Asian skin has a glowing quality that sets it apart. Making sure that radiance is taken care of is essential.
Asian skin is often more sensitive, in general, making it more vulnerable to sun damage. It also tends to be oily so certain specifications are necessary when searching for the right products for Asian skin.
Due to its higher sensitivity, it is vital that you ensure your Asian skin is sufficiently protected against the sun’s UV rays at all times. It’s a good idea to follow the guidelines set out by the Skin Cancer Foundation, and wear UV protective clothing, hats and sunglasses, and seek shade when possible.
Even if you are able to take these precautions, you cannot afford to skip the broad spectrum sunscreen! There are certain features that you will need in your sunscreen in order for it to be ideal for your Asian skin.
Let me help you begin your search!
After thorough research into what Asian skin needs to be properly protected from the sun, SimplySunSafe recommends BurnOut Eco-Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 35 as the best sunscreen for Asian skin. keep reading for a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth comparisons of the top 5 sunscreens for Asian skin.
To be sure that your Asian skin is properly protected, there are a few must-have features that you want to search for in your sunscreen:
Broad spectrum protection
The most important thing to remember when you’re searching for a sunscreen is that you want it to provide broad spectrum protection.
This means that you will receive balanced protection against both UVA and UVB rays. This is vital because each ray type works differently:
- UVB rays damage the outer layer of your skin and cause you to burn or tan
- UVA rays penetrate the deepest layer of your skin (the dermis) and cause premature aging
Exposure to both types of rays increases your risk of skin cancer. This is why it’s especially important to ensure your extra-sensitive Asian skin is sufficiently protected.
Luckily, finding sunscreens which provide broad spectrum protection is fairly easy. They are available everywhere and very easy to identify. All you need to do is check the sunscreen’s label and its ingredients list.
The label will often have words like ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘UVA/B’ indicating the proper protection.
You can also search the ingredients list for zinc oxide. Sunscreens with zinc oxide are always a safe and effective choice as they protect against the full range of UVA/B rays!
Best SPF for Asian skin
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is one of those things that you know is important, but it’s not exactly clear what it is and why it’s so important.
Understanding what SPF really means will help you in your search for the best sunscreen for South Asian skin.
Let me give you a simple explanation:
The SPF rating tells you what fraction of the sun’s rays will reach your skin if you have properly applied the product.
This means that if you’re wearing a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30, then only 1/30th of the sun’s rays will reach your skin. The importance is clearer now, right?
Just be sure not to get too carried away.
Wearing a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 does not mean that you can stay in the sun 30 times longer than if you weren’t wearing sunscreen. Asian skin is especially sensitive so that is not something that you should risk!
There are many factors which influence the effectiveness of SPF including the time of day, the amount of properly applied sunscreen, and even reflections for surfaces like water and sand.
Take a look at the table below to better understand the protection you get from different SPF ratings:
|SPF Rating||UVB Protection|
As you can see, there is very little difference between and SPF rating of 30 and one of 100. So how do you know which to choose to properly protect sensitive Asian skin?
SimplySunSafe with the opinion of SPF experts and suggests that you always choose sunscreens with SPF ratings no lower than 30 and no higher than 50.
And remember, no matter what SPF rating you choose, be sure to reapply at least every two hours!
Physical is better than chemical
An important thing to know is that sunscreens can be divided into two main groups – chemical and physical.
The differences between these groups are based on their active ingredients and in the ways they work to protect your skin:
- Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays as they reach your skin
- Physical sunscreens reflect UV rays before they reach your skin
There are many reasons to choose physical sunscreens over chemical ones.
The most important reason is that on the whole they work more effectively. Studies show that physical active ingredients stop more sunlight across a broader spectrum.
If you need further convincing, physical sunscreens:
- Work immediately upon application
- Last longer
- Are less likely to cause irritation
- Have a longer shelf life
On top of these reasons, there are negatives to choosing and using chemical sunscreens.
Chemical sunscreens often contain ingredients that mess with your hormones. That is not something you want!
