If you have dry skin, you know just how hard it is to find a cleanser that won’t further dry out your skin and cause irritation with stripping agents. Luckily, many cleansers from Korean skincare brands are formulated to be gentle and luxurious yet won’t disrupt your skin barrier or dehydrate your skin.
If you are looking for the best Korean cleanser for dry skin, you came to the right post!
I tried every single cleanser in this post, which will include the 15 best Korean cleansers for dry skin, along with their ingredients and benefits that helped them make this list.
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15 Best Korean Cleansers for Dry Skin
Here are the best Korean cleansers for dry skin that will restore your skin’s natural hydration balance without causing more dryness, redness, or irritation.
1. COSRX Triple Hyaluronic Moisturizing Cleanser
COSRX Triple Hyaluronic Moisturizing Cleanser contains three types of hyaluronic acid (hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, and sodium hyaluronate) to hydrate and plump dry skin, making it my pick for the best Korean cleanser for dry skin.
High molecular weight hyaluronic acid creates an invisible protective moisturizing barrier on the skin while low molecular weight hyaluronic acid travels deeper into the skin to increase skin elasticity and hydration.
Pro-vitamin B5 (panthenol) hydrates and moisturizes the skin while removing dirt, makeup, oil, and debris for a fresh and clean complexion.
Lauric acid offers anti-acne benefits as it has antimicrobial properties. Panthenol, also called pro-vitamin B-5, is an excellent moisturizer with anti-inflammatory benefits.
This Korean cleanser contains coconut-derived surfactants to remove makeup and impurities from the skin.
The rich foaming bubbles clear away dirt and oil without stripping the skin or leaving it feeling tight and dry.
It’s a Korean foam cleanser that is non-irritating and won’t strip the skin of its natural oils. Please note that there is added fragrance in this moisturizing cleanser.
2. Missha Super Aqua Ultra Hyalron Foaming Cleanser
Missha Super Aqua Ultra Hyalron Foaming Cleanser is all about hydrating the skin with a whopping 10 types of hyaluronic acid compounds!
This moisturizing foaming cleanser deep cleans the skin with its rich foam, mild formula, and skin-friendly ingredients.
Different varieties of hyaluronic acid (HA) have different molecular weights.
High-weight hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin’s surface and is less penetrating than lower-weight forms of hyaluronic acid.
Low-weight HA penetrates deep within the layers to bind water in additional levels of the skin for long-lasting moisture.
The combination of hyaluronic acids in this cleanser is genius because it targets different layers of the skin with different properties.
Hyaluronic acid is such an effective moisturizer because it attracts and can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
Lauric acid works as a cleansing agent and fights the P. acnes, the acne-causing bacteria. Please note that this cleanser contains essential oils: orange peel oil and lavender oil.
This is my favorite Korean foaming cleanser for dry skin. It does a great job of cleansing the skin, has an enjoyable fresh citrus fragrance, and feels very hydrating.
3. Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cleansing Foam
Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cleansing Foam is formulated with Etude House’s Super Collagen Water (dissociated by hydrolysis) to cleanse your pores.
This concentrated Korean hydrating facial cleanser is formulated to deeply cleanse your skin while moisturizing it.
This foam cleanser contains hydrolyzed collagen, which are peptides that bind water and moisturize the skin.
It also contains White Lupin (hydrolyzed lupin protein), which comes from a plant that can withstand harsh, dry environments and contains a seed-derived protein to moisturize the skin.
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and a gentle chemical exfoliator that regulates the turnover of skin cells and helps to brighten your complexion.
Please note that this cleanser contains an added perfume-like fragrance.
4. The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil
The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil is a very gentle and super lightweight cleansing oil that works well as the first step of a double cleanse.
This oil cleanser acts like a makeup remover to dissolve all types of makeup, including waterproof mascara, and wash away other impurities.
Oryza sativa (rice) bran oil contains moisturizing fatty acids like oleic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid to help maintain the skin barrier.
