Korean sunscreens for oily skin combine the best of both worlds: oil control and anti-aging. If you have oily, acne-prone skin looking for the perfect sunscreen, I hear you. The struggle is real. However, it doesn’t have to be.
If you are a K-beauty enthusiast interested in trying out new sunscreens, you might be overwhelmed by new product launches. There is always a new Korean sunscreen launch taking the internet by storm, always a sunscreen that everyone on TikTok swears by. But it is different for oily skin’s sun protection.
Today, we are going to break down what oily skin needs in terms of sun protection and why Korean sunscreen for oily skin might be a great answer. Also, if you are confused as to what sunscreens to use, don’t worry, we have compiled a list of the Top 10 Tried and True Korean sunscreens for acne-prone, oily skin. And the best part is they are all under 30 dollars!
What is the best Korean sunscreen for oily skin?
The best Korean sunscreen for oily skin combines oil-controlling ingredients like Niacinamide, and green tea extract, and skin barrier-loving ingredients such as Centella Asiatica, Panthenol, and Squalene. They also pack a lot of antioxidants with soothing properties like Mugwort, Rice Brean Extract, and Aloe Vera.
One of the misconceptions about oily skin is that it doesn’t need any hydration or moisture which couldn’t be further from the truth. Did you know that if you don’t moisturize oily skin? Your skin will produce even more oil to compensate for the lost moisture. So, besides using a moisturizer for oily skin regularly, you need to layer it with sunscreen that is equally moisturizing and replenishing. According to AAD, for optimized sun protection, you need to go with sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
In addition, the best Korean sunscreen is the one that is lightweight, non-greasy, free of common irritants, and non-comedogenic. (that won’t clog your pores)
You also need sunscreen with a matte or semi-glowing finish. Most Korean sunscreens aim for that glowing, supple-looking skin so they deliver a somewhat shinier finish. You don’t what your oily skin looking too dry, or too glowing, it is crucial to find that sweet spot.
Now, enough with the chitchat let’s jump right into it! Keep in mind that
Top 10 Best Korean Sunscreens for Oily Skin
#1. Best Korean Sunscreen for Oily skin with a Matte Finish: A’PIEU – Super Air Fit Mild Sunscreen Matte SPF50+ PA++++
- Has a matte finish
- Contains Centella
- Might leave a white cast
This Korean sunscreen packs a bunch of goodies like Madecassic acid and Asiatic acid which are the forms of the K-beauty superhero – Centella Asiatica. The formula also contains a few emollients like Tocopherol (a form of Vitamin E), and Aloe vera for calming, soothing benefits.
What’s important to remember about this sunscreen is that it is a mineral sunscreen. Meaning that it is formulated with titanium oxide and zinc oxide. Minerals sunscreens are an excellent option for sensitive skin. On the flip side, they tend to leave a white cast. Some online reviews report that it works great under makeup with a slight white cast. So, bear that in mind.
If you have acne-prone, oily skin and you want sunscreen with a matte finish, this one is the one to try out.
#2. Best Korean Sunscreen for Oily skin on the Sensitive side: COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50+/ PA+++
- Very lightweight
- Hydrating and soothing
- Doesn’t leave a white cast
- Suitable for oily, sensitive skin
- Has fragrance
If you google the word “best Korean sunscreen for oily skin”, you are likely to end up with COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream at the top of the results. This cult-favorite sunscreen is one of my favorites too, we have reviewed it extensively here, check it out!
It was one of the first products I tried from COSRX, and I was pretty impressed by its weightless consistency, soothing and calming effects thanks to Aloe vera. I have sensitive skin, however, sometimes it acts like a combo skin with oiliness showing up on my T-zone. This sunscreen doesn’t have a matte finish, however, it leaves the skin feeling comfortable. In my opinion, it is the right amount of shine and moisture.
The only downside to this Korean holy grail is the fact it has fragrance. Although not very potent, it can be a deal breaker for some who have very sensitive skin.
