No matter your skin care routine, you won’t derive the maximum benefits until you use a good sunscreen. Be it the sultry summers, chilly winters, or even indoors, your skin is always exposed to harmful UV rays. Unfortunately, regular sunscreens might not offer the best protection, and that is why you need the best Korean mineral sunscreens. Besides protecting your skin from radiation and tanning, these sunscreens also prevent fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, and skin cancer. The best part about these sunscreens is that they don’t leave a white cast on application and offer superior sun protection. In South Korea, sunscreen formulas are rapidly advancing due to quicker approval times. In addition, Korean mineral sunscreens — no matter how much zinc oxide they contain — are transparent on all skin tones, and they do not have an annoying thickness.
If you are a skin care enthusiast, you must know about the Korean skin care hype — their revolutionary serums, masks, foundations, and more. Their mineral sunscreens offer broad-spectrum protection in the form of titanium oxide, zinc oxide, or at times, both. Besides protecting your skin from irreversible damage, its unique ingredients also improve skin texture. We have got your back if you are thinking about opting for Korean mineral sunscreen to get the best sun protection. In this article, we have curated a list of the best Korean mineral sunscreens worth trying. Keep scrolling to check out our top picks!
In This Article
10 Best Korean Mineral Sunscreens To Try In 2022 With Buying Guide
1. Best For Sensitive Skin: Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF50+ / PA+++
Surprisingly silky for the broad-spectrum protection it provides, this facial sunscreen glides on your skin without feeling sticky or leaving behind that dreaded white cast – even when the sun’s peaking. Blended with gentle ingredients like sunflower seeds, acai berries, aloe vera, and dwarf sage root extracts, this plant-based gel formula strengthens your skin’s vitality while providing thorough UV protection. It is also infused with common purslane extract, known for its antioxidant properties, and hyaluronic acid present in the formula serves as an excellent hydrator at the deepest level. This one’s pretty much an all-round achiever, making it an ideal choice even for sensitive skin types. This video review will help you understand more about the product.
- Fluid texture
- Sebum-free and non-sticky
- Does not leave a white cast
- Contains both zinc and titanium oxide for the ultimate UVA/UVB protection
- The lemony fragrance might be a little overwhelming.
2. Best Anti-Aging Formula: MISSHA Waterproof Sun Milk SPF50+/PA+++
Another botanical wonder from the pioneers of K-Beauty, this mineral sunscreen is the epitome of gel-based sunscreens. It takes no time to spread and settles a clear, transparent finish that disappears in the skin so fast that you forget how well-protected you are. The formula is easy to blend into any makeup routine and pairs like a charm with your holy-grail moisturizer. While its eucalyptus leaf extract keeps your skin supple, the real superstar is green tea, which serves as an anti-aging ingredient with anti-inflammatory properties that protect you from skin issues like rosacea and acne. Finally, the sunscreen’s natural barrier complex seals the deal by retaining water, making it more resilient against environmental damage. Check out this review for a closer look about the product
- No white sheen
- Transparent semi-matte finish
- Calms inflamed skin
- Does not clog pores
- The consistency may feel a bit runny.
3. Best For Intense Moisturization: SOME BY MI Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream SPF50+/PA++++
Living up to its name, this sunscreen cools your skin upon contact. A selected blend of Indian pennywort extract and tea tree leaf powder soothes the surface and actively works to prevent pimples. Ideal for acne-prone skin types, the concoction has grown in popularity due to mask acne (or maskne) becoming such a common skin problem. The oldie-but-goodie glycerin content keeps the sunscreen from drying your skin out, while niacinamide smoothes wrinkles and provides several anti-aging benefits. All of these calming ingredients combined make this sunscreen a suitable option for those who have inflammation-prone skin. To find out more about this product, check out this video.
- Effortlessly glides on the skin
- Highest shielding effect (PA++++)
- Infused with 85% moisturizing essence
- Non-Nano Mineral Cream that’s safe for sensitive skin
- Triples as UV Protection, skin brightener, and an anti-aging agent
- It has a strong tea tree oil fragrance that everyone may not enjoy.
