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The 8 Best Korean Essences for Dry Skin (2024 Updated)

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Published on:

Hello there!

Welcome to my article about the best Korean essences for dry skin.

I first heard about Korean skincare routines a few years back.

At first, I didn’t know what to expect but once you dive deeper, you’ll see how many people solved their dry skin problems in just a few weeks.

I ended up buying $5,000 worth of Korean skincare over the years and have made a list of the 8 best Korean essences on the entire market.

Don’t waste your money like I did and get the best products for your dry skin on your first try.

Let’s get started.

Editor’s Choice

Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

Hydration: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 5.0 ★★★★★
Texture: 5.0 ★★★★★


Overall Score 5.0

#2nd Best Choice

Ginseng Essence

Hydration: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.9 ★★★★★
Texture: 5.0 ★★★★★


Overall Score 4.9

#3rd Best Choice

No. 3 Super Glowing Essence

Hydration: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.7 ★★★★★
Texture: 4.8 ★★★★★


Overall Score 4.8

Our Best Korean Essences for Dry Skin

1 – Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence (Editor’s Choice)

Overall Score 5.0

Hydration: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 5.0 ★★★★★
Texture: 5.0 ★★★★★


Hydrates very well

A little bit goes a long way

Great pricing


It’s not the cheapest, but definitely worth the investment

COSRX’s Advanced Snail Essence is by far the best Korean essence on Earth when it comes to hydration, sensitivity and smoothness. (You’ll understand when you read option #2).

I’ve been in the skincare game for quite some time now and to be honest… there’s a lot of garbage out there. Thousands of skincare products that’ll never work.

This is one of the eight essences that I highly recommend. If you have extremely dry skin and are looking for a quick solution that works, this is your best option. Also, when you look at the price it’s a no-brainer.

Look at the number of positive reviews.

It’s one of those products that you can’t live without. And when I started testing this, I found myself extremely surprised. Not only did it solve my dry and sensitive skin, but it also gave a glowing effect.

If you’re a newbie that wants to get rid of your dry skin FAST with a proven product, this is not optional – It’s a must.

When using this essence you’ll quickly notice why this is so popular. Trust me, if you can afford this essence and haven’t tried it already, you’ll thank me in a few weeks from now.

Why COSRX’s Advanced Snail Essence is The Best?

  • Gets rid of acne scars and keeps the skin hydrated all-day
  • Say goodbye to rashes, redness, and sensitivity 
  • A little bit goes a very long way and lasts the whole day
  • Extremely fast shipping and the best customer service

Like I said before, this essence is something that you must try. And what’s even better?

It’ll last you at least 4 to 5 months. So if you look at the pricing it’s very affordable and won’t break the bank. Now, it’s important that you only buy from trusted sellers, because there are a lot of fakes out there.

And buying fakes doesn’t hurt my wallet, but it surely will for you.

That’s why I only recommend buying through the links in this article. And I don’t want to oversell it or push you to make an impulsive purchase, but pretty much the only way you’re guaranteed to get the real deal is to buy from a trusted source.

Main Ingredients That Make a Difference

The main ingredient that sets this product apart from the others is “Snail Secretion Filtrate” which is a slimy texture that is released from the snail. Multiple studies have shown that it’s great for soothing the skin, while also keeping it hydrated. [1]

Now you know snail mucin keeps the skin moisturized and hydrated, it’s the perfect ingredient for dry skin.

Plus it has more than 6,300+ five-star reviews on YesStyle alone. If you combine this with the other big skincare sellers, it’ll be over 50,000.

Last but not least…

COSRX’s Advanced Snail Essence has been around for 5+ years now. And there hasn’t been a single negative review purely looking at the formulation (unless you have another skin type) then you’re using the wrong product.

Don’t forget that COSRX is one of the biggest skincare manufacturers in the World. They have hundreds if not thousands of researchers testing and researching these products every single day.

2 – Ginseng Essence Water

Overall Score 4.9

Hydration: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.9 ★★★★★
Texture: 5.0 ★★★★★


Infused with 80% ginseng root water

Calming and soothing

Affordable pricing


Doesn’t work for everyone

Beauty of Joseon’s Ginseng Essence Water is another great alternative. Imagine buying #1 on this list but a bit less in quality.

That’s basically this Korean essence. Infused with 80% ginseng root water that keeps the skin in balance, while also hydrating the skin for up to 6 hours. [2]

This was one of the better essences that I tried throughout the years. One that also got rid of the small little bumps I had on my forehead. I noticed that this almost absorbed instantly into the skin, which is great. 

