Why Is Everyone Obsessed With Beauty of Joseon SPF?

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Call it the rule of SPF three, but I recently got hit with a trio of very strong suggestions that I was missing out on using one of the hottest sunscreens of the summer—aka the Beauty of Joseon SPF.

Yes, I had heard of it. Yes, I knew it had all the rave reviews. Yes, I am good with sunscreen and, yes, I am usually up for trying any and all kinds, but on this one, I was late to the sun-safety party.

“I’m deep into Beauty of Joseon,” Alicia Hannah-Kim, who stars in Netflix’s hit Emmy-nominated series Cobra Kai and knows more about sunscreen than anyone I’ve ever met, told me over a recent Zoom. “They have an incredible new serum. They had the old regular sunscreen which was a hit, but their new thing, and I’m not paid to say this, their new serum is my dream. I wear it every day. You have to try it.”

“You have to try it,” my close friend, who (supposedly) did not conspire with Hannah-Kim, concurrently told me. “It’s like silk. I can’t believe you haven’t tried it. You have to try it.”

And the clincher of hard-hitting data that goes way beyond any TikTok trend or strongly worded suggestion: Some very impressive Spate stats that sort of hit me over the head with the undeniable numbers. According to Google search data, Beauty of Joseon is up a cool +77.3 percent year-over-year in average monthly search volume.

What makes the K-Beauty SPF such a winner?

For starters, the brand gives SPF options—and they’re all excellent and excellent for pretty much all skin types, even sensitive.

The Relief Sun : Rice + Probiotics ($18) clocks in at an impressive SPF 50, as it provides the most hydrating non-sticky, glow-inducing formula. The brand is also incredibly proud of its key ingredient of rice and grain fermented extracts. (In the Joseon Dynasty, rice bran water was used like a toner and called “Beauty Water,” hence the company’s name.)

“They say the best sunscreen is the one you use daily, and this is the first one that I actually look forward to using,” posted one reviewer. “It’s light, hydrating, absorbs quickly, and keeps me pale as a Victorian consumptive even after spending an afternoon on a boat without a sunhat. And it’s at a price point where I can afford to apply the amount needed to get the advertised protection without going bankrupt. My only suggestion would be to offer larger tubes of it, since I go through one every three weeks or so.”

Also ringing up an SPF 50, the Matte Sun Stick : Mugwort+Camelia ($18) utilizes a sebum-control silica powder to regulate oil production. It’s also packed with artemisia capillaris and green tea extracts, which work together to “smooth” skin’s texture. “This sunscreen stick is awesome!” shares one happy user. “It travels well, has a pleasant scent, and absorbs quickly into the skin. We keep it stocked in our house.”

And then there is the Ginseng Moist Sun Serum ($21). The serum formula provides what the company calls a “moist and fresh” finish that offers the most lightweight of textures—it’s literally like air. There’s also some cool bits of history behind the ingredients, according to the brand: Hwang Jini, known as the most beautiful woman in the Joseon Dynasty, used a ginseng decoction as bath water. In turn, the rich saponin in ginseng helps deliver moisture to the skin.

“This is sunscreen I actually like putting on everyday,” posted on review. “It feels more like a moisturizer than a sunscreen, but it definitely works! I’ll burn even when it’s raining, but I used this everyday on my recent trip to Ireland when I was outside a lot everyday—not a single bit of redness or warmth! And I don’t even realize I’m wearing it.”

beauty-of-joseon rice probiotics spf
Relief Sun : Rice + Probiotics

BUY NOW – $18

beauty of joseon matte sun stick
Matte Sun Stick : Mugwort+Camelia

BUY NOW – $18

beauty of joseon ginseng sun serum
Ginseng Moist Sun Serum

BUY NOW – $21

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