Face Exfoliator

Here is step 3 of the Korean Skincare Routine: Face Exfoliation! Peeling, Scrub, Face Toner with AHA and so on and so forth: the Korean Skincare offers many types of facial exfoliants, all formulated with advanced techniques and ingredients. Remove the dead cells left on your face skin, so as to prepare it to better absorb the cosmetics of the next Steps!

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Step 3: Face Exfoliator

The third step in the now famous 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine involves exfoliation for face using a Korean exfoliator, which should be chosen wisely (with our tips) and applied consistently following precise techniques, all knowledge that the Koreans have passed down for generations! Are you fascinated by this oriental beauty ritual but don't know where to start? Do you know a little about K-Beauty, but are still afraid of making mistakes? Don’t worry… you’re not alone! Many have the same concern! That’s why we at 50 ml have decided to share with our Beauty Lover Community everything there is to know about face exfoliation done “the Korean way”: let’s discover together what exactly a Korean exfoliant for face do for our skin and how to properly perform Step 3 of the most beloved Beauty Routine ever! Ready? Let’s dive right into the Korean Skincare!


What Does a Korean Exfoliator for Face Do to My Skin?

Let's start with a fundamental premise: both local and Korean face exfoliants do the same thing… exfoliate! This means they remove dead cells from the skin's surface. The difference lies in the fact that Korean cosmetic formulas (all of them: exfoliants, cleansers, or toners!) are particularly advanced, as interest in skincare has been established in South Korea for years, even centuries! It's clear that Koreans have authority in this field, from which we can only learn. Korean face exfoliants are numerous and varied, characterized by many innovative natural ingredients, designed for specific skin issues. Here's how they differ from each other and how they act differently on our face!


  • Korean physical exfoliant: Also known as “mechanical,” this type of cosmetic involves the use of small granules or particles to manually remove dead cells from the surface of our facial skin. We're sure you’ve heard this term before: "face scrub." Well, this word refers precisely to exfoliation! It's also used in Korean Skin Care to define physical exfoliants Made in Korea of this kind! 
  • Korean chemical exfoliant for face: This product contains the so-called keratolytic substances, capable of acting on the epidermis chemically. Simply put, the chemical exfoliant uses exfoliating acids to dissolve dead cells from our skin. Two super common ingredients in Korean-made chemical exfoliants are salicylic acid (BHA) and glycolic acid (AHA), true stars of K-BeautySalicylic acid, being liposoluble, penetrates inside the pores and cleans them from within, deeply. This makes it an ideal ingredient for oily and acne-prone skinGlycolic acid, on the other hand, works on the surface, acting more gently. For this reason, it's more suitable for combination skin and – if present in very low percentages within the cosmetic (e.g., 2%) – it's also good for sensitive skin. You’ve probably also heard the term "peeling": this word refers to the use of chemical exfoliants that stimulate cell turnover, preventing issues like clogged pores and dullness, and making the skin brighter and more even!


How to Exfoliate Face (Korean Skincare Edition) 

Let’s start with the basics: this step is performed right after the first two, Oil Cleanser and the Foam Cleanser, which together make up the double cleansing and aim to clean the face from makeup, sweat, smog, and any other external residue. Step 3, however, aims to deeply remove dead skin cells remaining on the epidermis, preparing it to absorb all the other cosmetics (Korean, of course!) that will be used during the subsequent steps. Let’s go into detail: how often should you exfoliate your face?


  • “For Beginners” Frequency. If you have never used face exfoliants on your skin and you’ve decided to introduce them into your South Korea-inspired Skincare Routine, remember to start gradually: begin with very low doses of keratolytic substances, applied once each two weeks, and then – if necessary – increase according to your needs.
  • Weekly Frequency. Switch to a weekly frequency only after you have gained some knowledge about skincare and after understanding exactly what benefits your skin and what doesn't. 
  • Daily Frequency. This is only for the true pros who know their skin very well and are skincare regulars. NB: regardless of your experience, exfoliate your face daily only and exclusively with very, very gentle products explicitly indicated for a daily step.
  • Summer Frequency. Generally, whether it’s summer or winter, it’s advisable to use exfoliating cosmetics in the evening rather than during the day because these expose the skin barrier more to solar radiation. Imagine in summer, when the sun is at its peak! During this time of year, take extra caution: consider slowing down the frequency and/or using gentler exfoliants.


The technique for using Korean exfoliants depends on the form the cosmetic takes. Most often, Korean face exfoliants are light creams or liquid cosmetics like toners. Let's look at the recommended application methods for these cases.


  • If it’s a cream, apply a pump on your (thoroughly clean) fingertips and gently massage the product onto your face, focusing on areas more prone to imperfections, like the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin). Then, rinse the skin thoroughly.
  • If it’s a toner, pour a few drops of the product into the palm of your hand and apply it to your face by gently tapping with your fingertips to stimulate circulation. This is the most loved application method by Koreans, but if it’s easier for you, you can use a cotton pad or exfoliating face pads!


