21 Best Korean Skincare Products of 2024 (Tested & Reviewed)

FYI, K-beauty is more than just a trend.

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21 Best Korean Skincare Products of 2024 (Tested & Reviewed)

Korean skincare: It's been poppin' up all over your IG feeds and TikTok FYPs, and the products have become bestsellers—but what's the idea behind it, and why now? "K-Beauty is more than just a trend, it’s a skincare philosophy and way of life," says Charlotte Cho, co-founder of the incredibly popular Korean beauty site Soko Glam and Korean skincare line, Then I Met You. "It’s more than just steps or sheet masks—it’s how you think about skincare and what works best for your unique skin needs."

As an emphasis on skin health and early prevention continues to rise in beauty, consumers have flocked to Korean skincare because its traditions and practices align with these ideals. As the beauty space evolves, the market has been growing quickly. Products for double-cleansing, powerhouse ingredients like snail mucin, and acne-blasting magic known as pimple patches may have been gracing your screens as of late, but many of these are part of Korean beauty rituals that have been passed down for generations. After speaking to Cho and personally testing and reviewing Korean skincare products on the market, I found the very best to try now, below.

✔️ FYI: We updated this article in July 2023 to give you the most up-to-date info on Korean skincare products, including several we personally tested, which products our experts love, and how to choose the best Korean skincare products for yourself.

Want to know more? Cool, because I highlighted some of the best Korean beauty products around—from brands like Glow Recipe, Dr. Jart+, Peach & Lily, and Saturday Skin—with the help of an expert, my own personal testing, and glowing interview reviews.

We at Cosmo have a long history of lovin' Dr. Jart's Cicapair Tiger Grass line (we tested it, after all!). If you haven't seen the TikTok review videos of the product, you're in for a treat. Once I apply it to my skin and blend it out, the treatment totally neutralizes my redness and gives me a super-even skin tone. Plus, it's got SPF 30, so win-win.

THE REVIEW: "I have some redness and hyperpigmentation I'm not too thrilled about," one tester notes. "For the longest time, I was self-conscious about this; so much so, that I used to always feel the need to wear foundation. This product perfectly helped me transition to going foundation-free a majority of the time. The color-correcting element blends perfectly into my skin and blurs the redness around my nose."

If you want glass skin (i.e., smooth, luminous skin that gives off the appearance of glass), there's no better way to get it than with the cult-favorite Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum. This formula does everything from fading dark spots to reducing redness to hydrating the skin...need I say more?

THE REVIEW: "It has everything I was looking for in a serum," writes one reviewer. "It's not aggressive or irritating, and I have very sensitive skin. I love that it's fragrance-free and it feels like they really invested in the actual sinks in beautifully and layers well with my moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup."

Blackheads: No one likes 'em, no one wants 'em, yet everybody seems to have 'em. But do you know the absolute best way to clear them up? Chemical exfoliants, my friends. This one by COSRX uses BHAs to fight those pesky blackheads and control oil all in one gentle, moisturizing formula.

THE REVIEW: "I struggle with severe cystic acne, oily/combo skin, blackheads, etc., but now, for the first time, I don't want to cry in the morning when I look in the mirror," one review reads. "My pores look smaller, my blackheads much less, and my face no longer looks like an oil slick!"

"If you’re looking to add hydration to your routine or need a quick midday pick-me-up, this essence mist will do the trick," says Cho. She explains that this spray delivers the finest mist and is packed with brightening ingredients, such as licorice water and root extracts. Finally, glycerin is added for hydration, and centella asiatica leaf extract soothes your skin.

THE REVIEW: "This pH Balancing mist keeps my skin so plump and supple, I use it when I need some deep hydration on those dry days or just before my time of the month will come which is when my skin is the most sensitive," one tester writes. "Also having PCOS, it has helped to have it in my skincare routine."

My skin is patchy as hell, and it's difficult for it to retain moisture. But, alas! I have found my cure: The Saturday Skin Waterfall Glacier Water Cream. The gel-like formula feels so lightweight yet still manages to pack a powerful hydration punch.

THE REVIEW: "This is a favorite of mine—I have combination skin, so it's really dry and in some places really oily. This works well for both, and it's lightweight, cooling, and soothing. I really like this and always order it when I get the chance," reads one tester's review.

"Mediheal masks are a go-to of mine," says Cho, adding, "these are packed with ingredients that will help soothe the skin and treat acne." Willow bark, rosemary, and tea tree oil help to soothe, exfoliate, and target breakouts, while chamomile works to calm redness, she explains.

