Did you know?
Most US-made sunscreens are not properly protecting your skin.
And while sunscreen is one of the most essential skin care products you need, especially this summer season, it is quite important that you find one that can fully protect you, right?
Try Korean sunscreens instead!
One look at a typical Korean’s face and you’ll know just how effective their products are.
But, what if you got an oily face?
Sunscreen and oily and acne-prone skin can sometimes feel like a compromise— good protection from the sun’s harmful rays in exchange for the possibility of pimples, irritation, blackheads and greasy face.
However, the best Korean sunscreens for oily skin are designed to protect your skin from intense UV exposure and sun damage without the unnecessary oils and grease which can clog pores and make you look shiny and slimy.
But, how do you choose a good Korean sunscreen for oily skin?
Important Factors To Consider
With Korean sunscreens being so popular and on high demand, there are countless products out there which makes it confusing for you to choose the right one. So, to make it easier for you, here are some important factors to keep in mind when shopping for the best Korean sunscreen out there.
UVB, UVA, SPF, PA?
For the first time Korean sunscreen buyers, their label can be quite confusing. Honestly though, they are pretty much easy to understand.
First, you will need to understand the difference between UVA and UVB. UVA, short for Ultraviolet A reaches deeply into the skin and cause problems such as skin sagging and wrinkles. Meanwhile, UVB short for Ultraviolet B can cause inflammation on the skin surface and leads to issues such as freckles and ugly spots.
Now, SPF indicates the Sun Protection Factor and the accompanying number refers to the protection that you get from UVB rays. Meanwhile, PA refers to the protection grade you get against UVA rays and is followed by the plus (+) sign.
So, the higher the SPF number and the more + signs on the sunscreen, the higher the protection you get from harmful UV rays.
Consistency and Form
Korean sunscreen comes in a variety of form and consistency to choose from. These include:
The classic formulation of sunscreens, lotions enriched with UV-protecting formulas is the most common type of sunscreen used when going to the beach.
Thanks to innovative and newer formulas, this type of sunscreen no longer leaves a white cast on your skin that feels heavy and thick and has you smelling like the swimming pool.
Watery gel sunscreens usually offer a milky and runny gel formula which are often transparent and have a lightweight consistency, making it great for those with oily skin. It feels refreshing and cold to the skin and penetrates the skin in just a minute or two.
If you do not like the slick feeling of lotion on your skin, water gel sunscreens make a great choice and are great to wear under makeups due to its lightweight consistency.
CREAM AND MILK SUNSCREEN
Having a fluid and milky texture, this form of sunscreen is quite similar to the traditional lotion sunscreens. However, they are more watery than the regular ones and offer a similar thick and highly moisturized feeling on the skin.
They may take a while to sink on the skin and can be quite uncomfortable in humid environments.
Having the most numerous variety in Korean sunscreens, essence features a serum-like texture. This is much thicker than gel but not as runny and comes in various versions including bb essence, whitening essence, and watery essence.
This type of sunscreen is generally the most moisturizing in the Korean sunscreen lineup but comes with a lightweight consistency that is not too greasy on the skin.
An easy to use sunscreen which feels like a face mist, UV sprays are not relatively new in the Korean cosmetic space. These sunscreens are packed in aerosol cans which you can spray on your face to refresh your sun protection easily and instantly.
It offers a veil-like layer of protection, does not feel heavy on the skim are is quite refreshing when used on a hot day.
Spray sunscreens are liquid and contain mattifying ingredients which turn into a creamy powder when dried, making it great to top off makeups. Take note, however, that some sprays are labeled as “extra cool” and may contain menthol that can give your skin a refreshed feeling but cause irritation, especially to sensitive skins.
A great option for those who are always on the go, a stick sunscreen does not need to be blended in since it is easily absorbed by the skin. You only need to swipe it on your face and you are done.
It usually comes in compact packaging so that it can fit any bags and taken anywhere for easy touch-ups.
Suitable for dry skin or used in the colder season, oil sunscreen provide better hydration than most. It can be used on both your body and face and offers a subtle glow onto your complexion, making you look healthy and fresh.
However, for those with oily skins, oil sunscreen might not be a good option for you. Still, some Korean oil sunscreen offers a lightweight consistency that does not give an extra-greasy feeling to your already oily skin.
