are expensive sunscreens the only way ?
Before I discovered the realm of Asian Beauty, I believed that all sunscreens were created equal. I was never quite sure of the specifics, but I knew I was not a fan. After trying several different mainstream drugstore brands I was always left less than happy with their performance.
If you're willing to shell out the cash you may be able to find a great sunscreen from one of the high end cosmetics brands like Clinique or Paula's Choice. Kiehl's, for example, has an amazing sunscreen option in there Super Fluid Uv Defense Sunscreen but with a price tag of $61 for only 4.2 oz its not a product I can justify repurchasing.
Most dermatologists recommend using an average of 2 tablespoons to properly coat the entire body. If you're only covering your face and neck your gonna need at least 1/4 tsp. Its important to have a generous hand when applying sunscreen and lets be honest that's hard to do when your sunscreen costs a fortune.
Asian Beauty Sunscreen options
After diving head first into the world of Asian beauty I quickly learned that a good sunscreen doesn't have to cost you and arm and leg. In fact, eastern drugstores have what seems like a never ending supply of affordable and amazing sunscreen options. Some brands are completely foreign while others may seem familiar like Biore or Nivea but don't confuse these with there American counterparts they couldn't be more different.
In the U.S, sunscreen is regulated by the FDA. Now this might blow your mind but the last time the FDA approved of a new ingredient for sunscreen was the year 2000. So while Europe and Asia have been making huge strides in sunscreen technologies and formula we have been literally stuck in time.
Another thing to note about Eastern sunscreen options is there superior level of protection. Not only do they provide protection from UVB Rays (Rays that Burn the top layers of skin). They also protect from UVA Rays (Rays that penetrate the deepest layers of skin and cause premature aging and sun cancer). You can find out how much UVA protection is provided by reading the PA + rating. As of 2016 the max level of UVA protection is PA++++.
I decided to try the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence from Japan after reading pages and pages of universal praise. It also had a great price tag coming in around $10. After using the sunscreen for the first time I was beyond impressed. It has a very lovely light-weight texture that seems to disappear into the skin.
When I purchased the sunscreen I initially thought that the term 'watery essence' was some kind of strange translation but I was wrong. This stuff starts out in a gel like consistency but as you rub it into the skin it emulsifies and takes on the look and feel of water. It absorbs in seconds and leaves behind no white cast or scent.
While I can definitely understand why this sunscreen has reached cult classic status for many, I personally did not end up loving this as much as I thought I would. Yes, the texture and sun protection are amazing but after using it for a week straight I found my skin to be extremely dry. This sunscreen (like most Japanese sunscreens) has a high percentage of alcohol which isn't a great match for someone with dry skin like myself.
Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Verdict: Overall Rating: 3/5
This sunscreen kicks the butt of any of its american drugstore counterparts it just was not the best fit for me personally. I have normal to dry skin and I found the high alcohol content in the sunscreen seemed to dry me out further. When it comes to alcohol content in skincare it really just depends on your skin. Some people have no reaction to it at all while others see negative reactions. With the price and texture of the sunscreen being so great I would really urge everyone to give it a try.
- Max UVA protection
- Max UVB protection
- Wonderful light texture
- Absorbs Quickly
- No white cast
- Alcohol content
- Slight Alcohol scent
- Not Ideal for Dry skin