Part IV: Battle of the Sunscreens

HAVE YOU READ PART I: SUNSCREEN 101 - FILTERS, AMT TO USE, APPLICATION AND MORE FOUND HERE?

Have you read Part II: Battle of the Sunscreens here?

Have you read Part III: Battle of the Sunscreens here?

I am a collector of sunscreens and have slowly but surely amassed an army of them. However, not all are great for the skin and I have tried my best to break each one down into its main sunscreen ingredients, the good stuff in it and the slightly dubious ones. Ingredients that are generally not the best might not be extremely bad just because we don't apply enough of it to suffer from toxicity or the side effects. However, there are some that might trigger allergic reactions so I decided to just include them in. I've also classified Dimethicone/Silicone under Dubious but this has ruffled some feathers in the past lol - its true, dimethicone is not really a bad ingredient per say but I know some of you prefer not to have this in your ingredients list so that's really why I put it there. Pls take everything with a pinch of salt and remember that different skin react differently to products! What I hate might just be your Holy Grail!

Some of the sunscreens are purchased by me, some are gifts and some are PR packages. 

*All opinions are my own* 

MAMONDE EVERYDAY AQUA SUNCREAM, (CALENDULA) SPF 50+ SPF PA++++

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MAIN INGREDIENTS:

  • Octinoxate (UVB)

  • Titanium Dioxide (UVB, UVA2)

  • Uvinul A Plus (UVA1)

THE GOOD: 

  • Emollients

  • Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract: antiseptic/antimicrobial properties

  • Adenosine: Skins-soothing and restoring properties

THE DUBIOUS:

  • Parfum

MY THOUGHTS: 

I thought this had a pretty clean list of ingredients for a chemical sunscreen. It does leave a slight white cast because of the titanium dioxide and has a sheen to it so oily skin won't like it. If your skin is on the drier side and likes calendula, this is actually pretty decent!

The active ingredients are pretty basic and seems to cover the entire spectrum of UV so thats always good. On the skin, it does feel okay-ish but as you can imagine, it has no alcohol so naturally, theres a slight heaviness to it. It doesn't seemed to add to oiliness but it doesn't reduce it either so thats a point to note. I did have to blot once throughout the day to reduce the shine but that was it. If you have slightly drier skin, prefer a glow and likes chemical sunscreen, check this one out!

Available on Lazada/Mamonde counters.

SKIN AQUA TONE UP UV ESSENCE SPF 50+ PA++++

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MAIN INGREDIENTS:

  • Octinoxate (UVB)

  • Titanium Dioxide (UVB/UVA2)

  • Uvinul A Plus (UVA1)

THE GOOD:

  • Emollients

  • Sodium Hyaluronate: hydration

  • Magnesium Ascorbic Phosphate: capable of suppressing skin pigmentation, making it effective in whitening dark skin, or areas of dark skin. It should be noted it might be needed at a concentration of 10% to be effective at inhibiting melanin production. It also needs to be around pH 6-7 to be effective

  • Passiflora Edulis Fruit Extract: skin-soothing and antioxidant properties

  • Hydrolyzed Prunus Domestica: anti-aging properties

  • Rosa Roxburghii Fruit Extract: antioxidant properties

THE DUBIOUS:

  • Alcohol

  • Fragrance

  • Triethanol amine

I got this in Japan straight-up cause of packaging. I am a sucker. It is SO PRETTY? Anyw, the ingredient list is decent for a chemical sunscreen and I didnt get this with any intentions to use it on my face so i wasn't particular with the active ingredients. I was intending to use it on my neck so make it fairer when my foundation/bb cream don't match my neck lol. It does work tho! This come out lilac - which i totally wasnt expecting but its a nice surprise. Purple is a skin-corrector for yellow and dullness and i feel like it really did brighten my neck when I use it! Score! Plus this comes in a really big tube. I doubt I'd finish using it anytime soon haha 

The dubious doesn't set any major alarms off except Triethanol amine but that is only harmful at concentrations of 5% or more and I doubt this has that high an amount. Overall, I really like this, more than I expect, and I would repurchase just for my neck and chest to brighten up the area! 

On skin, its pretty lightweight and doesn't feel very heavy but thats cause it has alcohol in it, I suppose. But I don't think the concentration is v high cause I can't smell it at all. Overall, super nice to use and packaging is a major score!

Available in Japan drugstores. 

