10 Best Korean Cleansing Oils To Try In 2023

by Tori Jones
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Hello, glow-getters, and welcome to another riveting ride through the radiant realm of beauty! I’m your guide, your trusted beauty buddy, and today, we’re diving deep into the silky, skin-enriching world of Korean cleansing oils. Now, if you’re thinking, “Cleansing oils? Isn’t oil what I’m trying to get off my face?” hold onto your sheet masks because this post will change how you view your skincare routine forever.

Consider this your all-access backstage pass to uncovering the Top 10 Best Korean Cleansing Oils. Oh yes, we’re venturing behind the veneer of conventional skincare, breaking the myth of “oil equals bad,” and embracing the moisturizing, nourishing, and purifying benefits these potent potions pack.

Throughout this post, we’ll introduce you to the magic of oil-based cleansers, with their uncanny knack for gently dissolving even the most stubborn makeup, fighting skin impurities, and maintaining your skin’s delicate pH balance while leaving it moisturized and soft. You’ll learn the whys, whats, and hows of this K-Beauty staple, including picking the perfect product for your unique skin type and using it correctly for maximum benefits.

Top 10 Best Korean Cleansing Oils
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So whether you’re a skincare enthusiast seeking the best cleansing oil to add to your already bulging bathroom cabinet, a newbie just starting to explore the lush landscape of Korean beauty, or someone simply looking to shake things up in their skincare regime, this post promises a deep-dive into a world your skin will thank you for. Are you ready to explore this liquid gold? Then, let’s go on this skin-cleansing, glow-giving adventure together! From luxe elixirs to budget-friendly finds, we’ve got the skinny on the top Korean cleansing oils to help you reveal a healthier, brighter, and more youthful complexion. Stay tuned; the radiant skin of your dreams is just a blog post away!

The Magic Transformation: From Oil to Emulsifier

The Magic Transformation From Oil to Emulsifier
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Picture this: you’ve had a long day, your makeup has fought bravely, and now it’s time to take it all off. You reach for your new cleansing oil, and as you pump it onto your hand, it feels oily. You might even have a moment of doubt — how can more oil help my skin? But then, with the touch of water, it emulsifies into a luxurious, creamy cleanser, and you can’t help but sigh in relief.

I remember the first time I experienced this magic transformation. The initial oily texture might have caught me off guard, but I was smitten once I added water and massaged it into my skin. The emulsification process gently removes every trace of makeup and grime from your skin, leaving it fresh and glowing. Talk about a Cinderella moment!

The Oil Trio: Macadamia, Grape Seed, and Jojoba

The Oil Trio Macadamia, Grape Seed, and Jojoba
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The key to a great cleansing oil is the ingredients list. Particularly, look out for one (or all!) of these three oils: macadamia, grape seed, or jojoba oil.

Why these, you ask? Well, each one is a skincare superstar in its own right. Macadamia oil mimics our skin’s natural oils, making it a perfect hydrating agent. Grape seed oil is packed with antioxidants, fighting off free radicals that cause skin damage. Jojoba oil, my favorite, closely resembles our skin’s sebum and can trick our skin into producing less oil—talk about intelligent skincare!

One Cleansing Oil Fits All Skin Types

One Cleansing Oil Fits All Skin Types
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Here’s where the beauty of cleansing oils shines through. Whether you’ve got oily skin that’s shinier than a glazed donut (been there), acne-prone skin that flares up with the slightest irritant (done that), sensitive skin that requires the gentlest touch, or dry skin that’s begging for a moisture boost, there’s a cleansing oil out there for you.

Why Use Korean Cleansing Oils?

Using Korean cleansing oils comes with several benefits that can contribute to healthier, more vibrant skin:

  1. Deep Cleansing: Korean cleansing oils are excellent at removing stubborn makeup, SPF, and other impurities that water-based cleansers may not fully eliminate. They can even remove waterproof makeup effectively.
  2. Hydrating and Nourishing: Unlike some cleansers that can strip your skin of its natural oils, cleansing oils maintain your skin’s moisture balance. Many are infused with nourishing oils like jojoba, macadamia, and grape seed, which can provide additional hydration and nutrients to the skin.
  3. Suitable for All Skin Types: Despite the name, cleansing oils are not just for dry skin. They can be used on all skin types, including oily, combination, sensitive, and acne-prone skin. The oils can help balance sebum production in oily skin types, provide extra hydration for dry skin, and are gentle enough for sensitive skin.
  4. Gentle Exfoliation: Some Korean cleansing oils contain ingredients that can gently exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and promoting a smoother, more youthful complexion.
  5. Unique Ingredients: Korean skincare products, including cleansing oils, often include unique ingredients, such as rice water, green tea, and Centella Asiatica, which are rich in antioxidants and offer a variety of skin benefits.
  6. Boosts Skin Health: By deeply cleansing the skin, maintaining hydration, providing essential nutrients, and gently exfoliating, cleansing oils can significantly improve skin health and texture, giving you a radiant glow.

