The 13 Best Korean Beauty Products For Dry Skin

Many things could be contributing to your dry skin — a weakened barrier, hormonal changes, the weather, or even dehydration have all been known to cause dryness. Korean beauty, however, has pretty much taken an oath to knock out dry skin one scaly patch at a time. The best Korean skin care products for dry skin aim to improve your skin's barrier function, so it can do a better job of keeping moisture in and irritants out, provide an instant boost of hydration and bounciness, and leave a thin, protective layer on the skin — think of this like a moat around the fortress that your skin's own barrier is meant to be.

You've probably heard about the 10-step Korean skin care routine, and I won't blame you if that feels excessive to you. But the reasoning behind this extensive regimen is that Korean beauty products are designed to work best when you layer them. And, you don't have to start using 10 products to see more hydrated skin, layering just a few of the right skin care products works amazingly well for treating dry skin.

Layering your skin care might sound like tricky business but is actually quite simple — you always want to apply your products from thinnest to thickest. To illustrate this a bit, imagine if you applied your night cream before your serum. Your serum might be filled to the brim with skin-loving ingredients, but it will have to make it through a hearty, viscous layer of cream before those ingredients even have a chance to reach your skin. But, if you apply your serum first, your night cream actually helps seal in your serum, preventing it from evaporating while you sleep.

While layering products is what gives Korean beauty routines their edge, this technique will be much more effective if you choose the right Korean beauty products for dry skin. After all, skin care is all about customizing a routine that works best for your skin's individual needs — and these 13 hydrating K-beauty products are a great place to begin!

1. Layer This Deeply Hydrating Essence Under Your Serum To Boost Its Benefits

belif Hungarian Water Essence, $40, Amazon

Essences are an essential part of any Korean skin care routine. Think of them as light serums, packed with nourishing and hydrating ingredients. Their light consistency makes them absorb easily into the skin for the perfect boost before applying serum or moisturizer. Belif's Hungarian Water Essence is formulated with an impressive cocktail of beneficial herbs — including rosemary, lavender, and sage — and humectant ingredients that increase your skin's hydration levels instantly.

2. This Hyaluronic Acid Serum Packs A Powerful Punch Of Moisture

Mizon Original Skin Energy Hyaluronic Acid 76 Premium Hydrating Serum, $14, Amazon

This serum from Mizon is 50 percent hyaluronic acid, a powerful humectant that draws moisture to the skin. It also contains antioxidant-rich extracts that nourish the skin, as well as hydration-hero, ceramide 3. To get the most bang for your buck, apply this fragrance-free serum after an essence.

3. Improve Your Skin's Own Barrier With This Protective Cream

LJH Dr.'s Care BIO+N Barrier Cream, $13, Amazon

When your skin's natural moisture barrier becomes weakened, it has trouble retaining moisture. The LJH Dr.'s Care BIO+N Barrier Cream is formulated with glycerin, hyaluronic acid, Ceramide 3, milk lipids, and a variety of other super hydrating ingredients that can help your skin reset its barrier over time.

Many moisturizers can make you feel like your face is burning when applied to very dry skin, but this moisturizer is formulated without alcohol, fragrance, or other common irritants — making it safe for sensitive and extremely dry skin.

4. Cleanse, Tone, And Refresh Your Skin With This Hydrating Cleansing Water Made With Real Rose Petals

Neogen Real Flower Cleansing Water Rose, $19, Amazon

If you're skin is chronically dry, washing with water too often could be making it worse. Replacing your morning wash with a cleansing water — which are similar to micellar waters — could help keep your skin become more balanced and hydrated.

The Neogen Real Flower Cleansing Water Rose is formulated specifically for dry skin, and can be used to cleanse your skin in the morning, as your toner at night, or to refresh your face throughout the day. This cleansing water is made with rose water, aloe, and hyaluronic acid, all of which help to hydrate and soothe skin. And, the bottle contains real rose petals that swirl around when you shake it!

