26 Best Korean Skin-Care Products of 2024 Tested By K-Beauty Experts and Vogue Editors

In our journey to discover the most effective beauty products, the best Korean skin-care products are top of mind. Why? According to Charlotte Cho, cofounder of marketplace Soko Glam, good skin care is embedded into Korean culture.

Table of Contents

Our Favorite Korean Skin Care Products

  • Best Toner Pads: Anua Heartleaf 77% Toner Pads, $23
  • Best Brightening Serum: Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum, $39
  • Best Sunscreen: Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotic SPF 50, $14
  • Best Snail Mucin: CosRx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, $24
  • Best Sheet Mask: Mediheal N.M.F Intensive Hydrating Sheet Mask, $20
  • Best Oil Cleanser: Anua Heartleaf Pore Control Cleansing Oil, $20
  • Best Daily Cleanser: Zeroid Foaming Cleanser, $23
  • Best Lip Treatment: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, $24
  • Best Pimple Patch: Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch The Original, $12
  • Best Retinol: Iope Retinol Expert 0.1%, $80

Best Korean Sunscreen: Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotic SPF50+ PA++++

Beauty of Joseon

Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotic SPF50+ PA++++

  • What It Is: A lightweight sunscreen infused with SPF 50+ and 30% rice extract and grain fermented extracts.
  • Why We Love It: Easily one of the most acclaimed Korean sunscreens out there, Beauty of Joseon’s Relief Sun is everything one could want in a UV protectant. SPF 50+ shields from sun rays, while the featured rice and grain fermented extracts are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for your healthiest, most hydrated skin yet. Not to mention, it’s earned dermatologist Dr. Claire Chang, MD’s stamp of approval.
  • Best For: Thanks to its light, cushiony formulation and zero white cast, this sunscreen-moisturizer works well on all skin types.
  • Key Ingredients: Rice extract 30%, grain fermented extracts, coconut fruit extract, gingseng root extract, kelp extract, camellia leaf extract
  • Size: 50 mL

Best Lip Treatment: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

  • What It Is: A silky-textured lip mask enriched with Laneige’s antioxidant-rich Berry Mix Complex, vitamin C, coconut oil, shea, and murumuru butter.
  • Why We Love It: It’s easy to say that Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask has garnered cult-favorite status. Deemed a must-have beauty product from Vogue editors (former beauty director Celia Ellenberg and associate fashion editor Charlotte Diamond) to celebrities (Brooke Shields and Kate Moss, to name a few), this is loved for its ability to nourish and smooth lips. To stock up, consider adding to cart when it’s on sale.
  • Best For: This mask is for anyone looking to achieve a softer, smoother, hydrated pout. Despite its being crafted specifically for overnight, many reach for this lip treatment throughout the daytime too. Personally, I often pair it with my favorite lip liner for the ultimate daytime lip treatment.
  • Key Ingredients: Shea butter, murumuru butter, vitamin C, coconut oil
  • Size: 0.7 oz / 20g

Best Snail Mucin: CosRx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

CosRx

Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

  • What It Is: A lightweight essence powered by 96.3% snail mucin—the buzzy K-beauty ingredient made popular for its resurfacing and hydrating properties.
  • Why We Love It: “An essence is super helpful at kick-starting hydration in the skin,” notes Yoon, citing this step as integral to any K-beauty routine. Applied post-cleanser and -toner, this works to fade dark spots, improve hydration, calm inflammation, and smooth skin texture—leaving skin soft and dewy.
  • Best For: Not only is this incredibly nourishing, it boasts a slime-y texture that is a sensorial experience on its own. A TikTok-trending pick, it’s become a Vogue editor favorite for a weightless glow to normal, oily, and combination skin types.
  • Key Ingredients: 96.3% snail secretion filtrate, hyaluronic acid, allantoin
  • Size: 100 mL / 3.38 fl. oz

Best Face Cream for Sensitive Skin: Aestura ATOBarrier365 Cream

  • What It Is: A gentle, nourishing face cream designed to improve skin’s moisture levels.
  • Why We Love It: Aestura’s AtoBarrier365 is as good as moisturizers come—particularly because it’s notably effective for all skin types. Its conditioning blend of sensitive skin-friendly ceramides, fatty acids, cholesterol, and allantoin help restore the skin barrier and stave off dryness all day long. Turns out, it’s a Vogue editor favorite, too. “It has little beads that “burst” when you rub in for that extra hydration,” Irene Kim, production and editorial coordinator details.
  • Best For: Sensitive skin, skin barrier repair,
  • Key Ingredients: Ceramides, fatty acids, chloesterol, squalene, glycerin, allantoin
  • Size: 80 mL / 2.70 fl. oz