This natural oil also contains antioxidants like vitamin E to help fight against environmental pollutants.
Simmondsia chinensis seed (jojoba) oil is a wax ester that conditions and moisturizes the skin.
Jojoba oil is also a natural emollient that helps smooth away dry areas without feeling too greasy on the skin. It might even be able to balance oil production in the skin.
If you don’t love cleansing oils, this just might be the best Korean cleansing oil for you due to the extremely lightweight feel on the skin and minimally oily texture.
Please note that there is added fragrance in this Korean cleansing oil.
Related Post: The Best Korean Cleansing Balms and Oils
5. The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Foam Cleanser
The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Foam Cleanser pairs perfectly with Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil (#4 above) for the ideal double cleansing routine.
The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Foam Cleanser contains rice water to condition the skin and leaves the skin feeling full of hydration.
Lauric acid acts as a cleansing agent and also helps fight acne and breakouts, making it ideal for acne-prone, oily, and combination skin.
This foaming facial cleanser helps the skin retain moisture while helping to brighten and soften the skin. Please note that there is added fragrance in this cleanser. It’s a very clean, fresh, soapy scent.
6. belif Aqua Bomb Jelly Cleanser
Belif Aqua Bomb Jelly Cleanser is a jelly-to-foam-cleanser formulated to provide a burst of hydration while removing makeup and other impurities.
It’s formulated with belif’s hydrating Napiers Aqua Formula, which moisturizes the skin for improved skin elasticity.
The cleanser contains Lady’s Mantle, an herb rich in antioxidants that protects the skin from free radical damage that can lead to the visible signs of aging.
This herb also helps to minimize the appearance of pores. Chickweed extract soothes itchy skin and inflammation.
Oat kernel extract is rich in skin-loving compounds like beta-glucan, which contains moisturizing fatty acids that support a healthy skin barrier.
It also has antioxidant and soothing benefits, which are perfect for dry, irritated skin.
Please note that this cleanser contains essential oils and added fragrance. The scent is bright and uplifting, perfect for your morning cleanse.
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7. Heimish All Clean Balm
Heimish All Clean Balm is a longtime favorite that has a lightweight and silky consistency and the fresh herbal scent reminiscent of a day at the spa.
It emulsifies once water is added to remove makeup, dirt, oil, and other debris. Unlike heavier balm cleansers, it doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily or too greasy.
This oil cleanser is enriched with shea butter and coconut extract to moisturize the skin, along with a white flower complex that works to condition the skin and improve your skin tone.
It also contains several citrus essential oils to give it a fresh, bright scent. I love the flip-top, which makes it quick and easy to access without making a mess.
In my opinion, this is the best Korean cleansing balm. It has the perfect texture and scent and does the job of clearing away hard-to-remove makeup.
8. Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser
Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser cleanses and conditions the skin while nourishing and hydrating it. This K-Beauty cleanser is LOADED with good-for-your-skin natural ingredients.
Let’s take a look at a few active ingredients:
Lauric acid is a cleansing agent and anti-acne ingredient. Licorice root extract helps reduce the look of hyperpigmentation and offers anti-inflammatory benefits.
Pineapple fruit extract gently exfoliates the skin to remove dead skin cells and is a nourishing moisturizer.
Tea tree leaf oil has many benefits for the skin. It is antibacterial and antifungal and great for acne-prone skin. It is also an effective anti-inflammatory ingredient, which reduces the visible signs of inflammation-based skin conditions.
Scutellaria baicalensis root extract is a powerful antioxidant that fights environmental stressors and is a skin brightener.
Sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) is a common ingredient in skincare products that provides intense hydration and moisturizing benefits.
Panthenol (pro vitamin B5) is a humectant and anti-irritant ingredient. It reduces inflammation and soothes the skin as well as moisturizes it. Beta-glucan, betaine, and ceramide NP gently moisturize the skin.
