• Top 10 Best Korean Facial Cleansers in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 1
  • Top 10 Best Korean Facial Cleansers in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 2
  • Top 10 Best Korean Facial Cleansers in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 3
  • Top 10 Best Korean Facial Cleansers in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 4
  • Top 10 Best Korean Facial Cleansers in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 5

Top 10 Best Korean Facial Cleansers in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed)

Shocked and worried about the appearance of fine lines? Or perhaps you're annoyed with how much scrubbing you need to do to get that water-proof mascara off? Stress no more - Korean facial cleansers are here to save the day! Not only do they remove makeup effectively, leaving your face clean and smooth, but they also have the power to do so much more for the skin. They can even prevent signs of aging. 


Consider The Face Shop's Rice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser, which removes dead skin cells, hydrates, and soothes the skin all at the same time! We've picked out the best of the best Korean facial cleansers online and included a buying guide in case you're still unsure what this first step in the world-famous Korean skincare routine entails. Here's to great-looking skin! 

Experts featured in this article

Dr. Lauren Levy
Adeola
  • Last updated: 11-07-2021
  • 4,979 views
Table of Contents

In Collaboration With Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Lauren Levy

In Collaboration With Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Lauren Levy

Dr. Levy is a board certified dermatologist practicing in NYC and Westport, Connecticut. She has expertise in treating inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. She has an interest in skincare and takes a personalized approach to all of her patients. 


We asked her to evaluate our buying guide below for accuracy, and she also contributed some extra tips and advice. You can also follow her on Instagram for more skincare tips!

Top 10 Best Korean Facial Cleansers

Look no further for the bestselling Korean facial cleansers on Amazon and Sephora. We've got them all, from foam to oil cleansers, and included critical reviews from users.


*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Dr. Lauren Levy.

1

The Face ShopRice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser

$8.55

Amount5 fl. oz.
Best forAll skin types
Formulated withRice water, moringa oil, soapwort
HighlightsCruelty-free
2

Banila CoClean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm

$22.14

Amount6.09 fl. oz.
Best forAll skin types
Formulated withActive botanicals, hot springs water, vitamin E and C
HighlightsFree from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil and alcohol
3

MizonSnail Repairing Foam Cleanser

$7.13

Amount1.92 fl. oz.
Best forOily, sensitive and combination skin types
Formulated withFiltered snail mucus, plant based extracts
HighlightsDermatologist tested
4

Dr. JartDermaclear Micro Foam

$19.00

Amount4.05 fl. oz.
Best forOily, dry, combination and normal skin types
Formulated withHydrogen Bio Water, dead sea salt and coconut water
HighlightsHypoallergenic, free from parabens, sulfates and phthalates
5

BelifAqua Bomb Jelly Cleanser

$28.00

Amount5.41 fl. oz.
Best forOily, combination, and normal skin types
Formulated with Chickweed extract, raspberry leaf extract, glycerin, oat kernel extract
HighlightsFree from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, guaranteed clean at Sephora
6

InnisfreeJeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam

$11.27

Amount5.07 fl. oz.
Best forOily and combination skin types
Formulated withVolcanic ash, camellia leaf extract, orchid extract
HighlightsFree of sulfates, parabens, formaldehydes, phthalates and mineral oil
7

Dear, KlairsRich Moist Foaming Cleanser

$18.00

Amount3.4 fl. oz.
Best forAll skin types
Formulated withAmino acid cleansing formula, hyaluronic acid, ceramide 3 and tea tree oil
HighlightsHypoallergenic, cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, free from parabens, ethanol, artificial coloring and fragrances
8

Etude HouseWonder Pore Deep Cleansing Foam

$20.00

Amount5.74 fl. oz.
Best forOily, normal and combination skin types
Formulated withLauric acid, glycerin, peppermint extract
HighlightsCruelty-free
9

Skin FoodEgg White Perfect Pore Cleansing Foam

$13.99

Amount5.07 fl. oz.
Best forOily, combination and normal skin
Formulated withEgg extracts, albumin, hot spring water, tomato fruit extract
HighlightsCruelty-free
10

Manyo FactoryPure Cleansing Oil

$22.50

Amount6.7 fl. oz.
Best for All skin types
Formulated withSoybean oil, hazel seed oil, grape seed oil, olive fruit oil
HighlightsFree from artificial ingredients

