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10 Best Hydrating Korean Face Moisturizers: Reviews & Buying Guide

by  Doris Harris -  Last Updated On 30th December 2020

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The nights are drawing in, the temperature is dropping, the wind is picking up, and summer feels like a distant memory. Now that we are mid-fall, you are no doubt already noticing the effects of the cooler weather on your skin.

Dry skin is feeling more irritable, breakouts are becoming more regular, and the glow from summer has faded. It’s time to take a look at what you can do to help your skin to get you through winter, but where to start?

No doubt you have noticed that everyone is talking about Korean beauty products as being the way to go for skin care. They are packed full of natural ingredients, and there are different products which target different aspects of your skin’s health.

In this article we will be taking a look at the ten best Korean moisturisers. We’ll help to identify which creams work best for various skin types, as well as highlighting the different ingredients that make them stand out, and what they actually do.

So whether you’re looking for a heavy-duty night moisturiser, a deep hydration for once a week application, the best cream for irritable skin, or a simple daily moisturiser to help boost your skin and give it a glow, we’ve got the best option for you.

Take a look below and find out which Korean moisturiser is the best fit for you.

10 Best Korean Moisturisers (2021 Update)

1. Skinfood Royal Honey 100 Hour Moisture Cream

We are going to start our list with this Royal Honey 100 Hour Moisture Cream by the Korean brand, Skinfood. This option is a great moisturiser for the harsh winter weather, as it provides 100 hours of moisturising, to help hydrate your skin.

The key ingredient for this cream is honey. It’s been used to heal wounds since ancient times, and now it’s contributing to this natural beauty remedy to keep your skin healthy and smooth.

This moisturiser is particularly well-suited for people with dry skin, but what makes it so great is that it’s not just a face cream.

What we mean by that is that it is suitable for any dry skin you have, whether it’s dry cheeks, sandpaper-like elbows, or patches of dry skin on your legs, this moisturiser will work well on all areas. It even works to soothe dry, sensitive skin for people who are burn patients.

As you might have guessed from the name, this brand stands out when compared with other skin care brands, because they focus on using nutritive foods in their products, in order to provide nutritive beauty results.

Not only does it contain honey as a central ingredient, but it’s also worth mentioning what it doesn’t include. This cream is free of mineral oils, silicone oils, artificial fragrances and artificial colourants.

Take note that it’s not well-suited to people who have acne-prone skin or fungal-acne. This is because it contains sunflower oil, which for some people can cause breakouts or whiteheads. It is better for people with dry skin who are looking for a hydrating moisturiser.

Key Ingredients:

  • Honey
  • Royal Jelly
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Olive Fruit Oil
  • Mango Seed Butter


  • Great for dry skin
  • Uses honey for natural nutrition
  • No artificial fragrances or colourants


  • Not well-suited for people with acne-prone skin
  • Should be used within 6 months of opening

2. Meebak’s Cica Face Moisturiser for Women

The Cica Face Moisturiser has been designed specifically for women who are looking to keep the wrinkles at bay, although it also works at a great face moisturiser too. It helps to heal irritated skin by soothing it with its rich, creamy consistency, helping to rebuild the skin barrier.

This means that it is an excellent choice of moisturiser for ultra-sensitive skin as it restores the moisture balance of your skin. However, the cica that it contains works as a mild adaptogen, which helps to smooth out the skin texture, as well as to protect the skin from the environment.

As the name suggests, one of the key ingredients is cica, which is an Asian herb. Cica is another word for centella asiatica, which is also known as Indian pennywort, tiger grass, or gotu kola. Its leaves are eaten as a vegetable, but it is also a medicinal herb that is native to the Asian wetlands, and has great healing properties.

While it has been used in many parts of Asia for centuries, it is only recently that people in Europe and America are starting to discover the wonders it can produce for anti-aging. The cica locks in the nourishing ingredients, while also providing a moisture barrier.

