Battle of the K-Beauty Sunscreens (Stylevana Collaboration)

Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Make P:Rem, Biore, Missha and Labioette

Personally, I think that sunscreen is one of the most underdone steps in our skincare routine. Everyone knows how important it is, but we are often mistaken about how much we are actually doing. There’s a misconception that our foundations, which mostly contain some level of SPF now, is sufficient sun protection – but it’s really not. Whether you are going to the beach or just staying indoors with your computer, you should be using specialised sun care.

Admittedly, I didn’t use sunscreen at all when I was a teenager. I had an allergic reaction once so figured that was it – but I was absolutely wrong, The issue that I had in the past was that many would be heavy on my skin, clogging pores and causing break outs – so the question is: What’s a good sunscreen? Where should you start?

Today, I’m going to be looking at six different Korean sunscreens and discussing the pro’s and con’s for all of them. Of course, this review will be written purely in my own perspective and with my skin type in mind, so I would recommend doing some research yourself too!

All of these were kindly gifted to me by Stylevana – and they’re all available on their website. If you’ve found something you like, hop over there to make an order. Valid until the end of November, you can also get 10-15% off your order with my code INF10STELLAR (excluding weekend deals and instant offers).

And… let’s get into it!

Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Make P:Rem, Biore, Missha and Labioette

Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Make P:Rem UV Defense Me

UV Defense Me – Blue Ray Sun Fluid (Make P:rem) | USD$37.89

The first that I’ll be discussing is actually a face and body sunscreen, which comes in a relatively generous 200mL bottle! This is from a brand called Make P:rem, who are all about minimalism, simplicity and using EWG safe ingredients. The Blue Ray Sun Fluid is a physical sunscreen specifically marketed to be safe for the entire family – including pregnant family members, little kids and those with sensitive skin.

Key product claims include:

  • Almost no white cast
  • Broad spectrum SPF50+ PA++++ with both UVA and UVB protection
  • Cools down your skin’s temperature to prevent thermal aging
  • Absorbs quickly with no greasy residue

The product is formulated with a number of ingredients such as:

  • Water Lily Extract: Cooling and Soothing
  • Nordic Berry: A patented ingredient (wild berry extract) with antioxidant effect from stem cells and moisturising benefits
  • Pennywort Extract: Strengthens the skin barrier and restores skin elasticity
  • Sage Oil: Natural essential oil that is also soothing
  • Silver Birch Sap: Moisturising and Soothing
  • Xylitol: Moisturising and Soothing
  • Bergamot Fruit Oil: Natural essential oil that is also soothing

Overall, the ingredients list (from SkinCarisma) does have a few points that may be concerning for those with acne-prone skin:

  • Silicone (in the form of Cyclomethicone and Phenyl Trimethicone)
  • Fragrance (in particular Stearic Acid, which is not suitable for oily skin and may be an acne trigger)
  • Vitamin E (Tocopheryl)

In addition to this, their ingredients lists also contains Butylene Glycol, which is a bit controversial for ‘Green Beauty’ fans but is actually not proven to have any issues. In fact, it is a synthetic ingredient that is considered safe for use (more about later on).

Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Make P:Rem UV Defense Me
Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Make P:Rem UV Defense Me
Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Make P:Rem UV Defense Me

Personal Experiences

At first, I was surprised by how big the bottle was but it made sense once I realised it was a body sunscreen as well. This product has a pleasant fresh scent that lingers slightly after application – it isn’t too strong though and I personally liked it. It’s definitely got a more moisturising finish, as promised, and those with dry skin would absolutely love this.

The ingredients list is really good too! Since they use all EWG green ingredients, the only things that are even slightly higher on the safety list is the sunscreen itself. However, I don’t think this sunscreen is the best for make up users.

It has a slight tacky finish after application which can take quite a while to absorb. It isn’t heavy per say, but I prefer lighter products – I find that they are less likely to affect the application and wear time of my foundation. I also found that the product does have a very slight white cast (due to the Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide). It isn’t visible on me, but I question it for deeper skin tones.

The product also claims to help cool down skin but, since I’m not spending much time outdoors anyway and it hasn’t been that hot in Sydney, I wasn’t able to test that out.

Here’s my verdict!

SO WHAT IS IT?

A moisturising physical sunscreen with EWG safe ingredients

RATINGS

  • PRICE POINT | 2/5
  • PACKAGING | 3/5
  • SCENT | 4/5
  • FINISH | 2/5
  • APPLICATION | 3/5

OVERALL RATING? 5.6/10

THOUGHTS? The price point for this is actually not bad if I were to use it as a face sunscreen as well. However, it would only work as a body product for me because of my skin type and preferences. It has a very moisturising formula and I like that the ingredients list is so clean. This is something worth looking into if you have sensitive/dry skin.

Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Make P:Rem UV Defense Me

Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Biore UV Watery Essence

UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence 2019 Edition (Biore Kao) | USD$6.29

This is the new and improved cult classic from Japan’s Biore (or Kao) – the UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence! I’ve actually been using the UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel (and actually had to ask a friend who get it for me from Japan) so I had really high hopes for this – and they didn’t disappoint!