Compare the Best Korean Facial Cleansers

Image
1
The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser 1

The Face Shop

2
Banila Co Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm 1

Banila Co

3
Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser 1

Mizon

4
Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Foam 1

Dr. Jart

5
Belif Aqua Bomb Jelly Cleanser 1

Belif

6
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam 1

Innisfree

7
Dear, Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser 1

Dear, Klairs

8
Etude House Wonder Pore Deep Cleansing Foam 1

Etude House

9
Skin Food Egg White Perfect Pore Cleansing Foam 1

Skin Food

10
Manyo Factory Pure Cleansing Oil 1

Manyo Factory

Name

Rice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser

Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm

Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser

Dermaclear Micro Foam

Aqua Bomb Jelly Cleanser

Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam

Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser

Wonder Pore Deep Cleansing Foam

Egg White Perfect Pore Cleansing Foam

Pure Cleansing Oil

Features

A Creamy, Cushiony Foam Cleanser With Rice

This Balm Facial Cleanser Dissolves Makeup

Protein-Packed Snail Mucus Formulated Into a Foam Cleanser

A Powerful Cream Face Cleanser That's Gentle on Skin

A Jelly-to-Foam Cleanser Bursting With Hydration

Gentle and Whisks Away Impurities

A Hypoallergenic Facial Cleanser for All Skin Types

Mint-Based to Remove Excess Oil

Egg Yolk and Albumin for Anti-Aging

A Cleansing Oil Enriched With Essential Nutrients

Price$8.55$22.14$7.13$19.00$28.00$11.27$18.00$20.00$13.99$22.50
Amount5 fl. oz.6.09 fl. oz.1.92 fl. oz.4.05 fl. oz.5.41 fl. oz.5.07 fl. oz.3.4 fl. oz.5.74 fl. oz.5.07 fl. oz.6.7 fl. oz.
Best forAll skin typesAll skin typesOily, sensitive and combination skin typesOily, dry, combination and normal skin typesOily, combination, and normal skin typesOily and combination skin typesAll skin typesOily, normal and combination skin typesOily, combination and normal skinAll skin types
Formulated withRice water, moringa oil, soapwortActive botanicals, hot springs water, vitamin E and CFiltered snail mucus, plant based extractsHydrogen Bio Water, dead sea salt and coconut waterChickweed extract, raspberry leaf extract, glycerin, oat kernel extractVolcanic ash, camellia leaf extract, orchid extractAmino acid cleansing formula, hyaluronic acid, ceramide 3 and tea tree oilLauric acid, glycerin, peppermint extractEgg extracts, albumin, hot spring water, tomato fruit extractSoybean oil, hazel seed oil, grape seed oil, olive fruit oil
HighlightsCruelty-freeFree from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil and alcoholDermatologist testedHypoallergenic, free from parabens, sulfates and phthalatesFree from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, guaranteed clean at SephoraFree of sulfates, parabens, formaldehydes, phthalates and mineral oilHypoallergenic, cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, free from parabens, ethanol, artificial coloring and fragrancesCruelty-freeCruelty-freeFree from artificial ingredients
Link

How to Choose a Korean Facial Cleanser - Buying Guide

Choosing skincare products is understandably an intimidating activity because the wrong product could lead to irritation. So, it's important to screen through the ingredient list to make sure that only the most beneficial ingredients touch our face to keep wrinkles, acne, pigmentation, and dryness at bay. 

Choose Among the Types of Facial Cleansers

Before picking out a facial cleanser, let's first differentiate the different types so we can start on the right foot. Not all cleansers are formulated equally, nor do they work universally!   

Go for Gel Cleansers for a Deep Clean

Go for Gel Cleansers for a Deep Clean

Gel cleansers are popular for their ability to provide a deep clean and decongest clogged pores, killing acne-causing bacteria along the way. You may have guessed that this type of cleanser is recommended for oily and combination skin due to its antiseptic properties. Plus, it can prevent breakouts and redness. 


Gel cleansers are also great to use in humid or hot weather since they won't make your skin feel overwhelmed. They're usually water-based, which gives them a light consistency. On top of the deep cleaning and acne-fighting properties of gel cleansers, they're also equipped with soothing qualities to keep irritation and redness at bay.   

