Korean Skincare & Accutane
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Korean Skincare & Accutane

By Kerry Rutherford
07/09/2023 | Read time: 5m

My introduction to Korean skincare started alongside my Accutane journey!

Meeting Noriko During Accutane Treatment

It was a usual day at the hospital getting my checkup and blood tests taken (anyone who has been on Accutane knows why!) 2mths into my treatment I met the most beautiful person I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet called Noriko who was having the same treatment as me.

Out of politeness and boredom we struck up a conversation in the waiting room that was set to change both of our lives forever! Turns out Noriko was of Korean/Japanese descent and she began to tell me all about the secrets of her skincare.

Noriko’s Korean Skincare Secrets

The biggest game changer Noriko shared with me has been a product called Elicina (which I still have as stable in my bathroom to this day! Don’t get me wrong, I love Cosrx too!) This was just the first snail product on the market back then and to this day doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

But thousands of Koreans were using this way before anyone knew about the brands we have today. Also, Centella and Alium Cepa (Onion) cream has been used for medical and medicinal purposes in Asia for centuries!

These creams really helped with my acne scarring during and after my treatment as this is a great product for wound healing.

Evolution of Korean Skincare in the UK

Back in the early 00’s Korean skincare and the 12 step regiment etc was non-existent in the UK. Most Korean products that I came across were the same shade of pink and smelled like a glade pug-in! Plus, toners were quite astringent which forced many of us with means to buy European or American products.

The first brand that popped up in the 00’s was Innisfree and again I still don’t feel this brand gets enough recognition. They have always been at the forefront of skincare and quite revolutionary with their products.

I feel most Korean brands today stay safe with the usual ingredients and rarely if ever come up with anything new. It just gets launched in another form of cute packaging and is usually the same as all your other products just in a different order or percentage. But there’s been a few pleasant surprises of late.

Some Personal Favorites

When Isntree launched their red onion line, I just could not believe it! At last, I cried! It is definitely on the pricier side but I can tell you without a doubt that it worth every penny and far more effective than most products in dealing with acne marks and hyperpigmentation, plus a little goes a long way.

The toner and cream really complement each other and are both jammed pack with soothing, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, acne fighting ingredients which are Niacinamide, sodium salt, 3 types of HA, Houttuynia Cordata, Turmeric, Tranexamic Acid, Allantoin and Panthenol.

The Green Tea balancing cream is also a massive favourite due to its PHA, HA and triple amino ingredients. I like to rotate/mix and match my skincare depending on my skins needs and all my products blend beautifully with each other.

I am also a lover of Centella so Skin1004 is another huge favourite alongside Pyunkang Yul, Some By Mi, Benton, Purito, Mary & May, Corx, Axis-Y and Beauty of Joseon.

Anyone reading this who is going through Accutane treatment then please try Korean skincare!

It made a huge difference for me with my healing and if I was going through Accutane again, I would certainly purchase the Innisfree, Cosrx, Axis-Y, Pyunkang Yul and Beauty of Joseon. Reason being is the skin becomes so thin, dry and sensitive not all of the above ranges above would be suitable (the odd product in the range can be drying).

As any Accutane Survivor knows, you need thick healing, soothing creams that won’t clog pores. But never forget to embrace your imperfections!

Noriko’s Profound Wisdom: Beauty Beyond the Skin

My dear friend Noriko passed away but I will never forget what she said to me one day “Beauty really is only skin deep, we all have something precious to offer in this world that is much more important than our appearance and much deeper than our skin”.