Chemical Sunscreen VS Physical Sunscreen
Korean sunscreens come in 2 types: chemical and physical.
Physical sunscreens, also known as mineral sunscreens, protect the skin by blocking and then reflecting the harmful UV rays. Meanwhile, chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays and prevent them from penetrating the skin.
Physical sunscreens have the ability to block both UVA and UVB rays, however, chemical ones can only protect yours against one. Still, there are some produces which are made with both chemical and physical ingredients in order to give you total protection.
Korean sunscreens can come in various dispensing mechanism— flip caps, squeeze bottle, twist-off caps, sprays and more. Find the right one which allows an easy dispensing so that you can quickly apply the sunscreen when needed and have fun.
Whether you are getting your favorite and tested sunscreens or looking for a new product to try, size is crucial. Generally speaking, the bigger size usually means more discount. However, if you are just trying out a product, then it is always best to get the smaller one. Once you’ve tested it safe for your skin, then you can get the larger bottles or sizes.
And if you have a whole list on your summer adventure, then you need to make sure that you have enough sunscreen to last throughout the summer season.
Water-resistant VS Waterproof
Water-resistant does not necessarily mean waterproof. And no sunscreens are sweatproof or waterproof as manufacturers claim them to be.
Sunscreens claiming to be water-resistant should be able to last for at least 40 – 80 minutes while sweating or swimming. Typically, sunscreens are needed to be reapplied at least every 2 hours for better results.
Our Top Picks for the Best Korean Sunscreens For Oily Skin
Here are some of the best options to get that sun protection you need, without necessarily giving you a moist and greasy look to your already oily face.
#1 MISSHA All-Around Essence Sun Milk
A Korean Sunscreen that is quite popular this day, the MISSHA All-Around Essence Sun Milk offers to improve your skin’s appearance by smoothing its texture. Not all sunscreens are water-resistant, however, this sunscreen can stand up against water and sweat for up to 80 minutes.
With SPF 50+ and PA+++, this sunscreen gets absorbed into your skin in just seconds and will not leave a filmy or greasy residue behind. The sunscreen contains Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as well as dimethicone that helps in creating a matte finish.
What makes this formula so great is that it has the consistency of lightweight essence that deeply hydrates and nourishes dry skin without being too oily, making it great for your body and face. The sunscreen also contains skin-soothing botanical ingredients that are totally safe on your skin.
#2 Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk
Boasting over 1,000 reviews n Amazon and made from the famous Korean skincare brand Etude House, this sunscreen is worth giving a try. It has a non-sticky and non-greasy formulation for a superior and smoother finish. Also, it features a milky consistency without the greasy feeling making it suitable for those with oily and sensitive skin.
Boasting 100 percent mineral components, the sunscreen help with the smooth and soft application. Also, it gets absorbed by the skin easily and offers a matte finish topped off with all-natural fragrance.
With SPF 50+ and PA+++, this sunscreen offers enough protection against the harmful sun and does not cause breakouts while providing a soothing and milky texture that does not leave a white cast.
#3 MAKEP:REM UV Defense Me Sun Gel
This innovative formula from MAKEP:REM is so much more than a sunscreen. This lightweight gel features SPF50+ and PA++++ which is the highest sun protection factor that can help protect your skin from the strongest sunlight.
Not only that, but it also helps calm and soothe burnt or otherwise irritated skin by lowering its temperature. Also, it helps deeply moisturize your skin and offers a visible and dewy glow as well as provides whitening and anti-wrinkle properties, making it one of the coolest multi-tasking Korean skincare products around.
Furthermore, the sun gel contains all-natural ingredients that are safe for sensitive skin including the stem cells of Rubus Articus, a wild berry in Finland that helps in improving skin conditions with its antioxidant properties.
Also, it contains 68 percent moisture essence for another moisture layer to protect your skin from heat aging. Featuring water-holding technology, this gel is like a pure water essence which is instantly absorbed by the skin without the white cast and sticky feeling.
#4 Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel
Most sunscreens have a heavy and thick formulation that blocks pores, causes oily skin to be oilier and inhibit breathability. This sunscreen from Earth’s Recipe, however, features a waterful gel and serum-like consistency for a weightless application.
This feather-light daily sunscreen delivers SPF50+ PA+++ protection from harmful UV rays that can contribute to skin damage and skin aging. It easily absorbs into the skin and does not leave a white cast behind, making it suitable to wear under makeups.
