If there is one skincare product that you must have all year round (not just in summer), it’s sunscreen. SPF should be a part of your everyday skincare routine to protect the sensitive skin of your face from harmful UV rays.
However, finding the proper sun protection can be overwhelming with so many types to choose from; mineral, organic, SPF 15-50, water-resistant, a foundation with SPF... the list goes on and on.
We've got you covered, though. Today we will be comparing two of the best sunscreens by the popular Japanese skincare brands, Biore and Skin Aqua.
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What you need to know
Japanese skincare has long been favored worldwide, especially when it comes to sun protection and maintaining a clear, healthy complexion. However, modern Japanese beauty standards differ significantly and are certainly not to be confused with K-Beauty (Korean beauty). According to the J Beauty Collection, “modern Japanese beauty standards tend toward light, flawless skin”. To maintain this standard, a Japanese woman will rarely suntan and often apply high-quality sunscreen every morning as part of a well-rounded skincare routine.
Biore manufactures its products in the US yet maintains a strong association with Japanese skincare through Japanese technology. We'll just preface their full description by stating that Biore is a well-known top 500 global brand that has arguably been the face of Japanese beauty for over 20 years.
In the anglosphere (USA, UK, Australia, etc.), Biore is a recognized drugstore brand famously known for a range of cleansers and pore strips that are effective and affordable. Yet, in Japan, the brand has gained recognition for a range of lightweight, high-protection sunscreens.
In Japan, skincare is something that people truly invest in, and sun protection is commonly regarded as very important. Protecting the skin from sun damage, maintaining a light complexion, and avoiding the signs of aging is part of the J-beauty routine. So it is no wonder that sunscreens dominate the cosmetic industry.
Skin Aqua is a Japanese sun protection line manufactured and owned by the Rohto Mentholatum Company. One of the key reasons the Skin Aqua sunscreens are so popular is because they use a higher standard of skin technology and are considered more innovative than other brands in the west.
Furthermore, the Super Moisture Gel that we compare in this article is advertised as sweatproof and waterproof to provide continued sun protection during the harsh Japanese summer.
Skin Aqua vs Biore Sunscreen
Skin Aqua sunscreen vs Biore UV is a *very* hotly contested topic. Allow us to walk you through the nityy-gritty details, and then we'll talk about our thoughts and findings, and then of course: our much-anticipated conclusion.
Biore UV Aqua Rich Sunscreen is formulated with hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, propanediol, and arginine, ensuring the skin stays moisturized throughout the day. The citrus blends include orange, grapefruit, and lemon extract, acting as a foundation’s primer base.
This sunscreen also has a micro defense formula for even application on the skin. The lightweight watery essence blends effortlessly over the face and body.
This impressive sun protection product has won numerous awards. It has made it to the top of best-selling skincare lines in Japan and worldwide countless times. In addition, Biore UV Aqua Rich Sunscreen won the gold medal for the Best Cosmetics Award by Cosme, a well recognized Japanese cosmetics award in both 2014 and 2018.
Customers commonly view this product as a ‘holy grail product’, and it is often sold out due to being suitable for most skin types (a rarity for SPF products).
Skin Aqua is a cult favorite for drugstore skincare brands in Japan. This amazingly lightweight chemical sunscreen is SPF 50+ and provides high UVB and UVA protection for the skin. In addition, the photostable sun filters include critical ingredients that filter UV damage, such as Octinoxate, Tinosorb S, and Uvinul A Plus.
In addition, the UV Super Moisture Gel SPF 50+ also contains hydrating ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Amino Acid, Collagen, and Nano Hyaluronic Acid. Furthermore, it is free from fragrance, mineral oils, and artificial colors. Ethanol’s inclusion helps the product absorb quickly, making it an ideal choice for oily or acne-prone skin types
When it comes to the daily application of sun protection, there is nothing more desirable than a high coverage SPF that is lightweight and quickly absorbed; Skin Aqua has developed exactly that. A formula that is a light watery texture without a white cast will quickly form an invisible layer on the skin. Furthermore, it is sweat and water-resistant.
Skin Aqua has a range of sun protection products in the skincare line to choose from, all with varying degrees of SPF and PA coverage
For example, the Skin Aqua Moisture Gel also has an SPF 35, PA+++ rating version that can effectively block both UVA and UVB rays. It is also hydrating and moisturizing and can be reapplied every 2 hours as needed. In addition, customers say there is a natural feel to this product, moisturizing to the skin, and offers a suitable make-up base.
After stacking up the Biore UV Aqua Rich vs Skin Aqua sunscreen, it might not be immediately obvious as to which deserves your patronage.
Ultimately, it comes down to your skin type. If you have drier, more sensitive skin, you will prefer the Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Gel SPF 50+ (thanks to its exclusion of fragrance and other potential irritatins). However, if your skin verges on the more oily side of things, then the Biore UV Aqua Rich Sunscreen is for you.
UV Super Moisture Gel SPF 50+ by Skin Aqua
Our rating: ★★★★★
A fresh, gel sunscreen with the best UV protection in the Skin Aqua series.
What makes it special? It is a waterproof, sweat-resistant sunscreen that comes in a fresh, gel-like formula that’s as light as water. Full of gentle, moisturizing ingredients, it can be used on both the face and body, and is suitable as a makeup base. It also contains unique ingredients that prevents the potency of UV absorption from deteriorating over time.
Which skin types? For all skin types.
UV Aqua Rich Sunscreen by Biore
Our rating: ★★★★★
Easy to spread on skin. Allergy tested. Quick absorption.
What makes it special? Suitable for face and body application, this SPF 50+ PA+++ sunscreen contains Aqua Micro Capsules which has UV absorbing ingredients to provide strong, long-lasting UVA/UVB protection, yet with a light and cool “water-like” fresh feeling. Non-sticky and non-greasy, it spreads and absorbs by the skin easily, and it is gloriously comfortable for everyday use. Formulated with Hyaluronic Acid and Mix Citrus Essence as moisturising ingredients, it also keeps skin hydrated.
Which skin types? For all skin types (though we recommend it primarily for oilier skin types).
Biore vs Skin Aqua Conclusion
Japan is one of the leading skincare markets in the industry. However, achieving the Japanese standard of beauty is not easy, and maintaining a fair, clear complexion is challenging with the harmful effects of the sun. Adding a sunscreen or skincare product with SPF minimizes harmful damage to the skin from UVA and UVB.
While Biore and Skin Aqua are popular in Japan, they are equally as successful in the US and abroad. Therefore, it is fair to say that western skincare brands are taking notice of the incredible benefits one can expect from the rise of the Japanese beauty industry.
As far as this particular comparison of sunscreens is concerned: if you have drier, more sensitive skin, you will prefer the Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Gel SPF 50+ (thanks to its exclusion of fragrance and other potential irritatins).
However, if your skin verges on the more oily side of things, then the Biore UV Aqua Rich Sunscreen is for you.
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