10 Best Skin Expert-Approved Korean Exfoliators For All Skin Types – 2024

Slough away dead skin cells and get glowing skin with these Korean exfoliators.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Anna H. Chacon, MD, FAAD Dr. Anna H. Chacon Dr. Anna H. ChaconMD, FAAD facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Commerce Editor Shiboli Chakraborti Commerce Editor Experience: 4 years
Edited by , Associate Commerce Editor Aditi Naskar Associate Commerce Editor Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , Senior Editor Arshiya Syeda Senior Editor Experience: 7 years
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Many celebrities and social media influencers swear by the potency of Korean cosmetic and makeup products. Here, we have listed the best Korean exfoliators for you to try. Exfoliating your skin is the most beneficial thing to do. Skin sheds dead cells and regenerates every 27 days. When you don’t exfoliate your skin, these dead cells tend to stick around. Korean exfoliators come in various forms, including toners, wash-off scrubs, gels, peeling solutions, and exfoliating pads. The goal of these exfoliators is to avoid dry skin and clogged pores while also increasing cell turnover. Take a look at our top picks for gentle exfoliation!

Top PicksCheck Price
Best For Dead Skin:TonyMoly Floria Brightening Peeling Gel
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best For All Skin Types:SkinFood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Face Mask
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best For Deep Cleansing:Mother Made Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best For Smoothing Skin:Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best For Fine Lines:Pyunkang Yul Peeling Gel
Price on Amazon
Best Dermatologically-Tested:SkinFood Pineapple Peeling Gel
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best For Skin Tightening:Rokkiss Tea Tree Peeling Gel
Price on Amazon
Best For Uneven Skin Tones:O.R.G Skincare Mineral Peel Body
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best For Gentle Use:Neogen Dermalogy Gauze Peeling Wine
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart
Best For Pore Care:Mizon Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel
Price on Amazon

10 Best Korean Exfoliators For All Skin Types of 2024 (Buying Guide)

1. Best For Dead Skin:TonyMoly Floria Brightening Peeling Gel

4.3

Suitable For: All skin types

This gel-based exfoliator contains natural extracts and has a gommage-like texture. When you massage it into your skin, you can see the dead skin cells ball up and come off in pieces. It is a lab-tested product that contains fermented lotus flower water that brightens your skin and pearl powder that has antioxidant benefits and a skin brightening effect. The clinically-proven exfoliator also contains Maesil or Korean plum extract that improves skin hydration levels, circulation, and elasticity. Korean Plum extract contains natural AHA that can chemically exfoliate your skin without drying it out to remove dead skin cells and promote skin renewal. It is one of the best Korean skin exfoliators that offers visible results. A blogger says, “ The TonyMoly Floria Brightening Peeling Gel is a gommage peeling gel and a holy-grail status for me. … I’ve noticed that this does a fantastic job at exfoliating my skin in the gentlest way possible and leaves my skin feeling brighter and hydrated! It has never agitated my skin, even on days where I have active breakouts. It has never broken me out or caused any reaction on my skin (i).” For a visual demonstration of the TonyMoly Floria Brightening Peeling Gel, have a look at this YouTube video.

Pros

  • Can be used on other body parts (knees, elbows, and heels)
  • Paraben-free
  • SLS- and SLES-free
  • No mineral oils
  • No harmful chemicals

Cons

  • None

2. Best For All Skin Types:SkinFood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Face Mask

4.5
SkinFood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Face Mask Image: The Skin Food Since 1957

Suitable For: All skin types

Skin Food Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Face Mask is a physical exfoliator (scrub) that contains the mineral-rich organic black sugar. This Korean body scrub is a sugar scrub that exfoliates gently and keeps the skin hydrated and nourished. This dead skin removal scrub is also enriched with strawberry seeds and strawberry seed oil that gives visible results for soft, glowing, and healthy skin. It also has a sweet fragrance that lingers on your skin. Some reviewers mention that this tested product delivers what it promises without any side effects. It is the best Korean beauty body scrub. Check out this video on YouTube for more information on this exfoliating face scrub.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • No mineral oils
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Organic ingredients
  • Professional-grade
  • No harmful chemicals

Cons

  • None

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The overwhelming 554 positive reviews on Amazon show how popular this product is with happy users.

