Don’t wait for summer to apply sunscreen because the sun won’t wait to harm your skin if you don’t.
There’s a reason many Asians still use parasols and act like vampires when under the heat of the sun. It’s a safety concern.
With that said, there’s also a link between sunscreen and youthful-looking skin.
If you’re looking for a reliable everyday sunscreen, here are my favorite Korean sunscreens for you to choose from.
10 Best Korean Sunscreens
Pure Block Natural Daily Sun Cream SPF45/PA+++
UV rays are not the only aggressors your skin faces. Daily pollutants also threaten your skin’s health, so a product with sun and pollution protection would be awesome, right?
Say hello to Pure Block Natural Daily Sun Cream. With watermelon and aloe vera extracts, it soothes the skin while nourishing it.
It claims to leave a matte finish, but actually, it provides a hydrating shimmering one, so it’s good for people who suffer from dry skin.
This product does not leave any white cast, so you can pair it with makeup. This sunscreen also works well for darker skin tones.
- Nourishes the skin
- Good for dry skin
- Does not leave a white cast
- Strong citrus scent
Etude House Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF50+ / PA+++
Best for Oily Skin
This product has a creamy, milky texture.
It’s one of the best sunscreens for face and because it absorbs easily and it leaves you with a matte finish.
If that’s the texture you prefer, then this Etude product is for you.
Aside from protection, this sunscreen also nourishes using its lemon, aloe, and sunflower seed herbal extracts.
- Contains hyaluronic acid for plumper skin
- Contains alcohol
- Bad for sensitive skin
COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF 50 PA+++
Best for Sensitive Skin
Aloe vera is one of the best natural remedies for sunburn. It soothes sun damage and burns.
The COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream uses aloe extract to soothe and protect the skin. It’s the best Korean sunscreen for those with sensitive skin because the aloe takes care of any irritation you might have.
It also makes dry skin plumper and more hydrated. You can use it if you’re recovering from a dark tan.
If you plan on wearing makeup, this works well with most beauty products. It does not leave an awkward white cast.
- Works well under makeup
- Contains alcohol
Missha All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk EX SPF50+/PA+++
The good thing about the Missha All Around Safe Block is it leaves the skin with a powdery finish and fills up fine lines to make them less visible.
It contains Althaea Rosea flower root extract that protects the skin and adds a hydration barrier. Helichrysum flower water is also mixed in to provide a soothing effect.
The only thing to note is it makes your skin look pinker. This isn’t a major problem, but it can be a concern if you have a darker skin tone or if you’re wearing makeup.
- Non-sticky and non-greasy
- Water and sweat-resistant
- Contains stearic acid
- Makes the skin look pinker
IOPE UV Shield Sun Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++
Touching up your sunscreen every 2 hours is easy to follow with the IOPE UV Shield Sun Cushion because it comes in a handy compact-type container. For easier application, just use it like a compact powder.
It has a slight whitening effect though, so if you are darker, the pigment of this product might be noticeable. Anyway, it has an arbutin component that will brighten your skin naturally over time.
- Block ultra-fine dust
- Moisturizes the skin
- Brightening effect
- Not suitable for oily skin
- May not work well for sensitive skin
Banila Co Prime Primer Sun SPF 50 PA
A primer and a sunscreen rolled into one? Yes, please!
This Banila Co product works so well as a primer that you can completely skip using a separate primer. It provides long-lasting effects while still providing SPF 50 and UVA protection.
It doesn’t feel greasy or sticky but does little to nothing in controlling excess oil. So if you have oily skin, check for an alternative.
It’s also quite expensive, but since it has a dual purpose, that may justify the price.
- Enhances makeup application
- Does not help control excess sebum
Earth's Recipe Waterful Sun Gel
The Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel is more like a cream than a gel. However, it’s still pretty gel-like in the way that it has a lightweight formulation for easy absorption.
This sun gel works well under makeup, fights premature aging, and doesn’t make your products pill.
Earth’s Recipe is a brand that believes in using the gifts of nature to nurture the skin. Their sunscreen is no exception to this rule.
- Contains Britain’s Harrogate sparkling water
- Not suitable for oily skin
Dr.Jart+ Every Sun Day UV Sun Fluid Broad
There are five different ingredients in this product that protects you from UV rays, along with an anti-aging effect.
