By now, you must have come across information on TikTok, YouTube, or even Instagram emphasizing the importance of applying SPF daily. It has become widely known that protecting your skin with SPF every day is crucial. Shielding your skin from the sun is the final step in any skincare routine. It helps keep the skin healthy and prevents sun damage. Wrinkles, uneven skin tone, dark spots, and even skin cancer are the lasting consequences of sun exposure, which are irreversible and require significant time and effort to address. Therefore, applying sunscreen is an essential step that cannot be skipped. Dermatologist confirms that an excellent sunscreen is one that you genuinely want to apply generously every day and reapply as needed.
Korean skincare has made a significant impact on the world of Western cosmetics, particularly when it comes to sunscreen. Korean beauty, known as K-beauty, excels in many aspects, but it truly stands out in the realm of sun protection. So, which option is the best? Whether you're still searching for the right sunscreen or already a devoted enthusiast eager to explore new options, we're confident that there's a sunscreen that will catch your attention. There's something available for everyone, from multitasking products with soothing and hydrating ingredients to gels, sticks, and creams.
The Difference Between American and Korean Sunscreen?
American sunscreens, as dictated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), focus primarily on protecting against UVB radiation – the rays responsible for causing sunburn. While they also offer some degree of UVA protection, these 'aging' rays can still wreak havoc on the skin over time, leading to premature aging and, at worst, skin cancer.
In contrast, Korean sunscreens provide robust protection against both UVA and UVB radiation. This is due to their use of different UV filters, some of which are not yet approved by the FDA for use in American sunscreens. Notably, these filters offer superior UVA protection, ensuring that the skin is well defended against both immediate and long-term sun damage.
Moreover, Korean sunscreens are often formulated with a host of skin-loving ingredients, marrying sun protection with skincare. This means that while they protect your skin from UV radiation, they also provide hydration, fight against oxidative stress, and even brighten the skin. This multi-faceted approach to sun protection speaks to the broader philosophy of Korean skincare, which emphasizes skin health and preventative care.
Texture is another area where Korean sunscreens shine. Unlike many American sunscreens, which can feel thick and greasy on the skin, Korean sunscreens are famed for their lightweight, fast-absorbing formulations. This makes them a pleasure to use daily, encouraging consistent use – the most critical factor in effective sun protection.
The powerhouse formula of Round Lab Birch Juice Moisturizing Sunscreen is your ultimate defense against harsh UV rays, all the while keeping your skin hydrated and radiant. It weaves in the natural goodness of birch sap and a burst of moisture-locking hyaluronic acid to quench your skin's thirst. Nourishing extracts of Portulaca Oleracea and Artemisia Annua team up with Vitamin C and Niacinamide to improve skin tone and texture. Meanwhile, the calming presence of Chamomile keeps your skin soothed throughout the day.
We are absolutely in love with the Round Lab Birch Juice Moisturizing Sunscreen! Its carefully selected ingredients, such as Birch Sap, Sodium Hyaluronate, and Niacinamide, make it a standout product. The sunscreen provides excellent hydration, maintaining the skin's moisture barrier, while offering effective broad-spectrum sun protection. The lightweight texture absorbs quickly, leaving no greasy residue, and the addition of Niacinamide helps brighten the skin. This sunscreen is a must-have for those seeking a moisturizing, protective, and skin-brightening suncreen.
Beauty of Joseon's Matte Sun Stick is a non-greasy, matte formula that provides convenient and hygienic sun protection on-the-go. Its sebum-control silica powder gives a smooth and soft-rolling feeling without greasiness, while artemisia capillaris and green tea extracts create smooth skin while maintaining moisture.
Maintains moisture, promotes smooth skin with artemisia capillaris, green tea extracts
We absolutely enamored with the Beauty of Joseon Matte Sun Stick: Mugwort + Camellia! Its carefully crafted formula, enriched with a variety of beneficial ingredients such as camellia japonica seed oil, turmeric root extract, and centella asiatica extract, delivers a truly delightful experience for achieving a matte finish. This sun stick not only provides excellent sun protection, but it also nourishes and moisturizes the skin, improving its tone, texture, and overall health. The presence of hyaluronic acid and panthenol ensures optimal hydration and a smooth, revitalized feel. If you're searching for a sunscreen that leaves your skin looking flawless and well-cared for, We wholeheartedly recommend the Beauty of Joseon Matte Sun Stick: Mugwort + Camellia for a radiant and protected complexion.
