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11 Best Korean Moisturizers for Dry, Acne-Prone, and Combination Skin

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Hey Koreaboos… or should I say, skincare enthusiast.

Well, what matters is that we’re both looking for the best Korean moisturizers.

I always wondered how those actors in K-dramas and K-pop idols ALWAYS have flawless skin.

That’s how I got into skincare and… the last few years I have spent over $1352,45 on Korean skincare ALONE.

Slowly I got better and filtered out useless products and started creating my own list of THE BEST products out there. I have tested all of these products myself and ranked them based on quality, price, and skincare condition.

Let’s get started.

Editor’s Choice

COSRX Facial Moisturizer

Price: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 5.0 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 5.0 ★★★★★


★★★★★

Overall Score 5.0

#2nd Best Choice

I’m From Rice Cream

Price: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.9 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 5.0 ★★★★★


★★★★★

Overall Score 4.9

#3rd Best Choice

innisfree Moisturizers

Price: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.9 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 4.8 ★★★★★


★★★★★

Overall Score 4.9

Our Top 11 Korean Moisturizers

1. COSRX Daily Acne Facial Moisturizer (Editor’s Choice)

Overall Score 5.0


Price: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 5.0 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 5.0 ★★★★★

Pros:

Perfect for anyone

Fast shipping and great packaging

Great pricing

Cons:

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

Looking for the best Korean moisturizer on the entire market? Well, this is the one.

This moisturizer works for every skin type out there and contains Birch Sap. Birch Sap has many scientifically-backed studies showing it moisturizes the skin very intensively. [1]

Most importantly… it’ll keep your skin soft and smooth all day long.

I always hate having extremely dry skin when I’m going out for a drink. Luckily, this one keeps the skin barrier extremely well moisturized.

And the best part?

The price is very affordable for what you get. Unlike many other moisturizers out there, this one actually WORKS.

Another huge plus is that this is sulfate and paraben-free. This means that there aren’t any harsh chemicals inside that could potentially damage the skin. [2]

Even if you use this once a week, you will see huge improvements in your skin texture.

This is one of the most popular moisturizers in Korea and has been promoted by many K-pop idols.

So, if you’re serious about improving your skincare routine, this is the one you need.

2. I’m From Rice Cream

Overall Score 4.9


Price: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.9 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 5.0 ★★★★★

Pros:

Formulated with 41% rice bran ceramide

Great for dry skin

Melts instantly into skin

Cons:

It’s quite small, but worth a try

Have to stay within a budget and can’t overspend? This is a problem that I faced multiple times.

If that’s the case, then this is the perfect Korean moisturizer for you.

It works for all skin types, so it doesn’t matter whether you have dry, sensitive, or aging skin. This one will do it, mainly because of how it deeply nourishes the skin.

I have been using this moisturizer for about 3 months now and noticed that it really helped with redness.

Your skin will calm down, and it’ll also reduce skin irritation from other products. Adding this into your budget skincare routine will be a huge game-changer.

What’s important is that you use this at least once a day. At best, twice, but since it’ll double your cost, once is enough.

Make sure to stay consistent because that’s when you will see the best results.

What I really liked about this moisturizer is that it contains 41% Rice Bran Essence. This creates a moisture barrier around the skin to prevent it from getting dehydrated. [3]

At the end of the day, you alone can change your skin. So, take action right now, or you’ll never achieve perfect glass skin.

3. innisfree Green Tea Facial Moisturizers

Overall Score 4.9


Price: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.9 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 4.8 ★★★★★

Pros:

Rich in amino acids and antioxidants

Gives a nice glow

Very nice and high-quality bottle

Cons:

You need a lot for it to work

“EEEWHH. UUUGGHHH. NOOOOO”

Dry flakes, irritation, red skin.

Waking with dry skin every morning?

