Best Pick: Biore UV Aqua Rich Light Up Essence

I‘m supposed to be getting my wardrobe sorted but I couldn’t let a quick review of this new sunscreen from Biore UV slip through the net. Because the Aqua Rich Light Up Essence is surprisingly delightful. Incredibly light and fresh, quick-to-dry, it makes skin look instantly better.

This is the latest product to join Biore UV’s extensive sunscreen family. There is already the insanely popular Aqua Rich Watery Essence, for example, which is famous for its watery fresh texture — but nothing as beautifully fresh as their newest launch.

They’re both made for normal everyday activities and have the same level of UVA/UVB protection, but the new Light Up Essence is distinctly more lightweight. No greasiness, no tackiness, no sunscreen-y shine, no dullness. It has a completely matte, “dry touch” feel but there is also a luminous sheen to the skin once applied. There’s a radiance that matte finish lacks. It feels as though you have nothing on.

But you do have something on, obviously. You’re wearing an everyday use sunscreen that protects against incidental sun exposure and airborne pollutants and a very decent makeup base that makes skin look smoother and brighter. Multi-tasking at its best.

The Biore UV Aqua Rich Light Up Essence gives light-diffusing radiance to brighten complexion that suits — according to the blurb — all skin tones. I’d say it’s an exaggerated claim. It only holds true if you’re using it like you would a primer. The blurb says unlike “tone up” products that contain colour-correcting pigments and can look unnatural on tanned skin, this manipulates light to create the brightening effect instead so suitable for just about everyone. In practice, they’re not dissimilar. If you’ve medium or darker skin tone and you’re applying generously (as you should!), the light-reflecting particles will let off a pearlescent white cast. This works best on fair to light skin (as a reference, MAC NC20–25 are the most commonly used shades in Japan).

A generous blob applied on full grain aniline-dyed cowhide leather

In short: those looking for an everyday sunscreen for those quick runs to store, who want something they can barely feel even on a warm day, who would quite like a (non-makeup) product that can instantly make skin look better, this might just be for you.

Medium or darker complexion will definitely prefer Biore’s Watery Essence over the new launch, but for those who fit Japanese base makeup shades, Light Up Essence brings a very lovely sunscreen offering to the table. It takes a softly-softly approach to brightening the skin. It’s not full-on so it gets lost underneath foundation or powder, but for perfecting bare skin it’s just wonderful.

You can find Biore UV Aqua Rich Light Up Essence online for US$13.97 at YesStyle or US$9.54+ on eBay. In Japan, you can find it at most drugstores — RRP is ¥830 for 70g and it’s always on sale at one store or another.

The content was written for No paid/sponsored content. If you buy through links on this page, RatzillaCosme may earn a small commission.

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5 months ago

Do you trust eBay sellers?

Ni Luh
Ni Luh
6 months ago

Hi do you have any sunscreen recommendation that would not sting if applied around eye area? Thanks

8 months ago

Thank you for actually testing the white cast on a dark colored surface. All fair-skinned beauty bloggers should honestly be required to do that when reviewing sunscreens

8 months ago

Sold! I actually like the dewy, oftentimes oily look of the watery essence, but I cannot deny that sometimes it’s just too much for the summer months. A matte radiant formula sounds perfect!

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