What is Korean serum, and why do you need it?
It’s a highly concentrated liquid that provides an intense dose of ingredients to nourish the skin. It penetrates more deeply and quickly than a lotion because the particles are smaller. Therefore, it can work wonders in a short amount of time.
Serum is part of the multi-step Korean beauty routine. It goes on after you wash your face and before you moisturize.
If you’re dissatisfied with your current skincare products, a serum can make all the difference. Today, we’ll review the best Korean serum for every skin type.
How to select the best Korean serum
What is your main concern? Is your skin dehydrated? Are you preoccupied with signs of aging? What about acne?
No matter what you’re worried about, there is a Korean serum that can address it.
But we’ll be upfront with you – choose carefully. These are potent elixirs that could clash with other products you’re using. Be careful to not double up on certain ingredients like retinol or alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids.
It’s also crucial to wear sunscreen as some serums may make the skin more sensitive to sunburn.
Best Korean Serum for Every Skin Type in 2023
Let’s begin with moisturizing Korean serums.
For dry skin
Korean serums for dry skin often contain hyaluronic acid, an excellent moisturizer. It can hold 1000 times its weight in water. As a result, it smooths fine lines and makes the skin look younger.
Although serum is excellent for restoring dehydrated skin, it can’t take the place of your moisturizer. Instead, it boosts the effects.
COSRX Hydrium Triple Hyaluronic Moisture Ampoule
Hyaluronic acid is a molecule found in healthy human skin. But there’s less of it in dry and aging skin.
This serum makes up for any deficiency by including three types of hyaluronic acid. One kind penetrates deeply to plump the skin from the inside out. Another type forms an invisible layer on top of the skin to protect it.
Meanwhile, panthenol and allantoin calm irritation and promote healing.
What’s nice is that this serum instantaneously improves the skin’s appearance. It’s not greasy, and you’ll never know it’s there, except for the fact that your skin will be supple and soft.
[Dear Klairs] Rich Moist Soothing Serum
The serum is like a snack for your skin. It’s enriched with organics like licorice, grapefruit, broccoli, carrots, and cica. Therefore, it has an appealing citrus scent.
The blend of nutrients moisturizes and rebuilds the hydration barrier. It also cools and soothes without leaving a residue.
Like other products from this company, it’s vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, artificial fragrances, and dyes.
Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule
Here’s the serum you’re waiting for, the one with snail mucin. It’s harvested without harming the snails.
This gooey secretion is super soothing and moisturizing. It protects the skin from environmental damage while maintaining proper hydration.
It’s hard to slot the serum into one category as it’s also kind to sensitive complexions and helpful for reducing acne scars. Moreover, it contains peptides to rebuild collagen and elastin and firm the skin.
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
We couldn’t resist one more snail serum. This one is extra potent yet 100% cruelty-free. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin as it’s free of parabens and artificial fragrances.
It leaves the skin supple, soft, and glowing. Your face has never felt this comfortable.
DERMALOGY by NEOGENLAB White Truffle Serum
No, the truffles here aren’t chocolate, but rather mushrooms. They are the key to this oil-drop serum that repairs environmental damage. Over time, it creates glowing skin with a dewy appearance.
It’s surprisingly non-greasy, and it absorbs rapidly. It makes for a nice primer underneath makeup if you have dry skin.
For acne-prone skin
The best serum for acne-prone skin is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, like the ones with tea tree oil, propolis, or cica (Centella asiatica). It hydrates and controls sebum production.
SOME BY MI Aha.Bha.Pha 30Days Miracle Serum
How does this miracle serum work? It exfoliates with a blend of hydroxy acids. Not only does it remove dead skin, but it also unclogs pores. This helps prevent breakouts and promotes younger-looking skin.
Next, Centella asiatica accelerates healing and calms the skin while tea tree water slows down oil production and reduces inflammation. Of course, the serum is pH-balanced to prevent moisture loss. Non-comedogenic plant oils create a protective barrier, too.
The formula is hypoallergenic and made with EWG Green Grade ingredients. There are no artificial additives.
Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum
Don’t just drink tea; pamper your face with it. This is an excellent serum for summertime as it cools the skin with fresh organic green tea water.
The Korean Jeju green tea and seeds are overflowing with antioxidants and amino acids that rehydrate and soothe. Some say that this is one of the best Korean serums for glass skin as it leaves the complexion radiant and smooth.
Unlike some serums, it has a gel-like texture. It comes in a pump bottle to prevent contamination.
Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum
Be careful with this serum as it smells downright delicious. It has a ginger spice scent from all the botanical ingredients.
The Korean medicinal herbs like Dwarf Lilyturf and Membranous Milkvetch improves circulation and energize the skin to make it radiant.
There’s also antibacterial honey to clear up acne and speed up healing.
For sensitive skin
But what if you have sensitive skin? Can you use serum?
Chances are that you can. Still, it’s wise to choose one with natural components and no harsh chemicals. Then, do a patch test on the inside of your elbow just to be sure.
Check out the gentle and effective ingredients in the best Korean brightening serum below.
JUMISO All Day Vitamin
The serum contains hyaluronic acid, Centella asiatica, chamomile, and antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E. It has niacinamide to eliminate redness, too. These heal and moisturize.
The serum repairs damage caused by harsh environmental conditions while it calms and brightens the complexion.
Meebak Cica Face Serum
Many of the best Korean serums for sensitive skin contain cica, also known as Centella asiatica. It’s proven to regenerate the skin, and it’s compatible with all skin types.
