6 Korean Beauty Moisturizers You Need This Summer!

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Hi, everyone! ๐Ÿ‘‹ It’s been a while since I’ve been around, as I’ve been busy trying to get all my ‘ducks in a row’โ€”you know, trying to perfect my life. But let’s face it, achieving that in just two years would be a miracle! ๐Ÿ˜… So, here I am, picking up where I left off! I hope to keep growing this wonderful community, and continue providing science-backed content to help you navigate the world of skincare.

Today, I want to share some of my personal favorite Korean Beauty moisturizers that I’ve tried and would happily repurchase (you could say I’m a bit obsessed with K-Beauty at the moment ๐Ÿ˜). Also, I’m thinking about making this article the start of a K-Beauty series, so stay tuned for a more science-based exploration of the effectiveness of some K-Beauty favorites, ensuring you get the most out of your skincare! ๐Ÿซถ

1. SOME BY MI AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Cream

SOME BY MI AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Cream Korean Beauty K-Beauty Moisturizer

The SOME BY MI AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Cream is perfect for individuals with acne-prone or oily skin, or those seeking extra chemical exfoliation. Packed with standout ingredients, it’s particularly suited for summertime use, though it can benefit all skin types depending on location and climate. As someone with oily, acne-prone skin, I can attest that this moisturizer didn’t irritate or exacerbate my skin concerns!

Rave-Worthy Ingredients:
  • Centella Asiatica Extract(70.78 %)

Given that Centella Asiatica extract is the FIRST ingredient, it makes for a great addition to the SOME BY MI AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Cream because it helps soothe and repair skin. Asiatic acid, one of the main chemical components of Centella Asiatica, has been shown to promote wound healing. In fact, a double-blind study was done where half of participants either topically applied a placebo or Centella cream on a skin graft donor site. The improvement in the visible skin texture for those that used the Centella cream was profound, showing that Centella Asiatica could prove to be helpful in reducing the appearance of hypertrophic scars, i.e., raised scars!

  • Niacinamide

Ah, yes, our good ol’ friend niacinamide! She helps reduce hyperpigmentation, controls oil production, and can even help reduce the appearance of fine lines (I’d say she’s a keeper ๐Ÿ˜‰)! In fact, a randomized study on wrinkle reduction actually evaluated the benefits of a cosmetic 5% niacinamide product regimen vs. a prescription 0.02% tretinoin product regimen and found the results from the niacinamide group were comparable to those from the tretinoin group!

  • AHA, PHA, and BHA Acids

Last but not least, the third standout ingredients in the SOME BY MI AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Cream are none other than the AHA, PHA, and BHA acids used to promote gentle exfoliation. The three acids used are capryloyl salicylic acid (BHA–although it is more so an LHA), lactobionic acid (PHA), and citric acid (AHA). The BHA and PHA are great for more gentle exfoliation and the AHA, i.e, citric acid, helps to exfoliate, brighten, and reverse the signs of potential sun damage by increasing skin cell turnover.

2. PURITO Deep Sea Pure Water Cream

PURITO Deep Sea Pure Water Cream Korean Beauty K-Beauty Moisturizer

Purito is a great cruelty-free and affordable brand for those that might be starting out with Korean beauty. Before using PURITO’s Deep Sea Pure Water Cream I already loved their Cica Clearing BB Cream, so giving this moisturizer a shot at $9 – $12 USD was a no-brainer (especially given that it has over 3,000 reviews on Amazon)! Not only is it affordable, but its lightweight texture makes it an amazing option for those who lean more oily, but still want something that will nourish the skin and keep it plump all summer long.

Rave-Worthy Ingredients:
  • Deep Sea Water(60%)

Deep sea water has shown promising results in inhibiting the development of atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions in mice. This included a reduction in the severity of symptoms such as erythema (redness), dryness, itching, and transepidermal water loss.

  • Niacinamide

You already know. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Click here if you want to learn more about it, though!

  • Sodium Hyaluronate

I’m sure we all know of the benefits hyaluronic acid (HA) has for our skin–e.g. plumping, moisture retention, etc.–but did you know that sodium hyaluronate, while very similar to HA, is actually more stable and can penetrate even deeper than HA. Studies have also shown that the addition of sodium hyaluronate in skincare not only improves the skin’s microflora, but also reduces the presence of pathogenic bacteria such at Cutibacterium and S. aureus, i.e., acne and staph infections.

