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  4. 9 Best Korean Sunscreens for Oily Skin of 2023 (Aesthetician-Reviewed)
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9 Best Korean Sunscreens for Oily Skin of 2023 (Aesthetician-Reviewed)

Frustrated with all the sunscreens with rich consistency that won't sink into your skin and make your skin feel even oilier than it already is? Consider using a Korean sunscreen! Most have a lightweight consistency that can absorb quickly into your skin and provide optimal protection against the sun. Besides, some even contain ingredients that can help regulate oil production to balance out your oily skin and leave it feeling much more refreshed.


After combing the internet, we've found 9 Korean sunscreens that can work like a charm for your oily skin. One of them is COSRX's Aloe Soothing Sun Cream, which is formulated with aloe leaf extract to soothe and lightly moisturize the skin. There are other products that are equally effective on our list, so give them a look as well!  And check out our buying guide and additional tips from aesthetician Devan Jesmer.

Last updated 10/03/2023
Devan Jesmer
Expert
Beauty Content Creator & Licensed Aesthetician
Devan Jesmer

As a beauty content creator & licensed aesthetician, I create content around all things beauty, with my main focus being skincare. Through my industry insight, honest reviews and educational content, my goal is to help my clients and others navigate the constant influx of products and information in the beauty industry, and achieve their skin goals.

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Table of Contents

How to Choose a Korean Sunscreen for Oily Skin

Now, it's time to decide which sunscreen works the best for you. To make the decision process much easier for you, we've compiled various tips regarding the UV protection level of a product, the ingredients that work wonderfully for oily skin, and so on. 

1

Know What UV Filters are Common in Korean Sunscreens

Know What UV Filters are Common in Korean Sunscreens

Similar to American sunscreens, Korean ones are crafted with either chemical or mineral filters. Some chemical blockers such as oxybenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene that are commonly found in American products are also used in some Korean counterparts. 


Without a doubt, those UV filters are highly effective and can help absorb the UV rays before they can penetrate your skin. But unfortunately, those chemical filters might cause skin irritation, particularly to those who have sensitive skin or are dealing with skin problems like rosacea, eczema, or melasma.


If you fall into those categories, be extra careful! Or you can switch to other chemical UV filters like tinosorb and mexoryl, which are frequently used in Korean products but not American ones. But once you know them, you'll understand why Korean beauty fanatics rave about them.


While most chemical filters can protect your skin from either UVA or UVB rays, those two can shield your skin against both types of rays. Tinosorb in particular won't degrade under sunlight and actually helps stabilize other UV blockers.


Meanwhile, mexoryl can help prevent premature skin aging to keep your skin completely free from wrinkles and fine lines. Importantly, both kinds are not absorbed through the skin and haven't been associated with any health consequences.


Many Korean sunscreens are also formulated with common mineral blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They create a physical barrier on the skin to reflect all the sun rays.


One disadvantage of these mineral filers is that they tend to leave behind a white cast. Nevertheless, they are absolutely gentle on the skin and can take effect almost immediately.

Devan Jesmer
Beauty Content Creator & Licensed AestheticianDevan Jesmer

Filters that are commonly used in Korean sunscreens are Tinosorb, Mexoryl, Octinoxate, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, Octisalate, and Homosalate. These are all chemical filters, but you can also find zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in Korean sunscreens, which are mineral filters. 


Many sunscreens actually also combine both mineral and physical filters. What is most important, is actually the UVA and UVB rating on the sunscreen.

2

Read the PA Ratings, Which Indicate the UVA Protection Level

Read the PA Ratings, Which Indicate the UVA Protection Level

When looking at the packaging of your sunscreen, you'll see confusing stuff like "PA++++" and "PA+++". So what's the deal with that? Basically, these PA ratings measure how well a sunscreen can protect your skin from UVA rays which have been reported to cause premature aging and even skin cancer. 


As a rule of thumb, the more plus signs, the stronger your sunscreen is against UVA rays. And there are four different levels: PA+ means that your sunscreen provides some UVA protection, PA++ indicates moderate protection, PA+++ is high protection, and PA++++ show extremely high protection. 


It's recommended that you choose a sunscreen with at least PA+++ for optimal protection against UVA rays. 

Devan Jesmer
Beauty Content Creator & Licensed AestheticianDevan Jesmer

The PA rating system was created by the Japanese to measure the level of UVA protection but is now widely used in Asia and in other western markets. UVA rays cause ageing and cancer, so a high UVA rating is important. 


