people's choice

The Best (Lesser-Known) Korean-Beauty Skin Care on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Amazon

With its emphasis on nourishing hydration, gentle ingredients, and a natural, lit-from-within glow, Korean beauty has grown in the last few years from a seeming fad to a major player in the beauty industry. And while we’ve written about lots of Korean beauty products — including the best vegan K-beauty products, the blogger-approved Korean skin-care products, and Korean spa mitts for baby-smooth skin — here, we’ve rounded up the best Korean beauty products as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon. We’ve organized this a little differently from our other People’s Choice posts, since K-beauty products run the gamut from serums to sheet masks. So we have a best-rated pick, but no less-expensive favorite. Instead, we’ve included the best in each category of skin-care product — as well as a couple of extremely well-reviewed masks for your feet and hair that we just couldn’t pass up.

Related Articles: Best Snail Mucin Products | Best Beauty Products Under $25

Best-rated Korean-beauty product

There are no shortage of Korean face masks to choose from on Amazon, but this brand (and this particular set) is by far the best-rated. More than 19,000 reviewers give this set of sheet masks five stars, and hundreds say the masks make their skin more hydrated. One reviewer whose skin was so dry and flaky they “literally ‘snow’ everywhere” uses these nightly and says “my face started to clear up in a couple of days.” The masks work on a variety of other skin-care woes, too. “Not only did I get bright and glowing skin, but most of my acne went away in literally one use,” one reviewer writes, while another, suffering from acne scars, says after two months, “I’ve seen SIGNIFICANT reduction in my scars they are almost completely gone.” But for many people, it comes down to one thing: “My favorite part about this product is the price.”

Best Korean-beauty cleansing balm

Shoppers love that this three-in-one cleansing balm melted away even tough-to-erase makeup. “This one is by far the best cleanser I have ever used. I always use thick waterproof mascara, and this cleanser COMPLETELY removes it,” one says. According to another, “I absolutely love it and feel stupid for not getting it sooner! Since using this stuff, I wash my face every night because it’s EASY, not messy, and literally takes less than five minutes.” And even though the balm deeply cleans skin, reviewers found it was very gentle and nonirritating. “This product does what it says it’s supposed to, and that’s to remove every little bit of makeup from your face. The best part is it does this without going Rambo on your skin,” they say. “This cleansing balm is gentle, soothing, and moisturizing. I have sensitive skin and a lot of products are too harsh, so this might be an item that those with sensitivity issues may want to try.”

Best Korean-beauty powder cleanser

Rice Bran Enzyme Powder Face Wash and Scrub

Reviewers say that this gentle powder cleanser is a (much) more affordable dupe of the $65 Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder we’ve written about before. “This is wonderful to use,” says one reviewer. “It starts off with some texture and then foams up to a creamy soft cleanser. It’s just as good as Tatcha and it smells better and costs a lot less. My skin is very soft afterwards.” Another reviewer likes that the cleanser exfoliates gently thanks to its powder formulation, which has “no harsh grits to hurt your sensitive skin. It is definitely comparable to [the] Tatcha rice cleanser without the hefty price tag.” As for how to apply it, “Just wet your face and hands, pour a nickel-sized amount in one hand and then spread it all over your face,” a third reviewer writes. “No tightness, no drying, no stinging. Magical.”

Best Korean-beauty double-cleansing duo

The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam and Cleansing Oil

Those looking for a double-cleansing duo found this pair from the Face Shop got the job done. “IT WORKS,” writes one reviewer. “I have been using this combination of products (along with toner, essence, ampoule, and serum) for about four days now and my skin has never looked so good. I have not broken out, and I have not seen a single dry flake. Would buy this again and again.” Another says, “Love this combo for a double cleanse. Oil cleanser feels nice and silky.” For those who haven’t tried double cleansing but want to, one shopper thinks these products would be a good place to start. “I have been looking into double cleansing for a while and bought this product since I heard it was good for beginners,” writes this recommender. “I was not disappointed! This product has been amazing. My skin is so much brighter and gives me the glow I’ve been looking for. My acne scars are less noticeable, and my skin tone is more even.”

