12 Best Korean Sunscreens of 2023 Chosen By Our Experts

Sunscreen is an essential aspect of the Korean skincare routine, which is why it is readily available throughout South Korea. Koreans strongly dislike the sun and actively seek products that protect from its damaging effects. As a result, the Korean beauty industry is dedicated to creating sunscreens that effectively block the sun’s rays while nourishing the skin.

By incorporating sunscreen into your daily routine, it can reduce your risk of skin cancer by 50% and prevent premature wrinkles, pigmentation, and dull skin. However, finding the best Korean sunscreen can be challenging, especially for those with non-Asian skin who may not be accustomed to constant sun protection.

The Korean standard for sunscreen is SPF 50 for both the body and face, but Korean sunscreens use a different rating system than those in Europe or the US. Instead of an SPF number, they use the Persistent Pigmentation Darkening Test, represented by + signs (PA+++, for example). The more plus signs, the greater the protection from UVA exposure. Additionally, some Korean sunscreens contain ingredients that have not yet been approved by the FDA or other organizations worldwide (such as Tinosorb S and Tinosorb M). This does not necessarily mean they are harmful, but the approval process for new ingredients is slow.

If you are looking for sunscreen to suit different situations, you may consider looking for sunscreens that are specifically for daily use and others that are more suitable for extreme situations like a summer holiday, a day at the beach, hiking under the sun, and so on. Also, knowing what to look for when trying to find the best sunscreen for your skin is essential.

In conclusion, finding the best Korean sunscreen can be challenging, but it is essential for protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. We have compiled a list of some of the best Korean sunscreens to help you find the perfect sunscreen for your skin. Be sure to take a look and find the one that is perfect for you!

Best Korean Sunscreens To Use Daily

Without further delay, here is a list of some of the best Korean sunscreens that are suitable for daily use and perfect for the spring and summer of 2023.

1. Etude House Sunprise Mild Watery Light Sun Milk SPF 50 (PA+++)

etude watery

Etude House Sunprise Mild Watery Light Sun Milk SPF 50 is a popular sunscreen option from the popular Korean skincare brand Etude House. This sunscreen is formulated to provide a lightweight and watery texture that is perfect for daily use. It is also designed to be mild on the skin, making it suitable for sensitive skin. It has an SPF 50 rating and PA+++ rating, which provides strong protection against UVA and UVB rays. This sunscreen is perfect for those who want a lightweight and mild sunscreen that can be used daily, especially for those with sensitive skin.

2. Missha Mild Essence Sun Milk SPF 50 (PA+++)

Missha sunscreen

Missha Mild Essence Sun Milk SPF 50 is a sunscreen option from the Korean skincare brand Missha. This sunscreen is formulated to provide a mild and gentle formula suitable for daily use. It is also designed to be lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin, making it perfect for daily use. With an SPF 50 rating and a PA+++ rating, this sunscreen provides strong protection against UVA and UVB rays. This sunscreen is ideal for individuals searching for a lightweight and gentle formula that can be used daily.

3. Neogen Day-Light Protection Sunscreen (PA+++)

Neogen sunscreen

Neogen Dermalogy Day-Light Protection Sunscreen is an option from the Korean skincare brand Neogen. This sunscreen is specifically designed to protect from UVA rays, which are known to cause pigmentation and premature aging. It has a PA+++ rating, a Korean rating system that indicates a high level of protection from UVA rays. The formula is lightweight and non-greasy, making it suitable for daily use. This sunscreen is perfect for those looking for a daily use sunscreen that provides a high level of protection against UVA rays and has a suitable formula for sensitive skin.

Read Also: The Best Neogen products to buy

4. THEFACESHOP Natural Sun Long-Lasting Sunscreen

THEFACESHOP Natural Sun Long-Lasting Sunscreen

THEFACESHOP Natural Sun Long-Lasting Sunscreen is an option from the Korean skincare brand THEFACESHOP. This sunscreen is formulated to provide long-lasting protection against the sun’s harmful rays. It has an SPF 50 rating and a PA+++ rating, which provides strong protection against UVA and UVB rays. It’s also Non-Comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores. This sunscreen is perfect for those looking for a long-lasting, natural, and non-comedogenic sunscreen that provides strong protection against UVA and UVB rays.