KOSE SUNCUT UV PROTECT GEL SPF 50+ PA++++

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MAIN INGREDIENTS:

  • Octinixate (UVB)

  • Parsol SLX (UVB)

  • Uvinul A Plus (UVA1)

  • Tinosorb S (UVA, UVA1/2)

  • Titanium Dioxide (UVB/UVA2)

THE GOOD:

  • Emollients

  • Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract: relieve inflammatory skin conditions and calms sensitive skin

  • Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract: antiseptic/antimicrobial properties

  • Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract: anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties

  • Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract: soothing, moisturizing, antioxidant properties

  • Clematis Vitalba Leaf Extract: skin conditioning

  • Equisetum Arvense Extract: antioxidant/skin soothing properties

  • Fucus Vesiculosus Extract: fights damaging free radicals and has anti-aging/anti-inflammatory effects

  • Hedera Helix Extract: emollient that moisturizes and soothes skin

  • Hypericum Perforatum Flower/leaf/ stem Extract: antioxidant properties and can protect/soothe skin

  • Sodium Hyaluronate

  • Spiraea ulmaria extract: reduces activity of sebaceous gland and has anti-bacterial properties

  • Tilia Cordata Flower Extract: anti-oxidant properties

THE DUBIOUS:

  • Alcohol

  • Dimethicone

MY THOUGHTS:

This is one of my favorite chemical sunscreen for body. It is VERY comfortable and doesn't leave any sticky/oily residue. It comes in a huge bottle as well so that's super love. The Dubious ingredients doesn't bother me much and the good ingredients is actually very wow. I finished 2 bottles of this alr k. 

As for face use, it's actually pretty comfy. Slight whit-cast due to Titanium Dioxide but not very bad/obvious. It has alcohol so it is pretty lightweight and dries down and doesn't leave much of a tacky sensation nor oiliness. 

Available in Guardian/Watsons

CREMORLAB AQUA O2 SHIELD SPF50+ / PA++++

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MAIN INGREDIENTS:

  • Homosalate (UVB)

  • Octisalate (UVB)

  • Azobenzene (UVA1)

  • Tinosorb S (UVB, UVA1/2)

  • Octocrylene (UVB, UVA2)

THE GOOD:

  • Fucus Vesiculous Extract

  • Spirulina Maxima Extract

  • Codium Tomentosum Extract

  • Laminaria Japonica Extract

  • Ecklonia Cava Extract

  • Gelidium Cartilagineum Extract

  • Hizikia Fusiform Extract

  • Rubus Chamaemorus Extract

  • Gossypium Herbaceum Extract

  • Gluconolactone

  • Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract

THE DUBIOUS:

  • a whole bunch of dimethicone

  • Fragrance

MY THOUGHTS:

I really wanted to like this. Like, I really really wanted to. The fact that it blocked blue light light sold me. It doesn't leave a white cast (well duh its a chemical sunscreen), feels very lightweight, non-tacky and gives me a nice glow. 

BUT, (of course theres a 'BUT' and its a huge one at that), there was just ONE study done on a mere 33 participants that the trademarked idk-what-cloud-shield blocks blue light. Hmmmmmmm. See where my hesitation lies now? One study on a small group is just not a fair and unbiased test imo. It is just not. There also doesn't seemed to be any special ingredients. In fact, I also remain iffy on the main ingredients itself. 

Octinoxate and Avobenzone shouldn't be together as the former destabilizes the latter. However, Octocrylene is present to stabilize Avobenzone and this aids in stabilizing everything. However....imo, I still wouldn't use this if I am gonna be under strong sunlight just cause degradation still happens, albeit at a slower rate.

Homosalate impacts the body's hormone system and breasts milk contamination may be quite common. Homosalate is absorbed by the outer layer of the skin and in sunscreens containing homosalate, it has also been shown to enhance the amount of pesticides we absorb through our skin.

Out of the few I tested today, this had the worse main ingredients and I really wouldn't use it...ever again. 

Available in Guardian

SENKA PERFECT UV ESSENCE SPF 50+ PA++++

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MAIN INGREDIENTS:

  • Octinoxate (UVB)

  • Zinc Oxide (UVB, UVA1/2)

  • Titanium Dioxide (UVB, UVA2)

  • Uvinul A Plus (UVA1)

  • Tinosorb S (UVB, UVA1/2)

THE GOOD:

  • Citrus Alrantium Dulcis Oil

  • Tocopherol

  • Sodium Hyaluronate

THE DUBIOUS:

  • Alcohol

  • Dimethicone

MY THOUGHTS:

This is a hybrid with both chemical and physical filters. I actually quite like this on the skin! Flo flo got it for me from Taiwan and the thing is, it took me a v v v long time to find the ingredient list. I threw away the original packaging and resorted to googling. However, I STILL COULDNT FIND IT. I resorted to asking for help on IG stories and one of you kind souls found me the packaging. WTF is this mysterious product lol. I even went through CosDNA, Ratzillacosme etc. to no avail ok!!

This is a decent sunscreen that feels decent. It has slight brightening effects from the Titanium Dioxide but its not a bad white-cast effect. It's pretty lightweight due to present of alcohol but you can't really smell it much. It doesn't make me oilier and doesn't leave too much of a tacky sensation, so overall, a pretty good sunscreen!

Flo flo got this for me from Taiwan so available there? hahaha


I personally use a physical sunscreen on most days (HG is still the Make P:rem Sun Fluid) and ever since then, I feel that my skin has become more…stable? There’s only 2 filters and it gives me the entire spectrum of coverage I need and I don’t worry about unstable mix of ingredients or degradation.