Korean skincare brands offer some of the best moisturizers available on the market for dull, flaky, and dry skin, so today, we’ll take a look at the 13 best Korean moisturizers for dry skin.
Dry skin doesn’t produce enough natural oils (sebum). The result is dry, flaky skin that may also become red, irritated, and itchy. Luckily, some moisturizers contain hydrators, humectants, and moisturizing ingredients that you can apply topically to replenish dry skin.
The best Korean moisturizer for dry skin will incorporate ingredients to soothe, hydrate, moisturize, repair, and protect dry skin without being too greasy or oily. It will also protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier to seal in hydration.
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The Best Korean Moisturizers for Dry Skin
Let’s take a look at some of the best Korean moisturizers for dry skin:
Belif The True Cream – Moisturizing Bomb is like a drink of water for dry skin and has the texture and feel of a cream 4x the price. Ideal for dry, flaky, and dull skin, this cream is formulated to provide hydration for up to 26 hours.
The long ingredient list includes several plant extracts, apothecary herbs, humectants, emollients, and antioxidants like hydrating Comfrey Leaf, soothing Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, and anti-inflammatory Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, also known as Calendula or Marigold Extract. Glycerin and panthenol moisturize the skin and help maintain a healthy skin barrier.
This best-selling cream is formulated to “burst” when applied to the skin, flooding the skin with moisture without any stickiness or greasiness. It leaves skin soft, smooth, and replenished.
This cream does not contain mineral oil, petrolatum, synthetic preservatives, dyes, fragrances, or animal-origin ingredients.
Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream contains 92% of snail secretion filtrate, also known as snail mucin or snail slime. Snail secretion filtrate has many benefits for the skin:
- A K-Beauty favorite, snail mucin hydrates the skin and helps protect skin from moisture loss.
- Snail mucin helps to soothe irritated and sensitive skin and skin reddened from acne and breakouts.
- Snail mucin also has antioxidant and anti-aging benefits, such as improving skin elasticity and fine lines on photoaged skin.
The cream also contains anti-inflammatory adenosine, and hydrating arginine, and sodium hyaluronate. Pro-vitamin B5 and allantoin soothe the skin.
This Cosrx moisturizer has that slimy texture characteristic of products that contain snail mucus extract. But once applied to the skin, there is zero stickiness. It leaves dry skin soft, smooth, and supremely hydrated.
Please note that COSRX is a cruelty-free brand, and they do not test on animals. Their snail mucin products are 100% cruelty-free, causing no harm to any animals in the process.
Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream is formulated for immediate and long-term moisture. It’s filled with skin-soothing plant extracts and antioxidants to hydrate, moisturize, and protect the skin. This moisturizer is ideal for those with dry, damaged, and irritated skin.
The cream contains beta-glucan, a polysaccharide derived from yeast that soothes, repairs, and moisturizes the skin. Research indicates that it can even help reduce wrinkles and skin roughness.
It also contains Portulaca Oleracea (Purslane) Extract, rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids, and has anti-inflammatory and reparative benefits. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe) Extract soothes and moisturizes. Antioxidant Centella Asiatica Extract helps heal damaged skin.
Sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid, is an all-star hydrating ingredient that helps the skin retain moisture. Arginine is a natural moisturizing factor (NMF) and supports collagen formation.
This Korean moisturizer is ideal for those struggling with dry and irritated skin. It plumps the skin leaving it soft, hydrated, and moisturized.
What are Natural Moisturizing Factors?
You’ll see that some of the moisturizers in this post contain Natural Moisturizing Factors. Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs) are natural ingredients found in our skin’s stratum corneum (outer) layer. NMFs include amino acids, pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), lactic acid, sugars, urea, hyaluronic acid, and other compounds.
Corneocyte cells found in the outer layer of our skin contain keratin and produce NMFs. These cells, along with lipids in our skin, form our skin barrier. They work together like bricks (corneocyte cells) and mortar (lipids) to help keep our skin hydrated and healthy.
Our NMFs decrease with age and can even be diminished by cleansers and other skincare products, so replenishing them topically helps our skin stay hydrated, plump, and more youthful-looking.
Innisfree Green Tea Seed Intensive Hydrating Cream contains green tea and green tea seed oil grown on Innisfree’s USDA-certified organic farm in Jeju Island, Korea. Their “Beauty Green Tea” contains 16 hydrating amino acids to moisturize the skin and support the skin barrier.
Green tea also has potent antioxidant properties, offers photoprotection against damaging UV radiation, and is an antibacterial that can help with acne. Green tea also has anti-inflammatory benefits that help soothe skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis.
This hydrating cream also contains sodium hyaluronate, which hydrates and plumps the skin. Panthenol (pro-vitamin B-5) soothes and moisturizes the skin and strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier.
