Best Korean Exfoliator for Oily Skin

Here’s a tip that works: Get the best Korean exfoliator for oily skin and watch as your skin thanks you for it.

It doesn’t get any simpler than this!

If you’ve got oily and acne-prone skin, there are a plethora of Korean beauty products that can help you get rid of dead skin cells like that (snaps fingers!).

Buckle up beauties as we explore the best Korean face exfoliator for oily and combination skin types. 

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

Best Korean Exfoliator for Oily Skin Top Picks at a Glance

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

Editor's Choice
Preview
Secret Key Lemon Sparking Peeling Gel 120 ml [Korean Version] by LadyAda
Top Benefit
Can be used as a cleanser and a peeling gel
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Preview
Cosrx Bha Blackhead Power Liquid 100 ml
Top Benefit
Made with all-natural ingredients
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5 Best Korean Exfoliators for Oily Skin Review

If you ever find yourself thinking, “OMG, I don’t need a physical exfoliator. Or chemical exfoliators, for that matter”, please do yourself a favor and tell your mind to shush!

Your skin NEEDS a gentle exfoliator! Not only do they get rid of dead skin cells, but they help improve your skin texture, remove dark spots, get rid of flaky skin, and help bring forth smoother skin.

Convinced already? Or do we need to tell you more? 

Fine!! We’ll tell you more. If you suffer from skin concerns such as clogged pores or bumpy skin, gentle exfoliation can help remove skin impurities and reveal clearer skin.

Okay, okay. You get the point! Let’s move on to the best of the best already, shall we?

Physical and chemical exfoliants are great at helping you get brighter skin. But which product is best for you? That’s where we come in!

We’ve pored over endless Korean skincare products to bring forth this list for you. Let’s begin. 

1. Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel (OVERALL WINNER)

by LadyAda”]

The clear winner in our list of the best Korean exfoliator for oily skin is the Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel.

Features

For starters, it doubles up as a cleanser and a peeling gel, talk about power-packed.

Second, this baby is loaded with citric acid, thanks to lemon water and extracts, that not only remove dead skin cells but also help brighten your overall skin and get rid of dark spots.

Other key ingredients include plant extracts such as witch hazel, aloe, and Centella.

This gentle exfoliator contains sodium hyaluronate that helps promote a more youthful complexion.

Most people with oily or combination skin complain about their enlarged pores and are often looking for a solution to help reduce it.

If you’re one of them, you’re in luck as users of the product have raved about its effectiveness in reducing pore size. Users have also reported a drastic increment in their overall skin health. 

Using the  Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel is fairly easy. Simply apply it to thoroughly cleansed, dry skin but make sure to avoid the eyes and lips.

Then, you massage it on your skin for about thirty seconds. You can feel it working its magic on your skin impurities, keratin and sebum right away. Rinse it away and get instantly radiant skin free of dead cells. 

The product can be used once or twice a week.

As with all exfoliators, it is best to not overdo it as it can do more harm than good. But, those with oily skin may find that using it once or twice a week is more than enough to help with their skin concerns. 

by LadyAda”]

To sum it up, here’s why the Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel is number one on our list. 

BenefitsDrawbacks
Can be used as a cleanser and a peeling gel. Some say it has a crumbly texture
Is free from harmful ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, and SLES. Strong odor
Made from all-natural ingredients. 
Helps reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.

READ MORE: How Do You Make Korean Face Scrub?

2. COSRx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner (Best for Everyday Use) 

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

A gentle exfoliant is a top-notch idea if you’ve got oily or combination skin. And what better way to do that than with a Korean Skin Care product that boasts both a toner and an exfoliant?

In comes the COSRx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner that is acid-packed but gentle enough to use on your skin every day for mild exfoliation.

AHA, i.e. Alpha-Hydroxy Acids are best for use on skin that is prone to scars, whiteheads, and dullness while BHA aka Beta-Hydroxy Acids work extra hard to remove blemishes and clogged pores.

Features 

The ingredients in this product help control excess oil production while helping reduce the appearance of pores.

The added benefit of a toner means your skin is going to be hydrated. Also, using the product ensures that whatever skincare you apply afterward gets absorbed by your skin. 

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

Here are some of the reasons why COSRx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner is a close number 2 on our list. 

