So today’s I will review 3 sunscreens from Skin Aqua to continue my Japanese sunscreens series (here for part I). Japanese sunscreens offer great protection with elegant formulas compared to European sunscreens.
UVA protection factor
The Japanese system uses the PA rating to evaluate the UVA protection four-plus corresponds to the highest protection. The protection is measured using the PPD method. A PPD of 16 or above corresponds to PA++++. In the EU the UVA protection is determined with an in vitro method to measure the in vitro PPD that gives similar results. The UVA protection is 1/3 of the SPF. In EU SPF50+ is always PPD20 or above while in Japan SPF50+ PA+++ is 16 or above. Obviously, the higher the UVA protection is the better. This is why in extreme condition I tend to favor EU sunscreens.
I will review 3 sunscreens from the Skin Aqua line. I like them because they are perfect for everyday use but I won’t recommend them for long sun exposure
Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Milk SPF50+ PA++++
The filtering system is simple: zinc oxide (UVB, UVAII, UVAI), Octinoxate (UVB) and Uvinul A plus (UVAI). The protection against UVAI is probably not the best because it is mainly unsure by Zinc oxide even though Octinoxate and Uvinul A plus do absorb a bit of UVAII.
Skin Aqua is part of Rohto Pharmaceutical and uses encapsulated filters. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you much more as they don’t disclose what they use to encapsulate the filters. When I use EU sunscreens with Octinoxate 4 days in a row I start to have irritations which I have never experienced with Skin aqua sunscreens. Papers on UV filter encapsulation show that filters are better dispersed into the vehicle, are more stabilized (for octinoxate), fewer filters are required to achieve high protection and they are less absorbed in the skin. Similar to Anessa the UV super moisturize Milk form an invisible film.
The formula is ethanol and fragrance-free. This sunscreen is ideal for everyone. The formula has glycerine, silicones, two forms of hyaluronic acid and hydrolyzed collagen. All of them contribute to moisturizing the skin. The Anessa Perfect UV sunscreen skincare milk is more lightweight than this one.
The white cast is almost non-existent. I love this one because it is a safe formula (no icky ingredients), and like the Anessa it offers a long-lasting film. It has a matt to semi-matt finish. Wait a solid 10 minutes to let the Cyclopentasiloxane evaporate. For everyday use this one is fantastic. It also works great under makeup and has a blurring effect on the pore.
Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Milk Pink
Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Milk Pink is a variation of this original one with pink pigment to brighten the skin tone in a very elegant way. However, don’t get fool because the filtering system is better than the original one:
zinc oxide (UVB, UVAII, UVAI), Octinoxate (UVB), Titanium dioxide (UVB, UVAII) and Uvinul A plus (UVAI). I like the addition of Titanium dioxide to reinforce UVAII protection.
The rest of the ingredients are pretty similar to the original version but it has alcohol. I barely smell it and it has never bothered me. The feeling and the texture are very similar to the original version. However, the Milk Pink brightens the skin. If you like a healthy luminosity on fair skin this one is fantastic. I love the effect on me. It works great under makeup and has a blurring effect on pores too.
I love both versions but I tend to reach more for the Pink because of the effect on the skin. The packaging is also very practical.
Skin Aqua Tone up UV essence Mint (2019 version)
The Mint and the lavender version are the same. The difference is the pigments. There are not milks but creams and require more time to blend. Hence it is easier to have an even application.
The filtering system is good: Octinoxate (UVB), Tinosorb S (UVB, UVAII, UVAI), Uvinul T150 (UVB) and Titanium dioxide (UVB, UVAII). I would have like to have Zinc oxide or Uvinul A plus to increase the protection against UVAI.
According to Skin Aqua, the Milks offers the highest protection. This being said all of them are SPF50+ PA++++.
The formula is very moisturizing. It has free fatty acid (caprylic acid/capric triglycerides), silicones, hyaluronic acid, and other extracts. I have normal to dry skin on my cheeks and I don’t need a moisturizer!
The version of 2019 is alcohol-free which I love and is acidic. Be careful with it because it can peel. I avoid using Hyaluronic Acid underneath.
The finish is dewy but pretty. The mint slightly corrects redness on the skin while the lavender brightens the skin. Both works under makeup. With them, you will not need a moisturizer unless you have severely dry skin. What I love about them is that you can use a toner a serum and then your sunscreen. You can skip your moisturizer it gives a healthy skin tone. It can work on medium skin tone if you like to brighten the skin. It has perfume, unfortunately.
I love them all and they have a luxe feels to them. If you cannot stand sunscreens Skin Aqua will please you. Be careful with Japanese milk. They are watery and therefore you need at least two coats to have an efficient protective layer. It is easy to have a streaky application. I usually apply one heavy coat, wait for 5-10 minutes, and reapply again.
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Thank you for your time.