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The best Korean sunscreens for dry skin [2018]

We’ve talked at lengths about the best sunscreens for sensitive skin and oily skin, but what about dry skin?

Granted, those of us with dry skin don’t have to worry as much about oil control, but we still need a sunscreen with long lasting hydration, which sometimes may be harder to find than products for oily or sensitive skin types. The sunscreens that we have reviewed in this post are not only lightweight and long-lasting, they are also moisturizing–perfect for daily use or when you’re chilling out on the beach.

 

What to look for when choosing a sunscreen for dry skin

 

Naturally moisturizing ingredients

Whether you have naturally dry skin, have eczema, or live in a dry climate, it is a good idea to look for sunscreen with natural moisturizing extracts such as honey, aloe, and rose flowers. These extracts will help your skin stay hydrated throughout the day without relying on occlusive oils, which may feel greasy or even worse, clog pores.

 

Avoid the “drying” alcohols

Alcohol is often used in skin care products as an emulsifier and/or to control viscosity. Some alcohols, such as ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol (sometimes listed as SD alcohol) are drying and can mess up your skin’s natural moisture barrier, resulting in blackouts. That said, not all alcohols are bad. According to The DERMAdoctor Skinstruction Manual, certain types of “fatty” alcohols are non-irritating and perfectly fine for your skin. Examples of “fatty” (“good alcohols” in this case) are: stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol.

 

Neogen Dermalogy Day-Light Protection Sun Screen SPF50/PA+++

HIGHLIGHTS

Pros:

– Has anti-aging benefits, good for fine lines and wrinkles
– Broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
– Absorbs quickly
– No “drying alcohol”
– Waterproof

Cons:

– Contains honey, be advised if you are allergic to honey products

A fantastic sunscreen for dry skin or aging skin. This facial sunscreen is formulated to be soothing and hydrating with rose flower extract (which calms and moisturizes the skin) and honey (which is anti-microbial and has healing capability). In addition, the raspberry and blueberry extracts contain antioxidants which can help reduce the production of free radicals that damage cells. You can find this sunscreen at Sephora for around $30, but we prefer to buy on Amazon since it’s usually at least $5 cheaper.

 

Click to see the full list of ingredients
Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Zinc Oxide, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Hexanediol, Isoamyl P-Methoxycinnamate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus(Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Carbomer, Lippia Citriodora Leaf Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Angelica Archangelica Root Extract, Beta-Glucan, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Alumina, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Citrus Limon (Lomon) Fruit Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Cedrus Atlantica Wood Oil, Disodium Edta, Potassium Hydroxide, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis(Orange) Oil, Aluminum Stearate.

 

Why we recommend it

The Neogen Dermatology Day light Protection Sunscreen is light (feels more like a moisturizer than a sunscreen), absorbs readily, and does not leave a white cast. Because the formulation has plenty of hydrating ingredients, it leaves a shiny, dewy finish. This sunscreen is meant for drying skin, so if you have non-dry skin type, this may feel too greasy for you. If this is the case and you still want to use it for the anti-aging benefits, you may need to use powder or skip the moisturizer while using this sunscreen.

 

Skinfood Aloe Watery Sun Water Gel SPF 50+ Pa+++

HIGHLIGHTS

Pros:

– Lightweight gel texture
– Absorbs quickly
– No “drying alcohol”
– No white cast
– Moisturizing

Cons:

-Noticeable fragrance

Being alcohol-free and containing moisturizing aloe extract, this hybrid physical and chemical sunscreen is a great choice for those struggling with dry skin. Aloe, known for its intense hydration, gives you a significant moisturizing boost that is water-based rather than oil-based, thus it won’t clog up your pores. There’s also chamomile extract in the ingredients that can help soothe any existing skin irritation due to dryness. Heads up for those who are sensitive to smells: there is definitely a noticeable aloe scent–like a fresh body wash, but the smell does go away quickly upon application. Despite the name, the texture of the sunscreen is NOT watery, it’s more of the consistency of lotion and absorbs quickly into your skin, so it feels like you have nothing on.

 

Click to see the full list of ingredients
Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Octyl Methoxycinnamate (Octinoxate), Octyl Salicylate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Lauryl Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Titanium Dioxide, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Propylene Carbonate, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Fragrance, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Hizikia Fusiforme Extract, Tocopherol

 

Why we recommend it

This one checks most of the boxes for us. We like the matte finish, and how there’s zero white cast and no pilling under makeup. It’s moisturizing without being pore-clogging. It’s light, easy to absorb, and best of all, its price is affordable for a daily use sunscreen.