In addition, the sunscreen features a refreshing aqua scent that naturally fades away after 5 – 10 minutes, making it suitable for people who don’t like strong or lingering scents. With a compact size, this sunscreen can be taken with you wherever you go and conveniently reapply your sun protection instantly.
Moreover, the sunscreen is formulated with S. Pellegrino Sparkling water as well as natural minerals that provides long-lasting hydration and protection. Hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested, this sunscreen is free of harmful chemicals including mineral oils, synthetic fragrances and dyes, PABA, parabens and is cruelty-free. This makes it suitable for all skin types including oily, dry, acne-prone and sensitive skin and even safe for use on children.
#5 COSRX Shield Fit Snail Essence Sun Cream
Featuring SPF50+ PA+++, the COSRX Shield Fit Snail Essence Sun Cream is a weightless, essence-like sunscreen which refreshes and protects your skin from the harmful UV rays. Its key ingredient is Snail Secretion, also known as Snail Mucin which deeply moisturizes, revitalizes and nourishes the skin while restoring a youthful glow. In short, it keeps your skin healthy and well-balanced.
In addition to Snail Mucin, the sunscreen also contains ultra-hydrating humectant components that leave your skin refreshed and moisturized. It has a light consistency and is fast-absorbing that effortlessly glides into the skin without leaving a white cast or oily residue.
Designed to be your next travel buddy, this sunscreen features a compact size so you can easily take it with you and instantly reach out for extra sun protection anytime. Dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic, this sunscreen is also paraben-free and cruelty-free making it suitable for those with extra sensitive skin.
#6 APIEU PURE BLOCK Natural Sun Cream
A’PIEU made a splash in the skincare industry with their award-winning and high-quality sunscreen at such an affordable price. What makes this sunscreen lovable is its natural formulation.
The sunscreen features rejuvenating and hydrating components from herbal extracts including desert watermelon, aloe extract, raspberry, apple blossom, pomegranate, peach, lime flower, orange flower, and damson flower.
It features a creamy texture, but without the greasy, sticky feeling you get with heavier sunscreens. The sunscreen also features powerful protection against sun damage with its SPF45 and PA+++ grading.
It creates a thin white layer that gets easily absorbed by the skin while preventing oil from building up and will not cause pimples, making it suitable for oily and acne-prone skin. With a light fruity aroma, it offers a refreshing zest in every application.
#7 COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Scream
Another great sunscreen from reputable company COSR, this Aloe Soothing Sun Cream helps calm and soothe redness and irritation on the skin. As its name implies, this soothing sunscreen is formulated with 5,500 ppm Aloe Leaf Extract which is an anti-carcinogen ingredient that deeply hydrates and protects the skin from sun damage.
Featuring a neutral pH level, aloe is able to enhance cell regeneration while improving your skin’s moisture barrier. In addition, aloe also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, making it more effective for those with sensitive or extremely sun-damaged skin. And since it uses aloe leaf extract where the plant stores all its water, this sunscreen is also quite useful for those with oily skin needing some sun protection without the greasy feeling.
With SPAF50+ PA+++ sun protection grading, you can count on it for full protection from both UVB and UVA rays. It gets easily absorbed by the skin and does not leave a greasy feeling or white cast behind. Acting as a sunscreen and moisturizer in one, this is one of the more affordable options on this list.
#8 Neogen Day-Light Protection Sunscreen
The Neogen Day-Light Protection sunscreen features s superior formulation with rich antioxidant ECO-certified ingredients including Beta-glucan, Rose extract, Gentiana extract, Blueberry extract and vitamin E derivatives that deeply nourish and moisturize the skin. The lightweight sunscreen gets absorbs easily into the skin without the oily feeling finish.
Featuring SPF50 PA+++, this sunscreen provides effective daily protection against UV rays while deeply hydrating the skin. With antioxidant properties, it protects the skin from harsh environmental damages like fine dust and sun rays as well as reducing damage from free radical and improving skin damage.
With rich botanical ingredient formulation, it provides enough moisture without the greasy feeling that blocks pores, making it suitable for those with oily and acne-prone skin. Featuring gentle and safe ingredients, this sunscreen gently calms the irritable skin and promotes healthy and refreshed skin.