Best Toner Pad: Anua Heartleaf 77% Toner Pads

  • What It Is: A set of toner pads enriched in PHAs to reduce pore size, blackheads, and sebum production.
  • Why We Love It: These pads are powered by 77% heartleaf extract grown and harvested in Korea. The ingredient boasts soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that when paired with the exfoliant PHA can limit excess oil production, smooth enlarged pores, and prevent blackheads without stressing skin.
  • Best For: These pads are great for anyone blemish-prone or experiencing rough, bumpy texture.
  • Key Ingredients: Heartleaf extract 77%, evening primrose extract, centella asiatica extract
  • Size: 70 pads / 160 mL / 5.41 oz

Best Serum for Acne-Prone Skin: Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum

  • What It Is: A serum created with acne-prone skin in mind, powered by propolis extract and niacinamide.
  • Why We Love It: Managing to balance sebum production while keeping skin hydrated is no small feat, Glow Serum’s honey-like elixir makes it simple. The viscous, syrupy serum is composed of 60% propolis extract and 2% niacinamide to control surface oils and give skin an otherworldly glow.
  • Best For: Ideal to heal stressed skin, add this into your routine to not only calm and soothe but also brighten your complexion and protect against free-radical damage.
  • Key Ingredients: 60% of propolis extract, 2% niacinamide, 0.5% BHA
  • Size: 30 mL / 1 fl. oz

Best Brightening Serum: Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum

Peach & Lily

Glass Skin Refining Serum

  • What It Is: A lightweight serum powered by a blend of peach extract, niacinamide, East Asian mountain yam, madecassoside, peptides, and hyaluronic acid.
  • Why We Love It: “[This] become a cult favorite for how visibly hydrating, firming, smoothing, clarifying, and brightening this universal treatment is in one easy bottle,” says Alicia Yoon, founder of Peach & Lily.
  • Best For: Suitable for sensitive skin, the serum is known to combat dark spots and loss of elasticity to promote even-toned, supple skin. In our experience, this sinks quickly into the skin, layers expertly with other products, illuminates your complexion over time.
  • Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, Madecassoide, niacinamide, peach extract, peptides, beta-glucan
  • Size: 69.8 mL / 2.36 oz

Best for Glass Skin: Superegg Sound Renewal Serum Cream

Superegg

Sound Renewal Serum Cream

  • What It Is: A gel-cream, milky lotion formulated with vitamin B5, squalane, ceramides, and exfoliating acids to repair the skin barrier and reduce pore size.
  • Why We Love It: For Erica Choi, licensed esthetician and founder of skin-care brand Superegg, achieving glass skin requires gentle exfoliation and deep hydration. Exfoliation, she says, helps remove dead skin cells—allowing “skincare products penetrate more effectively.” So, when you use her label’s Sound Renewal Serum Cream, the featured PHA unclogs pores while the nourishing agents like panthenol, botanical extracts, and squalane hydrate and repair the skin with ease.
  • Best For: While this vegan, cruelty-free face moisturizer is suitable for all skin types, its best for those looking to address enlarged pores and skin dullness in order to reveal a brighter, smoother complexion.
  • Key Ingredients: Panthenol, squalane, PHA, glycerin, centella asiatic extract, vitamin E, ceramides, chicory root extract, mushroom extract, beta-glucan
  • Size: 60 mL / 2.2 oz

Best Pimple Patch: Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch The Original

Hero Cosmetics

Mighty Patch The Original

  • What It Is: A set of pimple patches enriched with the medical-grade gel hydrocolloid.
  • Why We Love It: Stubborn zits got you down? Just place a Mighty Patch over your blemish and remove once the sticker turns white. Hydrocolloid works to suck the gunk out in just six to eight hours, revealing a smaller, flatter pimple.
  • Best For: Anyone with acne-prone skin should keep these in their arsenal of breakout-soothing salves. Wear them to reduce the look of zits, or, simply to avoid touching them. Remember: you want to avoid touching an active breakout as much as possible!
  • Key Ingredients: Hydrocolloid
  • Size: 36 patches

Best Wrinkle Cream: Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream

Sulwhasoo

Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream

  • What It Is: An acclaimed face cream powered by the restorative properties of ginseng.
  • Why We Love It: When we think of Korean approaches to firming face creams, this Sulwhasoo option rises to the top. The brand whips a concentrated ginseng (think: ginseng saponin, peptides, and flower) into a rich, silky, sinks-right-into-skin cream formulated to promote firmer, plumper skin over time. Not to mention, it’s a staple skin care product for one Vogue editor.
  • Best For: Mature skin, wrinkles, fine lines
  • Key Ingredients: Sulwhasoo’s concentrated ginseng saponin, glycerin, squalane, licorice root extract, mango seed butter, sunflower seed oil
  • Size: 60 mL / 2 oz

