Feature: Exploring K-Beauty Sunscreen Recommendations

Kbeauty SPF Sunscreens from StyleKorean

This product was sent to me for review purposes. Please note that affiliate links are used.

A lot of people who are outside of the k-beauty community might not have heard about this, but there was a huge sunscreen scandal last year (late November 2020, to be exact). It started with the Purito Centella Green sunscreen (which has a lower SPF than was marketed due to improper practices by the manufacturer) and, as a result of that, pretty much every k-beauty brand began to review and re-test their formulations. This situation resulted in a lot of uncertainty and skepticism – how do we know which products can be trusted, and how do they know that they have been formally tested? – but I’m here to help!

(Well, StyleKorean is… but I digress)

I was approached by StyleKorean to discuss their range of sunscreens. In order to help customers be more confident in the brands and products that they are carrying, they have worked to carefully curate (and even personally test) their sunscreens range. Aside from the advertised SPF ratings, they have also gathered the formal testing documentations for all of these products – which I will be referring to in this post too.

There’s a massive range on their site, but these are the k-beauty sunscreens that I’ll be discussing in this article:

And now, let’s dive right into the details!

NOTE: The listing of these statistics are according to the reports I have been given access to and, to some extent, are also dependent on my own understanding of the terminology. I do not claim to be a scientist or a skincare professional; just another customer fascinated by what I am presented with.

If you are unsure on how to read some of the listed results, please see the guide at the end of the article.

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Battle of the K-Beauty Sunscreens (Stylevana Collaboration)

Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Make P:Rem, Biore, Missha and Labioette

Personally, I think that sunscreen is one of the most underdone steps in our skincare routine. Everyone knows how important it is, but we are often mistaken about how much we are actually doing. There’s a misconception that our foundations, which mostly contain some level of SPF now, is sufficient sun protection – but it’s really not. Whether you are going to the beach or just staying indoors with your computer, you should be using specialised sun care.

Admittedly, I didn’t use sunscreen at all when I was a teenager. I had an allergic reaction once so figured that was it – but I was absolutely wrong, The issue that I had in the past was that many would be heavy on my skin, clogging pores and causing break outs – so the question is: What’s a good sunscreen? Where should you start?

Today, I’m going to be looking at six different Korean sunscreens and discussing the pro’s and con’s for all of them. Of course, this review will be written purely in my own perspective and with my skin type in mind, so I would recommend doing some research yourself too!

All of these were kindly gifted to me by Stylevana – and they’re all available on their website. If you’ve found something you like, hop over there to make an order. Valid until the end of November, you can also get 10-15% off your order with my code INF10STELLAR (excluding weekend deals and instant offers).

And… let’s get into it!

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Review: Centella Green Level Unscented Sun (Purito)

Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun Kbeauty Review

This product was sent to me for review purposes.

NOTE: This product was pulled into a big scandal at the end of 2020 where the PDF value was tested to be significantly lower than what was advertised. Puroti have since released a public statement explaining at the issue stemmed from the manufacturers and, after independent testing, the product has been pulled. Whilst I still stand by my review for this product (texturally and application wise), please note that all references to SPF levels here are inaccurate.

Purito is an indie k-beauty brand that is well known for their EWG green level ingredients (that is, proven skin safe ingredients) and their simple but effective formulas. Their brand is all about investing in their products, not in gimmicks or fancy packaging, and it’s been so good watching them grow as more and more people learn of them. They are a brand that I trialed quite a while ago (see all of my past reviews here) and, while some formulas worked better for me than others, I’ve never tried anything from them that’s actually bad – in fact, I’ve always enjoyed Purito and I have a lot of confidence in them!

One of their popular products is their Centella Green Level Safe Sun but it was not suitable for all skin types because the original formula included essential oils. True to their brand values, of course, they have now launched their Centella Green Level Unscented Sun! Not only is this formula free of fragrances, it also has a higher percentage of Centella Asiatica, the perfect ingredient to soothe and calm sensitive skin.

I was so keen to try this one out that I broke into the bottle right away. I’m a religious SPF user (as everyone should be) but tend to be sensitive to some formulas – I have had body sunscreens make my entire body break out in hives before and certain formulas also clog my pores and make my skin super greasy. This formula is so perfect though and, even while I’m working on this review, I’m not ready to let my bottle go.

The Centella Green Level Unscented Sun is available on the Purito website for USD$18.90 but, before you jump on there, let’s get into this review!

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New Release: Petal Velvet Sunaway & Powder (Althea)

Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway Kbeauty Sunscreen Review

These products were provided to me by Althea for my honest review. Affiliate links are not used in this post.

Note: I have been notified that Althea has made a correction to the ingredients of this product. Due to mistranslations, Hyaluronic Acid was included in the ingredients list of the Sunaway, but this ingredient was not used in the development of this product. This review has been amended for this.

I am a firm, firm believer in the importance of using sun protection and it’s pretty rare for me to go out without it (although whether or not I use SPF on my body is another question – one which I should fix up). At the moment, I have three sunscreens on rotation in my routine: one which is a staple HG product and the other two which I tried out recently.

Being a part of the Althea Angels community, one of the biggest benefits is that we get access to information about new releases (and sometimes the actual products) before the launch date and I was pretty excited when they announced their news sunscreen! This is meant to be both hydrating and with sebum control properties, so it really fits in perfectly to what I usually look for in SPF.

I have tried out this product, the Petal Velvet Sunaway, for a handful of weeks now and I have to say that I’m pretty satisfied with this product! It is also very affordable at USD$10 on their website – which is always a benefit. In the same range, there is also the Petal Velvet Powder, which I will touch on briefly as they are available in a set for USD$13 – 10% off the retail price.

So, let’s get right into this review/new release post!

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Review: Soft Airy UV Essence (Klairs)

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence Sunscreen Kbeauty Review

This product was sent to me by Wishtrend for review purposes. I was not paid for this post but please note that affiliate links are used on my blog. These go towards supporting Oh My Stellar and future content.

I believe strongly in wearing SPF and will almost never go without it. However, because I have had allergic reactions to sunscreens in the past (which resulted in a not-so-fun afternoon at the Gold Coast wanting to scratch my thigh off) I am usually quite cautious with the types of products that I use. Adding in that I will hardly ever go without base make up, I also need skincare products that don’t interfere with the longevity of my foundation.

However, when I found out from Wishtrend that Dear Klairs was launching a new sunscreen, I wanted to give it a try! Partly because I needed to find an option that was more easily accessible (my go-to sunscreen is a Japanese Biore one that I can only get if someone I know or I go to Japan) and also because I have used their products before with great experiences.

Their products are generally also very well targeted for sensitive skin so, while I don’t usually have sensitive skin, this may be good for my (sometimes) SPF allergies. In addition to a product that doesn’t break me out, I am also looking for something lightweight that absorbs well into the skin and doesn’t cause foundation to apply patchy or break up. In general, I found that this sunscreen ticked all of those boxes and may be my new, more accessible alternative.

This sunscreen, the Soft Airy UV Essence is now available at Wishtrend (I received this as a pre-launch PR gift) for USD$23 and is part of their expanding Freshly Juiced Line – which I am a fan of.

Keep reading for my full review!

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