Out of all the Korean skincare products available, some say serums are the best. They’re popular because they’re affordable and effective.
If you’re curious about Korean skincare, serums are an excellent introduction. Adding one to your routine will have a positive impact because they tackle various concerns at once.
In this article, we’ll review the best Korean serum for every skin type. This is harder than it looks because so many Korean serums are multitaskers.
What is a Korean serum?
A serum is a concentrated treatment for the skin. It only takes a couple of drops to treat the whole face.
If you follow the Korean ten-step routine, apply serum after cleansing and using toner, but before putting on moisturizer.
Sometimes serums are known as ampoules, but they aren’t exactly the same. Ampoules are even more intense.
If you’re wondering why you need a serum because a beauty cream isn’t enough, it’s that serums penetrate deeper. Creams and moisturizers are made to sit on the surface, forming a barrier against moisture loss.
A serum delivers the nourishing ingredients the skin needs most, like vitamins, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, peptides, antioxidants, and so on.
Best Korean Serum for Every Skin Type in 2021
You’ll see what we mean as we go through the Korean serum reviews below.
Which is the best Korean serum for dry skin? Let’s find out.
Mizon Original Skin Energy, Hyaluronic Acid 100 Ampoule
You might say that this is the best serum for all skin types, but we put it in the dry skin category. That’s because it contains excellent moisturizers like hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Users see and feel how much smoother their skin is after using it.
But since the texture is lightweight and quick-absorbing, the serum is suitable for any skin type, even oily. It’s also been tested for sensitive skin and contains no artificial fragrance, color, or parabens.
Moreover, those with normal skin can benefit from it as it’s rich in antioxidants that prevent premature aging and accelerate skin repair.
Then, there’s adenosine, which improves elasticity to prevent and reduce wrinkles. Therefore, the serum also helps those with mature skin.
Laneige Glowy Makeup Serum
We get asked a lot about the best Korean serum for glowing skin. That’s a tough choice as many are formulated to brighten the complexion.
But if you want immediate results, this serum is correctly named. It features diamond powder for an instant glow.
Plus, it doubles as makeup primer, helping foundation and eyeshadow last hours longer. The Ceramide Hydration Gel softens and refreshes dry skin, keeping the makeup from settling into creases.
If you don’t have any specific skin concerns, you’re lucky to have normal skin. But then it seems like every product is targeted to everyone else but you.
Not true – you can enjoy any Korean serum that says it’s made for all skin types.
Dear, Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop
Although this serum is made for all skin types, it’s a healthy boost for dehydrated skin and mature complexions, too.
After all, it’s never too early to ward off wrinkles. If your skin is already dry, you’re at risk of developing them sooner.
The formula is pH-balanced and free of silicone, parabens, artificial colors, and fragrances. Instead, it relies on proven scientific solutions like Guaiazulene Adenosine and EGF. These perk up the overall appearance of the skin.
In case you’re wondering, EGF is a polypeptide (Epidermal Growth Factor). It’s one of just ten ingredients in the bottle.
SKINFOOD Black Pomegranate Energy Serum
You’re familiar with the dewy fresh complexion of K-pop idols. How do they achieve that plump, radiant skin?
The secret could be a vitamin-packed serum like this one. It has vitamin C and B5 from black pomegranate extract.
Furthermore, did you know that pomegranate has estrogen and ellagic acid? These slow down aging and reduce inflammation.
Reviewers say it even smells like pomegranates.
Combination skin is tricky. Products that manage the oil in the T-zone sometimes end up dehydrating the cheeks. That’s where a lightweight serum comes in handy. It’s an extra dose of moisture that won’t clog pores.
SKINFOOD Aqua Grape Bounce Bubble Serum
Soothing mineral water will quench the dryness. Meanwhile, grape extract infuses the skin with antioxidants to improve elasticity.
This serum certainly sounds appealing. Happily, users with combination skin report that it tightens pores and noticeably improves the skin’s texture.
Those living in areas with high humidity say that it hydrates without making their skin oily. It has a minimal scent and absorbs quickly.
[KLAIRS] Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop
Which serum is best for daily use? That’s a good question to ask if you’re not sure where to start.
This is a daily vitamin C serum that targets a variety of issues. For example, it prevents breakouts and fades discoloration (like old acne scars). At the same time, it hydrates and refines pores.
It’s from a brand that makes products suitable for sensitive skin, and it’s a hypoallergenic formula. Therefore, you can’t go wrong.
If you’ve never used serum before, put it on at bedtime after cleansing and before moisturizing. You should wake up with a brighter complexion.
Since it contains vitamin C, it could interfere with certain kinds of acne treatment products, hydroxy acids, and anti-aging ingredients like retinol.
A shiny face isn’t the same as glass skin. If you’re tired of blotting and reapplying your makeup, try one of these Korean serums for oily skin.
Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum
Skip the makeup and enjoy your complexion, but better. This serum is designed to give you glass skin. In other words, it should look luminous with no visible pores.
It has a silky texture that sinks in quickly. Adults of all age ranges find that it delivers smoother, healthier, glowing skin.
Some of the active ingredients include hyaluronic acid, collagen, peptides, and niacinamide.
SKINFOOD Peach Sake Pore Serum
Who knew that traditional Japanese wine and peaches could do so much for the face?
Here’s a serum that uses sake to shrink pores and minimize shine. The effects are bolstered by the peach extract with vitamins A and C. Yes, it actually reduces sebum production.
