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10 Best Korean Moisturizers for Skin Care: Reviews & Buying Guide

by  Doris Harris -  Last Updated On 30th December 2020

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Are you always in search of the perfect moisturizer? I personally have tried more than you can count, and it is honestly pretty tricky to find one that ticks all the boxes.

Hydrating, not too thick, not leaving a greasy residue, not containing too many chemicals which can do more harm than good.

The list goes on. Well, if you want to change up the way you take care of your skin, you might want to try a Korean moisturizer. Korean moisturizers are holy grail products which are lightweight but supremely moisturizing. And might just be the answer to your prayers.

What’s so great about Korean beauty products? Well, Korean ‘K-beauty’, takes a whole different approach to beauty than western cultures. Instead of focusing mainly on antiaging, Korean beauty specialists take a more holistic approach and are all about listening to the skin.

Korean beauty products are known for containing high quality natural ingredients to hydrate. They often contain interesting and effective natural ingredients that we don’t normally see, like snail slime!

So if you are looking to dip your toes into the world of K-beauty, you have come to the right place. We have searched out ten of the top Korean moisturizers on the market and reviewed them below. Take a look below for the rundown on each, as well as a buying guide, to find the perfect one for your skin today.

10 Best Korean Moisturizers (2021 Update)

1. Korean Skin Care Snail Repair Cream

If you have ever wanted to try a snail repair cream, this high quality moisturizer is the one for you. With a huge 97.5% of snail mucin extract, it has one of the highest concentrations of snail creams out there. What’s so great about snail mucin?

It is naturally intensely moisturizing and encourages the production of collagen which keeps your skin looking young and healthy.

And this moisturizer does exactly that, reducing wrinkles, dark spots and dullness. Worried about cruelty to snails? This product is cruelty free. The snail cream is also totally ethically harvested and the snails live as they would in the wild.

The cream is also 72% organic with Shea Butter, Organic Aloe, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E. These rich, natural ingredients hydrate and nourish the skin and are packed with vitamins.

The cream is naturally antimicrobial as well as non-comedogenic which means it is great for all skin types, even the most sensitive of skin.

Although it is always wise to conduct a patch test to make sure. Overall this is a great naturally hydrating option for parched skin.

Key Ingredients:

  • 97.5% Snail Mucin Extract
  • Vitamin E
  • Organic Green Tea
  • Organic Aloe


  • Higher concentration of snail extract than other products
  • 72% organic
  • Cruelty free


  • Some people felt the consistency was a little heavy
  • Some people prefer a non-scented product

2. COSRX Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap

Suffer with oily or combination skin? Then you probably need a light, oil-free moisturizer. One of our favourites is the Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion from COSRX Korean Skin Care.

This is the ultimate all-in-one moisturizer for oily skin that can be used day or night. It is super lightweight while still bringing intense hydration to your skin.

It contains 70% Birch Sap, which is an ingredient packed with vitamins and antioxidants. These are great at calming and soothing inflamed or irritated skin and help to leave it looking smooth, dewy and even. It also means it is a good calming cream to use after acid treatments.

This cream has a non-greasy finish and weightless consistency, so you don’t need to worry about any residue on your skin. It absorbs quickly into the skin, perfect for daily use, and maintains your hydration levels. It also has a pH of 5.5. We love the pump top which is easy and hygienic to dispense.

The product is also hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested as well as paraben-free. This means it won’t irritate sensitive skin. Finally the product is cruelty free.

Key Ingredients:

  • 70% Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice (Birch Sap)
  • Lemon Peel Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil


  • Super moisturizing while being lightweight
  • Great for daily use, day or night
  • Oil-free formula


  • People with very dry skin may prefer a heavier cream
  • Some people found the scent too strong

3. Meebak Cica Cream Age-Repair Moisturizer

The perfect cream to heal and soothe irritated skin as well as firm wrinkles and lines. Cica, also called Centella Asiatica or Tiger Grass, is an ingredient with loads of benefits for the skin.