Key Ingredients:

  • Shea butter
  • Fig extract
  • Sunflower seed oil
  • Rice extract
  • Jojoba seed oil
  • Centella asiatica (cica) extract


  • Anti-aging
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Contains cica extract
  • Creamy


  • No SPF

3. Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cream

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance face moisturiser, then this is a great option for you. It boasts of providing 120 hours of Super Collagen water effect, and an improvement on the hydration level of the skin for that time too.

If you’re wondering how long 120 hours is, don’t worry, we’ve done the math for you. It’s five full days (and nights). This means that if you remember to use it every Sunday evening, the effects should last until the end of the working day on Friday.

Although if you want the full effect, you should perhaps use it more frequently, as it claims that the skin gloss only lasts for 12 hours after application- we say “only”, that’s still a pretty long time for your skin to be looking glossy and healthy.

Given that you are reading this article, then no doubt you are looking into Korean skin care regimes, and you will almost certainly have seen some of the products by the Korean company, Etude House.

Their name is inspired by the practice songs known as “Etudes”, by the classical musician Chopin. The idea of the songs was to perfect the mastery of performance, and this is a sentiment which this K-beauty brand has taken on with its own products that aim to help beginners discover and master their true beauty.

This moisturiser is an excellent choice for anyone with dry skin, acne-prone skin, or anyone who wants a low maintenance skin care routine. It contains 63.4% super collagen water, which supplies abundant moisture, while the gel-like texture of the cream makes it easily absorbed for a hydrating effect, without leaving you feeling sticky.

Key Ingredients:

  • 63% super collagen water
  • Baobab oil


  • Effective for acne-prone skin
  • Comes with an application spatula
  • 120 hours of water effect


  • Fragranced

4. Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Lotion

Finding the right moisturiser for oily skin can be a difficult task. So many offer to help rehydrate dry skin, but it can be tough to find an option that will help to achieve smooth, clear, moisturised skin for people with oily or combination skin.

That’s where this moisturiser stands out amongst the others. Moisturisers can often feel heavy, but this is a thin, light moisturiser, that isn’t greasy and is particularly good or refreshing oily skin.

It uses gentle moisture replenishment with sixteen types of amino acids, in order to help to restore clean and dewy skin. The moisturiser has a non-sticky, watery texture and delivers a moisture burst to the skin to help to enhance its suppleness and keep it soft.

Being so high in amino acids, it is excellent for hydration and moisture, while the use of fresh beauty green tea leaves in the ingredients provides excellent nourishing and moisturising benefits to the skin.

Innisfree is a brand that represents so many core aspects of K-beauty. It is brought to you from the South Korean island, Jeju. This is an island that keeps nature as a key value, and is actually run separately from the mainland. It has an eco-friendly, green, way of life, which is brought to you by Innisfree.

Key Ingredients:

  • Green tea leaves


  • Great for oily or combination skin
  • Light moisturiser
  • Not greasy


  • Sharp green tea scent (some people will like it, for others it might be a little strong)

5. Mamonde Floral Moisture Cream

Here we have a high-end moisturiser for those with dry skin who are looking to purchase a cream that is at the more expensive end of the price range. Mamonde has brought out this floral moisture cream which works as a daily face moisturiser to be included in part of your K-beauty skin care routine.

This is a lightweight cream that provides intensive hydration to help retain the essential moisture from your skin to give you a glowing complexion. For the best results, you should use it after cleansing and toning your face, and then massage a small amount of the moisturiser in an upward motion onto your face.

Mamonde’s floral moisture cream uses hibiscus flower extract as its special ingredient. The hibiscus is also known as a rose mallow, and it’s a large, showy flower, which can be found all over the world. It is a hardy and versatile flower, with hundreds of species.

Some are eaten, some are served in tea, and others have medical uses in Indian Ayurveda. In this moisturiser, Mamonde explains that the natural acids in the hibiscus should help to purify your skin, leaving it with a healthy complexion.

The floral moisture cream also has a double moisture barrier. This means that after moisturising your skin, the ceramides then lock the moisture in, so that your skin can remain soft all through the day.

It is also fast absorbing, so that your skin can take in as many of the nutritive features as possible, from the first moment it is applied.

