Korean Peeling Gels: The Exfoliator You MUST Add to Your Routine

Korean Peeling Gels: The Exfoliator You MUST Add to Your Routine

If you’re into skincare, you know that exfoliation is one of the main tenets of a great facial regimen. Exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells, revealing new skin cells underneath for a fresher, smoother complexion.  Many exfoliants found in the market are physical exfoliants formulated with “scrubbing” ingredients to remove dead skin cells. Think apricot scrub, which is made from ground up apricot pits that scrape off dull skin.

However, physical exfoliants can be too rough for skin, especially if your skin is sensitive. So if you want a fresher complexion but have delicate skin, what do you do? Enter Korean peeling gels!

What is a Korean Peeling Gel?

Simply put, a peeling gel is a mild chemical exfoliator made from fruit enzymes. Think a chemical peel, but on a smaller (and safer) at-home scale, but still with BIG results. Basically, you rub peeling gel onto your skin and the gel balls up, removing dead skin and debris that can then be washed off with water. Peeling gels are great for evening out skin tone and improving skin texture.

How to Use a Korean Peeling Gel

Korean peeling gels are used like a scrub exfoliant. Wet clean skin, then gently massage your face and neck with the gel. As you massage, dead skin will begin to ball up. You may find that your T-Zone needs more attention than your cheeks. After you finish massaging for 30 seconds, rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water and enjoy your new glow!

The Best Korean Peeling Gels

As peeling gels become more popular in the skin care community, more brands are entering the market. Since they can be a little on the pricy side, we’ve rounded up the gels most worth your money.

Primera Mild Facial Peeling Gel (Link)

Primea Mild Facial Peeling Gel is made from a variety of botanical ingredients, including moisturizing broccoli extract. Don’t worry though – this product smells amazing and nothing at all like broccoli.

Mizon Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel (Link)

This peeling gel is made from a medley of fruit enzymes including orange and lemon. As the name suggests, Mizon Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel has a pleasant apple smell. This gel also contains hyaluronic acid to moisturize the skin.

Tony Moly Floria Brightening Peeling Gel (Link)

If you’re new to the world of Korean beauty, Tony Moly is a relatively inexpensive brand that’s also easily found in the United States. This peeling gel has a pleasant floral scent and has been used to treat uneven skin tone and acne.

Cure Aqua Gel (Link)

This product is the #1 best selling exfoliator in Japan. Cure Aqua Gel is made from all-natural ingredients, including rosemary, ginko, and aloe vera extracts for added moisture.

Secret Key Lemon D-Toc Peeling Gel (Link)

This gel’s ingredients include lemon extract and water. This product is a bit drying, but a great option for someone who wants to try peeling gel without spending a lot of money.

Even though peeling gels are gentle, they are still exfoliants and should be followed up with a high quality moisturizer to prevent dry skin. And while peeling gels are a great option for people with sensitive skin, if you have a skin condition like rosacea or eczema, you may want to check with your doctor first before adding a peeling gel to your skincare routine.

What do you think? Would you try a Korean peeling gel? If you’ve tried one before, which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

About the author

colleen welsch

Colleen Welsch is an LA-based freelance writer. She maintains a travel and lifestyle blog at colleenwelsch.com.

Further reading

For other neat and convenient Korean products, you might want to take a look at new liquid makeup delivering cushion compacts. If you are more interested in exfoliation and skin care, read our comparison of microdermabrasion versus ultrasonic exfoliation.


  1. evelyne says:

    I actually tried the Primera one (sample size – but maybe I’ll get the real thing soon!) as well as some other gentle ones and while my dry skin still isn’t a fan of peeling gels in winter, I love them for gentle exfoliation during summer! Great list, you made me curious about the Cure one. 🙂

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