Finding the right skin care products for your skin type can be tricky — especially if your skin is both oily and dry. Now add packaging that's written in another language into the mix, and things don't exactly get easier. But the best Korean skin care products for combination skin can help your skin feel more balanced, even if you don't plan on adopting an entire 10-step Korean beauty routine for combination skin.
Combination skin can be described as dry or normal on your cheeks and oily in the T-zone — which includes your nose, forehead, and chin. People with combination skin may also have large pores on their T-zone, which can lead to clogged pores and blackheads.
When it comes to hydrating and balancing this skin type, Korean skin care products might look whimsical, but these popular imports are known for being seriously effective. That's because Korea is at the forefront of skin care innovations, and many products include results-driven ingredients like propolis, ginseng, niacinamide, arbutin — among countless others — that you'd be hard-pressed to find in their Western counterparts. And beyond ingredients, many of them also feature unique textures, like bubble masks and water-like essences, that make the formulas even more effective.
The only real drawback of Korean beauty products is that they're as addicting as potato chips — it's hard to stop at one. These amazing products span your entire beauty routine, from oil cleansing to using a peel made from milk.
1. A Toner That Purifies, Hydrates, & Helps Regulate Oil Production
2. A Light Gel Moisturizer That Won't Clog Pores Or Feel Sticky
This light, oil-free gel moisturizer cools and refreshes skin on contact while providing a serious surge of moisture. In addition to adding hydration, evening the skin tone, and minimizing pore size, the unique formula contains lady’s mantle and malachite to neutralize free radicals that can damage the skin. And, best of all, it doesn't feel greasy on the skin.
3. A Peel Made With Lactic Acid That's Gentle Enough To Use Daily
This gentle peel is made with lactic acid, an acid that comes from milk, which helps breakdown dead skin cells, sebum, and makeup residue that's trapped inside your pores. And, lactic acid is not only a powerful exfoliator, it also plumps and hydrates the skin. Use this peel daily after cleansing for more balanced skin that glows.
4. A Carbonated Clay Mask That Bubbles The Gunk Out Of Your Pores
This carbonated bubble mask that detoxifies the skin in a matter of minutes. If the packaging with a grinning pig sporting a mud mask doesn’t sell you, the smooth and glowing complexion you have after trying this Korean skin care product surely will.
5. A Multitasking Ampoule That Covers Three Steps In One
Korean beauty routines are notorious for having many steps, but if you’re looking for the condensed version, this all in one ampoule is for you. After cleansing, skip the toner and essence steps and slather on a spatula of this honey, royal jelly, and propolis extract ampoule over your face and neck for a hydrated and balanced complexion.
6. An Oil-Based Sherbert Cleanser That Removes Every Last Trace Of Makeup & Sunscreen
This sherbet-like balm cleanser gently removes makeup (including stubborn mascara) and grime with little effort, and solid oil formula makes it mess-free. It's chock-full of botanical extracts, including rosemary, chamomile, and hollyhock, that nourish and remove excess sebum.
7. A Foam Cleanser Made With Real Green Tea That's Perfect For Your Second Cleanse
This fresh foam cleanser is comprised of real fermented green tea and fruit extracts that purify, brighten, and hydrate your skin. Neogen suggests that you use this cleanser after an oil-based cleanser of your choice as a part of a thorough double cleansing routine.
8. A Cult-Favorite Sugar Scrub That Doubles As A Mask
Around since 1957, Skin Food was K-beauty before K-beauty was cool. This exfoliating mask continues to be one of the company’s top-selling products. Mineral-rich black sugar in a hydrating base serves as a gentle yet effective exfoliant that purifies pores and leaves skin soft and glowing.
9. An Essence Made With Skin-Energizing Fermented Yeast
Not to be confused with a toner, the application of an essence actually comes after the toning step and helps to hydrate and prep skin for the rest of your routine. Korean essences typically contain an active ingredient and in the case of this version from MISSHA, it’s fermented yeast concentrated (a whopping 80 percent) that energizes the skin and helps even out discoloration.
10. A Natural SPF That Softens & Protects
11. A Gentle Peeling Gel That Brightens & Hydrates
While you want to keep a combination skin free of dead skin cells and debris, a manual exfoliant may not always be the answer if you're sensitive. This gentle peeling gel dissolves the dead skin responsible for trapping dirt and oil, but without irritation or downtime. Vitamins brighten, while cellulose leaves your complexion hydrated.
12. A Hydrating Overnight Gel Mask For Just The Right Amount Of Moisture
Sleeping masks are known for nourishing your skin while you’re off in dreamland, and this Korean beauty favorite is perfect for combination skin types. The light gel formula provides loads of hydration and locks in your moisturizer and treatment products without feeling heavy or clogging your pores.
13. A Cleansing Water With Brightening Pearl Extracts
This Korean cleansing water may be free from fragrance and parabens, but it’s loaded with active ingredients that make cleansing your face one of the most exciting parts of your routine. Hydrolyzed pearl extracts hydrate, brighten, and tone while marine-collagen and fermented yeast promote a radiant complexion. And, it does a fantastic job of removing makeup and sunscreen. Use this cleansing water as the second step of your double cleanse or as a single step to freshen up your skin anytime.
14. A Concentrated Eye Treatment That's Packed With Bouncy Collagen
Reviewers are over the moon for this concentrated collagen, hyaluronic acid, and peptide-infused eye cream. For those looking to multitask, this K-beauty favorite can also be used as a face and neck cream due to its regenerative benefits.
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