16 Best Korean Sunscreens 2023 for UV Protection Without Chalkiness & White Cast


Editor Tip: It’s best to reapply every two hours for peak protection.

Type: Chemical | Key Ingredients: Homosalate, octocrylene, ecotin, allantoin, sunflower seed oil, camellia japonica seed oil | Who It’s For: People looking for a portable option

Best for Redness: Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun SPF 50+ PA++++


Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun Lotion SPF 50+ PA++++

Why It’s Worth It: Back in 2020, Allure Korea editors awarded the ultra-light Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun SPF50+ PA++++ a Best of Beauty Award for those with sensitive skin. The longtime favorite is free of fragrance but rich in soothing cica and heartleaf. Although it’s made of 100% zinc oxide, the sunscreen still suits every skin tone. “It doesn’t smell or feel like a traditional facial sunscreen, which is great for my sensitive skin,” associate digital beauty director Sarah Kinonen, who helped select the winner, said. “The lotion blends into skin easily and doesn’t leave any sort of white cast.”

Editor Tip: Pycnogenol is an ingredient extracted from the bark of European pine trees that protects skin against external aggressors like fine dust and smoke.

Type: Mineral | Key Ingredients: Zinc oxide, hyaluronic acid, cica, vitamin E, heartleaf, pycnogenol | Who It’s For: People with sensitive skin who want a fragrance-free sunscreen

Frequently Asked Questions

How are Korean sunscreens different from Western sunscreens?

One of the key differences between Western sunscreens and Korean sunscreens is their role in our perception of skin care, as Zion Ko Lamm, MD, a board-certified internal medicine doctor based in Charlotte, North Carolina, points out. Korean sunscreens are part of a skin-care lifestyle, defending against a broader range of long-term effects of the sun and promoting general skin health. On the other hand, Western sunscreens are formulated with necessity in mind, beginning and ending with sun protection.

Another difference is that no matter how much zinc oxide they contain, Korean mineral sunscreens are transparent on all skin tones, free of the telltale white cast that we often experience with non-Korean sunscreens. Plus, both chemical and mineral Korean sunscreens feature ingredients found in your favorite serums and moisturizers, like Centella asiatica (known as cica for short), allantoin, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. So when you apply Korean sunscreen to your face, you protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays and work in a layer of hydrating, brightening, and smoothing benefits.

Are Korean sunscreens better than Western sunscreens?

Depends on who you ask, but many would say yes. Why? “It’s not that South Korea has something specifically unique that allows them to create better sunscreens,” Toronto-based cosmetic chemist Stephen Ko previously told Allure. “They just have access to more sunscreen ingredients to work with.”

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