Acne Care for Asian Skin

Asian woman
Get tips on staying acne-free.

Acne care for Asian skin is not complicated. However, there are a few special factors to consider when preventing and treating blemishes on a person with Asian skin.

About Asian Skin

Asians are known for their flawless porcelain skin. While it's true that Asian skin tends to be smoother, what most people don't realize is that many Asians actually have large pores. Consequently, Asian skin is more prone to irritation and acne. For this reason many dermatologists recommend that people of Asian descent exfoliate their skin on a daily basis to minimize the appearance of pores and even out skin tone and texture. People of Japanese decent have the lightest Asian skin tone and are therefore more susceptible to skin redness. Since Asian skin irritates more easily, many traditional skin care products, such as alcohol, preservatives and fragrances, are not suitable for daily skincare maintenance.

Another factor that differentiates Asian skin is that it tends to spot and scar easier, especially after blemishes heal. These marks, sometimes referred to as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, are treatable, but the best way to remain scar- and spot-free is to prevent acne breakouts to begin with.

Acne and Asian Skin

Acne is an equal opportunity condition. Pimples, blackheads and whiteheads can occur on people of every nationality. Individuals of Asian descent are not immune from acne breakouts. In fact, most Indians, Filipinos and Koreans with darker skin have to be even more vigilant about skin care because they are at higher risk for developing dark spots after an acne lesion goes away.

Acne Care for Asian Skin

When it comes to acne care for Asian skin, prevention is key. By maintaining a consistent skin care routine, which takes into consideration known sensitivities, you can help ward off annoying acne. Some factors to consider regarding acne care for Asian skin include:


Dermatologists recommend that people of Asian descent wash their face at least once a day. A high percentage of Asians have oily skin, so consistent washings help eliminate the buildup of dirt and oils that cause acne breakouts. In addition, if you have oily Asian skin, then choose a cleanser that's designed specifically for your skin type. People with oily skin should look for soap that strips away surface oils. However, if you have dry, sensitive skin, then choose a moisturizing cleanser. People with Asian skin should also shy away from cleansers that are scented or have an excessive amount of alcohol in them. Unknown fragrances and preservatives can damage sensitive Asian skin.


If you suffer from dry skin during the winter months, then apply a moisturizer two to three times per day as needed. However, since Asians are susceptible to skin irritation, consider using a non-comedogenic moisturizer. Vaseline-based skin care products are not recommended since their greasy ingredients can cause acne.


Acne breakouts on Asian skin can be effectively treated with topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide, and in severe cases, with oral medications like Accutane. If you live in a climate that tends to dry out your skin, then avoid vitamin A or retinol for their drying properties. In addition, excessive use of over-the-counter acne products that aggravate sensitive Asian skin can lead to unsightly brown spots.

If acne or dark-spot discolorations persist, consult a dermatologist. The earlier you get professional help, the greater the chance of eliminating blemishes that can lead to unwanted spots and marks. In addition, a skin care expert can help recommend a new routine, or fine-tune an existing one, that will help you prevent future acne breakouts.

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Acne Care for Asian Skin