Despite the many steps that comprise the average Korean skin care routine, sunscreen is undoubtedly the most important. That's why Korean cosmetics companies have become such experts at creating innovative, high-performing sunscreen formulas that consumers will
actually want to wear. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one? Well, all of the best Korean sunscreens are lightweight, moisturizing, non-sticky, and formulated with SPFs that are typically higher than their Western counterparts. But many of them have other benefits, too, like the ability to soak up oil or soothe irritation. In short: Choosing your perfect Korean sunscreen is largely going to depend on your skin type and formula preferences.
A note on that SPF: You’ll notice that the level of sun protection in Korean sunscreens is measured with “PA” and anywhere from one to four plus signs. It’s based on a
system that measures how much exposure to UVA rays a person can receive before tanning — so the more plus marks you see, the more UVA protection you’ll get. Also, most Korean sunscreens are chemical- rather than mineral-based, so they don’t contain the zinc oxide that’s responsible for the dreaded chalky white cast. If you have dark skin, you’ll find a ton of great options here.
Scroll on to shop seven of the
best Korean sunscreens that you can buy on Amazon. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team. 01
The Best Premium Sunscreen
Neogen sunscreen gets consistently positive ratings from serious K-beauty fans all over the internet. What reviewers love the most is its lightweight feel, beautiful blendability, and ability to moisturize skin without feeling greasy. The formula doesn’t contain synthetic fragrances, though antioxidant-rich essential oils and extracts from raspberry, lavender, and hibiscus give it a naturally fruity scent that fades over time. Other highlights: It doesn't feel at all sticky (it dries matte), it doesn't leave behind a white cast, and it has a high SPF of 50 PA+++. This would be a good choice for most skin types. 02
The Best Budget Sunscreen
If you’re into everything about that Neogen sunscreen except its $29 price tag, try this
A’PIEU Pure Block sun cream instead. It’s equally beloved among K-beauty acolytes, and it has a similar feel to the Neogen sunscreen — lightweight, blendable, not sticky — but it costs just under $8 on Amazon (this one does leave behind more of a dewy finish, though). People with dark skin confirm the utter nonexistence of a white cast, so this could be your new go-to if you’re having trouble finding a sunscreen that works for your skin tone. 03
The Best Sunscreen For Oily Skin
If you have very oily skin, or if you’re looking for a sunscreen to replace your existing mattifying primer, it doesn’t get much better than this wildly popular
Etude House sunscreen. Like a primer, this has an airy, whipped consistency that settles into a powdery film. The dimethicone in the formula soaks up oil, prevents more oil from breaking through to the surface throughout the day, and creates a velvety-smooth screen for your makeup to glide over. Reviewers confirm this sunscreen keeps their skin dry to the touch for hours. 04
The Best Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin
Almost all Korean sunscreens are suitable for sensitive skin. But if your skin is especially prone to reactions, irritation, or allergies, or if you just don’t want to risk any of the above, this
sunscreen from Purito is your safest option. The formula is free of ingredients that people with very sensitive skin and eyes tend to struggle with, like essential oils, fragrances, and drying alcohols. And the stuff that does make the cut is catered specifically to calming irritation-prone skin, like centella asiatica, a plant extract commonly used in Asian skin care for soothing redness and healing the skin’s protective barrier. This one also has an incredibly protective SPF of 50 PA++++, so you know your sensitive skin will be kept safe. 05
The Best Soothing Sunscreen
COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream to actively soothe existing sun burns, rosacea flareups, or otherwise irritated skin. It contains an impressive amount of aloe extract for its calming and cooling abilities, while lightweight, grease-free hydrators keep your skin feeling comfortable and moisturized. It layers well too, so you can keep applying it whenever your skin feels hot or irritated throughout the day. 06
The Best Sunscreen For Your Body
“sun fluid” from MAKEP:REM is technically formulated for use on your face. But with this giant 6.76-ounce bottle in your arsenal, you can apply it on the rest of your body with reckless abandon. Sunflower oil, almond oil, and panthenol give the consistency great blendability, so that full-body application is more a treat than a chore.
Also, this is one of the few Korean sunscreens that is purely mineral-based. Mineral sunscreens, which rely on zinc for sun protection, tend to be better for people with reactive skin, since zinc (as well as the centella asiatica in this formula)
can help reduce redness. Heads up: If you order from this seller, you’ll also get two mini MAKEP:REM moisturizers with your sunscreen. 07
Another Bestselling Sunscreen
Missha Essence Sun Milk is the holy grail sunscreen for many a K-beauty fan. The consistency is incredibly light, fluid, and a little runny (like a milk or an essence, one could say), so it blends in easily, won’t dry you out, and feels totally weightless on skin. It also doesn’t pill or clump, so lots of reviewers recommend using this one under your makeup. Alternatively, you can opt for this water- and sweat-resistant sunscreen to gear up for a swim, workout, or outdoor activities. A long list of botanical extracts like aloe, camellia leaf, and mulberry provide additional skin care benefits, too.