11 Best Korean Cleansers for Radiant And Clear Skin

Written by Anoushka Sinha, Skincare Coach & Writer
Updated on Feb 26, 2024
Korean Cleansers for Radiant And Clear Skin
The products curated for this article are independently chosen by the editorial team. If you make a purchase through the links mentioned below, we may receive a commission. Check out our product research & curation process

Let us emphasize the importance of thorough cleansing for achieving radiant and clear skin, regardless of whether you wear makeup or not. This essential step removes accumulated dirt, impurities, and makeup, preventing breakouts, skin fatigue, and premature aging. The best Korean cleansers stand out as ideal picks, known for their gentle, nourishing, and pH-balancing qualities. Unlike harsh cleansers, they preserve your skin's natural moisture, leaving you with a clean canvas to proceed with the rest of your Korean skincare routine, including essences, sheet masks, and moisturizers. Embrace the benefits of Korean cleansers and unlock the path to radiant, rejuvenated skin.

Based on our extensive research, cleansing your face the right way sets the foundation for all your other products to do their job as well as possible. So, choose one of these best Korean cleansers and be on your path to achieving the coveted K-Beauty glow.

The trend of Korean beauty products has taken the beauty world by storm, and their water-based cleansers are particularly noteworthy. These cleansers excel at effectively removing dirt and impurities from the face while preserving the skin's pH balance. With a plethora of formulations available, you'll easily find a water-based cleanser that suits your skin type, delivering excellent results without any negative side effects. Experience the transformative power of Korean cleansers to achieve a clean, balanced, and highly coveted glass skin look.

11 Best Korean Cleansers

The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Face Cleansing Foam is a popular skincare product that offers a gentle and effective cleansing experience. This foam is enriched with rice water extract, known for its brightening and moisturizing properties. It deeply cleanses the skin, removing impurities and excess oil, leaving it refreshed and revitalized. The lightweight texture lathers up easily, providing a luxurious and soothing sensation. With regular use, this Korean foam cleanser helps to improve skin clarity and promote a more radiant complexion.

Pros
  • Double cleansing set
  • Hydrating formula
  • Suits all skin types
  • Removes dead skin
Cons
  • Has a strong smell
  • COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

    COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
  • The COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is a highly regarded skin care product known for its gentle and effective cleansing properties. Designed to maintain the skin's natural pH balance, this gel cleanser effectively removes impurities, excess oil, and dirt without stripping the skin of its moisture. Infused with tea tree oil and natural botanical extracts, it helps to soothe and clarify the skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and revitalized. This Korean face cleanser is particularly suitable for those with sensitive or oily and acne-prone skin. With its affordable price, it has become a popular choice among skincare enthusiasts.

    Pros
    • Enriched with tea tree oil
    • Suits sensitive skin
    • Budget-friendly
    • Sulfate and paraben-free
    Cons
    • Not suitable for acne-prone skin
  • Best Overall

    BANILA CO NEW Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm

    BANILA CO NEW Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm
  • The BANILA CO NEW Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm is a highly acclaimed product in the world of Korean skincare. This cleansing balm is formulated with a gentle and nourishing blend of botanical extracts, including papaya and acerola, which effectively dissolve all traces of makeup, impurities, and excess oil from the skin. Its rich and smooth texture transforms into a silky oil upon contact with the skin, effortlessly lifting away dirt and leaving the skin feeling clean and hydrated. The balm also contains vitamin E to provide antioxidant benefits. With its luxurious formula and convenient packaging, it has gained a loyal following for its ability to thoroughly cleanse and prepare the skin for the next steps of the skincare routine.

    Pros
    • Suits all skin types
    • Paraben-free
    • Ideal for makeup removal
    • Boosts collagen levels
    Cons
    • Pricey
  • Innisfree Green Tea Hyaluronic Acid Face Cleanser

    Innisfree Green Tea Hyaluronic Acid Face Cleanser
  • The Innisfree Green Tea Hyaluronic Acid Face Cleanser is a hydrating and refreshing skincare product that effectively cleanses the skin while maintaining its moisture balance. Infused with green tea extract and hyaluronic acid, this creamy cleanser gently removes impurities and makeup residue, leaving the skin feeling clean, soft, and hydrated. The green tea extract provides antioxidant benefits, helping to protect the skin from environmental damage. The hyaluronic acid helps to replenish moisture and improve skin elasticity. With its creamy texture and delightful green tea fragrance, this Korean gel cleanser provides a soothing and enjoyable cleansing experience.

