Best Korean Sunscreens for Oily Skin: Broad-Spectrum SPF & Oil Control

November 26th 2021 in Skin Care - 16 mins read

Best Korean Sunscreens for Oily Skin: Broad-Spectrum SPF & Oil Control

In my opinion, the most problematic skin type is either oily skin or combination skin. In both cases, all you want is for your skin to not look like fresh, just-out-of-the-fryer McDonald’s French Fries by the end of the day. So is that such a tough goal to achieve or an unreasonable demand to make? Not when you’re deliberately choosing to use the best Korean sunscreen for oily skin.

The chances are that up until now you’ve applied sunscreens that leave a greasy or sticky after-effect on your skin. And I’m sure you don’t like that feeling. Nobody should, irrespective of the skin type.

So here’s a list of the best sunscreen for oily skin manufactured by only the most popular K-beauty skincare brands.

#1 Etude House Sunprise Sun Milk

Etude House Sunprise Sun Milk

What better way to begin the reviews than by talking about the one sunscreen that targets an oily T-zone! This SPF50+ PA+++ sun milk by the very popular Korean brand, Etude House, is the perfect solution to oily skin.

What the formulation contains is physical and mineral-based UV blockers. This includes titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. In simple words, what I’m trying to tell you is that the sunscreen is a great choice for sensitive skin or skin that doesn’t tolerate chemical blockers all that well.

The white appearance of the sunscreen at the time of application fades away very quickly. Truth be told, it leaves a smooth matte finish every time.

But if you ask me, it’s the inclusion of effective physical blockers that makes the most impact. On top of that, it’s a non-greasy formula that you can easily remove using an oil cleanser. The chances are you’ll soon make this your go-to sunscreen below your daily moisturizer and even makeup.

#2 A’PIEU Pure Block Natural Sun Cream

A’PIEU Pure Block Natural Sun Cream

If you wear makeup on a daily basis, then here’s the most promising makeup buddy. Don’t expect your oily skin to feel greasy or sticky after you apply this Pure Block Natural Sun Cream below your makeup. The formula is very lightweight, absorbent, and smooth.

The level of SPF is 45 and the sunscreen is PA+++. So your skin gets the opportunity to enjoy maximum sun protection against both UVB and UVA rays. The sun cream leaves your skin looking dewy, and not sticky or oily. You don’t even have to deal with any whitish cast, irrespective of your skin tone.

You might appreciate the fact that this Korean sun cream causes zero eye irritation, unlike most other non-Korean formulas. You can also breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that breakouts, in this case, are not a possibility. You should expect such a negative outcome only from sunscreens that feel heavy or slippery. But not this one!

#3 Missha All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk

Missha All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk

To be honest, every list of the best Korean sunscreen 2019 is incomplete without the Soft Finish Sun Milk by Missha.

The best part here is that the SPF50+ PA+++ formula can hold sweat and water. So it’s not just the double-layered UV blocking capacity, which provides impenetrable and long-lasting UV protection, that stands out. What’s even more commendable is that the sunscreen does all this even when the humidity levels rise.

The Korean formulation corrects the natural texture and tone of your skin. It also creates an incredibly smooth, non-sticky base for your daily moisturizer and makeup. The low-viscosity fluid is lightweight for oily skin, in case that’s what you’re wondering. Even when you layer it, there’s no discomfort of any kind.

So if you want to buy a sweat and water resistant Korean-made sunscreen, this refreshing, lightweight sun milk is ideal for daily use.

#4 MAKEP:REM UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel

MAKEP:REM UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel

You’ll find nothing but a combination of innovative technology and gentle skincare in here. The ingredients packed in the UV Defense Sun Gel by MAKEP:REM are all-natural by the way. And these ingredients lower the temperature of your skin. Have you ever used or come across a sunscreen that actually does that? K-beauty products are quite extraordinary indeed.

There’s moisture essence to provide your skin with an extra layer of moisture. This barrier offers protection against premature aging and UV rays. The brand states that the product is the most suitable for oily skin and combination skin. And this holds true to the very last fluid ounce.

Just like every other Korean sunscreen here, this formula too delivers SPF50+ action. But the PA rating has an additional +, meaning it’s PA++++. This implies the highest protection against UVA rays. No wonder the sunscreen prevents the formation of signs related to premature aging.

The sun gel also features remarkable water-holding capacity. The pure water essence of the formula gets absorbed instantly. And without any white cast and stickiness. Moreover, it’s got rubus arcticus stem cells for improving the condition of your skin. This is an antioxidant-packed wild berry in case you didn’t know.

To be honest, it’s the perfect daily skincare solution that also whitens, moisturizes, and prevents wrinkle formation. Apart from safeguarding your skin against UV rays of course!