Well… lucky you. This moisturizer prevents your skin from getting dry (all day, every day)

It contains Green Tea, which is huge in South Korea. There are many expert studies that show Green Tea is one of the best ingredients to include in a Korean skincare routine. [4]

Ingredients like green tea have compounds that prevent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic in the skin.

These aren’t seen in many other products, but this moisturizer has it.

So why not take advantage of it while you can?

Back in the days when I used this almost every day (I still do), this was a game-changer. Not only did my dry skin go away after a few weeks of using it.

But it also made my skin glow as it had never been before.

So, if you want to get rid of dry skin FAST, this is the one you need. Give it a go. You won’t regret it.

4. Dear, Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream

Overall Score 4.8


Price: 4.8 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.9 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 4.8 ★★★★★

Pros:

Feels lightweight and buttery

Works for all skin types, including sensitive skin

Great for combination skin

Cons:

Not my favorite, but worth giving it a go

Have combination skin… and don’t know which Korean moisturizer to choose.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. This Korean moisturizer is perfect for combination skin because it creates a protective layer with ingredients like Beta-Glucan, Centella Asiatica, and Ceremide. [5]

This means that your skin won’t get too oily, but it also won’t dry out.

What I really like about this moisturizer is that it strengthens the skin instead of making it very sticky. Normally, moisturizers can make the skin quite sticky, which I hate.

But this one doesn’t do that.

So, if you’re serious about improving your combination skin, then this is the one you should give a go.

Even if you already have another moisturizer that you’re using already.

This one will likely outperform all the other ones. Especially when it comes down to combination skin. There aren’t many good ones out there that give the same result like this one.

Lastly, it’s important that you take action right away. The longer you wait, the longer it’ll take before your combination skin gets a healthy glow.

5. Hadalabo Gokujun Hyaluronic Lotion Moist

Overall Score 4.8


Price: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.9 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 4.7 ★★★★★

Pros:

Great for clogged pores and dry skin

Feels very thick on the skin

Great pricing

Cons:

Just a bit more expensive than the other ones, but decent in quality

Are you going through puberty or just have acne-prone skin because of your bad eating habits…

Well, this might be the Korean moisturizer you’ve always been looking for. Using this keeps your skin hydrated all day long while also reducing clogged pores.

It might take a bit of time before you see any results. However, once you do, it’ll go really fast. I’m using this regularly because I still get acne breakouts from time to time.

And using this once a week reduces my acne from breaking out further than it’s necessary.

If you’re looking for these features, then stop reading here. Get this now and take action immediately.

The earlier you start using this moisturizer, the faster you’ll see results. Don’t be like most people that always hesitate and never take action right away.

This is a mistake many people make, but if you really want to get rid of your acne-prone skin, this is one you must have.

6. COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Repair Cream

COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Repair Cream 3.52 oz / 100g | Snail Secretion Filtrate 92% for Moisturizing | Korean Skin Care

Overall Score 4.8


Price: 4.9 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.8 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 4.7 ★★★★★

Pros:

No parabens and no sulfates

Instantly soothes damaged skin

One of my favorites

Cons:

It’s not always available

Already feel your skin getting itchy from reading this?

Is that how sensitive your skin is… well, you’re probably wondering why this is the best Korean moisturizer for your skin type.

The main reason is that this Korean moisturizer contains Snail Essence. [6]

In this study mentioned above, you will see that it shows a significant improvement after 12 weeks of using it. While the other half was getting a placebo effect, which didn’t have much effect.

So, as you can see, this moisturizer is excellent for people with sensitive skin. Especially if you’ve been dealing with it forever and don’t know how to get rid of it.

That was basically me a few years ago.

Luckily, I found this moisturizer and started using it every day.

Yes… really, every single day.

That’s how my sensitive skin got better, and these days I tend to switch moisturizers. There are too many good ones (and bad ones) out there that I need to test out.

So, if you’re considering getting this, get it right now.

