Face Sunscreen Guide 2022 Part 3 Korean Sunscreens

Face Sunscreen Guide 2022, Part 3: Korean sunscreens

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Intro
At a glance

My face sunscreens 2021 guide, third and last part: I tell you all about my Korean sunscreens’ tests!

You’ve been waiting for it. Here it is: my third and last part of my Face Sunscreen Guide 2022, which this time is dedicated to Korean sunscreens, my favorites! This year, as usual, I tested a lot of them, and I’m sharing all my discoveries with you. Here we go! 😃

I remind you that the two previous parts are also available, and that they were about European sunscreens for the first, and Japanese sunscreens for the second one 🙂

If you follow my work, it won’t be a surprise for you, I have a thing for Korean sunscreens. For me, especially for daily protection, they’re still the most pleasant to wear. Their super lightweight textures are extremely comfortable to wear on a daily basis and usually barely noticeable under makeup.

And if, like me, you also appreciate mineral sunscreens, today is your day, this is your article. Half of my selection is dedicated to them 😂😂😂

I really like them for their mattifying effect, but not only! Korean mineral sunscreens usually have super lightweight textures. The white cast is rather minimal (unless they are labeled as “tone-up” because in that case, the whitening effect is intended). They’re also much less drying than traditional mineral sunscreens. Which is why I’m always trying so many of them.

One detail I have to mention, though! With the pandemic, a lot of Korean people have adopted the “foundation-free” trend, which means that they stopped wearing foundation because of the mask. So, in order to still apply some kind of correction on their skin but without pigment, many turned to mineral sunscreens, especially the “tone-up” ones. These have a brightening effect on the complexion, or even a whitening effect, and are considered as complexion correctors. Some of them work well under makeup, but in general, the ones I tried are a little too noticeable on the skin for my taste to be pretty under makeup. They feel like products that can be worn alone, without makeup, if you know what I mean… Clearly, these tone-up sunscreens are not always my favorites. But it’s an option that’s out there and very popular in the land of the morning calm 😉.

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I love to alternate between mineral and chemical sunscreens on a daily basis, as I find mineral sunscreens to be gentler on my skin, especially when you use a sunscreen every day, all year round, like me.

But I also really like Korean chemical sunscreens, which are usually super hydrating without being heavy or greasy. And here again, you can also find wonderful textures that you can’t find elsewhere. How about a sunscreen gel serum which looks like a granita (imagine an exquisite Italian slushy)? Well, guess what, this year I have two for you to choose from 😆.

Note:
Just so you know, Korean sunscreens are released pretty late in the year, which makes it pretty difficult for me to publish this article early, I’m not going to lie. This explains, for example, why I publish this article at the beginning of July and not before.
Another inconvenience is that some products I’m talking about are so new that they are not yet available in the most famous Korean e-shops, like YesStyle or Stylevana.
Personally, I often order from Beauty Box Korea (I have linked all the products available on this e-shop in my reviews below). If you shop through this website, register in their (free) reward program, and use the code BBKLOVEBONNIE, you’ll get 8% discount on your order. That’s always a bonus!
The site ships internationally, so it can be a convenient option for many of you (as for customs fees, delivery times etc., you’ll have to ask them directly, I guess it depends on the country you live in).
And while we’re at it, I also have a code for Olive Young, which is BONNIE100 and gives you 5% off your order 😉.

Another note:
I didn’t feel like reviewing the reformulated Purito sunscreen, nor the Klairs 2022 version. I liked the formulas of the old versions (the ones that didn’t have the stated protection on their packaging, I talked about the whole story last year), but I didn’t really like the way these brands handled the crisis (more info here). And then, I figured there would be plenty of reviews about these two products online, so I figured I might as well talk about something else, that you won’t see everywhere 🙂.

Last reminder, if you want to know more about how I choose my sunscreen products, my skin type, my preferences and my product expectations, I highly suggest you read the paragraph called “How I choose my sunscreens in 2022” in my first Face Sunscreen Guide 2022 (it will allow you to better understand my product choice criteria and compare them to yours). But in short, if you’re a fan of very nourishing and glowy sunscreens, my selection may not be a perfect match for you 😉

So this year, I’m introducing you to 14 Korean sunscreens: 7 mineral, 6 chemical and 1 hybrid, with both mineral and chemical filters. As you can see, I tried to balance it out as best as I could 😉.

I prefer to warn you, this third article is quite long. If you prefer, you can go directly to the product you are interested in from the “Jump To” menu at the top of the page (the red ‘Jump to’ box at the beginning of the article on desktop, and in the top menu bar, the three dots on mobile) 😉.

Face Sunscreen Guide 2021, Part 3: Korean sunscreens Skincare Face Sunscreen Guide 2021, Part 3: Korean sunscreens I know this last part of my 2021 Face Sunscreens Guide is highly anticipated, and for good reason. Here, we’re South Korea and K-Beauty lovers! I kept you waiting, I know, but I promise, it was worth it: here are the 14 (yes, 14!) Korean sunscreen products I tried this year 😍 Read more

100% mineral sunscreens:

My favourites at the moment, for summer, because they usually leave a lovely matter finish than the chemical filter-based sunscreens, and they’re very comfortable to wear every day in my experience!

Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Natural Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++

∎ Price:
Between $16 and $28 for 50 ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Kolmar Korea.

∎ Texture:
A very watery, light and fresh fluid cream that is quickly absorbed but leaves the skin feeling comfortable, hydrated and smoothed. There is a pore blurring effect which is pretty cool!

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc oxide: mineral filter for UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Water, Zinc Oxide, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Propanediol, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Isododecane, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Caprylyl Methicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Lauryl Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Glyceryl Caprylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Betaine, Inositol, Panthenol.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, niacinamide and vitamin E.