Consider a Cream Product for a Gentle Cleanse

Consider a Cream Product for a Gentle Cleanse

Dry and sensitive skin often needs extra hydration, so a light consistency may not be your top priority. Consider cream cleansers instead, since they're thick and full of moisturizing ingredients.


On top of that, cream cleansers are gentle and won't strip away essential natural oil from dry and sensitive skin. You can also find cream cleansers in milk or lotion form. These cleansers work great during dry or cold weather by keeping your skin's natural barrier healthy.   

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

Cream-based cleansers are really beneficial to those with dry skin or even those with acne who are on drying acne treatment.

They can easily be combined with AHAS (like a glycolic or salicylic wipe) because these cream-based cleansers will not dry out the skin. Instead, they will provide moisture. You should still use a moisturizer even if using a cream-based cleanser, though!

Pick a Foam Cleanser if You Need Something Lightweight

Pick a Foam Cleanser if You Need Something Lightweight

For an even more lightweight option for oily, acne-prone, or combination skin types, try foam cleansers. These start as a cream, gel, or powder and lather up to foam consistency. The foam gently, yet effectively, removes makeup and other impurities on the skin.


Foam cleansers are typically formulated without oils or emollients and leave the skin squeaky clean, although they might be too harsh for dry or sensitive skin types. For those who wish to try foam cleansers but are wary about any drying effects, you can look for ones with added moisturizers.   

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

Foaming cleansers are great for oily skin or for right after working out where there may be a lot of sweat build-up, oil, and maybe even residual makeup.


Although foaming cleansers are traditionally known to dry out the skin, some are made with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and can be used in those with sensitive skin.

Go for a Deeper Clean (if You Need It)

Do you prefer wearing a lot of makeup? Or, do you often have excess sebum and residue at the end of the day or in the morning? Perhaps a deep clean will provide you with the assurance that your face is genuinely grime-free! Try the facial cleansers mentioned below if you want a more powerful formula.    

Grab an Oil Cleanser to Remove Pore-Clogging Debris

Grab an Oil Cleanser to Remove Pore-Clogging Debris

We do need our faces thoroughly cleansed if we want to get the best out of the toners and moisturizers we apply next, and oil cleansers are definitely essential for those looking for a deep clean. They work for all skin types, including oily skin, because they can remove pore-clogging debris and even the most stubborn makeup


The main thing to remember with this cleanser is to follow it up with another wash, called a "double cleanse" (a crucial step in the Korean skincare routine), to completely remove any residue. A double cleanse also helps to make your skin feel fresher and avoid any oily sensations.     

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

Double cleansing is a great skincare ritual to perform for clean and hydrated feeling skin. It is not necessary to do it every night, though. If double cleansing is something you feel works for you, it is fine to do every night, but I usually recommend double cleansing one to three times a week


Oil-based cleansers can cause outbreaks of acne and periorificial dermatitis (a rosacea-like rash around the nose, mouth, and eyes), so be cautious if you are acne-prone.

Go for Clay Cleansers for Exfoliation

Go for Clay Cleansers for Exfoliation

Then we have clay cleansers that exfoliate. You can get these in a creamy, more natural form, powder, or scrub. These cleansers purify the skin by drawing out excess oil and debris. Exfoliation is also essential in removing dead skin cells, bringing you a new batch of baby-smooth skin that's ready for the next steps in your skincare routine. 


Exfoliating cleansers have high absorbing power and are ideal for oily and combination skin types. Due to their potency, not all exfoliating cleansers can be applied daily, so it is advised to check how many times a week they can be used for a cleansing boost. 

Consider Micellar Water for On-the-Go Cleansing

Consider Micellar Water for On-the-Go Cleansing

If you're busy and have those moments when you don't have the energy or time to do a full facial cleanse, try micellar water! This cleanser consists of tiny oil molecules suspended in soft water. These molecules attract dirt, makeup, and excess oils from your skin. Best of all, it can be used without rinsing. 


Micellar water is ideal for dry and sensitive skin types due to its gentle and moisturizing properties. 

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

Micellar water is my favorite way to remove makeup prior to using a cleanser. All skin types can tolerate micellar water, which makes it versatile. The micelle composition allows it to more effectively clean off dirt, oil, and even heavy makeup from the skin better than other products. 


