Everything you need for an effective 5 step korean skincare routine for oily skin.
Sometimes having oily skin can seem like the worst thing on the planet. If you can relate you’ve probably gotten the occasional, “why is your skin so oily?” as if you purposely slathered oil all over your skin. No, we’re just born with it and it sucks.
Having oily skin can have its pros, the main one being we tend to age better and it’s nice to have a natural glow.
But when it comes to picking the right products, the kind of products that won’t have us looking oilier than a frying pan at the end of the day, that’s when the trouble starts. Because sure most skincare products are usable on oily skin, but formulations made specifically for oily skin are a bit harder to find. And when I do find them, some are way out of most people’s budget.
Korean skincare is super inclusive. Some skincare brands have entire product lines dedicated to oily skin and Korean sunscreens tend to lack a white cast. When I really need a lightweight moisturizer or sunscreen I know won’t leave my skin feeling heavy, I almost always turn to Korean skincare.
So if you need a simple and affordable 5 step Korean skincare routine for oily skin, then keep reading for the ultimate guide.
What order should I do my Korean skincare routine for oily skin?
No matter the skin type, whether dry or oily, most people will benefit from applying their skincare in the standard order. That is Cleanser > toner > serum/treatment > moisturizer. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, a common one being people who use a prescription grade tretinoin, often apply their moisturizer first as a buffer for the intense ingredient. Some persons, especially those with oily skin, skip the moisturizing step in their routine depending on how moisturizing their sunscreen is.
5 Step Korean Skincare Routine For Oily Skin
Cleansing is the first step in your skincare routine for so many reasons. The most important being- having a clean base for the rest of your products. According to Dermatologist Lela Lankerani on westlakedermatology.com, she writes “Without washing, your skin would be covered with a thick layer of dirt and grime which make it difficult for other products to penetrate the skin properly”
Choosing the right cleanser
Know your skin type and sensitivity. Oily skin works best with foam or gel cleansers and If your skin is a bit sensitive like mine, stay clear of heavily fragranced washes with excessive additives.
Best Korean Cleansers For Oily Skin
ETUDE SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser
This Etude House cleanser is an extremely gentle cleanser, free of harsh ingredients such as surfactants and mineral oils. Most people who use this cleanser report how gentle this cleanser is, leaving the skin completely clean with no irritation or stripping.
COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser
According to COSRX this cleanser is a Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser that reduces acne breakouts and promotes clearer skin; Salicylic Acid removes dead skin cell and make room for new skin cell; It also contains Tea Tree Leaf Oil which has anti-inflammatory effect and sterilization action; Micro creamy Soap System makes perfect cleansing
There is a huge debate within the general skincare community on whether toners and/or essences are necessary. The general consensus is that they are not. However, when it comes to Korean and Japanese skincare, toners and essences are one of, if not the most important step in a skincare routine.
According to Paula’s Choice, a super popular skincare brand, “Toners are state-of-the-art liquid moisturizers that actually enhance skin’s surface, giving it what it needs to look fresher, smoother, and hydrated.”
They also write that when it comes to oily skin, toners can reduce the look of enlarged pores and excessive oil.
If you started skincare at a young age, you might be familiar with alcohol-based toners such as this one from Clean and Clear or older Neutrogena toners. The cooling effect feels great but these toners are horrible for the skin, and might even have the opposite effect that most properly formulated toners have.
Best Korean Toners For Oily Skin
COSRX Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner
COSRX is a brand founded on the premise of affordable and effective skincare. Their products are amazing because they have multiple lineups targeting different skin concerns with a wide variety to choose from.
This toner is formulated for oily to combination skin. It’s made to soothe, plump and hydrate the skin without irritation and the heaviness associated with other viscous toners. Its formulated with honey extract and propolis, ingredients known for their hydrating and anti-aging effects. According to COSRX, All COSRX products are formulated with skin-friendly ingredients that alleviate irritated skin.
ISNTREE Green Tea Fresh Hydrating Face Toner
Isntree states this product is formulated with non-irritating, natural ingredients, providing all-day and night-long moisturization. It helps to restore moisture and oil balance on the skin. The hydrating formula will be absorbed deeply through the layer of skin in seconds without clogging pores or heavy feeling.
Its main ingredient, green tea is high in Amino acids, Minerals, Polyphenol, and Protein to relieve skin stress and irritation and revitalize your skin.
The step in your skincare routine guaranteed to deliver the most important ingredient is the treatment step, aka your serum.
Serums are usually in a small bottle of at least 30ml because of their ingredient concentration. More often than not a serum contains active ingredients such as BHA’s and AHA’s or skin brightening ingredients such as niacinamide or vitamin C. Serums can also be formulated for extra hydration such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin based serums.