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
Niacinamide, which is also interesting for the brightening and anti-aging effect, anti-aging adenosine, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and soothing panthenol.

∎ White cast?
Really light on me, but my skin is fair. On me, when I massage it in, it disappears and becomes almost transparent. But it’s a mineral sunscreen; on darker skin tones, it might show up more than on my fair skin.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, on the contrary, it’s soothing.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes, it has a nice velvety effect on the skin and it helps to regulate the excess sebum during the day.

∎ Drying?
No, on the contrary, I find it rather hydrating, which is really noteworthy knowing that it’s also mattifying.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a great makeup base. It helps to blur pores and smooth the skin. And since it’s hydrating, it doesn’t emphasize dry skin areas. Actually, it’s also super pretty if you don’t wear makeup, by the way!

∎ Would I repurchase?
Already done! I discovered it several months ago, and I’ve already emptied a whole tube. I love it! It’s super lightweight, pleasant to wear (you can barely feel it on the skin), it makes the skin look pretty with its smoothing/pore-blurring effect, it gently mattifies without drying the skin, it’s soothing, it doesn’t contain any alcohol or fragrance… In short, it’s perfect for me!
The brand recently changed its packaging, so it doesn’t look the same as in my photos, but the formula is still the same. My review still stands 😉.

∎ Shop this product:

Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Natural Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++

Innisfree Mild Cica-Sunscreen Tone-Up SPF50+ PA++++

∎ Price:
Between $21 and $28 for 50 ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Kolmar Korea.

∎ Texture:
A very watery fluid, quite light and fresh, which is quickly absorbed but leaves the skin comfortable and hydrated.

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide (nano and non-nano): mineral filter for UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Water, Zinc Oxide, Cyclohexasiloxane, Propanediol, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Isododecane, Dipropylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Caprylyl Methicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Lauryl Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chromium Oxide Greens, Mica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Madecassoside, Allantoin, Glycerin, Panthenol, Asiaticoside, Madecassic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Asiatic Acid, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, quite a lot: niacinamide, Centella Asiatica, Houttuynia Cordata, vitamin E, purslane.

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
Niacinamide for radiance and the anti-aging effect; allantoin, panthenol, and Centella Asiatica for soothing, glycerin and hyaluronic acid for hydration.

∎ White cast?
It’s a tone-up sunscreen, so there is a slight white cast. But I find the white cast rather light, I expected it to be far worse!

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, on the contrary, it is very soothing.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes, it has a nice velvety effect on the skin and it helps regulate the excess shine during the day.

∎ Drying?
No, on the contrary, I find it rather hydrating.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s rather a good makeup base. At the end of the day, it can emphasize a little, the drier areas of the skin but it remains quite subtle.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Yes, why not! It’s a pleasant sunscreen to wear, very soothing and comfortable. It’s almost a skincare/sunscreen product with all the skincare ingredients in it; I love using it when my skin is a bit sensitized. I find it helps to soothe it nicely.
It has a nice velvety feel to it, which I like in the summer. It accentuates dry areas a bit by the end of the day, but nothing dramatic. It’s also a bit whitening, but on my fair skin, it remains quite mild.

∎ Shop this product:

Innisfree Mild Cica-Sunscreen Tone-Up SPF50+ PA++++

Round Lab Birch Juice Moisturizing Mild-Up Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++

∎ Price:
Between $22 and $28 for 50 ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Kolmar Korea.

∎ Texture:
A fluid, light and fresh cream, which is quickly absorbed but leaves the skin comfortable.

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide: mineral filter for UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Water, Zinc Oxide, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Propanediol, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Isododecane, Caprylyl Methicone, Lauryl Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Methyl Trimethicone, Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract (1,045ppm), Cryptomeria Japonica Leaf Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Glyceryl Glucoside, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Artemisia Annua Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Pinus Sylvestris Leaf Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Lauryl Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes, a very light and aromatic scent, which you can barely smell and quickly fades away. It indeed contains essential oil of chamomile, which is also a soothing ingredient.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, vitamin C and vitamin E, and pine extract.

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
Hydrating hyaluronic acid and glycerin, calming artemisia, soothing chamomile essential oil, soothing and brightening ferments.

∎ White cast?
A little. On me, I have to massage it a bit to make it go away.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, on the contrary, it’s rather soothing.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes, it has a nice velvety finish and helps to keep the skin matte during the day.

∎ Drying?
So it’s not drying, but it can tend to emphasize skin’s dry areas.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
I find it a little heavy on the skin; it shows a bit under makeup. It’s not the smoothest I’ve tested.

∎ Would I repurchase?
I’m a bit conflicted. I really like the formula, very rich in skincare ingredients, it’s a nice sunscreen to use, suitable for sensitive skin (with its mineral filter) and with a fresh and lightweight but comfortable texture. But I’m not a fan of the fact that it’s a bit visible on the skin when you wear makeup over it. If you wear it alone, though, it’s very nice. Well, at least on fair skin, because otherwise, it still has a bit of a white cast that might show up on darker skin tones.

∎ Shop this product:

Round Lab Birch Juice Moisturizing Mild-Up Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++

Missha All Around Safe Block Sun Cotton SPF50+ PA++++

∎ Price:
Between $10 and $12 for 50 ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Kolmar Korea.

∎ Texture:
A rather light fluid cream, which is quickly absorbed but still leaves the skin comfortable and moisturized.

