A Simple Korean Skincare Routine for Oily & Acne-Prone Skin

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Two Asian women applying face masks

Ever wondered how your favorite skinfluencers on social media have that perfect, dewy glow?

That's the magic of Korean skincare. However, if you have oily skin, you know the glow can sometimes turn into a full-on shine fest. And not the good kind!

That’s where our K-beauty routine for oily skin comes in. We’ll guide you through how to tame that sheen without losing your glow. Because yes, you can have it all—clarity, balance, and the coveted glass skin minus the oil slick by noon.

Understanding Oily Skin

What’s the deal with your skin and why does it feel like it’s on a never-ending oil production spree? Before we get into the Korean skincare routine for oily skin, let’s get one thing straight: it’s not all doom and gloom!

You can manage the shine and dodge that pesky acne with the right oil versus moisture balance. Also, on the positive side, the natural oils your skin produces help keep it smooth and supple, which slows down wrinkle formation and other signs of aging.

Besides genetics, the most common culprits of sebum overproduction are stress, diet, and using the wrong skincare products—and here’s where it gets interesting.

Selecting the right Korean skincare routine for oily skin isn’t about stripping away all the sebum. Instead, your goal should be to tackle acne and control oil without leaving it feeling like a desert because going too harsh may trigger your skin into producing even more oil.

Let’s take a look.

Step 1: Double Cleanse

Madagascar Centella Cleansing Oil

We know what you’re thinking, "Oil on my already greasy skin? Yes. It may seem counterintuitive, but "like dissolves like."

Oil cleansers gently remove oil-based impurities like sunscreen and makeup without stripping your skin. The main goal is to gently lift away the day's buildup of sebum and impurities while maintaining the skin's delicate moisture balance.

After you've tackled oil-based impurities, use a gentle, low-pH water-based Korean facial cleanser to wash away any remaining impurities that the oil cleanser didn't catch. Combining these two cleansing steps in your Korean skincare routine for oily skin ensures that your skin is impeccably clean but not stripped.

Step 2: Exfoliate

Cosrx BHA Power Liquid

Wondering why your skin looks dull even when it's oilier than a slice of pizza? Dead skin cells. Exfoliation whisks away those clingy, unwanted dead cells, along with the dirt and oil that may be clogging your pores.

Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), commonly known as salicylic acid, is a true savior for oily skin. Unlike water-soluble AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) that work on the skin's surface, BHAs can dissolve in oil. This allows them to reach deeper layers of the skin and unclog impurities in the pores.

However, be mindful about over-exfoliating because it can send your oil glands into a frenzy. Incorporate a gentle Korean exfoliator into your K-beauty routine for oily skin only about two to three times a week to avoid irritation.

Step 3: Tone

Anua Heartleaf 77% Toner

After exfoliating, your skin is primed and ready for some toner love. This next step in your Korean skincare routine for oily skin is important for hydration and calming. Plus, it balances your skin's pH, which enhances absorption of subsequent products.

For oily skin, you'll want a toner that's soothing and hydrating, but not too heavy. Look for Korean toners with ingredients like centella asiatica, heartleaf, and chamomile. You can also use a gentle exfoliating toner on nights that you haven’t exfoliated.

Step 4: Treat

Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum

We’ve cleansed, exfoliated, and toned. Now it's time to target any specific concerns with a serum or ampoule. This is where you can really personalize your Korean skincare routine for oily skin based on what your complexion needs.

These concentrated products are incredibly effective because they deliver active ingredients directly to your skin. Whether it's controlling excess oil, fighting acne, or addressing scarring, there's a Korean face serum or ampoule that's been designed to tackle it head-on.

One particular superstar to keep an eye out for is niacinamide, which not only regulates your skin’s oil production but also brightens the complexion and fades post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Step 5: Apply Eye Cream

Haruharu WONDER Black Rice Bakuchiol Eye Cream

While it may not exhibit signs of aging as early as drier types, it is still important to incorporate a good eye cream into your Korean skincare routine for your oily skin.

For one, the skin around the eyes is thinner and more prone to dehydration and wrinkles. So using an eye cream specifically formulated for this area can help keep it looking youthful and refreshed.

Additionally, oily skin types struggle with clogged pores and acne around the delicate eye area. Using a lightweight, oil-free eye cream will hydrate and nourish the skin without weighing it down or causing breakouts.

Look for a Korean eye cream that contains powerhouse ingredients like bakuchiol, retinal, and peptides. These are known for their plumping and anti-aging properties. Green tea and centella asiatica are other excellent options for those prone to puffiness.

Step 6: Moisturize

Real Barrier Extreme Cream

Yes, oily skin still needs to be moisturized to maintain its health and balance. Skin that’s properly hydrated produces less oil as it doesn't need to overcompensate for dryness. Also, a well-moisturized skin barrier protects against external aggressors like pollution, bacteria, and UV radiation.

When shopping for a moisturizer, look for lightweight, oil-free, or water-based formulas that offer hydration with a matte finish. Gels and lotions are typically better options to include in a Korean skincare routine for oily skin than heavy creams as they are less likely to clog pores.

A little goes a long way, but don’t be overly frugal. The goal is balance, not elimination of your skin's natural oils.

Step 7: Use Sunscreen

Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel

No Korean skincare routine, regardless of skin type, is complete without this crucial step. Sun protection is the ultimate shield against premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and, most importantly, skin cancer.

The trick is to find an affordable Korean sunscreen that feels light but is heavy on protection — the right formula won't leave you looking shiny or feeling greasy. Consider using a moisturizing sunscreen during the day to combine your routine’s steps without skipping the essentials.

Look for non-comedogenic and oil-free sunscreens to avoid clogged pores and extra shine.

Step 8: Apply a Face Mask

Mediheal Tea Tree Care Solution Essential Mask EX

Finally, though not essential, incorporating masks into your Korean skincare routine for oily skin is great for providing an extra boost of care tailored to your skin's specific needs. We love a good spa-like evening with some quiet time and a sheet or clay mask on.

Clay masks are particularly great for drawing out impurities from deep within pores that daily cleansing might miss. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing and proceeding with the next steps of your K-beauty routine for oily skin. Using them 1-2 times a week is generally enough to see benefits without over-stripping your skin.

For sheet masks, don't forget to rub in all that leftover essence when you take them off.

Shop Korean Skincare Essentials at EYURS

There you have it—an easy and achievable Korean skincare routine for oily skin. This regimen will nourish and hydrate your skin without leaving it feeling heavy or tacky.

Eager to try it out? So are we! Shop affordable Korean skincare products online, and enjoy free, same-day shipping on all orders over $40.