[REVIEW] Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway

I received this new product from Althea about one or two months ago. It was really timely, considering that I had just started applying sunscreen more frequently (yes, I know, I’m not exactly a role model).


Product Description

Shield your skin from the sun’s rays and give it some petal protection with Althea’s Petal Velvet Sunaway! Ultra lightweight, this invisible sunscreen is formulated with hyaluronic acid and Damask rose extracts, ensuring that your skin stays fresh and hydrated throughout the day without any streakiness or a white cast. It has an SPF of 50+ and PA++++, so your skin’ll be kept protected all day. As part of the Petal Velvet line, it also contains micro-powder particles that give you a smooth, petal-like complexion.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 13

Image credits

NOTICE: Do take note that hyaluronic acid is actually not included in the ingredients, this is a mistake on Althea’s part!


Ingredient List

WATER, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, ZINC OXIDE, DISILOXANE, PROPANEDIOL, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, DICAPRYLYL ETHER, METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, PELARGONIUM GRAVEOLENS FLOWER OIL, SALVIA OFFICINALIS (SAGE) OIL, POGOSTEMON CABLIN OIL, CITRUS AURANTIUM BERGAMIA (BERGAMOT) FRUIT OIL, ROSA DAMASCENA FLOWER EXTRACT, PEG-10 DIMETHICONE, STEARIC ACID, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, VINYL DIMETHICONE/METHICONE SILSESQUIOXANE CROSSPOLYMER, SODIUM CHLORIDE, TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, SORBITAN CAPRYLATE, GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE, POLYGLYCERYL-6 POLYRICINOLEATE, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, ETHYL HEXANEDIOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL

Interesting ingredients here include the various types of oils and extracts, as promised in the product description. For those who have sensitive skin, take note that Cyclopentasiloxane and Butlyene Glycol are potential irritants!


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Packaging: It looks quite standard, common across most types of sunscreen I’ve seen so far. I do like the colours though – pink is such an Althea colour, and definitely strengthens the concept of using Damask rose extracts.

Texture: Seeing that water is the top ingredient, it comes as little surprise that this is so watery. I think this may be even more watery than my Bioré one, even though this sunscreen from Althea doesn’t really emphasize this part, other than the mention about it being ultra lightweight.

I am absolutely in favour of such textures, because it is well-absorbed by skin and is less likely to clog pores. I really dislike the feeling of having my skincare products settle on top of my skin – so gross!

Effectiveness: It’s tough to check whether this product is really fending off the harmful sun rays for me, but I’ll evaluate this based on its product claims:

Ensuring that your skin stays fresh and hydrated throughout the day: I didn’t really feel so much of this freshness and hydration on my skin, but I’m not sure if it’s because my skin is already very oily to begin with and putting on more oils just feels oilier to me.

Without any streakiness or a white cast: I totally agree with this. In the last photo above, you’ll see that even though I’ve patted in the sunscreen and spread it out a little, you don’t really see a white cast or oily streaks on my skin. It’s great because some sunscreens tend to leave you looking multiple shades lighter than you actually are, which looks very weird. All I’m asking for in my sunscreen is sun protection, not whitening please.

Smooth, petal-like complexionMy skin hasn’t been anywhere near smooth for some time because I keep having all these tiny bumps here and there (if I’m lucky). I don’t think this product helps in smoothening skin, but I don’t know if it’s just because my skin has been looking so bad that no amount of this sunscreen can do anything for me. Maybe if your skin is better, you can see this smoothening effect better.


Final Verdict

I’m a huge advocate of using sunscreens, but I think I might give this a pass for personal reasons.

Firstly, I’m not a big fan of the smell. Granted, you can’t find ‘artificial’ fragrances in the ingredient list, but the smell can still be very overwhelming. I think it’s the smell of the rose extract, or perhaps some other oil, that is responsible for this. It’s a very sharp smell that I don’t really like, and some people may be uncomfortable with it as well.

Next, I got a minor breakout from using this. I’m suspecting it may be the irritants, or that my oily skin just doesn’t enjoy being further overwhelmed by more oils. I don’t think I’ve read other reviewers complaining about this, so it’s most likely just me.