  • Panthenol

Panthenol is a humectant, which means that it both draws in and holds onto water. This, in turn, helps keep our skin hydrated and supple. Furthermore, panthenol has been shown to be great for those with sensitive skin. In a 2024 study, 110 participants with sensitive skin applied a topical cream with panthenol for 28 days. Following the trial period, the assessments revealed some noticeable upgrades in markers related to skin barrier function. These included higher moisture levels in the outermost skin layer, less redness, increased natural oils on the skin, less water loss through, and an overall decrease in skin redness. Talk about a great skin day!

3. COSRX Snail Mucin 92% Repair Cream

COSRX Snail Mucin 92% Repair Cream Korean Beauty K-Beauty Moisturizer

Not only is this K-beauty moisturizer affordable, but it also boasts over 37,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, and it’s currently on sale! If you’re like me and adore K-Beauty, you’ve likely encountered the buzz surrounding snail mucin. The COSRX Snail Mucin 92% Repair Cream is an excellent choice to either begin your journey with or add to your existing routine.

A word of caution, though: The texture tends to be slimy due to the snail mucin, so if you have sensory sensitivities, it may be best to avoid it. Personally, I find the slippery texture of the COSRX Snail Mucin 92% Repair Cream perfect for summer because it feels lightweight on the skin while effectively locking in moisture all day long! Plus, there’s something oddly satisfying about the sensation of playing with slime again. ๐Ÿ˜†

Rave-Worthy Ingredients:
  • Snail Mucin(92%)

Also known as snail secretion filtrate, this ingredient has gotten a lot of buzz in the last few years, but for good reason. There have been several clinical trials done surrounding the effects of snail secretion filtrate when applied to the skin, and the results of multiple of these trials are summed up in a 2023 review titled Snails and Skin: A Systematic Review on the Effects of Snail-based Products on Skin Health (Aflatooni, et al. 2023). The overarching conclusions of the studied review in this article all unanimously point to one conclusion: applying snail secretion filtrate to the skin results in an overall improvement of fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, hydration, and the overall bounciness of the skin! Yup, I just bought a backup as we speak. I mean, it’s for the overall health of my skin, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Arginine

Arginine is an amino acid naturally present in the human body that helps the skin repair itself thanks to its role in supporting collagen production. The addition of arginine in skincare has been shown to help reduce skin irritation and repair skin damage, which could make it a great addition to your skincare routine if you’re looking to target fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, or even dry skin! A study done on human cells (both on a laboratory dish and on a living human) showed that after only one day of introducing a serum containing arginine, both test cases showed an almost 50% reduction in redness and skin irritation. Consider me sold!

  • Sodium Hyaluronate

I talked about it above, so click here if you’d like to read!

4. SeoulCeuticals Korean Skin Care 97.5% Snail Mucin Moisturizer Cream

SeoulCeuticals Korean Skin Care 97.5% Snail Mucin Moisturizer Cream Korean Beauty K-Beauty Moisturizer

The SeoulCeuticals Korean Skin Care 97.5% Snail Mucin Moisturizer Cream is an excellent choice for those seeking extra hydration. With its thicker texture, courtesy of shea butter, this moisturizer provides a plushy feel that quickly absorbs into the skin without leaving any residue. With one of the highest concentrations of snail mucin available, this rich moisturizer offers fantastic value for your money! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Rave-Worthy Ingredients:
  • Snail Mucin(97.5%)

I raved about this ingredient above! Click here to view!

  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Organic Aloe)

Organic aloe is high up on the ingredients list meaning that you’re getting a high concentration of this incredible plant every time you moisturize. Not only is aloe great for healing wounds (I’m lookin’ at you sunburned skin), but a study done by Zohreh Hajheydari et al. showed that aloe vera gel combined with tretinoin was significantly more effective than tretinoin alone for treating acne. That’s good to know for those who have acne and are either already on tretinoin or are considering starting tretinoin!

  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter

For a relatively common ingredient, shea butter actually packs a relatively big punch. Not only is it great at keeping skin moisturized, but shea butter is also safe for those with sensitive skin, it reduces the inflammation of skin, and it even provides some extra sun protection to boot. Nonetheless, always make sure to use a dedicated sunscreen as well! Click here to check out a few of my sunscreen favs!