THE REVIEW: "I really swear by this sheet mask," writes one reviewer. "It's my go-to for any acne/redness or onset of breakouts. I'm not sure I've noticed a reduction in acne marks, but my skin definitely looks much calmer the next day."

Skin health and protection are at the forefront of the Korean skincare philosophy, so you can bet there are some pretty damn good K-beauty SPFs on the market. This broad-spectrum sunscreen leaves a semi-matte finish so your skin will look glowy yet not greasy. It also uses hero hydrator, glycerin, as well as aloe vera to soothe your skin and reduce redness. The best part? It's a super lightweight formula.

THE REVIEW: "I have sensitive combination skin, and I have tried dozens of sunscreens—this takes the cake every time," one tester's review reads. "It is lightweight, but moisturizing, and rubs right into the skin like a dream. It doesn't leave a cast and it doesn't pill under makeup. I don't break out while using this either. It feels like a second moisturizer."

"I’ve suffered from hormonal acne for years, and since incorporating the Then I Met You Birch Milk Refining Toner into my routine every day, I’ve seen my acne disappear," says Cho. It’s formulated with hydrating milky birch juice and the optimal 1 percent AHA/PHA that can be used daily without over-exfoliation or drying out your skin. As a result, breakouts will be minimized, and your skin will feel smooth and soft to the touch.

THE REVIEW: "The other day I walked into a sandwich shop and the woman at the front counter said, 'your skin is literally glowing,'" one tester writes. "That’s how I know this line is the best—I have sensitive, acne-prone skin that endured a lot of sun damage during my teen years. Then I Met You + Sunscreen and two years later…my skin is like new."

If you haven't heard all the hype about superstar skincare ingredient snail mucin, where have you been? Though there's not a ton of research behind it, it's been said to contain hyaluronic acid, allantoin, antioxidants, zinc, manganese, glycosaminoglycans, and growth factors, which are all great for hydrating and plumping your skin.

THE REVIEW: "I absolutely love this moisturizer for my dry/sensitive/acne-prone skin," one reviewer writes. "That combination is not necessarily normal, so finding a moisturizer to meet those needs is hard to come by. This hits every mark! I do not have any breakouts from using this product, I gain moisture in the areas I need it, and I do not get any reactions."

Another viral Tiktok beauty bb is this lil guy from Glow Recipe. The best part about these dew drops? They can be used as a serum, highlighter under or over makeup, or even as a primer. Plus, humectant ingredients like niacinamide, glycerin, and sodium hyaluronate give your skin a big dose of hydration. Remember that glass-like glow that we were talkin' about? This is the perfect product to deliver.

THE REVIEW: "This stuff is literally one of my favorite skincare products ever," writes one tester. "I’ve gone through like five bottles! Makeup blends flawlessly with this as your base."

So, errrr, 'mugwort cream,' definitely may not sound the most...appealing? Clean? Like something you want to slather all over your face? But before you toss it aside, mugwort is a plant—not a slimy creature (yet don't rule that out, see: snail mucin)—and it's used traditionally in K-beauty thanks to its healing and anti-inflammatory properties. This cream also contains hydrating glycerin and soothing panthenol for some extra skin-loving benefits.

THE REVIEW: "So, I have been looking for a new moisturizer forever," one review reads. "I have a combination/sensitive skin with eczema. This cream has satisfied all areas [of my face] without any problems. It feels light like a gel-cream, but my skin absorbed it and it feels like normal skin. No redness, no sensitivity, no stickiness, no random dryness—just happy skin."

Foaming cleansers are notorious for drying out your skin because they contain surfactants (i.e., the active foaming agent that penetrates your skin) that work to lift dirt and debris from your pores quite rapidly. What makes this foaming cleanser so different is that it balances your pH and blasts it with a shot of moisture thanks to the ceramides, so you won't have to worry about it lacking moisture.

THE REVIEW: "This is actually—and truly—a mild care cleanser for sensitive and dry skin," one reviewer writes. "Who knew it actually does what it says on the bottle?! This gets my first vote for cleaning my face without making me feel like [my skin is stripped]. Second vote for honest marketing—is there such a thing nowadays, or ever has been?"

You've heard it from your momma, your grandma, and a million others, but aloe vera is just that damn good. This fragrance-free gel moisturizer is great for soothing irritated skin (see: sunburn), fading acne scars, brightening your skin, and adding loads of hydration. It's a miracle product, amiright?

THE REVIEW: "This is a great aloe product—it doesn’t have a scent!" one review reads. "It absorbs nicely, and I keep it in my refrigerator, and especially in the summer, I apply it after being in the sun all day. It's very soothing!"