#3.Best Korean Sunscreen for oily, acne-prone skin: MISSHA – All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk SPF50+/PA+++
- Has a soft finish
- Doesn’t dry out oily skin
- No white cast
- Perfect to use in humid weather
- Might not be the best option for darker skin tones
Another great Korean sunscreen for oily, acne-prone skin! This sunscreen has such an easy application: its spreads easily, and dries down instantly. It has a runny, milky consistency with a pinkish hue that gets absorbed by the skin very quickly. No sticky or greasy feeling. It does really live up to its name with a soft finish!
It also works well for those of us who live in a humid climate. Thanks to the Double Layer UV Blocking System, it holds up strong against water and sweat. The formula combines ingredients like Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract and sunscreen filters such as zinc oxide, and a new-generation sunscreen agent – Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine (I know, a mouthful) that is very photostable and is touted as one of the best sunscreen agents known today.
#4. Best Korean Sunscreen for oily skin prone to redness: Klairs – Illuminating Supple Blemish BB Cream SPF40 PA++
- Doesn’t leave a white or gray cast
- Infused with Niacinamide
- Has a natural finish
- Comes in one shade
This is a tinted BB cream by Klairs suitable for acne and redness-prone skin. In order to color-correct redness, it has a slightly greyish undertone to it. Don’t worry though, there is no gray or white cast left. It works really well with the skin by adapting to its color. It contains Niacinamide for oil control and minimizing redness, and other soothing goodies like Centella, licorice extract, and Aloe.
Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish BB Cream has a lightweight texture and uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as main filters against UV rays. Basically, this is a tinted mineral sunscreen with added skincare benefits that doesn’t leave a white cast. What more could we ask for?!
#5. Best Mineral Korean Sunscreen for Oily skin: IPKN Big Apple Sun Cream, SPF 50
- Oil-free formula
- Helps regulate oil production
- Very moisturizing
- No white cast
- Has fragrance
Turns out, just like their website says, an apple a day does more than keep the doctor away. IPKN is an NYC-inspired South Korean brand that offers a number of sunscreens for oily skin. Their products aim for urban protection and the Big Apple (which is a very cute way of naming it) sunscreen is one of them. It is a mineral formula that has physical filters zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
The star ingredient of this sunscreen is apple water extract which is well known for its antioxidant properties. Apples are packed with flavonoids that have antioxidant activity. They fight against free radicals and environmental stressors like pollution and UV damage. The sunscreen is specifically made to target oil production with an oil-free formula. The only downside is that it is not fragrance-free.
Plus, it has Vitamin B3, the superhero Niacinamide for enlarged pores and calming color-correcting properties. It is a true multitasker that protects oily skin from UV rays while keeping oil at bay and moisturized throughout the day.
#6. Best Korean Sunscreen for oily skin with a tone-up effect: Innisfree Tone Up No Sebum Sunscreen EX SPF50+ PA++++
- Shine-free finish
- Has a mattifying effect
- Can be used as a makeup primer
- has a pink shade that is not suitable for darker skin tones
Tone-up creams and skincare products are a thing in K-beauty. If you travel to South Korea, you will come across the word “tone-up” in most products in the nearest skincare shop. You might associate it with toners, however, it refers to brightening products that fight hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone.
So, this physical sunscreen by Innisfree offers a tone-up effect while controlling oil production (just like its name-no sebum!) It blurs out imperfections, brightens the skin, and has a mattifying finish that works for many with oily skin. Plus, sunflower seed oil, green tea, and Centella Asiatica nourish the skin and prevent moisture loss.
#7. Best Gel Korean Sunscreen for Oily skin: MISSHA All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun SPF50+ PA++++
- Lightweight, watery texture
- Dries down matte
- No pilling up
- Works for darker skin tones with no white cast left
- Contains fragrance and alcohol
- Can be drying
If you are on the lookout for the best Korean sunscreen for oily skin that is non-greasy with no white cast, no shine, or stickiness, this is your best bet. Another successful sunscreen by MISSHA is a chemical sunscreen that leaves no white cast on the skin. It applies beautifully on the skin and dries down matte which makes it great for extremely oily skin.
