Friday, October 26, 2012

SunPlay Super Block SPF50+ PA+++

Update Friday October 26, 2012

After moving home from Japan, I've experimented with this SunPlay Super Block again in the super dry weather while visiting my folks in the US of A. I have to say this sunscreen worked extremely well in a drier environment! It became very light and weightless in addition to making my makeup look pretty much flawless. The slight downer was that the slight white cast also became more noticeable due to the dryness of the weather and the brightness of the sun. Nothing a few fluff of setting powder couldn't correct though, and if you are living in a dry environment, this would make an excellent substitute for Allie at a fraction of the price. Really, it was no wonder why my mum loved this little red cap bottle so much!

With this confidence, I brought a few bottles with me to Taiwan, not being certain whether I would be able to find a supply of it here in Taipei. Well, turns out I was wrong on the former and correct on the latter. I was correct in that this sunscreen cannot be found here at all! I tried looking everywhere, Sasa included and still couldn't find even one bottle! However, I was unexpectedly wrong in that the humid Taiwanese weather (more humid than Japan, eeps!) turned this Mentholatum SunPlay Super Block super thick and heavy on my skin. Even after I skipped moisturizer altogether, Hadanomy AquaPlacenta Concentrated Mist included(!), it still felt as though I was walking around with a mask on. And yet with no moisturizers underneath and set with translucent powder, my t-zone still shined like an oil spill when I got to school! Through classes, I had to blot constantly to keep my nose shine-free. Not sure what happened there! :( So yeah, I had to stop using this and switched over to the Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Essence, which I'd reviewed recently after having tested it in 3 different countries, Japan, US, and Taiwan ^.^

Original post Friday, August 10, 2012

A year or so after my first Allie sunscreen, I made a convert out of my mum and she loved Allie's texture and finish after Lancome and Estee Lauder, among other things, failed her (and stung her eyes badly). Late last year, having had my sister lugged home several bottles on her move back, mum started to complain about how much they cost. So I went online and found this post recommending the Top 5 Japanese Sunscreens for Summer 2011. Since mum's concern was affordability, I decided to get her a couple of bottles of SunPlay Super Block SPF50+ PA+++ to try, after all, its retail price is a mere 398yen for a 27mL bottle (versus Allie's 1,470yen for 25mL or 2,940yen for 60mL) and I've seen it sold for even less, 298yen(!) at certain drugstores. 

By the way, there is also a Top 5 for Spring 2011 edition too and I have actually reviewed a few from both lists: obviously Allie (been using since 2008), Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel SPF30 PA++ (started using at my sister's recommendation since she's been using the Cool version on her face for a few years), most recently Allie Extra UV Gel Mineral Moist N SPF50+ PA+++ (best for winter use I decided), Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA+++ (summer use only, definitely with moisturizer underneath as it is very drying with strong alcohol content, that said it's still much better than its alcohol-free sister UV Moisture Milk I tried a few years ago), and now this Mentholatum SunPlay Super Block SPF50+ PA+++. After this, I will probably move on to another item on the list, the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50 PA+++, so check back later ^.^

Mentholatum SunPlay Super Block SPF50+ PA+++

Anyhoo, mum's response to this SunPlay Super Block? More, please!!! However many Allie bottles she was buying before, she now buys twice as many of these SunPlay Super Blocks (they are half the size of the 60mL Allie after all!) for less than a third of the price! So her enthusiasm was what propelled it onto my list of sunscreens to try after finishing my trusty Allie supply, and of course it's also encouraging to see it among the top sunscreens lists :) And honestly, had I known Allie Extra UV Gel was so thick and heavy, I would have skipped right over it, at least for the summer.

This SunPlay Super Block is really like a milk, an unscented, runny, opaque, white milk. It goes on light enough, lighter than the Allie milk in fact since the reformulation has made the latter a bit thicker and more of an emulsion. I can tell there is alcohol in it, but it neither stings or reeks like it does with Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk (every time I apply this the alcohol makes me cringe!). The SunPlay Super Block does take longer to dry, around 7-10 minutes for complete absorption. While that sounds long, it's nowhere as long as the Allie "gel" which takes at least 15 minutes. 

When worn alone without makeup, the finish is dewy with a slight white cast, but again still more elegant than the Allie "gel" which requires a dusting of setting powder to achieve its beautiful luminous glow. The dewy sheen can be blotted off with an oil blotting sheet, after which the slight white cast disappears and the finish becomes completely matte and stays that way for several hours. I put it on around noon and blotted off the sheen before spending the afternoon out in the muggy heat, and by 7PM only my nose regained the initial sheen and nothing else. Pretty awesome stuff, and that's not all. Keep reading ^.^

This Super Block also makes an excellent makeup base. When I plan to wear makeup I set it with translucent powder instead of blotting with paper. And while it won't give me a gorgeous luminous glow like it would with the Allie "gel," I still get a lovely matte finish and an evened out complexion that's ready for some color. So I would say it does provide light coverage just like a bb cream would, on top of keeping my makeup extremely well. When some of the hottest nights sent me home drenched in sweat (not exactly the image of a "hot" night, is it? ^.^'), the worst thing the heat and humidity did to my makeup with this Super Block as base was "corrupted" its matte-ness into a soft focus glow. Not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.  