Are you someone with oily or acne-prone skin? Then you may have heard that a clay mask is a product you should have in your beauty arsenal. Clay is great for oily skin types due to its ability to absorb excess oil. Reviewers love this clay mask specifically because it also includes AHAs that chemically exfoliate your skin, so it does a double-whammy on those pores and blackheads of yours.

THE REVIEW: "It cleans my face, gets rid of excess oil, and makes my skin feel smooth!" one tester writes. "I would 100% recommend this mask because it is not just a one-use wonder, so far I have used this face mask five times and I am not even a quarter of the way through the jar."

No K-beauty list would be complete without the OG Laneige lip sleeping mask. (I mean, does it even need an introduction?) The cult-favorite lip mask uses a mix of humectants (hi, glycerin and sodium hyaluronate), and emollients (hi, coconut oil, shea butter, and murumuru seed butter) to deliver major doses of hydration and moisture.

THE REVIEW: "The best lip mask on the market, hands down," one review reads. "The price is great, and the product? Even better. The one I bought this time last year is about out and I use it every night!"

Got yourself some bags, fine lines, or puffiness?! Hi, same. That's why you need an eye cream that packs a punch. Not only is Belif's formula incredibly moisturizing (hi, squalane), hydrating (hi, glycerin), and it is also extremely refreshing. It's like jumping in a cold shower to wake you up, but, actually feels nice. Feel me?

THE REVIEW: "I love this eye cream—I’ve had dry patches around my eyes for so long and applying this cream makes the skin around my eyes feel so soothed," one reviewer writes. "It’s so hydrating and a must-have before bed."

An essence is a staple in Korean beauty, but it's a bit hard to claim they are just one thing because each brand can define them differently. In this case, if you have dry or combination skin, you can totally benefit from this naturally fermented essence which provides great hydration (hi, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid). Simply pat it on after your cleanser/toner.

THE REVIEW: "I [have] cystic hormonal acne, eczema, and combination skin," reads one tester's review. "I use both the serum and liquid 2x per day. Both of these add moisture deep into the skin without irritating acne or other skin conditions. They also fade marks from past acne fast."

Double-cleansing means washing your face twice—generally once with an oil-based cleanser and once with a water-based one—and it is a staple K-beauty ritual. This process is said to result in cleaner skin that absorbs products more effectively. Need a great place to start? Try this cleansing oil by Sulwhasoo, which is a fan favorite.

THE REVIEW: "This is a great cleansing oil when I use it as part of my double-cleanse routine at night!" one review reads. "I love it. I have sensitive, reactive, normal to dry skin, and this oil is really nice for taking off basic makeup/sunscreen. No stinging, super gentle, and doesn't strip the skin."

If you have acne-prone skin, the last thing you probably want is anything that will make you shinier, I get it. But you can't deny that it would be amazing to have a product that makes your skin glowy without that dreaded oil-slick look, right? Well, your search for that *magic* product ends right here with this glow serum specially formulated for acne-prone skin. The product calms and heals flare-ups, while also using brightening ingredients for that glass glow.

THE REVIEW: "I use this in the morning and my skin has really evened out. I’ve tried many products, but this one works the best for my skin and hormonal breakouts," one review reads.

Skincare should never stop with the face—that body of yours needs just as much love, especially if you struggle with body acne. This body wash by Medicube includes a sh*t ton of powerhouse ingredients (hi, chemical exfoliants and niacinamide) that exfoliate the skin gently while also locking in moisture.

THE REVIEW: "This has cleared up any slight breakout problems I would get and prevents them as well," writes one reviewer. "My esthetician even complimented how good my skin looks. It’s not harsh on my skin and I have slightly sensitive skin."

Siena Gagliano is the associate editor at Cosmopolitan, where she primarily covers beauty in the makeup, skin, and hair spaces, as well as some fashion and lifestyle. Wanna know how to get the best brows of your life? Gotchu. What about how to achieve ridiculously glowing skin, a super bouncy blowout, or exactly how to use that viral face mask? Check, check, and check. Before joining Cosmopolitan, Siena was a writer at Bustle and several other media outlets. As NYC's newest resident, she has vowed to find the best (extra) dirty martini this city has to offer—and yes, that means ~attempting~ to try every cute cocktail spot in the city (hit her up with some recs, pls). Follow Siena on Instagram where you'll see that her account is mostly dedicated to pics of her cute dog and that magazine life.

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21 Best Korean Skincare Products of 2024 (Tested & Reviewed)

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