Are you in your 20s, 30s—or even 40s!—and still battling acne? I feel you. I thought I’ve put it behind me ever since I figured out which skincare products work and I started wearing less makeup. But perhaps because of the combination of holiday stress, back-to-back road trips, pollution, late nights spent binge-watching K-dramas on Netflix, and my period, I recently had a sudden acne breakout. I haven’t had one in a long time, which is why I don’t even stock acne solutions anymore, so I was a little frustrated to be unprepared.
Serendipitously, samples of iWhite Korea’s Acne+ line arrived in the mail and I couldn’t be more relieved. The package came with full sizes and sachets. I immediately packed the sachets in my luggage for a trip to Baguio, where I consistently used it for almost a week, and then continued to do so for the busy past couple of weeks, which were filled with another trip, Christmas shopping, and other errands.
I’m happy to report that my skin is now clear and blemish-free, especially after I’ve officially incorporated iWhite Korea’s Acne+ line into my daytime skincare routine, which has always been simple: face wash, toner, and sunscreen. This time, I just added the Acne+ moisturizer before my sunscreen and makeup application. Read on for my full routine and what I think of each product.
Step 1: Cleanse
There’s a reason cleansing comes first: It rids your skin of the day’s (or night’s) gunk, oil, and other unwanted debris to prepare your skin for the rest of your skincare and makeup routines. I can never put anything on my face, day or night, without washing it first. For mornings when I want to wash off the excess oil and night skincare products left on my face, I liked using iWhite Korea’s Acne+ Facial Wash, which leaves my skin feeling fresh, cool, smooth, and squeaky clean. It felt pretty thorough in detoxifying my pores and getting rid of impurities, making my complexion noticeably clearer and blackhead-free. After using it day and night in Baguio, my inflammation subsided. Even in the cold, my skin never felt dry.
It fights acne with the help of wonder ingredients that those who’ve battled acne know and love: Tea Tree Extract, known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties; and Salicylic Acid, which helps regulate sebum production, unclog pores, and renew skin. Unlike other anti-acne products I’ve tried in the past, this doesn’t dry my skin. It feels really gentle, just like its soothing and subtle scent that makes me feel like I’m getting a spa facial. It’s reportedly designed to help protect your skin barrier and retain moisture, which explains why it feels like it’s fighting acne without being rough on my skin.
Step 2: Prep and prime with a toner essence
If you’re still worried about your skin getting stripped of moisture, this next step will seal the deal. I like that the iWhite Korea Acne+ Toner Essence is a two-in-one product that simplifies most skincare routines: You get a toner and an essence in one product that helps calm inflamed skin, so your usual toning step gets an extra boost, not only balancing your skin pH, but also giving skin added hydration. Apart from getting a toner and essence in one nifty tube, I like the gel formulation of this product, which lets me apply it directly on my face using my fingers instead of needing a cotton ball or pad, the way I do with other toners. It’s just so much more convenient, easy to apply, and environment-friendly! (You may still use cotton, though, if you choose.)
The Acne+ Toner Essence is formulated with Centella Asiatica extracts (Real CICA—an ingredient that has quite possibly been responsible for regulating my breakouts ever since I incorporated it into my nighttime routine) and Tea Tree Leaf water, enhanced through Memory Gel Technology that helps repair troubled skin and control oil/sebum build-up. And unlike some toners that contain alcohol that can potentially strip your natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation, you’ll be happy to know that the iWhite Korea Acne+ Toner and Essence is alcohol-free.
Step 3: Moisturize
Avoiding moisturizer is a common mistake made by people with oily, acne-prone skin. Moisturizers are an essential part of one’s skincare routine, whether you have oily, normal, or dry skin, as they are meant to lock in moisture and nutrients from the skincare products you’ve used. What you need to figure out is which moisturizer is right for your oily and acne-prone skin. For instance, iWhite Korea’s Acne+ Aqua Moisturizer is light on the skin, thanks to its water-based formula, and can be used both in the morning and at night. I personally like using it in the morning, right before I apply sunscreen and makeup, because it doesn’t affect the consistency of my makeup products while making my skin feel smooth, soft, and dewy, not dry.
The other thing i like about it is it’s non-greasy. It feels a little sticky when it’s first applied but it melts onto skin quickly, leaving a cool, fresh feel. Ingredients include Centella Asiatica extract, Aloe Vera, and Cabbage Leaf extract that all help smoothen, nourish, and soothe skin.
Why you should try this skincare line
Apart from the end result of ridding my face of acne within a week, the reason I’m keeping iWhite Korea’s Acne+ products in my skincare arsenal is how they keep my routine so quick and simple yet effective. I tried the 10-step Korean method back when I was single and not yet a mom, but I was unable to maintain it. Especially now that I’m a full-time mom and wife, seriously, who has the time? I’ve always been a fan of 3- or 4-step skincare routines and that’s what I’ve consistently followed all my life. I’m glad this particular line has the basics that help improve problematic skin without needing too many products.
If you have sensitive skin, I recommend you use this line with caution. My skin can sometimes become sensitive to new products over time (not often immediately), and when I continued to use Acne+ long after my breakout has cleared, I noticed some redness on my forehead and nose bridge after use. I suggest using them only when you get acne and pause or return to your usual skincare products once the issue has been addressed.
When it comes to skincare, always choose the products that complement your skin and lifestyle. Always read the label and research ingredients and chemicals that could irritate or dry your skin. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to do a patch test: Place a pea-sized amount of product behind your ear or along your jawline, and wait a day or two to make sure that you will not react before applying it to your whole face. And always complement consistent skincare with proper rest, a good night’s sleep, stress management, and a healthy diet. (I’m putting it out here so I myself will be reminded of this advice.)
iWhite Korea Acne+ products are available in all major supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, department stores, drugstores, and pharmacies nationwide. Also visit iwhitekorea.com.ph for more information and to shop.