The best natural Korean cleansers are made with skin-friendly ingredients and feature a gentle, pH-balanced composition that eliminates grime and traces of makeup without stripping your skin of moisture or disrupting its natural microflora. We all know that sticking to a strict skin care routine is the best approach to get happy, beautiful skin. And regular cleansing is the first step in any excellent skin care regime. K-beauty products lead the way when it comes to cleansers. Hillary Clark, a Medical Esthetician says, “The rise of the Korean cleansing ritual has dramatically decreased the problems that I otherwise saw when cleansing was just an afterthought. Skin is far more balanced, blackheads are next to nil, and the treatment products can penetrate better.” That’s why we have compiled a list of the best Korean cleansers for every skin type. Scroll down!
In This Article
The 10 Best Korean Cleansers For All Skin Types in 2023
1. Best Overall: The Face Shop Rice WaterBright Cleansing Foam
Rice water is one of the most common ingredients in Korean skincare products due to its amazing skin clarifying properties. This rice water cleanser by Face Shop is loaded with the moisturizing, detoxifying, and brightening properties of rice water extracts to nourish dry skin. It is the best Korean water-based cleanser that leaves the skin feeling clean. It also contains soapwort extract, suitable for sensitive and dry skin types. The cleanser minimizes moisture loss and leaves your skin refreshed without feeling stretchy or tight. To get a better understanding of this brightening Korean cleanser- The Face Shop Rice WaterBright Cleansing Foam , you can check out this video on YouTube.
Suitable For: All skin types
Key Ingredients: Rice water and Soapwort extracts
- Contains natural ingredients
- Tar colorant-free
- No animal-derived ingredients
- Mineral oil-free
- Might be drying for some
2. Best For Sensitive Skin: Cosrx Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser
This dermatologist-tested cleanser is specially formulated for dry and sensitive skin types, but it works perfectly on all skin types. It has a super-gentle formula with a low pH level to help protect the natural moisture barrier of your skin. It also contains mild acids and botanical extracts that can remove makeup and residue from your skin effectively without irritating it. Check out the review of Cosrx Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser for more information.
Note: Avoid this product if you are allergic to tea tree oil.
Suitable For: All skin types, especially sensitive and dry skin
Key Ingredients: BHA and Tea tree oil
- Low pH
- No fragrance
3. Best For Makeup Removal: Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm
This cleansing balm or sebum-control Korean cleanser removes every trace of makeup and dirt effortlessly without affecting the natural moisture balance of your skin. It is a vitamin-infused Korean cleanser that contains vitamin E and vitamin C to make your skin healthy and glowing. The company has replaced the mineral oils in this product with natural ester oil. In addition, it contains green tea extracts that give you a fresh feeling after application. Massage this oil cleanser gently over your face to loosen dirt, sebum, and makeup before washing it off with a foam cleanser. In this YouTube video, you will find a detailed review of the Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm.
Suitable For: All skin types
Key Ingredients: Vitamin C and Green tea extracts
- Mineral oil-free
- No artificial colors
4. Best For Oily Skin: Neogen Real Fresh Foam Green Tea Cleanser
The Neogen Real Fresh Foam Green Tea Korean Cleanser is a must-try product for anyone who has acne-prone, oily, and combination skin. It contains fermented green tea extracts (you can see the tea leaves inside the bottle) that calm inflammation. This Korean face cleanser is a clinically-proven cleanser that creates a gentle foam that removes impurities from your face effectively. It has a pH of 8, so it will not irritate your skin.
Suitable For: Oily, combination, and acne-prone skin
Key Ingredients: Green tea extract
- Contains natural ingredients
- Clinically tested for effectiveness
- No harmful chemicals
5. Best For Wrinkles: MIZON Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser
The Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser helps remove excess sebum and dead skin cells to decongest the pores. The formula is enriched with snail mucus filtrate that restores damaged skin, Centella asiatica extract to soothe your skin, green tea extract to protect your skin, and peptides to minimize wrinkles. This soothing and hydrating Korean cleanser revitalizes your skin and prevents blackheads.
Suitable For: Oily and acne-prone skin
Key Ingredients: Snail mucus filtrate
- May leave residue
6. Best Hypoallergenic: Dear, Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser
Sensitive skin is tough to care for and requires a specialized cleanser. The Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser by Dear, Klairs contains amino acids and is gentle on sensitive skin. This pore-minimizing Korean cleanser keeps your skin moisturized while thoroughly cleaning the skin well. In addition, it is rich in ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and olive oil that nourish your sensitive skin without irritating it.
Suitable For: Sensitive skin
Key Ingredients: Amino acids, Ceramides, and Hyaluronic acid
- Eco-friendly preservatives
7. Best For All Skin Types: MANYO FACTORY Pure Cleansing Oil
The Manyo Factory Pure Cleansing Oil, a blend of 14 plant oils, effectively eliminates blackheads and pimples. It is a light, nutritious, and cleansing oil high in essential amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins. The oil’s texture allows it to enter deep into the pores, dissolve and push impurities away, and activate the skin’s deep cells, boosting the protective layer, minimizing wrinkles, and improving tone. This multipurpose, affordable cleanser removes makeup and skin impurities while simultaneously replenishing moisture levels, leaving the skin feeling hydrated and rejuvenated. Argan kernel oil, which is high in vitamin E, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and soothing properties, maintains the skin’s moisture and pH balance.
