Sunscreens. I love them. Without them, I’d probably look 10 years older *insert cute face* :P
If the plethora of information out there isn’t enough, let me remind you again – sunscreen is your first step in an anti-aging skincare routine and no one is ever too young to wear sunscreen. They even make baby sunscreen these days and there are prices ranges to suit everyone. Which brings us to 2 sunscreens from Biore.
These 2 sunscreens in the Aqua Rich range were released some time early this year in 2 formula – Aqua Rich Watery Essence and Aqua Rich Watery Cream Whitening. Both sport SPF50+ PA+++ claims which is about as high as they legitimately go for broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays.
Now you know I love my Shiseido Perfect UV Protector sunscreen. I have finished it thanks to my beach holiday and I really like it. However, the price is hefty on the wallet so I was wondering if these two from Biore would be more wallet friendly substitutes. I’ve never tried any Biore ones despite the popularity – these are supposed to be the No. 1 sunscreens in Japan!
As the names of the product imply, there are different textures in both tubes of sunscreen.
Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence (blue tube 50g)
This has a very light water-gel texture that is very comfortable on the skin. It is almost like applying a gel moisturizer on your skin – its that light!
I find that it leaves a light cooling feel after application and has a light citrus scent tinged with alcohol. Like many Japanese sunscreen formulations, these contain alcohol. Initially, I find that it feels a little sticky but the feeling soon passes and the skin feels comfortable but it does feel like there’s a layer of product on it. It also feels smooth to touch, like a silicone layer.
Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Cream Whitening (white tube 33g)
This has a slightly thicker cream texture that is also very easy to apply on the skin and feels comfortable. Unlike the Watery Essence I do not get the initial sticky feeling.
I however am put off by the scent in this one. It has a very strong alcohol smell laced with citrus. Believe you me, it is not something my nose likes getting assaulted with early in the morning. Whilst it feels very comfortable on my skin and is not thick or oily or sticky, I find it drying. I know, that is very odd in a product with a name like Aqua Rich and Watery Cream. I liked it initially. I was willing to forgive the scent. But after I used about half the tube, I realised that my skin felt dry and it wasn’t very comfortable.
Apparently, there is chamomile extract to suppress melanin production and prevent age spots in this one, hence the “Whitening” label in the name. I personally feel one can’t judge something like this visually so all I’d say is that if it works, great. Oh and I also find that this one leaves a bit of a white cast on my skin. All very little things that just irk me in general so I don’t like the Watery Cream version.
You can see from the swatches that the Watery Essence version is much lighter in texture than the Watery Cream. Both feel light on the skin and if I had to pick one of the two, I’d pick the Watery Essence because the scent is lighter, there is no white cast and it does not dry my skin out.
One thing I noted of both of these sunblocks is that they did not seem to protect my skin as well as say, the Shiseido one can. I noticed this because my face would feel warm after a short time in the sun as opposed to when I wear the Shiseido sunscreen, when I do not. In fact, I don’t even feel this uncomfortable when I’m using a sunscreen like La Roche Posay Anthelios or Kiehl’s which I also happen to like despite the heavier texture. When I’m at home I actually find myself reapplying 2-3 times just to avoid this warm feeling. Although it says SPF50+ and PA+++ protection, which is equivalent to that in the Shiseido UV Perfect Protector, I have repurchased the latter despite the price tag, simply because I feel more comfortable with it.
In a nutshell
The Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence and Watery Cream Whitening sunscreens contain SPF50+ PA+++ protection against UVA and UVB rays. The Watery Essence has a light gel-water texture which is very light on the skin and absorbs quickly although it starts out with a bit of sticky feel. The scent is light. The Watery Cream Whitening is supposed to help control melanin production as well as protect the skin. The scent is very strong and I feel that it leaves a white cast on my skin and is drying on my skin. I personally do not like the Watery Cream so if forced to choose I’d pick the Watery Essence. I find that my skin burns faster with these than with a comparable SPF sunscreen so I will not repurchase.
Pros: Affordable, Light texture, Absorbs quickly, High UVA and UVB protection, Watery Essence has a light scent
Cons: Watery Cream Whitening felt drying with prolonged use and has a very strong scent, I felt it did not offer my skin as much protection compared to a similar product with similar SPF and PA readings
Who will like this: Anyone who wants a light and easily absorbed sunscreen, Anyone on a budget
I know Biore sunscreens get a lot of love from the budget category. Just look it up online and a billion people (almost!) love this brand. Personally I have never tried any before this because the one time I tested it, it gave me a dry papery feel to my hands like Sunplay (awful!). I am quite tolerant of most sunscreen textures, having used heavy oily types and light types with no real preference so long as they do a good job but anything that dries my skin and leaves a papery feel is a no go.
Here is the ingredient list for both the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence and Watery Cream Whiteing for those interested.
Are you a fan of Biore sunscreens? Have you tried either of these and have thoughts to share on them?
My test is always how my skin feels after going out in the sun for about an hour (lunch time) or driving in the afternoon. If my skin feels warm from the inside after that sort of sun exposure, I look askance at the sunscreen and rarely if ever repurchase. I’m glad Biore has now got a much more comfortable textured product but I will not repurchase because I am not comfortable using them. In the budget category, I actually prefer using the Hada Labo ones (both cream and emulsion) which have no scent and to me, feel better on my skin. That however, is me. Don’t let me put you off these because they really are very affordable and worth trying to see if they work for you :)
Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence and Watery Cream Whitening sunscreens Price: RM32.90/50ml and 33ml respectively Availability: Most major pharmacies