The richly hydrating formula that is filled with antioxidants is ideal for dry and mature/aging skin. It leaves your skin with a lovely glow without greasiness or oiliness. Please note that there is fragrance in this cream.
Best-selling Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream targets dry and very dry skin with Dr. Jart’s proprietary 5-Cera Complex that contains ceramides to deliver moisture to dry irritated skin and to strengthen the skin barrier.
The long ingredient list contains several plant extracts and oils to soothe and moisturize the skin. Bifida Ferment Lysate is a probiotic that can decrease skin sensitivity and help to improve the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Think of Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, and Ceramide EOP like the glue the holds skin cells together. They hydrate and help the skin maintain moisture.
Shea butter and algae extract also moisturize the skin. Beta Vulgaris Root Extract and sodium hyaluronate (a form of hyaluronic acid) are humectants that hydrate and moisturize the skin.
The cream is rich and soothing with no greasiness and has a natural herbal scent. Once applied, it coats your skin and feels like a layer of moisturizing protection for your skin barrier.
Seoul Ceuticals Multi-Function All-In-One Anti-Aging Snail Repair Cream is formulated to reduce the look of wrinkles, dullness, and dark spots with snail secretion filtrate, aloe, organic green tea, organic jojoba oil, retinol, and vitamin E.
Snail secretion filtrate (snail mucin), as noted earlier, hydrates the skin, has reparative properties, and helps to smooth fine lines. It also contains antioxidants that protect the skin from oxidative stress.
Retinol, an all-star over-the-counter anti-ager, helps increase cell turnover and reduce the look of wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots and improve skin tone.
The cream is hydrating, reparative, and helps kick dryness to the curb. It’s lightweight and works well under makeup. If you use this cream during the day, since it contains retinol, don’t forget to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
SkinFood Royal Honey 100 Hour Moisturizing Cream is a savior for dry and sensitive skin, as it’s all about royal black honey extract, oils, butter, and squalane to hydrate and soothe the skin.
Did you know that honey is one of the oldest skincare ingredients in the world? There are records that our early civilizations used honey in skin remedies, and for a good reason. It has multiple benefits for the skin as it is healing, soothing, acts as a humectant, an emollient, and balances pH. It even has antioxidant, antiseptic, moisturizing, and antibacterial properties.
This cream also contains antioxidants, vitamin E, and Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, rich in oleic acid, the ideal moisturizing fatty acid for dry skin. Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil is a plant oil that hydrates and strengthens a weakened skin barrier.
Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, also known as Macadamia Oil, is perfect for dry skin thanks to its high oleic acid content. It also contains the rare fatty acid palmitoleic acid, also known as Omega-7, which plays a role in wound healing.
Lightweight squalane moisturizes, and Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter is filled with skin-replenishing actives. Betaine, an amino acid derived from sugar beets, moisturizes the skin. Beta-Glucan repairs and soothes, an ideal ingredient for those with sensitive skin. Chamomile extract offers anti-inflammatory benefits, and aloe soothes the skin.
The cream is lightweight but rich and deeply soothing, perfect for damaged or dry skin dealing with redness and inflammation. Plus, it’s safe for sensitive skin.
This cream does not contain mineral oils, silicone oils, artificial fragrances, or artificial colorants.
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Etude House SoonJung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream is all about protecting the skin’s natural moisture barrier with 93% naturally derived ingredients.
Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil supports a healthy skin barrier, hydrates the skin, and helps reduce transepidermal water loss. Research shows that fatty acids (oleic acid and linoleic acidic) in sunflower oil decrease skin permeability to water.
The cream also contains Madecassoside, a compound found in Centella Asiatica Extract. It is an antioxidant that soothes and protects the skin. Shea butter and panthenol, or pro-vitamin B5, soothe and moisturize the skin.
Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract is an antioxidant that provides UV protection against free radical damage to skin cells and has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits.
This cream is slightly acidic, fragrance-free, and non-irritating, making it ideal for sensitive, dry, and damaged skin.
Meebak Cica Cream Age-Repair Moisturizer is perfect for aging/mature, dry skin. It addresses the visible signs of aging while calming and moisturizing the skin and protecting the skin barrier.
Cica creams are ideal for sensitive or irritated skin, as they focus on the ingredient Centella Asiatica. Centella Asiatica Extract offers anti-inflammatory and reparative benefits for the skin.
The cream is also formulated with multi-benefit niacinamide, a skincare active that helps to brighten the skin, increase cell turnover, and smooth wrinkles and fine lines. It can also improve ceramide levels in your skin which helps to support a healthy skin barrier.
Retinol is an anti-aging superstar ingredient, as it helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and can even help with acne-prone skin by balancing sebum production.