Remember, it’s always important to choose a product that aligns with your skin’s specific needs.

10 Best Korean Cleansing Oils

Falling in Love with Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

Let’s kick off our deep dive into Korean cleansing oils with one that holds a special place in my skincare-loving heart: Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil. With a name like that, you know it will be a treat for sensitive skin!
The magic of this hypoallergenic wonder is its blend of nourishing oils, starring black sesame oil. Antioxidant-rich, with anti-inflammatory properties, it feels like a spa day for your skin every time you use it. Let’s remember the jojoba oil, a hydration hero that makes dry skin a thing of the past. Just imagine your stubborn makeup and SPF melting away with a single application! No wonder this high-quality, budget-friendly find is always in my skincare rotation.

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Getting to Know Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil

Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil

Now, for those who love the feeling of squeaky-clean skin, let me introduce you to Shiseido Perfect Pore Cleansing Oil. A versatile, lightweight superhero, it tackles everything from everyday makeup to waterproof mascara on dry and wet skin.

The best part? It leaves your skin looking naturally dewy without a hint of greasiness. I remember how surprised I was the first time I used it. No need for vigorous rubbing; it glides and lathers easily, leaving no filmy residue even around the sensitive eye area. So wave goodbye to your makeup remover because this cleansing oil has covered it!

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Splurging on Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil Makeup Remover

Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil Makeup Remover

Alright, beauties, if you’re ready to splurge a little for that luxury skincare experience, Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil Makeup Remover is your go-to. This one has a more premium price tag, but the results are worth every penny.

This cleansing oil contains terrific ingredients like tangerine peel extract to banish impurities and apricot kernel oil for that essential skin nurturing. Plus, it’s fantastic for sensitive and dry skin! For the best results, I recommend pairing it with Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam – a match made in skincare heaven.

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Unveiling the Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [PHA]

Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil [PHA]

Let’s move on to a Korean favorite, the Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil. This one doesn’t just cleanse; it also gently exfoliates your skin. Is it secret? Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) are heroes in removing dead skin cells and keeping those pesky blackheads at bay.

What I appreciate about this oil is its blend of tea tree leaf oil and jojoba oil, a dynamic duo that clears and hydrates your skin. With consistent use, you’ll notice a brighter, more youthful complexion. Trust me; it’s an absolute game-changer.

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Trying Out Neogen Dermalogy Calming Cica Micellar Cleansing Oil

Neogen Dermalogy Calming Cica Micellar Cleansing Oil

Next up is the Neogen Dermalogy Calming Cica Micellar Cleansing Oil. Don’t let its lightweight formula fool you; it banishes all traces of makeup and grime like a dream! Plus, it’s an attractive choice for sensitive skin with soothing ingredients like Centella Asiatica, Tea Tree Extracts, and Azulene.

The texture might start watery, but a splash of water transforms it, ready to clean out your pores. A couple of uses in, and you’ll be marveling at how soft and hydrated your skin feels.

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Loving the Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil

The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil

A list like this would be complete with a shoutout to Face Shop and their Rice Water Bright Cleansing Oil. The rice water, brimming with vitamins A, B, and E, brightens and nourishes your skin.

This cleansing oil leaves your skin feeling soft, toned, and devoid of makeup. I highly recommend using the entire Rice Water Bright cleansing line for the ultimate skincare routine.

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Unearthing the Tonymoly Wonder Apricot Seed Deep Cleansing Oil

Tonymoly Wonder Apricot Seed Deep Cleansing Oil

Now, meet Tony Moly’s Apricot Seed Deep Cleansing Oil, an expert at tackling stubborn, long-lasting makeup. Its water-friendly formula emulsifies beautifully, and the apricot seed oil is a superstar at clearing out pore-clogging impurities. With a few pumps, your skin will feel cleaner than ever!

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Savoring the Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect Cleansing Oil

Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect Cleansing Oil

Check out Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect Cleansing Oil for a cleansing oil that does more than cleanse. Its blend of black mineral sugar, refined rice wine, and botanical oils provides nourishment and gentle exfoliation. After a few uses, your skin texture smoothens, and your complexion softens. Oh, and did I mention the anti-aging benefits?

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Choosing Nature Republic Forest Garden Chamomile Cleansing Oil

Nature Republic Forest Garden Chamomile Cleansing Oil

Nature Republic is a beloved Korean skincare brand, and their Forest Garden Chamomile Cleansing Oil is no exception. It does everything from removing makeup and dead skin cells to moisturizing and improving skin texture!

I adore the chamomile flower water in this, a soothing ingredient that defends your skin from external stressors. The light, lingering scent is just the cherry on top!

