Any good skincare routine starts with a clean face, and what better way to rid your skin of the impurities of the day than with a good face wash.
Korean face washes have become international superstars in their own right, and if you want to put their magic to the test, you need to know what to look for.
What’s the best Korean face wash?
Korean face washes come in many different formulas, so you need to think about your skincare goals and skin type when choosing one. Some of the more popular Korean skincare brands that create cleansers include The Pure Lotus, Etude, and Then I Met You but there are loads to discover.
If you’re looking for the best way to start your skincare practice each day, we’ve rounded up some of the best face wash Korean brands have to offer. Read on for our favorite finds and what they can bring to your daily routine.
Our Picks for the Best Korean Face Wash
Face washes are simple products that hold a lot of benefits and they’re a must for your daily skincare routine. Whether you’re looking for the best Korean face wash for acne or something to treat your oily skin, our favorite picks can do it all.
The Pure Lotus’ Jeju Botanical Cleanser is a daily cleanser that features 5% of the Jeju Botanical Complex Extract, featuring eight of the plants found on Jeju Island. You can double cleanse thanks to its two-step approach and it comes in a large 5.07fl oz bottle with an easy pump applicator.
The Pure Lotus has formulated a 2-in-1 cleanser that works for both steps of a double cleanse routine and is infused with their Jeju Botanical Complex Extract. The extract has brightening and cleansing properties and the fruit extracts within it are found on Jeju Island itself.
The Jeju Botanical Cleanser also features glycerin, seawater, and white lotus extract, making it gentle enough for all skin types.
It has a citrus scent that remains on your skin after you’ve washed it off and features antioxidants, flavonoids, and antibiotics that protect your skin for long after as well.
With the option to use as a gel cleanser on dry skin or a foaming cleanser when mixed with water, you can take your Jeju anywhere for great results.
- Scent: Citrus
- Skin type: All
- Size: 5.07fl oz
- The option to apply dry or wet means even without access to water you can still clean your face.
- Serves as both steps in double cleansing for those who want to cut down on their skincare routine time.
- This cleanser washes away easily without a lot of effort but still manages to cut through dirt and oil on your face.
- After cleansing, your face won’t feel dry and tight like some other cleansers make it, so it’s the best Korean face wash for dry skin.
- The citrus scent is a little overpowering and even once it’s washed off, it’s still noticeable.
- Using this cleanser dry isn’t recommended for those with already dry skin as it can pull too much.
Runner Up: Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm
Then I Met You has created an award-winning product with their Living Cleansing Balm, featuring vitamin E, persimmon extractor, and seaberry oil which gives it its signature bright yellow color.
Coming in a 3.17fl oz jar and being the first step of a double cleanse process, it melts away sebum, makeup, and impurities gently and effectively.
Then I Met You’s Living Cleansing Balm is another of our favorites and the best Korean face wash for oily skin as it actively melts it and leaves no traces behind on your face.
The key ingredients in this cleanser are seaberry oil, vitamin E, olive oil, and persimmon extract, all working towards anti-aging and brightening while they cleanse your skin of impurities.
One of the best things about this cleanser is its soft sorbet-like texture and how it glides onto your face. Follow it up with Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel for a double cleanse and treat your skin to products that are free from synthetic fragrances, alcohol, silicone, parabens, and all of the other nasties.
- Scent: Natural
- Skin type: All
- Size: 3.17fl oz
- The sorbet-like texture is what makes this face wash a cult favorite and it feels amazing going on.
- No nasty ingredients are found in this cleanser which your skin will love you for.
- You can feel the cleanser melting away oils and impurities without needing to scrub too hard.
- With no added synthetic fragrances, the scent of this cleanser comes from the all-natural ingredients.
- You’ll need to follow up with an oil-based cleanser to complete the process so expect to spend more money.
- The bottle is smaller than others and you’ll need to replace it more frequently.
The SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser from Etude is a basic cleanser with a low pH of 6.5 and loads of gentle ingredients like panthenol and Centella Asiatica. Coming in a larger 5.07fl oz bottle and with a foaming texture, you only need a little to go a long way with this cleanser.
Etude’s SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser is an affordable and effective way to cleanse and moisturize your skin at once.
The key ingredients include Centella Asiatica to repair the skin and panthenol for hydration, with both working together to cleanse your face and ensure even the most sensitive complexions don’t get irritated.
If you’re looking for the best Korean fash wash for combination skin or dry skin, you’ll love the pH-balancing properties of this.
While it cleanses it moisturizes, and it features no harsh ingredients like alcohol, synthetic fragrances, or parabens, which further adds to its gentleness, and customers loved the way their skin felt after it was washed away.
- Scent: Natural
- Skin type: All
- Size: 5.07fl oz
- This is a cheap alternative for an effective Korean face wash if you don’t want to spend a fortune.