5. Pyunkang Yul Moisture Cream

Pyunkang Yul Moisture Cream Korean Beauty K-Beauty Moisturizer

If you have combination skin that leans more towards dryness: THIS CREAM IS FOR YOU. If you have Rosacea: THIS CREAM IS FOR YOU. If you’re dealing with any sort of skin inflammation: THIS CREAM IS FOR YOU. And if none of these conditions describe your skin, but you’re still curious: DON’T WORRY BECAUSE IT’S FOR YOU TOO!

I have oily skin, yet I absolutely swear by the Pyunkang Yul Moisture Cream, especially during the summer months. It’s like a shield for all my other skincare products, and it’s been a lifesaver while I’ve been on tretinoin! So, whether your skin is parched or partying, this cream has got your back.

Rave-Worthy Ingredients:
  • Coptis Chinensis Root Extract (Chinese Goldthread)

This plant has been used for many years in Asian countries to treat inflammatory conditions such as acne, psoriasis, or rosacea. Researchers Jin Wook Lee, et al. examined the effects that this ancient medicinal plant had on acne, and found that when the inflamed cells were treated with the root extract, the production of harmful substances known to cause acne were greatly reduced! To further tout the benefits of this plant extract, a 2023 study concluded that a gel with Coptis Chinensis was more effective than the commercially available psoriasis treatment cream.

  • Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil

At this point, I’m sure that we’ve all heard of jojoba oil, but do you know all that it can do for our skin? Jojoba oil has historically been used for hundreds of years for various skin issues, and for good reason! There exist clear findings that show jojoba oil helps to protect our skin barrier against water loss (just as well as white petrolatum, actually), prevent and heal dermatitis, fight inflammatory skin and scalp conditions, and it even protects against premature aging! Jojoba oil is also one of the only oils that closely mimics human sebum, which is why it is often included in skincare products.

  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter

I talked about it above! Click here to go to it!

6. PYUNKANG YUL Nutrition Cream

PYUNKANG YUL Nutrition Cream Korean Beauty K-Beauty Moisturizer

Last but not least, the PYUNKANG YUL Nutrition Cream is here for those with dry skin! Compared to the Pyunkang Yul Moisture Cream, this cream is definitely richer, but rest assured that it doesn’t leave any sort of film or residue. Also, while it may not be thick enough for winter use, it’s PERFECT for the summer months because it leaves your skin feeling silky and moisturized without leaving you looking like a greased churro. I cannot recommend the PYUNKANG YUL Nutrition Cream enough for those who need a bit of extra moisture during the summer months; it’s decadent, packed with great ingredients, fragrance-free, and performs just as well as other high-end moisturizers if not BETTER. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rave-Worthy Ingredients:
  • Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract

This root, dubbed Mongolian milkvetch in English, boasts an illustrious history in Ancient Chinese and Mongolian traditional medicine. It’s revered as a dietary powerhouse, tackling everything from respiratory issues to kidney woes, all while boosting the immune system.

But hold on, there’s more to this root than meets the eye! Astragalus isn’t just for brewing tea or popping pills. Nope, it’s now making waves in the skincare realm too! Applied topically, it’s rumored to be a game-changer, enhancing blood flow, accelerating wound healing, and even turning back the clock on skin aging!

In a recent 2022 study, researchers put this wonder root to the test. They used a cream containing astragaloside IV, a compound found in Astragalus membranaceus, aiming to combat aging by safeguarding telomeresโ€”the biological clocks of our cells. And guess what? Results were out of this world! The cream not only hydrated skin by 95% and brightened it by 90% but also smoothed away wrinkles by a whopping 70%. Talk about ‘rooting’ for skincare success! ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter

I talked about it above! Click here to go to it!

  • Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil

This study set out on a beauty mission: to find the ultimate natural oil that could boost our skincare game by fighting off free radicals and preserving our skin’s hyaluronic acid levels. Out of all the oils tested, Macadamia integrifolia (aka macadamia) oil emerged as the superstar. Its antioxidant properties and ability to preserve hyaluronic acid levels in our skin were unmatched, making it clear that macadamia oil is a game-changer in the world of skincare, delivering both antioxidant and anti-aging benefits.

So, if youโ€™re looking to step up your skincare game, remember: macadamia oil is the secret ingredient you never knew you needed. Your future self will thank you for it!

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