Biore Aqua Rich UV Watery Essence Sunscreen: SPF50 Protection thatFeels Light

Friday, March 8, 2013

Biore, one of the Japanese drugstore brands under Kao Corporation (which is also the owner of brands like Curel, Molton Brown, Asience, and Jergens), has just launched a new sunscreen, the Biore Aqua Rich UV Watery Essence. I'm a big sunscreen nut (remember my sunscreen tips post?), and I had heard that this product was a hot seller in Taiwan too, so I was very excited to try this.

The product itself comes in a nondescript light blue tube, which is the typical packaging for Asian brand sunscreens, so I have nothing much to say about the packaging, except that I like the squeeze tube, it's convenient and hygenic. The product itself comes out as an opaque, light, white, and watery-feeling gel, with a slightly "sandy" kind of texture - like you can feel little bits of product suspended inside the watery gel. It didn't really bother me, though, as the texture was only slightly sandy, and perhaps this was due to the fact that I didn't shake the tube before squeezing the sunscreen out. Or perhaps these bits are the "unique Aqua Micro Capsules with UV block ingredient", the product advertisement talks about. In any case, you can see the bits below on my hand.

biore aqua uv sunscreen 1

Once rubbed into the skin, however, the product blends well, and feels very light on. I've taken a shot of the product in the process of being rubbed into my skin, so you can see the watery texture. It does absorb fast, which always gives a product points in my book!

biore aqua uv sunscreen 2

The sunscreen filters being used in the Aqua Rich UV Watery Essence are Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, followed by Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate (also sometimes called Uvinul A Plus). Both are chemical filters which may cause some sensitivity in people whose skins don't react well to chemical sunscreen filters. However on me, this product worked fine, and I have pretty sensitive skin. I didn't see any physical filters, so this is a purely chemical sunscreen. I also liked the SPF value - SPF50 is good, and it also offers UVA protection, thanks to the Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, and is rated PA+++, which is a pretty high UVA rating under the PA system. (You'll have to refer to my sunscreen tips post for the difference between UVA and UVB protection.)

Below you can see the product almost fully rubbed into my skin. It is transparent after absorption, and doesn't leave behind any residue. It really is quite cosmetically elegant.

biore aqua sunscreen 3

I noticed that in the ads for this product, the Aqua Rich UV Watery Essence is also billed as being enriched with "Hyaluronic Acid & Citrus essence". There is Sodium Hyaluronate further down the ingredients list, as well as a bunch of citrus fruit extracts (grapefruit, lemon, and orange, in that order). So yes, there are some ingredients that work as claimed, although of course the bulk of the product still consists of sunscreen filters, and film forming agents (since this is a sunscreen, of course!). But it's good to see other ingredients being incorporated too.

So, would I recommend this product? Yes - it has good UVB and UVA protection, it is cosmetically elegant, meaning that it absorbs fast, leaves behind no residue, and has a light, watery feel that is very pleasant to use. The only caveat I would make is that since this is a purely chemical sunscreen, so if you have sensitivity to chemical filters, it may be better to find a product that uses physical filters instead. But for most people looking for a high-protection sunscreen that still feels light, this product would be perfect for you. It worked well on me, and I liked it, so all things considered, if you're not sensitive

(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)


  1. This certainly seems like a great sunscreen! x

  2. I love that it has SPF 50 and Japanese sunscreens are great.

  3. It sounds like a good sunscreen and I like any SPF higher than 30. I hope it's eventually available in North America.

  4. The little bits are the Micro capsules. They're supposed to melt once they come in contact with warm fingers and get worked into the face.

    I do like that it's in an easy squeeze tube. Can't wait to pick this up


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