Suitable for – All skin types
Key Ingredients– Argan oil and Vitamin E
- Deep pore cleansing
- Effectively treats blackheads
- Balances pH level
- Nourishes the skin
- Dermatologically tested
8. Best Travel-Friendly: Innisfree Green Tea Pure Cleansing Foam
This cleansing foam from Innisfree is suitable for most skin types and contains Jeju green tea extract that removes all dirt and impurities, leaving the skin hydrated and refreshed. It also has Jeju green tea root that cleanses pores gently using microbubbles. This creamy Korean cleanser removes all traces of makeup, and leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth.
Suitable For: Dry, normal, combination, and oily skin types
Key Ingredients: Jeju green tea extract and Jeju green tea root
- Contains natural ingredients
- Creamy texture
9. Best Lightweight: AHC Aqualuronic Purifying Foam Cleanser
The AHC Aqualuronic Purifying Foam Cleanser is a hydrating liquid foam face wash best suited for dry skin. It is infused with triple hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and French seawater that deeply cleanse the skin, remove impurities, and replenish its natural moisture barrier. The lightweight foam feels gentle on the skin and keeps it refreshed and nourished.
Suitable For: Dry skin
Key Ingredients: Triple hyaluronic acid, Ceramides, and French seawater
- Lathers well
- Overpowering fragrance
10. Best For Daily Use: TonyMoly Clean Dew Lemon Foam Cleanser
This foam cleanser from TonyMoly creates a rich lather that cleanses the skin gently, leaving it healthy and glowing. The formula contains lemon extract that brightens, witch hazel water that tones, and tea leaf extract that soothes the skin. It also contains tea tree oil to prevent acne and future breakouts. This easy-to-use cleanser is ideal for daily use.
Suitable For: Oily, Combination, and Acne-prone skin
Key Ingredients: Lemon extract
- Rich lather
- Refreshing fragrance
Korean skincare products are the Holy Grail for flawless skin, and are available in abundance to choose from. Picking the right Korean skin cleanser, depending on its properties and your skin type, is ideal to ensure you get the maximum benefits of the cleanser, and to indulge in that ideal glow. To help you out, here’s a guide along with a few features to consider in order to choose the best Korean cleanser for glowing skin.
How To Choose The Best Korean Cleanser For Glowing Skin
Korean cleansers are mainly of two types of formulations: oil based and water-based. Oil-based Korean cleansers come in the form of cleansing oils and balms, which helps loosen oil, and remove dirt, heavy make-up, and sunscreen. Water-based Korean cleansers are extremely foaming, and help loosen the remaining makeup residue, sebum, dirt and leftover impurities. You can either choose one of the following cleansers depending on your skin type, or use a combination of both for practicing the Korean double cleansing method.
The first and crucial step to consider when choosing a Korean skin cleanser is your skin type. Almost all Korean skin cleansers in the market are specifically formulated for specific skin types as well as issues, so it is easy to pick the right product if you know what your skin type is.
- Dry Skin: If you have dry skin, your skin can feel tight, and flaky. In this case look for a hydrating cleanser with soothing ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin. You can also go for soap-free formulas, as they do not strip your skin off its natural moisture.
- Oily Skin: Shiny, greasy, acne-prone skin with enlarged pores are common features of oily skin. The best acne-fighting Korean cleanser/ face wash for oily skin should come with an oil-control formula and potent ingredients like AHAs and BHAs, tea tree oil, activated charcoal, green tea extract, witch Hazel, and Jeju volcanic ash or clay. These ingredients unclog your pores, soothe your skin, and regulate oil production effectively.
- Sensitive Skin: For sensitive skin that is prone to irritation and redness, opt for soothing ingredients like aloe vera and willow bark. Also, choose a formula that is pH balanced and lightweight. Avoid cleansers with artificial-fragrances and parabens.
- Combination Skin: If you have combination skin, choose a cleanser with mild chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid and glycolic acid. Also consider ceramides and amino acids that help maintain the skin barrier.
Pack On Antioxidants
Antioxidants repair sun damage and the skin in general. So, look for antioxidant-rich Korean cleansers or face wash products. Look for ingredients like green tea, witch hazel, vitamins C and E, and niacinamide, which slow down aging and repairs your skin, leaving behind a healthy glow.
The list contains a mix of oil cleansers, water-based, and foaming cleansers. Cleansing is crucial in the Korean skin care routine and a two-step process known as double -cleansing. Here is a guide to the Korean double cleansing method.
A Guide To The Korean Double Cleansing Method
A double cleanse is a two-step routine that involves:
Step 1: Using an oil-based cleanser (cleansing balm or cleansing oils) to remove oil, makeup, dirt, and sunscreen.
