• Top 9 Best Korean Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 1
  • Top 9 Best Korean Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 2
  • Top 9 Best Korean Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 3
  • Top 9 Best Korean Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 4
  • Top 9 Best Korean Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 5

Top 9 Best Korean Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed)

Korean sunscreens have taken the world by storm because they're crafted with safe, non-irritating UV blockers that offer full protection from sun damage. The gentle formulations of Korean sunscreens also make them a fantastic option for those with sensitive skin. Not only will it help fight off sun rays, but this wonderful beauty item will condition and give your skin a natural glow.


If you don't know where to start, don't worry! We've done all the research for you and found 9 excellent Korean sunscreens that are safe for your sensitive skin, including our top pick, Make p:rem's Watery Sun Gel. In addition to this wonderful product, there are other great options on our list that are specifically designed for sensitive skin. We've also provided a buying guide at the end to help you choose the right sunscreen in case you want to look further.

Experts featured in this article

Dr. Lauren Levy
  • Last updated: 11-07-2021
Table of Contents

In Collaboration With Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Lauren Levy

In Collaboration With Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Lauren Levy

Dr. Levy is a board certified dermatologist practicing in NYC and Westport, Connecticut. She has expertise in treating inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. She has an interest in skincare and takes a personalized approach to all of her patients.


We asked her to evaluate our buying guide below for accuracy, and she also contributed some extra tips and advice. You can also follow her on Instagram for more skincare tips!

Why Choose Korean Sunscreen?

Korean skincare is definitely popular, but what are some of the reasons to choose something as important as sun protection from this East Asian nation over your average UVB suncreen? Here are some reasons why we think they're great.

Korean Sunscreens Have a Lightweight Consistency

Korean Sunscreens Have a Lightweight Consistency

Most Korean sunscreens have a thin and lightweight consistency that glides seamlessly onto the skin, so they're pretty easy to apply. They are absorbed quickly and are less likely to clog pores or have a white cast effect on your skin, and thus are suitable for all skin tones. Usually, you'll find that Korean sunscreens have either a watery or a gel-like texture.


If you want something extremely light that won't leave behind any grease, a water-based product is the way to go! Gel-based sunscreens can penetrate the skin quickly as well but might feel a bit greasy when applied.


And keep in mind that some Korean sunscreens are tinted. Oftentimes, they will give your skin a flushed, rosy complexion, an indicator of vitality in Korea. So if you want to have that healthy pink glow on your face, look for a tinted sunscreen!

Korean Sunscreens are Packed With Antioxidants to Soothe Your Skin

Korean Sunscreens are Packed With Antioxidants to Soothe Your Skin

Sensitive skin might be easily irritated by to environmental aggressors such as pollution and harsh weather.


Fortunately, most Korean sunscreens are formulated with antioxidant-rich ingredients to brighten your skin and fight off dust, pollution, and more. Some of the common ingredients include green tea extract, ginseng, sunflower seed oil, aloe vera, and many others.


Anti-inflammatory ingredients like mistletoe extract and Centella extract are also frequently used and are very effective in preventing breakouts and reducing irritation. If you have acne-prone skin, you may want to look for these ingredients!

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

Korean sunscreens often get a cult following for many reasons. Firstly, they are usually soothing, lightweight, and rub in easily. They rarely leave the skin feeling greasy or with a white, pasty look. 


Secondly, active blockers like Meroxyl and tinosorb are extremely effective at blocking UVA and UVB rays to prevent aging, hyperpigmentation, and sun damage that could cause skin cancer.

Top 9 Best Korean Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin

After browsing through many reviews online, we've found the 9 best Korean sunscreens for sensitive skin based on important criteria in our buying guide such as the effectiveness of the ingredients. You'll find some great options here!


*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Dr. Lauren Levy.

1

MAKEP:REMWatery Sun Gel With Moisture Essence

$31.99

SPF50+
PA ratingExtremely high (PA++++)
Amount2.53 oz.
Formulated withBitter almond kernel oil, raspberry fruit extract, cotton seed extract
2

Dr.GGreen Mild Up Sun

$16.94

SPF50+
PA ratingExtremely high (PA++++)
Amount1.7 oz.
Formulated withFish mint, centella extract, chia seed extract, gotu kola extract
3

MISSHASoft Finish Sun Milk

$15.78

SPF50+
PA ratingHigh (PA+++)
Amount2.4 oz.
Formulated withAloe vera, abronia villosa leaf extract, glycerin, rosa davurica bud extract, guava leaf extract
4

Etude HouseSunprise Mild Watery Light Sunscreen

$7.50

SPF50+
PA ratingHigh (PA+++)
Amount1.7 oz.
Formulated withSunflower seed oil, mistletoe leaf extract, acerola fruit extract
5