However, if you have more balanced and ‘resistant’ skin, and absolutely love herbal smells, you can consider giving this a shot. At SGD 13, I think it is fairly reasonable, making it a good entry product for those who are new to doing UV protection.


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮

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[SAMPLE] Etude House UV Double Cut Fresh Sun Gel

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been trying to pay more attention to my UV protection these days (maybe it’s a side effect of growing old – you start to realize your skin isn’t as resilient to external pollutants). I got this sample from Etude House when I made a purchase there, so I wanted to try and see if I would be interested to get a full-size product in future.


Product description

The refreshing sun gel in water splash texture provides looking greasy-free, non-sticky and hydration to the skin.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 18


Ingredient list

WATER, ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, HOMOSALATE, ALCOHOL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, ETHYLHEXYL SALICYLATE, DIETHYLAMINO HYDROXYBENZOYL HEXYL BENZOATE, ETHYLHEXYL TRIAZONE, SILICA, NIACINAMIDE, CAPRYLYL METHICONE, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, DIMETHICONE/VINYL DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, AMMONIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE/VP COPOLYMER, PROPANEDIOL, SACCHARIDE HYDROLYSATE, OCTYLDODECANOL, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, TROMETHAMINE, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, ADENOSINE, HYDROXYPROPYL METHYLCELLULOSE STEAROXY ETHER, CENTELLA ASIATICA EXTRACT, PORTULACA OLERACEA EXTRACT, HOUTTUYNIA CORDATA EXTRACT, CURCUMA LONGA (TURMERIC) ROOT EXTRACT, ECHIUM PLANTAGINEUM SEED OIL, SALVIA HISPANICA SEED EXTRACT, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, BAMBUSA VULGARIS WATER, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL UNSAPONIFIABLES, CARDIOSPERMUM HALICACABUM FLOWER/LEAF/VINE EXTRACT, GLYCERIN, PHENOXYETHANOL, ETHYL HEXANEDIOL, IRIS FLORENTINA ROOT EXTRACT, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER/LEAF EXTRACT, TOCOPHEROL, FRAGRANCE

Although water is the main ingredient here (which is great), there are a few ingredients that immediately raise concerns for sensitive skin. Alcohol, butylene glycol, and fragrance are definitely ingredients to avoid if your skin easily gets inflamed (usual symptoms are red, itchy rashes).


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Packaging: I’ll skip evaluating the packaging on this one because it’s just a sample, but I think the full-sized product looks a bit bulky as it resembles a full-sized cleanser.

Texture: I know they advertise this as ‘light texture with moist feeling’, and while I agree on the moist feeling, I don’t think this was really as light as I needed it to be. It’s thicker than that of Biore’s watery gel, and my skin doesn’t seem to absorb it very well, so I immediately got worried that it would clog my skin – and it sure did. It also left a white cast on my skin which I didn’t really like because I’m not that fair, and my banila co. primer also tends to leave a pale cast. That’s like 2 layers of white cast, and it honestly looks very unnatural on me.

Effectiveness: I can’t evaluate for sure if this helps with sun protection – anyhow it’s too small a packet for me to say, but the part about relaxing skin with an airy feeling didn’t really work for me. If anything, I just felt like my pores were clogged.


Final Verdict

My sensitive, acne-prone skin needs a high level of TLC – no irritants, nothing too heavy or oily to clog my big pores, etc. and this has resulted in me being unable to use a lot of products. So do take note that even though a product has not worked well for me, it may actually be great for other skin types, including yours. I can’t speak on behalf of people with drastically different skin types, but I want to share as much as I can for those who have similar skin concerns as mine.

This product just didn’t work for me so I don’t think I’ll be buying the full-sized one. However, I’m quite curious to know how the other products in this UV line fare, so let me know if you have tried them and whether they have worked well for you!


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮

[REVIEW] The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Clear Sunscreen Stick

I have to be honest – the main reason why I bought this was because of the Kakao Friends packaging (or more specifically, Apeach). TFS in Singapore didn’t decide to import this collection, so I had to source for it online. I found one seller on Shopee – it was super expensive at $29.90, but I really wanted it so I bit the bullet.

However, I was really disappointed when what I received instead was Ryan, and not Apeach. I realized that I didn’t indicate any option to say whether I wanted Ryan or Apeach, and frankly I don’t know if such an option even existed in the first place. Anyhow, I still needed sunscreen so I wouldn’t exactly say it was a wasted purchase, just slightly disappointing.


