Sunscreen is the perfect ally for your skin! Although its popularity increases during the summer months, we should use it 365 days a year. It is common to associate sun protection with sunny weather. However, UV rays can pass through clouds and windows. Also, if you dedicate yourself to skincare and have an established routine, be aware that some products can cause photosensitivity. Indoors or outdoors, sun protection is our best tool to prevent skin aging and, above all, skin diseases. Korean skincare products know well about it. However, since December last year, there has been controversy surrounding Korean sunscreens. If you want to find out more about the Korean sunscreen scandal, we recommend that you continue reading this article.
Korean sunscreen controversy
Last December, Korean skincare brands Purito, Klairs, and Keep Cool were the focus of attention. Judit Racz, the founder of the INCIDecoder website, published data from two European laboratories from Purito. Testing clarified that sunscreens only had SPF19 protection rather than SPF50, as the brands claimed. This began the famous Korean sunscreen scandal.
What consequences did the Korean sunscreen scandal have?
The controversy brought sunscreens into the spotlight. That caused quite a stir in the dermatology and beauty industry. Also, it raised the question of safety about some usual ingredients in sunscreens. There are currently two types of sunscreen: mineral, also known as physical and chemical. The main ingredients in mineral sunscreens are titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. They act as a shield, blocking UV rays. It is a better option for those who have sensitive skin, as it is thicker and heavier.
What was the Purito scandal?
The Korean sunscreen controversy began with the Purito scandal. For those who do not know, Purito is a highly recognized Korean beauty brand in the country. However, since December last year, its quality has been questioned because of its Centella Green Level Unscented sunscreen. Through the post of Judit Racz and after independent investigations conducted in laboratories in Poland and Germany, they discovered that the sunscreen was not SPF50, but 19.
That left them as a brand that misleads the consumer. After these events, other Korean brands such as Klairs and Keep Cool also subjected their products to investigations, and the results were the same. It produced disappointment and anger in many consumers. The brands withdrew their sunscreen products from the market and promised to refund the money and work on sunscreens with new formulas.
Can Asian Sunscreens Be Trusted?
Due to the Korean sunscreen scandal, this has become a recurring question among consumers. The answer is yes. You can trust Asian sunscreens and Korean beauty products in general. Why? The reason is that, unfortunately, these types of problems are frequent not only in Korean products but also in Western ones. In many countries, there are independent organizations that protect consumer’s rights. They are in charge of carrying out this type of investigation. They guarantee that the products purchased by the consumer are trustworthy. Thanks to these organizations, it has been discovered that the failure of sunscreen to meet the SPF stated on the packaging is more normal than we think.
We can see this is not a problem unique to Korea. The problem is that tests to check the SPF are expensive and require volunteers because they need to be tested on people. They are complex tests that do not always give a quality result. It is not always about companies that want to scam the consumer. Sometimes it is because the company does not have enough money to cover the cost of these tests. Or because tests do not always return expected or close to actual results. So even though the Korean sunscreen scandal has impacted the reputation of Korean cosmetics, you can still trust it.
Which Korean sunscreens can be trusted?
Sunscreens with physical filters are the safest! Thanks to a barrier of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They function as a screen for the sun’s rays. The problem is the so-called white plaster or the whitish patina that they leave on the skin. However, the Korean brand Suntique took care of this problem. In their line of sunscreens, there are formulas with chemical filters and the formula with physical filters. These products have SPF35 PA protection with mineral filters (i.e. physical), but are also enriched with ingredients that help calm reds and maintain hydration, such as Gotu kola, aloe, and squalane. The texture is very light and invisible while still feeling fresh when applied.
As for chemical filters, the Korean brand Holika Holika has launched the sunscreen of its Aloe line, or the Aloe Soothing Essence Waterproof Sun Gel SPF50 +. This sunscreen is not only ultralight. It’s also packed with natural ingredients that help soothe the skin and control sebum production at the same time, including Gotu kola, avocado, aloe, chamomile, and calendula. The effect of this cream on the skin is an immediate sensation of freshness, thus helping to overcome hot sunny days. There are still plenty of Korean sunscreen alternatives that you can try, trusting that they deliver what they promise.
Want a more in-depth study of the Korean sunscreen scandal?
If the answer is yes, we invite you to click here to go directly to the channel of a YouTuber who is in charge of professional marketing in Korea in the K-beauty market. She conducts an in-depth study on the Korean sunscreen controversy.
In addition, in her video, you can see testimonials and other information that will help you learn more about this problem that has cost the reputation of recognized brands such as Purito.
While it is still difficult for some to trust Korean products, we must remember that the Korean sunscreen scandal does not limit to Korea alone.
It also happens in other parts of the world. However, if you want to leave Korean products, you can always use the product you like the most. But do not forget that Korean products are still leading the market, and you can try sunscreen from other Korean brands. If you do not want to miss news or information about K-fashion and K-beauty, do not forget to visit us every day. See you soon!