When you think of Asian skin care products, the first thing that comes to mind is probably sheet masks — or maybe cushion compacts or BB cream. But did you know countries like Korea and Japan — Asia’s two biggest beauty exporters, and innovators — also make some seriously killer sun care products? Many of the best Asian sunscreens also do double duty (as a moisturizer! A serum! An essence!), so by investing in one of these two-in-one formulas, you’ll be saving money and cutting down on the steps in your morning routine.
In case you've ever wondered why most Asian women have such amazing skin, it's because they do not play around when it comes to sun protection. I used to live in Asia, and most of my female friends were taught to wear sunscreen every day from an early age. A lot of people even take to wearing wide hats or carrying umbrellas to protect their skin even more. This is why you'll notice that most Asian sunscreens contain an SPF of no less than 50, which is the norm.
If you're interested in trying out one of these innovative Asian sunscreens that definitely don't feel like plain old American sunblocks (you know — thick, white, and greasy), check out these five top-notch formulas you can get from Amazon, below.
1. A Face And Body Sunscreen With A Gel-Like Texture
This "water gel" with SPF 50 has a texture akin to jelly and no scent, so it's perfect for people who hate traditional, creamy sunblocks that are often greasy and don't absorb as well. The formula is also free of the usual suspects found in most sunscreens that often cause skin to break out or become irritated — oil, glycerin, and fragrance — and it comes in a convenient pump bottle, which I absolutely love. You can use it on both your face and body (it leaves a matte finish), and since it has hyaluronic acid, it'll help your skin retain its moisture content. The only downside about this product is that it's not waterproof, so if you're buying a sunscreen with the primary intent of swimming, it's probably not the best option.
2. A Face And Body Sunscreen With A Milky Texture
For those who do prefer a traditional lotion formula, this Japanese moisturizing milk is one of the best you'll find. Another sunscreen for both face and body, this formula is loaded with collagen and hyaluronic acid, so it's a great choice for anyone with dry or dehydrated skin. It doesn't contain any fragrance, alcohol, or mineral oil, and though it looks white, it goes on completely clear, even on darker skin tones. Unlike the Nivea product, above, this one is waterproof, but it'll leave your skin looking dewy instead of matte — something to keep in mind depending on your preferences.
3. A Face Sunscreen That Doubles As A Moisturizer
If you're looking to cut down on your morning routine and invest in a solid moisturizer that also offers sun protection, you'll love this multi-tasking face cream. With nourishing aloe as its star ingredient, this lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer is suitable for all skin types — including sensitive — and in addition to blocking UVA and UVB rays with SPF 50, it helps soothe inflammation, too. It doesn't leave any white cast, and it's very hydrating, though it does have one potential downside: an aloe scent that, depending on how sensitive you are to fragrance, may be slightly bothersome.
4. A Face Sunscreen That Doubles As A Serum
Like the Nivea product up top, this face sunscreen from Shiseido Senka is a "water gel," though it amps up the hydrating factor with not only hyaluronic acid, but also coenzyme q10 — an antioxidant known to energize and soothe skin. The brand compares its formula to a serum, and it absorbs quickly, leaving no trace whatsoever. One key highlight is how well it wears under makeup (it's actually touted as a dupe for primer), though unfortunately, it's not waterproof. It comes in a two pack and, like the others on this list, has SPF 50.
5. A Face Sunscreen That Doubles As An Essence
K-beauty favorite Missha makes this best-selling "sun milk," a two-in-one sunscreen and essence with a milky (not lotion-y) texture. While lotions tend to be on the thicker, greasier side, this one is incredibly lightweight and leaves behind no white cast, sticky residue, or shine. Good for all skin types — from oily and acne-prone to dry and sensitive — this hypoallergenic essence has a faint scent and is mildly hydrating. As a plus, it's waterproof, though its main downside is its price — especially considering the bottle's small size.
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