∎ UV filters:
– Titanium Dioxide: mineral filter for UVA and UVB rays.
– Zinc Oxide: mineral filter for UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Water, zinc oxide, cyclohexasiloxane, butyloctyl salicylate, propanediol, propylheptyl caprylate, polyglyceryl-3 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, dicaprylyl carbonate, isododecane, caprylyl methicone, diethylhexyl 2,6-naphithalate, methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, disteardimonium hectorite, magnesium sulfate, titanium dioxide, triethoxycaprylylsilane, 1,2-hexanediol, polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate, polymethylsilsesquioxane, lauryl polyglyceryl-3 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, fragrance (parfum), glyceryl caprylate, caprylyl glycol, glycerin, ethylhexylglycerin, dipropylene glycol, panthenol, hydrogenated lecithin, cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, tocopherol, butylene glycol, ceramide NP, allantoin, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf extract.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes, and it’s not too unpleasant, but I admit that this scent is not my favorite. It’s a bit too artificial and sweet for my liking.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, vitamin E.

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
Hydrating glycerin, nourishing and protective ceramides, soothing allantoin and panthenol, and purifying tea tree.

∎ White cast?
There is a slight one, but it barely shows on me after I massage it a bit.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, it’s quite soothing, on the contrary.

∎ Mattifying?
The finish is semi-matte, and it doesn’t make me look shiny more than usual.

∎ Drying?
No, on the contrary, I find it quite hydrating.

∎ How does it look with makeup:
The makeup applies well over it but it tends to emphasize the pores and the drier areas a bit at the end of the day.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Why not? Frankly, for the price, it’s not bad at all! The formula is good, with interesting skincare ingredients. The white cast is rather minimal. Well, I would have skipped the fragrance personally. And it emphasizes pores and dry areas a bit at the end of the day, it’s true. But really, for the price, it’s still a pretty good option!

∎ Shop this product:

Missha All Around Safe Block Sun Cotton SPF50+ PA++++

Nature Republic Green Derma Mild Cica Safety 100 Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++

∎ Price:
Between $12 and $18 for 50 ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Kolmar Korea.

∎ Texture:
A rather lightweight cream, which is quickly absorbed but still leaves the skin comfortable and hydrated.

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide: mineral filter for UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Water, Zinc Oxide, Cyclohexasiloxane, Propanediol, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Isododecane, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Caprylyl Methicone, Niacinamide, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Propolis Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Lauryl Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Glyceryl Caprylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Tocopherol, Butylene Glycol, Ceramide NP, Madecassoside, Glycerin, Madecassic Acid, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Phytosphingosine.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, niacinamide, Centella Asiatica, and vitamin E.

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
Niacinamide for the brightening and anti-aging effect, soothing Centella Asiatica, anti-aging adenosine, hydrating glycerine, nourishing and repairing ceramides, phytosphingosine and moringa seed oil.

∎ White cast?
It’s very minimal. If I massage it a bit, you can barely see it on my fair skin.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, it’s quite soothing.

∎ Mattifying?
The finish is semi-matte, and it doesn’t make me look shiny more than usual..

∎ Drying?
No, I find it hydrating.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base, the makeup applies well over it and it’s barely noticeable under makeup.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Why not! It’s a great formula, rich in soothing, hydrating, anti-aging and antioxidant skincare ingredients. The texture is really nice to wear. It’s very lightweight on the skin, and with makeup.
It’s also quite affordable, it’s a good option!

∎ Shop this product:

Nature Republic Green Derma Mild Cica Safety 100 Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++

About Me Be Clean Relief Sun SPF50+ PA++++

∎ Price:
Between $22 and $32 for 50 ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Kolmar Korea.

∎ Texture:
A light cream that needs to be massaged in a little, but absorbs fairly quickly to melt into the skin and leaves the skin feeling comfortable.

∎ UV filters:
– Titanium Dioxide: mineral filter for UVA and UVB rays.
– Zinc Oxide: mineral filter for UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Water, Cyclohexasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, Dicaprylyl Ether, Caprylyl Methicone, Propanediol, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/​Polyhydroxystearate/​Sebacate, Panthenol, Isododecane, Moringa Oleifera Seed Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Hydroxide, Nylon-12, Lauryl Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol, Glycerine, Maltodextrin, Ceramide NP, Phytosphingosine.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
It contains rosemary essential oil, which is also a soothing ingredient and which my skin loves (and I also really like its fresh, aromatic scent).

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, Centella Asiatica, rice extract, vitamin E, and rosemary essential oil.

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
Ceramides, phytosphingosine, and moringa seed oil for comfort, soothing Centella Asiatica and panthenol, moisturizing glycerin.

∎ White cast?
At first, there is a very slight white cast, but after a few seconds of massage, the cream melts into the skin and the white cast fades and almost disappears, and is barely visible on my fair skin.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, on the contrary, it is soothing.

∎ Mattifying?
Yes, it is. The finish is velvety, and it keeps the skin matte during the day.

∎ Drying?
No, I find it quite hydrating.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It is a good makeup base; it leaves the skin matte and improves the staying power of makeup. You don’t feel it too much on the skin.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Definitely! I really like the formula, rich in soothing, moisturizing, anti-aging and anti-oxidant skincare ingredients. This formula actually reminds me a lot of the Nature Republic sunscreen above, there are quite a few similarities! But the texture is a bit more matte, and it helps to keep my skin more matte during the day, which I don’t hate, on the contrary.
It’s also great to use under makeup; unnoticeable and it helps my makeup last longer, which is always a good thing, especially in this season. And it smells like rosemary, a scent I adore 😉

∎ Shop this product:

About Me Be Clean Relief Sun SPF50+ PA++++

Papa Recipe Tea Tree Control Mild Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++ *

(*: gifted by the brand)

∎ Price:
Between $25 and $35 for 50 ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Kolmar Korea.

∎ Texture:
A fluid and fresh cream that needs to be massaged a little to be absorbed, but that leaves the skin comfortable and hydrated.

