Best Korean Face Wash Picks to Try Now

Written by Allison

The best Korean face wash picks based on skin type and texture

Diving into Korean skincare is so much fun because they really push the boundaries of what you probably know as face wash. Will you find a bar of soap? Sure. Will you also find a cleansing foam infused with rice right there in the bottle? Definitely. We’ve chosen the best Korean face wash picks for three different categories: makeup removal, cleansing oily skin, and cleansing dry skin.

One of the main ways Korean skincare routines differ from your average western routine is that each step is gentle, including cleansing. Even the best Korean sheet mask options are fairly gentle.

Instead of scrubbing off a layer of your skin with a harsh soap, many of the best Korean face wash products we’ll discuss below are designed to be used with a gentle facial massage.

And that’s a way more relaxing way to end your day anyway, right?

Obviously not every face wash will work well for every single person. We’ve chosen the following categories to be fairly broad because you aren’t going treat specific skincare issues with a cleanser. If that is more your jam, check out the best Korean sheet masks which are more focused on treatment.

Best Korean Face Wash for Makeup Removal

Applying and removing makeup are the two best parts of the day! Korean makeup removers are often cleansing oils or balms that melt away your daily face. These work well for most people and should be followed up with another cleanser in a Korean skincare routine.

  • Nooni Deep Cleanse Snowflake Cleanser – This comes in a jar and a handy stick version for traveling. This cleanser is crystal clear and very emollient for removing a heavy day’s makeup.
  • Banilla Co Clean It Zero – This is the first Korean makeup remover to gain major popularity in the west. It’s a thick balm that melts away your makeup and turns milky when you add a little water.
  • Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Makeup Remover Pads – For the avid travelers, pick up a pack of these unique makeup remover wipes. Instead of a micellar water dampened cloth these use a milky emulsion to gently remove makeup.
  • Boscia Charcoal Makeup Melter Cleansing Oil – If you love the Boscia Makeup Breakup Cleansing Oil, you’ve got to try their charcoal balm version. It’s a deeper clean feeling balm that really breaks down waterproof makeup.
  • Missha Green Tea Makeup Remover – A classic bi-phase makeup remover, to use you’ll have to shake first then apply to a cotton pad or massage into the skin. This particular cleanser is great for sensitive skin because it contains polyphenols and portulaca oleracea extract to soothe the skin.

Best Korean Face Wash For Oily Skin

As someone who suffered from oil slick skin for the first twenty five or so years of my life there is nothing I hate more than a harsh, stripping cleanser. Many of the face washes I grew up with whole intended purpose was to suck all the oil from your skin like dishwashing liquid. Most Korean cleansers for oily skin are much more gently and less stripping. It’s all about cleansing your skin, not destroying your moisture barrier.

  • Neogen Real Fresh Foam Green Tea – This cleanser has green tea leaves right there in the bottle infusing your cleanser with the tea’s soothing properties. It is also formulated with aloe to soothe sensitive, oily skin.
  • Belif Problem Solution Cleansing Foam – This whipped textured cleanser is a gentle, deep clean for acne prone skin. It uses willow bark extract to exfoliate and tea tree oil to help keep acne at bay.
  • Boscia Charcoal Jelly Ball Cleanser – Remember how Korean skincare often pushes the boundaries? This is a jelly ball cleanser, take that very literally. It’s like a bar of soap but jelly and formulated with charcoal to help keep skin clear.
  • Erborian Double Mousse Gentle Cleansing Foam – Unlike most foaming cleansers that require you to massage the cleanser into your skin. Erborian suggests smoothing the foam over your skin, letting it sit for 30 seconds, then rinsing off for a gentle clean.
  • Cosrx Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser – For acne prone skin, a salicylic acid cleanser is a must. Salicylic acid helps to keep your pores clear to prevent acne from happening in the first place. This Cosrx option is a super gentle version.

Best Korean Face Wash For Normal to Dry Skin

Obviously not all cleansers work for people with normal and dry skin. But, if you are so lucky to have “normal” skin, you can pick and choose what cleanser will work well for you. All of these cleansers focus on cleansing without drying the skin. They also have a few more textures than the foamy bunch above.

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About the author


Bio: She's a New Orleans based beauty writer, nail polish hoarder, and doughnut enthusiast. When she isn't camping out in her local coffee shop for hours on end, you'll probably find her taking selfies in front of every colorful wall she's ever seen. Follow along on Instagram @allisonmarieschmidt.

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