The highest rating is PA++++, while you can expect moderate UVA protection with a PA++ rating. This ranking is based on the Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) reaction reading at two to four hours of sun exposure. The more plus signs the higher the protection grade.

3

Check How Strong Your Sunscreen is Against UVB Rays With SPF

Check How Strong Your Sunscreen is Against UVB Rays With SPF

You are probably familiar with SPF (Sun Protection Factor), a system that is commonly used in American sunscreens to denote how effectively a sunscreen can fight off UVB rays. Similarly, Korean sunscreens use SPF number to demonstrate the UVB protection level as well. So why is shielding your skin against UVB rays crucial? 


According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UVB rays can lead to sunburn, damage to your cellular DNA, and might even cause skin cancer. So it's highly important that you pick a product with the right SPF level. SPF levels range widely from 15 up to 100. 


And Korean sunscreens are often equipped with SPF50, which can block approximately 98 percent of UVB rays and is great for extended outdoor activities. 


But bear in mind that no matter how high the SPF number is, no sunscreens can shield your skin completely from UVB rays. 


So if you're looking for more protection, make sure to wear sun-protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses. Re-apply your sunscreen every two hours as well, since the effect might disappear then.



And for those who tend to sweat a lot or often do intense activities such as swimming and running, look for a water-resistant product since sunscreens can be washed off easily with sweat and water. But always keep in mind to re-apply!

Devan Jesmer
Beauty Content Creator & Licensed AestheticianDevan Jesmer

The actual SPF number shown indicates the UVB protection. UVB rays burn the skin and can cause cancer. The higher the SPF number, the higher the UVB protection. When it comes to Korean sunscreens, it is very rare to see an SPF rating below 50. That is because of the incredible filters available, and the advancement of the formulas.

4

Look for Ingredients That Do Wonders for Your Oily Skin

Korean sunscreens are often enriched with many skin-loving ingredients that can help nourish and condition your skin. If you're battling with oily skin and issues such as acne breakouts, check to see if the product contains effective ingredients for your skin condition. 


In this section, we'll provide you with some fantastic ingredients that are commonly found in Korean sunscreens and help with oily skin. 

Find Ingredients That Can Regulate Sebum Production

Find Ingredients That Can Regulate Sebum Production

Sebum is the waxy substance that helps moisturize and protect your skin. Although it's crucial in keeping the skin healthy, excessive sebum might lead to oily skin, clogged pores, and trigger acne breakouts.


If you have oily skin, you might want to look for ingredients such as panthenol and beta-glucan to help you control sebum production. 


They also act as soothing agents to fade away skin imperfections and facilitate the natural healing process of your skin. So if you're struggling with acne scars, these ingredients also do the trick! They can also accelerate collagen production to improve skin elasticity. 


Niacinamide also works wonders for oily skin! Korean sunscreens and beauty products in general often harness the power of this antioxidant to help minimize your pores and reduce the oil level of your skin. In addition, it helps strengthen the skin's protective barrier and brighten your complexion as well.


Peppermint leaf extract is another savior for oily skin. It prevents your pores from being clogged with oil, dirt, and impurities and also controls excessive oil secretion.

Devan Jesmer
Beauty Content Creator & Licensed AestheticianDevan Jesmer

When looking for a sunscreen that helps to regulate sebum production and balance the skin, look for hydrating ingredients. Adding hydrating ingredients such as beta-glucan, glycerin, panthenol, honey, aloe vera, and urea all help to add hydration into the skin, which lessens oil production, keeping your skin hydrated and dewy, but never oily.

Pore-Cleansing Ingredients Can Reduce Excess Oil

Pore-Cleansing Ingredients Can Reduce Excess Oil

Those with oily skin often have large pores and are prone to acne breakouts. So if you're struggling with those issues, try to find ingredients that can thoroughly cleanse and tighten your pores


Some of the effective ingredients that you'll find in Korean sunscreens include chrysanthemum, lime, lemongrass, and apple mint extracts. They are effective astringents and can help reduce enlarged pores while providing antioxidant benefits to target your skin blemishes like fine lines and wrinkles. 


Green tea extract, eucalyptus leaf extract, and stearic acid are some other magical ingredients for your oily skin, as they are loaded with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to clear away stubborn impurities and dead skin cells that are oftentimes the main causes behind clogged pores and breakouts. 

