
  • Soft and moisturizing to the face

Cons

  • Pricey

By Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C21.5 Advanced Serum

Key Ingredient: Vitamin C

By Wishtrend has seemingly perfected the Vitamin C serum that works for everyone.

With 10 essential ingredients, the serum is most known for how it evens out your skin tone effectively.  Dark marks, dark spots, and visible scars? No problem at all!

And what makes the By Wishtrend serum especially unique is its utilization of vitamin tree water for the hydration and rejuvenation of deteriorating skin.

Pros

  • Brightens dark spots
  • Uses vitamin tree water

Cons

  • Expensive

Is the Switch to Korean Skincare Worth It?

Switch

Simple answer: yes.

The more accurate response: why haven’t you made the switch yet?

Just like K-Pop, Korean skincare products have quite literally taken the world by storm. One search on Youtube can easily tell you this!

From the rise of Hallyu to our admiration for the top idols, actors, and actresses of South Korea, K-beauty has always been a topic of discussion. How do they maintain their effortless, dewy, all-natural complexion? What is their skin type? What is their skin care routine?

That Korean Glow

And more importantly, how do you get the Korean beauty glow?

Compared to the Western typical 3-step skin care routine we have been accustomed to, the 10-step routine from South Korea sounds tedious from the get-go.

With Korean skincare products ranging from makeup to serums and face masks, adhering to the K-beauty standard seems oh so tiring! However, it also isn’t that hard to notice that their routine takes extra care of your skin more.

Less invasive and more gentle to the face and skin, the best Korean beauty products owe their success and popularity to their effective (and often unique) components. And it isn’t too late to find the time to love them!

What we mentioned above are just some of the best Korean skincare products for acne scars. With a strict routine and regular usage, start to expect that complexion glow and reduction in future breakouts!

What Ingredients Should You Look for in Korean Beauty Products?

What Ingredients

You’d be surprised by just how many natural ingredients Korean products can mix to come up with the perfect one for your skin care.

There are, however, specific key ingredients that you should take note of. This knowledge will come in handy when assessing the possible effectiveness of a product for you. What may work in favor of fading acne scars may not for other products.

It really depends! Mixing and matching can especially be hard if you strictly adhere to the thousand steps K-beauty advises you to follow.

So before you spend your money on trial and error, here’s a short list of components you should be on the lookout for.

Snail Mucin

Yes, this refers to excretions from an actual snail — processed for usage, of course.

Sometimes referred to as snail slime or snail secretion filtrate, this is often a combination of glycolic acids and proteins.

If you’re familiar with how snail slime looks like, you’ll soon realize that it looks and feels exactly like one of those gel masks you buy for yourself, too! With its gel-like texture, it is also surprisingly firm and elastic.

This supports the presence of moisturizing agents in the snail slime that makes it ideal for skin care. And more than that, its natural derivation also helps in the fast regeneration of new skin cells, leaving you refreshed and even younger.

Trying out products with the word “snail” in them may make you hesitant at first, but there really is nothing to worry about! Your face will soon sport that dewy glow not long after.

LEARN MORE: Best Korean Snail Creams for the Face

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)

Another popular component, AHA refers to a group of plant and animal-derived acids. With the skincare industry popularizing seven types of AHAs, it has been widely used to address aging, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, acne marks, and peeling.

Out of these types, the most effective and most friendly to sensitive skin are glycolic and lactic acids. These acids help improve blood circulation around your face to reduce wrinkles and skin discoloration.

Perhaps more notably, AHAs also encourage faster skin cell turnover so that they can get rid of dead skin cells found on the outer layer of your skin.

This is why you’ll find these acids mostly in toners. AHA is best when treating acne scars in dry skin types.

Propolis

Propolis is a resin-like substance collected by honey bees as they build their hives. This is a mixture of beeswax and tree sap that bees use to seal unwanted open spaces.

Surprisingly, propolis has antioxidants and antibacterial properties that help fight acne-causing bacteria on your skin. And more notably, the substance also helps protect the skin from harmful radicals radiating from the environment.

The moisturizer can also help keep the skin smooth and hydrated for your acne scars, age spots, and discoloration to heal.

Niacinamide

This is a form of Vitamin B3 and is an antioxidant naturally present in our body.

Niacinamide is a common ingredient that helps build a keratin protein later in the skin to lock in moisture within the face. As a result, skin cell turnover is faster. And at the same time, the protein layer also extends to protecting the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Usually found in serums of a thicker consistency, the keratin produced by niacinamide helps keep the skin firm and healthy, whiten dark spots, fade acne scars, and treat hyperpigmentation.

Vitamin C

Finally, we have Vitamin C! It is an essential vitamin that we take for its other benefits besides the treatment of fading acne scars.

Don’t worry because we were surprised the first time we heard about it, too.

Vitamin C apparently helps increase the synthesis of collagen, thus strengthening the skin’s structure and flexibility. This way, it helps hasten the speed at which healthy skin is being rebuilt. Therefore, Vitamin C aids in accelerating the healing of acne scars and evening out of dark spots around the face.

More than this, it’s also vital in giving you the natural glow that you desire!

LEARN MORE: Best Korean Vitamin C Serum Formulas 

Other Ingredients

These are just among the top five ingredients we think are essential for you to know. But trust us, there are a lot more when we’re talking about Korean skincare products.

For your next purchase, you may consider getting a mask with Vitamin E, a serum rich in retinol, a toner with BHA, or spot treatment with Centella Asiatica or bee venom.

Are There Alternative Ways to Treat Acne Scars?

Alternative

Of course there are. And although also being done by Koreans, these treatments are more invasive than your wanted Korean skin care routine.

Nonetheless, here are some of them should you want to check them out:

  • Dermabrasion 
  • Microdermabrasion 
  • Chemical peel 
  • Laser 
  • Home Remedies

Out of all these, home remedies take the longest time to treat your acne scars because the process is all-natural.

But as for the other alternatives, they often partake in a rapid approach to treatment. And among these, the laser is one of the most popular Korean acne scar treatments out there.

Our Top Picks

Our Top Picks

Rounding up this review, we once again recommend you our Best Picks among the already best Korean beauty products you may try for yourself.

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

Just an overall great product, the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is tried and tested among skincare enthusiasts and beginners alike. Doubling as essence and moisturizer, you not only get your money’s worth, but you get value for your time, as well.

You know what they say; you can never go wrong with a trusted brand and snail mucin!

Some By Mi Snail Truecica Miracle Repair Serum

There’s a reason why this serum is our pick for Best Value. Price below $50, you definitely get your money’s worth. Similar to the COSRX Essence, the Some By Mi serum provides its own solution with snail mucin in the form of a serum.

And although more expensive, this Miracle Repair Serum serves oily skin types better.

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel

As our Best Budget Pick, you can be sure to get the most out of the Korean skincare experience for just around $20.

With the Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel, you get all the benefits you want while being assured from other users that future breakouts will also be minimized. You better be ready for that healthy and dewy glow, okay?

Conclusion

Conclusion

Now that you’ve heard what we’ve got to say, do you finally have a type of product that you have in mind? Are you considering that tedious switch to finally try Korean skincare products for acne treatment?

Trust us on this. It’s worth it.

For more acne-prone skincare options, read through our article on the Korean skincare routine to follow for acne and breakouts.

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.