You do not have to use a cleansing wash after micellar water, but I recommend it for the best results. Micellar water is hydrating and will not dry out the skin and can be used in those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. 


Additionally, this is a great product to keep in your gym bag to remove makeup prior to a workout and oil and sweat after a workout.

Give the Ingredients a Thorough Look

An essential consideration when it comes to choosing skincare is the ingredients. Of course, we want only the good stuff! Plus, the key components that our particular skin type needs to maintain a balanced pH and improve its appearance are essential.     

Grab Ingredients That Provide a Healthy Boost

Grab Ingredients That Provide a Healthy Boost

Korean face cleansers are usually equipped with natural ingredients such as rice water, egg yolk, green tea, and other plant and fruit extracts. We know they're healthy when consumed, so they're likely to be beneficial for our skin too! 


Specifically, rice water can lighten hyperpigmentation and fade age spots, while egg yolks are rich in fatty acids to keep your skin moisturized. Don't forget about green tea and fruit extracts! They're rich in antioxidants and can rejuvenate your skin. 


You can also go for ingredients that occur naturally, such as volcanic ash, which is a great exfoliator and removes impurities without stripping natural oils.   

Grab Ingredients That Provide a Healthy Boost

Cleansers infused with vitamins, specifically C and E for skin, and minerals are also recommended to give your skin a boost of nutrients. These vitamins help the skin maintain its youthfulness, increase collagen production, and delay those wrinkles and fine lines as much as possible.


Some other ingredients that are often found in Korean cleansers include retinol, hyaluronic, salicylic acid, and ceramides. Retinol banishes wrinkles, hyaluronic acid hydrates dry skin, salicylic acid prevents acne, and ceramides lock in moisture. These are the good guys and help make a particular skincare product more effective! 

Watch Out for Potential Irritants

Watch Out for Potential Irritants

Most facial cleansers nowadays are free from phthalates, sulfates, parabens, and fragrances, all of which may cause skin irritation and other health issues. While many of these ingredients aren't proven to be harmful to everyone, many people still prefer to avoid them, especially if they have sensitive skin.


Parabens are used to extend shelf life. Some studies suggest that they mimic estrogen and can disrupt hormonal balance. While the evidence is still inconclusive, many people feel better avoiding parabens just to be safe!

Watch Out for Potential Irritants

Meanwhile, phthalates increase the flexibility of plastics in cosmetics to help products stick to the skin. However, there are concerns that they may be endocrine disruptors. Many people also avoid fragrances, as they may trigger allergies or cause irritation on sensitive skin.


Korean skincare has also taken the move to be cruelty-free since 2018, so that's a plus for our conscience. 

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

If you have eczema or sensitive skin, avoid fragrances as these are the most common cause of contact dermatitis and skin allergy. Many preservatives, like parabens, can also cause skin problems. 


Avoid products with essential oils if you have eczema as these can often lead to outbreaks of eczema and contact dermatitis.

More Dermatologist-Recommended Advice for Choosing the Right Cleanser

More Dermatologist-Recommended Advice for Choosing the Right Cleanser

Dr. Levy also mentions, "Choose a cleanser that is right for your skin type and not one that is trending on social media. I have seen far too many young women who are acne-prone worsen for following the double cleanse/oil-based cleanser trend. 


Also, you may want to have one or more types of cleansers around, as the condition of the skin changes depending on what other products are in your routine, and even the weather."

Other Must-Haves to Add to Your Skincare Regime

Other Must-Haves to Add to Your Skincare Regime

Since we're on the topic of skincare, why not add the following recommendations to your regime? You can start with our favorite green tea skincare products or try a refreshing face mist. And don't forget to finish with sunscreen to keep your skin protected!   

Summary

Korean facial cleansers have taken the world by storm! People love their effectiveness and gentleness on the skin. Thankfully, they've shared their secrets with the rest of the world so that we can all enjoy radiant-looking skin.         


Just make sure to choose a cleanser that works with your skin type. It's also worth looking at the ingredients so you can choose a product that will leave your skin clean and healthy. Whether you just want an excellent cleanser or enjoy a multi-step routine, Korean facial cleansers are sure to be your new staple skincare product!


