Tag Archives: clogged pores

My k-beauty picks: Best Korean cleansers

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Some of my favorite cleansing and exfoliating products from The Face Shop, Neogen and Etude House. SCREAMfmLondon

As anyone will tell you, cleansing and removing makeup are some of the most important steps in a skincare routine. In South Korea, double-cleansing is such a popular practice that many people use two or three different cleansers and makeup removers each night.

Here are a few of my favorite Korean products for cleansing, exfoliating and removing makeup from your face:

The Face Shop Face It One-Step BB Cleanser (Oil to Foam)

I love this cleanser! It is so cool. Typically, in Korean skincare, you will cleanse first with an oil-based cleanser and then follow up with a foam-based cleanser (this is the double-cleansing process). This Face Shop BB Cleanser is both in one bottle: it goes on as a sweet-smelling oil cleanser that works quickly to remove makeup and BB cream, and then turns to foam when water is added to complete the cleansing process. This product is really great. It removes makeup well and saves time during a nightly skincare routine.

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Neogen Dermalogy Bio Peel Gauze Peeling Wine exfoliating pads smell amazing and make your face super bright! SCREAMfmLondon

Neogen Dermalogy Bio Peel Gauze Peeling Wine

It’s important to exfoliate a few times a week to get rid of dead skin cells and debris that can clog pores. These Neogen cleansing gauze pads combine manual exfoliation (scrubbing the skin with something textured) with chemical exfoliation (certain ingredients like lactic acid that reach deeper into the pores to help clean). They smell like delicious grape soda and contain red wine extract, an antioxidant, which also helps exfoliate. The treaded side of the gauze pads cleans off the skin while the more cushiony side absorbs and distributes the formula. These are effective and fun to use. I highly recommend them.

Etude House Magic Bubble Brush Peeling Foam

This Etude House cleanser is also a nice exfoliant. The bottle comes with an attached soft rubber brush that dispenses the foam cleanser when you press down on it. It’s ridiculously easy to apply and to clean the brush after use. The product works well to brighten and massage the skin while you cleanse. I noticed an immediate different in my skin after the first few uses: it was brighter and clearer as soon as I rinsed off the foam. It’s a little drying, but I like this product well enough, particularly for the convenient packaging and quick results.

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Point Deep Clean All-in-One Cleansing Tissue with moringa seed. SCREAMfmLondon

Point Deep Clean All-in-One Cleansing Tissue

I feel like it’s nice to have these cleansing tissues on hand when you don’t have a lot of time to do all the cleansing but know you can’t go to bed without removing your makeup and washing your face. These work surprisingly well to remove makeup quickly. The ones I use contain moringa seeds, which are supposed to provide a lot of benefits to the skin. These seeds are said to be very good for pore-purifying and can also protect skin from things like pollution, smoke and smog.

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My picks: Best Korean skincare for pores

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One of my overflowing skincare shelves. SCREAMfmLondon

The first time I washed my car after moving to Los Angeles, I was really confused. Did I drive through something weird? Why was the water black? It took me a while to realize that’s just the dirt in the air. It was soon in my apartment, gathering on my windowsills. It continued to be black. I was horrified that this was also the air I was breathing and touching with my skin all the time…

And that is how I came to be really diligent with my skincare routine. Soap and water would no longer cut it — I needed to really deep clean my pores and do it regularly. I’ve since tested many dozens of products, gotten a pretty solid routine down, and found that no country creates better skincare products than South Korea.

So, here are my picks for the best Korean skincare products for cleansing, covering and caring for your pores:

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A’PIEU Moisture Pore Cover Balm. SCREAMfmLondon

A’PIEU Moisture Pore Cover Balm

I love this product so much. It is a transparent balm you apply to your skin before makeup to even it out, minimize pores and create a smooth surface. It smells powdery fresh, and it goes on so smoothly. It’s also just delightful to apply this — it feels like you’re gently massaging the most luxurious, velvety serum into your face. The effect is immediate: your skin will look soft and perfect. It’s also moisturizing (obviously, hence the name) and can help hide enlarged pores, fine lines, acne scars, etc. The balm even comes with a little spoon in the package to keep the product hygienic when you scoop some out. They thought of everything.

Etude House Zero Sebum White Sebum Clear. SCREAMfmLondon

Etude House Zero Sebum White Sebum Clear. SCREAMfmLondon

Etude House Zero Sebum White Sebum Clear

This product is amazing! Etude House actually has a small collection of Zero Sebum products, and now I plan to pick up every single one of them because this White Sebum Clear is so wonderful. It is a cream that you apply to afflicted areas (chin, nose, forehead, etc.), leave on for a few minutes and then wipe off. It is supposed to melt away the lumps of oily, waxy sebum that can build up on the face. The first time I used it, I didn’t notice that it did anything and thought it was a dud purchase. However, when I tried it again a while later, I noticed the difference immediately. I applied the cream at night and cleaned it off before bed. The next day, my skin was already noticeably smoother and my pores clearer. Now I use the product regularly, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Mamonde Pore Corset Blackhead Heating Oil

This cleansing oil is really interesting. When you pump it out of the bottle, you can feel it heating up in your hands. It gets even hotter as you apply it to your face. The warming effect helps clear away built-up dirt and makeup in your pores, and then you finish the process by rinsing your face with cold water to tighten the pores again. It’s supposed to cleanse, mildly exfoliate, and control sebum. I like this cleansing oil, and it leaves the skin feeling clean and soft. But, although it boasts Persian lilac as the main ingredient, it definitely feels more chemically. You don’t want to get it in your eyes or mouth because it burns horribly and tastes worse. Not that that’s happened to me, of course.

Caolion Premium Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack. SCREAMfmLondon

Caolion Premium Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack. SCREAMfmLondon

Caolion Premium Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack

It’s very fun to have a reliable face mask to slip into your skincare routine every so often. I like this one from Caolion, which contains charcoal powder, ginkgo balboa leaf extract, oat flour and other ingredients that are supposed to help cleanse pores. You massage the mask into your dry face and, in a few minutes, it will begin to bubble up with tons of micro oxygen bubbles that are intended to deep-cleanse the pores, hydrate, eliminate excess sebum, and remove dead skin cells. I noticed an immediate difference in my skin the day after my first use of this pore pack. My face was clearer and brighter. Plus, it just feels kind of weird and relaxing to have the bubbles fizzing on your face. Definitely try this mask out. It’s an experience.