∎ UV filters:
– Zinc Oxide: mineral filter for UVA and UVB rays.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Purified Water, Zinc Oxide, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Propanediol, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Isododecane, Caprylyl Methicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, ​Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Triethoxycaprylyl Silane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Silica, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Lauryl Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Glyceryl Caprylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexyl-Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Tea Tree Leaf Water (19Ppm), Centella Asiatica Extract, Octyldodecanol, Butylene Glycol, Echium ​Plantagineum Seed Oil, Balloon Tendril Flower/​Leaf/​Vine Extract, Sunflower Seed Oil ​Unsaponifiables.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, Centella Asiatica, and vitamin E.

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
Tea tree leaf for the purifying and soothing effect, soothing and purifying Centella Asiatica, hydrating hyaluronic acid and sunflower seed oil for comfort.

∎ White cast?
A little. On my fair skin, it eventually goes away, but I have to massage a little to make it disappear.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, on the contrary, it is soothing.

∎ Mattifying?
The finish is rather semi-matte to begin with, but it helps to limit the amount of shine during the day.

∎ Drying?
No, on the contrary, I find it rather hydrating and comfortable.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base; it helps complexion makeup to last longer throughout the day, which is always a plus with my combination skin.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Why not? I like the formula, very much focused on comfort and soothing, it’s a nice sunscreen to use, suitable for sensitive and/or acne-prone skin and with a cooling yet comfortable texture.
It works well with makeup, and does not make me look more shiny than usual. It even helps to limit shine, in my experience. Be aware if you don’t have fair skin though, it will probably give you a little white cast.
Also, it’s a bit complicated to find if you don’t live in Korea, as it has just been released. I was able to test it because the brand gifted it to me, which helps 😉

∎ Shop this product:

Papa Recipe Tea Tree Control Mild Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++

100% chemical sunscreens:

The textures of chemical sunscreens are generally very pleasant, lightweight, and imperceptible on the skin. Most of them are completely transparent, which is very nice! Some of them have a glowy finish, so be careful if your skin tends to look shiny during the day. If you have a dry skin though, you’ll probably really love them! 🙂

Beauty Of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotics SPF50+ PA++++

∎ Price:
Between $10 and $20 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Kolmar Korea.

∎ Texture:
A fresh and melting gel-cream that leaves the skin fresh and hydrated.

∎ UV filters:
– Uvinul A Plus: chemical filter for UVA.
– Uvinul T 150: chemical filter for UVB.
– Tinosorb S: chemical filter for UVA and UVB.
– Uvasorb HEB: chemical filter for UVA and UVB.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Water, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract (30%), Dibutyl Adipate, Propanediol, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Niacinamide, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol, Coco-Caprylate/​Caprate, Caprylyl Methicone, Diethylhexyl Butamido Triazone, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lactobacillus/​Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Bacillus/​Soybean Ferment Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera (Kelp) Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Monascus/​Rice Ferment, Pentylene Glycol, Behenyl Alcohol, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Decyl Glucoside, Tromethamine, Carbomer, Acrylates/​C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Lactobacillus/​Rice Ferment, Aspergillus Ferment, Saccharomyces/​Rice Ferment Filtratexylglycerin.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, plenty: niacinamide, vitamin E, ginseng, green tea, fermented rice…

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
The formula is full of them! Hydrating glycerin, anti-aging adenosine, soothing Centella Asiatica, anti-aging and radiance niacinamide, various ferments to soothe and give radiance to the skin, and rice in several forms to soothe and brighten the complexion.

∎ White cast?
No, it’s transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, I find it quite soothing on the contrary.

∎ Mattifying?
It leaves a natural “skin like” finish, and doesn’t especially mattify the skin but doesn’t accentuate my shiny skin areas too much during the day either.

∎ Drying?
No, rather the opposite, it’s hydrating.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base, my foundation applies perfectly well over it. It doesn’t stop the skin from being shiny, though, but it doesn’t make it oilier either.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Probably! It’s a good option, affordable and pretty easy to find (you can find it in some European eshops too).
The texture is lightweight. It reminds me of Bioré Watery Essence but without alcohol and fragrance. If you have normal/combination sensitive and dehydrated skin, you’ll love it. Plus, it’s a completely transparent sunscreen so it’ll suit all skin tones. I’m not a fan of the Beauty Of Joseon brand (which really tends to overstate the hanbang quality of its formulas, to say the least!), but I have to admit that this sunscreen is really good 🙂

∎ Shop this product:

Beauty Of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotics SPF50+ PA++++

Dr.G R.E.D. Blemish Soothing Up Sun SPF50+ PA++++

∎ Price:
Between $25 and $27 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Kolmar Korea.

∎ Texture:
A rather fluid and melting gel-cream, which leaves the skin hydrated and comfortable.

∎ UV filters:
– Mexoryl SX: chemical filter for UVA.
– Uvinul A Plus: chemical filter for UVA.
– Uvinul T 150: chemical filter for UVB.
– Parsol SLX: chemical filter for UVB.
– Tinosorb S: chemical filter for UVA and UVB.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Aqua, Dibutyl Adipate, Propanediol, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid, Niacinamide, Octyldodecanol, Tromethamine, Polyglyceryl-3 Distearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Panthenol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Caprylyl Methicone, Polysilicone-15, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/​Leaf/​Vine Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Artemisia Princeps Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract, Centella Asiatica Flower/​Leaf/​Stem Extract, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Root Extract, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Flower Extract, Nasturtium Officinale Extract, Caesalpinia Spinosa Fruit Extract, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Buddleja Officinalis Flower Extract, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Glyceryl Stearate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Methylpropanediol, Carbomer, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Acrylates/​C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/​VP Copolymer, Adenosine, Butylene Glycol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Polyether-1, Tocopherol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Saccharomyces Ferment, 7-Dehydrocholesterol, Ectoin, Asiaticoside, Madecassoside, Madecassic Acid, Asiatic Acid.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, plenty: maritime pine extract (pycnogenol), Centella Asiatica, niacinamide, vitamin E, Houttuynia Cordata…

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
Sunflower seed oil for comfort, adenosine and red algae extract both anti-aging, Centella Asiatica, soothing artemisia and panthenol, niacinamide for anti-aging and brightening…

∎ White cast?
No, it’s transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, it’s a very soothing formula.

