• Best Pick: Biore UV AQUA Rich Watery Essence (2011 Formula)

    Best Pick Biore UV AQUA Rich Watery Essence

    A reader recently asked whether I will do another “Best & Worst Picks” soon. I procrastinated posting one for weeks because I didn’t have a “worst pick”… and truth be told, I still don’t have one. I test a lot products a year and only 3–5% of the hundreds fall within the toss-in-bin category. What am I to do without a worst pick? Skip it entirely, of course!

    Here is a nice option for those who are on the continuous hunt for a daily use sunscreens that feel barely there — Biore UV AQUA Rich Watery Essence.

    The Biore UV AQUA Rich Watery Essence has a texture that is truly unique to Biore’s UV AQUA Rich lineup. The ultra-lightweight gel-like cream turns to a water-like consistency as soon as I begin to smooth it on the skin. Within 10 seconds, it absorbs and disappears completely into my skin with no effort. Yes, I actually timed it!

    It’s near impossible to tell where I have applied it since it doesn’t leave any telltale signs. It doesn’t mattify or add a sheen nor does it emphasize dryness or moisturize.  I smooth it on and within 10 seconds, my skin looks exactly the same as before. No white cast, no matte finish, no sheen, no “glow”—nothing. My skin feels quite soft with it on with none of that  silicone-y, primer-esque feel I get with a lot of milk-type sunscreens. Softer skin aside, my skin doesn’t feel any different.

    I love my milky sunscreens that seem almost bulletproof but lately, I find them to be way overkill. The weather is mild, I’m not out in the sun, and my skin isn’t oily. My skin doesn’t need the extra armours. The Watery Essence is not resistant to anything and it’s exactly what I want—easy on, easy off.  I put in on and forget about it.

    I personally don’t care for expensive sunscreens. Considering a ¼ tsp (1.25ml) of product for face is needed in order to get the protection indicated, a bottle goes through quickly especially tiny Japanese ones! 3,000 JPY for 60g/ml is the most I will pay. You get 50g of product for only around 600 JPY. Japanese sunscreens generally don’t go over 30ml/g unless they’re for the body  so this is such a steal!

    • Blah

      Hi, this is my current sunscreen, but I’ve noticed that my skin can start to look a bit shiny after a few hours. I really like the matte texture of the Biore UV perfect face milks, but I don’t like needing to use a special cleanser and find they break me out quite reliably.
      Do you know of any matte sunscreens that do not require a special cleanser for removal? I love your site BTW!

    • Maya Melancon

      Now,being an African american who matches the color of MAC NC45, sometimes looking for a sunscreen WITHOUT leaving a whitecast can prove rather difficult as it can leave a rather… dead complexion on darker tones. But this product is simply amazing~ Not only does it protect, it leaves no whitecast what-so-ever~

      Now if only it was sweat proof… cause when it gets into my eyes… that a whole different story >_<

    • duong

      Thank you for your great information!
      I just bought it and I am totally in love with the sunscreen :)!
      I just want to ask you a question that: How often should I reapply the sunscreen?
      I’m Asian and I have light yellow skin tone (not fair skin).
      I have read that we should reapply every 2 hours (from the information provided by American sunscreens with SPF 55).
      I don’t know if I have to reapply every 2 hours or not because it is so expensive and it takes so much time.

      Thanks in advances for your hard working.

      • http://www.ratzillacosme.com/ Ratzilla

        You do not need to reapply, unless you’ve been sweating or have excessively oily skin (as this is not sweat/water/oil-resistant) — and if that’s the case, it’s best to use another sunscreen as this one is meant for normal every urban use (i.e. indoor most of the time, minimal direct sun).

        • duong

          Thank you so much. It helps me alot. I am really in love with this sunscreen! Thank you for your information.

        • Sawasawa

          Does the “do not need to reapply” rule apply to all Japanese sunscreens? So, if I don’t get sweaty, get oily, or go swimming I don’t have to reapply the whole day? If that’s the case that is amazingly awesome.

          • http://www.ratzillacosme.com/ Ratzilla

            Yes, unless you’re getting a lot of sun.

            • Sawasawa

              Wow great thank you!