50ml / 1.69 fl oz. The Hyaluronic and Centella Sunscreen
The SKIN1004 Water-Fit Sun Serum contains natural ingredients, such as centella asiatica, hyaluronic acid, and cica, that soothe, hydrate, and strengthen the skin, while protecting it from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Enriched with plant extracts for antioxidant and nourishing benefits
Improves skin texture and tone
Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, and Hyaluronic Acid provide hydration
We are absolutely thrilled with the SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit Sun Serum! This sunscreen serum combines a host of fantastic ingredients, including Centella Asiatica Extract, Betula Alba Bark/Leaf Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, and Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, to deliver a nourishing and protective experience. It provides effective broad-spectrum sun protection, shielding the skin from harmful UV rays. The lightweight and hydrating formula, enriched with Sodium Hyaluronate and Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, keeps the skin moisturized and plump throughout the day. We also appreciate the addition of Niacinamide, which helps brighten and even out my complexion.
TOCOBO's Bio Watery Sun Cream is a lightweight sunscreen that protects and nourishes your skin from harmful sun rays. This lightweight formula quickly absorbs, leaving your skin refreshed and hydrated. Enriched with Niacinamide, botanical extracts, and advanced sun filters, it offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. Infused with Sodium Hyaluronate and Adenosine, it provides deep hydration and anti-aging benefits.
Contains natural plant extracts that nourish and hydrate the skin
Contains sodium hyaluronate that provides deep hydration to the skin
We are completely obsessed with the TOCOBO Bio Watery Sun Cream! The lightweight and non-greasy texture of this sunscreen is absolutely delightful. The inclusion of nourishing ingredients like Niacinamide and Sodium Hyaluronate leaves our skin feeling hydrated and radiant. We also love the refreshing fragrance and the way this sunscreen feels comfortable on our skin throughout the day.
50 ml/ 1.69 fl oz. Barrier-Boosting Mineral Sun Shield
Haruharu WONDER Black Rice Pure Mineral Relief Daily Sunscreen, a nourishing and soothing mineral sunscreen. Infused with Zinc Oxide and natural extracts like Chickweed, Sunflower, and Rice, it fortifies and safeguards the skin's barrier. Sodium Hyaluronate, a potent humectant, deeply hydrates and plumps the skin, while Niacinamide brightens and evens out the complexion.
Hydrates and plumps the skin
Provides nourishment and strengthen the skin's barrier
We absolutely love the Haruharu WONDER Black Rice Pure Mineral Relief Daily Sunscreen! The lightweight texture feels incredibly comfortable on the skin, and it absorbs quickly without leaving any greasy residue. The inclusion of Niacinamide adds a brightening boost to the skin, while the presence of Stellaria Media Extract, Sunflower Flower Extract, and Oryza Sativa Extract nourishes and soothes the skin. We also adore the addition of Sodium Hyaluronate, which keeps the skin hydrated and plump throughout the day.
50ml / 1.69 fl oz. Probiotic & Rice Infused Sun Protection
The Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotics is a lightweight sunscreen that provides SPF50+ and PA++++ protection. Enriched with 30% rice extract and probiotics, this sunscreen not only protects your skin from the sun but also helps to soothe and hydrate it.
The Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotics sunscreen is a true skincare gem. It features a blend of nourishing ingredients that offer multiple benefits. The sunscreen contains Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, known for its hydrating and brightening properties, leaving the skin looking refreshed and radiant. Additionally, probiotic extracts such as Lactobacillus/Rice Ferment and Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract provide added skincare benefits. With this sunscreen, you can enjoy the perfect combination of sun care and skincare, making it an essential part of any beauty routine.
The Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel (clear), a fabulous sun gel that does wonders for your skin. This lightweight gel is packed with amazing ingredients that work together to keep your skin protected and looking its best. With a blend of effective sun filters, it shields your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, ensuring your skin stays safe in the sun. The addition of hydrating components like Hyaluronic Acid and Jojoba Ester deeply nourishes and moisturizes your skin, giving it a supple and refreshed feel. The gel applies smoothly, absorbs quickly, and doesn't leave any greasy residue, making it a pleasure to use.
Provides hydration and nourishment for the skin
Soothes and benefits the skin with natural extracts
The Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel (#1 Clear) is one of my go-to sunscreen. Its lightweight gel texture absorbs quickly without residue. It provides reliable sun protection with effective filters like Octinoxate and Uvinal A Plus. The inclusion of Hyaluronic Acid and Jojoba Ester keeps the skin hydrated.
MISSHA All-Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk EX is a remarkable sunscreen that goes beyond sun protection. Its innovative formula provides a lightweight and non-greasy texture, making it easy to apply and comfortable to wear. This sun milk also contains nourishing ingredients such as Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract and Olive Leaf Extract, which help to hydrate and soothe the skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and revitalized. With MISSHA All-Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk EX, you can confidently enjoy your time under the sun while keeping your skin protected and nourished.