∎ Mattifying?
No, not really. It leaves more of a satin finish.

∎ Drying?
No, rather the opposite, it is well moisturizing, even a little emollient on me.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base, foundation applies perfectly well over it. It doesn’t keep the skin matte, though. I have to powder a little more than usual when I wear it.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Why not? It’s a sunscreen inspired by the famous Dr.G R.E.D. Blemish Clear Soothing Cream that I reviewed a while back and which is a super popular product in Korea. Dr.G is also very well known for their sunscreens. The Dr.G Green Mild Up Sun+ SPF50+ PA++++ (2021 version) (which is the same version this year) is a product that I’ve been loving for a long time, and I’m not the only one! It’s a mineral sunscreen that has always been a top seller in Korea for at least 3-4 years. So it was only logical that the brand would make a product inspired by its two star products!
The Dr.G R.E.D. Blemish Soothing Up Sun SPF50+ PA++++ is therefore a chemical sunscreen, but still very much focused on soothing. I think I’ll probably use it more in winter (in summer in Dubai, it’s complicated for me to use sunscreens with a satin finish). The texture is very nice, and melting, but probably a bit too emollient for my skin type, especially during the hot Dubai season. I also find it super soothing, which is always nice. But if you have normal/combination sensitive and dehydrated skin, this is a sunscreen you’ll love! It’s completely transparent, so it will suit all skin tones. It’s great as a makeup base, but if you have skin that easily gets shiny, don’t forget your mattifying powder 😉

∎ Shop this product:

Dr.G R.E.D. Blemish Soothing Up Sun SPF50+ PA++++

Missha All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun SPF50+ PA++++

∎ Price:
Between $9 and $12 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Kolmar Korea.

∎ Texture:
A fluid gel-cream that absorbs rather quickly, and leaves the skin comfortable and hydrated.

∎ UV filters:
– Avobenzone: chemical filter for UVA.
– Octisalate: chemical filter for UVB.
– Amiloxate: chemical filter for UVB.
– Homosalate: chemical filter for UVB.
– Tinosorb S: chemical filter for UVA and UVB.
– Octocrylene: chemical filter for UVA and UVB.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Water, Homosalate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Dipropylene Glycol, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Silica, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Octocrylene, Bis-PEG/​PPG-20/​5 PEG/​PPG-20/​5 Dimethicone, Methoxy PEG/​PPG-25/​4 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Acrylates/​C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, Fragrance, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Limonia Acidissima Extract, Butylene Glycol, VP/​Hexadecene Copolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Acrylates/​Dimethicone Copolymer, Chrysanthemum Indicum Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Morus Alba Fruit Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Artemisia Princeps Leaf Extract, Diospyros Kaki Leaf Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Centaurea Cyanus ​Flower Water, Thymus ​Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Water, Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Water, Ethanol, Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate, Citronellol, Linalool, Limonene, Alcohol Denat, BHT, BHT, Helichrysum Italicum ​Flower Water, Helichrysum Italicum Flower Water, Benzyl Salicylate, Disodium EDTA, Geraniol, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Disodium EDTA, Glacier Water.

∎ Alcohol?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes, and it’s a bit strong. Not unpleasant, but present.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, green tea, and white mulberry extract.

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
Soothing blueberry, artemisia and thyme.

∎ White cast?
No, it’s transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
Not on me.

∎ Mattifying?
No, not really, and it leaves more of a light satin finish.

∎ Drying?
No, rather the opposite, it’s hydrating.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It is a good base for makeup, the foundation applies perfectly well over it. It doesn’t prevent the skin from getting shiny, however, you must plan to blot with powder if you have combination to oily skin.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Probably not. I bought this sunscreen because it’s the reformulation of a great Missha sunscreen that was top-notch for combination and oily skin, as it was super mattifying. But the brand wanted to reformulate it for a reason that I don’t understand. I might as well tell you right away, the 2022 version has nothing to do with the previous version. It is rather glowy, doesn’t mattify the skin at all and it is fragranced (and not just a bit). In short, I find it hard to understand the reasons for this choice from Missha! Of course, it has the quality of being very affordable, but if you were hoping, like me, for a formula that looks like the previous version, only better, you will probably be disappointed… :/

∎ Shop this product:

Missha All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun SPF50+ PA++++

D’Alba Waterfull+ UV Essence Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++

∎ Price:
Between $25 and $30 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Kolmar Korea.

∎ Texture:
A very fluid and melting cream, which leaves the skin fresh, hydrated and comfortable.

∎ UV filters:
– Uvinul A Plus: chemical filter for UVA.
– Octinoxate: chemical filter for UVB.
– Homosalate: chemical filter for UVB.
– Octisalate: chemical filter for UVB.
– Uvinul T 150: chemical filter for UVB.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Homosalate, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Silica, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Niacinamide, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Methicone, Pentylene Glycol, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Tuber Magnatum Extract, Wine Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Caprylic/Capric/Succinic Triglyceride, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Propanediol, Saccharide Hydrolysate, Octyldodecanol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tromethamine, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Stearoxy Ether, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Tocopherol, Sodium PCA, Glucose, Limonene, Citral.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes, and it’s quite present.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, plenty: niacinamide, Piedmont truffle extract, Centella Asiatica, purslane extract, vitamin E, turmeric, Houttuynia Cordata…

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing and humectant ingredients: Aquaxyl, Sodium PCA, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, and Xylitol; sunflower oil for comfort, anti-aging adenosine, soothing Centella Asiatica, anti-aging and brightening niacinamide…

∎ White cast?
No, it’s transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
Not on me.

