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Sunscreen sales on the rise, despite face masks

Spring sunlight spurs demand for sunscreen

A masked customer looks at a sunscreen product. (CJ Olive Young)
A masked customer looks at a sunscreen product. (CJ Olive Young)

With the weather warming up in South Korea, sunscreen sales are on the rise -- despite the “new normal” of wearing face masks due to the COVID-19 outbreak, industry sources said Tuesday.

According to CJ Olive Young, a health and beauty store chain here, sales of sunblock jumped 81 percent from March 30 to Sunday, compared with the same period a month earlier (March 2 to 8). Among them, organic or carbon-based sunscreen products were the most popular, witnessing a 132 percent increase in sales, the company said.

Organic sunscreens basically reflect sunlight, while inorganic sunscreens absorb and break up ultraviolet rays.

Sunscreen products made with natural ingredients such as green tea, panthenol and the perennial artemisia are also gaining popularity as people seek to treat skin problems associated with wearing masks every day.

“While people go out less and wear face masks all the time, the sales of sun care products are rising with stinging spring sunlight,” a CJ Olive Young official said.

“As the demand for skin care products goes up, multifunctional products are expected to gain popularity this year.”

By Jo He-rim (