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Soak Up the Sun (Safely, With SPF)

While we talk product a lot in our offices, perhaps no product category is more contested than sunscreens. We all have the same basic needs in our SPF protection: a wide-spectrum formula that doesn’t irritate the skin and plays well with or without makeup. Past that, the opinions differ. Some of us like a thicker, creamier application and others (read: me) want a thin formula that still provides ample protection against the dangerous caresses of the sun. Sounds romantic, but it’s not.

I grew up in a family of sun worshipers and barely made contact with an SPF grade above 15 for the first two decades of my life. When I learned about the wide, wide range of K-sunscreens, a bit after I fell into K-beauty itself, I realized there just might be something to the idea of using sunscreen daily. After all, the country has come up with literally thousands upon thousands of textures and levels of protection to choose from, the best of which leave no white cast or sticky Banana Boat coating on your skin after you use them. Our team has spent the winter testing dozens of sunscreens, and we’re psyched to share with you a round up of those we’re currently offering and loving.

Remember that in Korea, PA ratings are used to indicate levels of UVA protection. UVA rays are able to penetrate to deeper levels of the skin and have the ability to damage the natural production of collagen and elastin, resulting in premature aging. Check them out below!

Dr. Oracle EPL Daily Sunblock
SPF 50+ PA+++

The EPL Daily Sunblock has a moisturizing, creamy texture.

The EPL Daily Sunblock is on OG in the Glow Recipe offices. Boasting broad spectrum protection, this sunblock has a thick, creamy texture that helps to deeply moisturize the skin, and is ideal as a final step in a morning routine that utilizes multiple hydrating products. When used atop your hydrating layers, the EPL Daily Sunblock helps to lock in hydration and smooth the skin to a matte finish that’s ready to face the day whether you’re applying base makeup or not! The sunblock is enriched with Aloe and a proprietary Greenol complex meant to soothe skin, including Lavender, Freesia, Chamomile, Bergamot, Peppermint, and Rosemary. We love using this sunblock as a makeup gripping primer, especially in the summer when makeup tends to need a priming base to keep from fading throughout the day!

Ideal for: all skin types, especially those looking to calm dry patches and impart lasting moisture

Goodal Mild Protect Sun Essence
SPF 50+ PA+++

sun essemce

The Mild Protect Sun Essence is a completely new texture in sunscreen that we’re in awe of- dispensed from a pump, the thin, viscous formula looks like no sunscreen I’ve seen before. Representing a new trend, this watery sunscreen is enriched with skincare, and a barely-there finish that fellow former Sun Worshipers can get behind easily. The Sun Essence even contains Jeju Honey extract, meaning the drydown of this sunscreen is dewier than all the others, imparting the skin with a healthy dose of gwang. Our team has been loving this formula for bare-skin days, as it imparts a perfectly healthful glow!

Ideal for: all skin types, especially combination/ acne prone and those looking for a barely-there feel and dewier finish

Goodal Mild Protect Watery Sun Cream
SPF 30 PA++

sun milk

The Goodal Watery Sun Cream is a cooling, watery type lotion that sinks into the skin very quickly, leaving behind no residue or white cast. Instead, skin looks glowy and a bit plumped. Formulated with 60% hydrating ingredients for lasting hydration and fine-line plumping effects throughout the day, including Opuntia Coccinellifera Cactus extract and Lotus Flower. I’m a big fan of Cactus extract for it’s unique water binding properties, and I’ve found that this sun cream really keeps the skin moisturized and happy throughout the day while working perfectly as a mattifying skin base. The addition of skin plumping and rebuilding Hyaluronic Acid is an interesting one, and it’s an ingredient I rarely see in sunscreens.

Ideal for: all skin types, especially those looking for a bit of fine-line plumping and hydration

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


The Waterful Sun Gel combines luxe, creamy application with a cooling sensation that leaves skin feeling perfectly primed and refreshed for IG-worthy #summerfun. The playful texture melts into the skin, leaving it dewy and calm. The addition of sparkling Harrogate mineral water with high silica content helps to maintain a healthful visage by strengthening the material around collagen and elastin cells, leaving skin more plump over time.

Ideal for: all skin types, especially those struggling with dullness

Extra Credit:

arpen aqua cushion glow recipe

Use a cushion compact in a shade that matches your skin tone to top up your SPF protection throughout the day! Cushion foundations are often formulated with broad spectrum SPF for just this purpose, and help to keep skin looking flawless. We recently curated the Arpen Aqua Cushion from Yuri Pibu, a perfect summer weight cushion with broad spectrum SPF 29 protection. Find all of our cushions here.

Get your glow on,

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  • Laurie Jan 20, 2017 11:22 pm

    I enjoyed thebarticle Katies. I am African American and I notice alot of the sunscreens are very white. The one im using has a white cast to it, I have to really work it in the get the whiteness to blend. Which of the featured would work best for my skintone?

    • The Glow Recipe Team Jan 23, 2017 1:03 pm

      Hi Laurie! Thank you for the sweet words! Out of these sunscreens, we would recommend the gel type ones since they are almost invisible when applied to skin. The Goodal Sun Essence has a slight yellow tone to it, which better suits darker skin tones. We also have a new sun gel from Make P:rem that is similar and does not leave any white case! Hope that helps!

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