The 10 Best Korean Face Exfoliators and Scrubs 2022

Unclear about using scrubs and exfoliators on your sensitive skin but still need effective exfoliation and rejuvenation for your face? Why not explore the Best Korean Face Exfoliators and Scrubs?

These have proven solutions for all types of skin under varying environmental conditions, without damaging the skin.

No one gets smooth and supple skin if scrubbing and exfoliation are missed in any way.  A skin exfoliator and scrub always comes on the top of the routine list in a Korean skincare regime.

That is why regular exfoliation is always considered a crucial part of the Korean skincare routine. It leads to soft, supple, and spotless skin and removes wrinkles and dead skin cells daily.

Why Should You Use Korean Scrubs & Exfoliators?

  • Korean scrubs and exfoliators tend to be gentler for all skin types.
  • Korean scrubs and exfoliators tend to use natural and harsh-free ingredients.
  • Korean scrubs and exfoliators are focused on prevention rather than fixes.

What Is The Difference Between Scrubs & Exfoliators?

Before we delve into the different types of Korean scrubs and exfoliators, let’s look at what the difference between scrubs and exfoliators is.

Scrubs

Scrubs are cream-based products with tiny particles that exfoliate when you massage them across the skin. They help you get rid of dry and dead skin cells. Typically, scrubs are used to complement the basic routine that includes a cleanser, a toner, and a moisturizer. They can offer you a deeper cleanse, removing blackheads and reactivating the micro-circulation in the skin to tone it.

Exfoliators

On the other hand, exfoliators are either mechanical or chemical agents that remove dead cells from the skin’s surfaces upon application. They unclog and clean the pores on your skin, which leave your skin revived. In the process, they also stimulate more even pigment cells to regrow. Hence, most people opt for exfoliators to improve their skin texture and lighten acne scars.

What Kind Of Korean Scrubs Or Exfoliators Are There?

Scrubs

Scrub Creams

As indicated in the name, this is a product that comes in the form of cream. It has micro grains that serve as exfoliating abrasives. It can be used by any gender, but it is not recommended if you have sensitive skin because there is a chance of skin irritation, including inflammation and redness. To use, just squeeze an adequate amount onto your palm, lather slightly, and massage against your skin. You should only use this two to three times a week.

Scrub Gels

This is similar to scrub creams. The difference is that it is in gel form. When you dispense it onto your hands, it will likely have a clear, translucent appearance. It contains tiny particles that does  the exfoliating for you. You will need a bit of water to lather it before application. You should not use this daily, as overusing it can cause skin irritation. Two to three times a week will suffice.

Scrub Sponges

The official name for this is Konjac sponge. It is a gentle cleansing solution that can be used for daily exfoliating. You just need to soak the sponge for 20 to 20 minutes, wait for it to expand and soften, then squeeze out excess water, and add your cleanser on it to scrub your skin in circle motions. Once you are done with it, rinse with water and hang it to dry. You can use it all over your body for deep cleansing and a radiant glow.

Scrub Towels

This refers to a towel with a sand-paper like texture that serves as an abrasive to scrub away all dirt, debris, and dead skin on your face, neck, or other parts of the body. Scrub towels are very common in Korea spa treatments. After using it, your skin will be noticeably cleaner and softer. It is relatively cheap and quite convenient as it can be washed in the laundry.

Scrub Gloves

This is the same as scrub towels, but comes in the form of gloves. So, you can slip your hands into it and do the scrubbing. It is less likely to slip, but slightly more difficult to clean, as you will have to turn it inside out, as well.

Exfoliators

There are two types of exfoliators: mechanical and physical.

The former contains micro-abrasive particles, such as salt or sugar grains that polish the skin’s surface when it is rubbed. You can use body brushes, pumice stones, or loofahs to assist these mechanical exfoliators.

The latter contains chemicals, such as retinol and hydroxy acids that restore the skin alongside enzymes. The two key exfoliator types are AHA exfoliators and BHA exfoliators.

  • AHA is short for alpha hydroxy acid. This type of exfoliator includes water-soluble acids generally derived from sugar fruits. They peel the outermost layer of the skin, and then prompt more evenly pigmented skin to grow.
  • BHA is an abbreviation for beta hydroxy acid. It is oil-soluble and able to penetrate into hair follicles. In doing so, it dries out extra oil, eliminates dead skin cells, and ultimately, unclogs the pores. As such, BH exfoliators are suitable for oily, acne-prone skin.