4. Best Vegan Formula: Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion Sport SPF50
Unlike average sunscreens, this one won’t reveal a white cast or sweat off no matter how much time you spend outdoors. It’s got kukui seed oil that is traditionally used to strengthen the skin barrier and heal sunburns, along with coconut oil, well-known for binding formulas to your skin for longer durations. The natural coconut vanilla scent keeps you feeling cool and refreshed, even through unbearably hot days. Another feature that makes this mineral sunscreen an athlete’s favorite is that it offers up to 80 minutes of water resistance. Oh, and the cherry on the cream? The lotion is 100% vegan and free of parabens and synthetic fragrances that are harmful to marine life. So, all of the protection and none of the guilt!
- Doesn’t feel greasy or sticky
- Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
- 100% vegan and environment-friendly
- No parabens, synthetic fragrance, or chemicals
- Perfect for prolonged sun exposure
- The sunscreen might not wash off easily.
5. Best Hypoallergenic Formula: Etude House Soonjung Mild Defence Sun Cream SPF49/PA++
This Etude House favorite is especially designed for those with sensitive skin and provides inorganic protection against sun damage as well as dust pollution. The creamy, non-sticky texture feels like it’s barely there, making the sunscreen a breeze to reapply throughout the day. Not to mention its hypoallergenic formula, composed of rockstars like panthenol and madecassoside that bring instant relief to your pores without clogging or causing allergic reactions. While the former serves as a humectant that retains hydration, the latter modulates any inflammatory offenders and prevents roughness. Boasting a low pH factor, this formula is a genuine godsend for delicate skin types.
- Low pH makes it suitable for sensitive skin
- Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic
- Hydrating and brightening properties
- No mineral oils
- No tar, talc, perfume, or parabens
- People with oily skin might find it less mattifying.
6. Best For All Skin Types: Self Beauty Airlasting Probiotics Worry-Free Sunscreen SPF50+/PA++++
When it comes to sunscreen ingredients, zinc oxide belongs to a league of its own. Not only does it provide the broadest and most uniform range of protection available today, it’s also stable and doesn’t result in irritated skin. Another thing to love about this bottle is the probiotics complex, which prevents UV-related skin damage and keeps acne-inducing bacteria in check. To make your skin rejoice even more, the sunscreen is made of calming botanicals like chameleon plant extract, famous for its antioxidant potential, and sunflower seed oil that moisturizes and evens out the skin. Upon application, you’ll see a velvety and non-greasy matte finish that serves as the perfect canvas for your everyday makeup.
- Suitable for all skin types
- Does not feel sticky or heavy
- Contains hydrating hyaluronic acid
- Layers effortlessly on top of makeup
- Zinc oxide gives all-round protection from UVA and UVB rays
- Those with dry skin might have to apply moisturizer first.
7. Best Lightweight Formula: Aú Natural Skinfood On The Go Mineral Powder Brush On Sunscreen SPF25 – Medium
Want to save your skin from damage without getting your hands sticky? Your prayers have been answered! This brush-on mineral powder is the ultimate no-lotion solution for broad-spectrum SPF that doesn’t feel heavy, cakey, or excessive in any way. It’s enriched with natural ingredients like manuka honey, pure avocado oil, and kiwifruit extract, which revive dehydrated skin, supply it with essential vitamins, and brighten you up from the inside. Suitable for all skin types, the sunscreen is especially ideal for acne-prone skin, as it contains zero irritants along with the bacteria-fighting powers of kanuka honey.
- Apply anywhere on-the-go
- Best-suited for humid days
- All-natural ingredients
- The SPF might be low for prolonged sun exposure.
8. Best For Color Correction: BANILA CO Water Radiance It Radiant CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF30 / PA++
You will fall in love with this award-winning SPF-CC combo as it protects you against major damage from radiation, pollution, and harmful UVA/UVB rays while hydrating, soothing, and color-correcting your skin. It’s the ideal makeup companion for every skin type and is free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and animal-derived ingredients. With added niacinamide that enhances your natural glow, hypoallergenic eco-herb water complex that moisturizes, and micro pixel powder that refines pores, this one’s an all-time favorite for those who can’t get enough of that fresh, dewy finish.
