The Best Korean Retinol Products For Glowing Skin


PUBLISHED ON 2023/10/24 at 7:24 PM

The Best Korean Retinol Products For Glowing Skin

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation.

Looking for a way to freshen up tired skin? You’re not alone. A lot of us are on the hunt for something that helps with those little lines and age spots. That’s where Korean retinol comes in. It’s like a vitamin A boost for your skin that can make it look brighter and feel smoother.

But here’s the thing: with so many retinol products out there, picking one can feel like a wild guess. That’s why we’ve put together a list of our top ten favorite Korean retinol creams. They come in different strengths, from 0.05% to 0.3%.

And hey, we didn’t just pick them at random. Each one has been checked out and given the thumbs up by folks who know a lot about skincare. That coupled with our research and more than three years of skincare experience means we’ve finally cracked the code to the best Korean retinol products.

So, let’s take a look at these Korean retinols and find the right fit for you!

Our Top Picks

Best Korean Retinol Product Overall:
Best Hydrating Korean Retinol
Best Korean Retinol Night Cream

The Best Korean Retinol Products For Amazing Skin Tested & Reviewed

Let’s get into our top ten picks for the best Korean retinol products recommended by skin experts and dermatologists.


What We Like

  • The texture is milky
  • Absorbs in your skin fast
  • Minimises the early signs of aging by plumping up fine lines and wrinkles

What We Don't Like

  • It is necessary to refrigerate it daily to maintain its effectiveness, and the aluminum packaging makes it challenging to dispense the desired amount.

The CosRx The Retinol 0.1 Cream is a great choice for those new to Retinol. It makes your skin smoother without causing the usual dryness and irritations. It’s the mildest option we like, but remember, it might take about 12 weeks to notice big changes, so you must be patient to see results.


  • 0.1% Retinol
  • Panthenol
  • Adenosine
  • Tocotrienol (Super Vitamin E)

BEST FOR: Sensitive skin


What We Like

  • Smooth, fast absorbing texture
  • Does not feel greasy or heavy
  • Did not feel sticky

What We Don't Like

  • It needs to be refrigerated every day to maintain its effectiveness, and it has a greasy consistency.

BEST FOR: Normal, dehydrated, dry, or lackluster dull skin

Cosrx has also introduced The Retinol 0.5 Oil for those willing to explore a bit more or for those desiring more potency even in gentle skincare. It contains 0.5% Retinol. We suggest transitioning to this Retinol oil after completing a tube of Cosrx.

The Retinol 0.1 Cream for a seamless shift from being a beginner to an intermediate user.


  • 0.5% Retinol
  • Plant-derived Squalane
  • Soybean oil
  • Tocotrienol (Super Vitamin E)

BEST FOR: Normal, dehydrated, dry, or lackluster dull skin


What We Like

  • Gentle and suitable for sensitive skin: Bakuchiol is often considered a milder alternative to traditional retinol, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin who may not tolerate retinol well.
  • Anti-aging benefits. Bakuchiol has been shown to provide anti-aging benefits, including reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and promoting collagen production.
  • Skin-soothing properties: Some products containing bakuchiol and vitamin A may have additional soothing and hydrating ingredients that can benefit the skin.
  • No sun sensitivity: Unlike retinol, bakuchiol does not typically make the skin more sensitive to the sun, reducing the need for strict sun protection.
  • Suitable for pregnancy: Bakuchiol is often recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding individuals as a safer alternative to retinol.

What We Don't Like

  • Slower results: Bakuchiol may work more gradually compared to retinol, so it may take longer to see significant improvements in skin texture and the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • The formula doesn’t balance the skin perfectly—some oilier parts of the face might get oilier after a few hours, and drier areas may need extra moisturizing.

The By Wishtrend Vitamin A-mazing Bakuchiol Night Cream is a mild night cream that enhances skin smoothness and firmness. It primarily relies on Bakuchiol, a plant-based substitute for Retinol.

