Having oily skin can really suck. It’s like, one day you think your skin looks nice and clear, then you wake up the next morning with an inexplicable case of the zits. It’s so unfair! But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Korean skincare products are some of the most talked about in the beauty community, and for good reason. They are usually nature-derived and designed to be effective, safe, and affordable.
Here I’ve gathered the top 7 Korean products that are absolute must-haves if you have oily skin. This is a mix of products that I’ve personally used long term and others that were recommended to me and I’ve just recently tried out.
I have my very own “gold standard” when it comes to oil-regulating products: they must not be greasy, and they should all be fairly cheap! Best of all, I have listed here products that are free from artificial coloring, parabens and animal-derived ingredients.
Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity
I am very excited to share my thoughts on Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity for oily skin. This is a new makeup remover from the Korean brand Banila Co, a solid balm that gently melts away your makeup and leaves your skin feeling soft and clean.
This is a makeup remover that banishes even the most stubborn long-wear makeup, waterproof mascara and sun care products. This unique formula contains a range of ingredients, including coconut oil and olive squalane, to leave the skin soft and supple.
If you’re curious, olive squalene is a natural antioxidant that helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin. This substance is part of our natural moisturizing factor, which keeps our skin soft and supple. It’s a powerful antioxidant that prevents damage from free radicals and slows the aging process.
“Holy Grail for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin”
One of the reasons why Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity is so popular is because it’s known to keep your face oil-free for up to 12 hours! Now, I’m not sure how many of you have tried this, but I know for sure that I haven’t tried oil-reducing products that last so long on my face. But since I’ve tried this product, it has become a staple in my skincare routine. I recommend it as a must-have product if you’re looking to dive into Korean skincare for super oily skin.
This cleansing balm is used to remove makeup and clean the skin. It differs from most other makeup removers because it is a balm and not a liquid. It is an all in one cleanser for your face and eyes that removes excess oil, dirt, sunscreen, and makeup.
The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam Cleanser
Let’s face it – the Face Shop has a lot of really weird products. That’s part of the reason I love them! Their Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam Cleanser is no exception! This foam cleanser is made with rice water, which is supposed to help control oil production for a more even skin tone. The Face Shop has created a cult following for its Rice Water line, so it was only a matter of time before the brand decided to expand that line. Its latest face wash is the Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam Cleanser, which is described as a foaming cleanser that can deep cleanse oily skin without drying it out.
I’ve been testing the Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam Cleanser from The Face Shop for the last two months or so, and I really have to say that I’ve fallen in love with it. I mean, it’s a great cleanser, but that’s not the only reason I love this stuff. It has a lot of other things going for it, too — like the fact that it’s made with rice water, which has some seriously awesome benefits for your skin.
What’s so great about rice water?
There are a lot of good reason why rice water is considered a miracle liquid. It contains vitamins and minerals, nutrients good for the skin, evens out skintone, removes excess sebum, and is especially good for oily skin.
Rice water is the water that’s left over after you boil rice. It’s a great treatment to add to your beauty routine if you have oily skin. It controls oil production in your skin and reduces redness and inflammation and contains a ton of nutrients in it that are great for your skin.
This water contains amino acids and minerals that balance out your skin’s pH levels and help your skin stay soft and smooth, while cleansing away excess sebum. Rice water also helps soothe and calm the skin, which will be a bonus for anyone with sensitive skin or who suffers from blemishes. Those with oily skin usually suffer from breakouts and rice water is the perfect solution to calm that itchy and burning sensation.
“Good For Heavy Makeup!”
This cleanser also contains rice bran powder that absorbs excess sebum to balance the pH level of your skin, that’s why it’s a staple in Korean skincare for super oily skin. This refreshing cleanser removes impurities from your pores and leaves your skin feeling clean and fresh, with a healthy glow.
Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion
Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion contains 70% Birch Sap that has been fermented for 18 months with a super moisturizing formula that is perfect for those with oily skin types. It deeply moisturizes, while keeping the skin feeling fresh and soft all day long.
