Acne Treatment

We’re probably all familiar with acne vulgaris, or common acne. There are few of us who have never had a pimple or inflamed spot on our skin. 

But what different types of acne are there? Here’s a rundown on the five different acne types, as well as the best Korean acne treatment options for active acne and acne scarring. 

non-inflammatory acne type

There are two types of non-inflammatory acne that occur when a hair follicle becomes clogged with excess sebum and/or dead skin cells, leading to what is known as a comedone. Non-inflammatory comedones include: 



Whiteheads are small white bumps that may appear from time to time, with a visible white centre and no inflammation of the surrounding skin. To treat whiteheads, look for acne skin care that includes salicylic acid (also referred to as BHA), which helps to remove debris and break the bonds holding old skin cells together. Our COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner  can be an ideal option. Its BHA ingredient cleans deep from within the pore and clears away dead skin cells, while AHA helps to rejuvenate skin and improve the appearance of fine lines, scarring and sun damage.



Blackheads are the other type of non-inflammatory comedone and they have a visible black or dark centre, due to the sebum’s melanin pigment oxidising once it reaches the skin’s surface. A product containing zinc can help to manage sebum production and combat blackheads, such as our AC Control Toner. As with whiteheads, look for noncomedogenic makeup and moisturiser to help minimise blackheads – as these products are carefully formulated not to clog pores. 

inflammatory acne type

If the skin surrounding a comedone has become inflamed, then it may be one of the following inflammatory acne types: 


moderate acne

If you notice a small pink or red bump under your skin’s surface, you may be looking at a papule. These tender and raised bumps will not have a visible centre and the pore will not appear enlarged. This is a moderate acne type and can be treated with a multi-step approach to keep skin fresh and clean. We can recommend regular use of the Bonajour Eggplant Daily BHA Toner, which helps to loosen dead skin cells and keep pores clear.


types of acne

If an area of your skin is raised, tender has a visible white or yellow centre and is inflamed with a red ring around it, then it’s probably a pustule. Once again, a multi-step routine can assist in controlling these issues, and advice from a dermatologist may be of help if this is a regular issue. Try to avoid squeezing spots, as this can lead to damage and scarring. 


acne nodules

Nodular acne, or deep acne, is the most severe type of acne vulgaris. These large bumps are deep under the skin’s surface and will feel hard, inflamed and sore without a visible centre. At the extreme end of the spectrum are cysts, which are even larger and look similar to boils with a filled centre. Prescription medication will typically be needed to clear up these painful types of acne if they are a recurring problem.


acne treatment

Sometimes even after treating the underlying acne, our skin may be left with acne scarring. Fortunately, there are products that can help to minimise the look and feel of this skin damage. 

The best Korean skin care products for acne scars will include ingredients to encourage skin cell renewal. Products containing EGF (such as our EGF Original Pure Ampoule) can stimulate the growth of new skin cells while strengthening the skin barrier, and can provide incredible improvements even in short amounts of time. Another excellent option is the Derma MDK Ampoule,  which incorporates Centella Asiatica extract along with Niacinamide to brighten and renew skin while simultaneously fading acne scarring and sun spots. 

For more information on the best products for acne scarring, read about 2 Game-Changing Korean Natural Beauty Ingredients To Fade Acne Marks.


We'd be happy to help with personalised acne product advice with a free glow skin consultation.