If you wear make-up, this is the one you should give a go. Imagine applying your skincare in a matter of minutes and moving right onto your make-up. That’s exactly what this essence does for you. Save your precious time, unlike other essences where you have to wait at least 5 to 10 minutes before it fully absorbs.

Another plus, it has ginseng root as an ingredient, you’ll most likely notice a nice glow after using this.

Basically, a nice product to finish your skincare routine with (if you don’t use sunscreen).

Make sure to give this one a go if you’re looking for an essence that’s light, smooth, and that gives a nice glow.

What I Don’t Like About Ginseng Essence Water

Beauty of Joseon’s Ginseng Essence Water is unlike other essences a great option, but it’s definitely not flawless. Here are a few downsides of using ginseng:

  • Ginseng doesn’t work for everyone: Even though it might give some people life-changing results, it’s not an ingredient that is suitable for everyone.
  • Mainly used for anti-aging: Ginseng is usually used for people that want increased circulation through the skin, but for some people, it may cause redness.
  • Not a lot of scientific studies: There’s no 100% proven evidence that it’s effective, but rather based on a handful of medicinal properties.

3 – No. 3 Super Glowing Essence

Overall Score 4.8

Hydration: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.7 ★★★★★
Texture: 4.8 ★★★★★


Takes care of roughness and dryness

Nice after glow after using

Great for extremely dry skin


Heavily promoted by YouTubers (often paid promotions)

numbuzin is this brand called. You probably never heard about this, well… I didn’t too. But after trying so many different products I decided to give this one a go.

And surprisingly it did help with dry skin. However, there are over 50 types of fermented ingredients in this essence. [3]

For me, it’s a bit too much.

It does work and delivers good results, but it is a bit pricier than the average Korean essence. Usually, when you start using products, you’re basically tied to them for life. It’s almost like a monthly subscription that you can’t live without.

That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t go for this one. Even though there have been a lot of positive reviews about this product, it’s not something that suits my skin type.

If you like very heavy-feeling products for extremely dry skin, then I could see why you would give this a go.

4 – Tone Balancing Essence

Overall Score 4.7

Hydration: 4.6 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.7 ★★★★★
Texture: 4.6 ★★★★★


Helps with dark spots

Great for balancing out the skin tone

Best for Beginners


There’s no whitening effect

Another COSRX product. 

Only this one is specifically made for balancing out the skin tone. But… it also helps with dry skin which is why I added it to the list.

This essence contains niacinamide and galactomyces, which works as a moisturizing agent. [4]

These ingredients are the ones that make a difference in this essence. A few years ago, I used this essence very heavily (almost twice a day). But after I found a better one that suited my skin type more I decided to switch.

Now, that doesn’t mean that this doesn’t work for you, but it’s one that I would recommend after you tried the first one on the list (or buy both if you can afford it).

I saw some people say that this essence also gave a whitening effect, but it doesn’t. Lastly, I would like to say that this helps with dry skin and balances out the skin tone, that’s about it.

So it’s worth giving it a try if the other essences above don’t suit your skin type.

5 – Melano CC Vitamin C Essence

Overall Score 4.7

Hydration: 4.6 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.7 ★★★★★
Texture: 4.8 ★★★★★


Contains Vitamin C

A little bit goes a long way

Gets rid of pimples


Unique scent

Here we have Rohto Mentholatum essence.

In reality, it’s a Japanese brand but insanely popular in Korea, that’s why I included it in this list. It’s one of the smaller bottles, which is why I only used it for about 6 weeks before I ran out. 

Out of the 6 weeks that I used this essence I noticed a few important things:

  • It has a very unique scent because of the key ingredient used: Vitamin C
  • It’s a small tube that’ll last you up to 5 – 6 weeks when used daily
  • Makes the skin very oily when you use too much, so be moderate with it

I’ve seen some people get wonderful results with this essence, but the main ingredient which is Vitamin C isn’t very popular in essences.

Generally speaking, the ingredient Vitamin C is used in Korean serums. That’s when it’s the most effective, but it looks like people are seeing some great results with this essence. 

I myself, didn’t see any big improvements. I do like that it’s very affordable compared to the other essences. 

Important: If you have acne-prone skin avoid this!

6 – Pyunkang Yul Essence

Overall Score 4.6

Hydration: 4.4 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.5 ★★★★★
Texture: 4.5 ★★★★★


Helps with itchy and dry skin

Keeps skin hydrated for a long time

Long-lasting bottle


It’s not the cheapest, but definitely worth the investment

Pyunkang Yul’s Essence is one of the more popular products in the K-beauty market. If you’re someone that uses other products from this brand, this should be your #1st choice.