Key Ingredients:

  • Hibiscus flower extract
  • Ceramides


  • Light, but creamy texture
  • Intensive hydration
  • Double moisture barrier to lock the moisture in


  • Expensive

6. Mizon All-In-One Snail Repair Cream

Okay, so if you’ve been doing some research into K-beauty skin care products, you might have noticed that some of the products seem to mention snails. You might be thinking that is to do with the application of the cream, or perhaps the packaging in which the product arrives.

What you might not expect is that a number of products do in fact include snails in them. Well, they contain snail mucus extract. It has been used for human ailments ever since the Ancient Greeks, and now it is uber popular in South Korea.

The snail mucus extract includes proteins, antioxidants and elastin, among other benefits, which all work together to help you have healthier skin. Plus, it contains copper peptides, which are known to promote collagen production, while also removing damaged collagen, and of course this leads to your skin looking rejuvenated and glowing.

This moisturiser by Mizon is 92% snail mucus extract, so it is excellent for skin regeneration and recovery, including anyone who is looking for an anti-aging cream that will help to smooth away the wrinkles.

It also works well on blemishes and acne scars, leaving your face smoother and clearer. This all-in-one snail repair cream provides pore care that creates healthy, elastic, bright skin, thanks to the nutritive properties of the snail mucus extract.

It is best suited to dry skin and its natural ingredients are effective as a non-irritant cream.

Key Ingredients:

  • Snail mucus extract
  • Raspberry extract


  • Smoothes wrinkles
  • Reduces blemishes and dark spots
  • Elasticity
  • Contains popular K-beauty product, snail secretion extract


  • If you’re squeamish, you may not enjoy that it contains snail mucus extract

7. Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream

If you have dry skin, irritable skin, or an inflamed skin condition such as eczema, then you’ll know the pain and suffering that winter can bring to your skin. To start with you might just think that you have a couple of dry patches.

Then, if they don’t clear up, you might start to see it growing, getting more irritable and often more painful. It is then that you remember that this happens every year as the weather changes.

Well, don’t worry. Dr. Jart has you covered so that you shouldn’t face the same problems this winter. The Dr. Jart ceramidin cream plumps dry, rough skin and enhances the natural strength of the skin too, so that it looks and feels smoother and softer.

The microcapsule ceramides hydrate your skin barrier from within, which helps to keep your skin better hydrated, and the moisture from the cream is released throughout the day.

This is a lighter moisturiser than the ones that you might get from a pharmacy, but it feels heavier than a lot of casual moisturisers which is part of what makes it such a great choice for anyone who suffers from dry skin.

Key Ingredients:

  • Aloe vera
  • No parabens, sulfates or phthalates


  • Great for dry skin
  • Hydrates the skin from within
  • Only need to use a small amount


  • Heavier than some creams that are less heavy-duty
  • More expensive than some options

8. Skin&Lab Dr. Color Effect Red Cream

Skin&Lab are super proud of this moisturiser, and rightly so. They are keen to share with the world that it is the only item on the market which is made with one million damascus rose stem cells.

You might be wondering why they would bother with those cells in the first place. Well, their fine molecular structure means that they provide a higher rate of skin absorption, to provide the best skin condition, plus they have a strong antioxidant effect.

The various berries that are included also help because they contain acids which help to protect the skin and resist against collagen damage.

In contrast to so many other options on the market, this moisturiser is marketed for both men and women. That’s not to say that the others won’t work for men, but the fragrance on this one is more neutral.

It is also a great option because it can be used as both a morning and a night cream. If you have oily or combination skin rather than dry skin, it might be better to just use this moisturiser at night, so that it has time to sink into your skin without making you break out, but if you have normal or dry skin, you can use this at the start and end of the day if you wish.

It’s a great all-in-one cream. It helps to revitalise fatigued skin, brighten uneven tone, calm sensitive skin, and tighten sagging skin. All in all, this red cream moisturiser helps to produce natural face brightening, as well as rehydrating your skin.