It is best known for its calming, antibacterial properties meaning it can calm irritated, damaged or red skin, and even soothe conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

It locks in ingredients that nourish the skin and the cream even works to rebuild the skin’s natural barrier. Want to reduce the effects of lines and wrinkles? This cream uses retinol and peptides and niacinamide to plump and firm the skin and leave your skin looking youthful and rejuvenated.

Meebak is a K-beauty brand that mixes traditional herbal remedies with modern technology and science. They choose high-quality ingredients and create their own specialized formulas.

The products are all free from harmful ingredients, being paraben, sulphate and phthalate-free. They also never test on animals meaning all their products are cruelty free. Overall a great product for repairing, moisturizing and rejuvenating.

Key Ingredients:

  • Centella Asiatica (Cica)
  • Retinol
  • Peptides
  • Niacinamide


  • Anti-aging properties
  • Repairs and soothes
  • Free of harmful ingredients and no animal testing


  • More pricey than some other creams
  • People with sensitive skin should do a patch test first in case of irritation

4. ETUDE HOUSE Moistfull Collagen Cream

Need intense moisture and anti aging effects? The highly hydrating Moistfull cream has 63.4% collagen water which makes it one of the most effective moisturizers out there. Collagen is a natural chemical in the skin that keeps your skin firm and elastic.

That means when we start to age we can do with using collagen products for some help in this area. The collagen penetrates the skin and increases blood flow, plumps and hydrates. It also contains Baobab Water which has anti inflammatory properties that soothe irritation.

This combination of ingredients leaves your skin soft and dewy, giving you a more youthful appearance. The Moistfull cream even claims to see visible results in just 5 days with effects that last for 12 hours after application.

The texture of this cream is a light, watery gel like texture, a little different to some other moisturizers on the market. This is so that it can absorb quickly without leaving thick or sticky residue on your face for hours afterwards.

Use after cleansing and toning and gently massage into the skin upwards and outwards. If you have particularly sensitive skin there is a chance of this product causing mild irritation.

Key Ingredients:

  • 63.4% Super Collagen Water (Hydrolyzed Collagen)
  • Baobab water


  • Extreme hydration
  • Reduces appearance of lines and wrinkles
  • Tested by IC Korea


  • Intense cream may be more than some people are looking for
  • More expensive than some other moisturizers

5. SKINFOOD Royal Honey 100 Hour Moisture Cream

Got sensitive skin? If so, I highly recommend the SkinFood Royal Honey 100 Hour Moisture Cream for sensitive skin. It is super mild while still being highly moisturizing and is totally hypoallergenic. This means it is perfect for even the most delicate skin.

The special formula is made with nourishing and soothing honey, which is a natural beauty remedy with hydrating, antiaging and antiseptic properties. It has been used since ancient times to heal wounds and on the skin. A great thing about this cream is also that it provides long-lasting hydration.

It claims to provide upto 100 hours of moisture so your skin doesn’t dry out soon after application. It also works across the seasons, so it should be hydrating enough to use in cold winter weather as well as summer.

It is simple to apply, just massage into clean skin on any areas that feel dry. It is free of 10 typically harmful chemicals, instead with a natural and mild formula.

It includes Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Macadamia Seed Oil, Honey Extract and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder while steering clear of Mineral oils, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Benzoic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Silicone Oils, Talc, Triclosan, Triethanolamine, Polyacrylamide.

Key Ingredients:

  • Honey Extract
  • Olea Europaea Fruit Oil
  • Sunflower Seed Oil
  • Macadamia Seed Oil
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder


  • Mild formula great for sensitive skin
  • 100 hours of moisturizing effects
  • Free of 10 chemicals


  • Not organic
  • Contains Sunflower Oil which can cause some skin types to break out

6. Wonjin Effect Water Bomb Cream

If you love things that come in pretty packages you will love this. The bubblegum pink pot of the Water Bomb Cream looks good enough to eat.

