Best Korean Exfoliator for Blackheads: 5 Top Favorites

Looking for the best Korean exfoliators for getting rid of blackheads for good?

I’ve got you covered!

Blackheads are the worst with a capital ‘W,’ but don’t worry; as usual, K-beauty comes to the rescue!

Below, we’re looking at the perfect exfoliators to help zap those nasty zits!

Let’s start with a quick look at our top picks, then keep reading for all the glorious details.

RELATED: 5 Best Korean Exfoliator for Combination Skin

Best Korean Exfoliator for Blackheads Top Picks at a Glance

If you see the value in these products and choose to purchase via my referral links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Check the table below for a side-by-side comparison of our favorites!

WINNER!
Preview
COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid 100ml
Top Benefit
Can be used by people of all skin types
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Best Ready for Use Pads
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DERMALOGY by NEOGENLAB CALMING CICA TREE (Cica Micellar Pad)
Top Benefit
Can be used for daily exfoliation
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Best Mask for Exfoliation
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innisfree Pore Clearing Cleansing Balm with Volcanic Clusters Face Cleanser
Top Benefit
Formulated with volcanic clusters to remove dead skin cells.
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5 Best Korean Exfoliator for Blackheads (Review)

Blackheads!!! Urggghhhh!!! Am I right? Why do they keep coming back???

I know, we’ve all sat in front of our mirrors (magnifying ones are BAE) and squeezed on our stubborn blackheads for what seems like hours, and yet these stubborn blackheads keep coming back.

Unlike our money which all goes down in the drain trying to find suitable products for blackheads. Not anymore. Korean skincare can take care of all your worries!

Ok, first. Blackheads are small bumps that appear on our skin, most noticeably our nose and chin, due to clogged hair follicles.

These clogged pores have a blackish tint to them, hence the name blackheads. Now that we’ve identified the enemy, let’s work on kicking it to the curb then, shall we?

The best Korean exfoliator for blackheads come bearing down from the clouds, ladies and gentlemen, wearing a red cape (it’s a Superman reference if you didn’t get that!).

1. COSRx BHA 4% Blackhead Power Liquid (Overall Winner) 

If you’ve gone through our extensive list of the best Korean exfoliators, you already the name COSRx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid keeps popping up.

COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid 100ml

Features

This chemical exfoliator is dedicated to working deep on your clogged pores and removing all skin impurities and debris.

The product is formulated with 4% BHA aka Betaine Salicylate that effectively diminishes the appearance of large pores and removes dead skin cells.

Its formula is made with natural ingredients like willow bark extracts, another well-known ingredient for acne that maximizes exfoliation without causing skin irritation.

Even with its potent formula, the product is safe for use every day. You could easily incorporate it into your skincare routine without fail.

The product is made with skin-friendly ingredients and is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

BenefitsDrawbacks
Packed with 4% BHA to remove blackheads.Very runny consistency.
Willow bark water further exfoliates the skin.Can be harsh on sensitive skin.
Gentle formula that can be used every day.
Free of harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
Can be used by people of all skin types.

How it compares to other products and why?

BHA is an active ingredient in several Korean products meant for skin concerns such as acne. The acidic formula works as a gentle exfoliator to effectively remove flaky skin and reveals a natural glow.

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2. Dermalogy by Neogenlab Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads (Best Ready for Use Pads)

We love this ready-to-use chemical exfoliant that is one of the most loved Korean beauty products.

DERMALOGY by NEOGENLAB CALMING CICA TREE (Cica Micellar Pad)

Features

These hypoallergenic pads are soaked in lemon, a Vitamin C-rich serum, formulated from various antioxidants and natural ingredients.

Packed with the goodness of lemon extract, lactic acid, and glycolic acid, this powerful exfoliator helps remove old skin cells and diminishes the appearance of pores.

Even with its potent formula, it can be used for daily exfoliation to promote cell turnover and prevent blackheads from showing their nasty face over and over. 

The cotton gauzes have three layers of a unique design structure that gently remove impurities, dirt, and dead skin cells without causing any irritation ever.

BenefitsDrawbacks
Dipped in the goodness of citric acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid.Formula is not a fit for sensitive skin.
Can be used for daily exfoliation.Pads can dry out after a while.
Hypoallergenic cotton pads that cause no allergic reaction.

How it compares to other products and why?

Neogenlab Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads remove dead skin layers and dull skin to reveal glass skin that is the ultimate result of Korean skincare.

3. Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clearing Clay Mask (Best Mask for Exfoliation) 

If you’re an avid masker (and pretty much all of us here are), then you’ll love the Innisfree Pore clearing clay mask.

innisfree Pore Clearing Cleansing Balm with Volcanic Clusters Face Cleanser

Features

This deep-cleansing clay mask is made with Jeju Super Volcanic clusters that absorb excess oil and sebum in the skin.

It has AHA, aka alpha-hydroxy acids, that gently exfoliate the skin and minimize the appearance of pores.

Lactic acid and walnut shells are added to exfoliate and smooth the skin.

Expert Tip

All you need is 20 minutes with this pore mask while you do whatever else.

You know, do your nails or a short Chloe Ting abs workout. Coz’ when the 20 minutes are up, you know you’re going to have clearer skin.

BenefitsDrawbacks
Formulated with volcanic clusters to remove dead skin cells.  Not meant for dry skin.
Gentle physical exfoliator.Contains artificial fragrances and parabens.
It can be used once or twice a week.

How it compares to other products and why?

With natural ingredients, the creamy clay mask helps exfoliate and minimize the appearance of large pores.

innisfree Pore Clearing Cleansing Balm with Volcanic Clusters Face Cleanser
  • Country Of Origin: Korea, Republic Of (South)
  • Ingredients: Water
  • Item Package Dimension: 2.0" L x 2.0" W x 5.0" H
  • Item Package Weight: 2.0 lb

Related: Top 5 Korean Exfoliators for Oily Skin

4. COSRx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner (Best Budget-friendly Option) 

COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, 5.07 fl.oz / 150ml

Features

This product is infused with AHA, aka alpha hydroxy acid, and BHAs to provide mild exfoliation to dull skin.

It works deeply to improve skin texture and skin tone while getting rid of dead skin cells.

Made with all-natural ingredients such as willow bark and apple fruit water, the toner works on all skin types, even sensitive skin types.

As with all COSRx products, this one is hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

The mist-type toner is gentle for use every day.

BenefitsDrawbacks
Gentle toner/exfoliator for daily use.The BHA amount is low to exfoliate deeply.
1% AHA Glycolic Acid and BHA Betaine Salicylate for gentle exfoliation.Spray bottle leaks product.
Made with all-natural ingredients.

How it compares to other products and why?

The 0.1% AHA and BHA remove dead skin cells and dullness without being too harsh on the skin.

Sale
COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, 5.07 fl.oz / 150ml | Exfoliating Facial Spray | Korean Skin Care, Hydrating, Mild Exfoliation, Vegan, Cruelty Free, Paraben Free
  • Gentle Exfoliating Toner: Formulated with AHA, BHA, and Purifying Botanical Ingredients, our toner improves skin texture, skin vitality, and control pores.
  • Soothes, Refreshes & Softens Skin: 0.1% of AHA Glycolic Acid and BHA Betaine Salicylate helps remove dullness and dead skin cells.
  • Made with Natural Ingredients: 10% of Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Water and Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Water, our mist type toner is gentle enough for daily use on all skin types.
  • Use as a Toner Mask: Saturate a cotton pad with the toner and use as a toner mask for immediate hydration.
  • COSRX Standards: Clean Beauty - All COSRX products are formulated with skin-friendly ingredients that alleviate irritated skin. Hypoallergenic, Dermatologist tested, Cruelty-FREE, Parabens-FREE, Sulfates-FREE, Phthalates-FREE

5. SKINFOOD Apricot Mask (Best Exfoliation With Fruit Extracts) 

Last but not least, we have a mask from SKINFOOD, one of the most loved Korean skincare brands that are well-known for its wide range of masks catering to several skin concerns.

SKINFOOD Mask Apricot Trouble Care 120g

Features

This mask is dedicated to facial pore cleansing and skin-soothing, both things we’re quite fond of.

The mask is infused with 10% apricot fruit extract that corrects skin tone and exfoliates damaged skin.

It also provides anti-aging properties that help fight free radicals and clarify your skin.

You need to leave it on your face for only 5 minutes after which you rinse it off with lukewarm water.

BenefitsDrawbacks
It is infused with apricot fruit extracts.Too little product for the price.
Works on all skin types.Can be harsh on sensitive skin.
Gentle physical exfoliant that reveals brighter skin.

How it compares to other products and why?

Apricot fruit extract not only corrects poor skin tone but also provides anti-aging qualities along with skin-soothing effects.

