There's not much that makes a whole lot of us feel like a little kid being force-fed vegetables like the constant reminders to apply sunscreen — every day, several times a day, and also all over. Sunscreen is probably one of the most inelegant beauty or health necessities — sometimes it smells weird, but mostly it feels like a layer of pore-clogging grease that rarely if ever plays nicely with makeup or moisturizers. But you've got to use it! We're all pretty caught up on how important sun protection is not only for our health, but also for the purpose of "anti-aging" if that's a concern of yours.
Speaking of prioritizing sun protection, Koreans are the most extra folks in terms of skin care (think 10-step daily skin care routines and weekly facial visits as standard practice) so they would be the ones most likely making the most top shelf sunscreens. Korean beauty culture prizes smooth even dewy skin as the epitome of conventional beauty, so it makes a lot of sense that their competitive beauty market is constantly innovating sunscreen formulas to give consumers the protection they require with the texture, feel, and wear that any makeup-wearing (or makeup-hating) person would demand. If you're use to the goopy white cast of most sunscreens you find in a lot of western drugstores or beauty shops, going so far to even skip the SPF in favor of a more preferable complexion feel, a) what are you even DOING, and b) get thee a Korean sunscreen and have your sun protection bases properly handled.
As someone who's been singing the praises of Korean sunscreens for the past few years now, I can tell you that I've tried a handful and the most noticeable difference is the texture and wear. Sun protection should always be the outermost layer of your skin care routine, topping your moisturizer, and I find that Korean sunscreens are always light, easily spreadable and leave no visible trace or cast behind. Many even incorporate skin care benefits like hydration, antioxidants and skin tone-evening ingredients as a one-step product to do heavy lifting on top of your moisturizer and serums.
I consulted Toronto-based cosmetic chemist, Stephen Ko, as to what exactly makes Korean sunscreens dare-I-say "superior" to Western ones — at least in terms not sacrificing protection for texture.