Review + Ingredient Analysis | Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence

As it has been getting hotter during the day lately, I figured I should review another sunscreen. I am a sunscreen junkie and I take this topic very seriously. Anyone in my personal life will tell you that how fanatic I am when it comes to sun protection. Sunscreen is by far one of the staples in my skincare routine that I totally cannot skip it during the day after having to wash my face and moisturised it. I've tried several types before starting with Bio-Essence Miracle Bio Water Sunscreen, Uriage Hyseac Fluid SPF50+, a not-so-recent favourite SUNKILLER Perfect Water Essence, an SPF Body Lotion from Guardian, and Sunplay Skin Aqua UV Watery Essence. So...

When I was browsing my local Watsons many months ago, I felt intrigued to buy the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence. I wasn't planning to buy it at first because I still have 2 unopened sunscreens from Innisfree but when I saw this "Rose" scented version that also happened to be a limited edition, I just have to get it. I love everything scented with rose because I always find them soothing. Unlike lavender, rose scent does not easily cause me a headache and runny nose.

Biore has at least 10 different types of sunscreens available to purchase in our Malaysian drugstores. That is a lot and can be overwhelming, however, this Aqua Rich Watery Essence is the most popular, not only among Malaysians but also international based on its reviews posted on beauty blogs and community sites like Makeupalley. Everyone loves it. Do I too?

What It Is?
"Suitable for face and body application, Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA+++ contains Aqua Micro Capsules which has UV absorbing ingredients to provide strong, long-lasting double block yet with light and cool "water-like" fresh feeling. Non-sticky and non-greasy, it spreads and absorbs into the skin easily. Formulated with Hyaluronic Acid and Mix Citrus Essence as moisturising ingredients to keep skin hydrated. It's so comfortable for everyday use!" [link].

(taken from body label)
1) Superior UV Protection
Long Lasting UV protection with the highest level of UVA protection (PA++++) to prevent age spots, wrinkles, dullness and dryness of skin.
2) Water-like Sensation
Formulated with Biore's first ever Technology for ultra-light, non-sticky and refreshing water-like sensation
3) Moisturising Makeup Base
Keeps skin continuously hydrated with Royal Jelly extract, Hyaluronic Acid and Citrus Essence for instant smoothing texture. An Ideal makeup base for natural bare skin look.
4) Aromatic rose fragrance
5) Easy spread on skin
6) Allergy tested
7) Quick absorption
8) Suitable for all skin types


Limited Edition
Yes. This is a limited rose fragrance formula, launched in 2015. The normal one has a Citrus scent.

Where to buy?
Easily accessible at major pharmacies like AEON Wellness, Guardian, Watsons, and supermarket like Tesco.

I got mine from Watsons at the price of RM36.99 [buy here]. I noticed that Japanese sunscreens are generally affordable compared to sunscreens from Korean brands.

How To Use
Apply onto skin evenly. For best results, reapply after excessive sweating, swimming or towel drying. Remove with facial wash.

It is in a squeezable plastic tube to dispense the product. Good and thick quality of plastic, I assume, since it's opaque and I cannot see the sunscreen's level. This is important due to photostability. Some plastic materials are less opaque, unlike this one, so exposure to sunlight may alter the active ingredients in it and make the sunscreen to become less effective.

Is it me or the ingredients are the same as the original ones? 

Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Alcohol, Lauryl Methacrylate/Sodium Methacrylate Crosspolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Dimethicone, Xylitol, Trisiloxane, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dextrin Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, C30-45 Alkyl Methicone, Agar, C30-45 Olefin, Potassium Hydroxide, Carbomer, Polyvinyl Alcohol, PEG-400, Disodium EDTA, BHT, PEG-50 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Triisostearate, PEG-3 Castor Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben.

1. A gentle reminder on how Sun Protection Factor (SPF) works:

"When I'm not using sunscreen, I will burn after 15 minutes under the sun. By taking this Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence as an example, (which has SPF 50), it means that I can safely remain in the sun for 15 x 50 = 750 minutes or 12.5 hours before my skin gets burned"

However, the statement above only true if the sunscreen is able to provide protection equivalent to the SPF. There are a lot of factors affecting the effectiveness of a sunscreen, for example, the way of application, amount of application, sweat, motion/behaviour, and much more. This is why experts suggested reapplying any sunscreen for every 2 hours. And also, I read a recently published paper on how laboratory labelled SPFs sunscreen may overestimate the actual protection under the sun due to the differences of UV rays emitted in the lab to the actual spectral power from natural sunlight. So, you know, just to be safe, REAPPLY.

2. Now it's time to decode the ingredients, tapi aku malas sebenarnya, opss. The most important thing I look into a sunscreen is what kind of UV filters it used and whether they are able to provide broad-spectrum protection. Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence has 4 different types of chemical/organic sun filters. They are:
(i) Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate / Octinoxate
(ii) Bis-Ethylhexyloxphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine / Tinosorb S
(iii) Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate / Uvinul A Plus
(iv) Ethylhexyl Triazone / Uvinul T150

Is it a broad-spectrum sunscreen? Yes, because of Bis-Ethylhexyloxphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine or its trade name, Tinosorb S is a highly efficient, photostable and a well-known broad-spectrum filter against the UVA and UVB ray. Both Octinoxate and Uvinul T150 give protection from UVB ray while Uvinul A Plus is for UVA ray. You can't find Biore UV Aqua Rich in the US or Canada since FDA only allowed the usage of Octinoxate in the sunscreen.

