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12 Best Korean Sunscreens for Every Skin Type!

Discover your sunshine soulmate with our top Korean sunscreen picks, tailored for every skin type! Glide into radiance with these fab lightweight lotions and enduring creams!

13 min read
Photo-Illustration: Catchy Shopper; Photos: Retailers

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We all know how important it is to wear sunscreen. It's a key step in any skincare routine and helps protect your skin against UV rays, sun damage, and other environmental stressors. But with so many different types of sunscreens out there, it can be hard to choose the right one for you. That's why Korean sunscreens are becoming increasingly popular - they provide effective protection while catering to a variety of skin types and needs.

In this blog post, we'll be discussing four Korean sunscreens for each category of skin type, including dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, and combination skin. We'll also provide brief descriptions of each sunscreen along with its features and pros/cons. So read on to learn more about Korean sunscreens!

How To Choose the Right Korean Sunscreen

Choosing the right sunscreen can be overwhelming, especially with so many options available in the market. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right Korean sunscreen:

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

The SPF indicates the level of protection against UVB rays, which cause sunburn. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which provides adequate protection for everyday use.

PA rating

The PA rating indicates the level of protection against UVA rays, which cause premature aging and skin damage. Look for a sunscreen with a PA rating of at least PA++ or higher.

Type of sunscreen

Korean sunscreens come in two main types - physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens contain mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays. Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients such as avobenzone and octinoxate that absorb UV rays. Choose the type of sunscreen that works best for your skin type and concerns.

Skin Tones and Skin type

Choose a sunscreen that is suitable for your skin tone and type. For example, if you have oily skin, choose a lightweight, oil-free sunscreen that won't clog pores. If you have dry skin, choose a moisturizing sunscreen that will hydrate your skin.

Additional benefits

Some Korean sunscreens offer additional benefits such as hydration, anti-aging properties, or a matte finish. Choose a sunscreen that offers additional benefits that suit your skin concerns.

Brand reputation

Look for brands with a good reputation for producing high-quality sunscreens. Read reviews and ask for recommendations from trusted sources.

Overall, the right Korean sunscreen for you depends on your skin type, concerns, and preferences. It's important to choose a sunscreen that provides adequate protection against both UVA and UVB rays and suits your skin type and concerns.

Sunscreen Basics

Sunscreen is an essential product for anyone who spends time outdoors. Protecting your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays is important in preventing skin cancer, premature aging, and other skin damage. With so many different types of sunscreens available, it can be confusing to know which one to choose. In this article, the difference between UVA and UVB rays, the different types of sunscreens, and what SPF and PA ratings mean. This information will help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right sunscreen for your needs.

Difference between UVA and UVB rays

UVA rays have a longer wavelength and penetrate deeper into the skin. They are responsible for causing premature aging, wrinkles, and age spots. UVB rays have a shorter wavelength and primarily affect the outer layer of the skin. They are responsible for sunburns and contribute to the development of skin cancer.

Different types of sunscreens

There are two types of sunscreens: physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens, also known as mineral sunscreens, contain active ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients form a physical barrier on the skin that reflects and scatters UV rays. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, contain organic compounds such as oxybenzone or avobenzone. These compounds absorb UV rays and convert them into heat, which is then released from the skin.

SPF and PA

The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a measure of a sunscreen's ability to block UVB rays. The higher the SPF, the more protection it provides. For example, an SPF of 30 means that it will take 30 times longer for your skin to burn than if you were not wearing any sunscreen. However, it's important to note that SPF only measures protection against UVB rays and not UVA rays.

To address UVA protection, some countries also use a rating system called "PA" (Protection Grade of UVA), which measures the level of UVA protection a sunscreen provides. The PA rating is indicated by plus signs, with more plus signs indicating higher levels of UVA protection. For example, a PA++ rating means moderate UVA protection, while a PA++++ rating means the highest level of UVA protection.

Our Favorite Korean Sunscreens to Try

Choosing the right sunscreen can be tricky, especially when there are so many types out there. But luckily, Korean sunscreens have something for everyone and come in formulas that cater to different skin types. Whether you're looking for something lightweight and hydrating, or sebum-controlling and oil-free - we've got you covered with this selection of four of the best Korean sunscreens.

Best for Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, it's important to choose a sunscreen that won't strip away your natural moisture. Look out for formulas packed with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, as these will help lock in and maintain hydration levels throughout the day. We've rounded up our favorite four Korean sunscreens specifically designed for dry skin types, so keep reading and find the best product for you!

Klavuu Green Pearlsation UV Protection SPF50+/PA++

This magical moisturizing sunscreen not only protects your skin from harmful UV rays, but also hydrates and brightens with its pearl extract formula. Say goodbye to dull, dry skin and hello to a dewy glow that will have everyone asking for your skincare secrets.

But beware oily skin types, this sunscreen may be a little too heavy for you. Don't worry though, there are plenty of other options out there for you to try. For the rest of us, it's time to add Klavuu Green Pearlsation UV Protection to our skincare routine ASAP. Trust us, your skin will thank you. And your friends will be begging to know what your secret is. So go ahead, indulge in this heavenly sunscreen, and bask in the radiant glow it provides.