- No white cast
- Color corrects and evens out skin tone
- Gives your face a porcelain glow
- Leaves you feeling dewy and fresh
- Protects skin as well as enhances complexion
- Might be a bit drying in cold weather conditions
9. Best For Makeup Base: innisfree Daily UV Defense Sunscreen SPF36
Sourced from the pristine island of Jeju, this sunscreen is made with ingredients full of unparalleled power to nurture your skin. The water-based formula containing invigorators like green tea extract, witch hazel, and sunflower seed oil saves you from sunburn and reduces premature signs of aging at the same time. Cica, a well-known soothing ingredient, ensures that the lotion is gentle and causes no harm. The paraben and talc-free sunscreen feels lightweight to the point of invisibility, and should be a top choice for daily use. It’s essentially a Korean moisturizer with SPF!
- The watery solution blends in seamlessly
- Lightweight sunscreen with no white cast
- The perfect makeup companion
- Moisturizes the skin inside out
- Works well for sensitive, acne-prone skin
- It might look a bit shiny on oily skin.
10. Best Cruelty-Free Formula: LabNo Cicaloe Relief Sun Milk SPF50
If you’ve been on the lookout for a sunscreen that seamlessly doubles as a day cream, the search is officially over! This alcohol-free mineral sunscreen is ideal for colder days as the fruit oils and aloe vera extract keep your skin from drying out, while centella asiatica acts as a humectant. It’s non-comedogenic, free of chemicals, and rubs in clear and smooth without leaving a trace, keeping the most sensitive of skin types comfortable and protected from any sun damage.
- Milk-like texture
- Zero chemicals or preservatives
- Goes well under foundation
- Doesn’t feel greasy or heavy
- Suited for extremely sensitive skin
- Slightly expensive
Things to Remember When Buying A Korean Mineral Sunscreen
Opt for broad spectrum
Always opt for broad spectrum Korean sunscreens, which provide both UVA and UVB coverage. Why this matters is because you want to be protected from both types of radiation. While UVA rays penetrate into the skin and can cause premature aging and cancer, UVB rays are responsible for sunburns if you’re long exposed. Anything above SPF 30 is adequate, although the higher the SPF, the safer your skin.
Understand PA Ratings
Those PA ratings you see on every bottle with a certain number of plus signs? They tell you exactly what level of protection you will receive from UVA rays. PA+ implies that it offers mild protection. PA++ stands for moderate protection, while PA+++ gives you an impressively high degree of protection. Few products have a PA++++ rating on the market, which is why Korean physical sunscreen technology is considered a league ahead of the rest. If you find a sunscreen with a PA++++ rating, you’ll have the most superior level of sun protection that a product can possibly offer.
Consider your skin type
No consideration is more crucial than determining whether a sunscreen is suitable for your skin type and tone. As the final step in your morning routine, you want to make sure it has the right consistency (not too greasy or runny), doesn’t leave a white cast, and most importantly, doesn’t contain allergens that might irritate your skin. Always peek at the key ingredients in the back. There are certain blends that are only suitable for specific skin types.
For instance, if you have rosacea, you should steer clear of alcohol-based sunscreens. On the other hand, if acne-prone skin is your biggest dilemma, you might want to choose a gel-based sunscreen over a cream-based one. Those with dry skin should look for moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and honey, whereas oily skin would benefit from water-based or gel-based formulas containing ingredients like tea tree oil, niacinamide, or green tea that control sebum production. If your skin type is normal, lucky you! It’s safe to use pretty much any kind of sunscreen that grabs your fancy.
Mineral V/S Chemical Sunscreens: What’s The Big Difference?
If K-Beauty is an indication of one thing, it’s that sunscreen technology has come a long way. There are a myriad options for every skin type and complexion to choose from, which is truly a blessing. However, it’s when you need to decide between mineral and chemical sunscreens that things start getting complex.
