Top Korean Skincare Products for Winter 2024 To Nourish and Protect Your Skin

Author: Veruska Anconitano, Korean Beauty Lover And Korean Beauty JournalistAuthor information
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Veruska Anconitano
Veruska Anconitano is a Korean beauty expert, combining her expertise as a seasoned journalist with a deeply personal passion for K-beauty.
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Winter brings with it a unique set of challenges for skin care. As temperatures drop and humidity levels decrease, skin often becomes dry, sensitive, and prone to irritation. Maintaining a healthy and resilient skin barrier is crucial during these colder months. This is where Korean skincare, renowned for its comprehensive and ingredient-focused approach, comes into play. Korean beauty products have gained immense popularity worldwide, not just for their innovative formulas but also for their effectiveness in addressing a range of skin concerns. Korean skincare products are ideal when skin demands extra nourishment and protection in winter. They offer a blend of hydrating, soothing, and barrier-strengthening ingredients that are perfect for combating the harsh effects of cold weather. In this article, I’ll show you some of the best Korean skincare products for winter, guiding you through choices that will keep your skin hydrated, radiant, and well-protected against the winter chill.

Understanding Skin’s Needs in Winter

Korean Skincare Products for Winter

The winter season can be particularly harsh on the skin, leading to various concerns that require special attention. Cold temperatures and low humidity levels decrease the skin’s natural moisture levels, making it more prone to dryness, flakiness, and tightness. The skin’s barrier function, essential in protecting against environmental aggressors, also tends to weaken during this time. This weakening can lead to increased sensitivity, redness, and even worsening skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

Korean skincare emphasizes maintaining a healthy skin barrier and deep hydration and offers an effective solution to these winter-specific skin issues. It focuses on layering products that deliver hydration and lock in moisture, providing nutrients and antioxidants to strengthen the skin’s resilience against the cold. By addressing the root causes of winter skin problems, such as compromised barrier function and dehydration, Korean skincare products help to maintain a balanced, nourished, and healthy complexion throughout the winter months.

Key Ingredients in Korean Winter Skin Care

Certain key ingredients stand out for their remarkable benefits during the winter season. Hydration is paramount, and ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides are highly prized for their ability to attract and retain moisture in the skin. Hyaluronic acid, in particular, can hold its weight in water many times, ensuring deep hydration even in the driest conditions.

Traditional Korean ingredients also play a significant role. Fermented extracts, such as those from soybeans and green tea, are common in Korean formulations. These extracts are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties, essential for soothing winter-aggravated skin. Ginseng, another staple in Korean beauty, is revered for its anti-aging and revitalizing properties. It helps improve circulation and boost skin repair, which is crucial during the harsh winter months.

Other noteworthy ingredients include snail mucin, known for its healing and regenerative properties, and propolis, which provides both nourishment and antibacterial benefits. Combined with the Korean philosophy of layering skincare products for maximum efficacy, these ingredients create a powerful arsenal against the common skin issues faced in winter. Whether dealing with dryness, sensitivity, or a lackluster complexion, incorporating these ingredients into your winter skincare routine can lead to significant improvements.

Top Korean Skin Care Products for Winter

In the quest for the ideal winter skin care regimen, Korean beauty offers many products tailored to nourish and protect the skin during the colder months. Let’s explore some of the top Korean skin care products essential for winter.

Cleansers and Toners

Winter skincare begins with gentle cleansing that doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils. Look for hydrating cleansers with ingredients like rice, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. Follow up with a hydrating toner, which helps to balance the skin’s pH and prep it for further products. Toners containing aloe vera or rose water are excellent for providing extra hydration and soothing the skin.