Serums are usually applied after a cleanser, and in this case also after your toner and before your moisturizer. While there are a variety of serums with stronger ingredients, Korean skincare focuses on brightening and hydrating the skin so their most popular serums reflect such.
Best Korean Serums For Oily Skin
numbuzin No.3 Skin Softening Serum
This product went super viral, especially for Korean beauty enthusiasts and with good reason. It is one of the best serums for anyone suffering from skin texture (as people with oily skin do) and it’s made to help soften the overall feel of the skin.
It’s made with fermented Bifida. According to Numbuzin, fermented ingredients improve skin tone and texture by strengthening the skin. The serum is lightweight enough for comfortable use on every skin type, including oily skin. This serum is the perfect everyday serum to add to your 5 step Korean skincare routine for oily skin.
Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop
I have seen the most brightening effects after incorporating vitamin c into my skincare routine. This vitamin C by Dear Klairs is super effective and unlike other vitamin c serums, they’ve managed to stabilize their formula so you won’t have to worry about it possibly going bad.
According to Dear Klairs, this is a multi-functional serum that helps with irritation, scar, prevent breakouts and minimize pore, fades brown spots, and protects the skin from pigmentation from occurring.
Common benefits of Vitamin C in skincare:
1. Reduce Hyperpigmentation
2. Reduce under-eye circles
3. Brighten the skin
Finding a good moisturizer is easy, but finding one formulated for oily skin is a little bit harder. You could go with whatever moisturizer is popular- been there, done that and looking like a grease ball at the end of the day is no longer on my list of priorities.
So how do you find a moisturizer for oily skin? The simple answer is the formulation. All products are formulated differently, especially moisturizers. You could get away with using a heavy serum or toner, but moisturizers stick to the skin like nothing else because one of the main benefits of a moisturizer is to protect your skin from environmental irritants and lock in whatever you applied previously.
The best moisturizers for oily skin you can find are gel-based, lightweight formulas that disappear into the skin so your skin is lightweight and properly protected.
Best Korean Moisturizers For Oily Skin
ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Gel Cream
Hyaluronic acid is the cult favourite ingredient when it comes to skin staying hydrated and plumb. And while that ingredient is one of the best hydrators, I found moisturizers formulated around the ingredient tend to be on the heavier side
The ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Gel Cream is a Korean moisturizer focused on providing the highest form of hydration in a formula designed to still feel lightweight on the skin.
According to the brand it’s formulated with 5 types of hyaluronic acid. Non-irritating, natural ingredients provide all-day and night-long moisturization. Along with Argan oil to protect the skin and helps to restore moisture and oil-balance.
IUNIK Centella Calming Gel Cream
IUNIK Centella Calming Gel Cream is another lightweight gel formula designed to moisturize the skin without a heavy feeling. It contains active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, both designed to gently brighten and plump the skin.
According to the brand, this moisturizer will be absorbed deeply through the layer of skin in seconds without clogging pores or leaving a heavy feeling. Its formulated with botanical ingredients such as centella asiatica extract, tea tree extract, well-known soothing ingredient that heals and strengthens the skin.
SPF is the final and most important step in the skincare routine.
Like moisturizers, finding the right sunscreen for oily can be an uphill battle, especially for people with oily skin. The first step in finding a sunscreen is making sure it has SPF 30 or higher for proper UV protection.
I tried avoiding sunscreen at the beginning of my skincare journey because I hated how heavy most were. But with proper research and trial and error. I’ve found multiple screens that work with oily skin types.
Common benefits of wearing sunscreen:
1. Prevents premature signs of ageing
2. Reduces risk of skin cancer
3. Prevents sunburn
4. Maintains an even skin tone
5. Prevents tanning and sunspots
Best Korean Sunscreens For Oily Skin
ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel
This is the sunscreen to the moisturizer mentioned above. It’s a lightweight formula perfect for oily skin. Formulated with hyaluronic to moisturize and plump the skin. It isn’t always recommended but sometimes I skip my moisturizer when using sunscreens like this one.
A’PIEU Pure Block Daily Sunscreen Cream
According to the brand this SPF protects your skin from harmful UVA & UVB rays.
Its formula is non-sticky, non greasy and most important of all (especially for people with darker skin) it doesn’t leave a white cast. It’s a fast-absorbing formula that has a dewy & refreshing finish perfect for all skin types, including oily and combination skin.
When it comes to things we leave on our skin, especially moisturizes and sunscreen, Korean skincare is the best place to find formulas that won’t leave your skin feeling heavy. Use this 5 step korean skincare routine as a guide for lightweight and effective skincare.