This Weightless Japanese Sunscreen Is Nothing Like the Ones You're Used To
The internet is officially obsessed.
Not to go all mom on you, but sunscreen is literally amazing. Cancer? It protecc. Ugly sunburns? Forget it. Premature ageing? Babe, you don’t look a day over your actual age minus seven years.
Our logical, mindful selves know all too well how crucial sunscreen is for our skin. It is, arguably, the only skincare product that every person should be using from a health standpoint, and those with anti-aging aspirations shouldn’t even bother tinkering with retinols and vitamin Cs without first implementing a good sunblock.
So why is it that less than 30 percent of women actually use sunscreen? For starters, the majority of sunscreens kind of suck. From their terrible, tacky texture (or the greasy, slick alternative) to the white cast, pilling, and makeup-melting side effects, sunscreen as we know it is an uphill battle. Sure, it may be doing God’s work, but the whole experience needs a major revamp.
Turns out, a better way exists. The skincare evangelists over at Reddit’s r/AsianBeauty and r/SkincareAddiction have long heralded the benefits of sunscreens coming out of Japan and Korea as far superior alternatives to the gunky creams being hawked in the West, and the differences are very real.
Of the Asian sunscreens that have made their way onto skin nerd forums, one product in particular has generated considerable excitement. Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+/PA++++ (we’ll unpack that name in a moment) has the whole internet switching away from their usual sunscreens.
Biore UV Aqua Rich applies more like a gel than a sticky sunscreen — its intensely moisturizing texture, reminiscent of a hyaluronic acid serum, has a clean, fresh finish that people are saying feels more like a weightless primer or hydrating skincare product.
“I love makeup and skincare and have been on the hunt for my perfect daytime face sunscreen for more than a year,” writes one Amazon reviewer. “I'm so glad I found this stuff because this is the BEST. I've tried a lot of different affordable-priced sunscreens: Neutrogena Dry Touch made my face sting, Etude House Sunprise and Biore UV Perfect Milk left a major white cast, Alba Botanica felt greasy, and on and on and on. This stuff feels hydrating to my dry skin, doesn't feel greasy, melts in without any leftover chalkiness or white cast, doesn't sting my skin, and doesn't mess with the makeup I put on over the top. Plus it's not outrageously expensive like some sunscreens I've seen recommended.”
So why the discrepancy between U.S. and Asian sunscreens? Here’s where we dive into that SPF v. PA thing. As sunscreen is a controlled product under FDA supervision, American sunscreens are held at a different standard (measured by SPF, “Sun Protection Factor”) compared to Asian sunscreens (measured by PA, “Protection Grade of UVA”). But many would argue that the requirements on home soil are arbitrary, and the level of coverage is more than comparable.
Ultimately, the consumer-facing difference that results comes down to texture. And of alllllll the textures in the world, those in the know have elected Biore’s award-winning UV Aqua Rich formula as their sunscreen of choice, without having to compromise on protection.
The difference is night and day. If you’ve found enjoyment in skincare, but still hesitated on sunscreen for its pause-worthy tactile qualities, this is hands down the route for you.
Shop the sunscreen that’s making people rethink their entire sunscreen approach for $19 on Amazon.