Village11FactoryPink Calming Sun Block

$13.47

SPF50+
PA ratingExtremely high (PA++++)
Amount1.69 oz.
Formulated withCalamine, jojoba seed oil, green tea extract, niacinamide, chia seed extract
6
SPF50+
PA ratingHigh (PA+++)
Amount1.35 oz.
Formulated withBamboo water, centella extract, grape seed oil, tea tree leaf extract, sage extract
7

Dr.Jart+Every Sun Day Mineral Sunscreen

$39.00

SPF50+
PA rating-
Amount1.69 oz.
Formulated withLitsea cubeba fruit oil, orange oil, mandarin orange peel oil
8
SPF50+
PA ratingHigh (PA+++)
Amount1.7 oz.
Formulated withDimethicone, aloe vera, glycerin
9

A'PIEUPure Block Daily Sun Cream

$6.48

SPF45
PA ratingHigh (PA+++)
Amount1.7 oz.
Formulated withLime flower extract, peach flower extract, apple flower extract, rice bran extract

Compare the Best Korean Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin

Image
1
MAKEP:REM Watery Sun Gel With Moisture Essence 1

MAKEP:REM

2
Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun 1

Dr.G

3
MISSHA Soft Finish Sun Milk 1

MISSHA

4
Etude House Sunprise Mild Watery Light Sunscreen 1

Etude House

5
Village11Factory Pink Calming Sun Block 1

Village11Factory

6
Dr. Oracle A-Thera Sunblock SPF 50 1

Dr. Oracle

7
Dr.Jart+ Every Sun Day Mineral Sunscreen 1

Dr.Jart+

8
COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream 1

COSRX

9
A'PIEU Pure Block Daily Sun Cream 1

A'PIEU

Name

Watery Sun Gel With Moisture Essence

Green Mild Up Sun

Soft Finish Sun Milk

Sunprise Mild Watery Light Sunscreen

Pink Calming Sun Block

A-Thera Sunblock SPF 50

Every Sun Day Mineral Sunscreen

Aloe Soothing Sun Cream

Pure Block Daily Sun Cream

Features

Mineral Sunscreen Loaded With Anti-Aging Ingredients

Hypoallergenic Sunblock Made Without Harsh Chemical Blockers

Water- and Sweat-Resistant Sunblock That Brightens Skin

Lightweight Sunscreen Suitable for All Skin Types

Antioxidant-Rich Tinted Sunscreen With Broad-Spectrum Protection

Dermatology-Tested Sunblock With a Gel-Like Consistency

Zinc Oxide Sunscreen With Orange Oil to Nourish Irritated Skin

Ultra-Hydrating Sunscreen With Aloe Vera to Soothe the Skin

A Combination of Botanicals to Brighten Your Skin Complexion

Price$31.99$16.94$15.78$7.50$13.47$30.00$39.00$13.50$6.48
SPF50+50+50+50+50+50+50+50+45
PA ratingExtremely high (PA++++)Extremely high (PA++++)High (PA+++)High (PA+++)Extremely high (PA++++)High (PA+++)-High (PA+++)High (PA+++)
Amount2.53 oz.1.7 oz.2.4 oz.1.7 oz.1.69 oz.1.35 oz.1.69 oz.1.7 oz.1.7 oz.
Formulated withBitter almond kernel oil, raspberry fruit extract, cotton seed extractFish mint, centella extract, chia seed extract, gotu kola extractAloe vera, abronia villosa leaf extract, glycerin, rosa davurica bud extract, guava leaf extractSunflower seed oil, mistletoe leaf extract, acerola fruit extractCalamine, jojoba seed oil, green tea extract, niacinamide, chia seed extractBamboo water, centella extract, grape seed oil, tea tree leaf extract, sage extractLitsea cubeba fruit oil, orange oil, mandarin orange peel oilDimethicone, aloe vera, glycerinLime flower extract, peach flower extract, apple flower extract, rice bran extract
Link

How to Choose a Korean Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin - Buying Guide

If you're new to Korean sunscreens, don't worry! We've compiled various important tips in this buying guide to help you pick out a great sunscreen that is suitable for your sensitive skin.

Know Your Korean Sunscreens' UV Filters

Know Your Korean Sunscreens' UV Filters

American sunscreens are often formulated with sun blockers such as oxybenzone, octisalate, avobenzone, and octocrylene. While these are highly effective and protect your skin from UV rays, they might trigger allergic reactions in those with highly-sensitive skin or skin conditions like rosacea and melasma. They might also harm the coral reefs.


Korean sunscreens, on the other hand, typically harness the power of filters such as tinosorb, mexoryl, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide.


Tinosorb is a breakthrough chemical filter that can shield your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Mexoryl is another fantastic chemical that can effectively protect your skin from the longwave sun rays that might cause premature aging. On top of that, neither of these have been associated with any high-risk factors.

Know Your Korean Sunscreens' UV Filters

Many Korean sunscreens are also crafted with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, two well-known mineral filters that are gentle on the skin and are shown to be safe even for babies and pregnant women. They create a protective barrier on your skin and block all the harmful UV rays.


