Monday, August 10, 2009

La Roche Posay Anthelio 60 and Suncreen Comparison

Summer is almost over, but it's never too late to find a good sunscreen (And you should use it all year round!) And isn't it kind of nice when you see me review products that are over 10 bucks or the fact that I am reviewing something that's all the way from France? (OK, I had two Wet n Wild nail polish from France, they sucks 100 times more than the made in China ones.)

Anyway, I mentioned that I hate American sunscreen, I actually I meant sunscreen made by white people (you know, nothing racial, it's just sound less weird than "Caucasian" sunscreen) as they don't really care about sun protection/skin whitening as much as people in Asia.

I actually have never had any bought of those non-American sunscreen so I guess it's time to draw the boundary of continents now and see how the Europeans ones differ. (La-Roche Posay is available in some CVS is US right now.)

La Roche-Posay Antheilo 60 I am guessing the name just breaks up into "Ant (before)" and Helio (sun) , a sunscreen with an SPF of 60. If it normally takes you 15 minutes to get burned under sun, this will give you extra time before you are getting that time of damage. (Some newbies assume that higher SPF gives you better protection, when it actually means "longer" coverage). Since 60 divide by 4 (15 minutes is 1/4 hour) is 15, so this would technically keeps you protected for a whole day (assume there are 15 hrs of day time) if you like to bake yourself under the sun.

Wait, should I just stop assuming that people reading this are completely clueless?
Take a look at the ingredients, this particular sunscreen mainly uses light absorbents (chemical sunscreen) instead of light-reflector (physical sunscreen like ZnO2 or TiO2) so when you get it, keep in mind that upon opening it (when the thing contact with light and air) it's easier for it to lose its proficiency and it's best to finish up the bottle within a few months. Whereas a physical sunscreen could give you a longer shelf life.

This particular line of sunscreen, on their official website, is claimed to be a unique break through in the technologies as it offer light texture (the sunscreen comes in a milky liquid form) and high level of protection at the same time. It's might sounds like a great discovery as all US sunscreen I have tried are way too oily/thick no matter how "oil free" it is.

If you are familiar with East Asian skin care you will notice that most of those Japanese sunscreen are in light, milky or gel from and comes with high SPF (you know, indicated by high number) /PA level (from + to +++, the rating system for UVA is far more important indicator of how efficient a sunscreen is yet it's not available in US.)

So I would just compare La-Roche Posay with the some of the Japanese Sunscreen I have and see how much of a break through it is.

I have been using sunscreen (back then I also used reflective parasol, but now it's just got way too embarrassing) probably since I was around 11 or 12 and my first bottle was one from Mentholatum(The brand in Asian is for more extensive in Asia, where they have a range of body spray, sunscreen as well as lip products), which I got because of the very pretty bottle (click here to see what it looks like)and cute spoke model Ruby Lin.

It has all the characteristics of a very typical Asian sunscreen (I am listing them right now so I will save myself some energy from typing them later in the comparison part) :

1.Light milky-liquid texture
2.needed to be shaken before using
3.Most of them have high SPF
4.Scent free (there is some smell from the ingredients)
5.Might feel a tad bit slick at first but dry to a matte finish
6.Some of them might end up somewhat drying
7.Many of them contain a very small concentration alcohol for so that it will feel "light" on your skin as it evaporates

Now take a look at the sunscreen contestants:
OMI (the company has the right to manufacture Mentholatum in Japan -A quite popular Japanese drugstore sunscreen, I have the one for sensitive skin, which I assume has some physical sunscreen (and a pretty obvious white cast).

Neutrogena (A typical American Sunscreen for contrast purposes)- Many American people think that Neutrogena has the best sunscreen for the price, but I personally don't get why people call it dry-touch, oil free or light as it provide enough oil to soak up 2-3 blotting sheets and not to mention it has a tendency to run in my eyes all the time. ( Boy that stings!)

La Roche-Posay The main character of this post, beside the somewhat ugly packaging, it pretty much looks like a Asian sunscreen to me. (Copy cat!) The sunscreen is oilier than all the other Japanese sunscreen I have tried but at least it's a lot better than those American ones.

Kose Hadabisei Claims to have whitening properties. I personally think that "Whitening" never do or never should work, the production and consumption of such product it's more of a cultural thing in Asia. But since whitening products all has some skin-evening agents (or mild defoliator in the cleansers) , so I like to use them to just even out my skin a tad bit.

Kanebo Tiffa: I never get how Japanese interpret certain English words...This "pearly" sunscreen has some in-your-face golden shimmer, there are enough of them to make the sunscreen look yellow! This is also a tad bit oily, better than La Roche Posay though.

One more thing "original" about La Roche-Posay is the applicator (a small dropper bottle), which as you can see, have been used by Japanese brands for at least 7-8 years. I guess A from country A' using the idea from B in B' is still original as long as the plagiarism take place in A'? (I hate people stealing ideas from other yet claim it's as complete "original break through" but I guess it happens all the time anyway.)