Birch Sap is a popular, natural ingredient that can be used to treat oily skin and a variety of other common skin concerns. Also known as birch juice, this is the sweet sap that is produced by the Birch tree. It is made up of a number of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C and manganese, as well as various acidic compounds such as malic acid and gallic acid. Birch sap can be used to treat a number of skincare concerns such as excessive sebum, acne, and dark spots.
This is a lightweight face lotion that absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving it hydrated but not shiny. It also features niacinamide along with various anti-aging ingredients that help keep your skin looking youthful and glowing.
While niacinamide has been proven to be an effective skin whitening agent, it is also a powerful antioxidant. The antioxidant properties of niacinamide can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improving skin’s elasticity and texture.
Niacinamide is a type of vitamin B3 that has many benefits for skin health. It’s often used in acne treatments because it helps with the appearance of acne scars and helps treat other issues such as inflammation and hyperpigmentation.
Not only does this lotion keep your face moisturized and smooth, but it also has anti-aging properties. You can use this lotion in the morning and before you go to bed to provide extra moisture to your face.
Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion is a lightweight moisturizer that helps combat oily skin. It’s a great choice for the summertime if you’re looking for something that will soothe and cool your skin without weighing it down.
Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
Cosrx is a Korean brand that has been gaining a lot of popularity lately. Most of their products also have a pH level between 5.5 and 6, which is lower than the skin’s natural pH level, making them even more gentle on the skin. My skin feels instantly refreshed and soft after using this cleanser.
The pH of your skin is super important when it comes to cleansing and exfoliating. Put simply, chemists use the word ‘pH’ to talk about how acidic or alkaline something is. A pH level of 7 is neutral, anything less than 7 is considered acidic, anything greater than 7 is considered alkaline. We’re always being told that we need to alkalise our bodies. But in reality, it is possible to have an acidic pH – which is actually better for your sensitive skin!
Low ph cleansers are all the rage right now, and for good reason: they help keep skin in its optimal state. This means that it will be less likely to break out, and more likely to be able to fight off future acne.
For people with dry skin, the search for a daily cleanser that keeps it from getting too flaky is an important one. Cleansers that are too harsh can strip the skin of its natural oils and leave it vulnerable to drying out even further. And then there’s cleansing oils that never seem to take off all your makeup.
The Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is a moisturizing gel cleanser that gently removes dirt and makeup without stripping your face of its natural oils. The Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser contains 4% betaine salicylate and 1% natural BHA as its active ingredients to clarify skin. This gel cleanser also contains niacinamide and sodium hyaluronate to help smooth out skin.
This gel cleanser leaves your skin feeling clean, soft, and fresh without stripping your skin of its natural oils — it’s truly a one-step solution for your morning skincare routine. Using the Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is a very refreshing way to start my morning! It has a light gel texture with little beads to exfoliate the skin. I like to use this cleanser in the morning because it’s so light and refreshing. It doesn’t leave any heavy residue or grease on my face like some of my other cleansers do.
Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon
It’s time to admit that you’re in dire need of a skin overhaul. Exfoliation is the perfect way to reveal brighter, younger-looking skin without spending a fortune on skincare products, but exfoliation can sometimes cause irritation, which is tough for those with oily and sensitive skin.
Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze contains lemon extract and lactic acid. This product is recommended for those who have oily skin that clogs pores easily or for those who want to improve the appearance of their skin. It’s a great exfoliator – gentle enough to use every day but effective and powerful enough to give your skin the results you want.
If you are struggling with acne, dry skin, dull skin, or simply want to improve the texture of your skin, chemical exfoliation is one of the best ways to go about it. Unlike physical exfoliation (using a scrub, loofah, or other such device), chemical exfoliation will slough off the uppermost layers of skin cells and other debris without causing any irritation.
