If you have oily skin, you’re likely wary to start the Korean 10 Step skin care routine. For example, you may feel that putting oil on your face is going to make you break out more. But it won’t if you use the right products! Here, we breakdown the best Korean products for oily skin.
Oily skin is something you’re born with so there’s no way to prevent it, but you can treat it by using products suited for oily skin types. You should avoid harsh, drying formulas with ingredients like alcohol. While these formulas may make the skin feel less oily what they’re actually doing is triggering more oil production, because when you strip the skin of its necessary oils, it goes into overdrive to make up for the moisture loss and actually ends up producing more oil. Stick with water based, light-weight formulas that work to hydrate and regulate oil production.
Here’s a basic routine that lays out the best Korean products for oily skin. Feel free to check out our other recommendations here, and switch out where you see fit! It’s all about knowing the right products for your skin type. Then the options are limitless.
Contrary to popular belief, using an oil cleanser on oily skin is beneficial. It won’t cause you any unnecessary breakouts. Oil cleansers actually help to rid the skin of excess sebum, and with regular use, help to regulate oil production, leading to a clearer, breakout-free complexion.
One of our favorite Korean products for oily skin is the Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil. It’s formulated with black bean oil, which will help to cleanse and control sebum production. It’s also packed with antioxidant-rich black sesame and black currant seed oil to help gently and effectively cleanse your face (it gives a nice hydrating boost too!). And if you’re worried about an oil cleanser leaving residue behind, don’t. They’re formulated to wash off easily.
Pro tip: Use a cleansing oil morning and night! Most people view oil cleansers as an effective way to remove their makeup, but at night your skin produces oil. Using an oil cleanser in the morning will help to remove those impurities you built up overnight.
You can’t have an oil cleanser without a water based cleanser, and the Erborian Black Soap is perfect for oily skin. It’s fortified with charcoal, which is known to deeply clean your pores and draw out any impurities from the skin (excess sebum, that means you!). This gentle cleanser will effectively cleanse your face without drying it out—keeping oil in check. It also contains licorice root and shea butter, which will aid in hydrating and brightening the skin.
Your skin-balancing toner: Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner
Toners are so important for oily skin since they help to prep and balance the skin post-cleansing. They are some of the best Korean products for oily skin because they help to remove any leftover residue (which can lead to breakouts!) and reduce the appearance of large pores. Avoid alcohol based toners and instead reach for hydrating and pH balancing ones that will nourish and renew your skin.
The Benton Aloe BHA Toner is a good choice! It’s jam packed with ingredients that are suited for oily skin. Aloe will aid in soothing the skin and salicylic acid will slough off dead skin cells and reduce excess sebum. It also contains snail mucin, which will moisturize and even out skin tone. These ingredients combined will work to normalize oil production, leading to a fresh and hydrated appearance that isn’t overrun by midday oil.
Moisturizing essence: CosRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
Essences are one of the most confusing steps for those not familiar with the 10 step program, but it’s simpler than you think! Essences work to accelerate skin renewal and help the rest of your products absorb into the skin more efficiently. For oily skin, they can work wonders in hydrating the skin properly. Those with oily skin tend to avoid moisturizing as they don’t think they need it (given all the oil overproduction!) and that since their skin is so oily, they will age slower than other skin types. But that is all a lie. If you avoid moisturizing, you’ll only increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
No matter the skin type, you need to moisturize properly. Essences aid in hydrating oily skin without weighing it down. The CosRX Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence contains 96% snail secretion filtrate (aka snail mucin) which will intensely moisturize the skin, leaving you with a glowy finish.
Deep cleaning exfoliator: CosRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
Exfoliators are one of the key Korean products for oily skin because they deep clean pores and further aid in reducing oil production. Go for a chemical exfoliator rather than a physical one. Physical exfoliators only slough off the dead skin cells on the surface. Chemical exfoliators work beyond the surface to deep clean and dissolve any impurities lurking beneath. Large pores are a major problem that oily skin types face and regular exfoliation will reduce the appearance of your pores and the back up of oil production, which lead to blackheads and whiteheads.
The CosRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid has 4% betaine salicylate, which is a natural and gentler derivative of salicylic acid that will aid in skin renewal. It also contains niacinamide, which will brighten skin and further reduce pore size.
Skin-loving serum: CosRX Centella Blemish Ampoule
With excess oil comes unwanted breakouts. This is why most oily skin types are acne-prone. But a consistent proper routine will aid in reducing and preventing these uninvited guests.
Ampoules or serums are a great way to treat acne. CosRX’s Centella Blemish Ampoule has Centella Asiatica Leaf Water as its base, which is a medicinal herb known for being effective at treating wounds and small infections. This ingredient also calms acne-prone skin. For oily skin types, it helps to normalize sebum production and help fortify the skin’s protective barrier.
Optional Sheet Mask: Goodal Black Charcoal Mask Sparkling Clear
When your skin is feeling particularly oily, a great treatment to grab is a sheet mask! Sheet masks are designed to pack as much moisture as possible into the skin in a small amount of time (usually 15-20 minutes). When it comes to oily skin, reach for masks that will absorb excess sebum and lift impurities.
An especially great choice is the Goodal Black Charcoal Mask Sparkling Clear. It’s infused with black charcoal powder to help deep clean pores. It’s also a bubbling mask! Bubbling masks use carbonated bubbles to access hard-to-reach areas (like the sides of your nose) and seriously clean them. The bubbles also provide oxygen to the skin to help it breathe and rid itself of toxins.
If you’re looking to buy a whole bunch of masks that target these issues, Soko Glam’s acne+sebum control sheet mask set is a good option.
Light-weight moisturizer: Missha Super Aqua Ultra Water-Full Clear Cream
Water based, light-weight moisturizers are the perfect products for oily skin. We recommend choosing gel-type ones rather than those that are emollient rich as they may increase oil production (which can end up further clogging pores).
The Missha Super Aqua Ultra Water-Full Clear Cream is the best for oily skin. It’s oil-free and has glacial water as its base, which enhances moisture retention. No greasy feeling here—just plump and moisturized skin!
Mattifying SPF: Missha All Around Safe Block Sebum Zero Sun SPF 50+
We know—you’ve searched high and low for an SPF that doesn’t leave you feeling greasy! Most people skip out on SPF because of the unpleasant feeling, but it’s a vital step in protecting your skin from premature aging.
The Missha All Around Safe Block Sebum Zero Sun is one of the best Korean products for oily skin. It’s enriched with green tea and tea tree oil to control sebum production and mattify the skin without drying it out. Plus, its lightweight and water resistant formula keeps the skin matte for a smooth, shine-free look all day long.