[ Read: Complete 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine For Morning And Night ]

3. Best For Deep Cleansing:Mother Made Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel

4.2

Suitable For: Sensitive, Dry, Oily, and Combination Skin

The Mother Made Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel is a deep cleansing and exfoliating facial scrub treatment that works to remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. This powerful formula is tested to be gentle enough for all skin types. It penetrates the skin to remove impurities and unclog pores, leaving your face feeling fresh and clean, as a result of sebum removal. The enzyme-based chemical exfoliant is rich in natural botanical extracts like green tea, and baobab seed extract, which nourish and hydrate for a healthy, radiant skin complexion. Some reviewers claim that regular use of this exfoliating gel, containing vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. The deep cleansing gel is validated by dermatologists and is formulated with natural enzymes that exfoliate and remove dead skin cells, and provide visible results.

Also Recommended By: whatthefab have also listed Mother Made in their top 10.[1] 10 Korean Exfoliator Products Your Skin Will Love – whatthefab. https://whatthefab.com/korean-exfoliator.html

Pros

  • Plant-based ingredients
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Phenoxyethanol-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Pleasant scent

Cons

  • Can make dry patches drier

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 179 Amazon acclaimed reviews, this product is sure to find a place in everyone’s shopping bag.

TonyMoly Floria Brightening Peeling Gel
SkinFood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Face Mask
Mother Made Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel
Dimensions 3.2 x 2.8 x 7.2 inches 7.8 x 7.8 x 6.7 inches -
Weight 10.24 Ounces. 5.12 Ounces-
Skin Type- Dry All, Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Dry
Package Dimensions ‏-- ‎ 6.34 x 2.17 x 1.65 inches; 3.38 Ounces
Rating
Reviews131554179
Price$24$12$28

4. Best For Smoothing Skin:Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel

Suitable For: All skin types

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel contains natural cellulose that has an instant brightening effect on your skin. User reviews state that they experienced smoother skin with just one use of this clinically-proven product. This facial exfoliator is validated by leading dermatologists and contains anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as honey, hollyhock flower, and black willow extracts, that soothe your delicate skin. This exfoliating mask also contains vitamin C, which helps you achieve brighter skin. It is the best Korean peeling mask

Pros

  • Botanical extracts
  • Paraben-free
  • SLS-free
  • SLES-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • No harmful chemicals

Cons

  • None

protip_icon Remember
Do not scrub too hard or use this product every day to prevent skin damage in the long run.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With 1,342 positive reviews on Amazon, this product has become a bestseller.

5. Best For Fine Lines:Pyunkang Yul Peeling Gel

4.2
Pyunkang Yul Peeling Gel Image: Pyunkang Yul

Suitable For: Dry and Sensitive Skin

The Pyunkang Yul Peeling Gel is a gentle and effective exfoliator that helps to remove dead skin cells and debris from the surface of your skin. Its gel-like formula is infused with natural ingredients such as centella asiatica, licorice root, and houttuynia cordata extract to help soothe and refine your skin. Some reviews mention that it is a gentle, glow-enhancing peel for any skin type. The gel also helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, dark spots, wrinkles, and inflammation while restoring your skin’s natural glow. The green tea extract in the formula is perfect for soothing inflamed or irritated sensitive skin. With regular use of this dermatologist-recommended product, you can expect smoother and healthier-looking skin.

