27 Feb 2017

Skincare Routine For Men with Dehydrated, Oily, and Acne-Prone Skin


I recently received several emails asking me about the skincare routine for oily and acne-prone skin. I personally don't have acne or oily skin so it is quite difficult for me to pinpoint products that are suitable for those skin types. Hence, I decided to do a skincare routine review for men with oily and acne-prone skin based on my bf's routine. Although this is called a skincare routine for men, but I will try to make it as gender-neutral as possible to benefit ladies with similar problems as well!

This is actually a Korean skincare routine, but if you observe carefully, you will notice that most products I use are non-Korean products. However, this doesn't prevent this routine from being labelled as a Korean skincare routine. You can read further on Korean/Asian skincare routine from my explanation here.

I find that some Western products actually work better for oily and acne-prone skin whereas Korean products tend to focus more on hydrating and brightening. Hence, mixing and matching ensures that I am using the best products instead of blindly sticking to Korean-only products.



Skin types targeted: dehydrated, oily, acne-prone, clogged pores
Weather: hot and humid tropical climate

Step 1: Cleansing

Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Cleanser
Leejiham LJH Tea Tree 30 Cleansing Foam
Cosrx Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser



Cleansing is very important for those with oily, acne-prone and clogged skin. It is not hard to understand why. Our skin is constantly challenged with environmental pollution, dirt and grime and it will definitely attract bacterial growth and other complication. As such, finding a gentle and deep-cleansing cleanser is very important for those skin types.

Listed are three of my bf favourite foam cleansers that he has been constantly using in the past few months. Out of all of them, Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Cleanser is his favourite. This is the example of a gentle, long-lasting and deep-cleansing foam cleanser. In fact, he has been using this for more than a year and still has yet to reach the bottom. He also enjoys Leejiham LJH Tea Tree 30 Cleansing Foam as a gentle and hydrating cleanser for acne-prone skin. However, in term of moisture and deep-cleansing, he finds that Kiehl's scores slightly better than LJH. As for Cosrx Morning Cleanser, my bf would agree that this is a perfect cleanser for morning use but maintain that it is not deep-cleansing for his severely clogged pores so he only uses it in the morning.

Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque
Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Melting Clay Mask



Deep-cleansing mask and BHA are the must-haves for oily and acne-prone skin. Sebaceous filaments and grime built up in your pores require proper cleansing that normal cleansers cannot do. Hence, clay mask and BHA treatment will come in handy for this step. While clay mask sucks out dirt trapped within your pores with its thermal and absorbing properties, giving an instantaneously clearer looking skin; BHA works slowly through your pores and dissolves anything that clay mask cannot reach.

My bf's favourites in this step are Kiehl's clay mask, Cosrx BHA power liquid and Innisfree jeju volcanic melting clay mask. He is not quite a fan of clay mask because that would mean a lot of hassles for him, so often time he only does it whenever I am around. Clay mask is quite effective or at least appears so as my bf's skin looks really clean everytime after rinsing. BHA is much more effective in the sense that it clears my bf's clogged pores over time and prevents acne and blemishes from growing.

I think these two are a must if you have pores problems. You can use both or use either one to your convenience but definitely a deep-cleansing product at least once a week if you want cleaner pores.

Step 2: Toner

Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol Free Toner
LJH Tea Tree 70 Mist Toner
Cosrx Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol



Toner is very important to build a proper skincare routine. It can hydrate, minimize pores, double cleanse and prep the skin for better absorption of other products. Different toners give you different benefits so choosing the "right" toner is very important as well. For dehydrated skin, it is important that you choose a toner that is lightweight but very hydrating. The toner has to be non-abrasive, non-drying and doesn't contain strong alcohol. As for acne-prone and oily skin, you will need an astringent toner to double cleanse and tone your skin. Normally, astringent toners are also good at regulating sebum production on the skin which is good for oily skin.

My bf's favourite in this category is the LJH Tea Tree 70 Mist Toner. It is not hard to understand why. He just enjoys the feeling of spritzing this all over his skin without the hassle of using a cotton pad or his hand. He is only the type of person who doesn't like to pat his toner for absorption. Well, to be honest, it is very important that you pat your toner to aid absorption otherwise it would be equivalent to product wastage. There is no point putting on tonnes of moisturizer or serum later if your toner is not completely absorbed. In fact, other products you put on will not get absorbed well if the first layer (i.e. the toner) is blocking the rest from entering.

