August 14, 2020

Best Korean Foundations for Dry, Oily, and Acne-Prone Skin

Best-Korean-Foundation

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Whether you’re a makeup enthusiast or not, there are days when we just want to make that extra effort of looking flawlessly beautiful for the whole day. And what better way to achieve it than with a good foundation that will give us that airbrushed look?

In this article, I’m sharing my favorite Korean foundations that you could try to achieve flawless skin throughout the day.

Table of Contents

The 10 Best Korean Foundations for a Flawless Finish

Our Pick

If you’re looking for a foundation that will last for hours, look no further. This product from Etude House has wonderful adhering power that makes it stay on for the whole day, even when you sweat.

This foundation is perfect for those who don’t have time to retouch in the middle of the day but still want great coverage. It also has SPF 34, which is more than enough to protect you from the harshness of the sun.

The Etude House Double Lasting foundation leaves you with a dewy finish. However, if you have dry skin, you may want to look for another foundation as this can be a bit drying.

Pros

  • Magnet-like adhesion helps the foundation stay on all day
  • With SPF 34
  • Great coverage

Cons

  • Has a slight glue-like scent
  • The 12 shade options are for light tones
  • Not for dry skin

Best for Textured Skin

Deep down, we all want to be walking around with our faces looking like they’ve been photoshopped. While we’re still waiting for the technology to achieve it for real, this Etude House product helps us get closer to that dream.

It basically takes care of everything that you might want to blur out–hence, the name. The formula is also designed to make your other makeup products last longer.

I do have to note that this foundation does not fare well with darker skin tones because it has a whitening effect. But if you have a fair complexion, then this product will be a great addition to your makeup routine.

Pros

  • Effectively hides pores
  • Makes other makeup products last longer

Cons

  • Does not work well for dark skin tones
  • Has low SPF

Best for Large Pores

If you have oily skin and large pores, this Korean foundation is your dream-come-true. Just like the Etude Face Blur, it provides a more even finish. However, this product concentrates on erasing your pores.

It is mattifying, but it’s not too drying. It provides decent coverage for an everyday foundation, but it still may be too sheer for some.

It also has a powder feel, which is a breath of fresh air for those suffering from extra sebum. You’ll even love the packaging it comes in. Laneige made this foundation with an efficient soft cushion that picks up just the right amount of product every time.

Pros

  • Perfect for oily skin
  • SPF 50
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Light coverage
  • Has strong floral scent

This Korean foundation is one of the best makeup products for those who suffer from dryness. It’s hydrating but also minimizes excess sebum throughout the day.

What I love most about this product is the fact that it comes in a convenient packaging. It has a dense but soft brush on one end and a stick foundation on the other.

You’ll notice that it has a green center on the foundation side. This helps cancel out redness, making it the best Korean foundation in this list for dry and red skin.

It has a beautiful dewy finish with a rather light coverage. You won’t look like you exerted too much effort with this product. The foundation looks so natural, and it looks more like powder as the day goes on.

Pros

  • Hydrating
  • Has SPF 45
  • Built-in brush is great for on-the-go application
  • Minimizes oil production
  • Effectively covers up redness

Cons

  • Has strong scent
  • Feels sticky upon application

If brightening is your main concern, this Sulwhasoo product is the best Korean foundation for you. It has magnolia extracts that brighten your skin. In addition, it has fine pearl powder for that instant luminous look.

As for coverage, you can layer the foundation on until you reach your desired level. The product is pretty sheer at first, but it does result to great coverage when you apply more.

You’ll end up with dewy skin after application, but throughout the day, the foundation will dry into a more satin-like texture.

Pros

  • Has magnolia extracts for brightening
  • Lasts up to 12 hours
  • Buildable

Cons

  • Limited shades
  • Contains alcohol

The Dr. Althea Aurora foundation is probably the best Korean foundation in this list for summer. It also works well for those living in humid climates.

This product is made up of 60 percent essence, which provides various benefits such as brightening and moisturizing the skin. This is one of the best foundations for those with dry and acne-prone skin because it locks in moisture throughout the day.

The great coverage will make your face look more natural especially because the applicator helps reduce oxidation of the foundation.

This Korean foundation would be perfect if it weren’t for the fact that it has a very limited shade range. With just three shades to choose from, not many people will be able to find their perfect foundation fit with this product.

Pros

  • Made up of 60 percent essence
  • Applicator reduces oxidation
  • SPF 50
  • Has brightening effects

Cons

  • Limited shades

This Korean foundation is one that effectively moisturizes but has a mattifying effect. This combination is hard to achieve in a foundation, so kudos to Giverny for making it happen!

It is packed with Hyaluronic acid and collagen, which help the skin become more supple and younger-looking for longer. It’s also good for everyday use because of its lightweight and buildable formula.

Upon application, you will love the blurring effect of this foundation. You will instantly see the difference, unlike many foundations in the market today that take a while to settle on the skin.

Pros

  • Contains collagen and hyaluronic acid to keep the skin plump
  • SPF 50
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not for darker skin tones

Just like the Son & Park Fit Foundation, this one comes in a packaging that includes a convenient brush on one end. What I like about this foundation the most is that it has an added essence in its core, which effectively combines makeup with skincare.

The foundation leaves you with a matte finish, but it isn’t drying at all. The formula is very blendable, so you won’t have to take up too much time preparing for the day. It makes the skin look more natural as the texture is softer, making it look like you’re wearing little to no makeup.

