Whether your skincare routine has 10-steps or not, exfoliating your complexion is a non-negotiable matter. Using exfoliants encourages the skin to shed dead cell buildup, making room for new, healthier cells. This translates into an evener tone, less visible fine lines, diminished hyperpigmentation, fewer pimples, and a healthy glow. And what can you rely on most, if not those who put glass, flawless, and illuminated skin on a pedestal? K-beauty shot into the mainstream and raised the standards for effective skincare, creating products that deliver impossible not to love. Today we focus on the best Korean exfoliators that will help you reveal bright, infallible skin over time, meeting your stringent pinnacle in terms of formula, texture, and effectiveness.
The best Korean exfoliators
Scroll on and pick your favorite:
Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder
If you’re a starter who wants to gently add an exfoliator into your routine, starting with Amore Pacific’s Enzyme Cleansing Powder is just ideal. The powder texture transforms into a rich foam once activated with water, working to remove all traces of makeup, residues, and pollution as gently and effectively as possible without stripping moisture. While green tea enzymes offer mild exfoliation, corn starch, allantoin, trehalose, and sodium hyaluronate soothe and do not allow the cleanser to leave the skin tight.
Neogen Dermatology Bio Peel Gauze Peeling
These K-beauty pads are soaked in a mix of alpha-hydroxy acids that dissolve impurities and remove dead cells for clear, luminous skin. In addition, the MVP of the formula, resveratrol, not only strengthens the antioxidant defense to prevent free radical damage, but it works to brighten dark patches making this product the perfect pick if you’re struggling with uneven tone.
Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is the best K-beauty exfoliant for acne-prone skin types that struggle with excess oil, large pores, and blackheads. Loaded with 4% willow bark water plus betaine salicylate, it unclogs pores and balances oil, helping prevent further blemishes in a liquid formula that you can wipe across your face twice a week. The niacinamide, panthenol, and sodium hyaluronate ensure your skin won’t ever dry out but stay clear and refined.
Peach & Lily Super Reboot Resurfacing Mask
Exfoliate, resurface and retexturize with one of the most beloved K-beauty exfoliators that come in a mask form. Helped by a blend of 10% glycolic acid, 0.5% salicylic acid, and blue agave (hence, the color), it de-gunks and removes dead skin, encouraging cell turnover for a smoother, evener visage. Meanwhile, the addition of hyaluronic acid, cica, aloe, and panthenol soothe the complexion, leaving it radiant and glowy. The refreshing gel-like texture layers smoothly, making you look further to using it — don’t use it more than twice weekly, tho.
Saturday Skin Rub-A-Dub Refining Peel Gel
For a natural Korean exfoliator, Saturday Skin Rub-A-Dub Refining Peel Gel stands out because it has a gentle formula that delicately removes dead cells, excess oil, and debris with pineapple and papaya enzymes. Not only does it leaves skin clean and fresh, but it also works to seal moisture and replenish it with a blend of peptides, natural oils, and vitamin E. Everything is in a lightweight, mild formula that lacks fragrances, sulfates, and parabens.
Some By Mi AHA-BHA-PHA Miracle Toner
This miracle toner is perfect if you want a gentle exfoliation that still delivers while keeping the risk of irritation to a minimum. It’s made with papaya enzyme, salicylic acid, and lactobionic acid, packing serious results when it comes to minimizing pore look, sloughing off dead cells, and brightening skin. Not just a one-trick pony, it’s also spiked with green tea, sodium hyaluronate, allantoin, and adenosine to enhance moisture and hydration. Plus, the toner works at a 5.5 pH to balance and calm skin.
Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil – AHA
Glycolic and lactic acids get the biggest hype among AHAs, and this cleansing oil has them both. It’s the best Korean exfoliator in an oil-like cleanser form that gets rid of makeup, sebum, and debris, entering the pores to unclog and minimize their appearance. Additionally, the formula packs a punch of botanical oils, vitamin E, and amino acids to keep skin moist and soft while preserving hydration. Gentle enough for daily use.
Skinfood Black Sugar Wash-Off Face Mask
A great exfoliator doesn’t have to cost the earth. Skinfood Black Sugar Wash-Off Face Mask is made with black sugar (sucrose) to gently buff away dull and dead cells, whilst macadamia seed oil, shea butter, and vitamin E leave your complexion softer and smoother than ever. As an added bonus, the exfoliant mask smells amazing, besides being super effective at polishing and clearing skin. And it costs no more than 10 bucks.