11 Lightweight K-Beauty Sunscreens That Leave No Trace

Even for all their UV-protecting and anti-aging benefits, getting in the habit of wearing sunscreen can be a struggle. Many of the more affordable options end up looking like a sticky white paint job when applied to our bods — while, alternatively, the sheer-as-satin top-shelf brands can end up costing them big bucks. Our solution? K-beauty sunscreen. It's affordable, has a delightful jelly texture, and that desirable barely-there finish (plus, pretty passionate fan-followings in review sections from Amazon to Sephora and Soko Glam).

Korean beauty has already made a name for itself in leading the innovative-product charge — with everything from sheet to hydrogel masks, essences, ampoules, and now sunscreen. Those aforementioned run-ins with SPFs that leave behind a ghostly white residue (or worse, a clogged-pore party)? A thing of the past with K-beauty's superlight formulas that also tote hydrating, plumping, and oil-balancing benefits, too.


Ahead, a lineup of top-rated internet favorites that we'll be keeping on heavy rotation as our new summer-skin MVPs.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF 50

This Amazon's Choice K-beauty gem boasts SPF-50 coverage, is crafted from a 100% mineral-based formula that is sebum-free, and contains a blend of skin-soothing ingredients (from acai berry to sunflower seed extract and aloe vera).

Fan-Following Says: "If you have oily skin TRY THIS! So I tried this today under my makeup, and it really worked. Like it actually worked. I have a picture that shows all the oil that has accumulated on my t-zone since 11:30 am, it is now 10:06 pm that I am making this review. I haven't blotted once all day, and that is it. Truly money well spent. Oily skin problem solved!"
Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF 50+, $11.00 Buy

Neogen Day-Light Protection Sun Screen SPF 50/PA+++

This formula feels more like a really good moisturizer but delivers serious sun protection. Plus, rose and raspberry extracts offer extra skin-soothing benefits.

Fan-Following Says: "This is my sunscreen. Yup. That's it. That's the entire review. After years of searching for a lightweight sunscreen that wouldn't leave me looking like Caspar the Ghost or like a patty soaked in grease, I've finally found it. It isn't oily and it doesn't clog my pores. It goes on light and feels almost like a moisturizer."
Neogen Day-Light Protection Sun Screen SPF 50/PA+++, $30.00 Buy

Innisfree Daily UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 36

A skin-care-meets-sun-care formula that's just $15? No, you're not dreaming: Don't miss out on snagging this highly-rated sunscreen from Amorepacific's affordable sister brand, Innisfree.

Fan-Following Says: "I'm surprised at how well I like it because most sunscreens feel heavy or greasy, and I hate applying them. Not this one though. The water-based formula is great. I could wear it daily even when I'm not outdoors. I love that it has zero white cast and fully absorbs quickly. Although it promises to offer a dewy glow, I found it has a matte effect which is what I prefer. My skin looked healthy, but it wasn't glowing and that is fine with me. It has a natural green scent. The handy oval tube is stylish and sleek, and the perfect size to travel with. It even fits in my pocket. The lid clicks in place, so I don't have to worry about messy purse mishaps either. Nothing ruins a day more than a beauty product leaking all over your bag on a busy day."
Innisfree Daily UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 36, $15.00 Buy

A'PIEU PURE BLOCK Natural Daily Sun Cream SPF45/PA+++

This under-$10 K-beauty gem is crafted from an all-natural lightweight formula that boasts a moisturizing texture and residue-free satin finish — plus an Amazon's Choice stamp of approval along with 4.5 out of 5 stars and countless raves reviews.

Fan-Following Says: "This is the ONLY SUNSCREEN I’VE USED for the past two years recommended by my dermatologist-sister. She takes skincare and especially sunscreen very seriously. I use it as my last step during the daytime (after cleansing and moisturizing). Doesn’t leave the ‘white cast’ that sunscreen typically leaves on the skin therefore making it great to wear underneath makeup. I have combination skin (dry forehead oily everywhere else) and it doesn’t break me out."
A'PIEU PURE BLOCK Natural Daily Sun Cream SPF45/PA+++, $7.50 Buy

Dr. Oracle A-Thera Sunblock SPF 50

Oily-skinned folks, this one's for you: bamboo water-infused sun lotion that won't clog pores or break you out — and, instead, will balance your sebum levels for happy, healthy skin.