Peel-Off Masks

This is a type of mechanical exfoliant. There are numerous different peel-off mask options in the market, with different ingredients and for different skin types.

Note: Make sure you always examine the ingredients list. Do not choose masks with ingredients that you are allergic to.

Each will have its own usage instructions, however, in general, here are the steps you take:

  • Rinse your face with warm water. Do not use cold water because it causes your skin to contract and the pores to close. If your pores are closed, the mask will not work correctly.
  • Apply the peel-off mask on your face and spread it evenly. Be sure to avoid your sensitive areas, like the areas around your eyes.
  • Leave it on for as long as the packaging specifies. Usually, when this time is over, the mask is dried out and feels hard.
  • Peel your mask off, starting from the upper left and right corners. Make sure you pull it off gently and slowly. If you try to rip it off quickly, you can cause damage to your skin.
  • Rinse your face again with lukewarm water.
  • Remove any remaining bits on your skin.
  • Pat dry your face with a fresh, dry towel.

The masks penetrate your pores and lift bacteria, dirt, debris, and dead skin cells along with any impurities. As a result, you skin will be toned, balanced, and healthier.

Peel-off masks are many user’s favorite because they are affordable, easy to use, and effective. You can enjoy a “spa experience” in the comforts of your home with them!

Peel Pads or Gauze

These are also referred to as exfoliating pads. They are loved by many because they can take care of your skin in 30 second. These pads are considered chemical exfoliants. They contain different acids to work their magic. You need to choose the right pads according to your type of skin. For example, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, you will benefit from BHA acids, such as salicylic acid.

Like peel-off masks, you should clean your face with water first. Then use the peel pads to wipe your skin. We recommend wiping one side of the face at a time. On either side, be sure to wipe outward and not go over the same areas over and over with one pad.

Depending on your product of choice, you can use it for your neck and chest too. For most, it is best not to use daily or in high concentrations, as either case can leave your skin with a burning sensation.

Clay Masks WIth Microbeads

Clay masks with microbeads are a type of mechanical exfoliant. To use them, start by washing your face. You need a clean base so the clay mask can work effectively. Any oil or dirt build up should be removed in this first step.

Next, use your fingers to scoop an adequate amount of the clay mask and apply it to your face. Some clay masks also come with a soft bristle brush. In that case, use the brush instead of your fingers. When you are applying the mask, be sure to cover all parts of your skin except the area surrounding your eyes.

Leave the mask on and allow about 12 to 15 minutes for it to dry. It might take a bit longer if your mask layer was thick. Once it has dried, rinse it off with warm water. Finally, use a face towel to wipe it gently and remove any residue.

Note: To avoid leaving your skin raw, do not use a clay mask daily. It is best to use it just once or twice a week.

Bubble Masks

Bubble masks consist of foaming agents and pressurized oxygen. These work together to form bubbles that exfoliate the skin, unclog pores, and get rid of excess oil. In addition, these masks impart nutrients for the skin. As a result, your skin will look supple and plump.

You can find bubble masks in the form of sheet masks, creams, and clay masks. Typically, they will contain hydrating agents and collagen supplements to benefit your skin.

There are5 basic steps you need to take when using a bubble mask:

  • Clean your face thoroughly with warm water. Then, pat your skin dry.
  • Apply the mask on your face. While doing so, be sure to cover all of your skin except the area around the eyes, nostrils, mouth, and hairline.
  • Leave the mask on for as long as you are instructed to according to the package. This is usually from 10 to 15 minutes. During this time, you should notice the mask bubbling.
  • Take the mask off.
  • Gently massage any remaining product to clean off persisting impurities as well as relax your facial muscles.
  • Wash everything off with warm water to complete.

Note: You can use a bubble mask once every week.

Top Korean Face Exfoliator & Scrubs

People get a bit confused when they need to pick up the true Korean regime and exfoliators from the mass of online products online.

So, here are a few suggestions to understand and choose the best;

Korean Beauty (SRB) Rice Bran Enzyme Powder Face Wash and Scrub

A true gem for all skin types

This is a perfect Korean facial wash and scrub that not only cleanses and moisturizes but also exfoliates dead skin cells to give users a refreshed look every day.

With around 50+ natural nutrients in it, the exfoliation results in a soothing and calming effect on the skin. In particular, the papaya extract works to remove gunk, oil, and debris and the rice enzymes support in pore minimization and tightening of the skin.

