My journey to find my perfect summer sunscreen has been a long and arduous one. Much to my regret, I have not always had the perfection that is Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence in my life.
Before I started trying Asian sunscreens, I had been grimacing my way through American sun protection products. I was constantly disappointed and grossed out by the extreme greasiness that the American products left behind. Since applying American sunscreens left me with an oily sheen thick enough to entrap small bugs, I tended to only apply sunscreen when I knew I would be spending long periods in the sun.
That’s right, I wasn’t applying sunscreen on a daily basis, and I was running around with my skin unprotected a good portion of the time. Gasp! It is horrifying to look back on. Thankfully, now that I have the sunblock of my dreams that I can reach for, I am practicing much better habits in that regard!
Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence is a sunscreen that is especially well-suited for people with oily or combination skin types. To get a better idea of why that is, let’s take a quick look at the ingredients.
Water, Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Isopropyl Palmitate, Lauryl Methacrylate/Sodium Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Dextrin Palmitate, Butylene Glycol, Xylitol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Propanediol, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Behenate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Potassium Hydroxide, Cetyl Alcohol, Agar, Sorbitan Distearate, Isoceteth-20, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Stearoyl Glutamic Acid, Arginine, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, BHT, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopherol, Royal Jelly Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben
You’ll notice that alcohol is the second ingredient on the list, which indicates a fairly high concentration in the formula. There have been a lot of myths popping up lately about alcohol and its effects on the skin, namely that it kills skin cells and speeds up the aging process. While it can be dehydrating to drier skin types, overall it is not as damaging as some might lead you to believe. To get more info on the topic, I’d highly recommend this blog post from Michelle at Lab Muffin.
Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence is a chemical, not a mineral, sunscreen. Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, and Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine are the chemicals that provide protection from UV light.
This formula contains silicones in the form of Dimethicone, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, and Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer. These help create a smooth, silky finish on the skin after the product is applied.
Tocopherol is a fat-soluble antioxidant, and it helps protect our skin from UVB rays. Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, and Arginine are all natural ingredients found in our skin that moisturize and help maintain skin health.
One of the reasons that I love Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence is that it is water-resistant. I’m often by the pool during the summer, so I prefer sunscreens that won’t sweat away and leave me vulnerable to burning.
Upon application, the formula feels, as the name describes it, watery! It’s incredibly light, and it dries down in under 30 seconds. It’s completely clear on the skin, and it leaves absolutely no white cast. It has an alcohol scent to it, but no other strong fragrances. I don’t mind the slight alcohol smell, as to me, it seems to mostly blend into the light sunblock scent that naturally it has.
I find that this is especially suitable for my skin during the summer months when humidity is high and my skin is extra oily. I typically don’t use this in the winter months, as I prefer to use other sunscreens that add a protective layer of moisture. (The Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence has been my winter go-to lately, check out my review of it here!)
Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence is an affordable option that is readily available on Amazon. You can get a two-pack of the newest 2019 version for $25, which is about $12.50 a bottle.
I recommend this sunscreen to practically everyone I know, that’s how much I love it! It opened up my eyes to how comfortable and weightless sunscreen could actually be, and it has continued to be my favorite summer sunscreen for the past several years. The Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence is likely not a product for all skin types, or for all seasons. People with oily or combo skin will most likely enjoy this more than those with drier skin types, so if you are considering purchasing it, you might want to keep that in mind. Additionally, if you are in the throes of a skin-drying winter, this sunscreen may not be your best bet.
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