7. PYUNKANG YUL Nutrition Cream

Overall Score 4.7


Price: 4.7 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.8 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 4.7 ★★★★★

Pros:

Feels very thick on the skin

Perfect for dehydrated skin

Great pricing

Cons:

Packaging can be better

No big problems and only want to improve your skin. This is by far the best Korean essence for normal skin.

It’s extremely affordable and works for almost every skin type. Generally speaking, the people who buy the moisturizer are the people that have dehydrated skin to a certain extent.

If your skin is already perfect, then you don’t have to use this.

But if you want to achieve that ‘glass skin’ look… then you will need something like this in your life. It’s very similar to the COSRX one mentioned above but with a slightly more gel-like texture.

What I like about this moisturizer is that it’s extremely popular. But not only in the US, but it’s also used by more than 10.000 people daily worldwide.

It contains ingredients like shea butter, which are backed by many experts to help improve your skin health.

So, give this Korean moisturizer a go and see for yourself how it can help improve your skin condition. [7]

Just make sure to use it consistently because that’s how you’ll see the best results.

8. Mizon Water Volume Ex Cream

Overall Score 4.6


Price: 4.6 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.6 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 4.7 ★★★★★

Pros:

Gives a nice glow

Very long-lasting

Great pricing

Cons:

Small and quite pricy for it’s size

Have oily skin and don’t know which moisturizer is light? This is the one that keeps the skin healthy, while also preventing the skin from getting irritated.

Most people with oily skin think a lightweight cream will do it. However, most often, that’s not the case. Why this one is different is mainly because it contains hyaluronic acid.

This means that it attracts and holds moisture in the skin, which is perfect if you want to keep your skin hydrated.

It’ll keep the skin hydrated enough without making it oily.

For me, this one is priced too low.

For what you get, this should be at least priced 2x, the quality is amazing and goes a long way. You can expect this moisturizer to last at least 2 months.

Unlike many other moisturizers, this one also relieves skin stress.

So, make sure to give this one a go. Don’t do yourself a favor and get the wrong product.

9. IUNIK Centella Calming Gel Cream

Overall Score 4.5


Price: 4.5 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.6 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 4.5 ★★★★★

Pros:

Excellent for very sensitive skin

Lots of calming effects

Contains a high amount of centella

Cons:

Decent

Are you getting older and don’t know which moisturizer prevents your skin from aging?

Today is your day; this is by far the best Korean moisturizer for mature skin. It contains 72% Centella Asiatica Extract, which is an ingredient proven to help your skin look younger. [8]

It also contains Niacinamide, which is excellent for brightening the skin.

And last but not least, it has hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated and prevent dryness.

All of these ingredients make this one of the best anti-aging creams on the entire market. What’s important when using this moisturizer is that you use sunscreen afterward.

This is because niacinamide can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. So, if you’re planning on using this during the day, make sure to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

If you’re going to buy this, make sure to use it for at least a couple of weeks before you make any conclusions.

This moisturizer won’t show results immediately, but after some time, you’ll see a big difference.

10. ETUDE SoonJung Barrier Intensive Cream

Overall Score 4.4


Price: 4.5 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.4 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 4.4 ★★★★★

Pros:

Heals damaged skin over time

Has an anti-aging effect

Great pricing

Cons:

Doesn’t work very well for oily skin

Have dull skin and don’t know which Korean moisturizer to get? This is by far the best one for dull skin. It contains 93% natural ingredients, which help improve your skin health.

But not only that, but this cream also contains Shea Butter. This is an ingredient that’s been shown to be excellent for dull skin.

It also has a very light and refreshing scent, which is perfect if you don’t like heavy fragrances. I’ve been using this moisturizer for about 3 weeks now, and it’s quite well.

The only thing I don’t like is the small bottle. For the price, you can get a similar one and the same quality. However, it is the best one for dull skin.

So, if you’re serious about getting rid of your dull skin, make sure to give this Korean cream a go.

Lastly, make sure to give your skin time to absorb all of the nutrients, which can take up to 5 minutes.