Best Oil Cleanser: Anua Heartleaf Pore Control Cleansing Oil

Anua

Heartleaf Pore Control Cleansing Oil

  • What It Is: A non-comedogenic cleansing oil to clear dirt, debris, and blackheads.
  • Why We Love It: A great cleansing oil has the ability to seamlessly and gently pull away dirt and debris from the pores. Anua’s elixir does this effortlessly; pairing botanical oils and extracts into a conditioning oil that sloughs away makeup, blackheads, and impurities without stripping skin of its natural oils. Plus, it’s non-comedogenic, making it excellent for acne-prone skin types.
  • Best For: Blackheads, acne-prone skin, removing makeup, double cleansing
  • Key Ingredients: Heartleaf extract, sunflower seed oil, olive fruit oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, turmeric root extract, moringa seed oil
  • Size: 200 mL / 6.76 fl. oz

Best Daily Cleanser: Zeroid Foaming Cleanser

  • What It Is: A hypoallergenic foam featuring a blend of surfactants made of botanical extracts, hyaluronic acid, ceramide, and bitter-orange extract.
  • Why We Love It: This non-irritating formula offers a deep cleanse while balancing skin’s pH, moisturizing, and protecting skin from external stressors.
  • Best For: In search of a gentle, soft cleanser to gently slough away dirt and oil? Consider Zeroid’s wash as your go-to. Despite its foaming consistency, it’s also non-drying—making it an option for normal, combination, and sensitive skin types.
  • Key Ingredients: Nature-derived surfactant, hyaluronic acid, bitter orange extract
  • Size: 240 mL

Best Lightweight Moisturizer: Etude SoonJung 10 Free Moist Emulsion

Etude

SoonJung 10 Free Moist Emulsion

  • What It Is: A lightweight moisturizer powered by 93% naturally derived ingredients to hydrate, repair, and calm skin.
  • Why We Love It: Designed with sensitive skin in mind, this emulsion will pair well with any active ingredients in your regimen sans irritation.
  • Best For: Anyone interested in a lightweight gel, almost milky cream will appreciate Etude’s emulsion. It works well on its own but is best supplemented by other hydrators—like a hyaluronic acid serum or rich moisturizer. These additional steps are extra helpful for those with dry skin. Pro tip: give it time to sink into skin before continuing.
  • Key Ingredients: Squalane, panthenol, glycerin, green tea leaf extract
  • Size: 130 mL / 4.39 fl. oz

Best Sheet Mask: Mediheal The N.M.F Ampule Mask

  • What It Is: A deeply hydrating sheet mask with a moisturizing factor consisting of hyaluronic acid and amino acids.
  • Why We Love It: Consider this a moisture surge in a sachet. Leave on this sheet mask for 20 minutes (post cleanser and toner) to combat dryness and reveal a supple glow.
  • Best For: A quick fix for dry, dull skin, this sheet mask lays seamlessly on the skin. Upon removal, skin feels soft and moisturized—be sure to massage the remaining serum in its package, too. Because of its conditioning hydrators, it’s also suited for sensitive skin types.
  • Key Ingredients: Eight hyaluronic acids, seven amino acids, ceramide NP, niacinamide, glycerine, and squalane
  • Size: 10 sheets

Best Cleansing Balm: Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm

  • What It Is: A sorbet-textured balm infused with vitamin E, olive oil, persimmon extract, and sea-buckthorn oil, which is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants.
  • Why We Love It: “Cleansing with an oil-based cleanser and following up with a water-based cleanser is called a double cleanse and is a foundational part of an effective multistep skin-care routine,” says Cho, who prefers cleansing balms to remove makeup and oil-based impurities—cleansing and conditioning simultaneously.
  • Best For: While those with oily or acne-prone skin might follow this with a resurfacing cleanser, someone with dry skin might appreciate the soft, conditioning feel the cleansing balm achieves. Not to mention, it boasts a delightful citrusy scent. A little product goes a long way here—one dollop is all you need.
  • Key Ingredients: Seabuckthorn oil, persimmon extract, olive oil, grapeseed oil, vitamin E, grapefruit seed oil
  • Size: 3.17 fl. oz /90g