5. Innisfree OAT Mild Moisture Sun Cream

Innisfree OAT Mild Moisture Sun Cream

Innisfree OAT Mild Moisture Sun Cream is a sunscreen option from the Korean skincare brand Innisfree. This sunscreen is formulated with oatmeal extract, known for its soothing and moisturizing properties. It has an SPF 50 and a PA+++ rating, providing strong protection against UVA and UVB rays. This sunscreen is perfect for those who are looking for a moisturizing and soothing sunscreen with natural ingredients that provides strong protection against UVA and UVB rays, specially formulated for dry and sensitive skin. Be aware that the zync may make your skin too white.

6. Dr. Jart+ Every Day Sun SPF 50+ (PA+++)

Dr. Jart+ Every Day Sun SPF 50+ (PA+++)

Dr. Jart+ Every Day Sun SPF 50+ (PA++) is a sunscreen option from the Korean skincare brand Dr. Jart+. This sunscreen is formulated to provide a high level of protection from UVA and UVB rays, with its SPF 50+ and PA+++. It’s lightweight and easy to apply, suitable for daily use. The formula is also free from Oxybenzone and Avobenzone and any other types of parabens, mineral oils, and artificial fragrances. This sunscreen is perfect for those looking for a daily use sunscreen that provides a high level of protection from UVA and UVB rays, with soothing ingredients for sensitive skin.

7. Nature Republic California Aloe Fresh Powdery Sun Stick 

Nature Republic California Aloe Fresh Powdery Sun Stick

Nature Republic California Aloe Fresh Powdery Sun Stick is a sunscreen option from the Korean skincare brand Nature Republic. This sunscreen is formulated as a stick, making it easy to apply and perfect for on-the-go use. It has an SPF 50 rating and a PA++ rating, which provides strong protection against UVA and UVB rays. This sunscreen is perfect for those who are looking for a convenient and easy-to-apply sunscreen with natural ingredients that provides strong protection against UVA and UVB rays.

8. COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 (PA+++)

COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 (PA+++)

COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 (PA++) is a sunscreen option from the Korean skincare brand COSRX. This sunscreen is formulated to provide a high level of protection from UVA and UVB rays, with its SPF 50 and PA++. The formula is also infused with aloe vera extract, which helps to soothe and moisturize the skin. It’s lightweight and easy to apply, suitable for daily use. It’s also free of parabens, mineral oil, and artificial fragrances. This sunscreen is perfect for those looking for a daily use sunscreen that provides a high level of protection from UVA and UVB rays, with soothing and moisturizing ingredients for sensitive skin.

Read Also: The Best COSXR products to buy

9. Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF45/PA+++

Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF45/PA+++

Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF45/PA+++ is a sunscreen option from the Korean skincare brand Missha. This sunscreen is formulated to provide a high level of protection from UVA and UVB rays, with its SPF 45 and PA+++. The formula is also infused with essential ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and ceramide, which help to hydrate and nourish the skin. It’s lightweight and easy to apply, suitable for daily use. It’s also free of parabens, mineral oil, and artificial fragrances. This sunscreen is perfect for those looking for a daily use sunscreen that provides a high level of protection from UVA and UVB rays, with hydrating and nourishing ingredients for sensitive skin.

10. Dear, Klairs – Soft Airy UV Essence

Dear, Klairs - Soft Airy UV Essence

Dear, Klairs – Soft Airy UV Essence is a sunscreen option from the Korean skincare brand Dear, Klairs. This sunscreen is formulated to provide a high level of protection from UVA and UVB rays, with its SPF 50 and PA++++. It’s lightweight and easy to apply, suitable for daily use. It’s also free of parabens, mineral oil, and artificial fragrances. This sunscreen is perfect for those looking for a daily use sunscreen that provides a high level of protection from UVA and UVB rays, with soothing, brightening ingredients for sensitive skin.

Read Also: The Best Klairs products to buy

11. Beauty of Joseon – Relief Sun

This Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun sunscreen is formulated to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays with its broad-spectrum SPF 50+ PA++++. It is lightweight, easy to apply, and absorbs quickly without leaving a white cast on your skin. With the added benefits of rice extract and grain-derived probiotics, this sunscreen can help your skin retain moisture and stay supple. It is also free of oxybenzone, octinoxate and animal-derived ingredients, making it suitable for sensitive skin.

