K-beauty focuses on enjoying healthier skin, not just appearances.
Sunscreen is an essential part of their 10-step skincare routine.
I’m glad that you’re interested in learning about the best Korean sunscreens today.
They don’t just prevent sun damage but also treat dehydration, inflammation, and premature aging.
- What sets Korean sunscreens apart?
- How strong of a sunscreen do you need?
- Which type of sunscreen is better?
- Top Korean Sunscreens
- PURITO Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+ PA++++
- Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF50+ / PA+++
- Etude House SoonJung Mild Defence Sun Cream SPF49 PA++
- NEOGEN DERMALOGY DAY-LIGHT PROTECTION SUNSCREEN SPF 50+/PA+++
- [KARADIUM] Snail Repair Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++
- MAKEP:REM UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Fluid SPF 50+ PA++++
- MISSHA ALL AROUND SAFE BLOCK ESSENCE SUN MILK SPF50+/PA+++
- COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 PA+++
- Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel 50ml SPF 50+ PA+++ Facial Sunscreen
- Rire Silky Sun Milk Sunblock SPF50 Pa+++
- Village 11 Factory Daily Mild Sun Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
- Village 11 Factory Pink Calming Sunblock Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
- I WOKE UP LIKE THIS Ideal Protective Base Sunscreen Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 50+/PA+++
- Dr G Brightening Up Sun Cream SPF50 PA
- Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun SPF50+/PA++++
- [ELROEL] Korean Sunblock Cushion SPF 50+ PA++++
- VELY VELY Good Sun Stick SPF 50+ PA++++
- Dr.Jart+ Every Sun Day UV Sun Fluid
What sets Korean sunscreens apart?
The first difference between Korean and American sunscreens is the rating system.
While Korean sunscreens may carry an SPF rating against UVB rays, they also have another specification. It looks like “PA+++” (1).
The PA (Protection Grade of UVA) rating describes how well the formula protects against pigment darkening. The more plus signs you see, the better the defense against UVA.
Four plus signs means maximum protection. You’re likely to see PA++++ on the label of Korean whitening sunscreen, for example.
Also, there are more and different sunscreen ingredients approved by the Korean government. But not to worry, the FDA prohibits the sale of cosmetics with illegal ingredients.
How strong of a sunscreen do you need?
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a minimum of SPF 30 protection (2).
That’s because SPF 30 blocks 97% of the UVB rays that cause sunburn.
SPF50, meanwhile, only offers a slight advantage. It blocks 98%.
But UVB isn’t the only problem with sun exposure. UVA rays are more dangerous and more damaging over the long term.
Think of it this way: UVB equals burning. UVA equals aging.
UVA radiation breaks down the collagen, which gives you wrinkles. It also leads to skin cancer.
Therefore, choose a broad-spectrum Korean sunscreen that defends against both kinds of radiation.
Then, follow the directions for application. Put on as much as you need and renew it frequently when you’re outdoors.
Remember to put it on the tops of your ears, and don’t forget the lip balm.
Which type of sunscreen is better?
If you have sensitive skin, you might be better off with a physical sunscreen like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Those ingredients stay on the surface and reflect the sun’s rays.
Otherwise, chemical sunscreen filters sink into the skin and absorb the radiation before it penetrates the tissue.
Both are effective. Both are recommended by dermatologists and experts like the Skin Cancer Foundation.
No matter which type of sunscreen you choose, you’re smart to protect yourself from harm now and later.
Top Korean Sunscreens
Now, let’s look at the benefits of the top Korean sunscreens.
PURITO Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+ PA++++
Fans of K-beauty sunscreens rave about this one. It’s perfect for sensitive skin, cruelty-free, and coral reef safe.
The lightweight texture is 70% water to leave your skin dewy fresh. It’s an excellent foundation for makeup if you have dry skin. Plus, it doubles as a moisturizer if you like to keep things simple.
Moreover, it won’t turn your skin white or sticky.
The calming formula shields against UV radiation while it reduces wrinkles and brightens skin tone.
The sunscreen is free of artificial fragrances and anything more harmful than a level II rating on the EWG Skin Deep database. It won’t even make your eyes burn.
Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF50+ / PA+++
Etude House is one of the top Korean manufacturers of skincare products and cosmetics. They offer more than one type of sunscreen.
This one is the best sunscreen for the face if you have combination or oily skin. It serves as a mattifying primer underneath makeup.
It’s based on silicone and water, so the lightweight texture leaves the skin silken.
Moreover, it contains natural sunscreen ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are gentle enough for sensitive, acne-prone skin.
Although they create a slight white cast at first, the effect soon fades.
While you wear it, natural extracts like centella and portulaca nourish the complexion.
Etude House SoonJung Mild Defence Sun Cream SPF49 PA++
If you have dry skin, try this moisturizing sun cream.
The formula is 93% natural and does not contain dyes, talc, parabens, and other harsh ingredients. It’s classified as “9-free.”
This is a vegan Korean sunscreen, too.
It feels soothing as you smooth it on. Those who use retinoids to treat acne appreciate how it calms irritation.
Furthermore, it contains centella asiatica to promote the healing of acne scars.
NEOGEN DERMALOGY DAY-LIGHT PROTECTION SUNSCREEN SPF 50+/PA+++
Here’s an alcohol-free Korean sunscreen that’s perfect for combination and oily skin. It’s so good that it won an award from Soko Glam in 2016.
It blends chemical and physical sunscreens for superior protection against sunburn and premature aging.
Wear it alone or underneath makeup. If you have dry skin, put on your moisturizer first, then layer this on top.
The smooth texture doesn’t make the skin greasy, sticky, or white.
It contains Vitamin E, rose, blueberry, and gentiana extracts to fight wrinkles and age spots. Plus, it’s free of parabens, silicone, and 20 other harsh ingredients.
[KARADIUM] Snail Repair Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++
Snail cream is trendy as it restores moisture and elasticity to dry skin. Combine that with sunscreen, and you have this exceptional product.
It’s a waterproof lotion that whitens the complexion by fading hyperpigmentation. It defends against wrinkles while it moisturizes and firms.
It has both chemical and physical sunscreen elements.
MAKEP:REM UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Fluid SPF 50+ PA++++
Why are silicone sunscreens like this one so pleasant to use?
It’s because they feel light as air, never greasy or sticky. They hydrate the skin and seal in moisture, leaving it smooth and silky soft.
The high protection rating on this product is just as important as the safety of its ingredients. It’s manufactured with low-hazard components–all checked against the EWG Skin Deep database.
What’s intriguing is that this mineral sunscreen doesn’t just protect against UVA and UVB, but also infrared light. As a result, it literally keeps your skin cooler.
Use it underneath makeup as a primer because it won’t irritate your complexion or trigger acne breakouts.
MISSHA ALL AROUND SAFE BLOCK ESSENCE SUN MILK SPF50+/PA+++
What good is a sunscreen if it can’t stand up to sweat and water? This one is ideal for hot, humid weather and outdoor activities.
It has a polymer technology that keeps the UV protection in place. What’s more, this “glycofilm” protects against environmental pollution and stress.
The lotion has a milky texture that sets to a velvety finish thanks to its infusion of silky powder. It soaks up excess oil to keep your skin smooth and matte.
Be sure to reapply it every 2 to 3 hours if you remain outdoors.
MISSHA makes other sunscreens besides this one to meet specific needs. The Soft Finish Sun Milk provides skin-brightening benefits while the Essence Milk hydrates dry complexions.
COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 PA+++
It’s not just your face that needs protection. You can enjoy this sunscreen on your body, too, as it’s safe for all skin types.
The soothing aloe extract and fresh, clean scent make it a joy to use.
It’s very hydrating and sheer. It won’t turn dark skin white, either.
Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel 50ml SPF 50+ PA+++ Facial Sunscreen
Here’s a Korean face sunscreen with a gel texture. It’s refreshing not just because it’s soothing, but also because of the clean aqua scent. (It’s like a blend of ginger and melon.)
It feels weightless and wears well underneath makeup. That may be because it’s based on S. Pellegrino sparkling water.
The mineral-rich water is excellent for reviving dehydrated skin.
Happily, the pure formula is also cruelty-free. It doesn’t contain parabens, artificial dyes, and fragrances, PABA, or heavy oils.
Rire Silky Sun Milk Sunblock SPF50 Pa+++
If you despise sick, creamy sunscreens, you might love the light liquid texture of this one. It goes on ultra-smooth and silky.
It has a light scent that fades soon after you apply it. Then, it leaves your skin dewy fresh.
It’s silicone-based with chemical sunscreen filters. It also has exotic extracts that pamper your face and promote a healthy complexion.
Fans say that it’s an outstanding base for foundation.
Village 11 Factory Daily Mild Sun Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
Village 11 makes different sunscreens for different purposes. This one is suitable for both your face and body.
It encourages healing with Portulaca and centella asiatica. It also has squalane to attract moisture and chia to improve elasticity.
Village 11 Factory Pink Calming Sunblock Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
Here’s a sunscreen with calamine lotion to alleviate stressed skin. Yes, it will give you a natural pink glow as well.
It creates a soft matte finish that never feels sticky or oily. The fast-absorbing texture soothes and firms the skin with green tea and calendula.
The UV protection comes from zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, not chemicals. Users say that the light tint softens the complexion and looks natural. It never flakes and doesn’t leave a residue. It also has a light powdery floral fragrance.
I WOKE UP LIKE THIS Ideal Protective Base Sunscreen Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 50+/PA+++
Here’s the Korean sunscreen you’ve been waiting for. It contains biomimetic water with pycnogenol to rejuvenate dry skin and prevent acne.
Since there are different varieties of sunscreen from this brand, you should be aware of the options.
First, there’s Hydrating in the purple bottle. It has ceramide, hyaluronic acid, and May rose water.
Then, there’s Purifying in the pink bottle. It’s suitable for combination and oily skin as it controls sebum and fights acne.
Both are highly recommended as they leave no white cast and don’t make the skin oily or irritated.
Dr G Brightening Up Sun Cream SPF50 PA
Minimize oil production to keep your face clean and fresh throughout the day. This sun cream controls sebum while it prevents sunburn and wrinkles.
It’s based on zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, mineral sunscreen ingredients. It also has a tannin complex rich in antioxidants to improve skin texture and coloration.
Users say that it has a very light tint that enhances the complexion. You might not need a foundation or BB cream when you wear it.
Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun SPF50+/PA++++
Those with sensitive skin love the anti-pollution and electronic-protection complex. The ingredients in the bottle defend against blue light from smartphones and monitors, not just UV rays from the sun.
The matte finish is comfortable and long-lasting. It won’t cause acne, and it’s is mild enough for children’s skin.
[ELROEL] Korean Sunblock Cushion SPF 50+ PA++++
You don’t have to have a gel, cream, or lotion to protect against sun damage. This unusual sunscreen in a compact does the job quite well.
The package includes both big and mini sun cushions, plus two refills.
The formula is based on aloe vera leaf extract and purified water, refreshing to sensitive skin.
It also has six types of tea extract plus jasmine to soothe and cool your face.
VELY VELY Good Sun Stick SPF 50+ PA++++
Some say that the best Korean sun stick is Vely Vely. Obviously, it’s spill-proof and perfect for travel.
Next, it’s handy for applying around the eyes, on the ears, and the lips. There’s no mess, and touch-ups are done in a flash.
This solid sunscreen is based on plant seed oils, but it’s not greasy, and it won’t leave a residue.
It offers two other key features, including wrinkle smoothing and whitening of the complexion.
Plus, it’s free of artificial dyes and perfumes.
Dr.Jart+ Every Sun Day UV Sun Fluid
What about a sunscreen that protects against fine dust? This one has a cationic shield that repels air pollution and dirt.
Furthermore, it’s a skin-soothing gel that nourishes the skin with purifying seaweed extract and cypress water.
It’s free of artificial fragrances, dyes, and other harsh ingredients.
The refined elegance of Korean sunscreens makes them a favorite choice of beauty experts.
I’m happy you dropped by to learn more about them here.
If you discovered your new favorite sunscreen today, please come back and tell us about it in the comments below.
1. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection/sunscreen-patients/sunscreen-faqs accessed June 8, 2020
2. https://theklog.co/spf-meaning/ published July 17, 2017, accessed June 8, 2020