    Pros
    • Deep cleans pores
    • Enriched with antioxidants
    • Budget-friendly
    • Hydrating formula
    Cons
    • Might not suit sensitive skin
  • Best For Makeup Removal

    ma:nyo Pure Cleansing Oil Korean Facial Cleanser

    ma:nyo Pure Cleansing Oil Korean Facial Cleanser
  • The ma:nyo Pure Cleansing Oil is a Korean facial cleanser that offers an effective and gentle cleansing experience. This cleansing oil is formulated with a blend of natural plant oils, such as olive oil, sunflower seed oil, and jojoba oil, which effectively dissolve makeup, impurities, and dirt from the skin. It effortlessly emulsifies upon contact with water, rinsing off easily without leaving any residue. The lightweight and non-greasy formula helps to balance the skin's oil production and maintain its natural moisture barrier. With its nourishing properties, this cleansing oil leaves the skin hydrated, refreshed, and clean.

    Pros
    • Ideal for dry skin
    • Loaded with vitamin E
    • Removes blackheads
    • Enriched with argan oil
    Cons
    • Pricey
  • Best Clean Formula

    DERMALOGY Real Fresh Foam Cleanser - Green Tea

    DERMALOGY Real Fresh Foam Cleanser - Green Tea
  • The DERMALOGY Real Fresh Foam Cleanser in Green Tea is a popular skincare product that provides a refreshing and effective cleansing experience. Infused with green tea extract, this foam cleanser gently removes impurities, excess oil, and makeup residue, leaving the skin feeling clean and revitalized. The formula contains natural botanical ingredients that help to soothe and hydrate the skin, promoting a healthy and radiant complexion. The foam texture creates a luxurious lather that effectively cleanses without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. With positive customer reviews and its delightful green tea scent, this Korean skin cleanser has become a go-to choice for those seeking a gentle and refreshing cleanse.

    Pros
    • Soothing and hydrating formula
    • Enriched with green tea
    • Free from harmful ingredients
    • Leaves a fresh feeling on skin
    Cons
    • It is comedogenic
  • Best For Sensitive Skin

    ETUDE SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser

    ETUDE SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser
  • The ETUDE SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser is a gentle and hydrating cleanser specifically designed for sensitive skin. With a pH level of 6.5, it maintains the skin's natural balance while effectively removing impurities and excess oil. This fragrance-free and hypoallergenic cleanser features a light and fluffy texture that transforms into a creamy lather upon contact with water. Formulated with panthenol and madecassoside, it helps to soothe and moisturize the skin, reducing any potential irritation. Suitable for all skin types, this whip cleanser leaves the skin feeling clean, refreshed, and comfortably hydrated. Its non-irritating formula and positive customer feedback make it a trusted choice for sensitive skin care.

    Pros
    • Soft hydrating cleanser
    • Suits sensitive skin
    • Vegan formula
    • Fragrance-free
    Cons
    • Might dry the skin out
  • Best For All Skin Types

    Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Face Cleanser

    Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Face Cleanser
  • The Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Face Cleanser is a luxurious skincare product that offers a gentle and effective cleansing experience. Infused with blueberry extract, this cleanser nourishes and brightens the skin while removing impurities and excess oil. Its gel texture transforms into a light foam, providing a soothing and refreshing sensation. Enriched with hyaluronic acid, it helps to hydrate and plump the skin, leaving it soft and supple. This cleanser is also formulated with AHAs to gently exfoliate and promote a smoother complexion, ridding you of dead skin cells. With its delightful blueberry scent and become a beloved choice for those seeking a gentle yet effective face cleanser.

    Pros
    • Suits all skin types
    • Exfoliating formula
    • Enriched with hyaluronic acid
    • Cruelty-free
    Cons
    • Pricey
  • Best Mild Formula

    MIZON Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser

    MIZON Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser
  • The MIZON Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser is a popular skincare product that harnesses the power of snail mucin to provide a deep and effective cleanse. This foam cleanser gently removes impurities, excess oil, and makeup residue while nourishing and repairing the skin while maintaining natural moisture levels. Snail mucin is known for its moisturizing and skin-rejuvenating properties, helping to promote a healthy and youthful complexion. The lightweight foam creates a rich lather that leaves the skin feeling clean, refreshed, and soft. It is suitable for all skin types and has garnered positive reviews for its ability to effectively cleanse and improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin.