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Best Cleansing Oil For Winter: Face Shop Cleansing Oil
Face Shop Cleansing Oil is a versatile and effective cleanser, perfect for the winter season. It is infused with key ingredients like rice bran oil and jojoba oil, which offer deep nourishment and hydration, crucial during colder months. These natural oils work together to gently remove impurities and makeup while maintaining the skin’s moisture balance, preventing the dryness often associated with winter weather. Rice bran oil is known for its antioxidant properties, protecting the skin from harsh environmental factors. In contrast, jojoba oil closely mimics the skin’s natural sebum, making it suitable for all skin types.
Who is this for: It is ideal for anyone seeking a gentle yet effective cleanser that maintains skin hydration and combats winter dryness.
Why it’s good: It cleanses the skin without stripping it of natural oils, provides extra nourishment, and is suitable for all skin types, making it an excellent choice for winter skincare.
Price Range: The product is affordable, offering great value for its quality and benefits.
Main Strengths: Its ability to effectively cleanse while nourishing the skin, and its suitability for all skin types stand out as its main strengths.
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Best Toner For Winter: Benton Aloe Vera Toner
Benton Aloe Vera Toner is a soothing and hydrating facial toner, ideal for the winter season. It is enriched with key ingredients like aloe vera and snail mucin, providing intense hydration and aiding skin repair and rejuvenation. Aloe vera, known for its soothing properties, calms irritated winter skin, while snail mucin offers regenerative benefits, promoting a healthy, glowing complexion. This toner effectively removes any residual impurities after cleansing, and its hydrating properties help combat the dryness and tightness often associated with cold weather. Its gentle formulation makes it suitable even for sensitive skin.
Who is this for: This toner is perfect for anyone looking for a hydrating and soothing product to incorporate into their winter skincare routine, especially those with dry or sensitive skin.
Why it’s good: It not only cleanses and refreshes the skin but also provides deep hydration and soothing effects, making it ideal for winter care.
Price Range: Benton Aloe Vera Toner is in a moderate price range, making it an accessible skincare choice for many.
Main Strengths: Its main strengths include its ability to hydrate, and soothe irritated skin deeply. Its suitability for all skin types is particularly beneficial in the dry winter months.
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Moisturizers and Creams

The cornerstone of winter skin care is moisturizers and creams with a richer texture, which are preferable. Ingredients like shea butter, squalane, and ceramides provide deep moisturization without clogging pores. Look for products that create a protective barrier on the skin, locking in moisture and shielding against harsh environmental factors.

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Best Moisturizer For Winter: IUNIK Beta-Glucan Daily Moisture Cream
IUNIK Beta-Glucan Daily Moisture Cream is an exceptional moisturizer tailored for winter, infused with the powerful ingredient beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is derived from mushrooms, which is known for its intense hydrating and skin-soothing properties, perfect for dry and cold weather. This cream deeply penetrates the skin, providing lasting moisture without leaving a greasy residue. It helps to reinforce the skin’s natural barrier, protecting it from harsh environmental elements and locking in moisture. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties make it suitable for soothing irritated or sensitive skin during winter.
Who is this for: It is ideal for those with dry, sensitive, or irritated skin seeking a deeply hydrating and soothing moisturizer for the winter months.
Why it’s good: Its vital ingredient, beta-glucan, offers superior hydration, enhances the skin’s protective barrier, and soothes winter skin concerns effectively.
Price Range: IUNIK Beta-Glucan Daily Moisture Cream falls into a moderate price range, offering great value for its skin benefits.
Main Strengths: The cream’s strengths are its deep moisturizing capabilities, non-greasy formula, and suitability for sensitive skin, making it a perfect winter skincare staple.
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Serums and Essences

Serums and essences are concentrated treatments targeting specific skin concerns. Serums and essences with niacinamide or hyaluronic acid are great for improving skin texture and reducing redness, while those with propolis or ginseng extract can invigorate and brighten the skin.

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Best Serum For Winter: Mizon Original Skin Energy Hyaluronic Acid 100
Mizon Original Skin Energy Hyaluronic Acid 100 is a highly concentrated serum that serves as an essential moisturizer, especially during the winter months. Its key ingredient, hyaluronic acid, is celebrated for holding up to 1000 times its weight in water, ensuring deep and lasting hydration. This serum effectively penetrates the skin, delivering intense moisture and reducing the appearance of fine lines caused by dryness. It’s particularly beneficial in winter, as it helps to combat the harsh effects of cold weather and indoor heating, which can strip moisture from the skin. The lightweight formula is quickly absorbed, leaving the skin plump, hydrated, and radiant without any greasy residue.
Who is this for: Mizon Original Skin Energy Hyaluronic Acid 100 is ideal for those seeking an intense hydration boost, particularly in the winter, and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Why it’s good: It provides superior hydration, combats dryness and fine lines, and is suitable for even sensitive skin, making it a versatile winter skincare product.
Price Range: This serum is in the moderate price range, providing excellent value for its high concentration of hyaluronic acid.
Main Strengths: Its strengths include its high hyaluronic acid content for unparalleled hydration, fast-absorbing formula, and suitability for all skin types, making it a winter skincare essential.
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Masks and Treatments

Weekly masks can provide an intense hydration boost. Sheet masks infused with hyaluronic acid or snail mucin extract are famous for their immediate plumping and soothing effects. Sleeping masks, applied overnight, work to repair and rejuvenate the skin while you sleep.