Pros

  • EWG safety grade ingredients
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Lightweight
  • Non-irritating
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • None

[ Read: 7 Best Korean Rubber Face Masks To Try In 2019 ]

6. Best Dermatologically-Tested:Skinfood Pineapple Peeling Gel

4.2
Skinfood Pineapple Peeling Gel Image: Skin Food Since 1957

Suitable For: All skin types

The SkinFood Pineapple Peeling Gel is enriched with pineapple enzymes. These enzymes are rich in vitamins A and C that help reduce inflammation and soften your skin. This dermatologically-tested gel also contains cellulose particles and AHA derived from apples that exfoliate your skin gently and cleanse your pores thoroughly. Multiple reviewer’s experience state that this peeling gel helps to refine visible pores and make dull skin look flawless. A blogger says, “I find that this gel is a gentler way to clear pores & remove dead skin than an abrasive exfoliating mask containing sugar granules which can leave my skin raw & irritated. … This gel is easy to wash off & does not leave any residue. After using this gel, my skin feels smoother, softer, refreshed & ready for the next steps of my skincare routine. This gel does not over-dry my skin, irritate my skin, or make it feel tight & uncomfortable (ii).

Pros

  • Contains fruit extracts
  • Clinically-proven
  • SLS-free
  • SLES-free
  • No mineral oils

Cons

  • Contains parabens

7. Best For Skin Tightening:Rokkiss Tea Tree Peeling Gel

4.2
Rokkiss Tea Tree Peeling Gel Image: Rokkiss

The Rokkiss Tea Tree Peeling gel helps you gently peel off the dead skin cells and impurities from the skin. The peeling gel contains tea tree oil, Centella, cypress leaves, cellulose, hyaluronic acid, licorice, aloe vera leaves, and eucalyptus that smoothen and hydrate your skin while creating a moisture barrier. This hydrating skin exfoliator is easy to use, either before sleep or going to work. It is tested to help smooth skin texture, reduce enlarged pores, and tighten the skin.

Suitable For: All Skin Types

Pros

  • Natural ingredients
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • May be drying

protip_icon Pro Tip
Invest a good amount of time in the aftercare of your exfoliated skin for long-lasting healthy results.

8. Best For Uneven Skin Tones:O.R.G Skincare Mineral Peel Body

4.3
O.R.G Skincare Mineral Peel Body Image: O.r.g Skincare

The O.R.G Skincare Mineral Peel Body cleanses dirt, and dead or damaged skin cells, making the skin smoother for shaving or tanning. It is formulated with natural ingredients like aloe vera, grape, rosewood, cucumber, retinol, and rose flower oil. This non-abrasive gel-based exfoliator rejuvenates your skin and prevents ingrown hair and uneven skin tones. This ancient Korean beauty formulation does not dry out or make your skin irritated.

Suitable For: All Skin Types

Pros

  • Alcohol-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Natural exfoliating ingredients
  • Cruelty-free
  • Brightens the skin

Cons

  • None

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has received 512 positive Amazon reviews from its users, stating its numerous benefits.

[ Read: 10 Best Korean Skin Care Brands You Should Try Out Right Now! ]

9. Best For Gentle Use:Neogen Dermalogy Gauze Peeling Wine

4.4
Neogen Dermalogy Gauze Peeling Wine Image: Dermalogy By Neogenlab

Suitable For: All skin types

These manual exfoliation pads are soaked in a non-irritating formula containing Resveratrol, a naturally fermented ingredient derived from red wine. Resveratrol contains AHA that helps in exfoliating dead skin cells from your skin. This cotton peel helps improve and refine your skin texture. It is the best Korean skincare exfoliation.

Pros

  • 100% cotton mesh pads
  • Paraben-free
  • SLS- and SLES-free
  • No harmful chemicals

Cons

  • None

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 1,400 Amazon users have vouched for this amazing product.

10. Best For Pore Care:Mizon Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel

4.3
Mizon Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel Image: Mizon

Suitable For: All skin types

Mizon Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel is an extremely mild peeling gel that is suitable for sensitive skin types. The oil control peeling gel is a cocktail of fruit extracts and herbal ingredients that not only dissolve the dirt on your skin but also remove the dead skin cells, leaving you with a smoother texture, more even toned and softer skin. This scientifically formulated gel contains papaya and Gypsophila paniculata root extracts that remove excess sebum from the hair follicles. It also contains orange, bilberry, and lemon extracts that improve your skin’s elasticity, resulting in soft and supple skin.