SKINFOOD Mask Apricot Trouble Care 120g - Facial Pore Clearing and Body Skin Soothing - Wash Off Face Masks w/Pink Calamine for Healthy, Clear & Smooth Skin - Shower-Proof Texture (4.23 oz)
  • Apricot Food Mask - Wash-off mask allows you to give self-administered home-care every day differently depending on skin concern and area. Pure Turkish Apricots packed with sweet flesh that withstood the scorching summer of the Mediterranean climate.
  • Contains 10% Apricot Fruit Extract - Apricot has been proven to correct poor skin tone by exfoliating away damaged skin. It is an excellent antioxidant, anti-aging, clarifying dead skin problems, and with skin-soothing effects.
  • Safe For All Skin Type - Used cold decoction method, which minimizes destruction of active ingredients and maximizes hidden benefits by double extraction from apricots. Our food masks are excellent, gentle, and safe for dry, normal, oily, and sensitive skin.
  • Easy to Apply - After cleansing, remove water, apply to the entire face, and after 5-10 minutes, rinse off with lukewarm water. For fresh and total glowing body skin, it is best to have SKINFOOD active skincare beauty products.
  • Authentic Korean Beauty Products - Korean Beauty products like SKINFOOD lead the world with their top-tier beauty and makeup products. We are the first cosmetic brand to root itself in food since 1957, as we believe that the highest quality nutritive food results in healthy, beautiful skin to create a healthier lifestyle.

How to Choose the Right Exfoliator for Your Blackheads 

Now that you’re on a mission to get rid of your blackheads, here are a few tips on getting the right exfoliator for you. 

Know Your Exfoliators

There are basically two types of exfoliators: chemical and physical. Physical exfoliators use manual ingredients such as sugar or volcanic clusters to get rid of dead skin cells.

However, chemical exfoliators use chemical ingredients to break down the bonds between skin to exfoliate. 

Chemical Exfoliants Are Gentler on the Skin 

Physical exfoliation can be a tad bit too much on textured skin. If you must choose between the two, we recommend using chemical exfoliants instead that are gentler on the skin. 

It’s a Long Process

You didn’t get those blackheads overnight, and you’re not going to get rid of them overnight.

It takes time and consistency on your part to get rid of sebum build-up. But if you are persistent, it is going to happen. 

FAQs

Does exfoliating get rid of blackheads? 

Yes. Using an exfoliator helps troubled skin by going deep and cleaning it from within. In doing so, it stops excess oil production and promotes cell turnover. It is best to make it a part of your beauty regimen to get rid of blackheads permanently. 

What are the best Korean products for whiteheads? 

Some cult-favorite Korean products for whiteheads include COXRx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid and the Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel. Chemical exfoliants such as the Neogenlab Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads help eliminate whiteheads and reveal smooth skin. 

How do you get rid of blackheads fast and permanently? 

Korean serum with salicylic acid

It is best to use an exfoliator or products with salicylic acid to get rid of blackheads permanently. Skincare products with retinol also help in keeping blackheads at bay. 

Why won’t my blackheads go away? 

Blackheads are formed when dead skin cells and sebum combine to clog pores. Cleansing and exfoliating regularly can work wonders on all that sebum build-up. Over time, such products can help you get rid of blackheads permanently. 

Final Words

Blackheads can be an unsightly sight, and the urge to squeeze them every single time you look in the mirror is strong!

But it’s best if you leave the job to the ones who were actually made to defeat stubborn blackheads. Get one of these recommended exfoliators for you, and watch as your blackheads become history. 

Our Recommendation

COSRx BHA 4% Blackhead Power Liquid

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References

  • “Exfoliation Tips to Help Acne-Prone Skin.” 2021. Verywell Health. 2021. https://www.verywellhealth.com/exfoliation-basics-15626.
  • Fearn, Rebecca. 2018. “Is Exfoliation Good for Acne? According to the Experts, the Answer Isn’t a Simple One.” Bustle. Bustle. December 4, 2018. https://www.bustle.com/p/is-exfoliation-good-for-acne-according-to-the-experts-the-answer-isnt-a-simple-one-13208977.
  • McGurgan, Holly. 2012. “Blackheads.” Healthline. Healthline Media. September 17, 2012. https://www.healthline.com/health/blackheads.
lady using a cotton pad applied with the best korean exfoliator for blackheads

Which is your pick for the best Korean exfoliator for blackheads? Please share your favorite in the comments below!

About Edith Russo

Edith is a self-made entrepreneur with a keen business sense that others admire and a total “can-do” attitude. She’s always coming up with new ideas to anticipate her readers’ needs and help solve all their toughest beauty and skincare problems. FOLLOW HER on Linkedin and FACEBOOK