How Do Korean Sunscreens Differ From Others?

Korean sunscreen

Thanks to exceptional ingredients and innovative technology, K-beauty has revolutionised the skincare industry. But if we have to praise only one category, it would be sunscreen.

Thanks to K-beauty, thick white paste sunscreens are only bad memories from our childhood. Korean sunscreens are excellent!

What is the PA Sunscreen Rating System?

One of the primary differences between Korean sunscreens and the rest is the PA sunscreen rating system.

PA stands for Protection Grade of UVA rays, which measures UVA exposure, while SPF measures UVB exposure. Usually, Korean sunscreen labels include "PA" with "+" signs following it.

The PA symbol determines how long it takes to tan when exposed to UVA rays. It's essential to understand that a K-beauty sunscreen can have between one to four "+" signs, and the more "+" signs, the higher the barrier from UVA rays.

Dermatologists recommend choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen which means your skin is protected from UVA and UVB rays. So always look for a sunscreen with SPF and PA on the label.

Please follow this guideline for each PA rating:

  • PA + = Low UVA protection.
  • PA + + = Moderate UVA protection.
  • PA + + + = High UVA protection.
  • PA + + + + = Extremely High UVA protection.

Remember, regardless of how "+" signs your sunscreen has, it's vital to apply liberally and reapply throughout the day to keep skin protected.

Japan established the PA rating system to let consumers know the level of protection given by sunscreen. UVA rays are harmful and are the primary cause of premature ageing signs and skin cancer.

The SPF measures UVB rays, and the PA rating system measures UVA protection.

How to Properly Apply Sunscreen?

In Korea protecting the skin from the sun is part of their lifestyle, so sunscreens are lightweight and elegant.

For optimal results, put sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors to allow the product to be absorbed by the skin. It's vital to reapply sunscreen after swimming or physical activity.

Please don't forget to protect the skin by wearing hats and clothes.

Dermatologists recommend using approximately one ounce to cover the entire body. Make sure to pay extra attention to those areas that are usually more exposed, such as ears, back, nose, shoulders, neck, hands, and feet.

When applying sunscreen around the eyes, be careful to avoid any issues.

It's best to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and PA++. If you're spending the day outdoors, use waterproof sunscreen and reapply every two hours.

It's wise to buy a sunscreen specifically formulated for your face to keep the skin hydrated and protected. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, prefer a water-based sunscreen.

Please check the expiration date to ensure the ingredients haven't degraded over time. Avoid thinking that expensive sunscreens are more effective as this is usually not true.

Top K-Beauty Sunscreens

1. MISSHA All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF50+ PA++++

 MISSHA All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel

MISSHA All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel is a one-of-a-kind K-beauty sunscreen specially formulated to guard the skin against the sun. It's waterproof and perfect for applying under makeup as it doesn't leave any white residue.

2. A'PIEU Pure Block Natural Daily Sun Cream SPF45 PA+++

 A'PIEU Pure Block Natural Daily Sun Cream SPF45 PA+++

This daily sun cream is a non-sticky, lightweight formula that protects skin from UV damage. It's suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone and sensitive skin. An excellent option for the face as it leaves a smooth satin finish.

3. ROHTO MENTHOLATUM Hada Labo Koi-Gokujyun UV White Gel SPF50+ PA++++

 Hada Labo Koi-Gokujyun UV White Gel

Hada Labo Koi-Gokujyun UV White Gel is formulated with three hydrating ingredients, so it's perfect as a makeup base, beauty serum, or moisturiser. This protective J-beauty formula is free of harmful components, including fragrance, colouring, and mineral oil.

4. MISSHA All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk SPF50+ PA+++

 MISSHA All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk SPF50+ PA+++

Excellent sun milk that protects the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. It's lightweight and non-sticky, so it's ideal for use all year round. A sunscreen that leaves the skin feeling cool and refreshed. Its potent formula keeps the skin moisturised and prevents premature ageing signs.

5. COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++

 COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream

Suppose you're looking for a top-quality sunscreen at an affordable price; the COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream provides a winning combination that protects the skin from harmful UV rays. You can use this sun cream daily as it hydrates the skin and leaves no white residue.

Whatever sunscreen you prefer, make sure to wear it daily, even if you stay inside.

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