However, for an added boost and faster results, it also includes 0.03% Retinal. This is an excellent option for those new to Retinol or for individuals who cannot tolerate Retinol concentrations over 0.5% but still want to transition to Retinal with the added benefit of Bakuchiol.


  • 0.03% Retinal (Retinaldehyde)
  • 1% Bakuchiol
  • Niacinamide
  • Macadamia Seed Oil

BEST FOR: Normal or dehydrated skin


What We Like

  • Creamy/balmy consistency that feels lightweight and easy to blend
  • Feels like a dream on your skin

What We Don't Like

  • Nope, all clear here!

With a strong 0.05% stabilized Retinal and a good delivery system, the HSGN Retinally Liposomal Retinal became a quick favorite. It has a big 2% Niacinamide along with the perfect mix of Ceramide, Cholesterol, and Fatty Acid, making it more than just a Retinal cream.

This night cream doesn’t just make your skin softer, shrink large pores, and make wrinkles less visible, but it also makes your skin’s protective layer healthier.


  • 0.05% Retinal (Retinaldehyde)
  • 2% Niacinamide
  • Panthenol
  • Ceramide/ Cholesterol/ Fatty Acid

BEST FOR: For normal, combination to dehydrated, sensitive skin


What We Like

  • The anti-aging properties of this formula will help you get rid of all dark spots and make your skin look younger and healthier
  • Specially designed for people who are looking for faster and more effective results
  • Retinal is the best remedy since it gives better and faster results without causing any adverse reactions.

What We Don't Like

  • We’re still searching for one!

The Dr. Different Vitalift-A Forte is an amazing product that has gone through rigorous testing to make retinal a strong ingredient. This award-winning cream is better than other Korean retinol products, making your skin tighter and reducing wrinkles.

With a powerful 1% retinal, this cream is very effective, but it might be too strong for people with sensitive skin or those who are new to retinol.

You can try the Dr. Different Vitalift-A Eye & Neck Cream instead, which has 0.025% retinal and is made for the sensitive skin around your eyes and neck.


What We Like

  • Glides on beautifully on the skin
  • Moisturizes the eye area very well

What We Don't Like

  • It’s a bit pricier, but it truly delivers on its promises.

The Heimish Marine Care Retinol Eye Serum blends 0.1% retinol with 5% niacinamide and 58% Miracle Marine Water to diminish wrinkles, lighten dark circles, and enhance skin texture.

Retinol reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and enhances skin texture, while niacinamide brightens the skin, evens out skin tone, and lessens the visibility of hyperpigmentation and discoloration.

Extracted from sea algae, Miracle Seawater offers long-lasting hydration, counteracting the potential drying effects of retinol.

Shea butter nourishes the skin, and panthenol soothes any irritation.


What We Like

  • You’ll notice wrinkle improvement
  • Contains powerful plant-based collagen and peptide for skin lifting, while being non-drying and moisturizing.
  • Can improve the skin’s barrier function, reduce redness, regulate oil production, and improve overall skin texture

What We Don't Like

  • Nope, all good here!

Some By Mi Retinol Intense Advanced Triple Action Eye Cream includes retinol and other active elements that soften fine lines and diminish the appearance of dark circles.

Its triple action formula is designed to:

  • Reduce wrinkles
  • Brighten
  • Firm the skin

Retinol, a potent anti-aging component, functions by stimulating collagen production, which aids in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also enhances skin cell turnover, resulting in a smoother, more evenly toned complexion.

Aside from retinol, this Korean eye cream also features niacinamide (vitamin B3). This multi-functional vitamin enhances the skin’s natural barrier function, assisting in moisture retention and overall texture improvement.

Niacinamide also aids in diminishing the appearance of dark circles, uneven skin tone, and discoloration, promoting a brighter skin tone around the eyes. Hyaluronic acid draws in and preserves moisture, plumping the skin and reducing the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.

