Review: Mentholatum SUNPLAY Clear Water (2018 Formula)

Rohto’s Mentholatum SUNPLAY Clear Water has been around for over a decade now, but it has been revamped this year with completely new formula, new concept, and new on-trend blue-lavender packaging. What was your run-of-the-mill white fluid has now a slight sky-blue tint with micro shimmers.

The sunscreen milk will — according to the blurb — protect the skin from the blazing sun without a sticky feeling, correct sallowness on light skin tone, and enhance radiance. Impressive claims for something so cheap and will no doubt excite anyone looking for an effective sunscreen and colour-correct primer in one.

I do like it a lot — soft and lightweight and with maximum SPF that you’d never guess was there. It’s slightly blueish in tone but I can’t really tell whether it neutralises anything or not. The tint is so sheer, but it does seem to negate the white cast its predecessor has had. It takes a few minutes to fully absorbed, and once it does, the finish is matte-to-the-touch (but not at all dry or arid) that exudes luminescence. It does exactly what it says on the tin — protects, brightens, and illuminates.

Although therein lies the rub: you’d have to use this sparingly — ie, like you would a makeup primer. Perhaps it’s because it’s summer and my face doesn’t lack luminosity, but this is a little glowy for me as a proper sunscreen. When used like a makeup primer, skin looks brighter and smoother and perfectly luminous without being shimmery or “dewy”, but applying generous amounts of it (in order to get the SPF50+ PA++++ protection) gives the effect closer to a sweaty, disco ball shine.

I don’t know — I’m sitting on the fence. The formula is lovely and it has a load of proven ingredients for keeping the skin hydrated and soothed, but I can’t imagine using it like you would a standalone sunscreen. The blue tint, no matter how sheer, and the micro-shimmers don’t translate well if you’re very heavy-handed — which shouldn’t be an issue if this is a primer, but this is first and foremost a sunscreen. Thoughts?

You can find this new 2018 version of Mentholatum SUNPLAY Clear Water for US$9.94+ on eBay. It’s also available from YesStyle for US$11.90. If you’re in Japan, you can find it in drugstores for about ¥500.

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