- There are no hidden ingredients in the formula so everything in here is gentle for your skin.
- Reviewers with dry skin found it added loads of hydration and helped restore moisture to their faces.
- Because it foams, you only need one squirt of this cleanser to cover your whole face.
- As a cheaper option, the ingredients aren’t as concentrated in this foam cleanser.
- This gentle cleanser might not be enough for those who have excess sebum and makeup to remove.
Alternative: Banila Co. Clean It Zero
Banila Co. Clean It Zero Cleansing balm has earned itself a cult following in the world of skincare, and it utilizes bamboo extract and acerola extract to clean deeply.
Coming in a 3.38fl. oz jar and with a bright floral scent, you’ll love washing your face with this each day, as long as you follow up with a water-based cleanser.
Clean It Zero by Banila Co. is the best Korean face wash for pores, oil, makeup removal, and more. The soft and supple cleanser suits all skin types and features the joint effort of bamboo extract for soothing and acerola extract for restoration, giving major results.
Although it’s a smaller jar and you need a little more to get it to work, there are lots of things to love about Clean It Zero. The solid texture that melts down into oil is a dream to wash your face with and it features onsen water to get a real life hot springs experience at home.
- Scent: Floral
- Skin type: All
- Size: 3.38fl. oz
- The texture of the cleanser as it turns into an oil makes it easy to glide over your face.
- Noticeably cleaner and clearer complexion after just one use of this cleanser.
- Works just as well on all skin types and can be followed up with a water-based product for double cleansing.
- One of the cheaper quality facial cleansers on the market today.
- A smaller jar that requires more cleanser to work, so be prepared to buy two at a time.
- The floral scent that this leaves behind is too overpowering and doesn’t smell natural.
Alternative: CocoKind Oil to Milk Cleanser
Oil to Milk Cleanser is the signature product of CocoKind and it relies on the power of fermented oat to work its magic.
In the 2.9fl. oz recycled tube you’ll find an organic oil blend, oat lipid complex, sunflower seed oil, and grapeseed oil, so the cleanser goes on as oil and transforms to a soft and supple milk that can be easily washed off.
CocoKind Oil to Milk Cleanser is exactly as the name suggests, and a hydration boosting cleanser that will pH balance and restore moisture to your skin. The oil slides on easily and lathers into milk so you can rinse it away gentle without a hassle.
The formula used for the Oil to Milk Cleanser features no artificial fragrances, sulfates, alcohol, essential or mineral oils, and only good stuff.
With fermented oat being the key ingredient, it’s gentle and ideal for all skin types, and will never leave your face feeling tight and dried out after you wash it away.
- Scent: None
- Skin type: All
- Size: 2.9oz
- You’ll feel good shopping with a brand that is cruelty free, uses recycled materials, and has no harsh ingredients.
- The formula glides on easily and you only need a small amount to cover your face and neck.
- No synthetic fragrances or anything to irritate the skin so it’s perfect for sensitive complexions.
- This is a gentler type of cleanser that’s perfect for those who don’t wear makeup.
- Only comes in a small bottle which means you’ll need two to keep yourself covered.
- The price per size of this cleanser makes it one of the more expensive options to choose.
Best Korean Face Wash FAQs
Face wash should be a staple in anyone’s skincare routine but knowing which product to choose is overwhelming. To make your search a little easier, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions about skincare and cleansers, so read on to learn the basics.
How Do You Get Korean Glass Skin?
To achieve the shiny and flawless Korean glass skin appearance, avoid using any harsh chemicals or alcohol in your skincare products that can dry skin. Double cleanse your face each day, apply serums that brighten, then finish up with moisturizer and sun protection.
What Is Dolphin Skin?
Dolphin skin is a term used to describe skin that looks moist and hydrated as if you just emerged from the water like a dolphin.
This glistening finish is achieved with healthy skin and a thorough skincare routine but also carefully applied highlighter and illuminating cosmetics in the right placement on the face.
What Products Do Korean Celebrities Use?
Some of the most popular skincare products that Korean celebrities use include cleansing balms, green tea peels, ampoules and serum, lip masks, cushion cream, and concentrate creams.
When choosing skincare products you should focus on those that suit your skin type and goals, as they’re not all suited to everyone.
What Is Cloud Skin?
As opposed to glass skin that looks shiny, cloud skin should be soft, light, and slightly blurred and hazy, giving the appearance of moisturized from within. Cloud skin suits all skin types and is relatively easy to achieve as long as you’re focused on intense hydration in your skincare products.
The Key To A Fresh Face
No matter what other products you use, whether it’s ampoules and serums, or a basic daily moisturizer, you should always have a face wash in your daily routine.
Our favorite picks for the best Korean face wash give your skin everything it needs to be clean and fresh so that the rest of your skincare routine can be effective.