Where to purchase: Available at Boots HERE
Volume: 50ml (when will they start making bigger SPFs for the face? This includes all K-beauty and Western beauty Sun blocks 😦
What is it?: A High SPF (UVA and UVB PA ++++) SPF 50)
Good for: Oily skins especially. But Combo oily and Normal skins can also use.
Description: ”A sun block with a hydrating formula that provides an instant and long-lasting mattifying effect which is light and non greasy/sticky.” – I agree this is hydrating when rubbing in (it’s like a moisturising cream). I don’t think this provides much hydration once this has dried down and throughout the day however. I agree that this is non-sticky and greasy.
Selling Points: Nivea states that this has a 0% sticky feeling and absorbs excess oil. I agree with both these statements. And yes this absorbs excess oil initially HOWEVER after hours of wearing, your oil production still occurs so I do get a bit of oil around the nose later.
Packaging: Plastic tube with a glossy finish (love the colours) Very easy-to use flip cap, and squeeze out the product.
Directions: ”Apply to your face and neck. Rub in thoroughly and let the cream dry. Reapply to ensure adequate coverage and no missed areas before going outside. Even when protected avoid over-exposure to the sun. Ideal for daily use.”
How I use it: I apply this in the AM and while in quarantine, I have simply been using this without any other products (the ultimate test!) as I just wake up and slather this on my face before having breakfast and then keep it on throughout the day and workout. So I can say without the addition of serums or moisturisers under here, this is decent at keeping the skin hydrated and moisturised – but because it’s mattifying, I feel like it can absolutely feel tight or drying for dry skins and skins that already feel tight. I do think this provides enough for those with oily/combo skins.
Key Ingredients: The UV filters: Homosalate / Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid Ethylhexyl salicylate, Ethylhexyl Triazone,
Full Ingredients: Aqua, Homosalate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/ Dicaprate, Alcohol Denat., Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, Silica, Cyclomethicone, Tapioca Starch, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Methylpropanediol, Glycerin, Glycyrrhiza Inflata Root Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Trisodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Citronellol, Coumarin, Parfum.
NOTE: Every Sunblock I have ever tried apart from the Purito Centella SPF has Fragrance – it’s unavoidable – beggars can’t be choosers. I need a sunblock that I will ENCOURAGE me to keep using it and Re-apply because I love the way it sits/feels on my skin, so yes, I will forego fragrance and/or alcohol if it means I protect my skin from the sun.
NOTE: COSDNA Have a full ingredients list breakdown HERE
Texture: This is like a cream! Yes you can feel mild silicone-ness from this product. But it is one of the lighter-weight silicone textures I’ve felt from an SPF. I would say this is a tad thicker than the Face Shop SPF (Youtube video down below) but thinner than the Purito Centella Unscented Sun Block. This spreads easily (literally like spreading a moisturising cream (not gel) around my face. And once you’ve applied and rubbed in, it starts to slowly mattify and sort of ‘stick’ to the skin, so it wont move around my face. The white cast is non-existant.
After drying down/forming that layer on the skin, this becomes matte – this dries up any excess oil on the skin and flattens into the skin – Which I like! I can’t stand thick/heavy formulas sitting on top of the skin and making me sweat (like the Purito Centella sun block), and I’m not a fan of ‘dewy’ formulations (like the Krave Beet the Sun SPF)
Looks like a simple dollop of cream. a bit yellow. Could be from the limonene?
Do you see how the product holds its shape? It’s not slipping and sliding on my hand, so you can see it’s like a moisturising cream in the way it holds itself, not a sun milk or a gel. But that’s what is so interesting, this is still lighter and thinner than something like the purito sun block, and many other western cream sunblocks and still provides milk moisturisation.
This feels like a lightweight cream. You can see in this texture shot that it has a cream-like texture – it has enough thickness that there is some moisturisation going on, but this moisturisation doesn’t last as this product ‘mattifies.’
Initially I was worried spreading this product out that it would be thick or give me a white cast, it does neither!
