Mentholatum Skin Aqua is a fairly new line of sun screen products, introduced only about a year or two ago. I've been dying to get my hands on these, but my usual online sources didn't carry them for the longest time. Sasa.com only started stocking them recently, albeit under the wrong name. The product page calls it Mentholatum SunPlay (another Mentholatum sun screen product line), but the accompanying picture shows Skin Aqua instead and the descriptions says "UV Mosture Milk SPF50 PA+++." Whatever, my sister brought me this bottle on her trip home this past summer, but I will probably get it from Sasa.com next time. Someone's clearly confused and Sasa.com needs to fix either the picture or the product page/description, but for $10.80 for 40 mL, I think I'd buy it anyway and hope I'll end up with the right product :)
See the list of ingredients translated from Japanese.
Anyhoo, so why is this sunscreen so special? Because it's one of those super rare Japanese sunscreen that has NO alcohol in its ingredients. The Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX series does, Sofina Perfect UV does, Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection does - let's just say the vast majority of Japanese sunscreens have alcohol in them, and it's usually one of the top 10 ingredients too! Why? Because alcohol is what gives most Japanese sunscreens their cosmetic elegance (fast absorption, mattefying, etc.). The problem is that alcohol is also the very culprit that dries out and/or irritates your skin!
My skin don't really react badly to alcohol or anything, it just gets really really dry. I have used other skincare products with alcohol in it, but I generally try to avoid stuff with alcohol whenever I can. Sunscreens with alcohol, in particular, deep fry my skin even more so than other skincare products with alcohol. But since sunscreens are also indispensable for me, the alcohol in it is sort of a "necessary evil" I put up with. Thankfully, I think the sunscreen makers in Japan has begun to catch on that people are in the market for a cosmetically elegant sunscreen without alcohol, and to think that this Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk is one of the few attempts to satisfy this demand, there must be hope for humanity, after all.
Yes, I'm saying this Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk is freaking awesome and you should be all over it, like, right now. It is fast absorbing, very cosmetically elegant and semi-mattefying. Best of all, it doesn't deep fry my skin! The description on Sasa.com says it's "moisturizing," but for me it's more like "non-drying" and my skin still need very light hydration underneath it. I tried it on cleansed, bare skin very early on in the morning and by the late afternoon, I had some shine on my nose and forehead, which means it was not balance enough for my dry combo (and sometimes dehydrated) skin, hence the dry cheeks and chin were kept matte but the t-zones were free to go to town with oil-production. Then I tried it over my favorite moisturizer, the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, and that proved to be too moisturizing and my face was all melty by the end of the day. Finally, I tried it over my go-to hydrator, the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, and wah-lah, it worked out excellently!
The next hurdle for me would be trying this Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk during the hot and humid summer. I will probably try it again on bare skin to see if there are any changes, and if not, I'll skip right to the layering over the hydrator. Will update again during the summer sometimes.