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The 9 Best Korean Water-Based Cleansers for Dry, Oily and Sensitive Skin

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Do you feel like you wasted hours on finding the best Korean water-based cleansers? Well, me too. I spent exactly $4,129.59 on the best Korean water-based cleansers.

In this guide, I’ll show you the best cleansers no matter your skin type, budget, or age. Also includes why you should use them and how YOU can get glass skin within weeks.

Let’s get started.

Our Pick
THE FACE SHOP Rice Water Bright
THE FACE SHOP Rice Water Bright
  • Best for: Dry skin
  • Size: 150 ml
  • Price: $$
Best Premium
Healing Tea Garden Tea Tree Cleansing Water
Healing Tea Garden Tea Tree Cleansing Water
  • Best for: Acne-prone skin
  • Size: 300 ml
  • Price: $
Best Budget
Dermalogy Real Flower Cleansing Water
Dermalogy Real Flower Cleansing Water
  • Best for: Sensitive skin
  • Size: 300 ml
  • Price: $$

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Best Korean Water-Based Cleansers

1. THE FACE SHOP Rice Water Bright

  • Best for: Dry skin
  • Size: 150 ml
  • Price: $$

This water-based cleanser is by far the best one for dry skin.

Can you imagine waking up with perfect skin, well, this is it. I have been using this cleanser for about 6 weeks now, and ever testing so many different products. It’s very hard to find the best ones.

Luckily, this one works extremely well for dry skin. At first, I was a bit skeptical but decided to give it a try after thinking about it. This cleanser contains many healthy ingredients, which are scientifically backed.

Many experts have shown that this cleanser calms irritated skin, but it also prevents dry skin.

It keeps the skin moisturized all day long. And the best part? It doesn’t strip away the natural oils from your face. This is something I noticed after a couple of uses.

My skin has never been this soft and hydrated before, so if you haven’t been using this already. Get it now, don’t waste your time and money on Korean skincare products that will never work.

It thoroughly cleanses the skin, and therefore you don’t need to double cleanse. This saves at least $30/mo. So, give it a go, you won’t regret it.

2. Healing Tea Garden Tea tree Cleansing Water

  • Best for: Acne-prone skin
  • Size: 300 ml
  • Price: $

Have you ever tried cleansing water that works for acne-prone skin? Well, this is the one you must have. It’s by far the best water-based cleanser for acne-prone skin.

It refreshes the skin extremely well. It’s like drinking a glass of water right after you wake up. Unlike most other facial cleansing foams, this one actually protects the skin from external factors.

These could be excess sebum, dirt, or other irritants. In Korea, it’s also called “glass skin“.

The only downside is that you need a cotton pad for this cleansing water to work. It doesn’t foam like other facial cleansers.

However, if you look at the results, ingredients, and price. This one is the best for acne-prone skin. Removing dead skin cells has never been this easy, while also keeping the skin hydrated.

Never go outside during the winter and come home with flakes on your face. And during the summer, it adds great protection to the face.

So, give it a go. Don’t make the same mistake many others make when your skin is all saggy and still get regular breakouts.

3. Dermalogy Real Flower Cleansing Water

  • Best for: Sensitive skin
  • Size: 300 ml
  • Price: $$

This is by far the best water-based cleanser for sensitive skin.

Although you might be thinking, it’s just another brand. Well, let me tell you that this actually works. This cleansing water nourishes sensitive skin like no other product.

You should only use this as a first cleanser, also called a double cleanse. Double cleansing greatly improves your skin, without any irritations. It has been backed by my studies, which show that it will improve sensitive skin very fast.

This is the water-based cleanser that I have been using for the last 14 days, and it works very well.

I have extremely sensitive skin, and every new product I try causes redness. If you can relate, well this is the only you must-have. It’ll solve almost all of your skincare concerns at once.

It’s extremely underrated in the beauty community, which makes this very affordable. And the best part? It contains real calendula petal extracts, tested by many experts.

So give this a try, and make sure to take action. If you never are going to take action, all your skin problems will stay with you forever.

