Thursday, May 03, 2018

Anessa Perfect UV and Essence UV Sunscreen

 Anessa is arguably the most well known sunscreen maker in Asia and I always assume it's so heavy duty that people use for beach only. Last summer, when every sunscreen I tried was failing (ineffective, roll right off sweaty face, crazy white cast etc), I ordered a bottle of Aqua Booster Mild as my last resort. It turns out, beach sunscreen is what I needed for my daily commute all along.

All three bottles I am reviewing were released back in 2017,  Anessa (like many Japanese brands) went on another revamp/formulation improvement this spring but luckily, the change for the "mild" versions are much smaller so the review is still semi relevant at least for another year! *Pat self on the back* . Anyway I will probably certainly get another bottle of the mild milk so I will put up a comparison later.

The Perfect UV Sunscreen Aquabooster Mild is a mostly mineral based one with Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Tinosorb S in a very slick, silicone based formula.
When there is such high level of protection, white cast is inevitable. With the clear base, it blends into skin easily and doesn't look out of place around my hair line or brow.  On days my skin is clear enough, the white cast works well enough as a tinted moisturizer or sheer foundation as my face is darker than my hands and neck. 

The reason I love this sunscreen is that it's visibly effective, not only it stays on for a whole day under heat, humidity and profuse sweating it also remains effective without the need to touch up (well I don't play beach volleyball wearing it). Whenever I use this, I notice the acne marks fade faster and I don't get new sunspot.  Best of all, it's still easily removed with warm water and foaming cleanser and it never stick to my face like other long-wearing/clingy formulas.

On random days  when I switched to chemical sunscreen and still do my daily outdoor business (I don't have a car)due to laziness, sunspots would explode on my cheeks (Biore I am looking at you).
However, this formula isn't flawless,  when I use sufficient amount (two globs larger than American quarter or I dot my whole face until I look like JLaw in Xmen) , it stays greasy on face forever, never seems to dry unless I powder it or blot it with paper. If I use it as a base for foundation, it smears allover my collar and leaves a yellow stain on my right sleeve. 

With so many sunscreen available, a more visually appealing one shouldn't be hard to find but they are mostly chemical filters or lower protection. I stayed with this for the entire summer 2017 because the benefits out-weight the greasiness. 

The Essence UV sunscreen is a lighter, more moisturizing version with just Titanium Dioxide and Tin Oxide (no Tinosorb) thus providing a much lower SPF35 and PA+++. Just as expected, it feels non-irritating, slightly less oily, moisturizing and gives much less white cast.

Anyway, I didn't count on it (as facial sunscreen) as I already stick with SPF50+ (if I see visible result with that, anything lower would be a little weak) even during winter. For people who want a quenching formula and don't go out door much, this should be a good everyday sunscreen, as least for body use.
Lastly I also have a mini of Essence UV sunscreen (with silver tube) that was introduced last year and discontinued this year (as Anessa merge its skincare benefits into the standard formula/ deep gold bottle). This one has the octocrylene and octinoxate (and some other chemical sunscreens I can't remember) in addition to Zinc oxide.

The texture is very similar to the white bottle, maybe less tacky and even more moisturing. I didn't dare to use it on my face (as octinoxate is a known ingredient that gives me little hives) but it's nice on my arms. 
Even Anessa perfect UV mild is far from perfect, I liked it enough (didn't have a choice) to have gone through two bottles.  I am trying a few mineral sunscreens from Korean brands and if they don't work, I will just end up getting the renewed version this summer.


  1. I've been using Skin Aqua variety for the cooler months (they are quite hydrating and unscented) but wanna get a bottle of Anessa soon. Speaking of mineral sunscreen, have you tried Babo daily sheer sunscreen (spf 40)? I don't like all mineral ones usually but thought this one was very nice.

    Have a nice weekend! :)

    1. I need to check babo out (hopefully they can be found at wholefood because Amazon review said it was greasy).

      Have a great weekend! I need to take more glamour shots before pink background is gone.

  2. Thanks for the review. I have a bottle of the Aquabooster Mild but haven't tried it yet. But at least now I know it's effective, even if it doesn't set without blotting or powdering.

    1. Oh crap I forgot to add Anessa is easily removed with foaming cleanser...

      I am trying etude house right now it's actually not half bad...I am wearing it with the near 90s temperature and it held up OK. I might get another bottle off Amazon...

  3. I just got the silver bottle from Korea, it seems a little dry for my now aging skin but maybe it’s ok for summer

    1. Sigh...I am trying a sunscreen from etude house and it gave me dry lines around eyes (not anymore because humidity shoot up a lot)...I think I started wearing sunscreen religiously because all the accumulative Sun damage/aka my own type of aging...

  4. What do you think of Neutrogena sunscreens? You like them? I used to use the Ultra Sheer ones. But the thing is, Neutrogena sunscreens really sting/irritate my face like it's burning. I think I'm sensitive to oxybenzone.

    1. It burned the hell out of my eyes (and into memory)...back in 2006 I used it on a trip, I remember there was a good looking man across my seat on the train...Guess what I was doing, crying in one eye, washing it with tissue and a bottle of green tea.

      Anyway, I think their liquidy one isn't bad (I couldn't use it for more than 2 days). I think the sunscreen is more damaging than the sun...


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