The primary filters in mineral sunscreens are zinc oxide and titanium oxide. They’re also known as inorganic ingredients. The use of the term ‘inorganic’ here has chemical connotations, and it does not imply ‘non-natural’. On the other hand, the ingredients used by chemical sunscreens to filter harmful rays are called organic ingredients, and they include carbon-based compounds.
Physical or mineral sunscreens function by deflecting and scattering UV rays away from the skin. They offer a broader range of protection against both UVA and UVB damage. Instead of defecting, chemical sunscreens transform UV rays into heat and absorb it into the skin before releasing it. They basically function like a sponge.
Mineral sunscreens are photostable, which means they need to be reapplied less frequently than their chemical counterparts. It doesn’t take too long for them to come into effect, so the 15-minute rule can be shortened to 5 or 10 minutes. However, the consistency of chemical sunscreens tends to be slightly thinner, making them easier to apply than mineral sunscreens.
Ultimately, the perfect sunscreen is whichever feels good and offers a broad spectrum SPF to unprotected skin. Don’t be discouraged if you’re unable to find The One straight away, as it can take some trial and error to get there. However, the market is saturated with more options than ever, which means it’s impossible NOT to find one that wins you over in every respect. The Korean mineral sunscreens we’ve vetted for you are an excellent place to get started, so go ahead and give them a whirl before it’s time to officially head out into the sunshine again.
Infographic: A Quick Guide On Mineral Sunscreen: Ingredients, Benefits, & Application
A mineral sunscreen free of chemicals is the best choice to protect the skin from UV damage. Check out our infographic to identify the common hazardous compounds found in sunscreens. It will also guide you about the benefits of mineral sunscreen and how to use it the right way. Keep scrolling!
You can reap the maximum benefits of your skincare routine if you use the right sunscreen. Irrespective of the weather, you need to use sunscreen all year round. The best Korean mineral sunscreens will protect your skin from tanning and radiation. They will also prevent signs of aging, pigmentation, and other severe concerns like skin cancer. Korean mineral sunscreens are enriched with unique ingredients that improve the overall skin texture. These sunscreens will not leave a white cast on your skin. In addition, they are devoid of synthetic fragrances and chemicals. Consider your skin type, opt for a broad spectrum, and understand the PA ratings while choosing the best Korean mineral sunscreens.
Why Trust StyleCraze?
The author, Kirtana Divakar, is a skin care aficionado and helps people choose the right products for their skin through her well-researched articles. She advocates using the best Korean mineral sunscreens, as against conventional products, for achieving better UV protection. These sunscreens, shortlisted after considering hundreds of user reviews, protect the skin from tanning while preventing fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are mineral sunscreens better?
Yes, mineral sunscreens are better for your skin. They are less likely to cause any skin issues and provide superior sun protection. However, some such formulas can leave a white cast and can clog pores if you don’t cleanse it out thoroughly at the end of the day.
Do all mineral sunscreens leave a white cast?
No. Not all mineral sunscreens leave a white cast. You can explore white cast-free options like the Banila Co Water Radiance It Radiant CC Cream, Innisfree Daily UV Defense Sunscreen, etc.
Does mineral sunscreen clog pores?
No. Mineral sunscreens don’t get absorbed the way a chemical sunscreen would. However, make sure to wash off any residue at the end of the day.
Do you have to wait 15 minutes after applying mineral sunscreen before you can go outdoors?
Yes, it’s best to wait for 15 minutes after applying mineral sunscreen and before heading outdoors. This will give the ingredients in the formula to sink in and create a solid barrier on your skin. If you go outdoors too soon or apply sunscreen after your skin starts pinkening, then sunscreen cannot help you much.
How long does mineral sunscreen last on the skin?
Mineral sunscreens stay effective on the skin for 2 hours approximately. You must reapply every two hours if you stay outdoors for a longer period of time.
- Korean Sunscreens For Oily Skin
- Korean Sunscreens For Sensitive Skin
- Korean Sunscreens For Acne-Prone Skin