Key Ingredients:

  • Damascus Rose Stem Cells
  • Pomegranate
  • Raspberry
  • Blueberry
  • Açaí berry
  • Cloudberry
  • Goji berry


  • One million Damascus rose stem cells
  • All-in-one cream
  • Suitable for men and women
  • Can be used for day and night


  • Better for dry skin than oily or combination skin

9. Ladykin Affinitic Snail Cream

Here we have another Korean moisturiser that contains snail extract, but this one is loud and proud about its ties to the snails. Standing out from the other options that come in tubs and tubes of various sizes, this one comes in the cutest snail tub.

It’s a pastel-pink tub that’s almost rose shaped, but then you realise that the tub is also the snail shell, which is sitting on a little snail body. If you’re looking for an adorable skin product to add to your collection then this is definitely the one for you. Although of course it has a lot of benefits for your skin too.

The snail secretion extract in this moisturiser once again works to improve the skin’s natural elasticity, as well as the tone and texture. This is something that has more use for more mature skin, while the adenosine helps to diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles, to help contribute to a rejuvenating effect.

The Ladykin Affinitic Skin Cream is packed full of goodness, including vitamins that protect the skin from irritants, and shea butter, which helps to purify the skin at a cellular level, while also cleansing it, to leave your skin looking bright and luminous.

Key Ingredients:

  • Snail secretion extract
  • Shea butter
  • Lavender extract
  • Peppermint extract
  • Vitamins A, C and E



  • Some people have reported pilling

10. Tonymoly The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream

The final moisturiser in a list of the ten best Korean moisturisers is The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream, brought to you by Tonymoly (what a name!). Tonymoly has been a leading brand in Korean beauty skin care products for well over a decade now.

Based in the South Korean capital city, Seoul, you can be sure that this brand knows what it’s doing when it comes to K-beauty. This moisturiser comes with pure fermented green tea extract.

This means that it is high in antioxidants, which brings great moisturising benefits to the skin. But it’s not just any green tea. The Chok Chok collection uses “ChungTaeJeon”, which is the world’s first, naturally fermented green tea.

It is fermented for over a year, which leads to its ability to provide great hydration and moisturising properties. It also contains lemon seed oil, which is filled with antibacterial and antifungal properties, plus it contains rosewood oil, which is known for being soothing and relaxing.

The gentle, natural products make this moisturiser a great choice for anyone with acne-prone skin, or with oily or combination skin. It helps to moisturise and smooth your skin, without making it breakout or go greasier. It is a great example of all that K-beauty skin care products have to offer.

Key Ingredients:

  • Fermented Korean green tea
  • Lemon seed oil
  • Rosewood oil


  • Great for oily or combination skin, or acne-prone skin
  • Uses fermented Korean green tea
  • Not greasy
  • Works well for men and women


  • More expensive than a lot of options

What to Consider When Buying

What type of skin do you have?

It is always important to consider what skin type you have before purchasing a skin care product, but it is particularly important with moisturisers.

While they can work amazingly for hydrating skin, if you get the wrong type then it can make oily skin greasier, combination skin breakout, or dry skin irritable. So make sure to pick one that will work best for you.

How often do you want to moisturise?

Some of these moisturisers are intense, and they might be best to be used just once a week, for a deep, long-lasting moisturise. Others are best for leaving on overnight, to rehydrate damaged skin away from the elements.

And some are a lighter moisturiser to be used to give your face a glow before you set out for the day. Take the time to think about what you want from your moisturiser before you purchase one.

Why is Korean beauty so popular?

Korean beauty, also known as K-beauty, has a whole range of skin care products that target different aspects of your skin health. What sets K-beauty apart from standard American products lies in the ingredients that are included.

You’ll tend to find a lot more natural and holistic ingredients, which often have centuries of traditions behind them. We’ve only to see the popularity of snail secretion extract to see that they are trying some things that might be lacking in other places of the world.


Well now you’ve seen our list of the best ten Korean moisturisers, hopefully you feel like you’re in a much better place for making any purchasing decisions. We’ve seen different moisturisers that work better for different skins, from dry to oily, acne-prone to mature.

We’ve also taken a look at some of the different ingredients that can be included, which shows the huge variety of ingredients that K-beauty products are using these days. Hopefully now you feel ready to pick the right moisturiser for you.

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