July and August are the two hottest months of the year in Seoul, which unfortunately means this short period can do some major damage to your skin from intense UV rays. We’ve all heard that wearing sunblock every day is the best way to prevent dark spots and wrinkles, but if you’ve had even a cursory look at the market, you might just walk away from the overwhelming variety. While we can’t say we’ve tested every single sunblock under the sun (pun intended), we’ve had our share of woes from sticky to chalky over the years. So the editors of Seoulist rounded up a list of 5 favorites that you can count on to be your ally under the sun.
For oily/combination skin:
Innisfree Eco Safety No Sebum Sun Milk 45ml / 14,000 won
A true bang for your buck, this milky (read: thin liquid) concoction is perfect for oily skin, as it mattifies all of that unsightly shine and even doubles as a base for your normal makeup routine (trust me, it works because I often wore this sans makeup for the fact that it put a nice filter on my complexion—without knowing that it was meant to function as such). Though it zaps shine and has a dry finish, it’s charged with sunflower oil and green tea extract so it doesn’t deprive your skin of valuable nutrients. The mineral filter also makes it a great match for those who are sensitive to chemical sunscreens.
For dry skin:
Sulwhasoo Hydro-Aid Moisturizing Lifting UV Protection Cream 50ml / 55,000 won
We admit there’s a bit of a sticker shock but this one does so much more than just block harmful rays. This super moisturizing version is replete with hanbang ingredients that the brand is famed for, so your skin is left looking radiant and assures your makeup goes on more smoothly (who knew the secret to glowing skin would be a sunscreen?). There’s no room on our vanity for heavy, oily sunblocks, and this one is perfect for those seeking something indulgent for their thirsty skin.
For sensitive skin:
Mild Essence Sun Milk by Missha 70ml / 19,800 won
Our resident beauty expert, Charlotte Lee of Soko Glam, recently raved about this and we couldn’t agree more. This milky formula is laced with skin-boosting essence and applies like a dream (smells like it, too!). It’s super light and is absorbed onto skin with a non-greasy finish, so it’s a life-saver for all skin types. As Charlotte notes, it’s both alcohol-free and hypoallergenic, making it your new best friend if you have sensitive skin. Alas, we can’t resist the gorgeous design of the bottle either!
O Hui Velvet Mist Spray Sunblock EX 120ml / 22,500 won
This brand is most noted for their ingenious powder sunscreen, but this spray is a dark horse to be reckoned with. It disperses a super fine mist evenly, which is perfect for those who are always in a rush or aren’t keen on re-applying a cream version in fear of ruining their makeup. I’m a huge fan of spray types but not a big fan of the sticky feeling most leave on my skin. This leaves you with a nice velvety touch, so it’s worth every penny for the quality and ease of use.
For summer sport lovers:
CLIO Sunbelievable All Kill Sun Spray 100ml / 18,000 won
The hangup with many spray sunscreens is that it often leaves a patch of white concentration that you have to rub, which kind of defeats the purpose of a spray sunscreen. Say hello to this genius bottle that goes on completely clear (with a cooling sensation to boot). What’s really extraordinary is that you can reapply mid-dip without having to dry off with a towel first. Yes, this sunblock works on wet skin. There goes your excuse!