    • http://www.ratzillacosme.com/ Ratzilla

      This has been discussed in details below already. Please refer to this:

    • Kelly

      Thank you for such a great post! I recently bought this online, and like the poster below, mine also has a number on the top that says 20130316. It is at the very top where the package ends, you can actually see it in the picture you’ve posted. So is this OK? From what you’ve said below, I’m not sure if you mean that this number is not an expiry and that it’s OK or not… Thank you so much!

      • http://www.ratzillacosme.com/ Ratzilla

        This product has a export version. Its tube looks the same, but the other packaging (i.e. cardboard) is printed in the language of the designated country.

        The domestic version (completely in Japanese and not for export) does not have expiration or production date. On the crimp of the tube is the batch code — 7 numbers and an alphabet. It doesn’t resembe a date at all, no matter how you’re reading it.

    • Judith

      Could you please tell me if it has phisical or chemical filters? Thank you very much.

      • RatzillaCosme

        Chemical. Its product info post has the complete ingredient list (click on the product name in the post or at the right sidebar).

    • mia

      Hi! Stumbled upon your website and love how informative it is!

      This might sound like a really stupid question but I recently purchased Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence of an ebay store (since it’s not sold in stores in my country). I received the product today and noticed that on top of the tube/bottle it says: “20110809”. Doesn’t this mean that it’s already expired? I know certain Korean products show the production date and am dearly hoping this is the case since I’ve been wanting to try the Biore out for some time now. However, I’m not desperate enough to slab on stuff that expired almost a yr ago. Thanks in advance and for a great website! ^^

      • http://ratzillacosme.com ratzilla

        Assuming your tube is from Japan (not an exported version in another language), it’s purely a coincidence that the numbers look like a date. I have used a few tubes of it and I have the 75g version on hand right now, none of them have anything that resembles a date printed anywhere — all are bought in Japan.

        Production/expiration dates are completely unnecessary for Japanese sunscreens (as in sunscreens manufactured and sold in Japan) because they get reformulated and repackaged very frequently, with major brands on an annual basis!

        • mia

          Thank you for the quick reply & for a great site!

    • Tais

      What you say makes perfect sense ! Thank you.
      The “us” I mentioned meant “each one of us”, referring exactly to what you described: that the product should suit our individual skin type, weather we live in etc.
      I live in S. America and over here you hear people saying: “I love Asian cosmetics” or ” European brands are high quality” and so on, so I just mentioned that people generalize. Sorry if something I said sounded rude, it was not meant to be …
      Anyway, I thought there could be a guideline to help me choose between diferent brands from diferent countries, but I guess it is a matter of researching, reading reviews and trial-and error …
      Like it’s supposed to be … :)

      • http://ratzillacosme.com ratzilla

        No no no. I didn’t think you were rude at all. I thought the “us” was referring to a specific group of people like Asians, Americans, etc. ^^

    • Tais

      Hi there ! I am looking for a sunscreen and I’ve been reading great reviews about this Biore Watery Essence, but i am really torn between this one and the Hera Mate (Korean brand).
      I think I read somewhere (maybe it was here in your blog, but I couldn’t find it) that because of the climate difference between Japan, China and Korea there are also differences in their cosmetic qualiities (meaning if the climate is drier, cosmetics tend to be more moisturizing, and so on). Does that make any sense to you?
      I am asking because we generally call them “Asian cosmetics” without thinking too much about which brand would suit us better.
      If you could educate me on this subject, I would really appreciate !!

      • http://ratzillacosme.com ratzilla

        Hong Kong and Taiwan stay hot and very humid for well over half the year (or at least feel like it), and winter is very mild. Japan and Korea’s 4 seasons are quite distinct except Japan has unbearably long, hot, very humid summers and Korea’s winter is bitterly cold and dry. Most ‘Asian cosmetics” are formulated to fit the needs of local consumers (i.e richer, more moisturizing formulation to suit cold, dry weather and climate; lighter, fast-absorbing formulation for high humidity).

        I’m not sure who is the “us” referring to in “which brand would suit us better”. If you have oily skin and living in Taiwan, slathering on skincare products made to suit Korea’s winter may not be the best idea… What suit your skin best would depends on your skin type, personal preferences, the weather/climate you’re in, your lifestyle, etc.