Other antioxidants in the cleanser include the vitamin C derivative sodium ascorbyl phosphate, Arctium lappa root extract, Daucus carota sativa (carrot) root extract, Tocopheryl acetate (a form of vitamin E), Portulaca oleracea extract, and Centella asiatica extract.
Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser feels the most moisturizing on my skin of all of the cleansers for dry skin in this post.
You dispense the foam with a pump, making it very light and airy. I like using this as my second cleanse, as an oil-based cleansing balm does a better job of removing all of my makeup.
9. Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser
Centered around the soothing and reparative benefits of snail secretion filtrate (also known as snail mucin or snail slime), Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser is a great option for those with damaged, dry skin.
This creamy foaming cleanser, which will help preserve your skin’s natural moisture barrier, gently removes makeup and other impurities while soothing the skin.
Snail secretion filtrate (snail mucin) is a K-Beauty favorite and contains so many skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid, copper peptides, glycosaminoglycans, minerals, glycolic acid, and allantoin.
Snail mucin also has antioxidant benefits that can help fight environmental pollutants and prevent premature aging. It can also help with wrinkles and fine lines.
The cleanser also contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial benefits against P. acnes, the inflammatory acne-causing bacteria.
Papaya fruit extract provides a gentle exfoliation, which helps speed up cell turnover by gently lifting dead skin cells and smoothing out flaky, dry patches.
Mugwort extract soothes and hydrates dry and dehydrated skin, while Camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract contains ingredients like EGCG (EpiGalloCatechin Gallate) which offers multiple reparative benefits for the skin.
EGCG improves hydration and moisture, protects against free radicals which can damage the skin, improves the look of wrinkles, and reduces melanin (pigment) formation, which can cause hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
Please note that there is added fragrance in this cleanser.
10. Nature Republic Soothing & Moisture Aloe Vera Foam Cleanser
Nature Republic Soothing & Moisture Aloe Vera Foam Cleanser is a Korean foam cleanser that contains aloe vera extract to soothe the skin.
Aloe barbadensis leaf extract is an emollient and humectant that moisturizes the skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness and irritation and speed up the process of healing.
Please note that there is added fragrance in this moisturizer.
11. COSRX Pure Fit Cica Smoothing Cleansing Balm
COSRX Pure Fit Cica Smoothing Cleansing Balm is a super silky cleansing balm filled with natural ingredients to remove dirt, makeup, and oil while supporting a healthy skin barrier and calming irritated skin.
This Korean cleanser is formulated with COSRX’s Pure Fit Cica-7 Complex and shea butter to nourish, moisturize and soothe dry, dehydrated, and sensitive skin.
The cleanser also contains multiple emollient oils, including sunflower seed, coconut, olive fruit, evening primrose, sweet almond, avocado, and jojoba oils.
Centella asiatica extract has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe skin conditions like eczema.
This balm cleanser dissolves dirt, makeup, and oil while nourishing the skin without leaving a film or residue behind like some balms tend to do.
Please note that this cleansing balm contains lavender and eucalyptus essential oils, which give it a relaxing herbal fragrance.
12. Pyunkang Yul Deep Clear Cleansing Balm
Pyunkang Yul Deep Clear Cleansing Balm is all about replenishing the skin barrier with a mix of rice bran, macadamia seed, and sunflower seed oils.
Green tea seed oil is rich in antioxidants and is calming to the skin. Centella asiatica extract and tea tree oil are anti-inflammatory to soothe irritated skin.
Ceramide NP, panthenol, and hyaluronic acid hydrate and draw moisture to the skin. Eggplant and licorice root extracts brighten the skin.
The cleansing balm feels so luxe with its silky texture and feel on the skin. It applies like a lightweight moisturizing balm and feels refreshing on the skin.
As you add water, it quickly lathers into a milk-like consistency to gently cleanse and remove dirt and oil, and other impurities.
