Sunscreen is the most important skin care product you can apply, but when you have oily or acne prone skin it can sometimes 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 adding unnecessary oils to skin that can clog pores and make you look shiny.
People with oily skin should look for sunscreens that contain Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide but have no oils, fragrances, or PABA's, all of which can make skin break out, especially if you have sensitive skin. The sunscreen you use daily should be lightweight and non-comedogenic — and it always helps to have mattifying ingredients like silica technology that absorb excess sebum. So, why choose a Korean sunscreen formula before all others? Simple: many Asian sunscreens contain higher SPFs than American sunscreens and use innovative ingredients like, Tinosorb S, that haven't been FDA approved in the U.S. just yet.
Add in the fact that so many K-beauty sunscreens address issues like sunspots and hyperpigmentation and you have no reason not to try one of these incredible Korean sunscreens for oily skin.
1. The Sunscreen That Will Make Blotting Papers Optional
Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF 50+/PA+++, $12, Amazon
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.
2. An Absorbent Sunscreen That Doesn't Ball Up
Dr. Jart+ Every Day Sun SPF 50+/PA+++
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
A'Pieu Pure Block Natural Sun Cream SPF 45
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
MISSHA All Around Safe Block Waterproof Sun Milk
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. Reviewers say it's incredibly light, "dries to a velvety soft finish," and even serves as the perfect base for makeup.
5. A Lightweight, Water-Based Sunscreen That's Waterproof
Biore Sarasara Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50
With an SPF of 50, this water-based sunscreen is designed with a convenient base effect to create a smooth finish that won’t leave a greasy buildup or visible residue on darker skin tones. It has a subtly fruity aroma, and a waterproof formula that allows you to sweat and swim for over 80 minutes without losing your protection. Reviewers find this lightweight product dries quickly and comes off easily with a regular soap or facial cleanser.
6. A Lightweight, Hydrating Sunscreen That Won't Clog Pores
Neogen Dermalogy Sunscreen SPF 50
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
COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 PA+++
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. An Aloe Vera Rich Water Gel Sunscreen
Skinfood Aloe Watery Sun Water Gel SPF 50+
Aloe vera will keep your skin feeling refreshed under the hot sun and this Skinfood water gel sunscreen provides lightweight UV protection that won't make your skin feel sticky or leave a white residue behind. It's rich with flower extracts and is hydrating enough to provide a silky base for makeup.
9. A Sebum-Controlling Sunscreen That Doesn't Irritate Sensitive Eyes
The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Sebum Control Moisture SPF 40
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.
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