The 5 Best Korean Cleansers for Sensitive and Acne-Prone Skin

Looking for a Korean cleanser that’s suitable for your sensitive skin which doesn’t make your acne worse? We selected our 5 favorite Korean cleansers which are very gentle on the skin, don’t clog any pores, and don’t give you that eerie tight feeling afterward. In the 10 step Korean skincare routine we cleanse twice, the first time with an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and accumulated dirt. The second time we cleanse we use a gel or foam based cleanser to thoroughly clean our skin. In this blog post, we’ll talk about cleansers which are used in the second step. We focus on the second step since not everyone wears makeup or does an oil cleanse first (for eg guys). If you are looking for some oil cleanser suggestions for acne-prone skin drop us a comment below!

Yadah Anti-Trouble Bubble Cleanser

The Yadah Anti-Trouble Bubble Cleanser is an easy to use whipped type cleanser. It comes in a convenient and hygienic pump packaging which instantly pumps out the soft cloud-like cleanser. Because of the soft texture, it doesn’t need any additional water to lather up which is perfect for those with sensitive skin. With the addition of BHA and amino acids, it helps control breakouts and regulates excessive sebum production.

Pros and cons:

❤️️ 100% plant based

❤️️ Vegan-friendly

❤️️ Acne fighting BHA + Amino acids

✖ BHA is not that strong at a pH level of 4.5 (can be good news for sensitive skin)

✖ Foam density is not that thicc

Etude House Soon Jung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser

Similar to the Yadah cleanser we have another whipped cleanser which is the Etude House Soon Jung Cleanser. Like the title suggests this cleanser comes at a very optimal pH level of 6.5 which is very close to the skin’s natural pH level, leaving no room for irritation. Unlike Yadah, this cleanser contains Madecassoside and Panthenol very high up in the ingredient list. Madecassoside is a molecule derived from Centella Asiatica which promotes wound healing, alleviates inflammation and has anti-oxidant properties. Panthenol on the other side is used in skincare as a humectant, which means it has the ability to attract and hold moisture.

Pros and cons:

❤️️ Short ingredient list

❤️️ Madecassoside to soothe + repair the skin

❤️️ Panthenol for moisturizing

✖ No cons!

Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser

Last whippy cleanser I promise! The Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser has a more lightweight texture compared to the Soon Jung cleanser and glides onto the skin effortlessly. Instead of using the foaming agent SLS which can be very irritating to the skin, Klairs uses amino acids in its formula instead to help to product lather up nicely. Additionally to the moisturizing ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and ceramide it also contains tea tree oil which helps battle (hormonal) acne.

Pros and cons:

❤️️ Hyaluronic acid, ceramides & aloe for extra moisture

❤️️ Tea tree oil & licorice root to help with acne

✖ Rather long ingredient list

Missha Near Skin pH Balancing Cleansing Foam

If this cleanser looks familiar to you it’s possible that you used this cleanser with its old boring white packaging. They changed the outside from plain white to froggy green but luckily the formula stayed the same. This is possibly the lightest formula out of this list and when first trying it I was adding loads of water to accumulate more foam which was totally unnecessary. This cleanser does not lather in a thick and rich foam but changes from a gel into a light froth. The cappuccino like substance cleans the skin thoroughly without stripping it from its natural moisture. With a formula that contains mineral water from the Seorak mountains and added amino acids, this gentle formula is loved among many different skin types.

Pros and cons:

❤️️ Extremely lightweight

❤️️ Non-drying formula with amino acids

❤️️ Short ingredient list

✖ Does contain a small amount of fragrance

✖ Not a luscious foam

Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

This list wasn’t even near complete without including this K-Beauty cult favorite cleanser. Unlike the name suggests, the Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser can be used both in the morning and nighttime. This gel to foam cleanser contains both tea tree leaf oil extract and BHA making it very suitable for those with acne-prone skin. While tea tree oil helps to soothe the skin the betaine salicylate gently exfoliates the skin and helps unclog the pores.

Pros and cons:

❤️️ Pore unclogging

❤️️ Anti-bacterial and soothing

❤️️ Lightweight formula

✖ Can be a little more drying for those with extremely sensitive skin because of the BHA


I hope after reading this you’ll find your perfect match in one of these cleansers, or have some idea where to look for in a cleanser! If you want us to do a list for oil cleansers or gentle cleansers for a different skintypes please leave a comment below!

‘XO Ichigo

3 thoughts on “The 5 Best Korean Cleansers for Sensitive and Acne-Prone Skin

  1. Anonymous says:

    Other sources seem to say to not use foam cleansers on acne prone or dry skin. Any thoughts on that? It seems like there is a lot of contradictory information out there.

    • says:

      It is quite unfair to rule out a whole category of products based on just the consistency. I would recommend to look at the ingredients first instead of the texture and make a decision based on that. For example, if we look at the Etude House Soon Jung Whip Cleanser, this is one of the most loved cleansers for acne prone and very dry/sensitive skin however it still lathers into a rich foam.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE the COSRX low pH cleanser! It’s really helped keep my skin under control. I find it really gentle even if I use it a lot – which I do! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.