Korean beauty has been leading cosmetic innovation for a few years now. Korean moisturizers are a staple in many skincare-obsessed people’s routines, but how do you choose your first one? Well, it’s all about what your skin needs and what those moisturizers can offer you. Join us while we journey through what Korean moisturizers can do, what ingredients they use, and, most importantly, which one you should choose.
Are Korean moisturizers better?
Korean moisturizers aren’t necessarily better, but they usually have state-of-the-art tech and caring ingredients. However, sometimes you don’t need highly techy formulas, you just need something that works. However, if you find that western formulas don’t suit your skin and you want to try something different than what you’re used to, these can be the answer. South Korea is a skincare innovation hub, and brands are constantly competing to find the next best thing. Seoul is so densely packed with beauty that you can find hundreds of beauty stores within the eight city blocks of MyeongDong, “the Times Square of beauty”.
When you can find over 20.000 beauty brands within one small country, it’s easy to figure out that brands that stay put, get run over by brands that constantly innovate. This is why brands keep changing and improving their formulas. This is also why textures are so great when we’re talking about K-Beauty, as no one wants to use joyless products.
What ingredients do K-Beauty moisturizers contain?
Korean moisturizers are perfect for you if you’re looking for dewy, glass skin. Hydration is one of the main concerns for Koreans, so K-Beauty moisturizers are packed with hydrating ingredients. Besides that, Korean formulas also love to use some ingredients that aren’t as popular in western formulas. We’re talking about ginseng extract, snail mucin, fermented rice water, mugwort, birch, and bamboo extract.
One extremely common concern is soothing the skin, so ceramides, Centella asiatica, and panthenol are also staples. Together with soothing botanicals, it’s pretty common that moisturizers serve as the soothing and replenishing step of the routine.
What is the best Korean moisturizer?
From those that highlight one hero ingredient to those that promise to take care of one specific skin type, we have chosen a variety of moisturizers. Come along with us and find out which ones are our favorites, as well as long-time best sellers all over the world.
Mizon Good Bye Blemish Soothing Gel Cream
Moisturizer for oily skin
This gel moisturizer has everything that oily skin deserves. Packed with panthenol, salicylic acid, niacinamide, and tea tree extract, it’s perfect for blemish-prone skin. It both soothes and hydrates, while reducing sebum and blemishes. The ideal all-in-one product for those that need hydration, but also need their hydration to come oil-free. If you have acne, this is also a great ally, because it helps to reduce redness.
Sioris Enriched by Nature Cream
Hydrating cream for dry skin
This Sioris cream is perfect for those fighting dryness. With a blend of botanical oils and butters and almost 30% green tea water, it deeply nourishes the skin without leaving an uncomfortable greasy film on the skin. Moreover, it contains ceramides in order to help repair the skin barrier, which is often compromised in very dry skin. The polyphenols in the green tea water provide much needed protection from free radicals, making this an ideal cream for daily use.
Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream
Balancing cream for combination skin
This viral lightweight cream contains two staple ingredients in Korean beauty–snail secretion extract and bee venom. Both work to deeply protect the skin and stimulate it to look its best. Together with Japanese pepper fruit extract, it’s a highly effective cream in a very light formula. Thus, it’s perfect for those who have combination skin and need to control sebum production, but still deeply hydrate the skin.
BEAUTY OF JOSEON Dynasty Cream
Best Korean moisturizer for the night
Although this is a cream that can be used in the morning or evening, we find it just perfect for a replenishing overnight treatment. The luxurious bouncy texture makes for the perfect night mask, enveloping the skin in a protective coccoon. The formula contains a myriad of plentiful ingredients, from ginseng extract, to niacinamide and rice bran water. Perfect for leaving your skin dewy and deeply nourished throughout the night.
Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF42/PA+++
Best Korean tinted cream
We’re probably not the bearers of any news here, but our vote goes out to Missha. This fluid moisturizer provides a sheer coverage that evens the skin tone in a very natural way and provides sun protection. The lightweight formula works perfectly by itself on oily or combination skin, but is also great over your favorite moisturizer. The perfect tinted moisturizer for daily life and a protected skin that looks natural.
Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel
Favorite Korean gel moisturizer
Benton Aloe Propolis is a viral product for good reason. This soothing and refreshing gel is ideal for irritated skin or skin prone to redness. In fact, aloe and propolis make for 80% of this formula, making it super gentle on the skin. In fact, it’s perfect for oily and combination skin types that are prone to redness, including those with acne, rosacea or sensitized skin.
SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Probio-Cica Enrich Cream
Moisturizer for sensitive skin
SKIN1004 brings out a great cream for sensitive skin that needs skin barrier repair. Made with super gentle oils and ceramides, this cream supports the skin in enduring aggressions. Additionally, the probiotics in the formula and Centella asiatica work to restore the skin barrier, thus making it comfortable, less prone to redness and hydrated.
TONYMOLY The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream
Best Korean moisturizer for glass skin
If you’re looking for the ultimate dewy and glowy skin, aka glass skin, this is the moisturizer for you. In fact, the clue is in the name, as “chok chok” means exactly that–plump, dewy, bouncy skin. Fermented green tea is the key to this formula, making it not only ideal for glass skin, but also for people with rosacea, acne and atopic dermatitis. The skin becomes ultra radiant, nourished and hydrated, for a healthy complexion that looks refreshed.
Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream
Snail Mucin Korean moisturizer
We’re also not bringing anything new to the table here, but if you’re quite new to the Korean skincare world and have not heard about this formula, here’s the chance to consider it. Snail mucin is perfect for those who need an all-in-one moisturizer. With over 90% of the formula being snail secretion filtrate, it deeply hydrates while reducing dark spots and visible signs of aging. The gel-like texture makes it fit any skin type and plumps any skin.
Real Barrier Extreme Cream
Korean ceramide cream
Combining ceramides with allantoin and panthenol, this powerhouse cream deeply restores the skin barrier. The combination of deeply caring ingredients helps to repair the skin barrier, as it contains omega-ceramide-16 phospholipids. The luxurious texture glides over the skin to deeply protect it from harsh conditions or just from daily life on dry to very dry skin.
As you can see, there is one Korean moisturizer for each skin type and concern. You can find many more Korean moisturizers on our Korean Beauty section and discover the one that will become part of your daily routine.
Pharmacy Technician & Beauty Writer