Do you feel like you’ve applied too little product? Most likely, it’s a false impression: we are mistakenly used to using much more product than we actually need. That’s why today we invite you to discover the minimalist Korean attitude, which prefers using a small amount of each cosmetic… it’s the case to say: Less Is More! After application, wait for your skin to properly absorb the cosmetic (it’s just a matter of seconds, hang in there!), then move on to the next step of the K Routine, Step 4: Facial Toner! To conclude this "tutorial" on step 3, we want to share our skincare mantra with you: Always Listen to Your Skin! For example, if you notice undesired reactions on your skin, you’re probably doing something wrong, or your skin does not tolerate an ingredient you used well. If you suspect an allergy, do a test on a less sensitive area, such as the crook of your arm, before applying the cosmetic to your face. In case of undesirable effects, take a break for a few months and eventually try again with a different and gentler cosmetic. If you choose the right exfoliant for you and correctly (and consistently) practice the Korean Skincare Routine, you’ll see that – thanks to the third step – imperfections like pimples, blackheads, and sebaceous filaments will gradually be eliminated, and your skin will glow like never before! What a joy! We can't wait to know if this guide has been helpful… write to us! As always, we’re ready to share the best Korean cosmetics with you, all on 50ml, of course!


The Best Korean Face Exfoliators

Since the Korean Skincare sector is vast and varied, sometimes it can be difficult to navigate the choice of a Korean cosmetic. We at 50 ml have prepared for you a top 5 list of the best Korean Face Exfoliators Made in Korea, real Must Haves!


  1. Thank You Farmer Back to Iceland Peeling Cream. Here we have an exfoliating cream rich in super powerful natural ingredients: Icelandic moss extract with antioxidant and antibacterial properties, papaya fruit extract that promotes skin renewal, centella extract to soothe and calm stressed skin, witch hazel to care for pores, and cloudberry seed extract, rich in vitamin C, a super antioxidant ingredient. The cherry on top? Hyaluronic acid, for a hydration boost!
  2. Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect Scrub Foam. This is an exfoliating facial mousse suitable for all skin types, with a very soft texture. It deeply cleanses the skin while remaining gentle. The star ingredients of this Korean cosmetic are mineral black sugar with exfoliating properties and refined rice wine extract, which makes the skin soft and radiant.
  3. Coxir Green Tea BHA Clear Toner. Here is a Korean exfoliant containing the highly talked about BHA acid! Particularly suitable for oily and acne-prone skin, Coxir’s Clear Toner is a liquid cosmetic that cleanses pores, soothes the skin, and promotes cell renewal, thanks not only to salicylic acid but also to green tea and snail mucus. A bomb for acne scars!
  4. Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid. With this exfoliant in the form of a toner, we have 7% Glycolic Acid, the AHA. It’s a medium percentage, ideal for those who are already familiar with Korean Skincare and have combination skin.
  5. Mizon Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel. Apple and papaya extracts enrich this fresh and purifying gel, ideal for all skin types!


Customer Reviews on 50 ml

We have gathered some opinions from our customers who have tried Korean face exfoliators. Here’s what they said!


  • Thank You Farmer Back to Iceland Peeling Cream. Francesca, 35 years old: "I tried the Back to Iceland Peeling Cream to minimize my pores. After a few weeks of consistent application, I’ve already started seeing the benefits. Never Without It Again!"

  • Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid. Federica, 27 years old: "I’m a Korean Skincare enthusiast, so I had to try the AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid! After using it, I feel it totally deserves its reputation!"

  • Mizon Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel. Violante, 19 years old: "Since I have acne-prone skin, I was advised to apply the Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel weekly. So far, it’s working really well for me! Highly recommended for those who suffer from acne like me!"

  • Cosrx Aha/Bha Clarifying Treatment Toner. Asia, 22 years old: "For a few months now, once every two weeks in the evening, I’ve been spraying the Cosrx AHA and BHA toner to minimize acne scars. I didn’t think a cosmetic could help me so much, but I had to change my mind! The 50 ml staff was careful to remind me to stop using active ingredients that stimulate cell turnover like Vitamin C and Retinol before introducing this cosmetic. An info that literally saved me."

  • Coxir Green Tea BHA Clear Toner. Luisa, 50 years old: "I gave this toner to my daughter on the advice of the 50 ml team. I explained to them that my Giulia had been looking for a cosmetic for a long time to help her with her acne scars. Now she has been applying the Coxir BHA and Green Tea Clear Toner bi-weekly for a few months and is already noticing the results. I’m really happy for her!"


Dive into 50 ml: you will not only find Korean face exfoliators, but also all the other Made in Korea cosmetics needed for the 10 Step Beauty Routine: Oil Cleansers, Foam CleansersTonersEssencesSerumsFace MasksEye CreamsMoisturizers, and Facial Sunscreens... The best of Korean Skincare and much more! If your passion is Artistic Perfumery, discover our carefully curated selection of Niche Perfumes! Don’t forget to follow us on InstagramTikTok, Facebook, and YouTube, also subscribe to our Newsletter: they are simple and fun ways to discover the latest trends in the sector. We look forward to seeing you!