PURITO Comfy Water Sun Block SPF50+/PA++++

Stop everything and listen up, folks! We've found the ultimate solution for all you dry-skinned sun-worshippers out there! Introducing the Purito Comfy Water Sun Block - the answer to all your skin-care prayers! This baby is a game-changer. Not only does it offer strong UV protection, but it also contains hyaluronic acid - the holy grail of hydration - to keep your skin feeling supple and smooth all day long.

Now, we're not saying it's perfect - nothing ever is, am I right? But if you're prone to an oil-slick of a T-zone, you might want to look elsewhere. However, for those with dry, parched skin, this is an absolute game-changer. Don't just take our word for it - here's what one happy customer had to say: "Loved the texture of this product. It works well on clean skin or with makeup. I didn't mind the scent, and it seemed to dissipate quickly. Will purchase again."

Best for Oily Skin

Oily skin needs special attention when choosing sunscreen as some traditional formulas can leave your face looking greasy. Choose oil-free sunscreens or ones with mattifying properties to keep your skin looking matte all day long. Check out our selection of four of the best Korean sunscreens formulated specifically for oily skin below.

Etude House Sun Prise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF50+/PA++++

This lightweight sun milk is here to provide you with some seriously strong UV protection while also giving you a matte finish that will have you looking like a summer goddess. Now, we know what you're thinking. "But what about us dry-skinned gals?" Well, fear not, because we've got you covered (literally). While this sun milk may not be the most moisturizing out there, it won't leave you feeling like a dried-up raisin either. Don't believe us? Check out this ravereview: "I just started using sunscreen again because last time I broke out in a rash. This was great for my sensitive skin and I didn't feel dry afterward. Plus, it is very lightweight."

COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50+/PA+++

This baby packs a serious punch when it comes to soothing and moisturizing benefits for your skin. And the best part? It's lightweight and doesn't leave you feeling greasy or weighed down. Say goodbye to that gross sunscreen feeling forever! Plus, the natural, matte finish gives you the perfect base for a minimal makeup look.

With a 4.6-rating and over 6,000+ product reviews, one satisfied customer said: "This is an excellent product. It dries down matte leaving a lovely finish where I can go without makeup, Just add a little blush and mascara on an errand day. I hope this is never discontinued or changed. I have tried a lot of sunscreens and this is one of my favorites the price is a steal compared to many of the brands I used in the past. I’m pale but on me, this leaves no white cast and I use a lot of product when applying."

Best for Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, look out for gentle yet effective formulas that won't cause irritation or clog pores. Physical sun blockers such as zinc oxide are great as they provide powerful UVA/UVB protection while being gentle on the skin too. Here are four of our favorite Korean sunscreens made specifically with sensitive skin in mind.

COSRX Vitamin E SPF 50+ Daily Lightweight Sunscreen SPF50+/PA+++

This little gem packs a serious punch with its lightweight, hydrating formula that will have you feeling like you just left a spa. And let's talk about the scent for a second. We don't know what sorcery COSRX used to create this heavenly smell, but we're here for it. You'll feel like you're on a tropical island, even if you're just sitting at your desk. Plus, there's no white cast, so you won't be looking like a ghost all day.

Klairs All Day Airy Sunscreen SPF50+/PA++++

This lightweight, hydrating sunscreen is like a cool breeze on a hot summer day. And not only does it protect your skin from harmful UV rays, but it also leaves you with a gorgeous, dewy glow. One satisfied customer raves, "The texture is awesome, amazing glow. I like that it's cruelty-free and great for my skin."

And let's not forget about the hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide that keep your skin feeling soft and supple. Sure, it may not work well for those with very oily skin, but let's be real, do any sunscreens work well for oily skin? And while one customer did have a small packaging issue, rest assured that the product itself was perfectly fine.

Best for Combination Skin

Combination skin needs special care too when it comes to sunscreen - some vibrant formulas can be too drying on areas with fine lines around the nose or mouth, while other heavier formulations can leave T-zone areas looking greasy and shiny by midday. To make things easier, here's a selection of four lightweight yet effective Korean sunscreens formulated specifically with combination skins in mind.

Dr. G Green Mild Up Sun SPF50+/PA+++

This lightweight, wonder sunscreen has it all. Not only does it provide strong UV protection (because let's be real, who wants to deal with sunburns and premature aging?), but it's also formulated with niacinamide to even out your skin tone. Say goodbye to those pesky dark spots and hello to a glowing complexion.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "But what about my dry skin? Won't it be left parched and crying out for moisture?" While it's true that this product may not be the best fit for those with extremely dry skin, it's a dream come true for combination skin types. And let's be honest, who doesn't love a multi-tasker? Plus, reviewers are saying they are lightweight and pairs well with foundation.

