I promised at the beginning of the year that I’d do more reviews. I did a round-up of economical sunscreens last month in February but here we are with the first proper review and of one that was released last year in 2011.
When I think of gels, what immediately comes to mind is consistency akin to commercial Aloe vera gels or hand sanitizing gels — clear and thick. In my mind, Japanese sunscreen gels aren’t proper ‘gels’ as their consistency is what I can only describe as a slightly congealed milk, like a cross between a standard milky sunscreen and a ‘proper’ gel. This is no different.
This would be very good daily use option for normal to oily-skinned people. It has the weightless, refreshing texture of a watery gel but it leaves face shine-free, smooth, and matte like a milk, albeit less silicone-y. It disappears immediately upon application and feels almost like a translucent powder on the skin without leaving any white residue.
Important to note that the gel feels quite alcohol-y — but no more so than something like Biore UV Perfect Face Milk or the discontinued cult-favourite, Sofina Perfect UV Lucent, both of which are far more drying and matte (especially the Biore!). I don’t find it to be drying on my generally normal skin. Perhaps its moisturizing ingredients are minimizing or counteracting the drying effect of the high alcohol content.
If you find milky sunscreens a little too matte and silicone-y in finish, then Mentholatum Skin Aqua Sara-sara Gel is a great one to consider. It leaves the skin feeling refreshed and gives a familiar smooth, primer-esque finish but not quite so ‘arid’ and tenacious as the milks. It comes in a generous 80g bottle and an absolute bargain at around 800 JPY, making it great for slathering generously on neck and décolleté area.