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ETUDE HOUSE – Real Art Moisture Cleansing Oil

ETUDE HOUSE Real Art Moisture Cleansing Oil

Finally, we have ETUDE HOUSE’s Real Art Moisture Cleansing Oil—an affordable yet effective option. Infused with coconut oil, grape seed oil, and apricot oil, it cleanses away makeup and removes dead skin cells effortlessly.

While it does have a more potent fragrance, making it a no-no for some with sensitive skin, it’s a fantastic option for those who enjoy a scented skincare experience!

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What are the key ingredients to look for in a cleansing oil?

When shopping for a cleansing oil, there are several key ingredients to look for that can provide significant benefits for your skin:

  1. Jojoba Oil: This oil is similar to the natural sebum produced by your skin, so it can moisturize without clogging your pores or causing breakouts.
  2. Grape Seed Oil: It is rich in antioxidants and omega-6 fatty acids, which can help to maintain your skin’s barrier, reduce inflammation, and promote a healthy complexion.
  3. Macadamia Nut Oil: It’s an excellent hydrating agent, high in monounsaturated fatty acids, including Oleic Acid (Omega 9), which are very moisturising, regenerating and softening on the skin.
  4. Sunflower Oil: It’s high in linoleic acid, which can help maintain the skin’s natural barrier and prevent moisture loss. It’s also known to be effective for combatting acne, inflammation, general redness, and irritation of the skin.
  5. Rosehip Oil: This oil is rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, which are integral for tissue and cell regeneration in the skin. It’s often used to reduce scars and fine lines.
  6. Sweet Almond Oil: It can gently dislodge debris from deep within skin pores and follicles, and also helps prevent acne because of its Vitamin A content. It is also a great source of vitamin E, providing antioxidant benefits.
  7. Green Tea Extract: Known for its antioxidant properties, it can help protect your skin against environmental pollutants. Green tea is also an anti-inflammatory agent, so it can help soothe your skin and counteract damage from free radicals.

Downsides & Side Effects Of Using Cleansing Oils

While cleansing oils offer numerous benefits, there are potential downsides or side effects to be aware of. Here’s a look at some of the concerns and how you can handle them:

  1. Potential Breakouts: Not all oils are created equal. Some oils may be comedogenic, meaning they can clog pores and lead to breakouts, especially for those with oily or acne-prone skin. However, using non-comedogenic oils can help minimize this risk.
  2. Skin Irritation: Some people might have sensitivities or allergic reactions to certain oils or ingredients. This can lead to redness, itching, or even rash. To avoid this, always do a patch test on a small area of your skin before fully applying the product.
  3. Eye Irritation: Some cleansing oils may cause eye irritation, especially if used to remove eye makeup. Be careful when using around the eyes, and if any oil does get in your eyes, rinse thoroughly with water.
  4. Residue: If not properly rinsed off, cleansing oils can leave a residue on the skin, which may feel greasy or heavy. Double-cleansing (i.e., using a water-based cleanser after an oil cleanser) can help remove any remaining oil.

To use cleansing oils safely and effectively, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Use the Right Amount: You usually only need one to two pumps of cleansing oil. Using too much can leave a residue and might lead to over-cleansing, which can strip your skin of its natural oils.
  2. Apply to Dry Skin: For best results, apply cleansing oils to dry skin with dry hands. The oil will bind with the oils in your makeup, SPF, and sebum to effectively remove them.
  3. Massage Gently: Use gentle, circular motions to massage the oil into your skin. This can also help boost circulation and enhance relaxation.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: Make sure to rinse thoroughly after using a cleansing oil to remove all residue.
  5. Consider Double Cleansing: Especially in the evening, follow up with a water-based cleanser to ensure your skin is thoroughly clean and ready for the rest of your skincare routine.
  6. Always Patch Test: Before incorporating a new oil cleanser into your routine, conduct a patch test on a small area of skin to check for any adverse reactions.

Remember, skin care is a personal journey and what works for someone else may not work for you. Always listen to your skin’s needs and adjust your routine accordingly.


And there you have it, beautiful souls! We’ve journeyed through the best Korean cleansing oils, each with its unique charm and benefits. Remember, understanding your skin type and needs is the key to finding the perfect one. While all these options work brilliantly on various skin types, some might resonate more with your personal skincare goals.
Cleansing oils are an effective and gentle way to remove makeup and impurities, and despite their name, they can benefit everyone from oily to dry and from acne-prone to sensitive skin. A few may have fragrances, so if you have sensitive or scent-sensitive skin, be mindful of that when choosing.
Whether you’re on a budget or ready to splurge, a perfect cleansing oil is waiting to be added to your skincare routine. Embrace this luxurious and practical step in your daily regimen, and your skin will thank you. Everyone’s skin is unique, so it’s all about finding the one that makes you feel like the gorgeous person you are. So why wait? Start exploring these cleansing wonders and give your skin the care it deserves. Until next time, stay radiant!

Feature image by pmv chamara on Unsplash

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