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Is Korean Skincare Good for Oily Skin?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Published on:

Finding the best Korean skincare routine for oily skin can be quite tricky.

Researching, buying, and testing the products, but does it even work?

Korean skincare has been known to do wonders for many years now, but some people are wondering if it’s even helpful and if it’s better than Western skincare.

Let’s dive deeper.

In short: Korean skincare products do work for oily skin. Only if you use the right products, the majority of Korean skincare is good for oily skin and has great benefits.

What Are the Main Issues with Having Oily Skin?

The main issue with oily skin is excess sebum production. Not only does this create a shiny, slick appearance, it also means that makeup is impossible to keep on. What’s more, it can create huge problems with acne, breakouts, blackheads and englarged pores. [1]

All this is undesirable and therefore, people with oily skin tend to avoid using any skincare products altogether. This is the wrong idea and approach. Everyone needs a skincare regimen but it should cater specifically to one’s skincare needs.

How Can Korean Skincare Be Good for Oily Skin?

Korean skincare products can be excellent for oily skin in ways Western ones can’t. This is because of the research and care taken into preventing an oily appearance. This stems from Koreans’ philosophy around skincare, which is to exude a dewy glow.

But, there’s a fine line between looking “dewy” and appearing greasy or shiny. So, even if a product isn’t specific to oily skin, it will control shine to some degree. Regardless, many reputable brands have entire collections and lines geared toward those specifically with oily skin. [2]

Can Korean Skincare Worsen Oily Skin Issues?

If you aren’t careful about which K-beauty products you choose, it can worsen oiliness issues. This is why it’s important to consult with your dermatologist or trusted esthetician before beginning a Korean skincare regimen.

This is especially true if you’re experiencing additional issues like skin sensitivity and/or acne. In these cases, some aspects of Korean skincare will be far too harsh. But, that’s what’s great about it. You can modify and change what you like most appropriate to your purposes.

What Is the Best Korean-Style Skincare Routine for Oily Skin?

You have a choice between several K-beauty routines depending on what additional issues you’re looking to tackle. For instance, you may have oily skin but you’re looking to take care of acne. Alternatively, you may want anti-aging effects or perhaps you have sensitive skin.

However, someone with oily skin may find the 10-step skincare regimen connected with K-beauty to be too much. This is especially true if the oily skin also accompanies sensitivity. But, you can definitely reduce the number of steps to suit your needs.

Consider the following table of varying Korean-style skincare regimens for oily skin (please note – these are only suggestions):

Standard Oily SkinOily with AcneOily with Anti-AgingOily with Sensitive Skin
1. Dual Cleansing1. Dual Cleansing1. Dual Cleansing1. Dual cleansing
2. Exfoliation2. Exfoliation2. Exfoliation2. Toner
3. Cleansing Mask3. Acne-fighting mask3. Anti-Aging/Eye Mask3. Serums, Ampoules & Treatments
4. Toner4. Toner4. Toner4. Moisturizer
5. Essence5. Essence5. Essence5. Sunscreen
6. Serums, Ampoules & Treatments6. Serums6. Serums, Ampoules & Treatments 
7. Sheet Mask7. Moisturizer7. Sheet mask 
8. Eye Cream8. Sunscreen or Sleeping Mask8. Eye Cream 
9. Moisturizer 9. Moisturizer 
10. Sunscreen or Sleeping Mask 10. Sunscreen or Sleeping Mask 

Which Korean Skincare Brands Have the Best Oil-Control Products?

Unfortunately, not every K-beauty skincare brand has products that directly control oily skin. Having said all that, the list below contains companies with wonderful lines you can trust. However, not all are cruelty-free or vegan friendly. If these things are important, it’s essential to do your own background research. [3]

  • Banila Co.: They have two collections touted by oily skin sufferers. Check out their “Clean It Zero” or “Purity Therapy.” The best options are the cleansing balms and waters they have specifically for oily skin.
  • Benton: Benton’s “Snail Bee” and “Tea Tree” lines are very popular among those with oily skin.
  • Chasin’ Rabbits: Their “Magic Beauty Shroom” collection has every step required for oily skincare.
  • CORSRX: With a collection too innumerable to list here, CORSRX has a huge array of products specifically for people with oily skin that comes with other issues like acne or sensitive skin. They also have informative articles to help you select the right products with appropriate ingredients.
  • Dear, Klairs: This company has quite a few products in their collection to target acne and oily skin. However, their “Black Sugar” line lends itself to treating sebum production and removing shine.
  • Erborian: Even though Erborian is a French company, they offer quality K-beauty skincare products. What’s great is that there’s over 19 products specifically for oil control that include their “Pink” and “Matte” lines, among others.
  • Etude House: There’s a wonderful collection of products offered by Etude House that target oil control and shiny skin. Their lines such as “Real Art,” “Vita C Talk,” “Soonjung” and “Sebum Soak” are excellent depending on what other issues you’re wishing to treat.
  • Innisfree: They have over 30 products for oily skin, with most incorporating green tea extract.
  • Laniege: Carrying a huge array of products to manage enlarged and clogged pores as well as sensitive skin, Laniege is a trustworthy brand. They incorporate ingredients like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.
  • Manyo: Manyo has a small but sweet collection of products specific to troublesome oily skin. Although there are only 15, they can help some of the most out of control issues.
  • Skinceuticals: They have a library of 46 products to target oily skin that also experiences acne with anti-aging benefits.

What To Look for in K-Beauty Skincare to Target Oily Skin?

All steps in your Korean-style skincare regimen should target oily skin. This means identifying the right ingredients for the issues you’re looking to treat. Purposefully hunt down products that promote sebum control and dulling oiliness. Such products will include things like:

  • Activated Charcoal: a drying agent that helps control skin’s shininess
  • Aloe Vera: cools rough, inflamed skin and promotes healing
  • Argan Oil: a moisturizing, non-greasy oil that will nourish skin without encouraging oiliness
  • Bamboo: a famous ingredient for reducing acne, smoothing wrinkles and controlling sebum production
  • Chamomile: cooling, calming effect that also helps control sebum production
  • Ginger Root Extract: ginger is a wonder herb that’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and helps clear toxins from the skin
  • Ginseng Root Extract: excellent for sensitive skin that’s also oily; anti-inflammatory, which reduces redness
  • Green Tea Extract: green tea is a wonderful antimicrobial chock full of antioxidants; it’s excellent for controlling the production of sebum
  • Jojoba Oil: this is actually a wax that closely mimics what’s found in skin and helps control sebum production
  • Lemon: a brightening agent packed with Vitamin C which controls oil like a dream
  • Niacinamide: scientifically proven to have skin-loving benefits while also reducing sebum
  • Retinol: a derivative of vitamin A that helps control oil, clear up blemishes and turns back the clock (be careful, can be very painful if not used correctly)
  • Salicylic Acid: this is a classic ingredient that not only controls sebum production but also takes care of acne, boils, blackheads and other such purging
  • Tea Tree: notorious for its ability to control oil and acne at the same time
  • Vitamin C: anything with vitamin C will always be excellent for oily skin (this includes citric and ascorbic acid in the ingredients list)
  • Witch Hazel: this classic face tonic is excellent for oily skin but sensitive skin should avoid it at all costs

Wrapping Up

After all, Korean skincare does definitely improve oily skin. The majority of products for oily skin are extremely well researched, therefore good for oily skin. It removes dead skin cells, clogged pores, and enlarged pores in a matter of weeks.

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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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