5. Wake Up To More Hydrated Skin With This Cult-Favorite Overnight Mask

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, $22, Amazon

Our skin loses a lot of moisture while we sleep. Air conditioner, heating, and even just rubbing against the pillow all suck the moisture right out of you. Sleeping packs have long been a Korean beauty secret for waking up dewy. This unbelievably popular sleeping mask by Laneige goes on as a cool, calming, thick gel and quickly dries into a thin, clear layer that protects and hydrates your skin through the night.

Apply this mask as the last step of your skin care routine a few nights a week to boost your moisture levels and prevent your other products from evaporating overnight.

6. Remove Makeup And Sunscreen Without Drying Your Skin With This Hydrating Oil Cleanser

Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil, $19, Amazon

This superstar deep cleansing oil, free of mineral oil and parabens, uses vegetable oils to gently remove makeup, sunscreen, and excess sebum while moisturizing and protecting the skin. The amber-colored liquid is easy to spread and dissolves all the gunk on your face while you massage it in.

Use this oil cleanser alone or as the first step of a Korean double cleanse, followed by a foaming cleanser.

7. Try This Mild Foam Cleanser Free Of Harsh Cleansing Agents For Your Second Cleanse

Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam Ex, $30, Amazon

Many foaming cleansers leave skin feeling tight, which is a sign that your cleanser is drying out your skin. The Sulwahsoo Gentle Cleansing Foam uses milder cleansing agents and a blend of herbs to gently cleanse the skin without drying.

8. Balance pH And Soothe Your Skin With This Mild, Alcohol-Free Toner That Contains Fermented Yeast

Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner, $19, Amazon

Applying toner is an important part of any skin care routine because it rebalances your skin's pH level, which can be disrupted when you wash your face. But many Western toners contain alcohol and cause more harm and irritation to the skin than they're worth. The Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner is alcohol-free, and contains fermented yeast and lactic acid, both of which help your skin cells turn over faster.

Apply this toner after cleansing to help your skin absorb your next skin care steps more easily.

9. This Moisturizing Sheet Mask Made With Skin-Soothing Aloe

TonyMoly I'm Real Aloe Mask Sheet, $4, Amazon

When it comes to affordable facial treatments, you can't do much better than TonyMoly's classic line of I'm Real sheet masks. For dry skin specifically, go with the aloe formula, which soothes and moisturizes dry skin in a matter of mere minutes. Pro tip: store it in the fridge for an even more cooling and refreshing sensation when applied.

10. Unprotected Exposure To The Sun Can Cause Dryness — Protect And Moisturize With This Aloe Sunblock


COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF 50 PA+++, $13, Amazon

Sun can do a lot of damage to our skin, and you can add chronic dryness to the list! The COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream contains a high dose of sun protection along with hydrating and calming ingredients. And, it wears extremely well under makeup!

11. Make Your Other Products Go Farther By Exfoliating With This Mild Peeling Gel


TONYMOLY Floria Peeling Gel, $9, Amazon

When your skin is super dry, you'll often have a layer of dried out and dead skin cells stuck to the surface of your skin, preventing your moisturizer and other products from working their best. The Floria Peeling Gel gently removes dead skin cells without the irritation or friction of a scrub — something dry skin type should stay far, far away from!

Massage this gel into dry skin after cleansing and watch your dead skin cells ball up with the product and get washed down the drain.

12. Lock It All In With This Rich Mango Facial Butter


The Face Shop Mango Seed Silk Moisturizing Facial Butter, $17, Amazon

This mango facial butter is intense, and even that might be an understatement. They call it a facial butter for a reason: it pretty much feels like you're applying a thick — albeit luxurious — butter to your face. But, if you're skin is dry, cracking, or scaling, a richer textured cream will help keep your face stay hydrated for longer. The formula includes mango seed extract and quinoa, which help to soften dry skin.

13. This Collagen Eye Cream That Rehydrates Your Eye Area

Etude House Moistfull Collagen Eye Cream, $17, Amazon

No matter how great your face cream is, don't forget that your eye area has different needs! The area around your eyes has fewer oil glands than other parts of your face, so they really do need some extra love. This eye cream from Etude House is a best seller, and for good reason! The formula contains hydrolyzed collagen, baobab oil, and glycerin to nourish and moisten your eye area.

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