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Top 5 Korean Exfoliators

April 26, 2023

Top 5 Korean Exfoliators

 Top 5 Korean Exfoliators


In Korean skin care, there are two main types of exfoliators used – chemical and physical. 

Chemical exfoliators are those made on a base of acids (think AHAs, BHAs and PHAs). Physical exfoliators (aka face scrubs) are manual type exfoliants, based on granulated textures, like sugar. 

In a typical Korean skin care routine, exfoliators are used after cleansers, usually during your nighttime routine. Regular exfoliation helps to clear the skin, leaving you with a luminous glow. By removing dead skin cells, your skin texture also improves. Exfoliants work to remove dull and dead skin, excess oil, and any buildup of impurities.  

Unlike otheskincare products, which are used daily, exfoliators only need to be used once or twice a week for great results. For those with sensitive skin, exfoliating once a week is ideal to help get rid of dead skin without irritation. 


What Are Korean Chemical Exfoliators? 

Chemical exfoliators use acids that help to remove dead skin. They work by increasing the rate of skin cell turnover and gently peeling away the outer layers of your skin. The chemical ingredients are able to penetrate into the pores to remove dead skin, to prevent common issues like blackheads and whiteheads. 

For more on Korean acids, tune into the Korean Beauty Show podcast:


What Are Korean Face Scrubs?

Facial scrubs are physical exfoliators. They contain granulated substances that you rub on your skin to buff away dull, dead skin. In Korean skin care, common face scrub ingredients include black sugar, rice, and the rinds of fruits. 


Top 5 Korean Exfoliators


Which Korean exfoliator is best for my skin? 

The perfect Korean exfoliator and scrub for you depends on your skin type and skin concerns.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, the best exfoliator would be the one that has gentle ingredients. Opt for products that contain ingredients like lactic acid and fruit acids or milder granules like peeling gels. 

If you have oily, acne-prone skin, opt for chemical exfoliators that contain BHA or clay. These will deeply cleanse the pores, eliminate blackheads and control excess oil. Face scrubs that contain sugar granules are also a good fit to gently slough away dead skin and dry patches. 


Top 5 Korean Exfoliators

Top 5 Korean Exfoliators: Subi Holo Dream Mask & Brush 

STYLE STORY's most popular Korean exfoliator, this face mask & brush kit has the lot! In just 5 minutes it offers:

  1. Detoxifying
  2. Skin Brightening
  3. Pore Tightening
  4. Texture Refining

This handy mask kit also doubles as a makeup primer, leaving your skin with a subtle holographic glow that's a perfect base for your makeup. 

Unlike many other clay masks on the market,v it contains zero fragrances or essential oils, which can irritate sensitive skin and rosacea.  Instead, it contains Australian Kakadu Plum, Ceramides, Sodium Hyaluronate and Kaolin. 

Subi's formula is perfect for sensitive skin and damaged skin because it is 100% free from:

  • Alcohol
  • Synthetic fragrance
  • Essential oils
  • Mineral oil
  • Sulfate detergents
  • Parabens, urea, DEA, PEGs TEA or phthalates 

Top 5 Korean Exfoliators

Top 5 Korean Exfoliators: Jelly Ko Cinnamon Toast Sugar Scrub Foam 

If you love sugary cinnamon treats, then you'll adore Jelly Ko Cinnamon Toast Sugar Scrub Foam (100g).

This 100% customizable cleanser & exfoliant in one allows you to adjust the sugar exfoliation at every wash. 

You choose between a foam cleanse or an exfoliation at every routine.

As a Cleanser: Dissolve the sugar crystals in your palms first, before applying the foam to a wet face. Voila - it's a regular cleanser! 

As an Exfoliant: Apply the scrub to a damp face and gently massage it in. Voila - it exfoliates, dissolving the dirt and debris clogging pores. Watch it melt into a creamy foam that thoroughly cleanses.    

Who Should Use Cinnamon Toast Sugar Scrub Foam?

  • All Skin Types (for sensitive skin, we recommend dissolving the sugar crystals in your palms first before applying to your face) 
  • Those with congestion, clogged pores or skin that isn't smooth 
  • Anyone looking for multi-use products to simplify your skincare routine 
  • Those with anti-aging concerns, looking to minimise the appearance of fine lines
  • Everyone who loves Cinnamon Toast!

Top 5 Korean Exfoliators

Top 5 Korean Exfoliators: COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

This best-selling chemical exfoliant clears dead skin to assist with breakouts. It also provides skin brightening benefits for a more even skin tone.

COSRX's Power Liquid is a powerful BHA skin treatment that is designed to prevent the formation of blemishes before they even occur. 

Unlike most Western BHA products, COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is formulated using betaine salicylate rather than the more common salicylic acid. We love it because it's not as drying as other BHA products.  

Top 5 Korean Exfoliators: COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Toner 

If you're looking for a more gentle chemical exfoliant that's suitable for teen skin, then Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner is ideal. This daily toner exfoliates, cleanses, and prevents whiteheads, blackheads and blemishes with organic AHA/BHA molecules. It is made to hydrate and rejuvenate the skin.

Infused with natural acne-fighting acids, this toner controls excess oil and sebum while nourishing and hydrating skin.

Top 5 Korean Exfoliators

Top 5 Korean Exfoliators: Beauty of Joseon Apricot Peeling Gel

This peeling gel is a manual exfoliant made with spring apricot blossom, plum and apple extracts. It uses natural fruit enzymes to exfoliate dead and dull skin. 

If you're looking to hit refresh on dull, tired looking skin you can't go wrong with this gentle natural peeling gel. We love it because it is perfect to use once or twice a week. In addition to getting rid of dirt and debris that have built up on the surface of the skin, it also helps to reveal the shiny, smooth skin hiding underneath.

The formula contains a variety of humectants (water-binding ingredients) which ensure you skin is not stripped of its natural oils. Further, it can help to improve your skin's dull, rough texture. 


Need help finding the best exfoliator or best exfoliating scrub? 

Reach out to the team of KBeauty experts at STYLE STORY and we would be happy to match you with your perfect Korean skincare product.


STYLE STORY – Your Go To for Kbeauty Since 2014 

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"The perfect Korean exfoliator and scrub for you depends on your skin type and skin concerns."


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