I haven't experienced any dryness so far, but having learned my lesson the hard way I will continue to layer moisturizer underneath this Super Block. Good thing it does not exacerbate or emphasize the (healing) dry and flaky patches caused by the Sara Sara Milk. So yeah, considering its dirt cheap price this red capped baby is pretty amazing stuff. No wonder mum's hauling it like a mad woman! It is water and sweat resistant, which is why it keeps makeup so well, but this also means it requires an oil cleanser for complete removal. 

And of course it's not perfect. On top of the slight white cast (before blotting or setting with powder) and the longer absorption time, it's also a tad stickier and slightly heavier than my trusty Allie milk, even after drying completely. Also, if I am to go without makeup, I still prefer Sara Sara Milk's elegant powder-without-actual-powder finish, even as alcohol-laden and drying as it is (I guess I haven't learned my lesson after all :P). But at least for the summer and with makeup, this Super Block is putting up a serious fight for my love. And it's truly impressive, I have to say.


Citrine said...

I love their sunscreen (I have tried the Chinese market version and the HK-import/same as Japanese one, love them both), the slight white cast was actually an added bonus since it perfectly balances my face to my paler neck. My favorite part is the colorful packaging though.

D. said...

Hi Citrine!

I'm loving a couple of their sunscreens too, even though one totally fried my skin ^.^' Too bad I don't see it online anywhere :( What will I do after moving home and run out o my supply? T.T


Nolt said...

hi, what SSs are you currently using for both the face and the body? I actually trying to buy the products you reviewed but don't know which ones to choose. I saw this particular SS at Rakuten, if you are interested :)BTW have you tried the sunplay S block with spf130, it sounds too good to be true. I'm from a VERY HOT AND HUMID place so can you please suggest some good SSs (both face and body) which are suitable for dry, sensitive skin, waterproof and which won't clog pores (I have terrible milia's and blackheads) PLEASE HELP1127loudgt

D. said...

Hi Nolt,

I'm going through an experimental phase so I'm currently using 3 different types of sunscreens for the face, depends on my mood. I wear this SunPlay Super Block whenever I'm in a hot and humid environment and/or want to wear makeup over it. I wear Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk ) whenever I'm too lazy to wear makeup. Finally, I'm testing out yet a third sunscreen for the face which I will review in the next couple of weeks if you want to check back. For the body I'm using Skin Aqua UV Moisture Gel (

I have not tried the SunPlay S Block with SPF130. Is this a Japanese made sunscreen or a Chinese made one? May be I totally missed it but I have not seen a Japanese made sunscreen with an SPF higher than 50+. I believe this is because the Japanese government does not allow cosmetic makers to specify an SPF that is higher than 50, which is why you only see 50+ and nothing more.

I cannot recommend a water resistant sunscreen for BOTH the face and the body. A water resistant sunscreen needs an oil cleanser for complete removal and I don't ever plan on slathering a cleansing oil all over myself at the end of the day. So I don't wear a water resistant sunscreen on my body and either cover up or reapply often the sunscreen that I do wear.

For the face, if you are from a hot and humid environment and you have dry and sensitive skin, I would recommend either Allie Extra UV Perfect Alpha N (not reviewed, since I have already review the previous formulation - or this SunPlay Super Block. Allie is pricey but the finish is super elegant and doesn't require blotting or setting powder. This SunPlay Super Block is a fraction of Allie's price, but you will have to blot the slight white cast off or set with powder. Both keep makeup extremely well, if you do decide to apply makeup on top.

For the body, I think bot Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel ( or the Skin Aqua UV Moisture Gel are great even if neither are water resistant. My sister has sensitive skin and for several years she wore Nivea (the Cool version) on her face without a problem. She has now switched to Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence for the face. The Biore has higher SPF, and she lives in a very dry area so she can wear it without worry that it will melt off of her face - I prefer Skin Aqua though due to the slightly higher SPF and PA.

Last and not least, what clogs my pores may not clog yours and vice versa. So even with my recommendations, you should still explore and experiment with your skin :)

I hope this helps.

Nolt said...

Hi there, THANK YOU so much for your detailed answer :)I'm now looking for all the sunscreens you suggested. Hopefully I'll atleast get them from Rakuten.
Regarding the sunplay SS with spf150, I actually saw it on SASA so was just curious :)

D. said...

Hi Nolt,

You're very welcome. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment :)

I hope at least one of those sunscreens will work for you but either way, enjoy the hunt!


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