Hyaluronic acid and Dioscorea Japonica Root Extract plump and hydrate the skin. A peptide complex helps firm the skin and improve elasticity.
The cream is lightweight and soothing for sensitive and irritated dry skin. Please note that this cica cream contains a light fragrance.
Paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and cruelty-free.
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Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cream contains hydrolyzed collagen, which acts as an emollient to soften and smooth the skin and leave the skin dewy and bouncy. Hydrolyzed lupine protein from the White Lupin plant is a rich source of amino acids that moisturize the skin.
Glycerin and shea butter moisturize the skin. Etude House notes that the cream is supposed to provide 100 hours of moisture. I hope you don’t wait that long to wash your face, but it’s good to know that the cream is formulated for long-lasting hydration.
This moisturizer has an apricot shade that is lightweight but very moisturizing without being greasy or sticky. Please note that there is a noticeable fragrance in this collagen cream.
This moisturizer is “6 Free”: free of mineral oil, polyacrylamide, imidazolidinyl urea, triethanolamine, tar color, and PEG surfactant.
Cosrx Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream is all about moisturizing and helping skin stay hydrated with hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate), which plumps the skin, temporarily reducing the look of wrinkles and fine lines.
Ideal for dry and dehydrated skin, this moisturizer also contains Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil. This oil is suitable for irritated skin and protects the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Arginine is an amino acid and Natural Moisturizing Factor that helps form collagen. Panthenol, also known as pro-vitamin B5, soothes and has anti-inflammatory benefits.
This cloud-like cream is lightweight and has a short ingredient list by Korean skincare standards, which should appeal to those with sensitive skin.
It is paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and alcohol-free.
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From the clean K-Beauty brand Benton comes Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream, a moisturizer formulated by using a high temperature and high-pressure steam to improve performance.
The cream contains snail secretion filtrate, also known as snail mucin. It helps repair, hydrate, and remove dead skin cells while improving skin elasticity. Bee venom contains ingredients such as melittin and apamine that soothe and protect the skin.
Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, has several benefits for dry aging skin. It helps strengthen the skin barrier and has anti-inflammatory properties. It fades hyperpigmentation and dark spots and increases collagen production, helping to smooth wrinkles and fine lines. It also helps to balance oil production.
Sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid, plumps, and hydrates, helping the skin retain moisture. Arginine is an amino acid and Natural Moisturizing Factor. Adenosine is an anti-inflammatory, helps with skin barrier repair, and can help improve skin elasticity and firmness.
This cream is perfect for those with dry, itchy, and sensitive skin, as the cream is non-irritating and fragrance-free. It’s hydrating, seriously soothing, and moisturizing for dry, dehydrated, and inflamed skin.
Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Moisture Watery Cream is a rich cream for dry skin that helps prevent moisture loss. The long ingredient list contains 33 marine ingredients, including extract of chlorella, seaweed, plankton, plus water-soluble collagen and hyaluronic acid in the form of sodium hyaluronate. These ingredients hydrate and strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
The cream is formulated with Hawaiian Kona deep ocean water extracted from 914 meters deep, which is mineral-rich and fast-absorbing. It has a watery texture that feels weightless on the skin, never heavy or greasy.
Portulaca Oleracea (Purslane) Extract and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera) soothe dry, dehydrated, and irritated skin. Amaranthus Caudatus Seed (Amaranth Seed) Extract, Salicornia Herbacea (Glasswort) Extract, and Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract moisturize the skin.
The texture is lightweight, and it’s not too rich that it interferes with makeup. Please note that there is a noticeable fragrance in this moisturizer.
How to Use Korean Moisturizers for Dry Skin
Apply any one of these Korean moisturizers for dry skin during the Moisturizing step of your skincare routine. This will be the last step before sunscreen in your AM routine and the last step of your PM routine (unless you are applying a face oil, which would follow your moisturizer).
Gently pat the moisturizer on the skin of your face and neck. Allow for absorption before applying sunscreen and makeup in the AM.
Final Thoughts on the Best Korean Moisturizers for Dry Skin
What’s great about these Korean dry skin moisturizers is that they are all very reasonably priced, considering they contain advanced formulas and ingredients and rival most drugstore moisturizers.
A bonus is that many of these face creams address multiple skin concerns in addition to dry skin, like sensitivity or aging skin, and can easily be added into your routine, whether it’s a multi-step Korean skincare routine or a routine with only a few steps.
Whether you have a dry skin type or if your skin is simply dehydrated and in need of serious hydration and moisture, you may just find a new favorite in one of these Korean face creams.
For more posts on the best Korean skincare products, please see the following:
Thanks for reading, and until next time, here’s to your good skin health!