As a young woman living in a northern European country, myself and many others believe we only need to protect our skin when sipping cocktails at the beach. However, I have learned from the Korean and Japanese age-old lore of beauty to wear sunscreen even when the sun is nowhere to be seen.
When it’s cloudy, 80 percent of the UV light actually affects our skin and thus, you need sun protection. Wearing protection daily protects your skin from the sun’s UV light, but not only that! The product has other benefits as well; I realized a good sunscreen actually gives you great glow – imagine your face with lots of highlighter! I came to this insight when trying a lot of hydrating moisturizers in order to find the best one. Who knew that sunscreen would turn out to be my secret to glow without makeup? I sure didn’t!
Not to mention sunscreen is the No. 1 way to battle signs of ageing. If you want to boost your anti-ageing capabilities, just add antioxidants which is usually in sun protection. It’s especially important for ageing skin to prevent future damage to collagen and elastin from UV light while helping to repair damage already done. As a result, your skin gets smooth and hydrated after wearing sun protection.
We have brought to you a variety of our favourite European, Japanese and Korean sunscreens, depending on your skin type. Every sunscreen contains different ingredients, some that might be perfect for your BFF but not so great for your particular skin type. So let’s help each other out! Because let’s be honest; there is nothing worse than having a bad reaction to something that is designed to protect your skin, right? Whether it’s sensitive, dry, oily, darker or lighter tone, let’s take a look at what sunscreen fits your skin type!
First of all, something really good to learn is that Korean and Japanese cosmetics rely on the Japanese Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) rating system to ensure that each sunscreen has adequate UVA protection in addition to the usual UVB-fighting SPF. Which means that on any given Korean sunscreen, you’ll also see a series of one-to-four plus signs (along with an SPF rating), which signal how much UVA protection you’re getting from that formula.
Most sunscreens out there tend to be heavy and white. That’s an issue when you’re closer to Serena Williams than Emma Stone, skin tone-wise. Heavy, white sunscreens don’t rub in well and make dark skin look chalky, talking from own experience. The right formula should be light, easy to spread, and should absorb fully into the skin so you don’t see it.
Many Koreans fight to cover pores, if you wear the wrong sunscreen, that could block pores and cause breakouts. Look for the magic word, noncomedogenic, on the bottle to ensure it won’t suffocate your skin. And because we know what you’re about to ask, noncomedogenic is just a fancy way of saying a product has been specially formulated so it won’t block pores.
The creamier it is, the better off you are. Look for something that implies moisture, hydration, or creaminess (as opposed to gel or dry-touch formulas), says NYC dermatologist Howard Sobel, M.D; which is very good advice, if you have sensitive, dry skin. Try to look for sunscreens with limited ingredients suitable for sensitive skin.
A common misconception about oily skin is that it doesn’t need moisture. But keeping your skin hydrated can prevent dead skin cell buildup that leads to breakouts. Find sunscreen with oil-free formulations that won’t weigh down the skin or block your pores. This Neogen Dermalogy sunscreen with SPF 50 is lightweight and ideal for all skin types, including oily skin, but it also provides nourishment and hydration, thanks to rose, honey, and raspberry extracts. Reviewers say it smells fresh, doesn’t leave a white cast, and gives skin a matte finish. It’s also a Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free Certified brand. However, if you’re not that into smothering your face with sunscreen every day, a smart tip to always protect the skin is to use a day cream or foundation with SPF.