#5 Neogen Dermalogy Day-Light Protection Sunscreen

Neogen Dermalogy Day-Light Protection Sunscreen

Are you now ready for a sunscreen that offers pore care skin benefits? The Day-Light Protection Sunscreen by Neogen Dermalogy is equipped with ECO-certified antioxidant ingredients. The sunscreen is lightweight and fast-absorbent. It cleans without adding an oily or sticky finish to your face, thus ideal for those dealing with oily skin.

Daily sun protection in the form of SPF50+ and PA+++ makes sure UVB and UVA rays don’t cause sunburn and skin damage. This sunscreen also hydrates and moisturizes your skin. Even though you have an oily base, moisture and hydration are necessary. And that’s because oil is no form of moisture or hydration.

The main ingredients included are rose extracts, blueberry extracts, Vitamin E, and a few others. The antioxidants prevent damage often caused by environmental stressors like dust and sun rays. The calming properties revitalize your skin. And moisturizing properties make use of botanical ingredients for adding moisture and smoothness.

But, most importantly, the sun-blocking action is quite effective for handling daily sun exposure. Even when the sun rays are the strongest!

#6 COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream

COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream

Why is aloe added to this formula manufactured by one of the most popular Korean skincare brands? It’s because COSRX knows that aloe is a very effective botanical ingredient to improve the natural moisture barrier of your skin. Aloe leaf extracts also provide protection against UVB and UVA rays.

The soothing sun cream, infused with aloe, blocks ultraviolet rays. There’s no doubt about that. And while doing so, the sunscreen also supplies generous amounts of nutrients and moisture to your skin. Not many sunscreens do that you know, even Korean ones.

In terms of being suitable for oily skin, the texture is such that the cream gets absorbed quickly. Without any stinging or pilling!

If you have acne scars that you want to make sure fade away quickly, then sun protection using the COSRX SPF 50 PA+++ Sun Cream is a must.

#7 Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel

Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel

Ever used a serum-like sunscreen? If not, then let this one be your first. It’s also hypoallergenic by the way. The Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel is not like most heavy, thick sunscreens. The weightless texture does its best to boost breathability and prevent pore-clogging. But what about sun protection? The answer to that comes in the form of SPF50+ and PA+++.

Does this sunscreen leave a whitish cast like the other non-Korean products? No, absolutely not. The gel form gets absorbed instantly without any trace. Meaning you can use it under your makeup as well.

Also, does the current K-beauty sunscreen flood your olfactory senses with an overpoweringly strong coconut smell? Once again the answer is no, absolutely not. Instead, the aqua scent is very refreshing and pleasant. It fades away in no time post-application.

Moreover, the product is cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, and dermatologist-tested. It’s got no PABA, mineral oils, parabens, synthetic fragrances, and the like. And here are the bonus points. The formula also ranks among the best Korean sunscreen for acne prone skin and sensitive skin.

#8 The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Sun Cream

The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Sun Cream

Okay so here’s the thing about this Natural Sun Eco Sun Cream. It doesn’t leave a white cast even if you’re brown or dark-skinned. Now that’s great news provided that most sunscreens only offer this benefit for a light-colored complexion.

The feel of the sunscreen is very smooth and lightweight. So it’s only natural to assume that the formula spreads easily without pilling. As for oily skin, the cream doesn’t just sit over your skin to create a shiny or greasy layer. It penetrates, and that too instantly.

Furthermore, the moisturizing action causes no breakouts. You can use it under your makeup to make your skin look and feel supple and soft. The sunscreen is also suitable for combination skin and in humid weather conditions. But, if you ask me, you can apply the cream all year round.

#9 Innisfree Intensive Triple Care Sunscreen

Innisfree Intensive Triple Care Sunscreen

This Innisfree sunscreen for oily skin is created for sensitive-skinned and fair-toned women. The intensive triple care formula doesn’t sweat off easily. Plus, it offers adequate SPF50+ and PA++++ sun protection without leaving your already oily skin sticky or greasy.

The consistency of the sunscreen leaves the skin feeling hydrated and smooth. You won’t find your makeup sliding off with this formula underneath it. Nor does the makeup start to look cakey.

Let me also bring to your attention that this is also a very effective Korean whitening sunscreen. It not only protects against UV rays, but the special formulation also moisturizes and lightens your skin. And you can apply it on your chest and arms too for making the most of the exceptional benefits.

#10 Dr G Brightening Up Sun Cream

Dr G Brightening Up Sun Cream

The product title has the word “brightening” in it. So does this sun cream really help with correcting dull skin complexion? Yes, it definitely does. The Dr G SPF50 PA+ formula here makes the skin look brighter and cleaner. Apart from preventing the formation of redness often caused by harsh UV rays!