As you can see: OMI has reasonable amount of (I am guessing, since I can't read chemical compounds in Japanese) TiO2/ZnO2, white powder that would increase its viscosity, so it's doesn't flow as well as the other liquid one and gives the most obvious cast.

Neutrogena- See how thick it is. I just have this one because 1) It's available in all drugstore. 2) (although it stings the crap out of my eyeballs) it doesn't cause nasty allergic reactions from other US brands.

La Roche Posay Actually feels a bit oily once it's on the face but it dries matte and doesn't make my face pasty afterward. None of them does actually as the formula is relatively sheer and my face isn't too dark.)

Hadabisei- the thinnest (I tend to slather this on) and most comfortable of the bunch. The white color doesn't give a ghostly white cast either.

Kanebo Tiffa: Hello bling-bling...I can smell the alcohol on this one (Sheesh.)

Overall, I can't tell the actual performance on them, (as I tan during summer unless I cover my whole body up.)there is no way I am using sunscreen on one side of face and leave the other side bare for the heck of "research" I more or less just do them to prevent future damage. But generally I think the Japanese people really has some nice formulations when it comes to sun protection and if you want something you can see/and try in actual store Shiseido is pretty good at making nice-smelling, nice textured sunscreen. (I swear by their SPF 30 eye cream as it's the only moisturizing enough ones for eyes and it never runs in)


  1. Wow, very in depth review. I like it! Asian skin care looks so nice. ): I wish it was easier to access. Why can't they make thinner sun screens?! The Neutrogena looks so heavy compared to the other ones. At least I only use it on my body...

  2. Not most american sun screens suck, i have tried all kinds.. from banana boat to neutrogena. My theory is that the majority of sunscreens in the u.s arnt created for daily use, most of them are made under the assumption that people will only use them for the beach or swimming so they purposely make thick and oily sunsreens to make your skin look glowey and shiny while your wearing a swim suit! Now recently in the past couple years is when they come out with daily sunscreens, because more people use them now. But the average person here doesnt even think about sun protection since paleness isnt valued much in the states, unlike in asian cultures where people actually try to stay whiter, the sunscreens are thiner and more practical(as well as more effective). Right now im using the Aveeno oatmeal suncreens, they are really nice and absorb quickly.Neutrogena ones suck though.

  3. Thank you for this thorough review! I find it easier to purchase LRP instead of Japanese sunscreen so I am happy to hear they are so similar in so many ways.

    I do not know who started the copycatting, but I think that La Roche Posay makes these types of sunscreen for a long time, on the other hand, I do not know for how long brands like Shiseido have been producing their types of sunscreen so I truelly cannot tell.

  4. smiley13tree :
    Asian skincare are probably not better, but better suited for Asian skin I guess...I am perfectly Ok with OK bought from Hong Kong while the whole olay line in US gives me serious horrible reactions...

    Now it makes so much sense after reading what you just said...I would probably give neutrogena more credit if I just use it to make me look shiny and "sexy" (ahem) on the beach...

    I just grow up to think that sunscreen is to be used all the time. (although I totally skipped it when I overslept) so shiny and stinging isn't what I normally go for. But actually even if I use sunscreen in US, I still tan anyway (so they don't do much to stop people from tanning in the first place.)I am more worry about the premature aging (drying effect) than anything else.

    P.S. Aveeno sunscreen is one of (the many) American drugstore brands that gives me bad stinging though...(Actually I am only OK with clean and clear out of all of them...)

    Birkinbagbeauty :
    I just assumed that LRP was the copy cat because in their online catalog, all of the existing ones are in cream form and normal squeegee dispenser while the one labeled "brand new", "break through" looks just like the formula/packaging Japanse have been using for more than a decade. (I have seen my mom using that kind of sunscreen ever since I was in grade school so those has to be around for at least 10 years.)

    Maybe the white people developed the technologies first then just gave it up? But I personally think that Japanese are pretty good at coming up with nifty design and formula in cosmetics...Not to be suck up, I am Chinese and I have no affinity (like some Japanese wannabe in Taiwan/China...) to Japan anyway.

  5. Hmm.. i seen full asian girls who look pretty with lenses, but it's not for everyone. I feel alot of times people jump on the circle lense wagon even though either they dont need them or it looks very odd on them. I wear them just to see my eyes a different color :p sometimes i get bored of my eye color, i dont wear them for enlargement. But yea, natural eyes always look better because all circle lenses look very unnatural. Btw did you guess i was half asian? ?:3

  6. I actually used the La Roche Posay sunscreen all of last year which I purchased in Brazil and it sort of leaves your skin feeling "dirty". It is a light sunscreen and dries up really quickly, but I hate the dry, something on your face, feel of it. I'm using Mustela now and it's a physical sunscreen which I like. But like many physical sunscreens, it leaves a white cast. I don't really mind it though. Great blog

  7. You should look into oxybenzone, I read about it quite a while ago and it's not an ingredient you want in your sunblock, or anything really


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