Bioré UV Aqua Rich Essence SPF 50 / PA++++ & ISDIN SPF 40 Lip Balm
ISDIN SPF 40 Lip Balm
It’s been a bit uphill for me to write this review, because, while I don’t find any serious cons about this product, I don’t really have much to say about it, either. And I generally like the suncare options from this Spanish brand.
Anyway, the ISDIN SPF 40 lip balm is a fine product that does what it’s supposed to do, with no added frills or fun. It’s a firm balm, not particularly hidrating, and leaves a white cast; not like the horrid supermarket product I still have around, because I can’t seem to finish it, but enough to be noticeable, and bring attention to every little skin flake and dry areas. It’s intended to be used for protection during outdoor activities in harsher weather, but for typical city use, it isn’t the most aesthetic option.
I don’t mind this much, because for serious nourishing I use actual lipbalm. I apply this product only for going outside, beneath my usual lipstick; since it isn’t in the least greasy, it doesn’t mess up the finish, and I don’t find it alters the color noticeably, despite the whitish cast.
Still, I’ve used other SPF lipbalms that I liked better, such as my most recent favorite from Piz Buin. This one does the job well, and it’s clearly a practical option, but not being the type that worships at the altar of Practical, it’s likely I won’t repurchase. My rating for the ISDIN SPF 40 lip balm is 3.75 points.
Bioré UV Aqua Rich Essence SPF50 / PA++++
Now this part of the post could be subtitled: Anouk made me do it, she and her Bioré fangirling 😛.
Not that she’s the only culprit, of course: anyone who’s snooped around the Asian beauty blogosphere has probably seen the love for the Bioré UV Aqua Rich Essence SPF50 / PA++++ all around. This particular product, however, is a reformulation of a prior version, much beloved by A-beauty fans; this one was launched around mid-2017 (IIRC), and I’ve seen a number of comments from users not too happy about the change.
I didn’t get to try the older version, so I can’t find anything that stops me from stating that this is one of the best sunscreens that ever have graced my face. I regret not having bought more for using in spring & summer (I bought this one months ago in Hong Kong… why, why didn’t I buy more tubes, knowing how lazy I am when it comes to ordering online?)
In fact, being persnickety, the only two (tiny) cons I could find with this sunscreen are:
a) the packaging’s small size: 50 ml… really, Bioré, what is this, a sunscreen for ants?
Even if their usual customer base tends to not have much space for accumulating things at home, I doubt many of them ignore that sunscreen has to be applied generously and often. This is one of the cosmetics I’ve used up the fastest.
b) my thirsty wintertime skin could use a bit more hydration. To me, this would be perfect as a warmer-weather option.
Anyway, these to me are unimportant. That aside, I find that all the rave reviews about this sunscreen are true:
✅ It’s weightless, and you forget you’re wearing it: the consistency is so fluid and barely-there, it spreads in the blink of an eye. If you’re trying to get serious about regular suncare, but can’t stand the thought of sticky, clingy, suffocating sunscreen, look no further than this.
✅ No-shine. Absolutely none.
✅ No whitish cast on skin… or at least none that I could detect while I used it, and I pile this thing on when applying.
However, I’ve seen other users note that the reformulation does leave a noticeable cast on their skin, something the prior formula did not do, apparently. YMMV? Thoughts?
✅ It’s affordable. I don’t remember what I paid for this, but it wasn’t much, and I’ve seen it listed online for around 10 USD or so.
To sum up, I think it’s phenomenal if you have oily or combination skin, or for use during summertime; apparently this is water-resistant, so if you’re a pool- or beach-goer, I’d say keep this option in mind (and don’t forget to reapply!).
I also think many users with drier skin would like this too, because it’s so light and fresh… however! note that the 2nd ingredient in the formula is alcohol*… if you have dry skin, or are sensitive to alcohol, proceed with caution. As I said before, my skin can become drier during winter, but it’s nothing a touch of moisturizer doesn’t fix.
*Here I’m going by hearsay, and relying on the kind souls in the blogosphere who have posted translations of the INCI and the corresponding CosDNA analysis, one of which can be found here, courtesy of Tracy from fanserviced-b.com. Also, you may detect a whiff of the alcohol sometimes when applying.
All things considered, the Bioré UV Aqua Rich Essence SPF50 / PA++++ is a 5 point product for me. Even though I tend to be reluctant about going online for just one thing, I think I’m going to make an exception for replacing this sunscreen.
1 point: No! Never again, not even if you gave it to me, or even paid me to wear it.
2 points: I didn’t finish the container and it’s very unlikely I’d buy this again. It might work for you, but it does nothing for me.
3 points: Meh. I’ll use up my jar/tube, but I don’t think I’d buy again. It might work for you, but it doesn’t do much for me.
4 points: I like it. It’s nice and does its job. I might buy this again, if I find nothing I like better.
5 points: I love it! It does its job very well, I find it a pleasure to use, and it’s earned its place in my beauty routine.