The 14 Best Korean Sunscreens in 2024

Once again, K-beauty knows best.

woman in a pool wearing sunscreen
(Image credit: Getty)

We’ve talked time and again about our love for K-beauty. We've waxed poetic about Korean skincare brands like Dr. Jart+, Sulwhasoo, and Laneige that pull their innovation, technology, and ingredients from South Korea. We've talked extensively about Korean moisturizers that emphasize skin barrier restoration, and obsessed over K-beauty sheet masks that make us glow in a few minutes flat. But we’d be remiss not to do a deep dive into the best Korean sunscreens, as they’re some of the most advanced, elegant formulas in the world. 

The Benefits of Korean Sunscreens

“Korea is always pushing the boundaries on texture innovations and formula stability as the market is hyper-competitive and demanding,” explains Peach & Lily founder Alicia Yoon. The result of such progressive formulation? Lightweight, glow-giving sunscreens with advanced, UV-blocking filters that don’t leave a chalky white cast on the skin. 

The best Korean sunscreens don't just have a stronghold when it comes to texture; they’re also proven to bring the same high standards to sun protection. Yoon explains that while U.S. sunscreens qualify for the “broad spectrum” label on a pass-fail system, the K-beauty system, a.k.a .the PA system, requires much heavier testing to assess exactly how extensively the formula protects the skin from UVA rays. 

“There are four grades in the PA system: PA+, PA++, PA+++, and PA++++,” explains Yoon. “Each plus sign covers a rand of the PPD (Persistent Pigment Darkening) test. The highest number of the +’s offers the most UVA protection. So while you’re shopping, look out for sunscreen bottles with as many plus signs as possible.”

The Best Korean Sunscreens

Meet the Expert

Alicia Yoon

Alicia Yoon is a Korean skincare expert and the founder of Peach & Lily, a leading source and retailer for all things Korean beauty. Her acclaimed Peach & Lily skincare collection is 100% worry-free, non-toxic, and cruelty-free, using clinically-proven ingredients. Alicia travels regularly between New York City and Seoul to find the best products and most innovative skincare, and she has helped make Korean beauty the phenomenon it is in the U.S. today. An esthetician certified by spas in Korea and licensed in New York, Alicia is also a Harvard Business School graduate and an avid sheet-masker. She is on WWD's 25 Most Innovative Beauty Executives list and serves on the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Board of Governors.

Samantha Holender
Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar,,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.