4. Let The Adventure Begin Ultra Gentle Micellar

  • Best for: Oily skin
  • Size: 200 ml
  • Price: $$

It’s one of the best Korean water-based cleansers for oily skin. This cleanser contains micellar water, which means it’s proven to improve the skin.

I have been using this water-based cleanser for about 3 weeks now and so far, it’s great. The price is very reasonable, and you get good results from this. However, I personally don’t like the scent.

The scent is too strong, but if you like a water-based cleanser with a strong scent then this might be perfect for you. Make sure to apply it slowly, this gives the best results to your face.

Many people with oily skin types must try this at least once in their lifetime. It’ll greatly improve the skin within weeks, unlike other brands that’s never heard of.

Even if you just use this for a few days, you’ll notice results instantly. Make sure to give it a try, unless you want to waste your time, money, and energy on useless products that will never work anyway.

Don’t fall into that trap of reading hours and hours on reviews before you start using a new product. This is one of the best water-based cleansers for oily skin types

5. Daily Rice Rebalancing Cleansing Water

  • Best for: Normal skin
  • Size: 50 ml
  • Price: $$$

Do you have normal skin? And you don’t know which water-based cleanser to get, well I had the same problem.

Luckily, I did find my favorite cleanser. This was one of them because it removes my makeup within a few seconds. Every single time I’m home from a long day of work, this is my holy grail.

It removes my makeup within a few seconds, which is very convenient. Unlike many others, this also works for people with sensitive skin types. And the best part? It contains natural ingredients.

Natural ingredients are scientifically backed by many studies to improve the skin significantly. You don’t need to waste your money on cleansers that’ll never work.

This is the one you need. It’s cleansing water, which means that you need a cotton pad. However, from my experience, it’s by far the best water-based cleanser for normal skin. Salicylic acid is also included in this, which you can use to treat acne faster.

So give it a go, chances are, you’ll not be disappointed as the other cleansers did.

6. Cellup Gel To Water Cleanser

  • Best for: Irritation and red skin
  • Size: 220 ml
  • Price: $$

Hate dealing with red skin, well this is it. This water-based cleanser removes all your red skin within a few days. This is the cleanser that is used by over 31.320 people worldwide on daily-basis

It also contains Centella Asiatica Extract which is scientifically backed by many studies to improve the skin.

However, it’s not cheap, but it’s by far the best cleanser for irritation and redness.

It can be whatever your face brings. No matter how dry, irritated or sensitive your skin is, this cleanser will work.

It’s gentle on the skin, but tough on redness and irritation. This is what I love about this cleanser. It foams extremely well, unlike many other brands. I have tested many foaming cleansers in the past, and none of them worked well.

So give this Korean cleanser a try, and you won’t regret it.

Make sure to lather it slowly on the skin, because this is what makes a significant difference.

7. Micellar Cleansing Water Centella Calming

  • Best for: Sensitive skin
  • Size: 200 ml
  • Price: $$$

This is one of the best water-based cleansers. It’s not a foaming cleanser, so you need a cotton pad. However, it works very well for both dry and sensitive skin.

If you are using this already, you probably know that it’s not a cleansing oil or foam cleanser. This is a makeup remover and cleanser combined.

I love this one because it has calming effects on the skin, which is great for sensitive skin. When you use this, you need a cotton pad because it doesn’t lather like a foaming cleanser.

However, it does remove clogged pores very easily. And it also contains green tee. Green tee is known to be a very good ingredient for every skincare routine.

Also backed by many studies that show huge improvements in the skin. So make sure to use this, if you are serious about taking your skincare to the next level. It’ll be a life-changing product and can say this with confidence.

8. Calming Truecica Micellar Cleansing Water

  • Best for: Dry skin
  • Size: 300 ml
  • Price: $

If you’re looking for a foam cleanser, then this is it. This cleanser contains green tea like the one above. However, this one also contains seed extracts which are better for the skin.

It is by far the best Korean water-based cleanser for dry skin. However, this one is less effective than the other ones, which is why I added this 8th place.