In addition, the sunscreen is free of 23 kinds of harmful ingredients including silicone, mineral oil, animal material, propylene glycol, tar color, salicylic acid, sulfate, petrolatum, talc, parabens, ethyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol and more.
#9 The Face Shop Natural Sun No Shine Hydrating Sun Cream
For a sunscreen which features excellent oil control and hydrating solution, consider this highly acclaimed sunscreen from reputable Korean brand The Face Shop. The Natural Sun Eco No Shine Cream is a water-based sunscreen made with natural elements and is best suited with oily, acne-prone skin as well as sensitive skin.
The sun cream contains Korean cotton seed extract, salvia hispanica seed extract, and sunflower sprout extract that helps in controlling oily secretion from the sebaceous glands of the skin. In addition, the watery consistency of this sunscreen gets absorbed quickly into the skin without the greasy and oily feeling.
With SPF40 PA+++ sun protection grading, you have enough time to stay in the sun without worrying about skin damages. And despite its lightweight consistency, this sunscreen is deeply hydrating and moisturizing so your skin will not feel dry and dull on sunny days.
#10 Goodal Mild Protect Sun Gel
Goodal offers a powerful sun gel that helps protect you against the harmful UV rays of the sun. With SPF50 PA+++, this gel sunscreen gives you total protection during the summer days without feeling too oily and greasy. Featuring a refreshing and light texture, it gets absorbed in the skin instantly without leaving behind residues or white cast.
Certified hypoallergenic, this sun gel is easy on sensitive skin and is full of vitamins and carefully-selected ingredients to promote healthy skin. The sun gel contains Jeju cactus extracts that are rich in vitamin C and amino acid, helps in repairing the skin from sun damage.
Meanwhile, the oil-regulating cottonseed helps in maintaining fresh and oil-free skin. Lastly, the soothing green tea water that was fermented for 24 days helps relieve sun-induced skin irritations and redness.
#11 Stabilized Rice Bran Daily Facial Sunscreen
This daily facial sun cream from SRB features broad-spectrum SPF50+ PA+++ grading that protects the skin from harmful UV rays. It has an advanced formulation that contains at least 50 kinds of enzymes, nutrients, and antioxidants that are derived from rice germ and rice bran.
It contains over 10 times the amount of rice extract found in traditional rice water and then combined with other extracts in order to provide large doses of lycopene, GABA, folic acid, B vitamins, carotenoids, Co-Q10, and phytic acid among others, leaving your skin both radiant and healthy.
Thanks to the cooling and anti-inflammatory effect of rice, this sunscreen helps soothe irritable and sensitive skin and promotes healing on sun-damaged skin. With a smooth and lightweight formulation, this sunscreen does not provide a tacky or sticky feeling on your skin.
#12 TONYMOLY Bcdation Sun Oil
TONYMOLY offers a multi-purpose sun oil that brings wonderful benefits in a single drop. Get powerful sun protection with the SPF50+ PA++++ formula while keeping your skin hydrated, soothed and well-nourished.
The sunscreen oil can be used underneath your makeup as a primer for dewy and hydrated-looking skin finish or you can mix it into your daytime skincare routine. The sunscreen features a flower oil complex ingredient that mixes raspberry seed oil, rose oil and calendula oil that works together to hydrate, soothe and brighten the skin while leaving a pleasant scent.
This sun oil is specially formulated with a light texture that gets absorbed by the skin easily than ordinary face oil. It has a clear consistency without the oily feel, meaning you won’t have to worry about sticky residue, ghostly white cast, and the dreaded greasy building.
#13 Myconos Korean Day Cream
The Myconos Korean Day Cream is a water-based sunscreen that provides intense moisturization and sun protection to all skin types including oily and acne-prone skin. Thanks to its non-greasy and lightweight formula, you do not have to worry about the sticky feeling and white cast residues.
With SPF50+ PA+++, you get an all-season UV sun protection with whitening effects and wrinkle reduction for youthful, glowing skin. It contains natural ingredients without the harmful chemicals so it is safe for those with sensitive skins.
We all know that sun protection is one of the most important aspects of skincare. And while there are many sunscreens available today, nothing really beats those that are made by Korean manufacturers.
So, avoid sunburn and reduce acne breakouts now with the above list of the best Korean sunscreens for oily skin. Stay shine-free and safe while flaunting a glowing, youthful skin!