Best Retinol Serum: Iope Retinol Expert 0.1%

  • What It Is: A supercharged serum featuring pure retinol 0.1%, hyaluronic acid, and panthenol to target signs of skin aging.
  • Why We Love It: The draw to Iope’s retinol amongst the sea of vitamin A-powered options is its gentleness despite its potency.
  • Best For: If smoothing fine lines while boosting skin elasticity is of top priority, give Iope’s retinol serum a try. Crafted to target wrinkles, firmness, and density, this is known to plump and hydrate your complexion with consistent use—revealing a youthful glow. As you would with any retinol treatment, start slow—apply a pea-sized amount every other day until skin begins to tolerate it.
  • Key Ingredients: Retinol, allantoin, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, shea butter, soja bean oil
  • Size: 30 mL / 1.01 oz

Best Korean Essence: Mixsoon Bean Essence

  • What It Is: A viscous essence powered by four plant ferments—soybean, barley, pomegranate, and Korean pear.
  • Why We Love It: While any essence is good, it’s great if it boasts multitasking benefits. See: the Mixsoon Bean Essence. Upon application, you’ll notice a veil-like film coat the skin for instant hydration. Over time, however, you’ll realize it’s the botanical ferments that also help smooth skin texture and even tone.
  • Best For: Exfoliating, enlarged pores, dry skin
  • Key Ingredients: Fermented soybean, barley, pomegranate, and Korean pear
  • Size: 50 mL / 1.69 fl. oz

Best Clarifying Mask: Innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask

  • What It Is: Innisfree’s lineup is powered by ingredients sourced from Korea’s Jeju Island. This creamy clay mask is infused with volcanic clusters from the island and lactic acid.
  • Why We Love It: Having an exfoliating, clarifying mask in your beauty cabinet is always a good idea, and Innisfree’s option proves effective after each use.
  • Best For: For oily, ance-prone skin types, or anyone experiencing texture concerns, utilize this clay mask at least once per week to slough away dead skin cells, reduce the look of pores, and absorb excess oils in a 20-minute application. (Applying with a little silicone spatula feels like a spa experience.)
  • Key Ingredients: Jeju volcanic clusters (or, finely ground hardened volcanic lava), lactic acid
  • Size: 100 mL / 3.38 oz

Best Face Cream: I’m From Mugwort Cream

  • What It Is: A lightweight moisturizer powered by 73.55% mugwort extract, an ingredient that Cho explains has long been used in Korean medicinal and wellness practices. “It’s also highly regarded for its healing properties, as well as its anti-inflammatory and soothing benefits,” she says.
  • Why We Love It: The mugwort extract isn’t the only reason we covet this cream—it’s soothing, calming, and plumping; a thick texture, without simply sitting atop the skin.
  • Best For: With its healing properties in mind, this cream is meant to nourish and soothe stressed, sensitive skin while protecting against environmental stressors and stimulating collagen production.
  • Key Ingredients: Mugwort extract, panthenol, shea butter, pinus palustris leaf extract, ulmus davidiana root extract, evening primrose flower extract, allantoin
  • Size: 50 mL / 1.76 oz

Best Face Toner: Benton Let’s Carrot Oil Toner

  • What It Is: “Benton’s latest, the Let’s Carrot Oil Toner, combines a layered water—with carrot-water extract—and oil formulation—with beta carotene and carrot-seed oil—to prepare your skin and control excess sebum production,” Cho explains.
  • Why We Love It: “Toning is an easily misunderstood step! Basically toners serve as both a treatment and a way to prep your skin for further products in your multistep skin-care routine,” she says. Applying Benton’s is as simple as giving the skin a few spritzes.
  • Best For: A solution for even oily skin types, this is formulated to help balance oil production, calm irritation, and plump skin.
  • Key Ingredients: Carrot root water, carrot seed oil, beta-carotene, sunflower seed oil, grape seed oil, tea tree oil, lavender extract
  • Size: 150 mL / 5.07 fl. oz

Best Eye Cream for Wrinkles: Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb

  • What It Is: A silky, lightweight eye cream infused with squalane, ceramides, and centella asiatica–leaf extract.
  • Why We Love It: As the name suggests, intensive hydration is the targeted benefit of this eye cream meant to plump fine lines with 26 hours of moisture for a supple undereye.
  • Best For: Wave goodbye to dry under-eyes and crow’s feet! We reach for this formula when we want a gentle treatment—perhaps after an in-office treatment or paired with retinol. Not to mention, it has a lightweight, yet rich gel-cream texture that feels sort of cooling when applied.
  • Key Ingredients: Squalane, tiger grass, comfrey leaf, ceramide NP, glycerin
  • Size: 0.84 oz