The worst of these ingredients is called oxybenzone, and despite FDA concerns, it is still legal. I suggest that you take a minute to check any potential sunscreen for this ingredient, and avoid it at all costs!
The safest sunscreen for Asian skin will be a physical one!
Asian skin tends to be oily. But it’s not always oily in the same way.
Some people have excess oil production BECAUSE they have used products that have stripped their skin of all its oil, which increases sebum production.
Then there are people who have larger oil glands in their skin due to genetics.
In both of these situations, you can easily find a suitable product as long as you spend time searching for products that will not make your type of oiliness worse.
To help you with this, I’m going to cut through the marketing mumbo-jumbo and get straight to the point.
There are many buzzwords marketers use to convince people with oily skin to use their products including ‘oil-free’, ‘non-comedogenic’, and ‘non-oily’. However, there are no rules around the use of these terms.
This means you have to understand the ingredients before you make a purchase.
For an in-depth look at pore-clogging and oily ingredients that contribute to oily skin (regardless of what the bottle is branded as), check out this guide from the Face Reality Acne Clinic.
This awesome resource lets you know which ingredients to definite avoid and which ones you can use in moderation. It’s a good idea to take a look at this list and keep in mind the ingredients you want to check for in potential sunscreens.
Alternatively, you can check out the recommended sunscreens below. I’ve done the hard work for you by checking the sunscreens for oily ingredients and have simplified each product’s ‘oiliness’ into ‘minimal’ and ‘moderate’.
This makes it easy for you to find your perfect sunscreen that’ll prevent you from making oily skin worse.
Suitable for daily use
Asian skin is usually extra sensitive, including in its vulnerability to the sun. So you need to be sure that you wear sufficient sunscreen every day in order to avoid damage.
When you’re considering what to look for in a daily sunscreen, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you want to use one sunscreen daily for both your face and body?
- What skin conditions and sensitivities do you need to account for?
- Will you wear makeup on top of your sunscreen?
Answering these questions for yourself beforehand will streamline your search process.
Any sunscreen that is to be used on your skin every day must be effective yet gentle enough that it will not cause irritation.
SimplySunSafe has recommended products that will provide you with sufficient yet tender protection.
Best Sunscreen for Asian Skin Comparison
|BurnOut Eco-Sensitive||Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector||EltaMD UV Pure||Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral||California Baby Super Sensitive|
|Active ingredients||Zinc Oxide (18.9%)||Titanium Dioxide (7%) & Zinc Oxide (6%)||Zinc Oxide (10%) & Titanium Dioxide (5.5%)||Zinc Oxide (14.5%) & Titanium Dioxide (2%)||Titanium Dioxide (12%)|
5 Best Sunscreens for Asian Skin
After extensive research into what is needed in sun protection for Asian skin which included discussing issues with customers, reviewing customer feedback, examining manufacturer specifications, and participating in skincare forums, SimplySunSafe has compiled a list of the 5 best sunscreens for Asian skin.
Each sunscreen provides physical, broad spectrum protection with an SPF rating of 30 or greater. All the sunscreens are suitable for daily use on sensitive skin!
SinplySunSafe’s choice for the best sunscreen for Asian oily skin is BurnOut Eco-Sensitive SPF 35. This formula provides broad spectrum protection with its sole active ingredient zinc oxide (18.9%).
BurnOut Eco-Sensitive is designed, as its name suggests, for daily use on sensitive skin of the face and body. This formula will not cause irritation, and if you have oily skin, this product will work well for you as it has minimal oily ingredients.
BurnOut Eco-Sensitive is biodegradable and petroleum and paraben-free. The high concentration of zinc oxide may leave a slight white cast on your skin (remember to rub it in well to prevent this).
If the white cast remains after you applied this product properly, don’t be afraid to use a bit of makeup to blend it more effectively with your skin tone as BurnOut Eco-Sensitive is compatible with cosmetics.
- High concentration of zinc oxide
- Designed for daily use
- Minimal oily ingredients
- May leave white cast
Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector is another product that will work well for Asian skin.