Removing the top layer of dead skin cells is the first step to healthy, plump, glowing skin. But not all exfoliation methods are created equal. Not all exfoliation methods can provide results such as younger looking skin, smoothed texture, and a glow that lasts for hours. There are a bunch of different ways to exfoliate your skin, but there’s one method that’s far superior than all the rest: chemical exfoliation with AHAs.
Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, are a class of naturally occurring acids that exfoliate the skin and encourage new cell growth. AHAs work by removing the dead skin cells from your face and they leave your skin with a brighter appearance. AHAs also help increase collagen production which is great for your skin as it will help keep it firm and young looking. AHA can be used on face and body for a healthy glow. The acids exfoliate your skin, removing dead skin cells. You’ll notice an instant brightness and a reduction in the size of your pores and fine lines.
Comparing to other peeling gels, Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon has a relatively lower Ph level, which makes it milder and less irritating to the sensitive skin. The Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon is a well-formulated product that does what it says on the package, it effectively exfoliates the skin without any harsh side effects. The product is a citrus derived chemical exfoliator that can be used by those of us who love chemical exfoliation but are not fans of physical exfoliators.
Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Lotion
If you have oily skin, you might want to know how to choose a moisturizer that will not make your skin feel even more greasy! This is a lightweight, milky lotion that is suitable for all skin types. This lotion balances the oil production in the skin and it makes the skin soft and moist.
“Long-Lasting, Gentle and Smells Lovely!”
Green tea seeds are not only an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamin E, but they are also a rich source of essential minerals such as zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron and selenium. Green Tea contains anti-bacterial agents which can help reduce scarring while also fights infection that could lead to acne.
Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Essence
I think this “essence” is underrated!
If you’re looking for an essence that doesn’t contain alcohol, silicone, artificial fragrances, synthetic dyes or mineral oil, then Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Essence is going to be right up your alley. Innisfree, which is one of my absolute favorite skincare brands, tends to be a little bit more affordable than their competitors, and this seawater essence is no exception.
When I first looked at this product, I was a little puzzled. I’ve never heard of a seawater essence before, and I was just so confused about what to do with it. But, like the loyal Innisfree customer that I am, I decided to give it a try. And after using it for a few weeks now, I’m totes in love.
“Provides Moisture While Clearing Up Acne”
This is a watery essence that should be applied after the toner. The packaging comes in a light pink plastic bottle with a pump. The pump comes in handy when you need to apply just a few drops of the essence on your face, as it dispenses just enough for your face without wasting too much.
Oily skin sucks but it’s good to know that there are several high quality K-beauty products to choose from for those with oily skin!
Beauty Care Editor @ Beautiff HQ
Researcher and Writer from the Lion City, Singapore. I write articles for Beautiff on Asian skincare and travel! I travel a lot and have found the best combination of skincare products for travelers that have worked for me through the years.
You should add Laneige to this list!
@Mely Pedrozo thanks for your suggestion! Laneige is a good moisturizer, no doubt, we love it too! In fact we have written about it in another article K-Beauty Starters: 3 Best Korean Skin Care Products for Sensitive Skin as one of the must-haves for K-beauty beginners!
I’m vegan for health reasons and I highly recommend products by Innisfree! They claim to produce high quality eco-friendly products made in Korea, and for this reason I stick with them.
Can you provide some more details on how to actually use these products? I see a lot of korean products in my local store but they are very cheap I thought they might not work at all!
@MariluzMukbang check out our article on How to Use Korean Skincare Products for the First Time, perfect for beginners in Kbeauty! Yes, Korean Beauty products are a whole lot cheaper than the Western counterparts but they are one of the best, if not the best, in skincare routines you should try them out!
Thank you, very informative
@MariluzMukbang check out 10-step routine
Not all korean products are created equal. The first time I tried K beauty I had a break out, really bad. But then I eventually found the right product combination for me and discovered Korean routine is different than our 3-step regimen in the West. They’re products are cheap, yes but you need to buy like 10 products for an entire skincare routine. It’s worth it tho