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Best Pick: SOLANOVEIL R Watery Gel SPF50+ PA++++

Review SOLANOVEIL R Watery Gel

Another week another beauty review. I often find myself debating which product name to use, the official name in Japan or the English that is printed on the bottle. Like this one; should I call it Solanoveil R Watery Gel (the actual product name) — the ‘R’ stands for ‘Red’, Solanoveil’s latest anti-ageing range — or what’s printed in English on the bottle? But regardless, it is aptly named.

Solanoveil R range features natural red anti-agers (resveratrol from red wine, rosehip oil, and lingonberry juice) to help the skin to protect itself. I have been testing the Watery Gel for a few weeks now (along with other sunscreens), and I can’t fault it from a short-term point of view. After shaking it (and shaking it again), the lightweight milky gel slips over the skin easily, but more of a silicone-heavy “dry-oil” slip than the dry-to-touch feel of the Biore UV Face Milks that I’ve grown accustomed to. It doesn’t feel greasy or drying, it absorbs quickly and gives the skin a very smooth, shine-free finish.

Best Pick SOLANOVEIL R Watery Gel swatches

Anti-ageing is not one of those benefits that will show a huge visible amount of difference in the short-term — to me, it’s more of a long-term investment. I suppose that I put my trust in its ingredients and most of all, my tan-free skin; I tan very easily and I haven’t gotten any colour after a whole day’s worth of sun during early summer.

I’m not hugely enamoured with silicone-y smooth finish, but this actually does exactly what it says on the tin — leaves the skin feeling extra smooth. I can’t say whether the red antioxidants can actually make a difference long-term, but the ultimate anti-ageing product is sunscreen, and this is a very good one indeed!

The SOLANOVEIL R Watery Gel SPF50+ PA++++ is ¥650 in Japan.

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28 Comments on Best Pick: SOLANOVEIL R Watery Gel SPF50+ PA++++

    • Depends on your expectation — it’s sweat and water resistant but it offers skin no oil control. If your skin is quite oily, it’ll most likely not stay put or last long.

  1. Is this okay to use as a moisturizer? I’m looking for a moisturizer + spf product for my dehydrated skin (oily, but flaky especially in the forehead). Thanks!

  2. hi is there a way i can find the ppd of this product or any other of the sunscreens with s pa ++++ i know it means a ppd of 16 or more but is there a way to know which has a higher ppd

    • You can make an educated guess which PA++++ sunscreen has a better UVA protection based on the UV filters used and their positions in the ingredient list, but that’s about it.

      TD;DR No.

      • I am not sure though what uv filter to look for can you suggest any sunscreen that you think would have a high PPD (over 16). I know that european sunscreens have high PPD but I prefer japanese sunscreens.

  3. Does the Solanoveil R Perfect Milk have as nice of a nice texture as this? I’m looking for something suitable for outdoors use that is less drying than Biore Perfect but won’t feel greasy in the summer heat and humidity.

  4. Thanks for the review I cant wait to try it out! Ive been meaning to ask you lately though, I’ve been a little confused about the different types of Japanese sunscreens. I’ve been able to figure out essences are very light, milks heavier and more for exercising etc, but does the type also dictate at what step I should apply it in my regimen? As in, do I
    “need” to apply/is it more effective to apply an essence in the essence/serum step and then moisturizer over it or no moisturizer over it at all? And a milk type in place of my normal moisturizer?

    • The terms simply refer to the consistency of the sunscreen.

      Milk is, of course, a fluid, and it’s the most tenacious formula (most, if not all, outdoors/sports sunscreens are milk type). Gel is not as tenacious as the milk, and more suited for non-oily skin as most aren’t oil-resistant. “Essence” is a lighter, watery gel in a very easy-on easy off formula, and it’s for regular everyday use only (indoor most of the time with minimal direct sun exposure).

      • I also forgot to ask, what is the “setting time” for Japanese sunscreens? Like, the amount of time you’re supposed to wait after putting it on to go out in the sun? I think for American sunscreens it’s supposed to be like 15 or 20 minutes.

        • There is not set waiting time for sunscreens — that’s popular myth. Sunscreens creates a film on the skin, and this film needs to dry before the sunscreen can protect your skin from UV rays. You’re good to go once the sunscreen is dry-down on your skin, which could be seconds or an hour depending on what you’re using.

          • Oh my gosh that’s awesome I did not know that! That’s really helpful to know thank you so much.

  5. Is this water resistant? I am looking for a sunscreen that will protect my skin very well, yet still be okay if I need to workout or want to wear it at the beach. If not, could you recommend one that is? I am at a total loss. I’ve been ordering a lot of suncreen lately, lol. I am having a hard time finding one that I like, though.

  6. Hello, I happened upon your blog after flying through Narita airport and buying all sorts of goodies, like the Melty Berry blackhead remover. I recently moved from the mild climate of Southern California back to a tropical island where it is hotter, more humid and the sun more intense. I’m in my 40’s and have a combo skin with the T-zone, well just my nose, still prone to oil and blackheads. Another problem is that I have developed many brown spots because of the intense sun and my job which has me driving outside for a few hours a day. I’m fair to begin with but can get tanned easily but the spots are bothering me. I purchased Shieseido’s white elixer day care revolution I sunblock. I like it as it does not feel greasy, but then again, I am in California right nowwhere I don’t sweat as much. I will be traveling back home via Japan again, and I would like to stock up on some beauty products. Could you recommend the best sunblock for me? Also, I was planning on buying a “whitening” system like Shieseido’s whitening elixer set but I read in some of your older posts that whitening products should only be used when AVOIDING the sun. How can I whiten my current brown spots and prevent new ones if I am exposed to the sun on a daily basis (driving and getting in and out of a car several times a day). Thank you in advance for the advice and sorry for long post.

    • There’s not much point in using whitening products if you’re not taking adequate precautions to prevent more dark spots from developing (and prevent exisiting ones from getting worse). The best line of defense is still the daily use of an excellent sunscreen — “best”, however, is entirely subjective.

    • I don’t include ingredients in my reviews as product details are already in its own info post — click on the product name link in the first paragraph. Everything is there.

  7. hum…when you say it has a silicone heavy “dry oil” feel, does that mean it feel maybe something like Smashbox photo finish primer? Where it is smooth on top, and feels kind of like having a thin layer of silicone film sitting on top of the skin? I recently acquired the Biore Bright Face Milk, so I know exactly what you mean by the dry to the touch feel, but I’m having difficulty imagine what a “dry oil” feels like. Thanks.

    Do you prefer this one over the Biore Face Milk because of the potential long term anti-aging effect?

    • The smoothness upon application is like a cross between silicone primers and certain dry oils (like Nuxe), not that it’s oily or greasy in the slightest.

      I don’t prefer one over the other — they’re best suited for different skin types, they feel different, and they have a different finish.

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