∎ Mattifying?
No, not really, it leaves more of a satin finish. That being said, it doesn’t make me look shinier than usual during the day.

∎ Drying?
No, rather the opposite, it’s well hydrating.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a good makeup base, the foundation applies perfectly well over it. It does not prevent the skin from getting shiny during the day, though.

∎ Would I repurchase?
I’m a bit divided. On one hand, I really like the formula, rich in skincare ingredients, and the texture, very fresh and pleasant. It’s a rather glowy product, but it remains subtle and natural. I don’t shine like a disco ball after a few hours. I have a lovely glow, let’s say 😉
But really, I find it too fragrant for my taste. Fortunately, the fragrance fades after a few minutes. I don’t smell it all day long but I admit, I would prefer the formula didn’t contain any fragrance… In short, this is a great option if you don’t mind the scent!

∎ Shop this product:

D’Alba Waterfull+ UV Essence Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++

AHC Safe On Light Sun Serum SPF50+ PA++++ (version 2022)

∎ Price:
Between $35 and $45 for 40ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Cosmax.

∎ Texture:
A super unique texture for a sunscreen: it’s a fresh, melting pink gel that looks like a granita, and contains little capsules that break off when they come in contact with the skin. A very special texture!

∎ UV filters:
– Uvinul A Plus: chemical filter for UVA.
– Uvinul T 150: chemical filter for UVB.
– Parsol SLX: chemical filter for UVB.
– Amiloxate: chemical filter for UVA and UVB.
– Tinosorb S: chemical filter for UVA and UVB.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Water, Dibutyl Adipate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Alcohol, Niacinamide, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Butylene Glycol, Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Peucedanum Graveolens (Dill) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Hibiscus Abelmoschus Extract. Water, Dibutyl Adipate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Ethanol, Niacinamide, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Butylene Glycol, Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Peucedanum Graveolens (Dill) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Hibiscus Abelmoschus Seed Extract, Thymus Serpyllum Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Alpha- Arbutin, Crithmum Maritimum Callus Culture Filtrate, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil, Caesalpinia Spinosa Fruit Extract, Xylitylglucoside, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Extract, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Xylitol, Yeast Ferment Extract, Cichorium Intybus (Chicory) Root Extract, Vanilla Tahitensis Fruit Extract, Orthosiphon Stamineus Extract, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Candida Bombicola/​Glucose/​Methyl Rapeseedate Ferment, Mentha Suaveolens Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Extract, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Calamine, Chlorella Ferment, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Perilla Frutescens Extract, Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Adenium Obesum Leaf Cell Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Bud Extract, Solidago Virgaurea (Goldenrod) Extract, Soluble Collagen, Caprylyl Methicone, Hexyl Laurate, Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate, Polysilicone-15, 1,2-Hexanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Acrylates Crosspolymer-2, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Silica, Dibutyl Lauroyl Glutamide, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Isopropyl Myristate, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Dibutyl Ethylhexanoyl Glutamide, Hydroxyacetophenone, C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Trehalose, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/​VP Copolymer, Adenosine, Propanediol, Allantoin, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Albatrellus Confluens (Mushroom) Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Ascorbic Acid, Madecassoside, Ectoin, Glutathione, Hydroxystearic Acid, Panthenol, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Tranexamic Acid, Palmitoyl Glycine, Ellagic Acid, 4-T-Butylcyclohexanol, Anhydroxylitol, Lactic Acid/​Glycolic Acid Copolymer, Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Acetyl Glutamine, Cerium Oxide, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Ceramide NP, Maltodextrin, Gluconolactone, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Cellulose Gum, Calcium Gluconate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Mica (Ci 77019).

∎ Alcohol?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes, a very light and fresh fragrance. It contains essential oils, so it’s a very subtle aromatic scent.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, several: niacinamide, vitamin C, green tea, ginseng, phenylethyl resorcinol, Centella Asiatica, Alpha Arbutin.

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
This is practically a skincare serum, considering all the ingredients it contains! In addition to all the antioxidants mentioned above (which also have other anti-aging and brightening effects), there are also moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and gluconolactone; soothing like allantoin, yarrow, panthenol; brightening ingredients like tranexamic acid, anti-aging ones like adenosine… In short, it’s a sunscreen/skincare treatment 2 in 1!

∎ White cast?
No, it’s completely transparent.

∎ Irritant? Comedogenic?
Not on me.

∎ Mattifying?
Not really! The texture is lightweight and non-greasy; it gives a plumped and hydrated look to the skin. It has a slight glowy effect, but in a luminous sense, not greasy at all. It doesn’t make me look more shiny than usual, but clearly, if you want a matte finish, this isn’t necessarily the most mattifying sunscreen in my selection.

∎ Drying?
Not at all, it’s quite moisturizing on the contrary.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
Makeup applies perfectly over it, it’s a good makeup base.