    Pros
    • Enriched with snail mucin
    • Mild and hydrating formula
    • Budget-friendly
    • Deep cleans pores
    Cons
    • Deep cleans pores
  • Best Brightening Cleanser

    TONYMOLY Clean Dew

    TONYMOLY Clean Dew
  • The TONYMOLY Clean Dew Lemon Foam Cleanser is a refreshing and revitalizing skincare product that offers a thorough and gentle cleansing experience. Infused with lemon extract, this foam cleanser effectively removes impurities, excess oil, and makeup residue, leaving the skin feeling clean and rejuvenated. The zesty lemon scent provides an invigorating sensation, awakening the senses during the cleansing process. The lightweight foam texture creates a luxurious lather that effortlessly cleanses the skin without stripping its natural moisture. With its brightening properties, this lemon-infused cleanser has become a popular choice for those seeking a refreshing and effective daily cleanse.

    Pros
    • Infused with aloe and grapefruit extract
    • Gently cleanses skin
    • Budget-friendly
    • Has a brightening effect
    Cons
    • Leaves a soapy residue
  • Best Korean Cleanser for Acne

    Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam

     Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam
  • The Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam is a premium skincare product that provides a luxurious and effective cleansing experience. Formulated with nutrient-rich Korean herbal ingredients, this foam cleanser gently removes impurities, excess oil, and makeup residue, leaving the skin feeling clean and refreshed. The creamy texture creates a rich lather that envelops the skin, effectively purifying and nourishing it. With its blend of traditional Korean herbal extracts, including Korean ginseng and milkvetch root, this cleanser helps to improve skin vitality and promote a radiant complexion – also abating the appearance of enlarged pores. Suitable for all skin types, it offers a pampering and indulgent cleansing ritual for those seeking a high-end skincare experience.

    Pros
    • Is paraben-free
    • Nutrient-rich formula
    • Deep cleans pores
    • Hypoallergenic formula
    Cons
    • Bottle is prone to leakage

    The above-mentioned best Korean cleansers will leave your skin feeling clean yet nourished. Below are some tips to help you find your perfect match.

    How to Choose the Best Korean Cleanser?

    Here are a few factors to consider before splurging on the best Korean cleanser - 

    Determine Your Skin Type:

    Choosing the best Korean cleanser requires considering various factors. Firstly, determine your skin type—whether it's dry, oily, combination, or sensitive. This will help you narrow down your options. 

    - For dry skin, opt for a moisturizing cleanser that contains hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides. Look for creamy or oil-based cleansers that nourish the skin while gently removing impurities. 

    - For oily skin, choose a cleanser with oil-controlling properties. Look for ingredients like tea tree oil or salicylic acid, which can help regulate sebum production and prevent breakouts. Gel or foam cleansers work well for oily skin types. 

    - Combination skin requires a balanced approach. Look for pH-balanced cleansers that effectively cleanse the skin without stripping away moisture. Gel or lightweight foam cleansers are typically suitable for combination skin. 

    - Sensitive skin calls for gentle, fragrance-free cleansers that won't irritate or cause redness. Look for cleansers with soothing ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, or Centella Asiatica extract.

    Specific Skin Concerns:

    Consider any specific concerns you have, such as acne or aging. Korean cleansers often offer specialized formulas for these issues. Look for cleansers with acne-fighting ingredients like tea tree oil or salicylic acid for acne-prone skin. 

    For anti-aging concerns, seek cleansers with collagen, peptides, or antioxidants to promote a youthful complexion.

    Ultimately, the best Korean cleanser is one that suits your skin type, addresses your concerns, and leaves your skin feeling clean, refreshed, and balanced.

    A Guide to the Korean Double Cleansing Method

    The Korean double cleansing method is a fundamental two-step routine in Korean skincare routines for thoroughly cleansing the skin. Start with an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup, sunscreen, and excess oil. Massage it onto dry skin, emulsify it with water, and rinse off. Follow up with a water-based cleanser to remove impurities and residue. Gently massage onto damp skin, lather, and rinse. The double cleansing method ensures deep cleansing without stripping the skin's natural moisture barrier. It is especially beneficial for those with oily or acne-prone skin. You can adapt the method to your skin's needs and always follow with toner and moisturizer for optimal results.

    Why Are Korean Cleansers Special?

    Korean cleansers, with a focus on active ingredients like snail mucin and fermented rice water, work wonders in helping you achieve the glass-like skin of your dreams. They gently exfoliate and cleanse your skin of dirt and debris without stripping away moisture, thereby enhancing your complexion and softening your skin texture. Besides, Korean skincare brands like COSRX, Laneige, and Innisfree have now become a household name due to their potent skin-benefitting products and formulas.