Product Description

This sunscreen comes in a stick form that can be used conveniently even outdoors without white residue or sticky sensation. Ingredients such as Sunflower Sprout Extract and Vitamin E help keep skin smooth and fresh for long hours without turning dull.

• ECOCERT CERTIFIED SUNFLOWER SPROUT EXTRACT
• NMF (NATURAL MOISTURIZING FACTOR)
• NO ANIMAL SOURCE INGREDIENTS
• FORMULATED WITHOUT PARABEN & DERMATOLOGICALLY TESTED

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 29.90 (Shopee)


Ingredient List

OCTYLDODECANOL • DICAPRYLYL CARBONATE • C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE • ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE • OCTOCRYLENE • DIBUTYL LAUROYL GLUTAMIDE • SILICA SILYLATE • ISONONYL ISONONANOATE • ETHYLHEXYL SALICYLATE • BIS-ETHYLHEXYLOXYPHENOL METHOXYPHENYL TRIAZINE • DEXTRIN PALMITATE • ETHYL OLEATE • DIETHYLAMINO HYDROXYBENZOYL HEXYL BENZOATE • MYRISTICA FRAGRANS (NUTMEG) EXTRACT • DIBUTYL ETHYLHEXANOYL GLUTAMIDE • ETHYL STEARATE • CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC GLYCERIDES • ETHYL LINOLEATE • BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER UNSAPONIFIABLES • CAPRYLYL GLYCOL • ETHYL PALMITATE • HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SPROUT EXTRACT • MENTHYL PCA • TOCOPHERYL ACETATE • PARFUM/FRAGRANCE

I was a little concerned that a lot of these ingredients look a lot like artificial chemicals so I went to check them up.

Octyldodecanol, our key ingredient here, is a ‘long chain fatty alcohol’ that apparently runs a risk of being a human irritant – ‘strong evidence (only for products for use around the eyes, on the skin, or may be aerosolized (airborne))’. Dicaprylyl Carbonate is a diester of carbonic acid and caprylyl alcohol. C12-15 Alkyl Benzoat is composed of benzoic acid and long-chain (C12-15) alcohols. The list goes on, but I think it’s a bit worrying that so many of these look like potential skin irritants.


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Packaging: Like I mentioned earlier, I really wanted the Apeach packaging so I was quite disappointed when I got the Ryan one instead. It’s still adorable, but just not what I was looking for. Other than that, I think this is actually pretty good because it’s so lean and compact. It’s about the same size as my portable charger, so I can easily keep this in my makeup pouch if I ever need to touch up on my sunscreen on the go.

Texture: The first time I used this, my first thought was that it looked and felt like petroleum jelly. I had never used sunscreen sticks in my life before, so this was really quite alien to me. It’s not sticky, which is great, but I feel that it is kind of oily and my skin is really not a fan of oily stuff.

Effectiveness: It’s tough to check whether this product is really fending off the harmful sun rays for me, but I’ll evaluate this based on its product claims:

This sunscreen comes in a stick form that can be used conveniently even outdoors without white residue or sticky sensation: There’s definitely no white residue – the product is not even white to begin with, haha. It’s also not sticky, so you don’t feel icky  (what a rhyme) especially when you sweat.

Ingredients such as Sunflower Sprout Extract and Vitamin E help keep skin smooth and fresh for long hours without turning dull: Smooth and radiant skin? I’m not exactly convinced about this claim, because my skin hasn’t really looked like it has improved just from using this product. If anything, my skin just felt the same, if not slightly oilier.


Final Verdict

I love how convenient this product is but I’m honestly not impressed by the results it has shown. The price is also quite a huge deterrent – unless you are a big fan of Kakao Friends, I highly doubt you would want to fork out such a huge sum to buy a sunscreen stick that doesn’t really deliver fantastic results.


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮

[REVIEW] Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel

I know this sounds ridiculous coming from someone who lives in a country where it’s summer all year round, but I never, ever did consider the importance of protecting my skin from the sun until I learned about Korean skincare. It’s a lot more than just about being fair – you have no idea how harmful the sun’s rays are to your skin, especially if you have pigmentation issues.

