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11 best Korean cleansers for clean, hydrated and glowing skin

Korean beauty products are the newest fad, and their water-based cleansers are amongst the best. These cleansers do a fantastic job of taking off dirt and grime from the face while maintaining the skin’s pH balance, and come in such a wide range of formulations that you’re bound to discover something that works well for your skin – without any adverse side effects.

Best Korean cleansers to get clean and hydrated skin with

Before we dive right into our favourite water-based cleansers, we want to reiterate that a good rule of thumb for fabulous skin is to always cleanse it thoroughly, whether you have makeup on or not. The crucial step not only gets rid of all of the excess dirt, makeup, and impurities you’ve accumulated throughout the day, but also helps prevent breakouts, skin fatigue, and premature ageing in the long run.

Korean cleansers are one of the best because they’re not only known to be gentle, but also nourishing and pH-balancing, so your skin won’t be stripped of its natural moisture. Instead, you’ll be left with a clean canvas for the rest of your Korean skincare routine, such as essences, sheet masks, and moisturisers.

best korean beauty cleansers the saem jeju fresh aloe
(Image credit: @keauty_msk)

What differentiates K-beauty cleansers from others on the market?

Cleansers from K-beauty brands are known to be highly effective, and the majority of them are made with natural ingredients.

And if you’re looking to get into the double cleansing method that all South Koreans live by, here’s a good place to start. The two-step routine requires you to wash your face with an oil-based cleanser first, followed by a water-based cleanser. The first step draws out oil-based impurities such as SPF, sebum, and pollutants while the second step strips off debris like sweat and dirt. It’s said to be an essential step in achieving the clear, glass skin that many Korean celebrities and K-pop stars flaunt.

10 best Korean water-based cleansers to invest in

Formulated with Jeju volcanic clusters, this daily cleansing foam promises to remove impurities in the pores and absorbs excess sebum to keep your face clean. Its rich and plush whipped cream-like lather helps thoroughly cleanse and leaves skin feeling fresh after cleansing, without the typical tightness that most cleansers bring.


If you have sensitive skin, you can’t risk using the wrong products or something that is too harsh on it. Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser contains amino acids, which makes it exceptionally mild and keeps your skin hydrated after each wash. The formulation contains hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and olive oil, which moisturise your skin without causing irritation.


If you like foamy cleansers, this one’s for you. The gentle brightening cleansing foam is enriched with rice extracts and works up into a whipped cream like-texture to thoroughly cleanse your skin. The natural rice water solution also brings brightening properties, so you’re left with glowing, radiant skin after each wash.

Rs 590

A rich source of copper peptides, snail secretion filtrate – a key ingredient in Mizon’s Snail Cushion Foam Cleanser – is renowned for its ability to accelerate healing and optimise cellular repair and renewal processes, so skin appears smooth, firm and luminous. The deep-cleansing formula lathers into a slightly ‘sticky’ foam that clings to impurities and helps to purify pores and diminish the visibility of blackheads. Hydrating and softening is the perfect first step in the Mizon ‘snail repair’ ritual and the perfect way to clarify all complexions without leaving skin feeling taut, dry or uncomfortable.

Approx. S$30

Infused with nourishing duckweed, brightening citrus peel, and extracts harvested from the delicate inner shells of chestnuts, this cleanser lathers into a rich foam thanks to nonionic cleansing components to give a deeper cleanse while leaving skin hydrated, soft and balanced. Ideal for normal, combination and oily skin types, it washes away to leave a semi-dewy finish and a refreshed, hydrated feel.


Wipe away the day with COSRX’s Low-pH ‘Good Morning’ gel cleanser. Smooth and lightweight, this Korean cleanser is one of the best in the market today, and glides across your skin to effortlessly removing any trace of makeup, SPF or grime. The formula works to respect the natural 5-6 pH level that your skin requires, allowing the botanical ingredients to effectively cleanse without leaving your base stripped of natural essential oils.


The Korean water-based cleanser has a unique cream-to-foam formula that, when applied, penetrates the pores and eliminates acne, blackheads, and dead skin cells, leaving behind flawlessly hydrated skin. Charcoal is present here, and helps remove dirt and oil from the pores, while zinc calms the skin. The antioxidant qualities of the mushroom in this Korean cleanser works as a protective barrier for the skin.


Made with 70% tea tree leaf water, this cleansing water goes beyond simply removing stubborn makeup and impurities. It also protects the skin with acne-fighting tea tree leaf extract oil alongside the tea tree water. With only 10 ingredients and no fragrance, this is a cleansing water that does double duty, effectively removing dirt and grime from pores while treating them with antibacterial ingredients to keep sebum in check and prevent pimples from forming.

Approx. S$25.60

The award-winning Saem Healing Tea Garden Tea Tree Cleansing Water is a one-step skin-friendly cleanser that doesn’t require rinsing off, and works to eliminate pollutants and makeup while regulating sebum levels on the pores. The water-based product contains Australian tea tree ingredient that removes excessive sebum in pores, as well as edelweiss flower, mallow flower and alchemilla vulgaris extracts to soothe the skin after a long day.


The amazing blend of ingredients in Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser makes it ideal for oily, combination, or acne-prone skin. The core component is fermented green tea extract, which soothes, calms, brightens, moisturises, and nourishes the skin. Although mild, the cleanser eliminates sweat, dust, grime, and other pollutants from your skin without stripping it of its natural oils. The cleanser is also lightweight and hydrating.

Approx. S$27

Packed with antioxidant-rich blueberries, hyaluronic acid, and gentle AHAs, Glow Recipe’s Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser not only smells delicious, but also protects, hydrates, and gently exfoliates the skin to leave it radiant and glowy.

11 best Korean cleansers for clean, hydrated and glowing skin

Anushka Narula

Anushka likes to write about fashion, beauty, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she likes to make her Pinterest boards come to life.


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