Related Post: Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner Review
13. COSRX Advanced Snail Mucin Gel Cleanser
COSRX Advanced Snail Mucin Gel Cleanser is formulated with snail mucin to gently remove dirt, makeup, and other impurities while moisturizing your skin.
This gel cleanser contains 10,000 ppm (1%) snail mucin (snail secretion filtrate) to protect your skin from being stripped while cleansing.
Snail mucin is so popular because it comes with multiple skin benefits:
- Rich in Nutrients: It’s packed with beneficial nutrients like hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, proteoglycans, and zinc, which all contribute to its skin-enhancing attributes.
- Hydration: Snail mucin is a powerhouse humectant, meaning it draws and retains moisture in the skin, keeping it plump and hydrated.
- Collagen Production: Snail secretion filtrate contains ingredients that boost collagen and elastin production, which helps maintain skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Skin Repair and Wound Healing: Snail mucin has been shown to support skin cell regeneration and repair, which can be beneficial for scarring, acne, and skin barrier damage.
- Anti-microbial Properties: Some clinical research suggests that snail mucin possesses antimicrobial properties, which can help keep acne-causing bacteria at bay.
- Soothing: Thanks to its anti-inflammatory benefits, snail mucin can help calm irritated skin, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin or redness.
The cleanser creates a creamy foam that moisturizes and restores your complexion with glycerin and the amino acid arginine, a natural moisturizing factor that helps maintain hydration in your skin.
Please note there is added fragrance in this snail mucin face wash.
14. Etude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser
Etude House SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser is a whipped cream textured foam cleanser that has a low pH of 6.5 and contains 98.9% naturally derived ingredients for a gentle moisturizing cleanse.
The whip cleanser contains panthenol, also known as pro-vitamin B5, which is a humectant that binds moisture to the skin.
Madacassoside, derived from the Centella asiatica plant, helps reduce inflammation and soothe irritated skin.
This gentle formula is free from artificial color, parabens, essential oils, and added fragrance, making it ideal for sensitive, dry, and irritated skin types.
It can be used morning and night to remove impurities without stripping away your skin’s natural oils.
The rich foam created by this cleanser leaves your skin feeling moisturized and hydrated, making it perfect for those looking for a gentle but effective cleanse that won’t leave your skin feeling tight or dry.
15. Mamonde Petal Oil To Foam Cleanser
Mamonde Petal Spa Oil to Foam Cleanser is formulated to be a 2-in-1 double cleanse by giving you the benefits of cleansing oil and a foam cleanser in one skincare product.
This is the most unique Korean cleanser in this post.
This oil-to-foam cleanser starts out as a thick liquid gel-oil that makes quick work of makeup, dirt, and oil.
Once you add water to the formula, it turns into a foam cleanser that moisturizes as it cleanses, leaving your skin soft and smooth.
This K-Beauty cleanser contains Rosa damascena flower oil and added fragrance, so it will undoubtedly appeal to those who like rose-scented skincare products.
Camellia oleifera (tea) seed oil is a rich oil that contains moisturizing fatty acids and antioxidants like vitamin E to protect the skin.
If you are short on time and want a Korean face wash that comes in an easy-to-use pump that gives you the benefits of both foam and oil cleansers, and does a great job of cleansing and moisturizing the skin, then this face wash is a great choice.
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Best Types Of Cleansers For Dry Skin
Dry skin requires special attention, particularly when selecting a cleanser.
If you double cleanse, use an oil-based cleanser as the first step and a water-based cleanser as the second step. But if your skin is overly dry and sensitive, you might skip the double cleanse and stick with a single cleanse to avoid overly irritating your skin.
A cleanser for dry skin should not only help remove dirt and impurities but also provide hydration and reinforce the skin’s barrier. Here are some of the best types of cleansers for dry skin:
- Oil Cleansers: An oil-based cleanser can effectively remove impurities without compromising the skin’s natural barrier. These cleansers often leave the skin feeling soft and supple post-cleanse.