I used to think that my BB cream (with SPF 50 and all) were good enough, until I stopped using them to unclog my pores and switched over to foundation. When I saw that my Innisfree one only offered SPF15, I knew it was finally time to invest in a good sunscreen. My experience using sunblock and sunscreen is usually that of white, sticky, oily creams that I only apply on my limbs when I’m doing outdoor activities under the hot sun. However, I was happy (and you would be too!) that these days there are so many different sunscreens available in the market for different skin types.


Product Description

New and Improved Biore Watery Gel SPF 50+ PA++++ has now improved to water and sweat proof with strong resistance against water and perspiration! It now gives you longer lasting UV protection and has a high staying power on skin with its UV veil. Unique Micro Capsule releases moisture upon application, leaving skin with a cool, light feeling. With Hyaluronic Acid & Citrus extract to keep skin hydrated and healthy. It also has a shiny veil effect to brighten skin. For Face and Body.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 18.90


Ingredient List

Water (Aqua), Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Lauryl Methacrylate/Sodium Methacrylate Crosspolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Xylitol, Dextrin Palmitate, Hydrated Silica, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Glyceryl Stearate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, C4-14 Perfluoroalkylethoxy Dimethicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, Potassium Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Agar, Fragrance (Parfum), Polyvinyl Alcohol, Isoceteth-20, Sodium Methyl Stearoyl Taurate, Aminomethyl Propanol, BHT, Sodium Stearoxy PG-Hydroxyethylcellulose Sulfonate, Glutamic Acid, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Disodium EDTA, Maltose, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, CI 77891

You’ll see that the star ingredients are bolded for easier reference, but they rank low on the list. What’s even more disturbing is that fragrance actually ranks above them – not a good sign for sensitive skin!


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Packaging: I really like blue packaging for skincare, because it’s usually a sign that it is moisturizing, or watery for better absorption by oily, clogged skin (case in point: LANEIGE). It’s a plastic bottle that you can squeeze for the product to come out, but one problem I find with this is that it’s very difficult to control how much product you squeeze out. The first time I tried this, I ended up having way too much product on my fingers by accident. I would much prefer something more controllable, if you get what I mean.

Texture: When they call it ‘watery gel’, they literally mean ‘watery gel’. I would almost call it water, except that it’s a bit thicker. I do like how it gets absorbed very quickly by the skin even though it’s not quite as thin as water, and doesn’t feel oily afterwards. There is a slightly sticky sensation upon application, but it doesn’t stay for long.

Effectiveness: It’s tough to check whether this product is really fending off the harmful sun rays for me, but I’ll evaluate this based on its product claims:

It now gives you longer lasting UV protection and has a high staying power on skinDefinitely agreed on the high staying power. Although I usually layer it under makeup, I did attempt to apply nothing but this sunscreen on my face and went out for a few hours. Definitely still found traces of it on my face after I came back home.

Unique Micro Capsule releases moisture upon application, leaving skin with a cool, light feeling: Yes, yes, yes! This product is absolutely moisturizing. I almost thought that I was applying moisturizer instead of sunscreen.

With Hyaluronic Acid & Citrus extract to keep skin hydrated and healthyHydrated, definitely. Some of my acne scars have also lightened a little over the period of time I have been using this.

It also has a shiny veil effect to brighten skinDefinitely. I was initially really afraid that the white-coloured gel would leave a white cast on my skin, but it turns out that my fears were unfounded. Initially, it will look a little white on your skin, but eventually subside (not disappear, big difference) and get absorbed by your skin so that all that’s left is a healthy-looking glow. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?


Final Verdict

This product lives up to its claims, so I’d definitely call this a worthwhile investment.

I know it’s a little hard to stomach the extra step of applying sunscreen on your face everyday (yes, even if you’re just going to work and likely to stay indoors for 9 hours). Even I can get very lazy about this, but I’ve seen friends with fantastic skin, and one product they use in common is SUNSCREEN.

If you are new to using sunscreen and have no idea what’s good for your skin type, I definitely recommend this. It’s good for all skin types, and especially those of us who are prone to getting our pores blocked. You now have no excuse not to use sunscreen because you are worried that it will cause a breakout.


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮

mustbuy