You know what? I recently did a review and mentioned how I was not into skincare as much as I usually am, and now I am on it again, scouring skincare instead of makeup online. This was unexpected. It must be something about the colder temperatures, as well as me slacking off on my routine, temporarily wrecking my skin in this transitional weather and forcing me to up my skincare efforts again.
This is JUST the best season for a sunscreen post, right? RIGHT? Honestly, it was actually sun-shining earlier for a whole 2.5 seconds – I was too slow reaching for my camera. Other than that, it can still feel dim in the daylight, so pardon the lighting in the photos.
Funnily enough, I really have been on the prowl with sunscreens recently. I have been trying out more and I think I am finally ready to present to you a round up of the ones I have used recently and my opinions on them. I won’t be writing about them in my usual waffle and will do my best to keep this concise, yet informative.
A Note About Sunscreen Labelling Differences
Sunscreen labelling differs from region to region. In Japan and Korea, SPF stands for the UVB protection and PA stands for UVA protection. Only Japan has sunscreens going up to PA ++++ at the moment due to different regulations, so in Korea the highest is PA+++.
In the UK, the UVA protection stars sometimes seen on packaging actually demonstrates the level of protection of UVA compared to UVB. This is important, because it means that you want five stars just for equal protection.
Here’s an example. If you have an SPF 15 with a 5* rating, then your sunscreen is also offering that much protection for UVA. An SPF30 with 5* could potentially be offering more UVA protection.
It’s annoyingly more confusing, right?
So an SPF15 with 5* would offer more UVA protection than an SPF30 with 2*.
That said, the Body Shop UK uses a PA rating for their Multi Protection Essence (and even breaks out the PA++++ rating!) which I hope we will see more of here.
Biore Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
- Bought from a trusted Reddit seller including delivery.
- Depending on how it is bought (alone or with bigger haul) price differs a lot. I bought mine for around £7. This usually goes for anywhere between £8 to £12 on Amazon and Ebay!
- It comes in a 50ml size. Occasionally, jumbo sizes are sold in Japan at 90ml or something and there’s also a rose edition apparently but these are unicorn rarities.
- At £8 a bottle, it’s £16/100ml, which is the cheapest of my sunscreens.
- Citrus-y scent.
- Dry, satin finish.
- No white cast at all!
- Not great in the oil control department.
- Will not repurchase – I hear the Biore Watery Gel is almost identical and comes in a bigger bottle at around the same price, so I may purchase that if I need an ‘indoor sunscreen’.
Biore Perfect Milk SPF 50+ PA ++++
- Bought from a Japanese Amazon seller with free delivery.
- Not to be confused with other similarly-named products from Biore’s milk suncreen range. This is the one in the blue bottle.
- I bought it for £7.90.
- It only comes in a 40ml size, making it the smallest bottle in my stash.
- At £7.90 a bottle this makes it almost £20/100ml, the second most expensive sunscreen I own.
- Matte, powdery-dry finish.
- Needs a little shaking before each use to avoid separation of product.
- Slight white cast.
- Really, really good at oil control – this can keep me matte for an extra 3 hours longer than usual without a speck of shine. Of course, this also means it can be drying to anybody with less than an oil slick for skin.
- A definite repurchase next summer.
Missha All Round Safe Waterproof Sun Milk SPF 50+ PA +++
- Bought from RoseRoseShop’s Ebay store with free delivery.
- Not to be confused with other similar products in Missha’s sunscreen range. This has a blue lid.
- For the 70ml bottle, it cost me £11.21. So £16 per 100ml.
- Comes in a 70ml bottle as well as a smaller size of 40ml. The 70ml bottle option makes it the biggest bottle of facial sunscreen I have. Despite the bigger 70ml size, the bottle is flatter so it’s still pretty good to travel with.
- Matte, dry finish.
- Slight white cast on application that remains minimal and pretty much unnoticeable when dry. It dries more quickly than the Vichy Ideal Soleil.
- Lack of powderiness compared to Biore Perfect Milk means it’s also less drying.
Vichy Ideal Soleil Mattifying Dry Touch Fluid SPF 50
(It says it has UVA protection but no indication as to how much??)
- Bought from Chemist Direct for £9.33 and discounted delivery (which I got by signing up for emails).
- Not to be confused with Capital Soleil or the Ideal Soleil Velvety Creams, which have similar bottles.
- Only comes in a 50ml bottle.
- Retails at £16.50 for 50ml, making it £33/100ml and the most expensive of my sunscreens. I bought it on sale for £11 (£22/100ml)and even then it is still the most pricey.
- Has a soft feel, a creamier texture than the other sunscreens I have. Laughing at ‘Fluid’ in the name.
- Dry, matte finish without powdery-ness. Doesn’t go on instantly dry like the Perfect Milk and takes a minute to dry. In fact, it’s really creamy and moisturising when applying compared to the other options. Comparable to my body sunscreens, even.
- Slight white cast.
- Oil control not as good as the milk sunscreens.
General comments and comparisons on facial sunscreen
Unlike body sunscreens, facial sunscreens are sold in smaller bottles than their bodily counterparts. This makes it easy to throw them in a bag for travel.
As you can see, due to my skin type being moderate-very oily, I prefer the matte finishes and the more oil control, the better. Milk sunscreens can be drying so I wouldn’t recommend them if you have dry skin.
I also don’t have any sensitivities to skincare ingredients that I am aware of, but I have read generally, that the level of alcohol in the Biore sunscreens that make them light and pleasant can also be pretty irritating. The scent can be too much for some people, too.
In conclusion, I will continue to use them all up, but the ones I am going to repurchase are the Missha Sun Milk and the Biore UV Perfect Milk for the summer.
I hope this comparison was useful. Thanks for reading! Until next time,
Helpful shortlink to this post! http://wp.me/p5Blh9-1bQ