∎ Would I repurchase?
So it’s a little embarrassing, but I already told you about this same product last year! This year the packaging changed, and I thought it was also reformulated, but it was not. When I compared this year’s formula with last year’s, I realized that it was exactly the same! Maybe if I knew how to read Korean, I wouldn’t have missed this crucial info😅.
So, I’m going to say the same thing again as last year that this is now one of my favorite Korean sunscreens, with its completely insane texture for a sunscreen, and which completely blew me away when I discovered it a year ago! It’s a fresh gel, which melts on the skin and absorbs quickly, leaving the skin plump and hydrated. If you have dehydrated skin, you will love it! Plus, it’s silly, but a pink texture with little capsules is always super fun! The little capsules contain some UV filters, they are not there for show.
But don’t think it’s a gimmicky product: the formula is really impressive! It’s almost an all-in-one product that will work on hydration, anti-aging and anti-oxidant effect. It’s also a treatment for pigmentation spots and of course a sunscreen! Containing anti-pollution protective ingredients, makes it a perfect city sunscreen. And it’s also water-resistant. If you’re the minimalist type, this is a product that has everything you need in the summer, and it can be your one step routine in the morning, if you want to 🙂.
Last year I mentioned that it could tend to sting my eyes a bit, but I’ve been using it very regularly since last year (this is my third bottle) and I don’t know if I’ve gotten used to it or what, but my eyes don’t react to it anymore. It’s true that it’s not cheap, but it’s so special that I want to forgive it!

∎ Shop this product:

AHC Safe On Light Sun Serum SPF50+ PA++++ (version 2022)

Goodal Green Tangerine Vita-C Dark Spot Care Sun Serum SPF50+ PA++++

∎ Price:
Between $20 and $27 for 50ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Cosmax.

∎ Texture:
A super special texture for a sunscreen: it’s a fresh, melting light yellow gel that looks like a granita (yep, like an exquisite Italian version of a slushy), and contains little capsules that break off when they come in contact with the skin. It’s the same texture as the AHC product above.

∎ UV filters:
– Uvinul A Plus: chemical filter for UVA.
– Amiloxate: chemical filter for UVB.
– Parsol SLX: chemical filter for UVB.
– Uvinul T 150: chemical filter for UVB.
– Tinosorb S: chemical filter for UVA and UVB.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Water, Ethanol, Phenethyl Benzoate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Extract, Dibutyl Adipate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Niacinamide (2%), Silica, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Methylpropanediol, Arbutin, Caprylyl Methicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Xylitol, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Vincetoxicum Atratum Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Hexyl Laurate, Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate, Polysilicone-15, Pentylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Dibutyl Lauroyl Glutamide, C18-21 Alkane, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Dibutyl Ethylhexanoyl Glutamide, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Sodium Acrylates Crosspolymer-2, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Butylene Glycol, C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Hydroxyacetophenone, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tromethamine, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Linalool.

∎ Alcohol?
Yes.

∎ Fragrance?
Yes, a fresh and citrusy scent, very pleasant, and that doesn’t stay!

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, arbutin, a vitamin C derivative, niacinamide, and vitamin E.

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
The brand highlights ingredients that boost the complexion’s radiance and help to fade pigmentation spots: arbutin, niacinamide, a vitamin C derivative derived from tangerine, and licorice.

∎ White cast?
No, it’s transparent.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
Not on me.

∎ Mattifying?
Not really! The texture is light and non-greasy; it gives a plumped and moisturized look to the skin. It has a slight glowy effect but in a radiant way, not greasy at all. I don’t look any shinier than usual, but clearly, if you want a matte result, this isn’t necessarily the best product for you.

∎ Drying?
No, it’s hydrating.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
The makeup applies perfectly over it, it’s a good makeup base.

∎ Would I repurchase?
The AHC sunscreen seen above is such a unique and innovative product that its texture and concept has inspired other brands… And in particular this Goodal sunscreen product!
It’s clearly a similar product, even if the formula is simpler, and mostly focused on the radiance/anti-pigmentation effect, while the AHC is also moisturizing and anti-aging. But texture-wise, it’s almost the same product (and it comes from the same manufacturer, Cosmax). I would say though, that the texture of the Goodal is a little lighter, less silky than the texture of the AHC. It’s a fresh pastel yellow gel, which melts on the skin and absorbs quickly, leaving the skin plump and hydrated. For dehydrated skin, it’s great! As with the AHC, the little capsules you see in its texture contain UV filters.
The difference between the two products is mainly on the price: the Goodal is less expensive for a slightly larger size. I honestly use both with as much pleasure, and it’s a product that I can see myself repurchasing! 🙂

∎ Shop this product:

Goodal Green Tangerine Vita-C Dark Spot Care Sun Serum SPF50+ PA++++

Hybrid/ combo formulas (with both mineral and chemical filters):

The “heavy-duty” formulas. I use them when I want to be sure I’m very well protected, and if I know I’m going to be out in the sun for a bit.

Dr.G Nice Birdie Up Sun SPF50+ PA++++

∎ Price:
Between $25 and $45 for 40ml.

∎ Protection:
SPF 50+, PA++++

∎ Made in:
South Korea.

∎ Manufacturer:
Kolmar Korea

∎ Texture:
A light, rather comfortable cream that absorbs in the skin well.

∎ UV filters:
– Titanium Dioxide: mineral filter for UVA and UVB rays.
– Zinc Oxide: mineral filter for UVA and UVB rays.
– Uvinul A Plus: chemical filter for UVA.
– Uvinul T 150: chemical filter for UVB.
– Tinosorb S: chemical filter for UVA and UVB.

∎ Full ingredients list:
Water, Zinc Oxide, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Dibutyl Adipate, Dipropylene Glycol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Methyl Trimethicone, Caprylyl Methicone, Polyglyceryl-5 Polyricinoleate, Niacinamide, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Titanium Dioxide, Magnesium Sulfate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Glyceryl Caprylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Jojoba Esters, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Octyldodecanol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Polyglycerin-3, Acacia Decurrens Flower Wax, Propanediol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Glycolipids, Ceramide NP, Hydroxystearic Acid, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Glycosphingolipids, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, 7-Dehydrocholesterol, Ethyl Ascorbyl Ether, Ectoin, Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, Hippophae Rhamnoides Water, Butylene Glycol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Caesalpinia Spinosa Fruit Extract, Methylpropanediol, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Squalane, Lactobacillus Ferment, Buddleja Officinalis Flower Extract, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Flower Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Pinus Palustris Leaf Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Backhousia Citriodora Leaf Extract.