Aside from the core essence, the product also comes with caprylic acid that hydrates, as well as Vitamin E that promotes anti-aging.

Pros

  • Contains essence
  • Hydrating and anti-aging

Cons

  • Does not control oil effectively

A lot of people with acne-prone skin have a love-hate relationship with foundations. On one hand, you’ll want to cover up the imperfections. On the other hand, you’d want to allow your skin to breathe.

This Korean foundation solves that problem. Packed with Centella Asiatica and tea tree extract, this foundation helps take care of your acne problems while covering them in the meantime.

With SPF 50, this foundation will also prevent sun damage. However, you’ll need to be constantly touching up with this as it comes off quite easily.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • SPF 50
  • Contains Centella Asiatica and tea tree extract

Cons

  • Needs constant touch-ups

This liquid foundation is the best in this list in terms of price. A bottle will last so long as you only need a little to achieve that perfect finish.

It does have only a medium coverage, but it’s buildable. A layer of this liquid foundation will help you get that natural look.

If you have uneven patches, this Touch in Sol foundation will help with that. It has color-correcting properties that gives you a more evened out skin tone.

Pros

  • Lasts long
  • Has color-correcting properties
  • Buildable

Cons

  • Gets oilier by the hour

What to Look for in a Foundation

In choosing the perfect Korean foundation, you should take note of three things: shade, coverage, and extra benefits. We’ve already covered the first in the preceding section.

When it comes to coverage, it’s really just a matter of preference. Some people want to wear makeup that covers hyperpigmentation such as freckles. Others want to keep it light and natural, just to achieve a more even finish.

Coverage does not always correlate with how heavy the foundation formula is, but it usually does. That’s why it’s not recommended to wear makeup every day, all day long. Let your skin breathe every once in a while.

As for extra benefits, you’ll find a lot of that in most Korean makeup. SPF is something that is valued by the Koreans since sun protection is a big deal in a lot of Asian countries.

Take for example the Dr. Althea Aurora Cover Cushion. This foundation contains both SPF and essence. The Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion contains magnolia extract to brighten the skin.

You can be sure you’ll have more than a flawless finish when you go for a Korean foundation because in Korea, makeup is more than just a cover.

How to Choose Your Best Foundation Shade

Finding the right shade should be the first thing you should consider when buying a foundation. Korean makeup tends to have lighter shades since Korean beauty standards value light and fair skin. So expect Korean foundation, since they’re specifically designed for Koreans, to have lighter shades.

In choosing the best foundation shade, don’t make the mistake of trying it only at the back of your hand. Many people do this, and when they try the foundation out on their faces, it’s not the right one.

Take note that your skin’s outer layer will change color every now and then because of various reasons. It could be sun exposure or acne. However, what remains constant is your undertone. There are three main undertones – cool, warm, and neutral.

A cool undertone means your skin tends to be more red, pink, or blue. If this is how you would describe your skin, then stay away from yellowish foundation as this tends to make it more sallow.

A warm undertone, on the other hand, means your skin looks more peachy and golden. Look for Korean makeup that’s slightly yellow.

Those with neutral undertones will have a combination of the two. Because of this, you need to find makeup that sits right in the middle – not too yellow nor too pink.

A good way to check what kind of undertone you have is to look at your veins. If they are green, you may have a warm undertone. If it’s blue or purple, that’s indicative of a cool undertone. And if it almost matches your skin color or if it appears bluish-green, then you’re neutral.

The Best Foundation Finish for Every Skin Type

When looking for the best Korean foundation for your skin, make sure that the finish is also right for your skin type.

If you have oily skin, go for an oil-free foundation or one that has a matte finish. If you have dry skin, however, choose a foundation that moisturizes the skin for hours. Look for a product that contains hydrating ingredients. This will leave the skin looking dewy and plump.

For those with sensitive skin, make sure that none of your foundation or other skincare products contain irritating components. If it has an added scent, it almost always irritates the skin.

For those with combination skin, a powder foundation would be a good choice.

A Note About Korean Foundations

Makeup in Korean markets are generally lighter in texture compared to Western brands. This is because Koreans want to allow their skin to breathe. They put more emphasis on nourishment and skin health rather than achieving a perfect finish that only covers up imperfections.

Generally, Korean foundations are more sheer, but they are designed to cover up as much as they can with the texture they offer. So expect light coverage from most of them.

One thing you’ll love about Korean foundations though is their tendency to be more nourishing compared to others. It’s not uncommon to see foundations with serums added. They help you fix skin problems as they provide a dewy and natural finish.

Expect this in other kings of Korean makeup as well. This is why I prefer Korean products when it comes to makeup and skincare. There’s just that extra factor that makes the skin better with every application.

Conclusion

When it comes to skincare and makeup, Korea is one of the leading countries in the world. It’s no surprise then that their foundations are exceptional, not only in terms of coverage but also with skin nourishment.

I especially like the Etude House Double Lasting Foundation because I get lazy to reapply in the middle of the day. The magnet-like ability of this product makes it stay on longer.

The Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur, on the other hand, can be paired up with any other makeup product to make your complexion look much more even.

I hope this article helped you in making your decision. Good luck in finding the best Korean foundation for your skin type!

Paola Diaz

Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.