BenefitsDrawbacks
Can be used every day for gentle exfoliation.May not work on skin that’s used to AHAs
Infused with natural acids. Caused breakouts in some customers
Free of harmful ingredients such as parabens, alcohol, sulfates, and alcohol. May be too strong for sensitive skin
Helps control excess oil production.
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

3. COSRx BHA 4% Blackhead Power Liquid (Best for Congested Pores) 

Cosrx Bha Blackhead Power Liquid 100 ml

Last on our list and finishing strong is the COSRx BHA 4% Blackhead Power Liquid. The active ingredient in this power liquid is concentrated BHA (Betaine Salicylate) liquid that works deep on your pores, helping remove sebum and impurities. Users especially love the effect this toner/essence has on their blackheads and acne.

Features 

The formula has been made with natural ingredients such as willow bark extract that maximizes exfoliation without any irritation.  Using the COSRx BHA 4% Blackhead Power Liquid is similar to using the COSRx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner. You take a little bit of the liquid on a cotton pad and let it soak through. Then, thoroughly wipe your cleaned face and apply other skincare products as needed.

Cosrx Bha Blackhead Power Liquid 100 ml

Here’s why you absolutely need the COSRx BHA 4% Blackhead Power Liquid: 

BenefitsDrawbacks
Works deep on congested pores to reduce acne and blackheads. Works for blackheads, but some say it caused whiteheads.
Made with all-natural ingredients. Some complaints about leaky pump.
Free of harmful ingredients such as parabens, alcohol, sulfates, and alcohol. 
Can be used two to three times a week for exfoliation.
Sale
Cosrx Bha Blackhead Power Liquid 100 ml
  • CONCENTRATED BHA LIQUID | Formulated with 4% BHA (Betaine Salicylate), this product visibily diminishes enlarged pores and dead skin cells, replacing it with natural radiance while evening out your skin tone.
  • CONGESTED PORES, BE GONE | Naturally-derived sheet mask drenched with COSRX's bestselling snail 96 mucin power essence delivers rich hydration and nourishment, repairing damaged skin and lightening acne scars.
  • INGREDIENTS AND BENEFITS | Made with natural ingredients like the willow bark water to maximize exfoliating and clearing benefits without irritation. It is gentle enough for everyday use.
  • HOW TO USE | After cleansing, saturate a cotton pad and wipe gently over face or region with blackhead. You may experience brief tingling and discomfort. Make sure to apply broad spectrum SPF for day time usage.
  • 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.

4. SKINFOOD Rice Daily Mask Exfoliating Scrub Wash Off (Best cleanser/exfoliator):

Skinfood rice mask

Looking for a product that successfully removes all makeup from your skin while exfoliating it at the same time? That’s right. A lot of time is saved when you land on one of such products as the SKINFOOD Rice Daily Mask Exfoliating Scrub Wash Off.

Features 

Korean products use rice bran water as an active ingredient to brighten skin tone and clarify dead skin and this one is no exception.

Just leave the product on your face for 5 to 10 minutes and revel in radiant skin that is soon uncovered.

Benefits and Drawbacks

To recap, here’s why we love SKINFOOD Rice Daily Mask Exfoliating Scrub Wash Off:

BenefitsDrawbacks
Doubles as a cleanser and exfoliator.Strong scent
Key ingredient Cheorwon Odae rice provides instant radiance to dull skin.Not ideal for skin that’s prone to breakouts
Mild exfoliation that doesn’t irritate skin.
SKINFOOD Mask Rice 100g - White Rice Exfoliating Scrub Wash Off Face Masks for Darken Skin - Facial Cleanser, Pore Exfoliator, Brighten and Soften Body Skin - Safe For Men and Women (3.52 oz)
  • Rice Food Mask - A wash-off mask allows you to give self-administered home care every day differently depending on skin concern and area. Pure and active ingredients of Cheorwon Odae rice are excellent in providing healthy and smooth skin.
  • Instant Clear & Radiance Effect - 20% Cheorwon Odae rice bran water helps brightens the skin tone and clarifying dead skin immediately after application and 5% Cheorwon Odae rice powder provides gentle exfoliation by fine rice powder particles.
  • Safe For All Skin Type - Bouncy mochi-like texture gently adheres to the skin for a softer massage. 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.

5. Neogenlab bio-peel gauze peeling pads (Best for ease of use):

neogen bio-peel

The process of exfoliation need not be too much of a hassle. Why waste time pouring liquid into a cotton swab and rubbing it on when you could have a product that already does that for you?