12. PURITO – Daily Go-To Sunscreen

Protect your skin with PURITO’s Daily Go-To Sunscreen, a hybrid formula that combines chemical and physical filters for broad-spectrum protection of SPF 50+ PA++++. The sunscreen is easy to blend and has a lightweight texture that melts onto your skin, leaving a sheer finish without any white cast. Its lightweight texture also makes it easy to reapply even when you’re wearing makeup. Infused with Centella Asiatica extract and madecassoside, this unscented sun care product soothes and protects sun-irritated skin. It’s suitable for all skin types, including combination, oily, and sensitive skin.

Korean Sunscreens FAQ:

Do I have to wear Korean sunscreen all day?

UV rays from the sun, particularly UVA and UVB, can cause damage to the skin, particularly during the spring and summer when the sun is stronger. It is recommended to wear sunscreen during the day to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapplying every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. It’s also important to check the sunscreen’s expiration date, as it can lose its effectiveness over time.

Can I use my SPF foundation or cushion without sunscreen?

While using makeup products that contain SPF can provide some level of sun protection, it is not a substitute for using sunscreen. The SPF value of makeup products is often lower than sunscreen, and it isn’t easy to apply enough to get the full protection listed on the label. Also, makeup may not cover all exposed skin, leaving some unprotected areas. It’s best to use a separate sunscreen in addition to your makeup products to ensure optimal sun protection.

When should I apply my Korean sunscreen?

Applying sunscreen before going outside is recommended, as UV rays can start to damage the skin as soon as you step outside. It’s best to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the sunscreen to be fully absorbed by the skin. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating to maintain its effectiveness. It’s also important to remember to apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, including the face, neck, ears, and hands, and to use enough sunscreen to cover your skin fully.

What’s the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens?

Physical sunscreens and chemical sunscreens are different in protecting the skin from the sun’s UV rays.

Physical sunscreens, also known as mineral sunscreens, contain active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients sit on top of the skin and physically block UV rays from penetrating the skin. Physical sunscreens are often considered more natural and less likely to cause irritation than chemical sunscreens. They also tend to be more stable in sunlight and provide protection immediately after application.

Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, contain active ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octinoxate. These ingredients work by absorbing UV rays and converting them into heat, which is then released from the skin. They are typically thinner in consistency and can be more easily absorbed by the skin. However, they may take 20-30 minutes to be effective after application and may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.

It’s important to note that both types of sunscreen can effectively protect the skin from UV rays, and the best choice may depend on individual skin type and preferences.

Can I use Korean face sunscreens on my body?

Facial sunscreens and body sunscreens are formulated differently, and it is generally recommended to use a separate sunscreen for each area of the body.

Facial sunscreens are formulated to be gentle on the delicate skin of the face and often contain ingredients that are beneficial for the skin, such as antioxidants and moisturizers. They also tend to be lighter in consistency, so they can be easily absorbed by the skin and not leave a greasy or heavy feeling.

Body sunscreens are formulated to be more heavy-duty and provide a higher level of protection against UV rays. They are also typically more water-resistant, which is important for areas of the body that may come into contact with water, such as during swimming or sweating. They also tend to be more moisturizing and thicker than facial sunscreens.

While facial sunscreens can be used on the body, it’s generally recommended to use a separate sunscreen specifically formulated for the body to ensure optimal protection and hydration.

Can I use Korean body sunscreens on my face?

It is generally not recommended to use body sunscreen on the face. Body sunscreens tend to be more moisturizing and thicker than facial sunscreens.

Facial sunscreens tend to be lighter in consistency so that they can be easily absorbed by the skin and not leave a greasy or heavy feeling.

Using body sunscreen on the face can cause irritation, clog pores and lead to breakouts. Body sunscreens may also contain ingredients unsuitable for use on the face, such as fragrances and essential oils.

It’s always recommended to use a separate sunscreen specifically formulated for the face to ensure optimal protection and hydration. Furthermore, it’s always recommended to check the ingredients and the label before using any product on the face.

Can I use old Korean sunscreens?

It’s not recommended to use old sunscreens. Sunscreen has a shelf life, after which it may not be as effective in protecting the skin from UV rays. Most sunscreens will have an expiration date printed on the packaging. It’s important to check this date and discard the sunscreen if it has expired.

Sunscreen can also lose its effectiveness over time due to exposure to heat and light, so it’s essential to store it in a cool, dark place. It should be thrown away if the sunscreen has changed color or texture or has a bad smell.

It’s important to use fresh sunscreen to ensure you get the full level of protection as advertised on the label and to avoid any potential skin irritation or allergic reactions. It’s always recommended to check the expiration date before using any product and follow the package’s storage instructions.

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