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Best Pick: Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel (2017 formula)

Best Pick Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel (2017 version).jpg

The newly revamped Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel is simple and cost-effective if you just want a daily use sunscreen that gets straight to the point. Should you wish to slather it over your arms/legs on a regular basis like I do, it won’t require a second mortgage; each 90ml bottle costs less than ¥700 (which is about US$6).

I’m indifferent to the cult favourite Watery Essence (both the new and previous formulas). It’s perfectly decent for its very low price-point, but wearing it on my face or body just doesn’t quite hit the spot. It always leaves me feeling a bit unsatisfied. I wish that it would be more lightweight or more moisturising, has a smoother finish, and come in a bigger tube.

The Watery Gel comes in a bigger bottle — 90ml versus 50g. I slather it on my arms like there’s no tomorrow, so that extra 40ml (for the same price) makes all the difference. Obviously it is a slightly different formula, but it is one that I actually prefer. I find the gel a smidge lighter, fresher and feels slightly softer and smoother on the skin. It sets well and it doesn’t stain or transfer to clothes. Some beauty bloggers say it leaves a white cast, but I don’t find that to be true — though my skintone is fairly light to begin with so I might not notice.

Taken in natural daylight

Do bear in mind that (as I’ve mentioned many times before) the gel is primarily intended for those who apply their sunscreen in the morning and spend large portion of the day indoors. In other words, this wouldn’t be at all suitable for you if you’re going to get lots of sun exposure. I’m sure that by now I’m stating the obvious almost to the point of hilarity. I mean it’s all very “Danger! Don’t hold the wrong end of a chainsaw.” But every now and then, I stumble upon accounts of people complaining that Watery Essence has not adequately protected their skin when they used it for hiking or a day at the theme park.

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel SPF50+ PA++++ is very economical and basic — it protects the skin from sporadic sun exposure and doesn’t do much else — it isn’t moisturising, mattifying, or soothing. But it’s lovely option for those who doesn’t need or want all the bells-and-whistles. Quick to apply, pleasant to use, cheap as chips. You can find it online at Amazon.com HERE for US$9.07+ or Amazon Japan HERE for ¥808.

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4 Comments on Best Pick: Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel (2017 formula)

  1. Please explain to me why this water/sweat resistant sunscreen is only to be used indoors with limited sunscreen exposure. Is there some ingredient found in “outdoor” sunscreens that is not found in this one?

    • You can be indoors with air conditioning technically on and still sweat buckets during hot, humid summer months in Japan, so anything that is water and/or sweat-resistant is very welcomed (if not essential) — it isn’t an indication that is formulated for the outdoors.

      Japanese sunscreens that are formulated for the outdoors and sports are always explicitly stated by the manufacturer. If it doesn’t say so, it’s not ideally suited. Simple as that. Aside from a very tenacious formula, the UV filters used are often different from ones that are just for normal everyday activities with the same SPF/PA rating.

      I always recommend people to heed manufacturer’s advice. Using a Japanese sunscreen formulated for everyday wear (ie. incidental sun exposure) for a day outside in the summer sun is just a terrible idea! You, at best, go through the tiny amount of product even faster by having to constantly reapply, and at worst, get sunburn and/or hyperpigmentation.

  2. Hi Ratzilla,

    I am looking for a sunscreen with mainly physical filters and also moisturizing (or at least not drying). Which one would you recommend?

    Thanks <3

  3. Honestly, it took me a few days of trying this to warm up to it. I think I got caught up in the months of hype everyone was giving it online, but I agree with everything you said, it definitely grows on you. I do find it moisturizing enough for me though, it’s been hot and sticky down here in Carolina so the light texture is much appreciated.

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