Friday, May 3, 2019

Skin Aqua Perfect UV Stick SPF50+ PA++++

My curiosity didn't stop once I've secured some sunscreen sticks for my little one. Upon some more digging, I found a few Japanese ones and a boat load of Korean ones--apparently they're all the rage in South Korea these days. And better named too, if I may say. There's zero confusion for me what a UV stick or sun stick is, regardless whether it contains physical blockers or chemical filters :P

I'll start with Skin Aqua Perfect UV Stick SPF50+ PA++++. This stick contains 10g of product and retails for 1,000yen each, but you can often find it on Rakuten JP (or Global) for around 700yen, which is already a 30% discount. Sometimes, the shop runs a promotion for 10x points or gives extra coupons on top of that. I got mine for 715yen.

Woah. I'm really surprised these sunscreen sticks aren't all the rage a decade ago--they're seriously awesome in general and are super convenient to have around! Before running errands, I rub some on the back of my hands and the parts of my wrists and forearms that are exposed, and even the top of my feet that are exposed. I use it to touch-up my face, in particular the nose ridge, the area around my mouth and nostrils, and the under-eye areas, and even my neck and decolletage.

Since it's not terribly hot right now--not yet anyway, I can keep one in my car without fear that it'll melt, and it definitely will melt once summer's here in full force. I have one in my purse, in the key tray, and in my medicine cabinet. I've given them to my sister and my mum, and they both marveled at this newish--and great--invention! Seriously folks, I think I'm in love!

Am I in love with these Skin Aqua UV Sticks? Yes, I love the formula, the texture, and the finish, but I don't love the bulky packaging. Let's talk about the packaging first. There are only 10g of product but somehow the twist-up tube is the size of a small deodorant roll-on!  It's too big for my bag and so it sits in my key tray instead, and yet the whole stick is only about half the length of the tube! On the other hand, many of the Korean ones contain 18-20g of product, twice the content in the same size packaging. I don't get it. 

However, however bulky the packaging is, the formula move than makes up for it. In fact, I've tried four different UV/sun sticks so far, two Korean (Hanyul White Chrysanthemum Matte Sunscreen Stick and Mamonde Everyday Sun Stick) and one North American brand (Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Targeted Sun Defense Stick, will review all very soon), and this Japanese one has the most pleasant formula and elegant finish. See for yourself!

This sunscreen stick is supposedly fragrance-free but I do smell a faint something. I can't really put a finger on what the scent is. I'd have to sniff it to smell it, and when I do I find it pleasant and not at all offensive. This UV stick goes on invisible, as in transparent. It's very slightly sticky immediately upon application but sets in less than 30 seconds, whereupon the stickiness disappears completely leaving my skin comfortable and somewhat moisturized, as if I'd just applied lotion (toner). The finish is dewy matte. Because of its moisturizing feature and dewy matte finish, this UV stick works spectacularly well as a touch-up for my face, because the finish somehow "refreshes" my previously-applied layer of sunscreen at midday.

I got hubby to try this and he really liked it also. He was playing piano one day and I just sauntered over and started rubbing it onto his face xD
- Him: Woah woah woah what are you putting on my face?
- Me: Sunscreen. (And showed him the UV stick)
- Him: Is my face all white now?
- Me: (Rubbed some on the back of my hand right before his eyes to show him)
- Him: Oh wow it's invisible!
- Me: Yup.
- Him: I like it. Feels nice on.
- Me: Yup.

The only thing that stops me from hoarding this UV stick is that it does contain octinoxate (メトキシケイヒ酸エチルヘキシル), with other active ingredients being Parsol SLX (ポリシリコーン-15) and Tinosorb S (ビスエチルヘキシルオキシフェノールメトキシフェニルトリアジン). So yeah, it's nice to use and I love it (and my sister and mum love it), but I'll move away from sunscreens with octinoxate and oxybenzone once I'm through with my current stash, just as I stopped using sunscreens with avobenzone. Admittedly, this could take me years just as it did with my last stash, but I'm hoping by then they'd make better UV/sun sticks with better ingredients.


Citrine said...

I am curious about all the korean ones you got. From my experience, they create a lot of empty hype for the smaller cheaper lines (sulwasoo won't do that) and when I get them it's either bad all around or super cosmetically elegant but doesnt work.

Now looking back I can see bunch of reviews on reddit are super shilly, I remember someone on reddit saying Toly Moly sunscreen is so good that it was way better than the Cle de Peau (I just found it hard to believe people who use stuff like Cle de Peau would even get those brand). And there was lots of hype about Etude House sunprise and on my skin it simply doesn't work (giving minimal protection when it's actually sunny).

D. said...

Hey Mina,

Yeah I'm super curious too. Whether they work or not, I wouldn't use them alone on my face or neck. The only places where I use them alone is on the back of my hands while I drive and on the top of my feet where exposed. For everywhere else, I use them as on-the-go-touch-up only.

Have you tried other Korean sunscreen milks?


Citrine said...

The only milk I tried was Sunprise but I have tried other lighter cream from Apieu (one doesnt work, another gave me bumps).

D. said...

Hey Mina,

Interesting. I've tried a few Korean milks too, Lioele, Etude House, and something else I don't even remember (may be it was Nature Republic?). All three were thick, pasty, greasy, and just didn't set. In short, totally forgettable. So I'm disinclined to try any other Korean sunscreen milks. Or European too for that matter (La Roche Posay, Bioderma, Vichy, etc.). Been there, done that, and they broke me out horribly so that was the end of that ^.^"

So I stick with Japanese sunscreens like velcro xD


mei said...

Hi. Other than this. Which sun screen/stick that you think safer in terms of its content? Thanks.

D. said...

Hi mei,

Honestly, the safest UV sticks to use would be those that are non-nano, mineral filters-only for kids. That said, those will also apply like a kabuki mask--my toddler comes home with a kabuki face everyday ^.^ It's totally cool for him, it's cute even. But for me, may be not so cute.

There are good, cosmetically elegant, and octinoxate-free Japanese sunscreen milks though!


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