Sunscreen is a fundamental part of the Korean Beauty Routine and for this reason it’s not hard to find really good sunscreens everywhere in South Korea. In fact, the Koreans have a scary relationship with the sun and they tend to avoid it at all costs. This also means the Korean beauty industry is actively involved in creating products that block the sun and don’t allow it to damage women’s skin.
The reality is, according to K-Beauty, that wearing sunscreen every day, it is possible to reduce your risk of skin cancer by 50% and at the same time, for a more visible result, to avoid premature wrinkles, pigmentation and dull skin.
Finding the best Korean sunscreen is not that easy especially if you’re not Korean nor Asian and your skin is not used to be constantly protected.
The Korean standard when it comes to sunscreen is SPF 50, both for the body and especially for the face but Korean sunscreens use a different rating system than the one from Europe or the US. Rather than an SPF number, they use a system called the Persistent Pigmentation Darkening Test, which it is expressed by using + (Plus). The more plusses you see after the PA, the more protection you get from UVA exposure.
Also, you may take into account that Korean sunscreens also use ingredients that are not always approved by the FDA in America and other associations in the rest of the World (for example the Tinosorb S and Tinosorb M). This doesn’t mean they’re bad for our skin, but simply that the approval process for new ingredient additions is really really slow.
That’s why heading to the Web to find the best Korean sunscreen is the best thing to do.
The following are some of the Korean sunscreens we love and use: some are specifically for daily use, others are for extreme situations where extreme can mean a summer holiday, a day at the beach, hiking under the sun and so on. At the end of the articles, you’ll also find information on how to find the best sunscreen, what to look for and more.
Our favorite Korean sunscreens for spring and summer 2019
Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF 50 (PA+++)
This is the perfect product for the skin: it’s not oily, doesn’t leave white lines on your skin, it’s extremely protective and helps in reducing the serum’s production. Read the review and buy yours on Amazon.
Missha Mild Essence Sun Milk SPF 50 (PA+++)
The perfect choice for your body: it doesn’t leave any white mark, it’s not greasy and it calms down the effects of the sun on the skin. Buy yours on Amazon.
Neogen Day-Light Protection Sunscreen (PA+++)
Neogen is a warranty of success and this sunscreen is ideal for daily usage. It can be used as a normal moisturizer, before applying cushion or foundation. Buy yours on Amazon.
Dr. Oracle EPL Daily Sunblock SPF 50 (PA+++)
A primer, a moisturizer and also a sunscreen: this Dr. Oracle cream has basically everything you need, it’s dermatologically approved and more than just a cream ’cause it also helps in keeping sensitive skins clean. Buy yours on Amazon.
Read Also: Best Korean Products to Moisturize your Face
Innisfree Eco Safety Perfect Sunblock (PA+++)
Lightweight and oil-absorbent, Innisfree Eco Safety No Sebum Sunblock leaves the skin a bit too white because of the presence of the zinc so you really have to make sure you spread it well. Buy yours on Amazon.
Dr. Jart+ Every Day Sun SPF 50+ (PA+++)
Dr. Jart+ Every Day Sun SPF 50+ absorbs quickly, leaves your skin smooth and fresh and it’s also all natural, being free from Oxybenzone and Avobenzone. Buy yours on Amazon.
Etude House Sunprise Bye Sebum Sun Stick SPF 50+ (PA+++)
A perfect and compact stick you can use on your face and on your body, the Etude House Sunprise Bye Sebum Sun Stick not only protect you from the sun but it will give your skin a matte finish taking under control the sebum due to the hot weather. Buy yours on Amazon.
COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 (PA+++)
If you’re looking for a cooling suncream, this is the perfect option: it provides long-lasting protection against UVA and UVB rays and at the same time aloe is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial and work perfectly on oily skins. Buy yours on Amazon.
Korean Sunscreens FAQ:
Do I have to wear sunscreen all day?
Yes, especially in spring and summer when the sun is stronger. UVA and UVB rays can seriously cause problems to our skin, if not well filtered.
Can I use my SPF foundation or cushion without sunscreen?
No! Even if your foundation or cushion contains SPF it’s certainly not enough to protect your skin. It’s thus best to use a standalone SPF product after your moisturizer and before your foundation or cushion compact.
When should I apply my sunscreen?
It’s important to apply a sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure so that the formula has time to work itself into the skin.
What’s the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens?
Physical sunscreens stay on the surface of the skin, creating a physical layer that deflects UV rays. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays, that are converted into heat, which is then released. In this way, the skin doesn’t absorb any UV ray. The majority of chemical sunscreens have textures that are more spreadable and fluid than physical sunscreens but for this reason they can degrade more quickly and have to be reapplied over and over.
Can I use facial sunscreens on my body?
Yes, you can. Remember to reapply it throughout the day and make sure you spread it evenly to avoid problems.
Can I use body sunscreens on my face?
No, you can’t. Sunscreens for the body are formulated in a way that cannot be tolerated by our faces. They can be heavier and not suitable for this sensitive part.
Can I use old sunscreens?
No, you can’t. When the sunscreen is passed, it means it doesn’t protect your skin anymore. That’s why you should always and only buy from well known retailers, to avoid these problems.