And for most people, this is their go-to facial cleanser. A facial cleanser that removes dirt, oil, and makeup for just $20 is a steal.

I’ve been using this facial cleansing foam for about 24 days now and after my test with other cleansers, including the cleansing balm. This one actually outperformed the other ones.

This gel cleanser has a rich lather, nourishes the skin extremely well, and it works for all skin types. However, it’s made for dry skin, so it’s better to use it specifically for that.

But the best part? It also works for combination skin. Not many cleansers are like this, so give it a try. Don’t waste your time on other products because this will repair your dry skin within days.

9. Back To Iceland Cleansing Water

  • Best for: Oily skin
  • Size: 30 ml
  • Price: $$

The last foam cleanser on the list. Unlike many other brands, this is the most advanced, best priced, and healthiest cleanser.

I have been using this cleanser for about 5 weeks and it contains 17% natural ingredient extracts, which is less than the other ones.

However, compared to a low pH cleanser, for example, this one is way better. This is the best foam cleanser that I have ever used, and this makes it amazing for my oily skin type.

It smells very pleasant, and you can remove dead skin cells extremely easily. Most Korean cleansers don’t really work for oily skin unless you want to spend over $50.

However, this one does and that’s why you must use this. If you want to get rid of your oily skin fast, then this is it. Look no further, this is the best cleanser for you.

The best part? It washes off the makeup very easily and does not leave a greasy feeling.

Also, it works for all skin types, but it is best suited for oily skin. Give it a try if you want clear and healthy skin.

Buyer’s Guide: Best Korean Water-Based

This is the only buyer’s guide you’ll ever need for Korean cleansers

How To Choose The Best Water-Based Cleanser

Choosing the best Korean water-based cleanser is not as hard as you might think. It all comes down to research, testing, and looking at the ingredients.

The ingredients are the most important part, many ingredients out there will damage the face. You might not know this but you are probably using one right now that may contain damaging ingredients.

Make sure to always check what kind of ingredients the cleanser has, you don’t want to purposely damage the skin. This will cause redness, irritation, and even breakouts.

What Ingredients To Avoid

Ingredients you should avoid are:

  • sodium laureth sulfate
  • ammonium lauryl sulfate
  • alkyl benzene sulfonate
  • coco glucoside

These ingredients are commonly used in foam cleansers and can cause redness, irritation, acne, and breakouts. They also damage the skin over time, which is why you should avoid them at all costs.

What pH level should you choose?

The point of a cleanser is to wash dirt, oil, and makeup from the face with an innovative solution. This solution needs to have a certain pH level in order for it to be effective. In order to check the pH level of a cleanser use this guide.

If the pH level is over 7 then it’s not suitable for dry skin because it can damage the face and remove all moisture from it. You might also want to avoid anything with a pH level under 5, but this depends on what type of cleanser you are using.

The best pH level for any cleanser is between 4.5 and 6, this will make sure that there is no damage done to the face.

How to Create Your Own Skincare Routine

Creating your own skincare routine might seem difficult but it all comes down to time and research. There is no need for you to stress yourself because we know everything about the best Korean water-based cleansers.

All you have to do now is check out all of them and pick what you like the most, then just use it every day.

Try to go for a 3, 5, or 10 step skincare routine. These are the ones we made.

FAQ

Q. How often should you use a water-based cleanser?

Every day, Korean water-based cleansers should be used twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening, depending on what you are using.

Q. Are water-based cleansers better than oil-based?

Yes, it is better to use a water-based cleanser because they do not block the pores, and they work very well for all skin types. Oil-based cleansers can cause redness, irritation, and even breakouts.

Q. Should you double cleanse with a water and oil cleanser?

Yes, you should always double cleanse your face because it will remove all the dirt and makeup from your skin.

Conclusion

After all, the best Korean water-based cleanser is THE FACE SHOP Rice Water Bright. This one is perfect for any type of skin and will remove all the dirt, oil, and makeup from your face. Make sure to use it twice a day in order to get better results.

Unlike other Korean cleansers, this one has a great price and is easy to use. Especially for beginners, this should be your go-to cleanser.

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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