The powder face wash is composed of Rice bran enzymes that softly exfoliate the upper layer of the skin, revealing the fresh skin below. It is fairly suitable for all skin types and gives a glowing and whitened look every time it is applied.

The scrub works as a mild cleanser and exfoliator as it comes without any harmful compounds like parabens and artificial colors. This is an obvious quality of K-beauty products.

Even though the price seems a bit steep, you can rest assured that with a nature-based secret composition trusted by K-beauty followers, your skin would glow and shine with no dirt on it after using this.

Pros:

  • 50+ natural ingredients
  • Free of harmful compounds
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons:

  • Slightly steep price

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Perfect for oily skin

Korean skincare exfoliators and cleansers always feature natural elements and ingredients. This Innisfree super volcanic pore clay mask is one perfect deep cleanser and exfoliator that gently acts on the upper dead skin cells to remove the gunk, oil, and dead skin layers on the face.

Compared to its previous version, the clay mask includes twice the amount of volcanic ash. This ensures deeper cleansing with a pore-clearing effect and smooth exfoliation that leaves the skin dirt free.

This features a 5-action formula that guarantees deep cleansing for clear and fresh skin. It helps in controlling the oil content on the skin while minimizing pores and tightening the skin.

You may notice a tingle or cold feeling at first but It freshens up skin cells and improves the skin tone. Moreover, it also assures acne control and a soothing effect on the skin. As such, it is the perfect option for oily skin types.

Pros:

  • 5-action formula to deeply cleanse the skin
  • Controls oil and acne, minimizes pores, and tightens skin

Cons:

  • May observe a tingle or cold feeling at first

17VDerma Korean Skin Face Peel Pads

Suitable for dry and sensitive skin

This one is a smart and effective solution for face exfoliation and cleansing needs. It is different from regular exfoliators and cleansers since it is a set of peeling pads that remove the dead skin cells and gunk in just a matter of seconds.

The smell might be a bit strong, but rest assured that the 17 V Derma Korean skin face peels are composed of vegan, non-harmful formulas. This means that the composition is free from parabens and animal components, ensuring safe usage.

Skin needs nourishing ingredients when it is dry and damaged and that is what these peel pads do. There is a vitamin enriched formula that offers a soft and calming effect along with a gentle exfoliation of dead skin cells, makeup residues, and dirt.

It contains PHA, which acts as a mild exfoliator. It is milder than AHA and BHA, which improves skin health.

It works as a daily moisturizer as it contains 17 natural ingredients that contain antioxidants and nourishing compounds to keep skin clean, refreshed, and healthy without damaged cells. Plus, through peeling it supports exfoliation and nourishment while leaving the skin calm, hydrated,  and refreshed.

Pros:

  • Free of parabens and animal components
  • 17 natural ingredients

Cons:

  • Slightly strong smell

Dr.G Brightening Peeling Gel

Can be used on dry and sensitive skin

Dr. G’s brightening peeling gel is another mild exfoliator for sensitive and dry skin. Just like the 17V Derma Korean peel pads, this provides exfoliation through mild peeling of dead skin cells. The difference is that this is a gel pad.

The major ingredients here are cellulose, antioxidants, and natural extracts from Hollyhock and other nature-based components. The overall formulation offers a gentle and smooth, soothing effect.

It softly removes dead skin from the face and improves skin health while keeping it moisturized and hydrated. There is a strong tea tree fragrant, which can be harsh on the nose, but this is not a deal breaker as it promises the perfect transparent and spotless Korean skin.

Pros:

  • Cellulose, antioxidants, natural extracts, and nature-based ingredients

Cons:

  • Strong tea tree fragrance

DERMALOGY Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads by NEOGENLAB

For sensitive and dry skin

Korean exfoliators and scrubs are certainly taking advantage of nature-based ingredients in all possible ways. Dermalogy bio-peel Gauze by Neo Gen Lab is another true example of this in the K-beauty regime.

These are nutrient-infused, specially designed peeling pads. They effectively act as an exfoliator and soothing scrub on the skin to reveal naturally refreshed skin.

The facial peeling pads consist of three layers. The first one is pure cotton mesh gauze, which helps in soft exfoliation. The second layer is a cushion pad that gently presses the gauze onto the skin. The last layer is an embossed part that has all the active ingredients in it.

These peeling pads come in three different formulations including wine, green tea, and lemon, all of which provide the unique ingredients for gentle exfoliation.

The 2 step peeling process helps in soothing and gentle exfoliation and pore minimization. As a result, the dirt and debris on the skin are removed. The skin is cleansed and gets a bright, toned up and refreshed hydrated look after the treatment.