In general, most UV filters used in Korean sunscreens are less likely to trigger allergic reactions. So for those with sensitive skin, they are certainly the better option!

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

Meroxyl is a powerful UVA absorber. This means it really helps protect the skin from the rays that cause aging. Unlike other chemical blockers found in the US, Mexoryl and tinosorb are less irritating and can be tolerated by most skin types. 


The mineral sunscreens, which are physical blockers, are less irritating than traditional chemical blockers and can be used on babies and infants. They are good to use if you have hyperpigmentation like melasma.

PA Ratings Measure UVA Protection

PA Ratings Measure UVA Protection

While looking at the packaging of a Korean sunscreen, you'll often see labels like "PA+++" or "PA++++". So what do they mean? Technically, the PA ratings (Protection Grade of UVA) measure UVA protection and are widely used in Asian countries, including Korea.


In the States, most people only focus on the SPF number, which indicates how strong the sunscreen is against UVB rays. Not everyone is aware that UVA rays are particularly damaging to the skin. In fact, they can penetrate deeply into your skin and cause your skin cells to age more quickly. They can potentially lead to skin cancer as well!

PA Ratings Measure UVA Protection

Therefore, it's imperative that your sunscreen provides sufficient protection against UVA rays, which can be easily understood by reading the PA ratings. There are four ratings:


  • PA+: some UVA protection
  • PA++: moderate UVA protection
  • PA+++: high UVA protection
  • PA++++: extremely high UVA protection

For those with sensitive skin, you'll want to look for products with at least PA+++ for optimal UVA protection. Many products also feature broad-spectrum protection, meaning that it shields your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

UVA are the rays from the sun that mostly cause aging and wrinkles. They also contribute to causing skin cancer. It is super important to protect your skin from UVA rays; otherwise, you will end up with accelerated aging and possible skin cancer. 


UVA rays also go right through windows, so make sure you are using a product that protects from UVA if you spend a lot of time in the car. To do this, look for a product with a high PA rating.

The SPF Number Indicates Protection Against UVB Rays

The SPF Number Indicates Protection Against UVB Rays

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is the number people tend to care about the most. It indicates how well a sunscreen can block UVB rays, which have been proven to cause sunburns and even skin cancer! Generally, the higher the SPF number, the more protection against UVB rays you'll get.


Keep in mind that no sunscreen can block 100% UVB rays. Even SPF100, the highest you can find, can only protect about 99%. Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 for everyday use and re-apply sunscreen every two hours for the best protection.


Also, regular sunscreens might come off with sweat, so if you live in a hot place or have oily skin, go for a product that is water- or sweat-resistant. Always re-apply, however, since that kind of sunscreen is only effective for a certain amount of time (usually 40 to 80 minutes).

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

If you have any photosensitive skin conditions, like rosacea or melasma, or you're on photosensitizing medications like a topical retinoid or oral Accutane, look for an SPF 50 or above. These conditions can make it very easy for you to burn with minimal sun exposure, so using a higher SPF is important.

Avoid Potential Irritants for Sensitive Skin

Avoid Potential Irritants for Sensitive Skin

Try to steer clear of potential irritants such as fragrance, essential oils, and alcohol. While they are generally safe for normal skin, they can be irritating to those with sensitive skin or skin conditions like rosacea.


In fact, dermatologists have said that 30 to 45% of reactions to cosmetic products were due to fragrance. Essential oils such as cinnamon bark oil, bergamot oil, and oregano oil might lead to allergic contact dermatitis as well.


So if you have fragrance sensitivity or are allergic to any kinds of essential oils, make sure to avoid those ingredients! A fragrance-free product is usually a safer choice for those with sensitive skin. But to give yourself peace of mind, always do a patch test beforehand to make sure that your sunscreen does no harm to you.

More Dermatologist-Recommended Advice for Sunscreen Application

More Dermatologist-Recommended Advice for Sunscreen Application

Dr. Levy says, "Make sure you are applying enough sunscreen before going outside. Ideally, you should apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. The average-sized person needs once ounce of sunscreen, and it needs to be reapplied frequently for the best protection."

Treat Your Sensitive Skin to These Soothing Beauty Products!

Treat Your Sensitive Skin to These Soothing Beauty Products!

We all know that sensitive skin is picky and products that might be generally safe for normal skin might actually trigger allergic reactions in those with skin conditions and/or sensitive skin. But don't stress. Knowing your concerns, we have some useful guides to help you take care of your sensitive skin!

Summary

Korean sunscreens are well-loved for their effectiveness in protecting your skin from the UV rays and their nourishing ingredients. However, it's not easy to choose a product that is gentle on your sensitive skin. You'll have to screen the ingredient list to make sure that there is nothing that can irritate your skin.


Moreover, opt for a sunscreen formulated with soothing ingredients like aloe vera or centella extract to calm your skin and reduce inflammation. And for the best sun protection, always remember to re-apply your sunscreen every two hours.


Author: Thuy Nguyen


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