This sunscreen does include alcohol and fragrance. Alcohol in skincare can be a bit of a dark horse. Fatty alcohols can even enhance the performance of skincare products. However, alcohols like Alcohol denat can be drying. Many people online didn’t report any irritation, however, if you apply a good moisturizer underneath, it is less likely to be an issue.
#8. Best Moisturizing Korean sunscreen for oily skin/combo skin: AXIS-Y-Complete No-Stress Physical Sunscreen
- Suitable for oily/combo skin
- Has moisturizing ingredients
- Satin/matte finish
- Has fragrance
- Might leave a thin white cast
Physical sunscreens (aka mineral sunscreens) get a bad rap because of how chalky their texture might end up. However, that’s not the case for this physical sunscreen by AXIS-Y. With its cream-like consistency, it blends into the skin like a dream. It has an almost matte finish with a slight satin feel to it.
This is a mugwort-based sunscreen. Mugwort is a very popular ingredient used in Korean skincare thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial nature. It helps clear up breakouts and support the skin barrier which is super important for oily, acne-prone skin. Plus, it leaves the skin hydrated and nourished. In addition, the formula invites other goodies ingredients to the party: Squalene – to moisturize, Calendula, and Chamomile extract to soothe and calm down the skin, and Green tea extract to enhance sun protection.
The formula does have a lime-like scent, and some reviewers mentioned that it can leave a thin white cast.
#9. Best Korean Sunscreen for oily skin that can be used as a Moisturizer: THANK YOU FARMER – Sun Project Light Sun Essence SPF50+ PA+++
- Invisible on the skin
- Safe for sensitive, oily skin
- No greasy finish
On a hunt for sunscreen for oily skin that is invisible on the skin? This one is very close to being the one.
THANK YOU FARMER is a Korean brand that harvests natural ingredients and infuses them with its skincare products. Every skin type needs moisture, and oily skin is no exception. So, naturally, the best sunscreen for oily skin protects the skin from the sun while providing moisture. The key ingredients of this sunscreen are Bamboo water, Althaea Rosea Root Extract to hydrate, and Soybean lipids to strengthen the skin barrier.
If you are too lazy to use a moisturizer (which I strongly recommend you do), this can be a one-stop shop – a sunscreen and a moisturizer in one. The only catch is that it has a scent. I mean, if you don’t mind it, I guess it shouldn’t really be an issue, to begin with.
FAQ on sunscreen for oily skin
Absolutely. All skin types need daily sunscreen protection. (at least SPF 30)
You can, but it’s not ideal. Your moisturizer protects your skin barrier that not all sunscreens are up for. If you want to skip this step, make sure your sunscreen contains a wide range of moisturizing ingredients.
You should use sunscreen for oily skin every day, just like with other skin types. Go for a broad-spectrum formula that protects against both UVA and UVB lights. Don’t forget to reapply it every 2 hours.
Korean sunscreens pack moisturizing, skin-loving ingredients. Best Korean sunscreens for oily skin also contain oil-controlling, acne-clearing agents. Plus, they mostly have a weightless and invisible finish. While it isn’t a competition, in my opinion, Korean sunscreen for oily skin offers more skin benefits when compared to other American/UK brands.
Best Korean sunscreens for oily skin are the ones that provide UVA (aka PA+) and UVB protection while hydrating and nourishing the skin. The most distinctive feature is probably their lightweight texture with a matte, semi-matte, or shiny finish.
It should be, but you can go higher. Most Korean sunscreens for oily skin will include SPF 30, 40, or 50 with UVA (PA) protection. SPF 30 at least is what AAD recommends to use daily.