Korean skincare brands offer solutions for all skin types, including dry skin. Dry skin needs extra TLC and moisturized skin barrier that lasts long. Best Korean moisturizers for dry skin provide moisture all day long without feeling greasy, or heavy. They are also formulated with anti-inflammatory and golden staple K-beauty ingredients like ginseng, Centella, snail mucin, green tea, honey, and the list goes on…
Main reasons why you have dry skin
There are a bunch of reasons why you have dry skin. Sometimes it is genetics, so you are born with it and the best thing you can do is learn how to manage it.
Here are potential reasons why you have dry skin:
You naturally dry skin
If your skin is dry all year round and lacks moisture, it means that you have dry skin. You need to use extra moisturizing skincare that involves ingredients like hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, shea butter, and snail mucin that are going to help dry skin. Korean moisturizers for dry skin are an excellent choice.
Every skin reacts differently to weather changes. It is not uncommon for your skin to get dry in the coldest winter months, with harsh winds making it even worse. If you live somewhere with love humidity, it can also take its toll on your skin, unfortunately.
As we age, collagen production dwindles, which means, you get less firm and less youthful skin. Your skin’s oil production also drops, which leads to drier skin. That’s why building up skincare targeting collagen production and moisture is key.
Certain skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis
This one is really a no-brainer. If you are eczema or psoriasis-prone, your skin gets dry and flaky.
What to look for in a Korean moisturizer for dry skin?
Not sure where to start? There are a couple of things you should consider when opting for a Korean moisturizer for dry skin. First of all, you want a moisturizer that is nourishing, hydrating, and most important of all, one that will lock the moisture in. Best moisturizers for dry skin are in an emollient form that helps seal the moisture in. You need to “feed” your skin with lotions, ointments, and nourishing cream form moisturizers that will create a physical barrier to prevent moisture loss.
Having dry skin means having a damaged skin barrier. Oftentimes it will also manifest itself with skin conditions like eczema, or psoriasis that makes the dry skin flake. Unfortunately, a damaged skin barrier makes the skin even more susceptible to outside factors, like bacteria, dirt, and even cold weather. Here is the good news: you can manage dry skin by following some ground rules and amazing ingredients.
The key is to find a Korean moisturizer that is specifically made for dry skin and targets moisture loss, flakiness, and dry patches.
Here are the best ingredients in Korean skincare for dry skin:
- Ceramides (help restore skin barrier)
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Centella Asiatica (hydrates and calms down irritated, dry skin)
- Amino acids
- Shea Butter
- Jojoba oil (non-comedogenic oil for relieving dryness)
- Rosehip oil (non-comedogenic oil for itchy, dry skin)
- Snail Mucin
Ingredients to avoid for dry skin:
- Alcohol (except fatty alcohols that help skincare formulations)
- Artificial fragrance (is a potential irritant for sensitive, dry skin)
- Comedogenic*, fragrant essential oils* (avoid putting coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil directly on your face)
Comedogenic refers to ingredients that cause breakouts/acne.
Fragrant essential oils can irritate the skin and lead to horrible breakouts. It is better to lean towards gentle oils like sunflower oil, jojoba oil, rosehip oil that are fragrance-free and less likely to make you break out. Stick to products that use a low percentage of essential oils (0.1 % would be the sweet spot)
Best Korean moisturizers for dry skin:
#1. Best overall Korean Moisturizer for dry skin: COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All-in-one Cream
- Contains 92% of snail mucin and Hyaluronic acid
- Extremely nourishing and lightweight at the same time
- Relieves redness-prone, irritated skin
- Hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and cruelty-free
- Ideal for dry, sensitive skin
- The application can be messy
Combining the best of both worlds for dry skin – Snail mucin and Hyaluronic acid, this is one of the bestsellers of COSRX’s snail mucin line. It is the ultimate Korean moisturizer for dry skin that does it all – nourishes, hydrates, and leaves the skin feeling silky smooth with zero irritation. It can also help with acne scars and help keep breakouts at bay. This K-beauty staple also packs ingredients like allantoin for extra softness and revitalizing even the driest and the most dehydrated skin.
Related: COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream Review: Best Korean Sunscreen Ever?
#2. Best Korean Moisturizer for dry skin with minimal ingredients: PYUNKANG YUL Nutrition Cream
- A nutrient-rich, thick cream texture
- Has shea butter
- Improves skin elasticity
- Little goes a long way
- Nothing to report
Pyunkang Yul is another great Korean brand that makes products for dry, damaged skin. Their essence toner has garnered a cult following around it, and we are there with them.
