Summer season sees a surge in sunblocks and sunscreens, which for us here in the tropics is a year round affair. Are you tired of me banging on about using sunscreen daily already? Well, sorry babes, gonna keep banging on about it!
With the huge selection of affordable sunscreen on our shores, there really is no excuse not to use it. I have my favourite one and its pricey, I acknowledge, but for those on a tighter budget (and that includes me because I’ve just put myself on a beauty diet!) here are some new and affordable alternatives from Mentholatum.
Mentholatum brought in their Skin Aqua sunscreen a few years ago and like many Japanese style sunscreen, it has a very lovely light emulsion texture that makes wearing it very comfortable. For some reason, the Japanese have done for sunscreen what few Western brands have managed to do – make sunscreen comfortable to wear!
Previously, we had the Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk but now there are another 2 products in their arsenal. The Skin Aqua UV Silky Smooth Milk SPF50 PA+++ and Skin Aqua UV Whitening Moisture Milk SPF50 PA+++ priced at an affordable RM35.90 each.
As part of the Skin Aqua sunscreen range, the products contain hyaluronic acid to keep skin moist and zinc oxide operates as one of the UV blockers. Zinc Oxide is well known to be one of the best UV blockers because it is a physical blocker that blocks both UVA and UVB rays very effectively. Unfortunately, I belong in the very small minority of the world’s population that breaks out from products that contain high zinc oxide content. Frustrating? Yes. I broke out a little from the previous Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk so I am leery about trying either of these new versions.
The pink UV Silky Smooth Milk has a light lotion texture and leaves skin looking and feeling smooth and shine free as it contains oil absorbing powder. So this one appears targeted at those with oily skin. The white UV Whitening Moisture Milk has a similar lightweight lotion texture and as the name implies not only protects skin from the harmful UV rays, it also acts to brighten and even out skintone. Not so sure about that, but these are the claims.
Since I can’t use these on my face, I will instead be using them on my arms. That’s what I have been doing with all my other sunscreens that I find I can’t use or don’t want to use because I’d much rather use my favourite. It’s a good way to use them up and my arms get as good protection as my face does – win! 🙂
Another 2 new products in the Mentholatum Sunplay stable are the Sunplay Water Cool Body Mist Sunblock with SPF75 PA+++ (RM49.90) and the Sunplay After Sun Gel (RM26.90).
The After Sun Gel is essentially aloe vera gel which serves a variety of functions, not just to soothe your skin after going out in the sun. If you go out in the sun a lot, then it is useful having this on hand because I have learned over the years that aloe vera gel is one of the best things to use on skin that is overexposed to the sun. Sometimes, we may forget to reapply our sunscreen or just don’t have the chance to or if you are the sort who are out and about a lot, and find your skin getting red and irritated, this gel will come in handy to cool and soothe the skin.
The Watery Cool Body Mist Sunblock is one I don’t quite like. Yes, I tested this and I have tested something similar a while back. This is an aerosol spray can and you spray it all over your arms and legs in lieu of applying sunscreen all over your body.
From a practical point of view, this is very practical when you are out and about and want to top up your body sunscreen. It sprays out a fine mist that does cool your skin quite rapidly so on a hot day, its quite fun. Unlike the previous incarnation, this one didn’t leave an oily feel on my skin, but it made my skin feel dry instead.
If there is one thing I dislike about most Sunplay sunscreens that come in the colourful bottles is that they leave my skin feeling papery dry. This one is no exception. My skin felt papery dry and I didn’t like it. So, I like the cool mist but not the after feel. Probably fun to use, but I’d rather just stick to regular lotion sunscreens.
Are you already using Sunplay Skin Aqua sunscreens? Do you have a favourite from the pharmacy brands?
Apparently, the Skin Aqua sunscreens are the No. 1 selling sunscreens in Malaysia! I’m not surprised because they are affordable and comfortable to use. For something that you go through quickly, being affordable is always a plus point! I can’t use these on my face because I break out so my favourite pharmacy brand would have to be the Hada Labo ones. You?
Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Silky Smooth Milk SPF50 PA+++ and Skin Aqua UV Whitening Moisture Milk SPF50 PA+++ Price: RM35.90 each | Sunplay Water Cool Body Mist Sunblock with SPF75 PA+++ Price: RM49.90 | Sunplay After Sun Gel Price: RM26.90 | Availability: All major pharmacies nationwide (watch out for sales!)
