Review: Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence (2014 formula) [DISCONTINUED]

Review Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence (2014 formula)

One of my favourite daily use sunscreens, Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence (see my ‘Best Pick’ review on the old formula here), has just had one serious upgrade.

So what’s new in the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence version two, the 2014 formula? Well, according to the press release blurb, nothing has been taken away whatsover. It’s still the fresh, water-light sunscreen you know and love, and with the same labelled UV protection. The new formula, however, adds something else into the mix: additional UVA filters to slightly boost UVA protection (but, it’s still PA+++). It also takes its skin smoothing, makeup priming ability onto a whole new level.

And so, let’s skip to my testing. I’ve done a few weeks, on and off, with the new (and old) formula. For the most part, it still has all the qualities that I love — no white cast, no matte finish, no sheen, no “glow”. But, it’s slightly heavier in texture, and there’s a smell of alcohol, something I didn’t notice before. It also gives my skin a very silky, silicone-y feel after application. The original Watery Essence disappeared into the skin with no telltale signs, whereas you can really feel the “slip” of the silicones in the new incarnation.

Now I won’t say that I don’t like this sunscreen, because that wouldn’t be fair. I am, after all, still using my tube. But can I say that I’m a little disappointed in it? The added UV filters makes no difference to me (as it’s still just rated PA+++), and I don’t care for the silicone-y smooth feel that the newly upgraded version features. It’s not longer undetectable, which is why I won’t be getting myself a new tube (mine is a PR sample) after I finish what I have.

Many would say it’s risky business to tinker about with a popular formula, but I’d say it’s just keeping up with the times and the competition — and the sunscreen market in Japan is highly competitive. It makes perfect sense to update formulas and make sure that the beauty products that are taking up the scarce and expensive shelf space showcase the latest in research and technology — even if the latest incarnation doesn’t meet my expectation.

Review Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence (2014 formula) code

Addition: Lots rumours floating around online that the there is expiration or production date printed on the crimp of the tube. I’ve never seen the export versions, but pictured above is the domestic (Japan’s) version (provided by the manufacturer) — what’s printed (“T0000584”) isn’t a date.  Japan’s date format is year-month-day.

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