I’m sure by now you are well aware that Korean skincare is simply great to achieve a natural, youthful, glowing skin look. What you may not be aware of is the benefits of korean skincare for oily skin and acne. It’s not all about achieving that mythical dolphin skin, which sounds very scary to anybody who already glows plenty by 10am thanks to the oil on their skin. In fact, I can bet you that a good Korean moisturizer for oily skin with spf will change your opinion in South Korean cosmetics forever.
Keep reading, or jump straight into our picks for the best Korean moisturizer for oily skin and our top Korean moisturizer for combination skin picks.
Why Korean Skincare for Oily Skin and Acne?
If you have oily skin, you may be tempted to skimp on the moisturizer, because after all your skin is plenty hydrated right? I’m afraid that is not always the case. You can have oily and dehydrated skin, and the lack of moisture can make your skin even more oily.
In fact, if you use aggressive, drying products to keep your acne and oil production under control, chances are you are drying your skin unnecessarily and that’s what any contender for the best Korean moisturizer for oily skin is designed to address.
They often come in the form of gels instead of heavy creams, and feel refreshing and light. At the same time, Korean skincare is big on avoiding aggressive ingredients so you won’t find drying alcohol on the best Korean moisturizers for oily skin.
They contain calming and soothing ingredients that heal the skin from within, helping reduce irritation and oil production for long lasting results. Korean skincare for oily skin and acne is all about balancing oily and irritated skin in the long term, instead of just drying it and absorbing the oils temporarily.
Some popular ingredients in Korean skincare for oily and combination skin are:
- Green tea
- Snail mucin
- Centella asiatica
- Prickly pear seed oil
- Gentle exfoliating acids: LHA and PHA
- Sea buckthorn
As you can see, they are all ingredients famous for their calming and brightening properties. In order to achieve the desirable ideal of a flawless, glowing skin, Korean skincare for acne is also focused on avoiding hyperpigmentation caused by acne lesions. So brightening ingredients are very popular. Natural moisturizers are also prevalent on Korean skincare, but you’ll also find some very advanced science on this type of products.
While some Korean moisturizers for oily and combination skin use strong acids, such as glycolic acid, most avoid them and use gentler variations such as LHA and PHA acids. They are just used more regularly to get all the benefits but avoiding skin irritation.
Here are our top picks for the best Korean moisturizer for oily skin.
COSRX Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion With Birch Sap
- An extremely hydrating daily moisturizer recommended for both day and night. The weightless subtle lotion contains 70%...
The COSRX Oil Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion contains 70% Birch Sap which helps calm and treat sensitive, irritated, or freshly exfoliated skin. This moisturiser hydrates oily skin without leaving any greasy residue, calms acne-prone skin without causing breakouts and it’s light and quickly absorbed. Your skin will feel silky smooth, without any residue. And the pump dispenser makes it long lasting and hygienic, which is very important when dealing with breakouts and irritated skin.
If you are using retinols or other acne treatments that cause very dry skin you may want to try a heavier cream, because this one feels quite lightweight (even if it’s a powerful hydrator).
Suitable for all skin types and morning/evening use.
Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel
The Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel has a high content of aloe vera which helps heal broken skin and soothes irritation without adding oils. Propolis extract and Allantoin help nourish the skin and improve the skin barrier.
This product is Vegan, dermatologist tested and Cruelty free. It’s suitable for all skin types, but dry skin types may find it’s not rich enough.
By Wishtrend Acid-Duo Hibiscus 63 Cream
- The Acid-Duo Hibiscus Cream is a light cream type exfoliant that you may use on a daily basis. It consists of LHA and...
By Wishtrend Acid-Duo Hibiscus 63 Cream is an exfoliating moisturizer, perfect for daily use on acne prone and oily skins. It’s probably the best Korean moisturizer for oily skin if you like a gentle daily exfoliation.
It uses LHA and PHA acids to exfoliate the skin without irritating it, even the most sensitive skins can use it. If your problem is dull, oily skin and large pores, this lightweight gel will become a must have on your daily routine.
Suitable for morning and evening use, but combine this korean moisturizer for oily skin with SPF if you use it in the morning. Exfoliating acids can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Are you wondering about the best korean moisturizer for combination skin? We got you covered here.
COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Repair Cream
- Long-lasting Hydration: Infused with 92% of snail mucin (also called Snail Secretion Filtrate), this cream builds a...
If you have combination skin, this COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Repair Cream works miracles to reduce irritation and inflammation while still feeling fresh and light on your skin. It contains snail mucin which is hydrating and calming and helps protect and regenerate the natural skin barrier. Combination skin is often caused by sebum overproduction due to a damaged skin barrier, so addressing this should be a priority.
It soothes combination skin that can become irritated if you are using aggressive acne-treatments, and gives you an even, natural glow. If you have oily but sensitive skin the COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Repair Cream is a miracle worker.
Suitable for all skin types and morning/evening use.
Huxley Secret of Sahara Cream Fresh and More
Huxley Secret of Sahara Cream Fresh and More is a gel hydrating cream with Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, Birch sap, Japanese Bamboo and Moroccan Prickly Pear Cactus Oil. It’s heavy on hydration and anti-oxidants and soothes and strengthens the skin barrier. Your skin will feel plump but still matte, and the antioxidant benefits help keep irritation and redness under control.
Definitely a contender for top Korean moisturizer for combination skin, it will stop your nose from being an oil slick by lunchtime. But it will also keep your cheeks and other dry areas feeling moisturized all day.
Suitable for oily and combination skin types, and morning/evening use. It works great as a primer under makeup!
JUMISO AC Cure No Pain No Gain Spot Cream
- AC CURE NO PAIN NO GAIN SPOT CREAM: With stinging sensation!
The JUMISO AC Cure No Pain No Gain Spot Cream is not strictly a korean moisturizer for acne-prone skin, but it’s a great companion to a more hydrating cream. It’s supposed to be used as a spot treatment only on your spots, and it does tingle and it feels a bit drying. But it’s actually a very good spot treatment for sensitive skin that will help fade the spots without damaging your skin barrier.
Fear not, the name is not actually representative of the effects. It contains centella asiatica and niamicide to help brighten and fade breakouts, and it’s safe for sensitive skins.
Do You Need To Commit to a Multi-Step Korean Skin Care Routine Day and Night?
The truth is, it helps. But the multiple step Korean skincare routine can be time consuming and many people are giving up in favour of more streamlined skincare, and that’s ok too. The important thing is to find the right products for you, and to use them regularly.
The surface of your skin changes every 28 days, give or take, which means you won’t see top results from your Korean skincare for oily skin and acne for a few weeks. So you need to be consistent and stick with it.
But if the idea of buying toners, ampoules, essences and all sorts of small cute bottles fills you with dread, don’t worry. They are helpful but you can still take advantage of a more pared down Korean skincare routine.
Start with double cleansing with a korean oil cleanser followed by a water based one. Then use a serum (for example, a korean vitamin C serum in the morning, and an anti-ageing one in the evening) and follow up with the best Korean moisturizer for oily skin. Regularly using a face mask and an exfoliating product will also help your skin find its balance.