The only possible complaint is that they are a bit pricey.

Pros:

  • Infused with nutrients
  • Three different formulations

Cons:

  • A bit pricey

Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask

Good to use on oily and sensitive skin

This is a carbonated clay mask that offers a unique and exotic exfoliation experience alongside  a bubbly skin bath. The clay mask has active ingredients in it, and when applied to the skin, the components start creating bubbles.

The process of exfoliation takes place as the carbonated clay gently removes dirt and debris, and the bubbles soften the dead skin cells and take away the oil and dirt from within the pores.

After a few minutes, the mask develops into a soft spongy cloud on the face that assures gentle removal of all the dead particles and leaves the skin soft, supple, soothed, and clear without any impurity.

It is thick and can take a while to take off. But, the mask is perfect for oily skin and sensitive skin types with proven healthy skin maintenance.

Pros:

  • Unique and exotic exfoliation experience
  • Perfect for oily and sensitive skin

Cons:

  • Thick and can take a while to take off

Minamul Konjac Exfoliating Organic Facial Sponge Set

All skin types

When it comes to exfoliating sponges, people have concerns about if they will be more abrasive or may damage the skin. But this is not the case with Konjic organic sponges for facial skin. These sponges are infused with bamboo charcoal, ensuring soothing exfoliation.

Konjac sponges have a history of deep exfoliation effect on the skin for 100 years. These are meant to detoxify, leave the skin soft and supple, and free from dirt, oil, and debris of dead skin cells. They are specially designed to give a soft, leathery touch that does not irritate or damage the skin cells.

The sponges absorb water quickly and make sure they are soft enough to use on the face. So, they can be used with a suitable face wash or soap daily. It is recommended that the sponges are replaced every two weeks to avoid piling germs or damages to the texture of the sponge itself.

Pros:

  • Infused with bamboo charcoal
  • Does not irritate or damage the skin

Cons:

  • Must be replaced every two weeks (So, can be pricey)

MY Konjac Sponge

For all skin types and acne-prone skin

Here is another Konjac sponge that has been specifically designed to cater to facial exfoliation needs. This konjac sponge comes with the all-natural goodness of bamboo charcoal, providing soft and gentle exfoliation of the skin while avoiding skin damage.

The deep cleansing texture assures pore cleansing and dead skin removal from the upper layer of the skin. Regular use always assures healthier-looking skin gradually. Make sure to replace it on time while it is still intact because damaged konjac sponges are not recommended for skin.

Pros:

  • Features bamboo charcoal
  • Exfoliates without damaging the skin

Cons:

  • Needs to be replaced eventually

A-Thera Peeling Stick Face Peels for Sensitive Skin

For sensitive and oily skin

A-Thera Peeling stick is a combination of natural ingredients and unique technology and design. It provides an easier and more effective way of peeling dead skin and dirt off the skin.

The peeling sticks are like cotton swabs but with heads that are 10 times larger for easier peeling of the skin. These are a result of intense Korean dermatological research that combines all possible solutions for healthier skin.

Through the face peeling stick, the pores are cleansed, dirt and oils are removed effectively, and the dead skin cells are gently peeled off, leaving the skin refreshed and clean with a revitalizing effect.

These are easy and fast usable peeling sticks consisting of bamboo water and tea tree oil. The ingredients not only promote a cleansing effect but also help in reducing blemishes, controlling oil, tightening pores, and revitalizing skin for a wrinkle-free and refreshed look.

The only small drawback is that the smell is a bit overwhelming for the nose.

Pros:

  • Consists of bamboo water and tea tree oil
  • Cleanses, reduces blemishes, controls oil, tightens pores, and revitalizes skin

Cons:

  • Slightly overwhelming smell

SECRETKEY Lemon Sparkling Cleansing Foam

For oily skin

This unique combination of sparkling water and lemon provides the perfect blend for removing dirt, oil, and impurities in a soothing manner that leaves skin revitalized and fresh.

The pores are deep cleaned and dead skin is gently removed so no damage is done to the skin. With collagen, hyaluronic acid in this cleansing foam, the skin stays moisturized.

The bubbling effect removes sebum and oil from deep below the pores and tones up the skin for a soft and supple feel.

However, it is not the best for deep cleansing. It cannot remove light makeup.