Devan Jesmer
Beauty Content Creator & Licensed AestheticianDevan Jesmer

Pore-cleansing ingredients help to keep pores clear, as it is when excess sebum and debris get trapped in pores that breakouts occur. Niacinamide is fantastic for keeping your barrier strong (and bacteria out!) while reducing the look of pores. 


Other ingredients that act as astringents, which contract the pores, are apple mint and lime and lemon extracts. Lastly, you want to look for anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredients such as green tea extract, honey, and eucalyptus leaf extract to help with current breakouts and to also prevent future breakouts.

5

Make Sure the Consistency is Lightweight and Non-Greasy

Make Sure the Consistency is Lightweight and Non-Greasy

Korean sunscreens often have a lightweight texture that won't weigh you down or add more oil to the skin like their creamy American counterparts. However, just to make sure that a product truly works for your oily skin, check the reviewers' comments to see if it leaves behind any greasy residue or not. 


The safest choice for you would probably be a watery sunscreen that can sink right into the skin. Some Korean products also come in a gel form which might feel somewhat sticky at first. But if they absorb quickly, then you won't have to worry too much! 


Some sunscreens might produce white streaks on the skin. If you have a dark skin tone, try to go for something that don't have a ghosting effect. 

Devan Jesmer
Beauty Content Creator & Licensed AestheticianDevan Jesmer

One of the best things about Korean sunscreens is that they are incredibly lightweight and non-greasy. The key is finding an SPF that is made for more oily or acne-prone skin. These SPFs tend to have more of those hydrating, watery or gel textures that soak into the skin immediately.

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9 Best Korean Sunscreens for Oily Skin

If you're feeling overwhelmed after browsing the Internet, don't stress out. We've narrowed down the most effective sunscreens based on reviews, ingredients, and effectiveness. All of them are formulated differently to help you control sebum production, prevent clogged pores, and so on. So check them out!
Popularity
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Key features
1

COSRX

Aloe Soothing Sun Cream

COSRX  Aloe Soothing Sun Cream 1枚目

Our Top Pick - Lightweight, Soothing, and Smoothly Applies

2

Neogen Dermatology

Day-Light Protection Sunscreen

Neogen Dermatology Day-Light Protection Sunscreen  1枚目

Best Sunscreen With Beta-Glucan to Minimize the Pores

3

Etude House

Sunprise Mild Airy Finish

Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish 1枚目

Best for Nourishing the Skin Without Blocking Your Pores

4

Missha

All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel

Missha All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel  1枚目

Best Gel-Based Sunscreen to Sooth Skin Irritations

5

Missha

All Around Safe Block Waterproof Sun Milk

Missha All Around Safe Block Waterproof Sun Milk 1枚目

Best to Refresh Skin With Natural Antiseptic Cleansing Properties

6

Thank You Farmer

Sun Project Light Sun Essence

Thank You Farmer Sun Project Light Sun Essence  1枚目

Best to Calm Skin and Provide Astringent Benefits

7

Earth's Recipe

Waterful Sun Gel

Earth's Recipe Waterful Sun Gel 1枚目

Best for Quick Absorption and Strengthening Your Skin's Elasticity

8

Makep:rem

Daily Sun Fluid SPF 50+

Makep:rem Daily Sun Fluid SPF 50+ 1枚目

Best for All-Over Body Care and Protection

9

Dr.Jart+

Every Sun Day Sun Fluid

Dr.Jart+ Every Sun Day Sun Fluid  1枚目

Best for Regulating Sebum Production

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream

Aloe Soothing Sun Cream Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$16.12
Reference price
$16.12

Our Top Pick - Lightweight, Soothing, and Smoothly Applies

COSRX's Aloe Soothing Sun Cream isn't greasy when applied to the skin and is so light, it feels like you're simply using your daily facial moisturizer with the benefit of additional sun protection. The key ingredient, aloe lead extract, helps to soothe skin. 


Aloe is known to have other benefits, treating superficial acne, sunburns, and cuts. Since it absorbs easily, it's great for oily skin, too. Plus, it'll add much-needed moisture.


Like most skincare products, this isn't a one-item-fits-all option. Some reviewers do mention that it leaves a glow on the face or caused them to break out. It also does go on a little oily at first, but eventually absorbs into the skin to leave it feeling lightly hydrated; some also say it may be best for winter use on oily skin.


Positive reviewers say that it doesn't leave a white cast even on darker skin tones, and it's good for both oily and dry skin. They find it comfortable and non-heavy to use, say it goes well under makeup, and it works on sensitive skin, too. Use it as a replacement for moisturizer rather than layering another lotion on top.