Using multiple products from the same brand is a no-brainer. It creates a synergy no other products can compete with. This is one of the few essences that I still use a few times a month but… it’s getting more and more expensive.

Which is a huge downside when it comes to this essence because this was one of my favorite purchases of all time but as the price went up I stopped using it as much.

It’s equal to No. 3 Super Glowing Essence in value, but in a different way (I’ll explain that in a bit). I will say this: Pyunkang Yul’s Essence is better in quality, but a bit more expensive.

When you look at the value, it’s almost the same because No. 3 Super Glowing Essence is more affordable and for the same price you can buy 2x.

So give both products a go and stick with the one that suits your dry skin the best.

7 – Benton Essence

Overall Score 4.5

Hydration: 4.5 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.6 ★★★★★
Texture: 4.5 ★★★★★


Small bottle

Anti-aging effect



Didn’t work for me, but worth giving it a go

Benton’s Essence also contains a snail ingredient like the #1st one in the list. However, it’s worse in quality and I would only buy this essence if you have no other option left.

This essence made my skin break out and no matter how many times I tried this, it didn’t do what it was supposed to do. And it’s very frustrating when a product promises one thing but doesn’t deliver.

That’s what this essence did for me. 

However, there are a lot of people that like this essence. Which makes sense because there are over 3,400 five-star reviews on YesStyle.

You can give it a go, but it didn’t work for my dry skin.

8 – Mugwort Essence

Overall Score 4.4

Hydration: 4.4 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.4 ★★★★★
Texture: 4.5 ★★★★★


Also helps with acne-prone skin

Lasts at least 3 to 4 months

Easy to use


Takes longer than usual before you see any results

Lastly, Mugwort’s Essence. 

This one is decent but too expensive for its quality. You’re paying at least 2 to 3x the price for the same quality as the #1st one in the list.

But if you have the money, this is definitely one that helps with dry skin. Make sure that you use at least 3 to 4 weeks before you call it a day because it takes time.

The main ingredient here is mugwort which is known to improve overall dry skin conditions. [5]

After all, it has more than 1,000 five-star reviews, so it might be worth a try.

How We Ranked The Best Korean Essence for Dry Skin

I bought over 35 different Korean essences throughout the years and only found a handful of products that actually worked. Based on that I ranked the top essences on criteria like quality, formulation, price, and reviews.


The first thing that matters is the quality. You don’t want to buy an essence that doesn’t do what’s it supposed to do. That’s why quality is the most important takeaway when buying an essence.

There are multiple things to look for because quality is a very broad term. I specifically looked at the packaging, the amount of time it took to get results, and the overall experience.

At the end, what matters is the amount of time it takes for you to get the best results. And doing it in the safest way possible with well-formulated products.


When it comes to transparency, it’s often hard to see what happens behind the website. Most sites are resellers and buy from the manufacturer directly. And trust me… there are thousands of fake skincare products online.

I bought some fakes too from a well-known skincare store (which I can’t mention because of possible lawsuits). But make sure you’re buying from a trusted and reliable skincare store like YesStyle.

That’s when you’re 100% guaranteed you’re getting the real products and don’t have to ever worry about buying fakes. Plus their customer service is top-notch, which makes YesStyle one of the best skincare stores when it comes to transparency. You can directly message the CEO if you wanted to.


To make sure you’re getting the best price I looked over tens of different skincare websites that ship worldwide. Out of all these sites, I picked the ones that had the best pricing while also making sure you’re getting the products on time.

I don’t like recommending a product, service, or store that I never bought from myself. Each skincare product in this list of the best Korean essences I’ve personally tried myself for at least 4 to 6 weeks, and some even longer.


The whole saga of fake reviews is something you should avoid. With thousands of reviews online it’s hard to know which ones are real and which ones are fake. To make sure you’re getting the best of the best, I only searched for people that have verified profiles.

Our #1 Korean Essence For Dry Skin Is…

While most essences out there are popular and all of that, that doesn’t mean it delivers the results for your dry skin. To achieve the best skin possible, you have to make sure you’re buying the product that works for the majority of people.

Unlike many other essences that are full of useless ingredients, COSRX’s Advanced Snail Essence is my personal favorite. This one gets prevents dry skin the fastest and is also the most affordable.

If you’re looking for a Korean essence that has been used by 10,000 people with positive reviews, this is it.


What Korean Skincare Is Good for Dry Skin?

Skincare products like moisturizers, serums, and essences are good for dry skin. With well-formulated products, it reduces your skin from getting dry.

And it also keeps the skin hydrated for up to 48 hours. When your skin stays hydrated for such a long time you don’t have to worry about it getting dry anymore.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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