    How to Pick the Right Korean Cleanser for Your Skin Type?

    As per our expertise, choosing the right Korean cleanser for your skin type requires careful consideration. Firstly, identify your skin type—dry, oily, combination, or sensitive—to narrow down options. For dry skin, look for hydrating cleansers containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides. Oily skin benefits from oil-controlling cleansers with ingredients like tea tree oil or salicylic acid. Combination skin can benefit from gentle, pH-balanced cleansers. Sensitive skin calls for mild, fragrance-free cleansers with soothing ingredients like aloe vera or chamomile. Consider specific concerns like acne or aging, and opt for cleansers targeting those issues. Lastly, consult professionals, and conduct patch tests to find the perfect match for your skin.

    Conclusion

    Discover the best Korean cleansers, carefully crafted with skin-friendly ingredients and a gentle, pH-balanced formula. These cleansers effectively remove dirt and makeup residues without stripping away moisture or disrupting your skin's natural microflora. Maintaining a consistent skincare routine is essential for achieving radiant, healthy skin, and the Korean cleansing ritual leads the way. By prioritizing cleansing as a crucial step, issues like imbalanced skin, blackheads, and poor product absorption are significantly reduced. Whether you have dry, oily, combination, or sensitive skin, our curated list of top Korean cleansers ensures there's a perfect match for every skin type. Our editor’s personal favorite is ​​The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Face Cleansing Foam which suits all skin types and provides you with glass-like skin. You too can pick any as per your preference and experience miraculous results. Happy shopping!

    FAQ's

    What is special about Korean skincare?
    Korean skincare is renowned for its emphasis on comprehensive routines, innovative formulations, and meticulous attention to detail. It incorporates a wide array of beneficial ingredients, focuses on hydration and brightening, and promotes a holistic approach to skincare. Korean skincare also encourages self-care and emphasizes the long-term maintenance of healthy, radiant skin.
    Which Korean cleanser is the best for pimples?
    When it comes to addressing pimples, the Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is highly recommended. Formulated with tea tree oil, it helps combat acne-causing bacteria while maintaining a balanced pH level. It effectively cleanses the skin without causing dryness or irritation, making it suitable for pimple-prone skin.
    How are Korean cleansers different from other cleansers?
    Based on firsthand experience, Korean cleansers stand out from other cleansers with their unique features. They often incorporate a double cleansing method, involving an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser, ensuring thorough removal of impurities without stripping the skin. Korean cleansers also focus on gentle formulas, natural ingredients, and innovative textures, catering to a wide range of skin concerns with a holistic approach.
    Why are Korean cleansers popular in the skincare industry?
    Korean cleansers have gained immense popularity in the skincare industry due to their remarkable efficacy and innovative formulations. They prioritize gentle yet thorough cleansing, address specific skin concerns, and incorporate beneficial ingredients. Korean beauty trends, emphasis on skincare routines, and the pursuit of flawless, radiant skin have contributed to their widespread acclaim.
    What are the key ingredients found in the best Korean cleansers?
    The best Korean cleansers boast key ingredients that deliver remarkable results. These include natural extracts like green tea, rice water, and lotus, renowned for their soothing and brightening properties. Additionally, beneficial components like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and tea tree oil ensure deep hydration, gentle cleansing, and acne-fighting capabilities respectively.

    Why Trust Pinkvilla

    Skincare expert and coach Anoushka loves to use Korean cleansers rich in hydrating minerals and essential oils that don’t strip the skin of its natural oils. She has gone on to experiment with Banila Co, ETUDE, Innisfree, The Face Shop, and many more that easily remove the makeup, and gunk that is clogged in your pores to give you a natural sheen. Hydrating Korean cleansers also promote collagen production and prevent damage caused by pollution. 

    Our product experts study the specifications of every product we suggest and try them out to bring what’s proven to be worthy of your money, time, and energy. We also have subject matter experts from various fields like Fashion, Skincare, Haircare, Home Decor, and Health & Fitness onboard to make sure our suggestions are credible and trustworthy. You can trust select to be your faithful shopping guide for all the right reasons! 

    Author BIO
    reviewer
    Anoushka Sinha
    Skincare Coach & Writer

    Anoushka is certified in Professional Skincare and is a Mass Media (Journalism) graduate from Mumbai University. As a More