It was developed by dermatologists and provides broad spectrum protection with a combination of active ingredients – titanium dioxide (7%) and zinc oxide (6%).
Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector is meant to be used daily on the face, even if you have sensitive skin. There are minimal oily ingredients in this formula, and irritation is not something you need to worry about!
This is by far the best face sunscreen for Asian skin!
Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector will not leave a visible cast on your skin as long as you apply it well. You can even apply this sunscreen with a makeup brush, as it makes the process easier and the application more even.
The high SPF rating is a bonus for those with especially pale or sensitive Asian skin and it works very well under makeup, what more could you want!?
Well, one thing could be that this product is a little cheaper. It is the most expensive product on this list and could easily be considered too expensive for most.
If you still want this amazing sunscreen’s benefits, get Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector for your face and choose another product on this list for your body. That way you get the biggest bang for your buck and each bottle will last a lot longer.
We love Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector so much it’s also listed as one of the best sunscreens for tan skin!
- High SPF rating
- Minimal oily ingredients
- Made for daily use on sensitive skin
Another good option for Asian skin is EltaMD UV Pure Broad Spectrum SPF 47.
This formula provides broad spectrum protection through its active ingredients zinc oxide (10%) and titanium dioxide (5.5%).
EltaMD UV Pure is great for sensitive and oily skin as it has minimal oily ingredients and will not cause irritation. The lightweight formula will seamlessly fit into your daily skincare routine as it will blend to a transparent finish when applied properly and rubbed in effectively.
EltaMD UV Pure is a sunscreen that can be used throughout the year, including during the hot months, as it provides 80 minutes of water resistance for when you sweat or swim.
This sunscreen is so great for Asian skin and conditions that it made the top of the SimplySunSafe list of best sunscreens for Japan.
Consider giving this flexible product a try!
- Suitable for daily use
- Lightweight formula
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- May leave slight white cast
Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral is another reliable choice for sun protection for Asian skin.
This formula provides broad spectrum protection through its active ingredients zinc oxide (14.5%) and titanium dioxide (2%).
Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral is ideal for daily use on the face and body of sensitive skin. There will be no irritation caused, and oiliness will not be worsened with this sunscreen.
The formula is thick and will need to be rubbed in well. This sunscreen also contains ingredients that will nourish your skin while protecting it.
Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral is another option that will work for your daily routine throughout the year as it provides 80 minutes of water resistance.
If you have dry Asian skin instead of oily, Alba Botanica may be the sunscreen for you!
- Suitable for daily use
- 80 minute of water resistance
- Will not worsen oiliness
- Thick formula
SimplySunSafe’s final recommendation for sun protection for Asian skin is California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen. This formula provides broad spectrum protection with its active ingredient titanium dioxide (12%).
As the name suggests, this sunscreen is one that will protect even the most sensitive of skin without causing irritation. It is safe enough for daily use on your face and body.
The formula is thick and will need to be rubbed in very well.
Not only is California Baby Super Sensitive as gentle as possible, but it also provides durable protection.
You will be provided with 80 minutes of water resistance which means that this sunscreen could stay with you throughout the whole year!
- Designed for sensitive skin
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Safe for daily use
- Thick formula that needs to be rubbed in well
This guide was written for those searching for the best sunscreen for Asian Skin. I hope that by reading this guide, you learned more about the unique aspects of Asian skin, and found a product that fits your specific needs.
SimplySunSafe recommends BurnOut Eco-Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 35, but all 5 products will provide sensitive and sufficient protection for your skin!
Now that you have read this guide, it is time to move on to the next step in your search process: trial runs.
It is helpful to test different sunscreens in order to learn how your skin reacts to different formulas, and to see what type of product folds into your daily skincare routine easily. After doing trial runs, you’ll be able to make the most informed decision about which sunscreen is for you!
I love learning new things and hearing about new products from other people! So if you use or know of another product that’s great for Asian skin, share it in the comments! I’ll be sure to check it out and maybe it will make it to this list!