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Best Winter Mask: A’Pieu Milk Masks
A’Pieu Milk Masks are a delightful range of nourishing facial masks, perfect for winter skincare. Infused with milk extract, these masks deeply hydrate and soften the skin, making them an excellent moisturizer during the dry winter. Each mask variant is enriched with additional ingredients like honey, strawberry, and chocolate, offering unique benefits such as extra hydration, brightening, and soothing effects. The creamy essence in these masks provides an instant boost of moisture, helping to alleviate dryness, flakiness, and tightness associated with cold weather. Their gentle formulation makes them suitable for daily use and an enjoyable part of any winter skincare routine.
Who is this for: A’Pieu Milk Masks are ideal for anyone looking for an easy-to-use, intensely hydrating facial mask to combat winter dryness, suitable for all skin types.
Why it’s good: These masks are particularly beneficial in winter for their intense moisturizing properties, variety of natural extracts, and their ability to cater to different skin needs.
Price Range: A’Pieu Milk Masks are very affordable, making them accessible for regular use throughout the winter season.
Main Strengths: The masks’ main strengths include their deep hydrating ability, variety of nourishing ingredients, and suitability for all skin types, making them a versatile and enjoyable winter skincare treat.
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Sun Protection

It’s a common misconception that sunscreen is only necessary during summer. Winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 should be integral to your winter skincare routine.

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Best Winter Sunscreen: COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50
COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 is a multifunctional skincare product that combines the protective benefits of a high SPF sunscreen with the nourishing properties of a moisturizer, making it an ideal choice for winter care. Infused with aloe vera extract, this sun cream not only shields the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays but also provides intense hydration and soothing effects. Aloe vera, known for its calming properties, helps to alleviate dryness and irritation often experienced during the colder months. The cream has a lightweight texture that absorbs quickly without leaving a white cast, ensuring your skin stays moisturized and protected throughout the day.
Who is this for: This sun cream is perfect for anyone seeking a daily sunscreen with added moisturizing benefits, especially for those with dry or sensitive skin in winter.
Why it’s good: It offers broad-spectrum sun protection while hydrating and soothing the skin, making it a practical two-in-one product for winter skincare routines.
Price Range: COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 is priced moderately, offering good value for its dual functionality.
Main Strengths: Its main strengths include its high SPF protection, moisturizing properties, aloe vera content for soothing the skin, and its non-greasy, quick-absorbing formula.
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By selecting products suited to your needs, you can effectively combat the drying effects of winter and maintain a healthy, glowing complexion.

Routine Tips for Winter Skin Care

Korean skincare routine

Adapting your skincare routine for winter is not just about choosing the right products but also how you use them. Here are some essential tips to maximize the benefits of your Korean skin care regimen during the colder months:

  • Layering Products Effectively: Korean skincare is famous for its layering technique. Start with the lightest product, such as a toner or essence, and gradually move to thicker textures like serums and creams. This method ensures each product is adequately absorbed and the skin receives maximum hydration.
  • Gentle Cleansing: Avoid harsh cleansers that can strip the skin of its natural oils. Use a soft, hydrating cleanser to preserve the skin’s moisture barrier, which protects against the dry winter air. Keep practicing the double-cleansing standard.
  • Hydration is Key: Apply a hydrating serum or essence immediately after cleansing and toning. Look for products with hyaluronic acid or glycerin to bind moisture to the skin.
  • Seal in Moisture: Use a heavier moisturizer or night cream to lock in the hydration after applying your serum or essence. Products with ceramides, peptides, or fatty acids reinforce the skin’s barrier. Check this list of the best Korean moisturizers and the best Korean moisturizers for dry skin.
  • Don’t Skip Sunscreen: The winter sun can be as harmful as the summer sun. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every morning, even on cloudy days. Check our list of the best sunscreens to use all year.
  • Weekly Treatments: Incorporate weekly hydrating masks into your routine. Sheet masks, overnight masks, or even DIY masks with natural ingredients can provide an extra hydration boost.
  • Avoid Hot Water: While it may be tempting to use hot water in the winter, it can dehydrate your skin. Use lukewarm water for washing your face and showering.
  • Humidifier Can Help: Using a humidifier in your home can add moisture to the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out.