3. Just like most gel to watery sunscreens coming from Japanese brands, it has alcohol as one of the main ingredients in the formulation. This happened so that the sunscreen can become less greasy and easier to absorb into the skin. Does it suit dry skin? Based on my own experience, *YES MY OWN, I GOTTA DECLARE ON MOST DAYS MY SKIN IS NO LONGER OILY, HARDLY A COMBINATION*, this sunscreen sometimes can be dry for me, so extra moisturising step needs to be done. If you guys have been following me for a while, you would know that I like to skip moisturiser in my AM routine and straight away be using a moisturising sunscreen. Seems like I can't do the same for this product.

4. There are a lot of preservatives used in this sunscreen such as BHT, Phenoxyethanol, and 4 different types of parabens. Other ingredients are generally okay, none of them is considered as irritants according to CosDNA analyser, but alcohol can be irritating to some people.

Consistency and Texture

1. The finishing. It's cosmetically elegant. No grey or white cast or any flashback when taking a photo with the flash on. People with colours could wear this sunscreen easily without any problem. It also won't interfere your makeup as in changing the shade of your foundation.

2. One of the things I liked about this sunscreen is its lightweight consistency. I'd still categorise and put this in the lightweight category, even though in my personal opinion, Bio-essence Miracle Bio Water sunscreen feels more weightless on the skin than this. Which brings me to point number 3;

3. It has a minimal silicony feeling once it dries. If you see from the formulation, it does have a silicone in it which probably contributing to the overall finishing. Having this kind of polymeric product also makes the sunscreen's application to become smooth, non-greasy and it's easier to apply. 

4. Again, based on personal trial and use, I would say that this sunscreen dries fast, almost at instant due to alcohol, sometimes it feels drying on the skin, not somewhere near horrible but I definitely feel the facial tightness when I put this on. HOWEVER, always remember that the rate of absorption is also depending on humidity. When it gets super humid where I tend to sweat a lot/easily, I would totally skip using Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence and go for cream, mattifying sunscreen. WHY? I'm telling you because this Biore sunscreen melts fairly quickly especially if you're the type that sweat easily like myself.
This will only bring several disadvantages:
(i) It gets into my eyes and irritates them.
(ii) My skin won't get adequate UV shielding from the sun.
(iii) Interferes my makeup.

Oh God, point number (iii) annoys me to most. This particular sunscreen is definitely not a good match with NARS Sheer Glow and you probably have seen me complaining on Instagram. The finishing is horrible. The foundie ended up looking patchy as hell and sometimes piles even after the sunscreen has set properly on the skin (or so I thought). Never happened to any other sunscreens I've tried before. I actually wanted to say that it's so weird how this Biore UV Aqua Rich can be too drying on my face and at the same time melts off pretty easily, but science and nature have explained it, lol. 

Here's the thing. I can totally see why mat saleh/angmohs love this so much, it performed well in a dry climate but for humid country like Malaysia, it depends. On most days, the sunscreen will sink in just fine, but when it gets really hot and humid, I'd suggest you to have a longer "waiting time".

5. Next, I'd like to talk about the scent. It's another complaint, but I'll keep it short. It does not smell like rose at all. I feel betrayed.

6. Does this moisturise the skin as per claim? It does, but not anywhere near intense. I come into conclusion that at least 3 of the water based sunscreens I've reviewed before in this blog are a lot more moisturising than this.

7. Take note that mine is still the 2016's formulation. The newest 2017's Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence formulation claims to have a high resistance to sweat and water. Check out Biore Facebook account for more info.

I'm in the minority group of consumers who are not liking the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence. I can see myself loving this if I were to use it during my teen days. As I'm nearer to my 30s than 20s whereby my skin needs extra hydration, I don't see this sunscreen as a great option. I won't repurchase, especially in this Rose scented limited edition. 

On that note, oily to combination people may prefer this product because it seems to be a lot more beneficial, mainly with oil control and non-greasy feeling. Normal, dehydrated and dry skin people...... hmmm (okay la, still can use but if it's drying and feeling uncomfortable, moisturise gila2 dulu okay? 😊)For rating, I try not to be biased when it comes to giving out the score according to my preferences like how Uriage HYSEAC received almost a perfect score despite it was crazily breaking me out so I will look back into the claims - hence, 3 ⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

So, that's it! Whatever sunscreen you're using, remember to reapply every 2 hours as suggested (or longer if you're indoor). This is because the minute you put it onto your skin, the active ingredients start to break down and deactivate. 

Adios! Till my next review. 

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CikYan Bawang said...

Used this one for 2 days like the texture but it made my skin itchy