Fan-Following Says: "I really love this sunblock. There is no white residue left on your face, it feels really nice and moisturizing, it actually leaves my whole face looking fresh and even looking toned somehow, and it layers well with makeup. It's the best sunscreen I think I've ever had. Also, I have extremely sensitive and very combination skin so that makes it even better!"
Dr. Oracle A-Thera Sunblock SPF 50, $30.00 Buy

THANKYOU FARMER Sun Project Light Sun Essence SPF50+ PA+++

The silky-smooth texture of this sunscreen doubles as a makeup primer and will make you look forward to putting it on every day (and several times a day!).

Fan-Following Says: "I'm very happy with the way this sunscreen applies and plays well with my makeup products. It adds to the finish of my foundation in a beautiful way! I apply it after my c serum and moisturizer. Allow it a little time to set up and dry then apply makeup. So far it's a beautiful finish. Not drying. No white cast that other face sunscreens give me. No pilling with my other products. I'm loving it!"
THANKYOU FARMER Sun Project Light Sun Essence SPF50+ PA+++, $23.00 Buy

Bombee Moist Sun Essence SPF 50+ PA+++

This bestselling Soko Glam gem is made with botanical ingredients like honey, propolis, and royal jelly extract to bestow a radiant, glowing complexion while shielding you from UV rays.

Fan-Following Says: "I love this sunblock. It gives me a glow without being greasy or leaves a white cast like so many others. I have olive skin tone and hyperpigmentation, so the brightening glow this gives me helps conceal my dark spots. Works great under makeup and does not make me break out or feel like I have spackle on my face."
Papa Recipe Bombee Moist Sun Essence SPF 50+ PA+++, $21.00 Buy

Village 11 Factory Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

Amazon reviewers love this gentle sunscreen formula, which is perfect for sensitive skin types.

Fan-Following Says: "This stuff is AMAZING. I've only used it once, but I'm already so so happy with it. I have oily, sensitive skin and mild rosacea. Up until now, I've been using the Cetaphil SPF 15, which was so greasy and wet. But this stuff isn't like that at all, it's exactly what I wanted. My skin feels smooth and moistened, but not greasy at all. The finish is light and slightly dewy. It tingled a little when I applied it, but rather than irritating like other products I've used, it actually CALMED MY SKIN DOWN within just a few minutes. I was expecting the product to be blue-tinted, but it's actually sort of yellow and goes on clear. It smells a little bit like lemons but the smell goes away after applying (had my husband sniff my face to confirm). The bottle is small, but you don't need a lot of product at all to cover the whole face. It also works really well with Innisfree no-sebum setting powder in case anyone also uses that."
Village 11 Factory Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, $13.47 Buy

PURITO Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+ PA++++

1,217 reviewers can't be wrong! This formula is ultra-soothing for redness-prone complexions, thanks to ingredients like centella asiatica (cica, for short) and niacinamide.

Fan-Following Says: "I've tried every sunscreen on the market. I usually prefer physical sunscreens due to sensitive skin. Zinc sunscreens are the only ones that don't break me out, but the downside is they're very drying to my skin and smear on everything that I own. No U.S. sunscreens can live up to Korean sunscreens. So I finally decided to give this chemical sunscreen a shot because it checked all the boxes for me. No fragrance and above an SPF 30. Also, you can't go wrong with the niacinamide in the ingredients — that's a huge plus for me. This chemical sunscreen is the first one ever that doesn't break me out. If you struggle with finding a sunscreen that doesn't break you out, I recommend this one 100%! Make sure to reapply every 2-3 hours."
PURITO Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+ PA++++, $15.90 Buy

Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk SPF50+/PA+++

This fluid-thin formula quickly absorbs into skin while also offering impressive SPF 50 protection.

Fan-Following Says: "Love this sunscreen- works well under makeup, works on my sensitive skin, the application is a breeze, it's weightless and it has great protection. This worked perfectly for my entire family on a 9-day Disneyland trip, with temperatures in the 90's. FINALLY found the perfect sunscreen! Thank you for a great product."
Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk SPF50+/PA+++, $26.00 Buy

Erborian CC Crème

Craving coverage? This CC cream starts out white, but blends into your own skin tone for a veil of protection.

Fan-Following Says: "LOVE this product! For me, it’s perfect when I want to have a light makeup day at work or when I’m running errands. Also just used it for 2 weeks in Peru traveling and it did wonders given I was there in winter. Oh and hiked MachuPicchu (see pic) with it on ONLY & sweated so much but looked FAB! I’ve never used it in combination with my foundation simply because the purpose I brought it was to use on-the-go or traveling. If I do add anything it’s a light powder to smooth out my look and I’ve gotten tons of compliments too! Again, love it, buying again plus doesn’t hurt some of my fav beauty bloggers love it too!"
Erborian CC Crème, $44.00 Buy
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