Innisfree Daily UV Defense Sunscreen SPF36+

With its lightweight and hydrating formula, this sunscreen is perfect for those with combination skin types. And let's be real, who doesn't have combination skin these days? We're all living in a constant state of confusion thanks to changing weather patterns and hormonal imbalances.

But fear not, because Innisfree has got you covered (literally). Not only does it provide broad-spectrum SPF UV protection, but it also shields against environmental stressors. So now you can enjoy a nice day out without worrying about the harmful effects of the sun or pollution. If you have very dry skin, this sunscreen may not provide enough hydration for you. But if you're like me and constantly battling combination skin, this is a perfect choice. So go ahead, add it to your cart, and get ready to live your best life (with the best skin). You won't

Missha All-Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF50+/PA++++

This sunscreen is like a refreshing splash of water for your face while also shielding you from harmful UV rays. With a gel-like texture, it's perfect for those of us with combination skin - no more feeling like a greasy mess!

And the best part? You'll be left with a natural, dewy finish that's Instagram-worthy. However, beware if you're as dry as the Sahara - this sunscreen may not be moisturizing enough for you. But for the rest of us, Missha has hit it out of the park with this game-changing sunscreen!

Best for Acne-Prone Skin

Acne-prone skin needs extra care when it comes to choosing a sunscreen, as many traditional formulas can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Look out for non-comedogenic sunscreens that won't irritate the skin. Below is a selection of four of our favorite Korean sunscreens formulated specifically for acne-prone skin types.

innisfree Daily UV SPF Sunscreen Broad Spectrum

This miracle worker not only protects your precious skin from the sun's harmful rays, but it also contains green tea and sunflower seed oil to keep you looking and feeling refreshed. And don't even get me started on the lightweight texture that blends like a dream without leaving a white cast finish. Plus, this bad boy lasts all day and even controls sebum!

However, like with any good thing, too much can be a bad thing - be careful not to go too crazy with the application or risk greasy aftermath. So go ahead, bask in the sun with confidence knowing that Innisfree has got your back (and face)!

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

Got acne-prone skin but still want to soak up some sun? Look no further than this soft finish sun milk sunscreen! Packed with natural extracts like Rosea flower and aloe vera, this baby provides soothing hydration to those sensitive spots while also giving you the SPF 45 protection you need.

And did we mention the refreshing herbal essences? Talk about a spa day in a bottle! But hold up, this sunscreen may not be your BFF if you're planning on diving into some water activities. Sorry, mermaids - this one's not waterproof. But for those of us lounging in the sun like lazy cat, this sunscreen is the answer to our prayers. So go ahead, enjoy the great outdoors without a care in the world (except for maybe getting some sand in your swimsuit, but that's another story).

Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day Tone-up Sun Fluid SPF 50+ / PA++++

Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day Mineral Sunscreen Tone-up Sun Fluid SPF 50+ / PA++++ is here to change the game. This sunscreen is so lightweight and hydrating, you'll forget you're even wearing it (but don't forget to reapply, folks!). The watery texture blends seamlessly into your skin, leaving no white cast or oily residue behind. And the best part? The superior broad-spectrum sun protection with SPF 50+ / PA++++ rating will have you feeling like a sun-kissed goddess without any of the pesky sun damage.

Plus, it contains calming ingredients like green tea and sunflower seed oil to soothe and hydrate your skin, making it the perfect everyday sunscreen. However, for those of you planning on scaling a mountain or running a marathon, this sunscreen may not be intense enough for you. But for the rest of us, Dr. Jart+ has us covered for all our sunny adventures!"

Korean Sunscreen FAQ

What is the difference between Korean sunscreen and other sunscreens?

Korean sunscreen often contains unique ingredients such as snail mucin, hyaluronic acid, and green tea extract, which provide additional skincare benefits. It is also formulated to be lightweight and fast-absorbing, making it more comfortable to wear under makeup or for daily use.

Can Korean sunscreens be used for daily wear?

Yes, Korean sunscreens are designed for daily use and can be worn under makeup or on their own. They are often lightweight and fast-absorbing, making them ideal for daily wear.

What is the best way to apply Korean sunscreen?

The best way to apply Korean sunscreen is to use the recommended amount and apply it evenly on your face and other exposed areas of your body. It is recommended to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before sun exposure and to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

Final Thoughts

Using sunscreen is crucial in protecting your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays, such as skin cancer and premature aging. Korean sunscreens offer a wide range of benefits, including lightweight and hydrating formulas, high SPF and PA ratings, and innovative ingredients that promote skin health.

When choosing a Korean sunscreen, it is important to consider your skin type to ensure the best results. For dry skin, a hydrating sunscreen like Klairs Airy Sunscreen is recommended, while those with oily or acne-prone skin can benefit from the purifying effects of Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish.

Lastly, for combination skin, the Missha All-Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk is a great choice. Ultimately, incorporating good quality sunscreen into your daily routine is essential in maintaining healthy and youthful-looking skin. So, take care of your skin by using sunscreen regularly, and enjoy the benefits of healthy and glowing skin for years to come.

Reviews in this blog post have been edited for clarity and/or length.