Foam cleansers get a bad rap for being overly irritating and stripping, and in lots of cases, that reputation is justified. But if you’ve been (literally) burned before by a foam cleanser, the best Korean foam cleansers may redeem the category. These cleansers are formulated without harsh sulfates — most notably SLS, the lathering agent most responsible for causing dryness and irritation. Instead, they contain gentler foaming surfactants, which are buffered by hydrating and soothing ingredients that help protect your skin barrier and replenish any moisture that was lost in the cleansing process.
Foam cleansers are a great choice for people with oily skin, since they’re so effective at sweeping away excess sebum. But as is often the case with Korean skin care products, these cleansers feature nourishing ingredients like snail mucin, egg extract, green tea, and fruit and vegetable extracts as the headliners, and relegate surfactants to the supporting cast, if you will. Thanks to those intelligent formulas, the products on this list prove that foams and lathering gels can be suitable even for dry-to-combination skin types.
Whether you like your foams fine, cushy, hypoallergenic, or acne-fighting, you’ll find it in one of the best Korean foam cleansers, listed ahead.
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