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YES! I was about to say I’ve used Sunplay in the past (the red one and the blue one that leaves a tingly sensation on skin), and I noticed that the skin on my palms where I squeeze the sunblock on became very dry. Then I figured it must be drying out my face like mad O_o
I just bought the Shiseido sunblock yesterday!! Can’t wait for my Kiehl’s one to finally finish up so I can use it ^__^
Paris B says
YES! The ones that claim to be 130SPF I’m always telling people to please not believe it 😛 I can’t use them. My arms feel like paper after I’ve put them on and the thought of putting it on my face scares me! I hope you like the Shiseido one! It seriously is the best I’ve ever used to date!
I love these Skin Aqua sunscreens. They’re light on my combo skin and don’t feel sticky or gross at all. I stock up on these every time I’m back in Malaysia. I’m always wary of the SPFs past 50 (SPF 120? Really?) but the ones that are 50? Highly recommended 🙂
Paris B says
Thanks for weighing in, Tine! You’re right. These aren’t bad and they have a nice hydrating feel to it which is perfect really for most skintypes. But what were they thinking with the SPF130 eh? >.<
I like Neutrogena’s sport spray sunscreen for my legs. Much quicker to apply than rubbing in lotion. I tend to put quite a thick layer on, so my legs do appear greasy but hey, it does look kind of sexy!
I find drugstore sunscreens very drying and this aspect tends to irritate my skin. The Shiseido one you recommended is balanced between hydration and matteness. 🙂
Paris B says
LOL!! Good call on the sexy legs! Sun protection plus sexy factor – win win! 😉 The Shiseido one is quite perfect isn’t it? I love that it makes an excellent makeup primer so I save one step! My bases actually seem to stay on better. I find some drugstore sunscreens drying but generally, the more lotion type Japanese ones are ok like these Skin Aqua ones and Hada Labo. Western brands tend to be too oily for some reason. Its strange – couldn’t they learn from each other? 😛
As long as I can still afford the Shiseido sunscreen, I will stick to it since it is my HG sunscreen. Will keep this in mind if I ever change my sunscreen which is highly unlikely. Hahaha. Have you tried any other drugstore sunscreen besides Sunplay & Hada Labo? I think the Neutrogena one was voted best drugstore sunscreen under the save category in Her World? Cannot remember as my copy is at home.
Paris B says
You and me both Victoria! Gotta make sure the work pays so I can keep to my HG sunscreen HAHA! I used to be an ardent fan of L’Oreal UV Perfect back in the day. It was the only one I ever used. But for the most part, I find that Western brands tend to be a bit heavy and oily while Japanese brands have a lighter more hydrating texture. I don’t remember the Neutrogena but you can be assured it didn’t get my pick HAHA! 😛
I’ve been using Avene sunscreen this Summer, and to this day, no problems, no breakouts, no nothing 🙂 even with make-up on top, it behaves very well!
Paris B says
That’s nice to know, Rute! I haven’t tried Avene sunscreen yet 😀
I don’t get a chance to try the new one cos it’s not available in Australia but I’ve tried the orange bottle Mentholatum Sunplay UV Body Mist Sunblock last summer.I don’t like how it feels on my skin but the good thing is I don’t get tan easily.Applying sunscreen is never comfy.They either feel sticky or oily.If you think Mentholatum Sunplay UV Body Mist Sunblock is crap you should look at australian brands.They feel sticky and yet I still get tan by the sun.Banana boat Sunsense,bullshit.I would rather be oily and not so tan?
Paris B says
You’re right actually. A lot of Western brand sunscreens don’t do much. I used to use Banana Boat back in the day and goodness, it was like an oil slick! But I still got all tanned. Bleh… Sunsense broke me out so badly I don’t even want to remember it 😛
Applying sunscreen daily is so important, so don’t stop banging 😉
I haven’t tried any of these before but I just ordered the La Roche Posay tinted sunscreen online. I’ve been so curious after reading a few good reviews about them.
I still use my Shiseido Perfector and I’m thinking of getting a backup of Clinique Anti Pollution too. I’m so happy to be able to discover a few sunscreens that I really like 🙂
Paris B says
I haven’t tried LRP’s tinted sunscreen but the regular Anthelios one was a fave of mine for a long time. It is a bit heavier but it worked very well for me. Will be watching out for your take on it!
I bought another version of Sunplay at Watson. It is called Sunplay Skin Aqua UV whitening moisture Gel. The packing is almost identical to Skin Aqua UV whitening moisture milk in blue color. But you can tell this from the other by a lower SPF25 and PA++ as it does not come with Zinc oxide. Best of all it is recommended for face and body daily use. I bought mine for RM35.90.