What the sunscreen also does best is to control the production of sebum. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect any stickiness post-application. This is brought forth by the addition of tannin complex. It controls excess sebum while also making your skin feel and look smooth and fresh.

The finish of the sunscreen is very light, no doubt. And it’s this particular smooth consistency that prevents greasing. So you can apply your daily makeup without worrying about it sliding off or looking cakey.

No other sunscreen on the list has the capacity to control sebum production as well as the Dr G Brightening Up Sun Cream.

#11 Dr.Jart+ UV Every Sun Day

Dr.Jart+ UV Every Sun Day

The last on the list is a sunscreen with strong UV defense along with excellent soothing and moisturizing properties. The Dr.Jart+ UV Every Sun Day Cream prevents dryness and makes sure your skin doesn’t feel sticky. With or without makeup!

On top of that, the texture is lightweight and the color subtle pink and beige. The former means quick absorption. As for the latter, it color-corrects and brightens your skin tone. How many sunscreens you know do that? Not many, I’m sure.

The SPF50+ and PA+++ Korean sunscreen is cruelty-free, so no guilt. And it’s dermatologist-tested, so no pointing fingers at safety or effectiveness. Moreover, this is great for oily skin and acne-prone skin. It’s because the sunscreen does not contain pore-clogging elements. So it’s time to make way for fresh, clear, sun-protected skin.

First Off, Understand the Basics of Using Sunscreen

  • The full form of SPF is Sun Protection Factor.

  • Applying sunscreen daily, whether out in the sun or indoors, means reducing the risks associated with skin cancer by half.

  • Sun’s UV rays cause many common skin conditions like dullness, pigmentation, and premature wrinkles.

  • Just keep in mind that it’s never too late or too early to start using sunscreen.

Korean Sunscreen for Oily Skin: Better than Western and Non-Korean Sunscreens?

I don’t like to bash what I hate, at least not online when there’s already enough negativity to take in. But, as a professional reviewer, I have to paint an honest picture for you. And the truth of the matter here is that American-made or any other non-Korean sunscreens don’t even come close to protecting your skin as effectively as their Korean counterparts.

The popularity of K-beauty products is growing by leaps and bounds every year. And this is happening for good reasons of course. But how can you tell one is better than the other? It’s because the former, which is Korean sunscreen, is packed with a broader range of SPF ingredients for complete protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

In most non-Korean cases, SPF means only UVB sun protection. The UVA protection part is almost always nonexistent. The majority of sunscreens available at local supermarkets or drug stores offer just UVB protection. And this is bad news since UVA rays of the sun are very dangerous.

You should know that UVB rays cause sunburn while UVA rays tend to make your skin complexion brown.

Let me also mention here that sunscreens manufactured in Australia, Canada, and U.S. have been labeled as “drugs” by FDA. Therefore, using a new set of chemicals for sunscreens demands formal approval. And this particular process means jumping through many hoops, which is something that not many skincare brands are willing to do.

As for Korean sunscreens, the Korean manufacturers don’t have to succumb to such restrictions. This paves the way for the introduction of new chemicals that are added to the cream to boost their performance.

Now let me tell you why the best Korean sunscreen for oily skin is superior to the non-Korean products. The former skips the white-texture, gloppy appearance that the latter often leaves on your skin. Oily skin-specific Korean sunscreens have a lighter consistency, more pleasant and less nauseatingly tropical smell, and quicker absorption capacity.

Another reason is the different SPF rating system of Korean sunscreens. It’s a thing called PA, Protection Grade based on Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD). Let’s get to that below.

What is PA+++ in Korean Sunscreens?

The SPF rating of any sunscreen protects your skin from UVB rays. Meaning it prevents sunburns, provided you’re applying the formula in the correct manner. But not every sunscreen offers UVA protection. Now, this is exactly what drags into the picture Korean sunscreens and their PA rating system.

More often than not, PA is followed by the “+” sign or signs. For example, PA+, PA++, PA+++, and even PA++++. This is a Japanese rating system that denotes how much protection against UVA rays the sunscreen provides.

Now let me tell you what each rating of PA means:

  • Minimal UVA protection is PA+.

  • Moderate level of UVA protection is PA++.

  • High protection against UVA rays is PA+++.

  • And extremely high protection is PA++++.

But there are a few drawbacks here you should be aware of. Not every country agrees with the method of achieving these measurement values of PA. So here’s the primary concern. UVA rays turn your skin complexion brown and cause it to stay that way. This process is known as Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD).

