The majority of Korean women view skin to be the epitome of beauty. That is the reason why Korean women stick to their long-step skincare regimen. They are also very aware that their efforts to preserve and restore youthful skin can be too easily ruined by the sun, the sun being the number one enemy to the skin. Consequently, it’s no wonder that there is a dire need to protect their skin from the blazing sun and the last step in Korean skincare regimen happens to be sunscreen.

Before we go into the nitty-gritty about sunscreens, here is a short recap on why we need to use sunscreens. The majority of us are quite aware of the dangers of long exposure to the sun. The dangerous factors are the UVB and UVA rays. The UVB rays are responsible for sunburn and skin cancer while UVA rays accelerate skin aging, creates dark spots, worsen the appearance of existing scars, and increase the risk of skin cancer. What we have to understand is the fact that sun protection factor (SPF) measures a sunscreen’s ability to filter only the UVB rays. If we want sunscreen products to protect our skin from the harmful UVA rays, then we have to look for the words like “broad spectrum” or “PA+” in the labeling of sunscreens. The more + in PA+ means more protection against the UVA rays. (PA is the abbreviation for Protection Grade of UVA). However, surprisingly, not many American sunscreens have adequate protection for both rays. A study by Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that many products with SPF ratings of 30 or higher had inadequate UVA protection. Therefore, it is no surprise with the Korean beauty boom that savvy shoppers are turning to Korean sunscreens for strong protection against both unwanted rays.

Not only does Korean sunscreens have both protection from UVB and UVA rays but offer sufficient protection against UVA rays, a good majority of sunscreens having PA+++. What’s more, for your convenience, the Korean sunscreen products come in a variety of forms, shapes, and sizes. They come in sticks, moisturizers, cushion foundations, powders, and spray mists. If you are picky about the textures of these sunscreens, which is rightfully so, because in the past we have encountered sunscreens that just smeared on our skin so it took longer to absorb, leaving residues and our face looking oily. Well, now they are available in liquid, gel, mousse, lotion, cream, and even in powder so you can choose between lightweight textures or the outcome of how matt you want the end result to be. Sunscreens have also become smarter, multi-functioning, that they provide supplemental hydration, oil control, blur out imperfection, act as a primer, add radiance, and even brighten the skin tone. Some sunscreens provide preventative as well as reparative care to sun damage. Furthermore, if you are worried about the sensitivity of your skin, well, there are those made with 100% natural ingredients, some being organic, or sunscreens made especially for sensitive skin. What I am trying to tell you is that there is no more excuse not to use one of these as your essential morning routine.

Let’s go on to the application of sunscreens because any dermatologists will tell you that sun protection is the key to having a youthful healthy skin. For maximum effect, use sunscreens with SPF 30 and PA+++. When applying your sunscreen, it is recommended to be used after your moisturizer as the last step in your skincare line or before makeup application. Most packaging will tell you that sunscreens should be applied liberally which means use about a ½ teaspoon each application. Sunscreens should be applied at least 20 minutes prior to sun exposure for sunscreens take time to absorb. If you need to get out quicker than use sunscreens with zinc or titanium oxide which are minerals that block the sun and they work faster than chemical sunscreen ingredients. Remember that sun damage begins within the first minute your skin meets daylight. It will be perfect if you can reapply sunscreen every 2 hours because even though you do not work outside or under direct sunlight, UVA rays come through windows and as time passes the effects of sunscreen wears off. So reapply sunscreen as if retouching your makeup with cushion foundation or powder. For even quicker and easy solution, spray it on with a mist and let your skin enjoy the sun.

Korean sunscreens make it easy, so have a happy sunscreening