I didn’t really want to write a review for this, if truth be known, but I did promise a few readers back in February that I would. (Having reviewed every single formulation there ever was here on RatzillaCosme — 4 if you’re keeping count — it feels so repetitive and a bit boring.) By now you’ve probably read many mixed reviews on the 2017 newly reformulated Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence.
Don’t be fooled by the added water and sweat resistance – the Watery Essence isn’t for the outdoors or sports, it’s still very much for everyday wear (incidental sun exposure) only. Some of you may ask, what’s the point of tinkering with it then? Due to massive energy saving efforts in Japan during hot summer months, you can be indoors with air conditioning technically on and still sweat buckets! So anything that is sweat-resistant (or with a cooling effect) is a very welcomed feature.
I can’t say that I can really compare the new with the old since I haven’t used the previous formula since I last reviewed it back in 2015, but this is lightweight and wearable. It does seem to take little longer to sink in than the previous incarnation, but after 1 minute or so there’s absolutely no residue at all. It has all the qualities I love in a sunscreen — no white cast, no matte finish, no “glow”. Aside from its silky soft feel, it’s almost undetectable on the skin. If your skin is on the dry side then you will most definitely want to moisturise well before using it. On my normal skin, I can get away with just a hydrating serum underneath. It’s around 24-26°C in Tokyo and it does a fine job at staying put as I raced about the city like a maniac.
Anyway – decent. It didn’t blow my socks off, but to be fair, its previous 2 formulations didn’t either. Its invisible, water-light formula with maximum UV protection was quite a revolution when it first came out back in 2011, but now countless brands have also come out with something similar. Not “dupes” but alternatives. With the myriad of new sunscreens that flood the Japanese market every year, I’d be hard-pressed not to move on to much greener pastures.