You can check out my reviews on Kiehl's calendula toner and Cosrx a-sol here.

Step 3: Treatment

Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
LJH Tea Tree 90 Essence
Cosrx Centella Blemish Cream


This is not a must-have in a skincare routine but incorporating it will definitely make a big difference to your skin. There are three basic types of skin treatment, namely ampoule, essence and serum and they can be categorized according to three major functions: brightening, moisturizing and anti-aging. But for dehydrated, oily and acne-prone skin, what you need is sebum-regulating, lightweight hydrating and repairing. The products I choose are the perfect combinations to achieve a luminous and healthy skin state.

Cosrx snail essence is one of the brand's best sellers. It is made of 96% snail mucin extract to moisturize and repair the skin from external damages. In fact, when I consulted Cosrx consultant, I was told that Cosrx snail essence is the product that could rejuvenate and repair acne scars and all those bumps my friend got from his old acne scars. Another Cosrx product that can repair acne scars would be the Centella Blemish Cream. It contains the soothing herb centella asiatica and zinc dioxide to soothe and protect the skin from old scars and damages. My bf is currently using this and he finds that this actually heals his blemishes and reduces it from reoccurring really well! Not really a moisturizer, more like a spot treatment. LJH tea tree essence is perfect for those with dehydrated and oily skin with acne concern. This is the product that my bf said that has made all the difference to his skin. It hydrates, soothes and prevents acne from growing on the skin. Definitely a strong weapon against those naughty acnes.

Using all three of these helps to keep his skin hydrated without being heavy and prevent any more acne from reoccurring.

Step 4: Moisturizing

Leejiham LJH Tea Tree 80 Cream
Leejiham LJH Probiotics Sleeping Cream
Kiehl's Mens's Oil Eliminator 24 Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer


Kiehl's Consultant Kiki used to tell my bf that moisturizing is the MOST important step in his skincare routine. He can skip toner and serum but definitely not moisturizer. In fact, moisturizer is as important as having a protective shield on your already-damaged skin barrier that prevents it from getting hurt more. My bf's favourite moisturizer is Kiehl's Men's Oil Eliminator 24 Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer. He said that this is the only moisturizer that has kept his skin hydrated and oil-free for the whole day. He loves this and applies it every single day. (I have never seen him this committed to any other products before!) Next come the LJH tea tree cream, which is a herb-smelling gel cream that is meant to moisturize and prevent acne from growing on the skin. This, however, is not really his favourite as he finds it a little bit heavy hence I have given this away to my little sister with acne-prone skin. And every night I will make sure that he puts on the LJH probiotics sleeping cream. This product works like an exfoliating overnight mask that "eats" his dead skin cells while keeps his skin hydrated all day long.

Step 5: Protection

I just briefly mention about this step because my bf never and WILL NEVER use a sunscreen. Sunscreen matters a lot in every skincare routine. You need to use a sunscreen no matter what if you want a younger and brighter looking complexion. My recommended sunscreen would be AMPM Sun Lotion, Hada Labo Day Emulsion and Neogen sunscreen if you want a lightweight, non-alcohol containing and high SPF and PA sunscreen. In fact for oily, acne-prone and dehydrated skin, the best sun product must be at least lightweight and gentle. Not applying sunscreen is the leading factor that causes aging and dark spots. Unless if you won't mind those, and want only a relief from your acne and oil without the hassle of putting on sunscreen, then you can skip this step.

I hope this post answers your question on how to build a skincare routine for oily, dehydrated and acne-prone skin. There is no magic number or sequence in any routine. You can own several products in each step and use them according to your needs and moods on a particular day, or use only a set of products every day and night. Make sure that you cleanse your skin properly, stay away from pollution and stress, maintain a healthy lifestyle, moisturize your skin everyday and protect it from the UV damages. Look for lightweight, gentle and hydrating products if you have dehydrated and oily skin. Do not keep washing your face with a cleanser as this will not help to keep the oil away. The easiest trick is to use a mist to keep your skin hydrated so that your sebum will behave itself. Alternatively, do some deep-cleansing treatment or use a BHA treatment (sunscreen and moisturizer are a MUST when using BHA product) to behave your pores. And finally, go to the bed earlier.



[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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