Step 2: Using a water-based cleanser (foaming face washes) to cleanse the loose makeup residue, dirt, sebum, and impurities.
Picking the right Korean skin cleanser is not difficult if you know your skin type. It is because Korean cleansers are customized according to the skin type and issues. Hence, determining your skin type is the key to picking the right product. Here is a guide.
How To Pick The Right Korean Cleanser For Your Skin Type
1. Determine Your Skin Type
- Oily Skin
If you have oily skin, look for ingredients that address oily skin issues like large, visible pores, excess greasy, shiny skin, and acne. Look for an oil-control face wash with ingredients like activated charcoal, witch hazel, tea tree oil, green tea extract, and Jeju volcanic ash. These ingredients dig deep to decongest pores, regulate oil production, and soothe the skin.
- Dry Skin
Dry skin often feels itchy, flaky, or generally tight. Look for a cleanser with hydrating and soothing ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides. Go for soap-free formulas.
- Normal Skin
Normal skin is not problematic and picky. Choose a potent, non-drying cleanser with anti-aging, toning, and hydrating ingredients.
- Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin is prone to redness and irritation, especially after shaving or cleansing. Look for sensitive skin-friendly Korean cleansers or face washes with dense, creamy foams and soothing ingredients like aloe vera, willow bark, and witch hazel. A pH-balanced Korean cleanser might also work. If possible, avoid using heavily sudsy products.
- Combination Skin
Combination skin has an oily T-Zone (your forehead, nose, and chin) with dry cheeks. Find the best deep-cleansing Korean cleanser that helps instantly clear skin without drying. Pick products with ingredients similar to oily and dry skin types. The best Korean cleansers for combination skin are meant to protect the skin’s lipid barrier, locking in natural moisture while cleansing excess oil.
2. Check For Antioxidants
The best non-irritating Korean cleansers are formulated with skin-friendly ingredients that you can look out for. Look for antioxidant ingredients like Centella asiatica, madecassoside, and green tea extracts. These ingredients aid skin cell repair, slow down signs of aging, and minimize acne inflammation without irritating the skin.
Dr. Anna Chacon, a board-certified dermatologist, says, “Green tea extract is a well-known antioxidant. Antioxidants in skin care and cosmeceuticals help inhibit and prevent the development of free radicals, work to diminish accelerated aging, and help to prevent the inflammatory process. It also smells great, and it’s very soothing to have botanical extracts within a product. Definitely, green tea has been determined to be medicinal, and many dermatology products such as face washes are enriched with green tea extracts.”
Infographic: A Background On Korean Cleansers – Ingredients & Routine
Korean skin care products are all the rage right now! According to Statista, South Korea’s revenue in the skin care segment has amounted to $7.85 billion in 2023.
Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, look for cleansers that keep your skin naturally healthy and free of toxins, pollutants, or sebum.
Click on the infographic below to learn about the ingredients used in Korean cleansers. Also, get ready to delve into the various steps in a Korean skin care routine, including cleansers, toners, and moisturizers. Keep scrolling!
Korean beauty products are at the top of all skin care and beauty trends. Everyone is switching to a Korean skin care routine, whether they are instagram celebrities or celebrities from the beauty industry. The best Korean cleansers have a special place in the beauty industry. The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam is ideal for dry skin, providing gentle yet effective cleansing. Opt for the Cosrx Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser if you have sensitive skin, as it cleanses without stripping the moisture barrier. If you are someone who uses makeup regularly, the Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm is a good choice, as it effortlessly removes makeup and impurities, leaving the skin clean and refreshed. These makeup-removing Korean cleansers are specially formulated with skin-friendly ingredients that balance the skin’s pH and provide you with radiant skin. The recommended cleansers listed in our article detoxify the skin, hydrate the skin, and brighten your skin. However, consider investing in hypoallergenic cleansers that are paraben-free so that it does not alter your skin’s natural elasticity and pH balance.
Why Trust StyleCraze?
A certified skincare expert, Oyendrila Kanjilal, loves all things beauty. She reviews skin care products, and with the help of thousands of user reviews, product guidelines, and feedback, she has put together this list of the best Korean cleansers. These products listed above are gentle on the skin and do not strip it of its natural moisture.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is special about Korean skin care?
Korean skin care focuses on maintaining healthy, well-hydrated, and nourished skin. That is why Korean products contain gentle and skin-nourishing ingredients instead of harsh chemicals.
Which Korean cleanser is the best for pimples?
Some of the best Korean products for pimples are Neogen Real Fresh Foam Green Tea Cleanser and TonyMoly Clean Dew Lemon Foam Cleanser. They have a gentle formula for sensitive and acne-prone skin and work efficiently in cleansing the pores and soothing irritation. One can also try for an aloe vera Korean cleanser for skin-soothing properties.
Can Korean foaming cleansers provide age-defying benefits on the skin?
Using a gentle anti-aging Korean cleanser like the MIZON Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser can effectively minimize signs of aging and give it a youthful glow. However, also use an anti-aging serum or moisturizer laden with antioxidants to get premium results.
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