If you have dry skin, this product will work well for you because it’s very moisturizing. I don’t recommend it for those with oily T-zones though since it packs a lot of hydration
What I love most about the Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day UV Sun Fluid is it repels fine dust using its cationic shield. This makes it easier to protect pores from clogging easily.
- Highly moisturizing
- Can repel fine dust
- Not suitable for oily skin
Neogen Day-Light Protection Sun Screen SPF 50 PA+++
This sunscreen packs a high punch of SPF 50. If maximum sun protection is what you’re looking for, then this is the answer.
The formula is incredibly lightweight despite its high SPF content. It’s silicone-free and easy to blend onto the face.
People with dry skin will find this particularly helpful since it’s infused with rose and raspberry extracts for extra nourishment.
This doesn’t leave you with a white cast like other sunscreens would either. You can wear it under makeup or simply on its own.
- SPF 50
- Hydrating properties
- No white cast
- Not for those with oily skin types
The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco No Shine Hydrating Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++
Another product with a great SPF level is this sunscreen by The Face Shop. It has SPF 50 to give your skin optimum protection.
Those with oily skin will enjoy this product since it dries matte on your face. Despite the mattifying effect, it contains cotton and chia seed which bring continuous moisture to the skin.
It’s the best of both worlds.
This sunscreen also comes in a handy, portable tube packaging. You can easily pack it with you wherever you go, even when going tanning!
- Mattifying effect
- Hydrating ingredients
- Travel-friendly packaging
- Not for dry skin
The Truth About SPF
SPF or sun protection factor is a sunscreen rating that gauges how well-protected you are from UVB rays which cause skin cancer.
However, note that the sun protection factor does not tell us how much sunscreen protection you get from UVA rays. UVA rays are different since they cause wrinkles and photoaging. Thus, it’s better to go for a sunscreen that protects you both from UVA and UVB rays.
A test conducted by Consumer Reports revealed that 32 out of the 82 sunscreens they tested advertise SPF higher than their actual ratings.
What's the Right SPF for You?
Sunscreens with at least SPF 30 is the minimum requirement when outdoors. For indoors, sunscreens with an SPF of 15 will do.
However, as noted in the previous section, since some of these products are not as honest about their real ratings, it’s better to choose higher ratings to ensure protection.
How and When to Apply Sunscreen
Sunscreen should be applied every day. The recommended sunscreen application amount is about one shot glass full for the entire body.
Sunscreens should cover all exposed skin, but it’s better to apply it all over.
As for reapplication, there is a need to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. This goes for any kind of sunscreen, including water-resistant ones.
Be wary of using spray sunscreens since you can accidentally inhale them. It’s best to spray on your hand first before applying it to other parts of the body as you would regular lotion-type sunscreen.
Also, make sure that your sunscreen isn’t expired. Using expired sunblock won’t give you the optimum protection that you need.
You can read through our guide on how long sunscreen lasts for more information.
The Advantage of Using a Korean Sunscreen
Korean sunscreens are miles better than others because they get approval for their ingredients much faster than other countries.
A Korean sunscreen also gives more skin care benefits because of K-beauty’s high regard for healthy skin for every skin tone.
It’s highly recommended that you wear sunscreen, especially if you’re using skin formulas with active ingredients like AHAs and BHAs.
When it comes to sunscreen, Korea is on top of its game. So whether you’re looking for the best sunscreen for your face or body, Korean beauty brands are worth checking first.
While most of us enjoy the excitement of a sunny day, we don’t want to compromise our skin’s health for it. And even if it’s cloudy, there’s always the risk of UV damage since UV rays can still penetrate past thick clouds.
This is why we love the A’Pieu Pure Block Natural because it gives us protection from the sun and other environmental aggressors. It’s the best sunblock for face protection and leaves no white cast.
Pollutants are a big problem, so it’s good to have the best sunscreen for UVA and UVB protection. There are other products on the list that provide both nourishment and makeup purposes.
A lot of Korean sunscreens are lightweight and absorb easily, so it’s good to have one added to your morning routine. Never leave the house without sunscreen, ladies and gents!
July 15, 2021 – Updated internal links, updated external links, removed author box