The intense concentration of cica here clears up inflammation caused by acne, eczema, and other skin conditions. It’s reinforced with aloe, fig, and probiotics that calm and moisturize.
The serum is cruelty-free and does not contain parabens, phthalates, or sulfates. It also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.
ISNTREE Spot Saver Mugwort Ampoule
What is an ampoule? When it comes to K beauty, it’s another word for serum. This ampoule is a little thicker with a jelly-like texture. It absorbs quickly, leaving the skin silky soft. It’s perfect for plumping up the skin and protecting it during dry weather.
The formula consists of EWG Green ingredients that are non-toxic and safe for sensitive skin. It features mugwort, also known as Artemisia, that reduces skin sensitivity.
Also, there’s kava kava extract that comforts the skin and calms irritation.
For mature skin
Is there such a thing as a makeover in a bottle? If so, Korean serums are pretty close.
They hydrate, smooth texture, and fade discoloration. What more could you want to keep your complexion looking young and healthy?
Seoul Ceuticals – 20% Vitamin C Hyaluronic Acid Serum + CE Ferulic Acid
Thousands of reviewers will tell you that this is the best Korean serum on the market. It imitates the much more expensive Skinceuticals CE Ferulic serum. In case you’re worried about the quality of a knockoff product, this one comes with a satisfaction guarantee. They promise you’ll see a positive difference within 3 weeks or less if you use it daily.
It’s infused with powerful anti-aging ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid, and citrus stem cells. Not only does it erase acne scars and age spots, but it also tightens pores, fades fine lines, clears up acne, and brightens the complexion.
Ninety-eight percent of the formula is naturally derived, and 72% is organic.
I’M FROM] Ginseng Serum
Ginseng revives tired, dull skin to leave it glowing and radiant. It helps minimize wrinkles by restoring elasticity. It also relieves inflammation.
How does ginseng do so much? For one, it boosts blood circulation. Plus, it’s rich in antioxidants that rejuvenate and heal.
Dear Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop
Learning about Korean serums will give you an education in chemistry. For example, this one has a polypeptide called EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor). It speeds up cellular repair.
Next, there’s guaiazulene adenosine to alleviate irritated skin after exfoliating. Use it right after cleansing for maximum absorption.
This 10-ingredient formula is free of dyes, perfumes, parabens, silicone, and ethanol.
MISSHA Time Revolution Night Repair
Turn back time overnight with this restorative serum. It’s been called Korea’s version of Estee Lauder’s Night Repair.
It contains pure probiotics that are double-fermented for extra potency. They leave you looking like you slept well.
Furthermore, there’s something mysterious in it that’s called “purple elastic energy.” It’s a secret recipe to ward off wrinkles and firm the skin.
For combination skin
When part of your face is oily, and the other part is dry, it’s tricky to find the balance. You may find yourself using an oil control serum one day and a moisturizing serum the next. Otherwise, you could treat each part of your face individually.
If that seems like too much work, try one of the best Korean serums for combination skin below.
EverGlam TIME REVERSE Rejuvenating Serum
This happens to be a top anti-aging Korean serum. It’s lightweight and not greasy, which is ideal for the troublesome T-zone. But it also deeply hydrates without clogging pores, making it suitable for sensitive, dry cheeks.
Use it to revitalize dull skin. It brightens the complexion, leaving it more elastic and smooth like glass.
It uses anti-aging peptides to stimulate collagen production and rebuild the skin. This erases fine lines and minimizes wrinkles.
Some of the active ingredients include niacinamide, skullcap root, and licorice. Happily, there are no parabens, phthalates, artificial dyes, or formaldehyde releasers in the bottle.
[Beauty of Joseon] Calming Serum
This serum is best for all skin types, including combination skin. It’s juicy and soothing with a gel texture that melts into the skin.
The majority of the formula is green tea water, with healthy doses of mugwort, panthenol, and hyaluronic acid. Consequently, it’s moisturizing and rejuvenating with plenty of antioxidants.
We were happy to see there are no parabens, PEGS, phenoxyethanol, allergens, artificial colors or fragrances included.
For oily skin
A serum can do wonders for oily skin. It not only cleanses and minimizes large pores, but it also helps reduce excess oil.
New MediCube Red Serum
Here’s one of the best Korean serums for oily skin. It balances sebum production with ovalicin and colloidal sulfur. These leave the complexion soft, fresh, and clean.
Alongside that, it hydrates with lightweight moisturizers like glycerin and beta-glucan.
However, it has a strong aroma of tea tree oil, one of the botanical extracts inside.
[By Wishtrend] Pure Vitamin C21.5% Advanced Serum
You can’t go wrong with a vitamin C serum as it’s an all-purpose miracle worker. It’s an anti-aging powerhouse that tackles fine lines, discoloration, and sagging skin.
Regular use of vitamin C will brighten the complexion and even skin tone. It also helps prevent acne.
Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum
If you’re tired of battling blackheads and acne scars, try this peeling serum with glycolic acid. It’s mild enough to use daily.
If you’ve never used a chemical peel before, start slow by mixing it with your moisturizer. After a few days, you can apply it undiluted to the skin. You may notice an immediate release of dead skin that you can wipe off with a cotton pad.
The light citrus scent comes from lemon oil and papaya. These also function as a treatment for hyperpigmentation.
One of the easiest ways to enjoy healthier skin is to use serum. This small step in your skincare routine leads to a brighter, firmer complexion with fewer blemishes.
There is a Korean serum for every skin type and situation. We hope we helped you find one that exceeds your expectations. If so, tell us about it in the comments below.