∎ Alcohol?
No.

∎ Fragrance?
No.

∎ Antioxidants?
Yes, plenty: maritime pine extract (pycnogenol), rice extract, tomato extract, red algae extract, vitamin C derivative, niacinamide, vitamin E, vitamin C derivative, Houttuynia Cordata, astaxanthin…

∎ Other notable skincare ingredients in the formula:
The formula is packed with skincare ingredients! Hydrating ingredients: glycerin, hyaluronic acid; jojoba and squalane for comfort, ferments to soothe, repairing ceramides, anti-aging adenosine, anti-aging and brightening niacinamide.

∎ White cast?
A slight white cast on my fair skin, but it fades when massaged in. Under makeup, it doesn’t show at all on me. However, it may be more noticeable if you have a darker skin tone than mine.

∎ Irritating? Comedogenic?
No, I find it soothing.

∎ Mattifying?
It leaves a semi-matte effect at first, then becomes quite velvety as it sets, and it stays matte for most of the day.

∎ Drying?
No, it’s pretty comfortable on me.

∎ How does it look with makeup?
It’s a great makeup base if you have combination skin. The makeup applies really well over it and it helps it last longer throughout the day.

∎ Would I repurchase?
Yes, without a doubt, I find it very well done!
You’ll notice that the vast majority of the Korean sunscreens I’ve introduced to you in this article are rather everyday sunscreens, to be used every day under your makeup (or alone if you don’t wear makeup). They know how to disappear, are ultra lightweight and comfortable on the skin. They are city sunscreens, in a word. They are not necessarily super resistant sunscreens in more “extreme” conditions with heat, humidity, sweat, excess sebum etc.
For the Dr.G Nice Birdie Up Sun SPF50+ PA++++, however, it’s different. You should know that right now in Korea, there is a huge “bougie lifestyle” trend, and that is golfing (if you follow Odile Monod on Instagram, you already know that 😉 ). Many Koreans love it and therefore spend all their weekends on the green, working on their swing. Brands have therefore wasted no time in offering them products adapted to this new trendy practice which, depending on the season, can be very hard on the skin. The Dr.G Nice Birdie Up Sun SPF50+ PA++++ is a sunscreen for golfers who want to protect their skin from UV rays, but with a product that is resistant to heat, humidity and excess sebum. The latter can actually damage the protective film of sunscreen if there’s too much of it.
So, as someone who has never played golf in my life and doesn’t really intend to start, I thought this would be a perfect sunscreen for my summer in Dubai! It’s hot as hell, with humidity around 80% right now and my combination skin always look more greasy under these conditions. It’s not a waterproof product though. I remind you that it was designed for golfers. But I don’t care, I have other sunscreens for the rare times I go swimming 😉
And listen, I think it delivers on its promises! The formula is amazing, and full of interesting skincare ingredients. Plus it’s fragrance and alcohol free, which is rare for heavy duty sunscreen formulas, especially with such a light texture! It is as promised super resistant. I tested it several times during my walks outside and my skin remained reasonably matte knowing that it was more than 40 degrees outside with a lot of humidity. I also find it pleasant to wear. You don’t feel it too much on the skin, it remains light and it is great under makeup. For me, it’s my ideal sunscreen when I want something that’s really resistant, but comfortable and also makes my makeup last longer. In short, another win for Dr.G 😉

∎ Shop this product:

Dr.G Nice Birdie Up Sun SPF50+ PA++++

In conclusion:

So, what are my favorites among all these Korean sunscreens?

Honestly, I found a lot of the mineral sunscreens I tried this year to be pretty similar. Most of them were made in the same place (Kolmar Korea) and you can feel it!

If I had to make a choice among the mineral sunscreens, I think that the Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Natural Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++ is one of the ones I enjoyed the most this year.

The About Me Be Clean Relief Sun SPF50+ PA++++ is also a product that I love to use.

But to be honest, I like almost all the mineral sunscreens in my selection, except maybe the one from Round Lab that I find a little too thick on my skin.

As for chemical sunscreens, like last year, the AHC Safe On Light Sun Serum SPF50+ PA++++ (version 2022) is clearly above the rest. Its texture and formula make it a truly exceptional sunscreen!

I am also a fan of its citrusy dupe, the Goodal Green Tangerine Vita-C Dark Spot Care Sun Serum SPF50+ PA++++ which is a joy to use, especially in this season!

In the fresh and glowy style, the Beauty Of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotics SPF50+ PA++++ is all over social media this year, and I totally understand its popularity. It’s a great option!

Special mention for the golfers’ sunscreen (lol), the Dr.G Nice Birdie Up Sun SPF50+ PA++++ which is perfect and comfortable to wear for people like me who want to feel protected in extreme conditions without having to use a product that looks like a bunch of white butter!

That’s it for this year’s 2022 face sunscreen selection! I hope it will help you find your perfect sunscreen. Feel free to tell me if you try any of these, or if they tempt you! You can totally leave me a comment, it’s always appreciated and encouraged 🙂

Comments (12)

  1. Thank you Bonnie! I enjoy reading your articles a lot, I really learn how to evaluate a product and find the best options between your reviews. Thank you for your work!

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  2. Thank you so much for this review. Few of this are on my carts already and can’t wait to try them out❤️

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  3. Very thorough review, thank you very much! I hope you can also do a review of the new AHC Safe On Essence Sun Cream.

  4. Thank you so much. This information has been very helpful. I love Isntree products and will try it. My skin is combo- dry, so thought I might try Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel. Perhaps you can weigh in on it next time.

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