By following these tips and adjusting your skincare routine to suit the winter climate, you can maintain soft, supple, and hydrated skin throughout the season. Remember, the key to effective skin care in winter is holding the skin’s moisture balance and protecting it from environmental stressors.

Tips for Selecting the Right Products

Choosing the right Korean skin care products for winter requires careful consideration of your specific skin needs and concerns. Here are some valuable tips to help you make informed choices:

  • Understand Your Skin Type: It’s essential to know your skin type – whether dry, oily, combination, or sensitive. This understanding will guide you in selecting products that cater to your skin’s unique requirements. For instance, look for products with deep hydrating properties if you have dry skin.
  • Check the Ingredients: Pay close attention to the ingredient list. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin are excellent for winter as they help to retain moisture. For sensitive skin, seek products with soothing ingredients like aloe vera or green tea.
  • Consider Your Skin Concerns: If you have concerns like redness, acne, or hyperpigmentation, look for products targeting these issues. Korean skincare offers solutions for a wide range of skin concerns, so you can find products that address your general and specific needs.
  • Opt for Layering: In Korean skincare, layering multiple products allows each one to contribute to skin health without overwhelming it. Start with lighter formulas like essences and serums, and finish with heavier creams to lock in moisture.
  • Seek Expert Advice: If you’re unsure about your skin type or the products best suited for you, don’t hesitate to consult a dermatologist or a skincare expert. Professional guidance can be invaluable, especially when transitioning your skincare routine for winter.
  • Patch Test New Products: Before fully incorporating a new product into your routine, do a patch test to ensure it doesn’t cause irritation or an allergic reaction.

By taking these steps, you can select Korean skin care products that suit your skin type, address your concerns, and provide the nourishment and protection your skin needs during winter. Remember, the goal is maintaining healthy, hydrated, and happy skin, even in the coldest months.

Top Tips for Healthy Winter Skin

Maintaining healthy skin during winter goes beyond just the right skincare products. It involves a holistic approach that combines good skincare practices with a healthy lifestyle. Here are some top tips to keep your skin radiant and nourished during the colder months:

  • Stay Hydrated: It’s easy to overlook hydration in winter, but drinking plenty of water is crucial for maintaining skin health. Hydrated skin is less prone to dryness and irritation.
  • Balanced Diet: Incorporate a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Foods like salmon, avocados, nuts, and leafy greens can significantly improve skin health.
  • Gentle Exfoliation: Regularly exfoliate to remove dead skin cells. However, be gentle and don’t over-exfoliate, as this can strip the skin of essential oils and lead to dryness.
  • Moisturize Immediately After Bathing: Apply moisturizer on damp skin right after showering to lock in moisture.
  • Use a Humidifier: Using a humidifier in your home or office can help add moisture to dry winter air, which in turn helps keep your skin hydrated.
  • Protect Your Skin: Wear gloves and scarves to protect your skin from cold winds and freezing temperatures.
  • Limit Hot Showers: Hot showers can strip the skin of its natural oils. Opt for shorter, lukewarm showers instead.
  • Pay Attention to Sensitive Areas: Areas like lips, hands, and feet often need extra care in winter. Use lip balms, hand and foot creams to provide targeted hydration.
  • Get Enough Sleep: Quality sleep is essential for skin repair and rejuvenation. Ensure you get adequate rest to allow your skin to heal and regenerate.
  • Exercise Regularly: Regular physical activity boosts circulation and promotes overall health, reflecting your skin’s appearance.

By integrating these practices into your daily routine, you can effectively combat the harsh effects of winter and keep your skin healthy, soft, and glowing throughout the season. Remember, healthy skin combines good care, nutrition, and overall well-being.


A holistic approach is the key to maintaining healthy, radiant skin during the colder months. You can effectively combat the harsh effects of winter by choosing products rich in nourishing ingredients, layering them effectively, and complementing your skin care regimen with healthy lifestyle choices. The Korean skincare, focusing on deep hydration, barrier protection, and innovative formulations, provides a comprehensive arsenal to tackle winter-specific skin concerns. Whether you’re dealing with dryness or sensitivity or seeking to maintain a youthful glow, a Korean skincare solution caters to your needs.

Remember, the cold season doesn’t have to be a time for skin woes; with the proper care and products, your skin can thrive even in the chilliest temperatures.

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