This is a chemical sunscreen which claims to have the world’s first ever ‘Micro Defence Formula’ – which prevents uneven application whilst also protecting from UV damage. Main product selling points are:

  • Contains moisture rich water capsules to prevent dryness
  • Ingredients include hyaluronic acid, royal jelly extract and BG (all moisturizing ingredients but a little more on BG later)
  • Waterproof formula that washes easily with a cleanser
  • No colouring agents
  • Has a light White Muguet fragrance
  • Translucent finish with no flaking
  • Can also be used as a foundation primer due to the smooth finish

As you can see from those selling points, this sunscreen is really targeted towards people who use make up – it’s formulated to absorb, hydrate and sit closely on your skin. In comparison to a physical sunscreen, some people may be sensitive to these chemical formulas. A few things to consider:

  • There have been some claims that chemical sunscreens may cause pigmentation due to the heating of skin – however, these are unproven.
  • Ingredients list contains BG (Butylene Glycol). According to The Derm Review, one of the reason people within the Green Beauty movement are against this “relates to the synthetic production of butylene glycol and its derivation petroleum. [It is often a misconception]… Butylene glycol has been tested for safety and doesn’t have any cumulative toxicity and is safe for its indicated uses.”
  • Contains fragrances, but at the end of the ingredients list.

In addition, this sunscreen does contain Dimethicone (a form of Silicone). This is safe for skin use but may be a concern for those with acne-prone skin.

Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Biore UV Watery Essence
Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Biore UV Watery Essence

Personal Experiences

I love this sunscreen just as much as I loved the original Watery Gel version that I used. There’s a reason why it is so hyped up within the beauty industry – and it’s not because of Instagram influencers. This is just a brilliant product.

It has a very nice gel texture and, on application, gives skin a light boost of hydration. The formula absorbs fast and is completely non-greasy and with no tacky residue. It doesn’t pill, as per the claims, at the formula is completely translucent so would work perfectly for all skin tones. It feels like almost nothing on the skin and is really perfect for use underneath make up.

If your skin is quite dry or you want extra hydration though, I would make sure to have a good skincare base before applying this. As much as I love this sunscreen, you can’t rely on it for moisture.

There are a few ‘cons’ that I had pointed out earlier and, in the end, it’s up to the individual whether those things bother them. I usually use chemical sunscreens on days when I’m not out too much (and therefore not at risk of overheating my skin). I’m also not a believer in rejecting all synthetic ingredients so don’t believe there is any issue with the use of BG. Perfumes also don’t bother me, especially since it’s so minimal in this formula that that I don’t even register that it’s there.

Here’s my verdict!

SO WHAT IS IT?

A chemical sunscreen with a translucent gel texture

RATINGS

  • PRICE POINT | 5/5
  • PACKAGING | 4/5
  • SCENT | 4/5
  • FINISH | 5/5
  • APPLICATION | 5/5

OVERALL RATING? 9.2/10

THOUGHTS? I love this just as much, if not a little bit more, than the Watery Gel formula. Out of all of the sunscreens, I think that this would be a winner for me. The Biore sunscreen is actually one that I recommend often and, with a price point like this, it’s so worth trying out!


Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Labiotte UV Veil Moisture Sun Essence

UV Veil Moisture Sun Essence (Labiotte) | USD$6.79 – USD$13.09

And the next one is from Labioette. I tried out a lip tint from them recently which was brilliant! This is the first skincare product that I’ve used though and, unfortunately, this is my least favourite of the bunch. This is the UV Veil Moisture Sun Essence, which contains SPF50+ PA+++ with UVA and UVB production. The size that I have is the 20mL, but it’s also available in a Duo Set with a 50mL full size.

This is described as a light-weight, water based sunscreen that is suitable for all skin types. From the ingredients list that I found (via SkinCarisma), this seems to be a chemical sunscreen as well. The key product claims include:

  • Contains Aqua Moisturising Capsules to deeply hydrate skin
  • Applies smoothly without white cast
  • Contains a skin-soothing complex (BASAM) which combines 7 types of naturally-derived extract to protect skin from external aggressors

From looking at the ingredients list, most of it seems pretty decent – though it would have the same concerns as the previous Biore. I’ve copy and pasted them below in case you don’t want to scroll back up:

  • There have been some claims that chemical sunscreens may cause pigmentation due to the heating of skin – however, these are unproven.
  • Ingredients list contains BG (Butylene Glycol). According to The Derm Review, one of the reason people within the Green Beauty movement are against this “relates to the synthetic production of butylene glycol and its derivation petroleum. [It is often a misconception]… Butylene glycol has been tested for safety and doesn’t have any cumulative toxicity and is safe for its indicated uses.”
  • Contains fragrances, but at the end of the ingredients list.
Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Labiotte UV Veil Moisture Sun Essence
Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Labiotte UV Veil Moisture Sun Essence

Personal Experiences

I have had a good experience with most chemical sunscreens and, since the reviews for this were mostly positive, I had high expectations. Unfortunately, this just didn’t work for me. I liked the gel texture of the sunscreen, which was non-greasy and would have worked nicely under make up. It’s also good that this had no white cast, so would have worked for all skin tones.