It’s only common sense to assume that not everybody’s skin is going to turn brown due to sun exposure. Sometimes the skin becomes darker or not very brown. Likewise, in a few cases, the skin complexion takes a longer time to reach the brown shade.

This means the effect the PA rating has on your skin depends on your particular complexion. And how your skin reacts or how soon it reacts to the exposure of the UV rays of the sun. But, generally speaking, the more the “+” signs, the higher the UVA protection.

The PA rating system is quite much like “broad-spectrum” sunscreens. Broad-spectrum SPF indicates protection against both UVB and UVA damage. So if you’re confused about how many “pluses” to choose, simply opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen. And, lucky for you, the Korean sunscreens for oily skin I’ve reviewed in this post all deliver broad-spectrum benefits.

Is SPF 100 Dangerous?

The thing about higher SPF is that it over-exposes your skin to the harmful UV rays of the sun. Meaning it works counterproductively. No wonder FDA has placed limitations on the level of SPF.

Theoretically speaking, SPF 100 implies you can expose your skin to the sun for 100 times longer. In most cases, the skin reddens after just half an hour of exposure during midday. So by the time you reach the full potential of SPF 100, your skin is already experiencing a sunburn. This is proof that theory and reality are not the same.

Now here’s why SPF 50 and higher earn a bad reputation:

  • Higher SPF is scarcely any better in comparison to sunscreens with an SPF level between 30 and 50.

  • High SPF is not necessarily high SPF. Differences in light transmission, application thickness, etc. have a dramatic effect on the SPF level of sunscreen. Meaning an SPF 100 product can also yield SPF measurements between 30 and 40 because of small changes in light transmission or application thickness.
    This explains why, in some cases, higher SPF values are capped at 60+ or 50+. These companies certainly don’t want to mislead consumers and influence purchasing decisions.

  • Higher SPF is often misused under the assumption that you can remain in the sun for a longer time. This brings into the picture over-exposure to UVB and UVA rays, thus greater chances of sunburns caused by UVB and skin damage inflicted by UVA.

  • More SPF equals to more chemicals for the sun-filtering action. Some ingredients here pose major health risks when they penetrate your skin. And by major, I mean problems like hormone disruption and tissue damage. They can even trigger skin sensitivities or allergies.

How to Choose the Best Korean Sunscreen for Oily Skin

So you have oily skin, right? That means you don’t want to lather your skin with heavy, thick cream to make the face look unnecessarily shiny. But don’t perceive this as skipping sunscreen altogether.

Oily skin and breakouts don’t equal to no sunscreen, no moisturizer. There’s zero amount of wiggle room in that department. Not unless you’re okay with sunburns, premature aging, pigmentation, and other skin damage.

But then how do you go about choosing the most suitable K-beauty or any other sunscreen for your oily skin? Here’s the answer to that question.

Lightweight, Water-Based

The first thing that comes to mind is that the cream should be light, not heavy, and fast-absorbent. A lightweight texture dries down into a smooth, matte finish. As for quick absorption, it’s better if the sunscreen is water-based (gel form).

Speaking of different forms of sunscreen, it’s highly recommended to stay away from Korean sunscreen spray. Sun creams formulated as sprays are not such an ideal choice for the oily skin type.

Non-Comedogenic and Oil-Free

When browsing through Korean sunscreens, narrow down the list to include only non-comedogenic products. Non-comedogenic means the formula contains no pore-clogging ingredients. As you already know, blocked pores give rise to acne.

As for the sunscreen being oil-free, this part is crucial if you already have oily skin. The cream or lotion shouldn’t be too greasy, thick, and heavy. Your oily skin should keep away from such sunscreens.

Broad-Spectrum and High SPF

I have already explained how broad-spectrum sun protection prevents damage caused by both UVA and UVB rays. And the best part is that most Korean sunscreens for oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, and combination skin offer broad-spectrum protection.

As for the level of SPF, it should always be more than 30. Only then can and should you expect the special Korean formulation to block as much as 97-percent of the harmful UV rays.

No PABA, No Oxybenzone

If your oily skin is also sensitive, then you simply have no option but to stay away from active ingredients like PABA and oxybenzone. They tend to aggravate skin sensitivities like rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, etc.

Instead, go for sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as their natural active ingredients.

Bottom Line

You know by now that sun protection is a compelling aspect. Irrespective of your skin type! So whatever your concern, which, in this case, is oily skin, pick the most suitable kind of sunscreen formula. And what’s more fitting than oily skin-specific Korean sunscreens to provide sun protection while also controlling sebum production and breakouts!

Ditch heavy creams laden with ingredients known to clog pores, give rise to acne, and trigger skin sensitivities.

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