Where to Start With Korean Skin Care: Cleansers

If you’re going to start integrating Korean skin care products into your routine, I recommend starting with one of the following categories: cleansers, essences, or masks. These are some of the most unique and impactful products that the Korean market offers, and they are available in a delightful array. Here are some of the most beloved/well-reviewed, and my favorites.

In Korean skin care, cleansing is a two-step process that starts with an oil-based cleanser. The idea is is that you’re restoring some moisture to the skin while washing away makeup and grime, and then your foaming cleanser does the rest of the job for you.


Banila Co. Clean It Zero $21

This stuff is delightful. It’s a pale pink, sorbet-looking balm that melts into a luxurious oil on the skin, removing all makeup (even the oh-so-stubborn Makeup Forever Brow Gel) and the wear of the day without leaving any oily film or slickness behind. Be careful not to use too much – which can be tempting but is not neccessary – a small amount goes a long ways and at $21 you’ll want to make it last.

Sum37 Rose Cleansing Stick

Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick $37

If I had to choose just one Korean skin care product to keep forever, it would be this. It’s that great. You roll this little cleansing stick up like a deodorant (the comparison is regretable but must be made), smear it across your face, and massage warm water in to create a foamy lather that leaves your skin smelling great and feeling soft and clean but not overly dry. I use it every morning and in the evenings when I skip my oil-based cleanser, and it’s a dream to travel with. Normally I would balk at this pricetag for a cleanser, but this stick goes a long way and is worth it.

Discover Korean essences and masks to add to your routine.