Emulsions are a staple step in the Korean skincare routine and offer a whole host of benefits to fight aging, mattify and nourish. We've selected 10 products tailored to a wide range of skin types and concerns.
What is an emulsion and how does it differ from a cream?
Emulsions are moisturizers! We like to think of them as if a moisturizer had a younger sibling. The main difference is in the weight and texture of the formula. An emulsion is a milky moisturizer with a gel-like consistency.
Emulsions are water-based and non-sticky, so you can think of them as a lighter version of conventional moisturizers, but thicker than serums. This makes emulsions a lightweight alternative to traditional creams and facial oils, which can leave a greasy, weighed-down feeling.
People with oily skin, combination skin or even acne-prone skin can use emulsions that are formulated to address specific skin concerns such as blemishes or excessive sebum production.
(A related blog post: Skincare benefits: What does emulsion do to your face?)
⭐ Best Korean emulsions for face
Cosrx Natural BHA Skin Returning Emulsion
This hydrating formula is enriched with natural BHA (Betaine Salicylate) to help get rid of dead skin cells and excess sebum, leaving the skin smoother and more balanced.
Featuring 70% Centella Asiatica leaf water and hyaluronic acid, this weightless formula provides instant relief from skin dehydration, irritation and redness. This is an ideal moisturizer for oily, congested and blemish-prone skin.
💘 Check out Cosrx Natural BHA Emulsion
Laneige Balancing Emulsion
Laneige offers two different types of products designed for specific skin types— a moisturizing version for dry combination skin with flaky, dead skin cells and a light version for oily and acne-prone skin.
The moisturizing-type emulsion is designed to alleviate dry and dehydrated skin, while the matte-type moisturizer helps balance and regulate sebum control, leaving skin more radiant and clear.
Formulated with hydro-ion mineral water and Opuntia ficus indica extract - a cactus plant rich in antioxidants, vitamins and linoleic acid to hydrate and revitalize the skin.
Dr. Jart+ V7 Emulsion
Formulated with 7 types of vitamin complexes to brighten, illuminate and hydrate skin for a healthy, radiant appearance.
The exfoliating acids AHA and BHA smooth out old keratin, refine skin texture and transform a dull complexion into a clear and revitalized one.
The gel-like texture is easily absorbed into the skin without irritating it, delivering hydration and nutrients to the deep layers of the skin.
Etude House SoonJung 10-Free Moist Emulsion
This low pH product contains madecassoside and panthenol, known for their soothing and repairing properties. They work well for relieving inflamed acne and reducing the itching sensation while replenishing moisture content.
The product is made from 93% naturally derived ingredients and is free from parabens, artificial fragrances and coloring, mineral oil and animal substances, making it suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
💘 Check out Etude House Soon Jung Emulsion
The Face Shop Yehwadam Pure Brightening Emulsion
If you're thinking of buying a new anti-aging product to brighten your skin, this soft and fresh emulsion can help you restore moisture and fight the signs of aging.
Formulated with pearl powder and 6 kinds of natural oriental herbs and flowers, such as white ginseng, honey seed and peony extract. It is specifically formulated to improve dark spots and a dull, uneven complexion, hyperpigmentation and visible fine lines.
Missha, Super Aqua, Ultra Hyalron Emulsion
This hypoallergenic formula combines 10 different types of hyaluronic acid—small, medium and large molecules—that help bind water to collagen, which then traps moisture into the skin, hydrating skin cells and giving it a radiant glow.
Smaller hyaluronic acid molecules are better able to penetrate the dermis for a plumping effect, while larger molecules sit on the surface of skin cells for instant smoothing and firming effects.
Isntree Fresh Green Tea Emulsion
Enriched with green tea leaf extract from Jeju Island—rich in antioxidants to protect skin from premature aging and UV damage while soothing irritated and sensitive skin.
This refreshing emulsion features the brand's special formulation, Anti-Sebum P (HD), which controls oil production and leaves the skin feeling comfortable and refreshed without making it greasy or too shiny.
💘 Check out Isntree Green Tea Emulsion
Etude House Moistfull Collagen Emulsion
The milk-like consistency with moisture-rich Super Collagen™ Water (hydrolyzed collagen) and Baobob extract provides long-lasting hydration and replenishes the skin's moisture barrier, leaving skin feeling plump and supple.
Made without harmful chemicals, such as mineral oils, tar dyes and PEG surfactants, it is suitable for all skin types.
Aromatica Tea Tree Balancing Emulsion
This vegan moisturizer is filled with 98.3% natural ingredients, including tea tree extract, which has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and oil-moisture balancing properties.
The cruelty-free formula also contains burdock root, comfrey root, giant plantain leaves and aloe vera juice, which soothe and heal redness, swelling and painful skin conditions and moisturize the skin. Best suited for oily skin and skin prone to breakouts.
AHC Hydrating Aqualuronic Emulsion Face Lotion
A nutrient-rich emulsion lotion from AHC—Aesthetic Hydration Cosmetics—is especially suitable for dry, dull or tired skin.
The triple blend of hyaluronic acid, ceramides and French seawater restores moisture levels and skin suppleness for smoother, softer and more balanced skin. Suitable for all skin types.