Formulated with gentle, skin-loving ingredients this moisturizer delivers moisture that lasts all day. The brand focuses on using the minimum amount of ingredients with Milk Vetch Root extract being the central ingredient. It is loaded with antioxidants that deal with oxidative stress and add a natural glow to the skin. In my opinion, it is a perfect nighttime moisturizer that will provide extra hydration.
#3. Best Korean Moisturizer for dry skin with ceramides: Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream
- Supports skin barrier
- Whopping 5 ceramides
- Infused with Hyaluronic acid & Shea Butter
- Suitable for sensitive skin
- A bit pricey
Looking for a moisturizer to repair the skin’s moisture barrier? Enter a K-beauty moisturizer made with ceramides!
Ceramides are naturally found in our body and they account for 50% of the skin’s moisture barrier. As dry skin tends to lose moisture pretty much all the time, you need to make up for that lost moisture by packing it up with ceramides. This Dr.Jart cream includes 5 of em!
This acts like a shield and literally prevents the moisture from escaping. This excellent cream also has shea butter and Hyaluronic acid for that added moisture boost. Overall, an effective everyday moisturizer to protect and nourish dry skin.
#4. Best Korean Moisturizer for dry skin that is sensitive: Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream
- Infused with Centella and Aloe
- Soothing for sensitive, dry skin
- Non-sticky and alcohol-free
- Spreads easily
- Eco-friendly packaging
- Can be thin for extremely dry skin types
What K-beauty post is ever complete without Dear Klairs? Let me tell you, such a list doesn’t exist!
Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream is formulated with dry, sensitive skin in mind. It has a lightweight, moisturizing texture that leaves the skin supple and soft. The star ingredients here are Ceramides, Centella Asiatica, and the good old Aloe.
Just like all other Klairs products, it is hypoallergenic, alcohol and fragrance-free which makes it ideal for sensitive, dry skin. I think it is one of the essential Korean moisturizers for dry skin that you can’t go wrong with. The only catch with this is if you have very dry skin, this might fall short in terms of thickness. Otherwise, it is lightweight and thick enough that gets absorbed really fast.
#5. Best Korean Moisturizer for dry skin on the combo side: Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Cream with Green Tea Seed
- Intense Hydration
- Rich in antioxidants and amino acids
- A little goes a long way
- Reduces oiliness
- Has fragrance
Dealing with dry skin that also acts as a combo skin can be a challenge. Maybe you have oily skin with occasional dry patches, or oily T-zone and dry cheeks. There is always something going on there.
Luckily, there are great K-beauty moisturizers like the Innisfree Green tea seed facial cream. It is packed with green tea seed and green complex sourced from the pure and magical Jeju island – South Korea’s largest island. Green tea has been touted for its strong antioxidant properties for centuries now. Innisfree uses a double-squeezed method to extract extra hydration from a whopping 16 amino acids and antioxidants. As a result, you get an intensely hydrating formula that works even on the driest patches. If you are looking for something light, let me tell you beforehand, this might not be for you. It has a thick consistency that forms a film on the skin by delivering the ultimate moisture level.
#6. Best Korean Moisturizer for dry skin with Snail Mucin: MIZON Black Snail All-In-One Cream
- 90% black snail mucus filtrate
- Ideal for dull-looking, dry skin
- Has peptides and Niacinamide
- Highly moisturizing
- Has essential oils
Want a Korean moisturizer for dry skin with snail filtrate? And also one that targets wrinkles?
Well, this is the one for you! The Mizon Black Snail All-in-One Cream is enriched with 90% African Black Snail Mucus Filtrate and 20 kinds of Black Plant that helps dryness, loosened pores, and dull skin tone. Thanks to Niacinamide, panthenol, sunflower seed oil, adenosine, and shea butter, it will smooth out fine lines and make your skin feel supple and hydrated. The texture is thick but melts into the skin with no problem. Remember that the formula has some essential oils like olive oil and sunflower oil. If you have very sensitive skin, do a patch test before using it.
#7. Best Korean Moisturizer for dry skin that is ultra-moisturizing: Belif The True Cream – Moisturizing Bomb
- Ultra moisturizing
- A cushiony, thick cream
- Leaves the skin baby soft
- Suitable for sensitive skin
- Comes in recyclable packaging
- Has a light scent
If you are on the lookout for long-lasting, comforting moisture, look no further. This moisturizer truly lives up to its name – Moisturizing Bomb! It provides ultimate moisture that lasts for 26 hours. Comfrey leaf, oat extract, and panthenol are the star ingredients that provide relief and a soothing effect for dry skin. Comfrey leaf is an herb that has been historically used by farmers to moisturize their calloused hands. This works for flaky skin and is an excellent wintertime go-to moisturizer.