Contains nourishing ingredients to hydrate and soothe the skin
Offers comfortable texture without leaving greasy residue
For many reasons the MISSHA All-Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk EX is the top in the sunscreen list. The sunscreen provides reliable protection against both UVA and UVB rays, thanks to ingredients like Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate and Octocrylene. What's even better is that it doesn't stop at sun protection. With nourishing ingredients like Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract and Olive Leaf Extract, the skin feels deeply hydrated and revitalized.
40ml / 1.35 fl oz. 2-in-1 Makeup Primer and Hydrating Sunscreen
The Heimish Glow Base hydrates and protects the skin from the sun while also giving it a radiant glow. The base also contains gentle botanical ingredients, such as Rosehip fruit, Thyme extract, and Origanum Majorana leaf extract, which nourish the skin and enhance its elasticity. The Heimish Glow Base can be used either on its own or as a primer for makeup.
Gives the skin a luminous, radiant appearance
Nourishes the skin with mild botanical ingredients such as Rosehip fruit, Thyme extract, and Origanum Majorana leaf extract
Improves the skin's elasticity
Can be used either on its own or as a primer for makeup
The high level of sun protection provided by ingredients like Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, and Octocrylene gives a peace of mind knowing that the skin is shielded from harmful UV rays. What sets this sunscreen apart is its ability to deliver a beautiful glow to my complexion without any greasiness or heavy residue. The addition of Niacinamide helps to improve the skin's overall texture and tone, leaving it looking radiant and healthy. I appreciate how it acts also as a perfect base for my makeup. The heimish Artless Glow Base has truly won my heart with its combination of sun protection, hydration, and radiant finish, making it an essential part of my skincare routine.
This feather-light, non-greasy sun gel boasts a blend of eight unique hyaluronic acids, ensuring optimal moisture replenishment. Packed with astaxanthin for increased elasticity, ceramide to fortify the skin's natural barrier, and centella asiatica extract for a calming touch, this organic sunscreen caters to all skin types, even the most sensitive.
Multiple reasons why we appreciate the Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel. First, the inclusion of multiple forms of hyaluronic acid makes my skin feel deeply hydrated without feeling heavy or greasy. The addition of niacinamide helps improve the appearance of my pores and subtly brighten my complexion. The Centella Asiatica Extract and Ceramide NP are soothing and reinforcing for my skin barrier, which is especially helpful when my skin feels sensitive or stressed.
Popular Ingredients Used in Korean Sunscreen?
1. Firstly, Centella Asiatica, also known as cica or tiger grass, is a popular choice for its soothing and healing properties. It's excellent for calming inflamed skin and aiding skin recovery, making it a perfect companion for your sun protection.
2. Green tea is another commonly seen ingredient. Green Tea is very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help neutralizing free radicals and defend against the harmful effects that they can cause. Accelerated aging and increased risk of skin cancer are among the harmful effects that can be brought about by free radicals.
3. Hyaluronic acid is also a frequent star in Korean skincare and sunscreen, valued for its unparalleled hydrating capabilities. This incredible moisturizing substance has a unique ability to retain an impressive amount of water, up to 1,000 times its own weight. It helps your skin to stay hydrated even when you are directly expose to the sun.
4. Niacinamide, or Vitamin B3, is another cherished ingredient in the K-beauty world, often incorporated into Korean sunscreens. This versatile ingredient provides numerous advantages, including skin brightening, diminishing dark spots, regulating oil production, and fortifying the skin barrier.
5. Finally, Korean sunscreens often make use of innovative UV filters such as Tinosorb S and Uvinul A Plus. These sunscreens provide outstanding protection against both UVA and UVB rays, making them a vital part of the broad-spectrum defense offered by Korean sunscreens.
Sunscreen Cream vs Sun Stick
When you think of sunscreen, the first comes in mind will always be either cream or lotion like sunscreen. However, the world of sunscreen is diverse, with various formats to suit different needs and preferences. One such format that's gained popularity in recent years is the sun stick.
Sunscreen creams are the traditional format we're all familiar with. They're versatile, suitable for all skin types, and offer thorough coverage. Their liquid nature allows for even distribution, ensuring all exposed skin is protected.
Sun sticks, on the other hand, are a solid form of sunscreen. They look similar to a deodorant stick and are applied by gliding the product over the skin. Their main advantage lies in their convenience. These sunsticks are not only suitable for individuals who prefer not to have direct contact between their hands and face but also for those seeking a convenient option. They provide a hands-free application option that are perfect for those looking for a hassle-free sun protection solution.
However, sun sticks may not provide as thorough coverage as creams, as it's harder to ensure an even application. They're best used for targeted protection (such as on the face or other small areas) or as a supplement to a cream or lotion sunscreen.
In conclusion, both sunscreen creams and sun sticks have their place in sun protection. The best one for you depends on your specific needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences. The most important thing is to choose a product that you'll use consistently, as regular application is key to effective sun protection.