It is no secret that I am a chemical sunscreen kind of girl. Better yet if it’s Korean sunscreens.
I love the light texture, no white cast, and easy-to-blend formulas that they offer. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but mineral sunscreens aren’t my cup of tea and this is my blog so voilà.
To be honest, the few mineral sunscreens I have tried so far either make my skin itch, make me pale as a ghost or transfer on my clothes. I had one that nearly destroyed my jacket because it kept rubbing on it. Had to send the jacket to the dry cleaners and throw the sunscreen in the trash.
Back to the chemical sunscreens. I found THE 3 Korean sunscreens that have been absolutely amazing so far for my normal to dry skin. They are hydrating, sit well on their own or under makeup, leave your skin looking dewy and plump, and so much more.
Without further ado, these are THE 3 Korean sunscreens you’ll need to try this year. (I was going to say summer but sunscreen is an all-year-round kind of thing).
I call them the holy trinity.
Beauty of Joseon ”Relief Sun” SPF50+ PA++++
This little Korean sunscreen has been quite popular on social media and for good reasons. It is advertised as a lightweight, fast-absorbing sunscreen that can be used in large amounts to lather yourself in without it pilling or getting cakey. With all the « 3 fingers of sunscreen » thing going on now this is ideal for application.
Obviously, it is a chemical sunscreen, but I won’t bore you by listing all the UV filters. We both probably can’t tell much from the name alone. I will however bore you with the extra ingredients that make this sunscreen what it is. Namely, rice and grain fermented extracts which are rich in amino acids, minerals, and vitamins to calm and moisturize the skin.
It even contains a filter that can block blue light. However, their website says «Please note that we did not conduct a separate clinical test for proving blue light block. »
The texture of this sunscreen is indeed very lightweight and watery. It doesn’t leave any greasy residue and absorbs quite easily. It’s almost ridiculously light and easy to blend. It was the only sunscreen I had with me on my month-long trip to South Korea, so it was tested through and through. My only complaint is that sometimes it wasn’t enough on its own so I packed it on top of a moisturizer for some extra.
Since then I’ve been using it on its own in the mornings, before makeup, and it has performed much better. I think it’s a matter of climate.
Isntree Water Sun Gel SPF50+ PA++++
Ok, so this is a classic «received it in PR, loved it so much I bought it myself afterward». This doesn’t happen often for me because I’ve been hoarding a lot of products and I don’t like buying things when I already have 5 other sunscreens just sitting.
This is, you guessed it, another chemical sunscreen from our Korean skin friends. It is described as a lightweight moisturizing formula with Centella Asiatica and 8 types of Hyaluronic acids. It is fragrance-free and is suitable for all skin types.
Ingredient wise it is a powerhouse with much-loved hyaluronic acids, Centella Asiatica, and also ceramides. All work together to keep the skin moisturized and plump and give a dewy finish. It calms down irritation and upsizes hydration levels.
The texture is lightweight and moisturizing. It is not as watery as the Beauty of Joseon sunscreen but it does absorb fast without any greasy residue.
This is one of the best Korean sunscreens, or from anywhere else in the world actually, that I’ve tried. I love the Beauty of Joseon one but this one has my heart. Don’t get me wrong they’re both good but this just ticks all the cases for me. I never feel like this is not enough on its own. The dewy healthy finish is out of this world and I can always count on it for a beautiful makeup base. I would say that this is better suited for normal to dry skin types while the Beauty of Joseon is more for the combination/oily.
Skin 1004 Hyalu Cica Water Fit Sun Serum SPF50+ PA++++
Last but not least is another Korean sunscreen discovery of the year. I received this sunscreen in PR from the brand and I immediately thought «Why is no one talking about this ? ». Although since then I’ve seen a few creators hype it up.
This is another Korean chemical sunscreen that protects the skin against UV rays while also providing ample hydration.
It has a unique combination (according to the brand) of Centella Asiatica and Hyaluronic Acid that calms protects and hydrates the skin. On top of this, it also has niacinamide, green tea leaf extract, and tocopherol (quite popular nowadays pure form vitamin E)
The texture is very similar to the Isntree sunscreen. I would say every so slightly lighter and ever so slightly less hydrating. They are otherwise very similar and fantastic. It absorbs easily and sits great under makeup as well. The pump packaging is a big plus in my opinion because it’s so mess-free and easy to dispense. This is something I will repurchase myself once I’m out.
If I had to rate these 3 Korean sunscreens I’d say that this is a solid second place after the Isntree. The Beauty of Joseon is in 3rd place but only because I find that on some days it’s not hydrating enough.
There will be changes in the future as brands release more and more interesting sunscreen formulations and combinations. These 3 are solid wins in my book so far and I will continue to use them until I find something that can surpass them.
Share with me what your favorite sunscreen is at the moment!
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