- Balm Cleansers: These are solid cleansers that turn into an oil or milky texture upon application. They offer a deep cleanse and usually come packed with nourishing oils and butters that hydrate the skin.
- Cream Cleansers: These are rich, creamy cleansers that gently cleanse without stripping the skin’s natural oils. Their thicker consistency can offer a more luxurious feel and often provides added moisture.
- Milk Cleansers: These cleansers have a smooth, milky texture and are excellent for providing hydration. They’re lightweight and often packed with nourishing ingredients, perfect for dry skin.
- Hydrating Gel Cleansers: While gel cleansers are typically associated with oily or combination skin, there are hydrating variants available that are formulated with moisture-locking ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, that benefit dry skin.
- Micellar Water: A no-rinse cleanser made of micelles (tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules) suspended in water. While suitable for all skin types, there are versions specially formulated with hydrating ingredients for dry skin. Micellar water is great for gentle makeup removal.
Tips For Cleansing Dry Skin
Choose the Right Cleanser
- Cream-based or Hydrating Formulas: Opt for cleansers, like the ones in this post, that have a creamy consistency or are labeled as hydrating. These typically contain moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides that help restore moisture.
- Avoid Harsh Ingredients: Steer clear of cleansers with high alcohol content or sulfates, as these can further strip your skin of its natural oils.
- Gentle Makeup Removal: If you wear makeup, start with a gentle makeup remover, preferably one designed for sensitive or dry skin, to avoid unnecessary rubbing and tugging.
- Water Temperature: Lukewarm is the way to go. Hot water can worsen dryness by stripping your skin’s natural protective barrier, while cold water might not allow the cleanser to emulsify as well.
- Application: Use soft, circular motions to apply the cleanser. Dry skin can be sensitive, so avoid rigorous scrubbing, which can cause micro tears or irritation.
- Limit Cleansing Time: Do not let your cleanser sit on your skin for too long. A quick, gentle massage is all you need, especially for dry skin, to avoid over-stripping it.
- Over-cleansing: If you have very dry, irritated skin, you may consider cleansing just once a day, preferably in the evening, to remove dirt and makeup. In the morning, a splash of lukewarm water followed by a moisturizer might be sufficient. Over-cleansing can remove your skin’s natural oils, worsening dryness.
- Rinsing: Use lukewarm water and ensure all product is thoroughly rinsed off. Residual cleanser can lead to skin irritation.
- Patting Dry: Always pat your face dry gently with a soft, lint-free towel. Avoid rubbing, as this can irritate and further dry out your skin.
- Hydrating Toner: If you use a toner, ensure it’s alcohol-free and contains hydrating ingredients.
- Hydrating Serums: Applying a hydrating serum with ingredients like hyaluronic acid can be beneficial for added moisture.
- Follow with A Moisturizer For Dry Skin: It’s vital to follow up your cleansing routine with a rich moisturizer formulated for dry skin. Look for moisturizers with ceramides, fatty acids, and other skin barrier-repairing ingredients.
- Facial Oils: Consider adding a few drops of facial oil (like marula oil or argan oil) to your moisturizer (or apply a face oil after your moisturizer) for an extra hydration boost, especially in colder months or drier climates.
Final Thoughts On The Best Korean Cleansers For Dry Skin
Most of the Korean cleansers in this post are foaming.
Even though foaming cleansers traditionally appeal to those with oily skin, these Korean cleansers for dry skin provide a foaming action yet are enriched with hydrators and moisturizers like hyaluronic acid, panthenol, shea butter, and ceramides, perfect for a dry skin type.
Korean beauty brands are well-known for their innovative and targeted skincare products, and these cleansers are no exception. From snail slime to 2-in-1 products, these cleansers are a cut above.
Thanks for reading, and here’s to your good skin health!