Why The Best SPFs Come From Asia

Korean women have an extreme relationship with the sun — that shimmering ball of death in the sky — and are taught to avoid it at all costs. An entire industry supports the idea that, in return for a few carefree years of being bronzed, the sun will stealthily rob us of our youth and leave us wrinkled and covered in brown spots. And, part of that is true: The sun is the number-one cause of aging skin. UV rays dry it out, break down collagen, and can cause skin cancer.
That explains why Korean women deck out in full-on battle regalia in the summer months: Darth Vader-esque visors, sun umbrellas, really big hats, and, of course, a whole gamut of skin products to keep the Dorian Gray illusion alive.
The key to successful sun protection is layers. One sweep of tinted moisturizer with a hint of SPF won’t stand up against that burning ball of hot our solar system revolves around. Slathering on SPF repeatedly during the day will best prepare your skin for facing the sun’s harmful rays and help the skin retain its youthful elasticity. Sure, layering SPF doesn't enhance your protection factor, but applying an SPF spray over your face two hours after you applied your SPF BB sure doesn't hurt.
Click through for some of my favorite Korean UVA- and UVB-screening products in a variety of forms and applications.

More from Skin Care

R29 Original Series