Author: Hana Otsuka


Nourish Your Skin With This Expert Recommended Moisturizer

A facial cleanser with strong cleansing properties might strip moisture away from your skin, so it's important to follow up with a moisturizer to keep your skin healthy. This moisturizer, recommended by beauty blogger Adeola, not only boosts the moisture level in your skin but also repairs your skin's protective barrier.

Expert's
pick

LaneigeCream Skin Toner & Moisturizer

5 oz.

$33.00

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    Dyeing hair has been on-trend recently, but it can be expensive to do. Why not try an at-home kit instead of heading out to the salon? They're perfect for trying out different colors and getting a feel for dyeing hair in general. Japanese hair dyes, though formulated with dark, black Asian hair in mind, can also work great for other types of hair, but always make sure to conduct a patch test in case!To figure out what's best to use, we evaluated and tested eight of the most popular hair dyes found in drugstores in Japan and e-commerce sites. We tested them based on: three criteria: how vivid the color washow gentle the dye was on hairhow long the color lastedOur favorite was Liese Prettia Bubble Hair Color; check out why below!
    Cosmetics and skincare
    61,882 views
  • 10 Best Japanese Body Washes in 2021 - Tried and True! (Minon, Clover, and More)
    10 Best Japanese Body Washes in 2021 - Tried and True! (Minon, Clover, and More)
    It can be hard to choose a good body wash when you have to worry about parabens, sensitive skin, oily skin, dry skin, and more. That's why we scoured Japanese e-commerce sites like Amazon, Rakuten, and Kakaku.com to find the best body washes available online. Then we purchased some of the most popular products and tested them for the following:Cleansing powerMoisturizing powerQuality of ingredientsFoam densityWe then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the 10 of the best Japanese body washes available online.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    24,021 views
  • 10 Best Korean Night Creams in 2021 (Aesthetician-Reviewed)
    10 Best Korean Night Creams in 2021 (Aesthetician-Reviewed)
    If you're a K-beauty fanatic, you know that ingredients in Korean skincare can do a body good. When it comes to your nighttime routine, night creams are the perfect tool for ensuring a great beauty rest! That's why we went out of our way to research and compile a list of our absolute favorite Korean night creams.In our opinion, Neogen x Joan Kim VitaDuo Day and Night Cream is among the great Korean skincare products that provide great hydrating and moisturizing effects. Aside from being effective, it's also very innovative as it contains two creams - intensive day cream and night cream - in one container. Check out what more skincare products are a good addition to your night skincare routine! And if you're still full of questions, check out our buying guide with tips from aesthetician Devan Jesmer.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    25,577 views
  • Top 23 Best Japanese Whitening Serums in 2021 - Tried and True! (Haku, SK-II, and More)
    Top 23 Best Japanese Whitening Serums in 2021 - Tried and True! (Haku, SK-II, and More)
    It’s a buzzword in Japan: translucence. It’s similar to Korea’s glass skin–skin so pure that it’s nearly transparent, resembling layers of frosted glass. In the Western world, think "glow" or "dewy finish." In order to respond to that aesthetic, cosmetic companies–both drugstore and high-end–here have been coming out with scores of whitening serums, essences, and ampoules.As always, it’s difficult to tell what kind of skincare is effective and what isn’t. That’s why, this time around, we ordered the 24 most popular whitening serums from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited a skincare specialist and had her compare the following:1. Hydration2. ApplicationThis is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese whitening serums, essences, and ampoules. See why we picked Chifure's Whitening Essence VC as our top choice and more!
    Cosmetics and skincare
    47,297 views
  • 10 Best Acne Patches in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed)
    10 Best Acne Patches in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed)
    Have you ever woken up to red and inflamed acne that wasn't there last night? Do you ever feel the urge to pick and pop your blemishes? Dealing with acne can be frustrating, especially when it's unexpected. If you're looking for a quick solution to help deal with these blemishes, try acne patches! A wide variety of acne patches are available on the market to cater to all types of breakouts. We've done hours of research and collaborated with a board-certified dermatologist to bring you a buying guide and our 10 best picks of acne patches. Right on top of that list is the Acne Pimple Master Patch. This patch set includes premium-quality hydrocolloid patches in multiple sizes. 
    Cosmetics and skincare
    1,078 views
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