Best Korean-beauty snail-mucin moisturizer

SeoulCeuticals Korean Skin Care Snail Repair Cream

There’s lots of benefits to using snail mucin in a skin-care routine, thanks to glycoproteins, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid, which help seal in moisture and make skin look dewey and glowy. And this mucin-packed moisturizer, which also tops our list of best-rated snail mucin skin-care products, is beloved by many reviewers because it helps solve a number of skin-care problems. “If there was only one product that I could purchase for my skin for the rest of my life, it would be this cream,” one reviewer says. “A couple of weeks after I started using this cream, I started getting compliments on my skin. It hydrates for a more youthful appearance, soothes my sensitive skin (removes redness), and helps with achieving the coveted ‘glass skin’ that has created a fixation with K-beauty.” Reviewers even note that it’s good for eczema, rosacea, and under-eye bags. Dozens have noticed an improvement in their wrinkles. “It has helped make a noticeable difference in the fine lines across my forehead and around the corners of my eyes,” one writes, while another says “A lot of the lines on my face, particularly the ones around my mouth, have virtually disappeared.”

Best Korean-beauty moisturizer for acne

Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream
From $17
From $17

This is another snail-mucin moisturizer, one that reviewers say has really helped with their acne. “I have problem acne around my jaw and neck,” one writes, “and it already seems to be helping that in the three days I’ve used it more than anything else I’ve tried.” Another says, “Because of my years of cystic acne, I have scarring on my cheeks, and I use this morning and night and my face is so soft and my cystic acne has become small and extremely manageable. Pimples that last one to two days at most and aren’t large and painful.” Because it works on both acne and scarring, one reviewer calls it a “truly multifunction cream”: “It has the power of calming down redness, reducing acne, fading hyperpigmentation. I have been using it for only two weeks and already saw a result.” It’s also lightweight, which means “it doesn’t feel tacky on my face, it leaves my skin feeling hydrated and supple, AND BONUS it’s really helped over the last year with my acne scarring.”

Best Korean-beauty sunscreen

Many reviewers who were once skeptical of using sunscreen on their acne-prone or sensitive skin are now daily users of this Etude House sunscreen. One fifty-year-old reviewer from Florida was compelled to start using sunscreen in order to protect her sensitive skin from aging, and appreciates that this one “is extremely light. Also, [it] gives me great coverage while giving skin a nice matted feel, even when I’m outside and sweating my face doesn’t get shiny.” Hundreds of other reviewers agree that compared to many greasy-feeling sunscreens, this one actually is “quite mattifying and drying. I used a serum and moisturizer underneath and it was perfect for my dry/combo skin,” as one puts it, before adding that this “holy grail product” also “wears well under foundation.” Reviewers with oily skin especially appreciate the product’s mattifying effect since it keeps oil “in check all day! It made my skin look dewy, healthy, [and] glowy, and not greasy oil slick,” writes one customer with self-described super oily skin, who agrees that it kept both her skin and makeup “looking fresh all day.”

Best Korean-beauty face peel

Dr.G Brightening Peeling Gel

One reviewer compares the experience of using this peeling gel to a “car crash — intensely disturbing to watch, but I could not look away from all the dead skin being lifted off my face. Every single dry and dull patch [is] gone and even my roughest spots feel like baby skin!” (They add that their “enlarged pores were immediately reduced and hardly noticeable … they have not looked this good since my 30s.”) Such disbelief seems to be a common emotion when using this gel — one reviewer writes that they used to think their face “was clean and the exfoliator I was using was doing a good job … Wrong … The first time I used it I was in shock, but as I continued to use it my skin feels tighter, less greasy, and some of my blemishes have started to disappear … I don’t know who this Dr. G is, but he/she did their thing with this product.” And a third reviewer likens using this gel to getting a scrub at a Korean spa: “When an ajumma gives you a scrub, she is scrubbing so hard you are positive she is scrubbing all the ugly you’ve had for the last 35 years off … That’s what this peel will do for you.”