Then, licorice and chamomile soothe inflammation while Centella asiatica (CICA) speeds up healing. That’s great news if you’re acne-prone.
Reviewers say the serum is so potent that those with combination skin should only put it on the T-zone. Others with hormonal acne have found that it’s worked miracles over time.
Speaking of acne, which is the best Korean serum to prevent breakouts?
SeoulCeuticals Vitamin C Hyaluronic Acid Serum + CE Ferulic Acid
SeoulCeuticals sounds like that other pricey brand, and this serum imitates the famous one. Between the two, we’ll take this one as it offers a ton of value for the money. What’s more, it’s guaranteed to work when used daily for three weeks. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to skip concealer?
The ferulic acid and vitamin C tackle discoloration, large pores, acne, fine lines, and wrinkles. They also help prevent hyperpigmentation and breakouts.
Happily, it wears well underneath makeup, too.
The texture is lightweight and quick-absorbing. It has a fresh orange scent from natural ingredients. But there’s something even more amazing about it.
Unlike some vitamin C serums, this one has a stable form of the vitamin that doesn’t oxidize. Instead, it’s rich in essential antioxidants to promote collagen synthesis.
The ingredient list continues with hyaluronic acid, a potent moisturizer that plumps the skin. Then, there are horsetail, arginine, and jojoba.
Green Tea Seed Serum by Innisfree
Although some K-beauty sites recommend the serum for dry skin, we found that it’s outstanding for acne-prone complexions as well.
That’s because it hydrates and calms irritation without leaving the skin oily. Plus, it can be used both morning and night to keep the skin balanced and comfortable.
It contains green tea seed extract harvested from organic tea gardens on Jeju island. It’s like the Hawaii of South Korea.
COSRX AC Collection Blemish Spot Clearing Serum
It’s not just the pimples and blackheads. It’s also the acne scars and redness. If it’s all driving you crazy, try this serum.
For one, it has Centella asiatica in the form of the CentellAC-Rx Complex. This is the brand’s patented version of cica, a superior healing ingredient. Next, there’s madecassic acid, which is wonderful for calming irritation and redness.
Propolis from bees prevents damage while EGF rebuilds the skin’s firmness to erase craters. Niacinamide, meanwhile, erases redness and fades dark spots.
Like most other Korean serums, this one is dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic. It’s cruelty-free and contains no parabens.
When your skin overreacts often, it’s scary to try a new product. Take a look at the Korean serums for sensitive skin below.
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Serum
Its purpose is to calm the complexion and help it absorb moisturizer. It features Centella Rx and Cicabond that strengthen the skin and heal inflammation.
Reviewers who say that nothing else works swear by this serum.
PURITO Centella Unscented Serum
If you have sensitive skin, you already know that fragrances mean trouble. Even essential oils can cause problems. That’s why this serum has neither.
Instead, it focuses on healthy ingredients that repair the skin’s barrier and calm inflammation. It’s perfect for calming stressed skin.
It has a high concentration of centella plus panthenol to repair damage. (Did you know that Centella asiatica is also called “tiger grass”? The legend is that the animals would roll in it to heal wounds).
Of course, like any good moisturizer, it also has ceramides. These are lipids that dehydrated skin needs to seal in moisture.
Finally, there are peptides to rebuild the skin’s structure to keep it firm.
Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum
We saw several reviews claiming that this serum is worth every penny. What makes it special?
First, it improves circulation with membranous milk vetch. Better circulation means faster skin repair and a radiant complexion.
Second, it has licorice and dwarf lily turf to brighten tone and fade redness.
The list goes on, and most of the ingredients are traditional Korean medicine. If you don’t mind the herbal scent, you’re in for a treat.
Here are our top picks of Korean anti-aging serums.
SHANGPREE S-energy Long Lasting Concentrated Serum
It took four years to develop this unique serum for demanding users. It strives to be the holy grail.
It checks all the boxes, like having a lightweight texture that melts into the skin without feeling greasy or sticky. It also wears well under makeup or moisturizer.
Then, it rejuvenates the complexion, making it vibrant and plump. It does this by blending skullcap, liquid oxygen, and other botanicals with silk and propolis.
MISSHA Time Revolution Red Algae Revitalizing Serum
One of our favorite Korean serums for mature skin contains Irish moss that was fermented at body temperature for a hundred days. If you’re asking why it’s because the fermentation augments the antioxidants.
Really, that’s what the serum is all about – antioxidants. After all, oxidation is what causes aging. Fight it with enough antioxidants, and you’ll have younger skin.
Half the formula is red algae extract, another powerhouse for a youthful complexion.
Blithe Pressed Serum
Not everybody has time for double-cleansing, then waiting for their serum to absorb, and finally putting on cream. Multitask when you use this serum/moisturizer. It’s a two-in-one product made for women and men.
It contains the “Mushroom of Immortality”, also known as Chaga mushroom from Siberia. It has tons of antioxidants and nutrients that the skin loves, plus it’s anti-inflammatory enough to slow down cancer.
Moreover, the rich, creamy texture comes in part from argan and olive oil.
Lastly, you’ll never have to worry about parabens, formaldehyde, mineral oil, phthalates, or urea as none of them are in the jar.
If you want to see clearer, firmer, healthier skin, try a Korean serum. It’s a simple step to add to your routine, and it has the potential to make a tremendous improvement.
There are Korean serums for every skin type. We hope we helped you find the perfect one for your goals today. If so, please tell us about it in the comments below.