Pros:

  • Consists of sparkling water, lemon, collagen, and hyaluronic acid

Cons:

  • Cannot remove light makeup

Here we have sorted the best Korean face exfoliator and scrubs and have seen how these offer unique and effective ingredients that effectively exfoliate the skin.

Korean skincare is surely based on cruelty-free, vegan products, and that is visible in these exfoliators and scrubs that have proven their worth as the best ones so far.

Generally, the gel peel-off mask exfoliators are considered good for normal to dry skin. Whereas the bubble masks are suitable for oily skin treatment.

Konjac sponges and mild cleansing exfoliators prove to be good for all skin types for supporting skin health.

It is recommended that you must maintain a good routine for exfoliation and cleansing needs of your skin. It depends on which type of scrubs you will choose and according to your skin type and condition.

But we can say it for sure, Korean face exfoliators and scrubs have a solution for all skin types if you are ready to feel the difference.

The Famous 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine

Step 1 – Makeup Remover and Oil Cleanser

This first step is done in the morning and at night. All you must do is massage into your dry skin. Then, add lukewarm water to emulsify and finish by rinsing. This breaks down all the oil-based debris on your skin.

Step 2 – Water-Based Cleaner

This is the second cleansing step that clears any remaining impurities such as dirt and sweat on your skin. You should also do this in the morning and at night. Apply to damp skin and massage with circular motions. Finally, rinse gently with lukewarm water.

Step 3 – Exfoliator

In this step, you will clean debris from the pores and get rid of dead skin cells. You should do it 1 to 2 times per week. We recommend focusing on the pores on your nose and cheeks. This step will also ensure that your skin can absorb other skin care products.

Step 4 – Toner

This is a prep product that should be applied using a cotton pad across the fact and with gentle patting motions. It balances the moisture level and pH level on your skin.

Step 5 – Essence

For this step, simply sprinkle essence onto your hands and pat it on your face and neck lightly. It will hydrate and support cell turnover of your skin.

Step 6 – Treatments

This includes any serum, booster, and ampoule, targeting specific skin problems (aka. fine lines,  acne, and hyperpigmentation). Just apply the product gently by tapping on your skin and certain affected areas.

Step 7 – Sheet Masks

By smoothing a sheet mask onto your clean skin, lying back for 15 to 20 minutes and patting in leftover essence, you will infuse your skin with concentrated essence that imparts nutrients and moisturizes.

Step 8 – Eyecream

This step keeps puffiness, dark circles, and crow’s feet away. apply product with your pinky and light tapping motions around the orbital bone. However, make sure you do not rub and reach the water line.

Step 9 – Moisturizer

This refers to lotion, gel, cream, emulsion, and sleeping masks. Regardless of the form, though, this step seals in posture to smooth fine lines and plump up skin. You should apply it to the face and neck every day in the morning and at night.

Step 10 – Sun Protection

This is the final step of your skin care routine. It will protect your skin from harmful UV rays. You just need to pt it gently on your face and neck. It is recommended that you re-apply it throughout the day.

FAQs

Is scrub better than exfoliator?

This depends on the product you have and whether it works for your specific skin type and skin concerns, which can be a scrub or an exfoliator.

Can I exfoliate and scrub at the same time?

Exfoliating and scrubbing essentially does the same thing for your skin — deeply cleanse, unclog pores, get rid of dirt, debris, and dead skin cells. If you do both, you risk leaving your skin raw. It can also cause skin irritation, such as redness and inflammation. Thus, it is best not to exfoliate and scrub at the same time.

How often should you exfoliate your face?

You should exfoliate your face two to three times a week. It is best to avoid exfoliating daily, as it can be too abrasive and harsh — doing more harm than good for your skin. Although, generally, it is alright to use chemical exfoliants more regularly than mechanical exofliants.

Note: Try not to use a chemical exfoliant and a mechanical exfoliant on the same day. Stick to 1!

When to stop using a scrub or exfoliator?

If you observe any of these signs, you should give your skin a break from scrubs or exfoliators:

  • Your skin is peeling
  • Your skin is burning
  • Your skin is irritated
  • Your skin is red and inflammed
  • Your skin is suffering from breakouts
  • Your skin is tight and has a wax-like texture

Be careful with spoiling your skin too much and accidentally over-exfoliating.

Sheena

Think of Well-Kept Beauty as your personal beauty professional – advising you on whether to switch up your beauty routine, re-up on a must-have product you are running low on, and even pinging you the best deals on the market. Now, let's take your beauty routine to the next level and keep your products doing what they promised!

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