In comes the bio-peel gauze peeling pads that are as easy to use as effective for mild exfoliation.

Features

Its key ingredient Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that tightens the skin while chemical peeling ingredients remove dead skin cells with ease!

It’s made with a patented 3-layer gauze that won’t fall apart while you’re using it.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Here’s why we love the Neogenlab bio-peel gauze peeling pads:

BenefitsDrawbacks
Ready-to-use peeling pads.No English instructions
Infused with natural and chemical peeling ingredients.Heavily scented
Instantly boosts skin vitality.
DERMALOGY by NEOGENLAB Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads, Wine, 30 Count
  • Cleansing the face, scrub the face with one piece guzz
  • Promotes visibly clearer, smoother and tighter skin
  • Made in Korea

How to Choose the Perfect Exfoliator for You

There are basically two types of exfoliators and you can choose which one you want based on your preference and skin sensitivity. 

Physical Exfoliator

Physical exfoliation consists of applying an abrasive product onto skin removing dead skin cells manually.

However, the level of abrasion depends from product to product. Some products are mildly abrasive while some can be rather intense.

Skinfood makes some pretty good physical exfoliators such as the Black Sugar Mask Wash Off for oily and sensitive skin that helps remove impurities and add hydration to the skin with shea butter.

It can be used once or twice a week.

SKIN FOOD Black Sugar Mask Wash Off 3.52 fl. oz.(100g) - Black Sugar Scrub - Sugar Face Scrub to Hydrate and Nourish the Skin - Exfoliating Sugar Scrub - Facial Mask Wash Off Sugar Scrub

Another cult favorite is the Skinfood Rice Daily Scrub foam that doubles as a cleanser and can be used every day for gentle exfoliation. 

SKINFOOD Rice Daily Scrub Foam 5.07 oz. (150ml) - Hypoallergenic Micro Fine Rice Bran Facial Scrub Foaming Cleanser, Skin Exfoliating with Dense Foam - Exfoliating Face Scrub - Sensitive Skin Scrub

Check: 5 Best Korean Exfoliator for Sensitive Skin

Chemical Exfoliant

Chemical exfoliation breaks down the bonds between dead skin cells and allows the cells to slowly loosen.

Most products are infused with active ingredients such as Alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids that work to improve your skin’s overall texture.

AHAs help exfoliate the top layer of skin while BHAs are more potent and go deep into your pores to help clear them. 

The COSRx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner and the COSRx BHA 4% Blackhead Power Liquid are great examples of chemical exfoliants that are power-packed with acidic properties.

They aren’t too harsh on the skin and help remove sebum and impurities with ease.

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

Another great product is the Neogen Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine that comes in pre-soaked cotton pads and includes potent ingredients such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, and lemon. 

DERMALOGY by NEOGENLAB Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads

FAQs

What is a good exfoliator for oily skin? 

a woman exfoliating her face with a gentle scrub

A physical scrub or a gentle chemical exfoliator may be best used for oily and acne-prone skin. Thankfully, there are several Korean exfoliators for combination, oily, acne-prone skin that serve as a dead skin remover. 

What do Koreans exfoliate with? 

Korean skincare products offer a variety of exfoliants for users to choose from depending on their skin tone and type. Some people opt for exfoliators that double as cleansers while others prefer one that works both as a toner and a gentle exfoliant. 

Which Korean product is best for oily skin? 

Our top pick for oily skin is the Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel that doubles as a cleanser and a peel-off gel that removes sebum and impurities from oily skin helping reveal perfectly clean and radiant skin. 

How do Koreans remove dead skin? 

lady putting a DIY face scrub on her face

Chemical and physical exfoliants have long been MVPs in the Korean Skin Care game. Users who wish to get rid of dull skin and help reveal thoroughly cleaned skin that glows from within can benefit from investing in a Korean exfoliator. 

If you have oily skin, chances are your skin works in overdrive and produce more oil that results in more trapped sebum within the pores.

An exfoliator helps remove these skin concerns and reveals radiant-looking healthy skin that shines.

Not only that, it works to speed up your skin’s turnover process and brings forth new cells. That’s why we always say: When in doubt, just exfoliate! 

Final Recommendation

a pretty lady cleansing and exfoliating her face

What is your favorite best Korean exfoliator for oily skin? Please share with us 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