Best Glow Drops: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

  • What It Is: A lightweight, jelly highlighting serum infused with niacinamide, watermelon, hyaluronic acid, and moringa-seed oil.
  • Why We Love It: On skin benefits, it’s formulated to brighten skin over time—revealing a glowy, glossy finish.
  • Best For: A viral TikTok pick, Glow Recipe’s Dew Drops can be applied as a serum, primer, or highlighter under or over makeup.
  • Key Ingredients: Watermelon, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, moringa seed oil
  • Size: 40 mL / 1.35 oz

Best Everyday Sunscreen: Thank You Farmer Sun Project Light Sun Essence

Thank You Farmer

Sun Project Light Sun Essence

  • What It Is: A refreshing take on sunscreen powered by ultraviolet protection, aloe leaf extract, lotus flower water, and soybean lipids.
  • Why We Love It: Thanks to its blend of skin-soothing ingredients, Thank You Farmer’s essence helps repair the skin barrier while simultaneously soothing and minimizing the look of pores.
  • Best For: Once applied, this absorbs quickly and leaves a semi-matte finish, making it best for someone not partial to an overly dewy sheen.
  • Key Ingredients: Glycine soybean lipids, nelumbo nucifera flower water, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, althaea rosea flower extract, homosalate
  • Size: 120 mL / 4.22 fl. oz

Best for Redness: Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30

Dr. Jart+

Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30

  • What It Is: A creamy treatment featuring a blend of tiger grass (otherwise known as centella asiatica or cica) and broad-spectrum SPF 30.
  • Why We Love It: Dr. Jart’s color-correcting treatment became popular for its green-to-beige transformation that seamlessly neutralizes redness and evens skin tone. Thus skin is left soothed, moisturized, and protected from UV rays.
  • Best For: Use this in the AM, even ahead of makeup wear, to visibly alleviate redness and even skin tone. The formula is on the oilier side, so it is likely best for drier skin types.
  • Key Ingredients: Centella Asiatica leaf water, strawberry leaf extract, grapefruit peel oil
  • Size: 50 mL / 1.7 fl, oz

Best Night Treatment: Saturday Skin Yuzu Vitamin C Sleep Mask

Saturday Skin

Yuzu Vitamin C Sleep Mask

  • What It Is: A gel-textured overnight face mask powered by antioxidant-rich yuzu, niacinamide, and retinol.
  • Why We Love It: Crafted to make the most of your beauty sleep, Saturday Skin’s mask works to rejuvenate skin overnight. Protection against environmental stressors, refined texture, and improved overall tone are just a few of its promised benefits.
  • Best For: Think of this as your go-to face mask treatment. All it takes is layering a bit atop your favorite night cream to amplify your glow. Because it’s formulated to work in tandem with other products in your regimen, it’s safe enough to use several times per week.
  • Key Ingredients: Yuzu, niacinamide, retinol
  • Size: 50 mL / 1.69 fl. oz

Best Body Wash: Naturium The Glow Getter Multi-Oil Body Wash

Naturium

The Glow Getter Multi-Oil Body Wash

  • What It Is: An oil body wash infused with 50% glycerin, botanical oils (rosehip, jojoba), fruit extracts (apple, vanilla planifolia, coconut, apricot), and squalane that lathers into a milky gel.
  • Why We Love It: This Naturium body wash is an acclaimed formula for being gentle on skin yet incredibly hydrating. I was introduced to the formula through glowing reviews by esthetician and skin-care influencer Tiara Willis, and was immediately impressed by how soft and nourished it left my skin feeling after each use.
  • Best For: Glow Getter is an exceptional, hydrating body wash for any skin type—transforming from an oil to a milky lather as you massage it on. Follow with a lotion, cream, or body oil to lock in moisture.
  • Key Ingredients: Glycerin, squalane, rosehips fruit oil, jojoba seed oil, coconut, vanilla, apple, and peach fruit extracts
  • Size: 500 mL / 16.9 oz

Why use Korean beauty products?

“At a young age, Korean children are taught the importance of moisturizing, exfoliating, cleansing the skin thoroughly, and protecting their skin with SPF,” she says. And these beauty traditions, she explains, are passed down through generations.

“For example, a common bathhouse tradition is to splash spoiled milk onto faces after cleansing as milk contains lactic acid, which helps smooth and brighten skin,” says Glow Recipe cofounder Christine Chang. “This tradition is an example of the Korean consumers’ approach to gentle exfoliation over harsh, physical exfoliation.”

These traditions are coupled with innovative technologies to create products that are beneficial to treating an array of concerns. The result? The entrance of new ingredients like snail mucin or categories like essences. Cho notes that many of the ingredients we’ve come to associate with K-beauty products come from hanbang, or traditional Korean medicine, like ginseng, green tea, and lotus.


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