Korean Skin Care Routine For Oily Skin

Oily skin is a daily struggle for many of us and it can be frustrating to find a skin care routine that works well.

However, with the help of Korean skin care, you can achieve a radiant, glowy and healthy complexion.

Korean skin care is known for its innovative products and multi-step routines that target specific skin concerns.

If you have oily skin, you may think that adding more products to your routine could make your skin even oilier. But, this is not the case with Korean skin care, as their products are specifically designed to balance and control excess sebum production.

In this blog, I’ll be sharing my personal experience with Korean skin care routine for oily skin and provide you with some tips and recommendations to help you achieve your best skin ever!

Why A Korean Skin Care Routine Is Ideal For Oily Skin

The Korean skin care routine involves 5-10 steps (please, don’t get scared here!!!) that aim to deeply cleanse, hydrate, and nourish the skin. I have a brilliant blog post on basics of Korean Skin Care philosophy.

Also, the key thing when caring for oily skin is NOT to strip away skin oil. Yes, that very oil that we are trying to minimize. It might sound confusing, but the more oil you remove from your skin, the more oil your body starts producing. There is a whole science behind it, please, read THIS post for more details.

Multi-step Korean skin care is designed to address skin hydration, moisturizing, nourishing. All products contain necessary ingredients to minimize production of skin oil without skin damage and dehydration.

Many Korean products for oily skin contain ingredients tea tree oil, centella asiatica and green tea extract, that are the perfect solution to control sebum production and prevent breakouts

The Basic Steps Of A Korean Skin Care Routine

As I mentioned earlier, you can follow a full 10 step Korean skin care routine for oily skin (please, do not be frightened, it only sounds long and complicated; once you get it you will spend about 5 minutes) or you can use a simplified 5 step routine. I have detailed posts on both routines, please, follow the links.

The steps are:

  1. Cleansing (double cleansing method is awesome and people with oily skin should follow it).
  2. Exfoliation (done once a week, or once a month, or totally omit it)
  3. Toner
  4. Sheet mask (done instead of or in addition to essence/serum/ampoule, you can totally omit this step)
  5. Essence/Serum/Ampoule
  6. Moisturizing (you can skip this step; it is recommended for super dry = super dehydrated = super oily skin)
  7. Eye care/lip care
  8. Night cream
  9. Overnight sleeping mask (again, this step could be done once a week; read about the difference between night cream and overnight sleeping mask HERE)
  10. Sunscreen (when you go outside, DO NOT skip on this step. However, if you are not planning to spend hours outside, and your BB cream or foundation, of face powder contain SPF of at least 30 – then you can skip this step)

As you can see you can totally omit some steps in your daily routine, substitute one with another and such.

Let’s explore main steps in details below.

Then Most Important Thing To Remember About Skin Care

If you were to take a way just ONE thing from this post it would be: the main word in skin care is MOISTURIZE!

Moisturized skin looks glowing, healthy, plump; when you have moisturized skin your pores and wrinkles appear smaller.

In addition to moisturizing products you NEED to hydrate your skin from within. Yes, I will start nagging everything you already know: drink plenty of water, juice, eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Even if you use the most expensive skin care products, but do not eat healthy – your skin won’t look healthy.

Skin Care Ingredients For Oily Skin

When you have oily skin, it’s important to use skin care products that can help balance oil production without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. Here are some ingredients to look for in skin care products:

  1. Niacinamide: This ingredient, also known as vitamin B3, can help regulate sebum production, reduce inflammation, and improve the overall texture of the skin.
  2. Tea tree oil: This natural ingredient has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making it great for combating acne and controlling oil production.
  3. Witch hazel: This plant-based ingredient can help remove excess oil from the skin while also acting as an astringent to tighten pores.
  4. Clay: Products that contain clay, such as kaolin or bentonite, can help absorb excess oil and impurities from the skin.

COSRX Niacinamide 15% Face Serum with Zinc 1%

Key Steps of Routine and Products To Incorporate In Your Routine

I am only going in details for the most important steps that I urge you to follow.


I won’t get tired saying: double-cleansing method is the best for any skin. It removes dirt, impurities without destroying protective skin barrier.

Before applying the cleanser, make sure to pre-cleanse your face with micellar water or an oil-based cleanser to remove any makeup or impurities.

Use gentle cleansers and avoid over-washing the face, as stripping the skin of natural oils can cause an overproduction of oil. This is particularly important for those with oily skin, as the last thing you want to do is exacerbate the issue with harsh products.

It is important to use cleansers with neutral pH. When pH is too high, your cleanser is acidic, meaning that it will strip away skin protective barrier. If pH is too low, than you won’t remove dirt and bacterial effectively.

Not all brands identify cleanser’s pH, so knowing what kind of cleanser you are using might be a challenge.

I found a cleanser that I always use and will use forever. It’s pH is 5.5 and it is very neutral for your skin. I’ve been using it for about 5 years and I find that it works the mildest on my oily skin.

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

mild cleansing foam with low pH

ma:nyo Pure Cleansing Oil


Please, do not skip on a toner. Toner is a very important step in Korean skin care routine. It hydrates and moisturizes your skin, helps balance your skin’s pH and repairs skin protective barrier. I have an extensive post on different benefits of a facial toner, please, read it HERE.

Using a toner not only helps to remove any remaining impurities from your skin, but it also preps your skin to better absorb any moisturizers or serums you apply afterward.

These are my favorite toners (from my own experience):

Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner

missha time revolution toner bottle

I’m From Rice Toner


Another vital step in Korean skin care routine for oily skin. Please, do not skip it. This step will introduce more moisturizing, hydrating, nourishing ingredients to your skin.

Many people get lost trying to figure out the difference between essence, serum and ampoule. I have another extensive post on differences of these three skin care products and how to use them. Please, follow HERE.

In simple words: essence has lots of good ingredients; serum has even more; ampoule is the most ingredient concentrated our of all three.

You can use just one product in this step, for example an essence. If your skin needs more ingredients, you can use either serum, or essence and serum. If your skin really needs a boost in hydration, you can use an ampoule. Or all three: essence, serum, ampoule. When using all three or a combination of two, always apply the least concentrated product first, finishing off with the most concentrated one.

My favorite skin care products for this step:

ma:nyo Galactomy Niacin Essence

MISSHA Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence

PURITO Centella Unscented Serum

MEDIPEEL Luxury Pure Gold 24K Ampoule

Moisturizing/Night Cream/Day Cream

This is the last step in your skin care routine.

If it is too hot outside and you don’t want to overwhelm your skin with too many heavy products, then choose moisturizer. Skin moisturizers have light consistency and feel lighter on the skin.

As with other skin care products, look for moisturizers/creams, that moisturize and hydrate your skin. Scroll up to the beginning to review which ingredients are super helpful for oily skin.

How to decide what to use: moisturizer or cream?

It is really up to you to decide. Determine your skin needs. If your skin is too oily, too dehydrated and really needs nourishment and nutrients: then you can even use both products. First apply moisturizer, let it absorb; then apply a cream.

I usually use moisturizer during the day and both a moisturizer and a cream at night.

DearKlairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream

TATCHA The Water Cream

innisfree Cherry Blossom Dewy Glow Jelly Face Moisturizer

I’m from Rice Cream with Ceramide

Oily skin requires products that moisturize skin and at the same time regulate oil production and control shine. The Korean beauty industry is known for their innovative and effective skincare products that help control oil while keeping the skin hydrated.

Incorporating oil-free and non-comedogenic products into your daily regimen can help avoid clogging pores, which is essential for lasting results. Remember, with the right skincare routine and a little TLC you can have clear, glowing skin for life!

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.