Pros

  • Mild exfoliation
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • SLS-free
  • SLES-free

Cons

  • Contains parabens
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Even though your skin exfoliates itself naturally by shedding the dead cells, this ability of your skin slows down as you age. That is when exfoliation becomes a necessity.

Dr. Anna Chacon, a board-certified dermatologist, explains, “Korean skincare is nothing about excessive rubbing or scratching. It mostly contains chemical peeling gels or pads rather and not physical exfoliators.” Although most Korean exfoliators are mild, you should not use an exfoliator more than twice a week. When choosing an exfoliator, it is best to consider your skin type and skin concerns. For instance, if you have extremely sensitive and acne-prone skin, stay away from physical exfoliants or scrubs that may further aggravate the condition. Go for a milder product. Opt for nourishing and gentle ingredients like Portulaca Oleracea extracts, witch hazel, sparkling water, hyaluronic acid, and Centella Asiatica that can help calm your skin and fade spots and marks.

Moreover, over-exfoliating can damage your skin. If you are using a physical exfoliator, make sure you do not rub too hard. Also, check for any ingredient you are allergic to before picking a product.

Do you prefer physical exfoliators or chemical ones? Have you tried any K-beauty exfoliators? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Infographic: What To Look For In A Korean Exfoliator

You can check out the infographic below to have a better understanding of the things you need to know before buying a Korean exfoliator. This infographic will help you get a detailed glimpse of the things you need to consider while choosing a Korean exfoliator for different skin types. You will learn about:

  • The key ingredients
  • What it does
  • How often to use

The infographic also explains the benefits of using a Korean exfoliator for your skin.

Infographic: light food recipes

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

The Bottom Line

Exfoliation gently removes dead skin cells and impurities while improving circulation. Korean exfoliators come in different forms and offer a wide variety of benefits from unclogging pores and deep cleansing to promoting skin renewal and brightening. You should pick the ones that work best for you skin issues. For instance, the TonyMoly Floria Brightening Peeling Gel softens and nourishes the skin helping you eradicate any dryness. On the other hand, the SkinFood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Face Mask improves skin elasticity and hydration so your skin look youthful and supple. This curated list of the best Korean exfoliators allows you to make an informed choice before buying. Pick out the one that suits you best and start exfoliating!

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Koreans exfoliate with?

Koreans generally use chemical exfoliators like peeling gels and pads to exfoliate their skin.

Is Korean exfoliator good for you?

Yes, Korean exfoliators are made of premium ingredients that are not harsh on skin.

Does a Korean body exfoliator hurt?

Yes, initially it does feel uncomfortable and hurts a bit but eventually it settles down and feels like a vigourous exercise.

Is it OK to exfoliate your face everyday?

No, daily exfoliation will strip off the natural oils from your face and cause dulness. Ideally, you should exfoliate once or twice a week.

When should I use a physical vs a chemical exfoliator?

Chemical exfoliators exfoliate and brighten the skin but it takes time for them to show effect. Physical exfoliation simply exfoliates the skin and is more of a quick fix when you are short on time.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Shiboli Chakraborti, the author of this post, is a certified skin care coach and loves to try out new and innovative products. So, she researched various products thoroughly and read many user reviews on trusted online forums to curate this list of the best Korean exfoliators for her readers. The shortlisted Korean exfoliators effectively increase cell turnover and manage dry skin and pores.


Personal Experience: Sources

(i) Beauty and the Being
https://beautyandthebeing.com/2018/10/23/my-favourite-exfoliant-tonymoly-floria-brightening-peeling-gel-review/

(ii) Skin the Know
https://skin-the-know.com/2020/01/23/review-of-skinfoods-pineapple-peeling-gel/

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