Sunscreen is the most important skin care product you can apply, but when you have oily or acne-prone skin, applying it regularly can feel like a tradeoff: protection from the sun's rays in exchange for the possibility of blackheads, irritation, and pimples. But the best Korean sunscreens for oily skin are designed to protect skin from UV exposure and sun damage without clogging up your pores or making your face look shiny. Ahead, a roundup of the nine top picks you can buy on Amazon — but first, some key tips on what to look for when shopping for an oily skin-approved sunscreen.
People with oily skin should primarily look for sunscreens that are oil-free. If you have oily skin that's on the sensitive or acneic side, it's also recommended to avoid formulas that contain fragrances and PABAs, which can cause irritation or breakouts. Similarly, sensitive or acne-prone oily skin types might want to opt for a mineral sunscreen, which is gentler on skin and uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for sun protection. The sunscreen you use daily should also be lightweight and non-comedogenic (which essential means it won't clog your pores), and it always helps to have mattifying ingredients, like silica, for example, to absorb excess oil. Most importantly, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, it's crucial to make sure you're using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every single day. And as the Skin Cancer Foundation notes, it's important to apply sunscreen even on days when it's cloudy.
So, why choose a Korean sunscreen before all others? Simple: many Asian sunscreens contain higher SPFs than American sunscreens and use more innovative ingredients, like Tinosorb S, that haven't been FDA-approved in the U.S. just yet.
With all that said, scroll on to discover nine of the best Korean sunscreens for oily skin you can buy on Amazon.
1. The Sunscreen That Will Make Blotting Papers Optional
The light, non-greasy formula in Etude House sunscreen delivers a smooth, matte finish that allows makeup to glide on effortlessly. Reviewers say this solves their oily skin problems and even obviates the need to carry around blotting papers. It doesn't cause breakouts and has a soothing, milky texture that settles quickly and doesn't leave a white cast.
"It works great on darker skin tones. I'm about a NC50 skin tone, and it doesn't leave a white cast or breakdown my foundation. I also have oily skin, and this sunscreen doesn't cause my skin to breakout," reported one reviewer.
2. An Absorbent Sunscreen That Doesn't Ball Up
Hands down, the worst thing about some sunscreen (IMO) is how they can form weird little balls and beads on the skin, which means more time spent sloughing off all that gunk before you can apply primer and makeup. Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day with SPF 50+ has the exact opposite reaction on skin, according to reviewers: it absorbs to a matte finish, pretty much vanishes, and leaves you looking "drier and fresher."
It's important to note that this sunscreen contains a combo of both physical blockers like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide and chemical blockers (though it's free of worrisome ones like Oxybenzone and Avobenzone). If you have sensitive skin that reacts to chemicals, this is something to keep in mind.
3. A Natural Sun Cream With Aloe Extract And Berries
Don't be fooled by the creamy texture of this A'Pieu natural sun cream — reviewers with oily and acne-prone skin say it actually prevents oil from building up on the skin and won't cause new pimples. It also contains an incredible mix of natural ingredients like aloe extract, apple blossom, and orange flower and spreads and blends well. This is a physical sunblock and zinc tends to leave a slightly white residue on skin, but one reviewer who says she has dark skin reports that is absorbs and doesn't leave a white cast behind.
4. A Waterproof Sun Milk That Absorbs Quickly & Makes A Great Mattifying Primer
With SPF 50+ and a waterproof formula, MISSHA Sun Milk will absorb into your skin in seconds and won't leave a greasy, filmy residue behind. It contains Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, as well as dimethicone, which helps create a matte finish — and you can use it on your face and body.
"Best sunscreen I've ever used!" raved one reviewer. "It's not heavy or greasy like western sunscreens and doesn't make my oily acne prone skin break out. I have light brown skin and it doesn't leave a white cast, it leaves a soft mildly matte finish and wears beautifully under my makeup like a primer."
5. A Gel Sunscreen That Literally Reduces The Temperature Of Your Skin
This super innovative formula from make pr:em is so much more than a sunscreen. Sure, it's a lightweight gel that contains an SPF of 50+ PA++++ — but it also soothes and calms burnt or otherwise irritated skin by lowering its temperature. It also moisturizers your skin and produces a dewy, visible glow, making this one of the coolest multi-tasking skin care products around. One reviewer commented, "I have super oily skin that is shiny after just an hour of my morning routine. This gel doesn't irritate and make my face greasy. No white cast or weird chemical smell either and wears very well under makeup."
6. A Lightweight, Hydrating Sunscreen That Won't Clog Pores
A common misconception about oily skin is that it doesn't need moisture — but keeping your skin hydrated can prevent dead skin cell buildup that leads to breakouts. This Neogen Dermalogy sunscreen with SPF 50 is lightweight and ideal for all skin types, including oily skin, but it also provides nourishment and hydration, thanks to rose, honey, and raspberry extracts.
Reviewers say it smells fresh, doesn't leave a white cast, and gives skin a matte finish. It's also a Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free Certified brand.
7. A Soothing Aloe-Infused Sunscreen That Is Even Suitable For Damaged, Senstive Skin
It makes sense that this soothing sunscreen gets its nourishment from the aloe plant. Aloe is an anti-carcinogenic ingredient that hydrates and protects the skin. With a neutral pH level, it’s able to enhance cell regeneration while improving the skin’s moisture barrier. The lightweight consistency rapidly absorbs into the skin while providing long-lasting protection against UVA and UVB rays. Since aloe is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, this cream will even be effective on sensitive, damaged, or sun-kissed skin. This product uses aloe leaf extract which is where the plant stores all its water, so it’s going to be a truly amazing sunscreen for folks with oily skin.
8. A Water-Gel Sunscreen For Oily Skin (And People Who Hate Greasy Lotions)
This water-gel sunscreen from Earth's Recipe provides lightweight UV protection that won't make your skin feel sticky or leave a white residue behind. It has a nice, high SPF of 50 to keep you adequately protected in the sun, and once absorbed, barely feels like you're wearing anything on your skin. Because it's oil-free and water-based, this is also an excellent option for people with oily or acne-prone skin.
"I have sensitive skin and really love the fact that it doesn't dry out my skin or cause breakouts! It doesn't leave your face feeling oily at all," commented one reviewer. Another wrote, "No residue, works as a beautiful makeup primer and feels very luxurious to apply."
9. A Sebum-Controlling Sunscreen That Doesn't Irritate Sensitive Eyes
This water-based sunscreen from The Face Shop doesn't cause breakouts, leave a white cast, or settle into lines and pores, according to reviewers. If you have sensitive eyes, it won't make them watery or irritated. It controls sebum production and saps away excess surface oils on your face, leaving you with a totally soft and matte complexion. And reviewers with oily skin, combination skin, and acne say this is basically a miracle product that sinks into the skin and absorbs fast. "This is my holy grail daily use sunscreen. If you have oily acne-prone skin, give this a shot," recommends one of many reviewers who swear by this sunscreen.
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