However, I felt that the texture was a bit silicone-y (which is strange because the UV Veil Moisture Sun Essence is the only sunscreen of the four that does not contain silicone). It left a strange film over my skin that took quite a long time to fade. In addition, the fragrance was strong and noticeable – it was almost soap-like for me which I found deterring.

Overall, I wasn’t comfortable using this sunscreen more than once due to filmy finish and scent. Perhaps it would be fine if I continued to use it but, on first impression, I wouldn’t want to risk it.

Here’s the verdict!

SO WHAT IS IT?

A chemical sunscreen with a gel texture

RATINGS

  • PRICE POINT | 5/5
  • PACKAGING | 3/5
  • SCENT | 1/5
  • FINISH | 1/5
  • APPLICATION | 3/5

OVERALL RATING? 5.2/10

THOUGHTS? The price point for this is pretty good and I like that it comes with the smaller 20mL size to test out. However, it’s not a formula that I would be comfortable using – even if the ingredients list is pretty good. This is my least favourite of the bunch and I wouldn’t be recommending or repurchasing this.

Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Labiotte UV Veil Moisture Sun Essence

Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Missha Aqua Sun Gel

All-Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel (Missha) | USD$9.99

And finally, we have the All-Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel! This is the 2018 reformulation and, from what I could tell, has been a really popular product. The Missha sunscreens come with five different types, all for different skin concerns: the Essence, Daily, Waterproof, Mild and the Aqua. In general, a lot of people rave about the Missha sunscreens and – now that I’ve tried it out myself – I can see why.

The Aqua Sun Gel, which is the variant I’ve tested out, is again a chemical sunscreen. It is described as a moisture-rich water based sunscreen with a lightweight and fresh texture. It protects against UV rays with SPF50+ PA++++ whilst also soothing skin.

This formula also contains silicones (in the form of Dimethicone and Cyclopentasiloxane) and Alcohol. Both of these are considered safe for cosmetic use but may be an issue for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. Other concerns are again, the same as before (which I will again copy and paste below):

  • There have been some claims that chemical sunscreens may cause pigmentation due to the heating of skin – however, these are unproven.
  • Ingredients list contains BG (Butylene Glycol). According to The Derm Review, one of the reason people within the Green Beauty movement are against this “relates to the synthetic production of butylene glycol and its derivation petroleum. [It is often a misconception]… Butylene glycol has been tested for safety and doesn’t have any cumulative toxicity and is safe for its indicated uses.”
  • Contains fragrances, but at the end of the ingredients list.
Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Missha Aqua Sun Gel
Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Missha Aqua Sun Gel
Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Missha Aqua Sun Gel

Personal Experiences

So I had a really good experience with this sunscreen and would continue to use it up – it’s also some that I would consider re-purchasing too. For other people though, I would recommend to look at the ingredients list because alcohol and silicones may affect others more than it does for me.

In general, I liked that this formula dried down on skin fully matte – making it absolutely perfect for underneath make up. It’s not drying though and is lightly moisturising on skin (but those with very dry skin would benefit from a good skincare routine beforehand too). There’s a light fragrance, which smells quite refreshing and similar to what I’d expect from a regular sunscreen. It isn’t overwhelming and dissipates once the product is worked into skin.

In addition to this, this sunscreen has no white cast (regardless of the white cream texture) and doesn’t pill.

Here’s my verdict!

SO WHAT IS IT?

A chemical sunscreen with a creamy texture

RATINGS

  • PRICE POINT | 5/5
  • PACKAGING | 4/5
  • SCENT | 4/5
  • FINISH | 5/5
  • APPLICATION | 4/5

OVERALL RATING? 8.8/10

THOUGHTS? I enjoyed this sunscreen and this is easily my second favourite out of the bunch! It works really well for my skin and also my personal needs (i.e. being lightweight, having a matte or natural finish and working well underneath make up). Depending on your skin concerns, I would also recommend looking at the other variants.

Stylevana Kbeauty Sunscreen Review - Missha Aqua Sun Gel

Out of the four that I tried out, the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence is very easily the top winner for me, followed closely by the Missha All-Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel. Both of these are chemical sunscreens, which isn’t surprising because I’ve always been biased towards those formulas. In the end, it really comes down to what works best for your skin type. The main things to look out for is:

  • Do you want to use a physical or chemical sunscreen?
  • If you have acne-prone skin, look out for any comedogenic ingredients
  • Similarly, consider whether your skin has always adverse reactions to silicone. These are often used as an emollient in skincare products and are deemed safe for use, both some may find it pore clogging.

What are your sunscreens of choice? Let me know in the comment section below or message me on Instagram! Regardless, make sure that you’re not slacking off on your sunscreen use – whether you’re staying indoors or going out – sunscreen is always an essential.

And, if you’re looking to get your hands on something new – check out Stylevana. Make sure to use my code INF10STELLAR for 10-15% off your order (excluding weekend deals and instant offers) – valid until the end of November.

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