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No.2

Neogen DermatologyDay-Light Protection Sunscreen

Reference price
$30.00

Best Sunscreen With Beta-Glucan to Minimize the Pores

If you're struggling with large pores, this sunscreen might be of help! It's jam-packed with botanicals that possess powerful antioxidant properties such as rose extract, blueberry extract, and particularly vitamin E derivatives to promote collagen production and improve your skin elasticity. 


Those super-ingredients can further help blur away your skin imperfections such as wrinkles, fine lines, unwanted freckles, or acne scars. Another key ingredient of this sunscreen is beta-glucan, which can minimize pores, soothe skin irritation, and deliver needed moisture for glowing and healthy skin. 


A few buyers noted that the product was formulated with chemical filters, so those with highly sensitive skin might want to take caution!


For various reviewers, this sunscreen was a holy grail product that helped rejuvenate their skin and keep it moisturized while not causing any breakouts or skin irritations. The consistency was another selling point for others, as it didn't feel tacky and actually absorbed quickly into the skin. Plus, it layered wonderfully under makeup. 

No.3

Etude HouseSunprise Mild Airy Finish

Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$12.95
Reference price
$12.95

Best for Nourishing the Skin Without Blocking Your Pores

This lightweight sunscreen is crafted without any harsh chemical UV filters and relies on zinc oxide, a mineral filter that is gentle on the skin and can effectively reflect both UVA and UVB rays. On top of that, the formula features various antioxidant-rich botanicals such as sunflower seed oil, centella extract, and mistletoe extract. 


Those skin-loving ingredients can help strengthen your skin's protective barrier and deter the damaging effects of free radicals. The addition of aloe vera and hyaluronic acid further supplies your skin with needed moisture without blocking your pores


Many buyers, particularly those with oily skin, were absolutely smitten with the lightweight consistency of this product, saying it didn't leave behind much white cast or make their skin look shiny. They further added that this sunscreen didn't cause breakouts, but some people found it to be a little bit drying. 


Nonetheless, various reviewers still highly recommended this sunscreen since it worked well under makeup and truly helped control sebum

No.4

MisshaAll Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel

All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel  Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$26.00
Reference price
$26.00

Best Gel-Based Sunscreen to Sooth Skin Irritations

If you're struggling with skin irritations, this product will come to your rescue. Formulated with soothing botanicals such as chrysanthemum extract and green tea extract, this sunscreen can help calm redness and swelling, accelerate the natural healing process of your skin, and neutralize free radical damage.


Those ingredients do wonders for oily skin as well! While chrysanthemum extract acts as an astringent to tighten pores and regulate sebum production, green tea extract helps exfoliate and clear out all the stubborn blackheads, dead skin cells, and the like to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.


A few buyers mentioned that the product had a slight floral scent. But those with sensitive skin shared that they didn't have any problem with that. 


Besides, according to many reviewers, this sunscreen was a must-have for everyday use. It's lightweight, absorbed quickly into the skin, and importantly, didn't turn their skin into a greasy mess. After using the product most people noticed a great improvement in their skin condition. It felt refreshed and silky-smooth. 

No.5

MisshaAll Around Safe Block Waterproof Sun Milk

Reference price
$11.50

Best to Refresh Skin With Natural Antiseptic Cleansing Properties

Eucalyptus extract is a wonderful ingredient is packed with antiseptic and antibacterial properties to slough away the impurities that lead to acne breakouts. It also helps control oil production, tighten the skin, diminish wrinkles, and reduce dark spots to leave your skin feeling refreshed afterward. It's also waterproof!

The Amazon listing has conflicting information about the ingredients, so if you have sensitive skin or that's really important to you, you may want to order from the official site instead.


This product did the trick for various reviewers; it had a milky and watery consistency that felt non-greasy on the skin and actually left a matte finish. Some people did notice that it induced some white streaks but further added that they disappeared once rubbed thoroughly. 


On another note, various buyers shared that this sunscreen worked fantastically as a base for makeup. They were also delighted to see that their skin felt more silky-smooth and looked more radiant after using this product. 

No.6

Thank You FarmerSun Project Light Sun Essence

Sun Project Light Sun Essence  Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$23.00
Reference price
$23.00

Best to Calm Skin and Provide Astringent Benefits

Enriched with various calming and moisturizing ingredients such as soybean lipids and aloe vera, this sunscreen can help you nourish your skin and prevent inflammation. 


