Kelly Driscoll

Skincare going more than skin deep…

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Korean Skincare Product Shopping Guide by Skin Type

Shopping for skincare can be pretty exciting! Actually, searching for a product can be more fun than using it!

Am I the only one?

I love to research, read reviews, dream and lust after my wishlist, but I realize the world of skincare products is big and all that research can be intimidating!

Finding a decent product is one hurdle, and then finding one for your skin type is a whole other story!

So grab a drink and a snack, settle in and let me tell you all my favorite K-Beauty products and which ones I recommend for your skin type!

Oily Skin

The challenge with oily skin is controlling that excessive sebum production! Excessive sebum leads to impurities in the pores, blackheads, clogs and sometimes acne. Plus, you’re just trying to make sure your makeup doesn’t slip off your face by 2pm!

The funny thing about controlling excessive sebum is that it’s not about removing oil, it’s about *adding* hydration.

Yep, to combat oil you need to add lots of watery hydration to your skin. The thing about human skin is that when it realizes that the water/oil balance is off on the skin, it will kick into action to help solve the problem. The only thing is, skin can only produce oil, not water. So when your face is lacking water, your skin will kick in and produce oil, which is no bueno for already oily skin! So we need to add back the water with our products to signal our skin to shut the damn oil off already!

Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Cleanser
The Face Shop Rice Water Light Cleansing Oil

Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
Son and Park Beauty Water
Mizon AHA/BHA 8% Peeling Serum

Secret Key Aloe Toner
Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Toner
Innisfree Bija Trouble Skin Toner

Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence
Benton Aloe Soothing Propolis Gel
Cosrx Centella Blemish Ampule

Moisturizers and Creams:
Cosrx Oil Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap
Mizon Snail All-in-One


Dehydrated Skin

The biggest challenge of dehydrated skin is layering on enough hydration to feed the thirsty beast that is your skin. Not only do you need to layer it on but then you have to try to seal it in to prevent transepidermal water loss from occurring. Oh yeah, and not overload your clog-prone skin.

Dehydrated skin suffers from a weakened moisture barrier. Sometimes that comes from over-use of chemical exfoliation, and sometimes you are just genetically prone to having less ceramides in your skin and therefore a weak barrier function. Whatever the cause, it’s important to remember to add in moisture barrier-loving ingredients to help fortify your barrier.

Besides hydration issues, dehydrated skin also suffers from dull skin, clogs, blackheads and occasional acne.

Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Cleanser
Innisfree Apple Seed Cleansing Oil

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Drop
Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
Cosrx Two-in-One Poreless Power Liquid

Iunik Rose Galactomyces Essential Toner
Olivarrier Dual Moist Toning Lotion

Cosrx Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
Benton Cacao Moist and Mild Serum
Rovectin Skin Essentials Barrier Repair Multi-Oil

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream
Rovectin Skin Essentials Barrier Repair Cream

Combination Skin

The special thing about combination skin is that it’s two different skin types. Which means you need to find products that suit dry areas AND oily areas! Many products that work in the T-zone won’t work in the U-zone, etc.

Combination skin is often treated best with hydration and a touch of moisture. Lighter weight serums will be ideal for dry areas and hydrating enough for oily skin, without any heaviness.

All these products will work well in both the dry and oily areas of combination skin!

DHC Deep Cleansing Oils
Purito Barrier Defense pH Cleanser

Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner
Iunik Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner

Cosrx PHA Moisture Renewal Power Cream
Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid

Benton Ultimate Snail Bee Serum
Iunik Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum
Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Essence

Dr Belmeur Ato Salt Cream
Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Cream

Bonus Mask:
I’m From Ginseng Mask


Dry Skin

The trick to dry skin is to maintain the skin’s natural moisture (what little there may be) and add to it with skincare that adds moisture back into the skin. The biggest challenge is protecting dry skin from harsh and stripping skincare.

Using a gentle cleanser is a must and maintaining the natural pH level of skin will help. Consider cleansing to be a stripping step and choose products accordingly.

Making use of moisture rich products like serums, oils, rich creams and sleeping packs will further help to protect dry skin from moisture loss.

Innisfree Olive Real Cleansing Oil
Make P:rem Safe Me. Relief Moisture Cleansing Foam

By Wishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water
By Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum

ENS Jin Jung Sung Soothing Moisture Essence Serum
Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Premium Lotion

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum
Iunik Beta-Glucan Power Moisture Serum

Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Oil
Rovectin Barrier Repair Face Oil

Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cream

Sleeping Packs:
Cosrx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask

*Note: All links are affiliate links that provide a small commission to help run this blog

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