And as the name suggests, this cream really does bring a burst of moisture to your skin. It is highly moisturizing so it means that a little goes a long way and one pot will last you a long time.

Oh and once you apply it, the moisture lasts all day. Just because it is highly hydrating doesn’t mean it is heavy though.

And actually it is a great product to even out the skin tone and control oil production. Therefore it can be a great option if you have greasy or combination skin, but it is effective on all skin types.

We love the scent which is a floral fragrance making it a pleasure to use. It has a light gel-like texture and it is great how quickly this cream absorbs into the skin.

It even comes with an applicator for easier and more hygienic application.

It includes hydrating and anti aging chemicals like Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen which plump and firm. And then mixes with these with various natural ingredients like Green Tea, Camellia, Aloe and Oat Kernel to soothe and nourish.

Key Ingredients:

  • Honey
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Camellia Oil
  • Baobab Seed Oil
  • Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid
  • Hydrolyzed Collagen
  • Algae Extract
  • Seaweed Extract
  • Aloe Vera Leaf Extract
  • Oat Kernel Oil


  • Super moisturizing
  • All-day hydration
  • Anti-aging


  • Some people prefer a less dewy finish
  • Some people preferred a non-scented product

7. Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream

Want a moisturizer that can hydrate sensitive skin all year round? This fragrance-free formula is perfect for hypersensitive skin, not only moisturizing but also calming and soothing skin that is easily irritated or reddened.

It uses highly hydrating ingredients such as Shea butter, Ceramide 3 and Lipidure. It also does not over-moisturize or leave you with a heavy film on the surface of the skin.

Instead it works to restore balance to your skin and stabilize it leaving looking and feeling healthy and fresh. Big pores? Don’t worry. This cream helps reduce the appearance of pores.

The product is totally vegan and cruelty free. It has no ethanol in it, nor parabens or steroids. It is also free of artificial colours and fragrances which could be possible causes of irritation. It comes in an easy-squeeze tube and is simple to apply.

The improved squeeze-out tube allows for more hygienic application than a pot where you keep dipping in. Use on cleansed skin and massage it in upwards motions for the best results.

Key Ingredients:

  • Shea butter
  • Ceramide 3
  • Lipidure


  • Specially formulated for sensitive skin
  • Fragrance free
  • Paraben-free and cruelty-free


  • Some people prefer a scented product
  • 60ml, smaller size than some other moisturizers

8. Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream

This Nature Republic Korean moisturizer is an award winning product in the GET IT BEAUTY beauty program in Korea.

It uses Kona Deep Sea Water which is found 3000 feet below the ocean’s surface and is naturally infused with a unique mix of over 30 different kinds of marine plants and extracts.

It also has traces of over 90 different minerals and is high in calcium and magnesium. Water so deep is also free from outside pollutants found closer to the surface of the water. All this hydrates and nourishes your skin leaving it looking and feeling healthy.

This product from Nature Republic is suitable for all skin types. It comes in a pot and has a gel-like consistency.

It is not too thick and absorbs quickly into the skin helping to control shine and balance the skin’s moisture. It has a light scent and is easy and pleasant to apply for daily use.

Key Ingredients:

  • Kona Deep Sea Water


  • Packed with Deep Sea nutrients
  • Consistency is not too heavy
  • Award-winning product


  • Not best suited for seriously dry skin
  • Some people found the scent was too strong

9. I DEW CARE Say You Dew Vitamin C Gel + Cream

This antioxidant-rich cream is perfect for anyone that wants more radiant skin, and it is also super fun to use. This unique dual-layered product arrives in the pot as two separate layers, a gel and a cream. How do you use it? Well this product comes with a spatula to mix the gel and the cream together.

Do this so they are completely mixed and then you are ready to use. The top gel layer contains Lemon Extract to nourish the skin and Vitamin C to brighten your complexion and protect against environmental stressors.

The Cream layer underneath contains banana extract that is excellent at locking in and retaining moisture. They work well together to rejuvenate, hydrate and brighten your skin.