Not to mention, this product boasts lotus flower extract, a fantastic ingredient that can help soothe skin irritation, melt away impurities, and improve the skin's complexion. It contains a high amount of tannins that work as an astringent to minimize your pores and reduce excess oil on your skin. 


Some buyers warned that the product contained a scent that might be overbearing for those with fragrance sensitivity. On the other hand, many others were head over heels with the product, mentioning it kept their skin feeling nourished and refreshed throughout the day. 


Plus, it didn't have any ghosting effect and didn't clog pores or make their skin feel greasy at all. The smooth consistency also made it easy to apply. 

No.7

Earth's RecipeWaterful Sun Gel

Reference price
$25.00

Best for Quick Absorption and Strengthening Your Skin's Elasticity

This sunscreen is imbued with sparkling, carbonated mineral water to provide minerals for healthy skin while moisturizing and strengthening the skin's elastin cells. The serum-like texture absorbs quickly so you're left with a clean, non-greasy feeling.


This product was like heaven in a bottle for many reviewers. The consistency of this product was what made it special. It's gel-like, non-sticky, and glides seamlessly on the skin without pilling.


Others also loved that this sunscreen delivered a healthy glow to the skin, and didn't lead to acne breakouts. 

No.8

Makep:remDaily Sun Fluid SPF 50+

Daily Sun Fluid SPF 50+ Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$29.99
Reference price
$29.99

Best for All-Over Body Care and Protection

Proven through dermatological testing to be safe on most skin types, including oily skin, this large bottle of sunscreen can protect your face and your body from harmful sun rays. It's formulated with both mineral-based and chemical-based UV blocking ingredients to provide you a non-irritating, refreshing finish.


Some other notable ingredients include fig fruit extract, moringa seeds, sunflower seed oil, and black currant seed oil. Fig fruit extra, in particular, is known for helping skin retain water and reduce the production of sebum, which makes it great for oily skin. Many of the other ingredients help tighten pores, reduce inflammation, and have anti-aging effects.


A couple of reviewers note that the sunscreen can be drying on the skin and does leave a white cast, especially on darker skin tones. It also leaves you with a slightly dewy look. On the other hand, happy reviewers loved how it spreads easily, is light and thin, absorbs fully, and works well under makeup.

No.9

Dr.Jart+Every Sun Day Sun Fluid

Reference price
$42.00

Best for Regulating Sebum Production

This sunscreen boasts peppermint leaf extract, which is often regarded as the hero for oily skin. This powerful ingredient can help regulate the secretion of excess sebum and prevent your pores from clogging. 


Cypress water and seaweed extract are some other highlighted ingredients that help cleanse the skin thoroughly, deliver long-lasting moisture, and soothe skin irritation. Another plus point: this sunscreen is dermatologist-tested and suitable even for sensitive skin! 


Some buyers noted that the sunscreen made their eyes water or burn when they applied it close to them. However, the lightweight consistency of this sunscreen got people truly excited. It penetrated quickly into the skin without producing any white cast. It didn't trigger acne breakouts and gave their skin a dewy, healthy look. 

Compare the Best 3 Korean Sunscreens for Oily Skin

Devan Jesmer's Tips on Applying Sunscreen

Devan Jesmer's Tips on Applying Sunscreen

You need to apply 1/4 a teaspoon for the face and ears and another 1/4 a teaspoon for your neck. A good trick is using about three finger lengths of SPF, which equates to about 1/4 a teaspoon. Reapplying at least two times throughout the day is important, and if you are outside actively in the sun or in the water, every 90 minutes to two hours is essential.


Even if you're staying indoors all day, UVA rays still penetrate through windows so its a good practice and a good habit to apply SPF every day. Think about a quick walk outside to get your mail. All of those moments add up over time for cumulative sun damage.

Take Care of Your Oily Skin With These Beauty Products

Choosing beauty products for oily skin is not easy, since you'll have to make sure that they're lightweight, fast-absorbing, and won't clog your pores or turn your skin into a greasy mess. If you don't know which product fits the bill, we have some suggestions for you!

Top 5 Korean Sunscreens For Oily Skin

No. 1: COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream

No. 2: Neogen DermatologyDay-Light Protection Sunscreen

No. 3: Etude HouseSunprise Mild Airy Finish

No. 4: MisshaAll Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel

No. 5: MisshaAll Around Safe Block Waterproof Sun Milk

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The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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