 

Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream for Dry Skin SPF50+ PA+++

HIGHLIGHTS

Pros:

– Absorbs quickly
– No “drying alcohol”
– No white cast
– Waterproof
– Dewy finish

Cons:

– Contains sorbitan oleate, which may be comedogenic and cause breakouts

If you have dry but sensitive skin, or have eczema, the Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream for Dry Skin sunscreen is worth checking out. We have written at lengths about another Innisfree sunscreen for sensitive skin in this post. The best thing about this sunscreen is that contains moisturizing ingredients (turmeric root and chia seed extract) and none of the commonly irritating ingredients found in cosmetics (no parabens, mineral oil, animal-originated ingredients, synthetic colorants, and imidazolidinyl urea). In addition, the organic green tea extract and organic sunflower oil sourced from Jeju Island also protect the skin from sun damage naturally.

 

Click to see the full list of ingredients
Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Homosalate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Octocrylene, Titanium Dioxide, Cyclomethicone, 1,2-hexanediol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Polyacrylate-13, Hydroxyacetophenone, Propanediol, Aluminum Stearate, Polyisobutene, Glycerin, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Bis-peg-15 Dimethicone/ipdi Copolymer, Sorbitan Oleate, Fragrance, Octyldodecanol, Saccharide Hydrolysate, Behenyl Alcohol, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Alumina, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Polysorbate 20, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Phenoxyethanol, T-butyl Alcohol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/leaf/vine Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Orchid Extract, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate

 

Why we recommend it

The Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream for Dry Skin Sunscreen is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin or eczema. In addition to being non-greasy and lightweight, this sunscreen has a long-lasting waterproof formula, which will protect you while you’re outdoors, be it trekking through Yosemite or just walking the dog around the block.

 

Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45/PA+++

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Pros:

– Absorbs quickly
– UVA & UVB protection
– No “drying alcohol”
– No white cast
– Waterproof
– Matte finish

Cons:

– Contains dimethicones, which may cause breakouts to those who are allergic

One of the best Korean sunblock on the market, the Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sunscreen is a hydration powerhouse. It contains extracts from aloe, cucumber, mulberry root, licorice, portulaca oleracea (little hogweed), and witch hazel to continuously keep your skin moisturized through the day. If you like the antioxidant power from tea extract in your skin care, you’re going to love this sunscreen. The formulation contains seven kinds of tea extracts: green tea, chrysanthemum tea, mugwort tea, mulberry tea, persimmon leaf tea, arrowroot tea, and cinnamon tea. With this Missha sunscreen, you can protect your skin from harmful UV rays and nourish it at the same time.

 

Click to see the full list of ingredients
Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Polysorbate 60, Dimethicone, Polyacrylate-13, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, PEG-100 Stearate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance, Polyisobutene, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Sorbitan Stearate, Limonia Acidissima Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, BHT, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Isostearate, Morus Alba Root Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Indicum flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Rosa Davurica Bud Extract, Panthenol, Diospyros Kaki Leaf Extract, Artemisia princeps Leaf Extract, Morus Alba Fruit Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Alcohol, Potassium sorbate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Sodium Benzoate

 

Why we recommend it

We’ve covered many Asian sunscreens in our past posts, and this Missha sunscreen has a special place in our heart because of how gentle and non-greasy it is. Like the Innisfree sunscreen listed above, the Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sunscreen is perfect for someone with dry but sensitive skin, since it does not contain the types of “drying alcohols” ingredients. Missha has formulated this sunscreen with a double layer of polymer for long lasting, waterproof protection. It has a lotion-like, lightweight texture very similar to the Innisfree sunscreen. However, the Missha sunscreen’s finish is more matte, whereas the Innisfree sunscreen has a more dewy finish.

 

Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel SPF 50 PA+++

HIGHLIGHTS

Pros:

– Free of: Parabens, mineral oils, and synthetic dyes
– Broad spectrum UVA / UVB protection
– Hydrating (with mineral water) and moisturizing (with glycerin)
– No “drying” alcohols

Cons:

– Contains Sorbitan Oleate, which may be comedogenic and cause breakouts
– Contains dimethicones, which may cause breakouts to those who are allergic

Sparkling water for your skin! Yup, this sunscreen is formulated with sparkling water sourced from Harrogate, a small spa town in North Yorkshire, England. No need to book a trip, you can enjoy the benefits of sparkling water right in your own vanity. Having a water-based formulation keeps the sunscreen consistency light, hydrates your skin, and prevents your pores from clogging. It has the texture of a moisturizer and will feel like you have nothing on once you’ve massaged it into your skin.

Being free of these yucky ingredients: paraben, PABA, synthetic dyes & fragrances, mineral oils is an added bonus. It’s also nice that the bottle is small enough to fit in your handbag for reapplication throughout the day.

 

Click to see the full list of ingredients

Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dipropylene Glycol, Octocrylene, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Butylene Glycol, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, INCI(X) Carbonated Water, Dimethicone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Potassium Hydroxide, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Sorbitan Oleate, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Fragrance

 

Why we recommend it

This broad spectrum sunscreen meets all our usual criteria: light texture, super hydrating, no white cast, easy to absorb, and offers high protection. PS: according to Earth’s Recipe, they are against animal testing and all of their products are cruelty-free, so rest easy that your sunscreen is good for both you and the environment.