As you can see in the final swatch picture – this provides some hydration/moisture to the skin initially! this does reduce later as the product ‘mattifies’ onto the skin. My face doesn’t look dewy or oily. But there is a slight layer of this on top of the skin (not heavy and thick like the purito unscented sun block btw), but closer to the etude house sun gel. So absolutely this isn’t the thinnest SPF formulation out there (as the silicone does make this product form a barrier on my skin), it is still light enough where I’m not so bothered/too bothered about it being on my skin.
Video: SPF Swatches and Comparison
Fragrance?: Yes, both fragrance and essential oils (whelp) – Limonene, Linalool, Alpha-isomethyl ionone, Gernaiol, Citronellol, Coumarin, Parfum – I must say, looking at the amount of fragrance/scent ingredients in here – you would think that this smells extremely strong and is forever up my nostrils BUT no – If there is a smell, it’s there when I’m applying/rubbing this in but then it disappears? I don’t randomly get a whiff of sunblock throughout my day (which is great otherwise I’d have real issues with this).
White cast?: No white cast once this has been rubbed in.
Good Under Makeup?: Seems to be fine, not sure about rubbing and tugging with brushes, but patting is fine!
How long have I been using this?: For a month
The Effect?: Matted down effect and sunblock that doesn’t fully disappear into the skin (not as disappearing as Korean/Japanese SPFs (especially the gels or milks) as this contains a good amount of silicone, so it does sit on top of the skin BUT It doesn’t make me sweat or feel uncomfortable. I do think the fact that this mattifies does help with the thinness of the product, i.e. feeling like it’s not really there or suffocating my skin. It’s not a thick/heavy formula like the Purito Centella Sun Block. But it’s not a product that totally disappears into the skin like the Missha Aqua Sun Gel. I’d compare it to the Face Shop SPF in terms of texture (Youtube video with live swatch is above).
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What I like:
- Lightweight formula (after drying down)
- Not sticky
- Easy to apply and spread/rub
- Doesn’t ball up / pill on top of serums/creams
- Doesn’t make me look sweaty – My skin doesn’t feel like it’s suffocating too much
- Doesn’t emulsify (turn into milk) and drip off me when I work out – so it’s comfortable to wear when working out).
What I don’t like:
- Essential Oils
- Don’t expect this to get rid of oil production, what this does is remove initial oil/shine as it mattifies/dries down (which means this is not suited for Dehydrated/Dry skins – more oily/normal/combo skins and also for people in hot humid climates as well). after a few hours I can still feel the oil on my nose, but AT LEAST this doesn’t make me look sweaty/oily/greasy
- I wish companies would make sunblocks bigger especially for the face
- Unlike the Missha Aqua Sun gel, if you scratch your skin or press down hard enough, you could end up removing some of this product (so don’t touch your face).
- It’s not as thin as most Asian Sun blocks that use Alcohol i.e. The Krave Beauty SPF, The Missha Aqua Sun Gel, and many more Gel or Essence SPFs. And I prefer extremely thin textures. I’m not a huge fan of Silicone-like textures on the face. But as stated previously, for a silicone texture – this is pretty thin.
Overall Rating and Conclusion: 4/5 – This is the best WESTERN SPF (for the face) I have worn SO FAR (there may be more discoveries to be made) – but honestly for those who are struggling or find it expensive to keep purchasing Asian SPFs, I think this is a really good alternative and compromise. It’s not too expensive, it’s light enough to not annoy me when I’m wearing it, it doesn’t make me look greasy, dewy or sweaty and it mattifies! It’s not my favourite texture, but for something I can get from Boots – it’s much much better than the other Western SPF options I’ve tried I.e. Bioderma, Ultra Sun….
Would I repurchase?: Yes I would – for a Western SPF, Yes I would repurchase this BECAUSE this has been very useful in preventing me from finishing/wasting my Missha Aqua Sun Gel during isolation. I have been wearing SPF every morning in the house and because I don’t need to have the perfect SPF on while at home, I can reach for this – a cheaper alternative and more accessible as I can purchase in the UK (during quarantine, packages from Korea are seriously delayed), which sits decently on my skin without having to complain about my skin being unable to breathe or having this product ball and pill up if I ever touch my face. And for me this does provide some moisturisation so I’m not going to complain about an easily-accessible SPF.
K-Beauty Dupe?: The Missha Aqua Sun Gel is my fav MATTE SPF (disappears into the skin).
My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.
Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.