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5 Korean sunscreens that are light years ahead

Korean sunscreens, which are also widely available online, are not the goopy, pore-stopping things you might be used to. Instead, they are light, fragrant and easy to use. Many of them are star multitaskers that offer hydration, antioxidants and skin tone evening along with UVA and UVB protection. And because they do not leave a chalky white residue, they are often the favorite brands for people of color.

After all, Korean skin care has received acclaim over the past decade in the beauty industry, known for creating “glass skins” – the misty, misty perfection you love in photos of your favorite K-pop stars. This summer is the perfect time to expand your H Mart shopping list of Korean sunscreens, which is a clear improvement over the sticky, sticky tubes that currently sit at the bottom of your beach bag. Let us examine what dermatologists love about them and when they say you may need something more comprehensive.

What is the difference?

If you̵

7;re wondering why Korea gets to have BTS and the world’s best sunscreen, the short answer is: the US Food and Drug Administration is not moving at breakneck speed when it comes to innovation in the world of sunscreen. “It’s about 20 years since the last sunscreen ingredient was approved in the United States,” says dermatologist Uchenna R. Okereke told HuffPost. The reason for this, she explained, is that the United States considers sunscreen to be a prescription drug, which is why it is regulated by the FDA. “In several other countries, including Korea, sunscreen is considered a cosmetic, so these sunscreen manufacturers have several ingredients to choose from,” she said.

But why is Korea specifically ruling so hard with sunscreen? “The Korean market is moving faster and is full of innovation in terms of new ingredients and ingredient combinations,” he said. Deanne Mraz Robinson, dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale New Haven Hospital. She is also a fan of the country’s product guide. “The Korean brands use the PA system [Protection Grade of UVA Rays] to identify the degree of protection of UVA rays in addition to detecting SPF, which measures UVB radiation protection. Here in the US, brands are not required to specify UVA vs. UVB protection. Instead, we just say ‘broad spectrum’, which means that there is coverage against both types of rays. “

Dermatologist Suchismita Paul told HuffPost that one of the reasons Korean sunscreens are so popular is because their user experience is often superior: “They have a range of formulation options that are light and easy to apply to the skin without leaving a white cast.” she said. “It is especially important for people with skin color who may be reluctant to use sunscreen when leaving an off-white molded skin.” Besides managing the basics as well, Korean sunscreen often adds all sorts of other epidermal treats. “You can find brands with ingredients like soothing aloe vera, hydrating hyaluronic acid, luminous niacinamide and ceramides that have additional benefits for the skin,” she said.

Which Korean sunscreen is better (and worse) for

“In Korea, it is generally accepted that sunscreen is part of a lifestyle with sun protection, so sunscreen is typically designed to have an elegant formulation compared to Western sunscreen, which tends to be heavier, waterproof and intended for outdoor use,” Okereke said.

Her observation is broadcast by Michelle Wong, chemist Ph.D. behind Lab Muffin Beauty Science blog that said it is important to know that these products have the best time and place of use. “They are not a miracle solution,” she told HuffPost. Korean sunscreens are very light and elegant to use, and they tend to use the newer filters, which are the active sunscreen ingredients that work to protect against UV. But if you are planning a day at the beach, they would not be a good option. ”

Finally, Okereke noted that popularity is not science. “A claim of superiority is based on clinical efficacy, or how effective a product is,” she said. “This information can only be obtained in clinical trials, and to date there is no evidence to show that Korean sunscreens are superior to other sunscreens.”

Tips for use

“Tinted sunscreens with iron oxide are essential to protect against exposure to visible light,” Okereke said. “This is especially important for those with tanned skin, as exposure to visible light can aggravate certain skin conditions that are light-sensitive, such as melasma or hyperpigmentation.” She said that no matter what brand you use, it is important to recycle any sunscreen every two hours. “If you use makeup, this can be challenging, so I recommend using SPF powder and reusing it throughout the day,” she added.

It is important to use any product at the right time also depending on what you are using. “Physical / mineral sunscreens (with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) should be applied at the end of your skin care routine, and they should always be on the outer surface of your skin to repel the sun’s rays most effectively,” Robinson said. But chemical sunscreens (with ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate) must first be applied to clean, dry skin because they must be able to be absorbed into the skin to convert UVA / UVB rays into heat and release it. ”

“While sunscreen is absolutely necessary, there is no sunscreen that provides 100% sun protection,” Paul concluded. “It is still very important to practice other sun safety habits, such as seeking shade, avoiding the midday sun from kl. 10 to kl. 16 and wearing sun protection suit, hats and sunglasses. ”

5 expertly-recommended Korean sunscreens to try

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun SPF 50+


“This is popular thanks to its amazing protection against 100% pure zinc oxide,” said Robinson. “The formula is fragrance-free, which is good for sensitive skin. It pairs the zinc with ceramides for a nice application that feels light. ”

Get Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun SPF 50+ for $ 19.99

COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 +


This product has the consistency of a light moisturizer and is quickly absorbed into the skin without feeling greasy or leaving a white mold. The product’s popularity has been overwhelming: “A tube is sold every 30 seconds in the UK alone,” said Hye-Young Lee, the brand’s Chief Growth Officer.

Get COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 + for $ 24

Acwell UV Cut SPF 50+ natural sun pillow


“I’m a big fan of sunscreen that fits in well with you because you’re more likely to recycle it,” Robinson said. “This product is transparent for trouble-free on-the-go recycling. Sunscreen comes from zinc oxide, which is paired with willow bark extract, also known as ‘acne superstar’ salicylic acid. ”

Get Acwell UV Cut SPF 50+ natural sun pillow for $ 42

Innisfree Daily UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 36


“This is a budget-friendly and popular option,” Paul said. “It’s especially good for people with skin color, as there is no white cast.” The company uses natural ingredients that they say are sourced from Jeju Island in Korea.

Get Innisfree Daily UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 36 for $ 15

Neogen Day-Light Protection Sunscreen SPF 50


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