The nourishing, whipped texture leaves even the most sensitive of skin types feeling supple, smooth, and deeply nourished. Plus, it is free of any mineral oils, so totally suitable for sensitive, dry skin types.
#8. Best Korean Moisturizer for dry skin infused with rice: Beauty of Joseon – Dynasty Cream
- Has Squalene and Niacinamide
- Balances oil and moisture
- Fragrance and alcohol-free
- Has a natural, dewy finish
- Nothing to report
No Korean skincare line is ever complete without the holy grail ingredient – rice. Rice and related ingredients like rice flour and rice bran extract have long been used in Asian skincare for their antioxidant and brightening effect.
Beauty of Joseon is a brand that formulates products based on Hanbang – the tradition of using herbs as skincare in ancient Korea. This is exactly what the brand’s philosophy is about. And you can see it here as well. With 29% rice bran water, rich in amino acids, minerals, and vitamin E, it helps keep the skin moist and healthy. Other K-beauty A-listers like ginseng root water, squalane, and niacinamide add extra moisture and radiance to the product.
Are you still with us? Because this is not the end of the list! The Beauty of Joseon – Dynasty Cream also brings 3 types of Hyaluronic acid to seal in moisture. As with all BOJ products, this cream is fragrance and alcohol-free, essential oil-free, and cruelty-free.
#9. Best Korean Moisturizer for dry skin with collagen: ETUDE Moistfull Collagen Cream
- Enriched with marine collagen
- Lightweight, yet hydrating
- Has a smell
One online review described this moisturizer as “Like a tall glass of water for my skin“. This is so true of the ETUDE Moistfull Collagen Cream, which is formulated with 30% hydrolyzed marine collagen and baobab leaf mucus. This is specifically made for dry skin that needs instant moisture recharge. Super collagen water brings hydration to make the skin bouncy and dewy, while white lupin (stimulates high-quality collagen production in the skin) with seed-derived protein keeps your skin moisturized all day long.
The texture is airy and easily blends into the skin. It has a whipped texture that doesn’t pill up or feel weird on the skin. Having completed the hypoallergenic test, this is a great choice for dry skin on the sensitive side that needs anti-aging TLC.
#10. Best Korean Moisturizer for dry skin with a glowy finish: I’m From Honey Glow Cream
- Packed with antioxidants like honey, Centella, turmeric
- Dual-functioning product
- Provides high moisture
- Gives the skin a healthy glow
- Has olive oil
Honey is one of the popular ingredients in Korean skincare and I’m from is a Korean brand that focuses on using single ingredients in their products. Their rice toner is one of our favorites that works for the most sensitive skin.
Read more about it here: Toner Time: Full I’m From Rice Toner Review
The Honey Glow cream has two main functions: moisturizing and brightening dry, dull-looking skin. This cream contains 30.63% of Honey Glow Queen (Honey Complex), which is a unique mixture of 7 active ingredients: honey, black bee propolis, royal jelly, bee venom, turmeric, bee pollen, and cinnamon. Propolis and honey provide antioxidant/anti-inflammatory benefits, while turmeric gives leaves the skin glowing. Royal jelly hydrates the skin and increases collagen production.
If your skin lacks a healthy glow, and your skin needs a long-lasting, antioxidant-backed Korean moisturizer for dry skin, give this one a try.
To conclude, these are the best Korean Moisturizers for Dry Skin:
- COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All-in-one Cream
- PYUNKANG YUL Nutrition Cream
- Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream
- Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream
- Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Cream with Green Tea Seed
- MIZON Black Snail All-In-One Cream
- Belif The True Cream – Moisturizing Bomb
- Beauty of Joseon – Dynasty Cream
- ETUDE Moistfull Collagen Cream
- I’m From Honey Glow Cream
Just like with any other moisturizer, cleanse, tone, and apply the Korean moisturizer for dry skin.
Most Korean moisturizers are sensitive skin friendly. Make sure to get products that are alcohol and fragrance-free. If confused, do a patch test on your arm.
There is no one product out there. Best Korean skincare for dry skin contains ingredients like snail mucin, green tea, shea butter, ceramides, peptides, and propolis.
Generally, Korean moisturizers for dry skin are hypoallergenic. If you are allergic to certain ingredients, always check the label and do a patch test.
The main difference is that dry skin is a skin type, and dehydrated skin is skin that lacks water. You can’t get rid of dry skin, because it is for life. However, you can treat dehydrated skin with moisturizing products.
Korean moisturizers for dehydrated skin are formulated with moisturizing ingredients, and they have a lightweight texture. In addition, Korean moisturizers for dehydrated skin give instant results by making the skin plump and supple. This makes them superior to other products out there.