Fobes’s The Best Sunscreens

The K-Beauty approach to skincare is anything but simple. While consumers are famously told to stick to three basic steps—cleanse, tone and moisturize—Korean beauty aficionados recommend a more thorough and meticulous ritual. When the concept of a 10-step beauty regimen was first introduced to the mainstream, it was perceived by those unfamiliar with Asian or K-Beauty as over the top. Double cleansing, constant exfoliation, masks and the addition of essences, ampoules and serums seemed more like indulgences driven by paranoia instead of essentials to good skincare.

Innovative ingredients and technology have also yielded impressive results, making K-Beauty products among the most efficient and reliable products in the market today. This also applies to the K-Beauty sunscreens. Koreans (and Asians in general) are often so keen on protecting skin from UV rays that application of sunscreen is almost as important as breathing. While Western manufacturers follow the SPF system, Korean sunscreens are measured using the Japanese Persistent Pigment Darkening designation which, to skip the rocket science, is basically a more accurate way of determining the level of UV protection one gets.

Korean sunscreens are also more friendly for daily wear and makeup. The conventional sunscreen formula will usually feel too thick and leave a white cast on the face. Korean sun protection creams and lotions, on the other hand, are concocted so that they also work brilliantly as a moisturizer, anti-aging serum and primer. They even set beautifully on a bare face.

Here, a list of the best Korean sunscreens to have in your beauty arsenal—not only this season but all year round

1. Missha All Around Safe Block Serum Zero Sun


This lightweight serum is water- and sweat-resistant so that it remains effective in protecting skin even in them most humid conditions. Apart from protection, this serum from Missha also doubles as a skin mattifier thanks to natural ingredients like green tea and tea tree extracts. Gentle formulation make the All Around Safe Block Serum Zero Sun ideal for even the most sensitive skin.

2. Makep:rem UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel


This gel formula from Makep:rem has cooling properties so that it actually lowers skin temperature upon application. Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel gives the highest sun protection of PA++++ while simultaneously keeping skin hydrated. Rubus arcticus stem cells help to enhance skin texture and battle signs of aging. This sun protection is also formulated using water-retaining technology so that it is easily absorbed by skin without the sticky feel or unwanted white cast.

3. A’PIEU Pure Block Aqua SunGel


An ultra-light lotion, Pure Block Aqua Sun Gel gives superior UVA and UVB protection which helps prevent deep skin damage, premature aging and sunburns. The almost water-like consistency sinks into the skin immediately and stays on for hours. It works very well under makeup and leaves zero white cast. This potion has a gentle, citrusy scent upon application that invigorates the senses.

5. Dr. Oracle A Thera Sunblock SPF50


The most common issue people have about sunscreen is that its thick consistency can clog pores and cause breakouts. This lightweight gel-like Thera Sunblock formula from Dr. Oracle, however, absorbs into skin like sheer silk with a matte finish. Centella asiatica extracts help ease skin inflammation while bamboo water leaves skin feeling hydrated and balanced. A Thera Sunblock SPF50 from Dr. Oracle is just what sensitive, acne-prone skin needs to stay protected every day of the year.

6. Banila CO Prime Primer Sun SPF 50 PA


Banila Co creates a hybrid for sun skincare that combines a skin primer, moisturizer, emulsifier and sun protector. This invigorating formula utilizes white flower complex, which shields skin from external stressors and free radicals. Primer properties ensure that upon application, skin is visibly brighter and appearance of fine line and wrinkles are diffused. For best results, apply a pea-sized amount to the face as the last step to your skincare regimen.

7. CosRx Shield Fit Snail Essence Sun Cream SPF 50+ PA+++


This lightweight sunscreen is concocted with snail mucin and humectant components, which creates a velvety, smooth finish on skin. Snail mucin (or snail secretion filtrate) nourishes and reinvigorates skin back to its youthful glow. Humectant components, meanwhile, moisturizes deep into the skin. This high-performance sun protector works beautifully under makeup. It glides effortlessly on skin without the greasy after-effects or the white-mask effect.

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