11. Nature Republic New Soothing Moisture

Overall Score 4.4


Price: 4.5 ★★★★★
Smoothness: 4.5 ★★★★★
Non-Greasy: 4.4 ★★★★★

Pros:

100% Vegan

Works for all skin types

Great pricing

Cons:

Not the best

The best Korean moisturizer for eczema, this one is from the Nature Republic. It’s a big bottle, and it was quite cheap, which is perfect if you have eczema.

This moisturizer contains Aloe Vera, which has many expert studies backing up its ability to help eczema. [9]

It’s also very light and refreshing. You notice this instantly when you start using this.

Never deal with eczema again.

Start using this today, and you’ll see a big difference in no time.

This is the moisturizer that I’ve been using on and off for the last few years. Mainly because of how good it is and for the price you can’t get any better.

The moisturizer is very creamy, unlike many other ones.

The packaging is high-quality, and if you haven’t been using this already, you’re missing out big time. Give this a try, and you won’t regret it.

Buyer’s Guide: Best Korean Moisturizer

This is the only buyer’s guide you need when buying a Korean moisturizer.

How to choose the best Korean moisturizer?

Choosing the best one is challenging, but I’ve made it easier for you by listing the 12 best ones.

Here are a few things you should look for:

Skin Type

When choosing a Korean moisturizer, you should always look at your skin type. If you have dry skin, make sure to get a cream that’s rich in nutrients. If you have oily skin, make sure to get a gel-based one.

As for the other skin types, for each skin type, there’s a product that’ll suit your skin. It’s about timing and testing more and more products. Eventually, you’ll find one that works for you.

Size

The size is also important. You don’t want to get a small one because you’ll need to use it more often. I would recommend getting a big one, so you don’t need to worry about it for a while.

Generally speaking, I’d recommend buying a Korean moisturizer that’s 100ml or more. This will last you at least three months, and that’s when you can decide whether it works or doesn’t work for your skin type.

Quality

Quality is also very important. You want to make sure that you’re getting a high-quality product because otherwise, it won’t work as well. You can check the quality yourself by testing the product, researching, or reading reviews online.

The only downside of reading reviews online is that there are many fake ones that might change your opinion of a product. That’s why I always recommend this blog or any other honest reviewer.

Price

Of course, the price is also an important factor. You don’t want to spend too much, but you also don’t want to get a cheap one. The middle ground is the best option here.

As for the price, it’s usually between $20 and $40. Any product that more expensive than that might not be worth it. All the products I tried in the past that were extremely expensive (above $50) didn’t deliver the results I expected.

The less expensive products that are suitable for your skin type will certainly be better. Now that you know all of this, it’s time to choose the best Korean moisturizer for you.

What Are Products that Go Well with A Korean Moisturizer?

Products that go well with a Korean moisturizer are:

  • Water-based cleanser
  • Toner
  • Serum
  • Essence
  • Eye cream

These are the five products that I would recommend using together with a Korean moisturizer. They all have their own purpose, and they all work together to give you an extra boost.

Conclusion

After all, the best one is the COSRX Daily Acne Facial Moisturizer. This is a great choice for those who have acne-prone skin. It’s light and refreshing, and it doesn’t make your skin oily.

It’s also affordable, so you don’t have to worry about spending too much money on it. However, there are other great alternatives that are definitely worth giving a try.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which is the best Korean skincare brand?

There’s no “best” Korean skincare brand. However, one of the most popular ones is COSRX. This brand is known for its simple but effective products.

But there are many other brands like Innisfree, Beauty of Joseon, and Nature Republic. Those are also great brands that deliver great results, so definitely worth giving a try.

Q. Does everyone need a moisturizer?

Actually, only some people need a moisturizer. If you have oily skin, you might not need one. But for people with dry and dehydrated skin, it’s great to buy a moisturizer.

It’ll help you solve your skin problems, and there won’t be as many breakouts. Most people that start with a moisturizer also have better skin in the later years of life.

About The Author

Photo of author

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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