Kelly Driscoll

Skincare going more than skin deep…

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Kbeauty 10 Step Routine for Acne and PIH


I must confess that I am addicted to elaborate skincare regimes. I know it might seem like over kill to outsides eyes, but let me make my case.

When I teenager I was fortunate enough to not have to deal with acne. I certainly had some skin concerns (hello uneven skin tone!) but I never struggled with lots of breakouts.

All that changed in my twenties. I started to breakout more and then I started to experience something completely new to me, clogged pores.

This was a major blow to my confidence, because up until then I really never dealt with skin issues. And the lovely thing about clogged pores is that you can’t cover them up. You can pile as much makeup on as you like, but that raised, bumpy texture will never be hidden by foundation.

So this is how I came to the world of K-Beauty. Confused, embarrassed and seeking solutions.

What I found was a world of customizability. I found a world where one product was never meant to do it all but where you could mix and match depending on your needs and concerns. This was huge to me! How many times have we sunk our money into one expensive product claiming to fix all our problems and been less than thrilled with the outcome?

And what I fell in love with was the philosophy of taking care of your skin and treating your skin concerns rather than just covering them up with makeup. Powerful stuff.

So after sometime I built up my steps and these days I rock a pretty elaborate routine, but it is something that I love and has made a huge difference in my skin.

So here is the current night time routine and if it’s a little TL;DR, scroll to the bottom for the video!

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Lately I’ve been using my all time favorite oil cleanser from The Face Shop I love this lightweight oil because it is thin and powerful but not heavy on the face and it’s easy on the wallet too. I follow up with the Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash for a gentle but effective clean.

Often after double cleansing I have a little mascara residue on my lashes and under-eye area so I use a separate eye makeup remover to help remove anything left over. I don’t want that residue to sit in the crevices of my under-eyes and cause wrinkles! I like the Etude House Lip and Eye Remover (yikes, that name!) as a non oily makeup remover.

I’ve been liking the Mizon AHA/BHA Daily Clean Toner as my first step after washing because it helps me balance the PH of my skin after all that water and cleanser and helps prep my skin for some chemical exfoliation.

Remember those clogged pores I talked about? Well I still have them, but I have them much more under control now thanks to Curology. Curology is an online dermatology service that provides custom, prescription strength face cream straight to your door. My prescription helps my skin clear away dead skin cells quicker with the chemical exfoliator Azelaic Acid which helps my pores stay clear and happy. Get your first bottle on me.

Eye cream is an essential for any skin care routine (even short ones) and I’ve been liking the Neogen White Truffle Oil Stick for this step.

If I am having an active breakout (push on it and pus comes out) I will use blister bandages to help suck the junk out of that sucker. These are made of hydrocolloid material, which means it can absorb and trap moisture (i.e. pus) in the material which helps the wound heal faster. So these can flatten your pimple overnight! No need to buy fancy pimple patches, just cut to your desired size as needed. Works best on pimples that have popped.

After breakouts heal, I get PIH. Dark marks. Post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. It’s no fun to deal with acne for about a week and then have to deal with it’s aftermath for 3 months afterwards. So I like to have brightening ingredients in my routine to help fade and heal those marks quicker. Shark Sauce from HolySnails is an excellent choice for this because it is chock full of brighteners like niacinamide.

I also use HolySnails Snowbang to help give my skin a moisture boost and help calm any redness on my face from acne.

No 10 step routine would be complete without a snail step and I’ve got mine covered by CosRx Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. This is moisturizing but also healing for those with acne.

My skin is oily on top but it feels dry and tight from within, so I concentrate a lot of my steps on soothing. Plus plumped and hydrated skin is a good thing to have. I’ve been loving Dear Klairs Rich, Moist, Soothing Serum to give my skin that extra boost.

I tend to have redness and irritation associated with my clogged pores and acne. I have found aloe to be a very soothing ingredient for my skin when it flares up. So I’ve been using a high quality aloe gel to help keep the redness at bay.

As my twenties draw to a close, I need to start thinking more about prevention and maintenance in my routine as my skin ages. I have been loving Dear Klairs Freshly Jucied Vitamin C Drop in my routine to help with deepening nasal labial folds and some remaining sun damage from my early twenties before I knew the importance of daily sunscreen.

A great companion to vitamin C is the Dear Klairs Freshly Jucied Vitamin E Mask. This is a brightening sleeping mask that also contains the wrinkle fighting ingredient adenosine.

Finally (!) I finish off with a light moisturizer to help seal in all the goodness and why not add just a little more snail into the mix with the Mizon Snail All In One Cream.

For those TL;DR’s I filmed the whole thing in action!



*Disclaimer: I use affiliate links which help me to run this blog.

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