Peptides stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, contributing to a more taut and youthful eye area.

Panthenol and Centella asiatica extract, commonly known as cica or tiger grass, provide soothing and healing properties, helping to alleviate inflammation and redness.

One of the notable features of this eye cream is its versatility, as it can be used not only on the eye area but also on other parts of the face with wrinkles, fine lines, or sagging skin, such as the forehead, the skin around the lips, and even the neck.


What We Like

  • It is excellent for blemishes
  • It is very good for enlarged pores
  • It is very good against uneven texture
  • It is good against dark circles
  • It is good against dullness
  • It is good against hyperpigmentation

What We Don't Like

  • If you’re heavy-handed with it, it might dry out your skin.

Elizavecca Milky Piggy EGF Elastic Retinol Cream is enriched with 69.9% swiftlet nest extract and retinol, providing nourishment for your skin. Swiftlet nest extract helps restore your skin’s oil-moisture balance, making it an excellent option for dehydrated, oily skin types.

Retinol enhances elasticity and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, while EGF (SH-Oligopeptide-1) contributes to skin renewal. Niacinamide offers various skin benefits, including brightening the complexion, minimizing the look of pores, and improving skin texture. Allantoin provides soothing properties for the skin.

This cream has a lightweight texture with a slight stickiness. It’s a suitable choice for individuals aiming to address aging skin concerns while ensuring adequate skin hydration.

How We Researched and Tested

When it comes to makeup and skincaree, the right choice of moisturizer can make all the difference. We understand the importance of this decision, and that’s why our selection process is rigorous and thorough. Here’s a breakdown of how we went about it:

1. Our Background in Skincare:

With 3-4 years of experience diving deep into the world of skincare, we’ve cultivated a keen understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Our team is well-versed in analyzing ingredients, understanding skin reactions, and recognizing the signs of a genuinely effective product.

2. Hands-On Testing:

We believe in the power of firsthand experience. Members of our team, familiar with Korean products personally tested a range. This allowed us to assess not just the immediate effects but also how these products performed over time.

3. Expert and Dermatologist Reviews:

We didn’t just rely on our own experiences. We delved into reviews and recommendations from skincare experts and dermatologists. Their insights, combined with our own, ensured that the products we recommend are backed by professional knowledge and expertise.

4. Comprehensive Research:

Every retinol product that made it to our list has been thoroughly researched. We looked into their ingredients, their formulation, and how they interact with the skin.

5. User Reviews and Feedback:

Beyond experts, the experiences of everyday users like you are invaluable. We scoured user reviews, feedback, and testimonials to understand how these retinol products performed in real-world scenarios.

By combining our expertise, hands-on testing, expert insights, thorough research, and real user feedback, we’ve curated a list of the best Korean retinol products. Our commitment is to provide you with choices that are effective, safe, and worthy of your trust.

What To Look For In A Moisturizer For Perioral Dermatitis?

Choosing the right moisturizer for perioral dermatitis is crucial to manage and soothe the condition. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Ingredients: Opt for moisturizers with calming and healing ingredients like calendula, zinc oxide, and hyaluronic acid.

  • Avoid Irritants: Steer clear of products containing alcohol, fragrances, and artificial colorants, as they can exacerbate the condition.

  • Non-comedogenic: Ensure the moisturizer won’t clog pores, which can lead to further skin issues.

  • Skin Barrier Repair: Look for products that help restore the skin’s natural barrier, essential for those with perioral dermatitis.

  • Dermatologist-Recommended: Always a good sign if a product is endorsed or recommended by skincare professionals.

  • User Reviews: Check out what other users with perioral dermatitis have to say about the product. Their experiences can offer valuable insights.

Remember, everyone’s skin is unique. What works for one person might not work for another, so it’s essential to find a moisturizer that suits your specific needs and skin type.


Leave a Comment

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