I Dew Care is all about fun and effortless beauty with K-beauty at the core. They carefully choose the best ingredients and formulas for awesome results. Apply this cream generously to the face and neck for the ideal results.

We love their sustainable attitude that aims to make their products vegan and they are always working towards being more environmentally friendly.

Key Ingredients:

  • Lemon Extract
  • Vitamin C
  • Banana Extract


  • Comes with a dual layer gel and cream with different benefits
  • Brightens your skin
  • Nourishes and protects


  • Fairly pricey
  • Some people prefer either a gel or cream consistency, not both

10. Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream for Wrinkle Care

Time to turn back the clock with an amazing Korean Beauty wrinkle cream. The Mizon Snail Recovery Gel is an affordable and effective cream that is specially designed to target fine lines and wrinkles.

It contains Snail Mucin which is the sticky mucus from snails that is actually highly moisturizing and tightens skin.

It also includes Hyaluronic Acid, a super effective ingredient that penetrates deep down into skin to exfoliate, plump and moisturize.

It removes dead skin cells which brightens the complexion. The Recovery Gel Cream also includes 5 different peptides and vitamins which work to repair and rebuild damaged skin cells and encourage the production of collagen.

This all helps to slow the aging process and makes your skin youthful and dewy. A great thing about this product is that it includes no artificial scents, dyes or parabens.

In fact it is totally fragrance free so shouldn’t irritate sensitive skin. It has a gel like consistency which absorbs easily into the skin while being highly hydrating. Apply a small amount onto clean skin and dab it softly over the face to allow it to absorb.

Key Ingredients:

  • Snail Secretion Filtrate
  • Hyaluronic Acid


  • Effective anti-aging
  • Fragrance free
  • Budget friendly


  • Best for mature skin
  • Some people did not like the gel texture

Also Read: Top 10 Korean Exfoliators: Reviews & Buying Guide

What to Consider When Buying

Why is Korean skin care better?

Korean skin care is great, as it is all about listening to the skin and choosing high quality ingredients to address problems and resolve skin issues.

Many Korean skin care brands use natural products that are not found in western brands like Snail Mucin which is an intensely hydrating natural ingredient from snail slime. Korean skin care is often vitamin packed and leaves skin brightened and more radiant.

Is Korean skin care worth it?

Korean skin care can have some great benefits that are certainly worth the sometimes higher price tag. There are certain ingredients and formulas that are common in Korean skin care that are not found in western products meaning that they really can be worth the money.

However, this does really depend on the individual person and how effectively Korean skin care works on their skin type.

Look for products specially designed for your skin type and test them out to decide if they are worth it for you. You can also find many affordable Korean skin care brands so you don’t have to choose between price and quality.

What are the best Korean skin care brands?

There are loads of great Korean skin care brands out there that it can feel overwhelming to choose. Check out the products in this article for ten of the top 10 brands. At a glance some popular brands to check out are COSRX, Skinfood, Meebak and Etude House.

Why is Korean beauty so popular?

Korean Beauty has taken the world by storm. Encouraged by the images we see of flawless Korean skin, the US and western nations are excited to share in Korea’s secrets.

Partly the novel formulations like self-mix gel creams that come separated as well as exciting ingredients like snail slime that we have never seen. Korean beauty brands also consistently achieve excellent results and so the products have grown in popularity.

What is the safest face moisturizer?

To make sure your face moisturizer is safe and non-irritating, choose products with natural ingredients that are fragrance and sulfate-free. Many korean brands use only high-quality, natural ingredients meaning it could be a good place to start when looking for the safest moisturizer.


So there you have it. Ten amazing Korean moisturizers that will take your skin from dull, dry and lifeless to flawless and hydrated. Some have all-natural ingredients, others have carefully chosen chemical ingredients and most are packed with vitamins and minerals.

Choose between gels and creams as well as a pot or tube applicator to find the absolute best one for your skin today. Which one will you choose?

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