The world of Korean skincare can be a confusing place at the best of times. In this guide we'll take a deep dive into the cornerstone of any skincare regime - moisturisers.
Above any other product, moisturisers come in a mind-boggling variety aimed at different ages, gender and skin types. We'll delve into the world of Korean skincare moisturisers, exploring not only the best options but also unraveling the mysteries behind the common ingredients that make them so effective.
Moisturisers are the unsung heroes in any skincare routine, playing a crucial role in maintaining skin health. They work by sealing in moisture, preventing water loss, and creating a protective barrier against environmental aggressors. Whether your skin is oily, dry, combination, or sensitive, a well-chosen moisturiser can make a world of difference.
Let's start with the superstar – hyaluronic acid. Known for its exceptional hydrating properties, hyaluronic acid attracts and retains moisture, making it a perfect ally for dry and dehydrated skin. Its lightweight nature ensures quick absorption, leaving the skin plump and supple.
Refresh Recommends: COSRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream - This rich, protective cream contains a high concentration of hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture.
Glycerin is another heavyweight in the moisturising game. It acts as a humectant, drawing moisture from the air into the skin, making it a versatile choice for all skin types. Its non-comedogenic nature makes it especially beneficial for those with oily or acne-prone skin.
Refresh Recommends: Etude Soon Jung 2X Barrier Intensive Cream - Not only is glycerin a key ingredient, it also contains Penthenol to aid lipid production and Madecassoside to heal and soothe the skin.
Collagen plays a pivotal role in moisturisers, contributing to the overall health and elasticity of the skin. As a naturally occurring protein, collagen is responsible for maintaining the skin's structural integrity and firmness. In moisturisers, collagen is often included for its ability to hydrate and plump the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This powerhouse ingredient works by attracting and retaining moisture, promoting a smoother and more youthful complexion.
As we age, collagen production naturally decreases, making its inclusion in moisturisers a strategic move to replenish and fortify the skin's support structure. Korean skincare, renowned for its innovative formulations, often incorporates collagen to enhance the moisturising benefits of their products, leaving the skin not only hydrated but also visibly rejuvenated.
Refresh Recommends: Etude Moistfull Collagen Cream - The small particles of the Super Collagen™ water (Hydrolyzed Collagen) fill the skin with moisture to leave it plump and supple. Longer-term the skin is able to better retain moisture, giving a fuller appearance.
Aloe vera holds a prominent place in moisturisers due to its soothing and hydrating properties. Extracted from the succulent leaves of the aloe plant, aloe vera is a natural moisturiser that deeply nourishes the skin without clogging pores, making it suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive or irritated skin. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, aloe vera not only provides essential hydration but also calms inflammation and redness, promoting a balanced and revitalised complexion.
Refresh Recommends: Innisfree Aloe Revital Soothing Gel - Aloe extract hydrates dry skin, and the oil-like texture ensures that moisture is locked in for a long time.
Vitamins and Antioxidants
Many Korean moisturisers are enriched with vitamins (like E and C) and antioxidants, offering protection against free radicals. These ingredients contribute to a brighter complexion and help combat signs of aging, making them suitable for all skin types.
Refresh Recommends: Some By Mi Yuja Niacin Brightening Moisture Gel Cream - A carefully selected blend of plant extracts and vitamins completes the formula, giving a broad spectrum treatment of restorative anti-oxidants, nourishing minerals and hydrating moisturisers.
Customising Moisturisers to Your Needs
Understanding when and how to use specific ingredients is crucial for achieving optimal results. For those with dry skin, incorporating hyaluronic acid into your routine can be a game-changer. Glycerin, on the other hand, is excellent for maintaining hydration in oily or combination skin.
Consider the external factors your skin faces – during colder months, a richer moisturiser with ingredients like shea butter may be more appropriate, while a lightweight formula with hyaluronic acid may be preferable in warmer temperatures.
Winter - Refresh Recommends: Pyunkang Yul Moisture Cream - Perfect for sealing in moisture and keeping skin looking healthy and glowing all day long.
Summer - Refresh Recommends: Laneige Water Sleeping Mask - This innovative mask is formulated with highly concentrated Hydro-Ionized Mineral Water to deliver intense doses of moisture to stressed, parched skin while you sleep.
Adding to Your Routine
The question often arises: when should moisturiser be applied in a skincare routine? The answer lies in its role as a sealant. After cleansing and applying serums, a moisturiser locks in the benefits of the previous steps and creates a barrier against external elements. This ensures that your skin remains nourished and protected throughout the day or night.
Start Your Skincare Journey
Korean skincare moisturisers offer a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation. By understanding the ingredients and customizing their usage according to your skin's unique needs, you can elevate your skincare routine to new heights. Get ready to unveil a radiant complexion with the best Korean skincare moisturisers tailored just for you.
Here at Refresh Skincare we pride ourselves on stocking a great range of affordable and effective K-Beauty moisturisers. Save 10% in your first order when you join our email list.
- Glamour Magazine has a great guide to the 15 Best Korean Skincare Moisturisers
- Lifestyle Asia breaks down the 10 Best K-Beauty Moisturisers to Achieve the Skin of Your Dreams
- Cosmopolitan breaks down everything in their ‘Korean Skincare Routine - Every Step Explained’ post
- Read our very own Refresh Skincare ‘Beginners Guide to Moisturisers’
About the Author
Skincare fanatic and co-founder of Refresh Skincare. Follow the author on social media: