The last time I was living in Japan (yikes, already almost 10 years ago!), I tried several different sunscreens, and I remember being really impressed with them. Even 10 years ago, Japan was more advanced than what we have in the US today. The Face Shop Sebum Control Moisture Sun was the first time I used a Korean sunscreen, and it did not disappoint! And it also confirmed to me that Asian companies just understand how sunscreens are supposed to work and feel on the skin.
I discovered this sunscreen the last time I was at The Face Shop in Niles, IL. (For those of you living in the Chicago area who want to try Korean skincare without paying for shipping, then go to Hmart in Niles – AKA Kimchee Mecca – which has several skincare stores, including The Face Shop.) The sales clerks were really nice and gave me a bunch of samples, including this sunscreen. After trying it out and looking up the ingredients on cosdna.com, I went back to purchase a full sized one.
I haven’t been able to find the ingredient list typed out anywhere in English, so instead I took a close-up of the ingredient list from the box. Sorry, but I really don’t have the energy to type out all these ingredients! I ran the ingredients through cosdna and I didn’t see any major acne-triggers. And besides the alcohol denat, I didn’t see any other ingredients that could be bad for sensitive skin. Normally, I really hate sunscreens that have a lot of alcohol in them (like Shiseido’s). They tend to make my skin itchy, for some reason. But I didn’t have a problem with this sunscreen at all! And while I have a firm rule to stay away from cetearyl alcohol, I noticed that this is one of the last ingredients, so I didn’t think it would cause any problems for my skin.
This sunscreen provides SPF 40 protection, is supposed to be moisturizing, and control excess sebum. There are several moisturizing ingredients in this sunscreen, as well as plant extracts (chia seed, sunflower sprout, etc…) that I believe are antioxidants. I’m not sure what ingredients in here really control sebum, though. Also, this sunscreen has a lot of different silicone-based ingredients, and it definitely works well as a makeup base. I’m thankfully not sensitive to silicones (that I know of!) and I like using a product with a lot of silicone as a last step in my skincare to lock moisture in and to protect my skin from the elements.
As you can see, this is a really rich, creamy sunscreen. It has a very light fragrance that’s not overwhelming. It absorbs really nicely into the skin and doesn’t leave any white residue or greasiness, even though I used a lot on my hand in the photos above! Even though this sunscreen has a lot of silicones in it, and is supposed to be a makeup base, it didn’t diminish my enlarged pores like a primer. But, I found that it does have a nice, matte finish to it. Also, my skin felt moisturized and protected, and I felt fine skipping my primer and going straight for a foundation or BB cream. I’m sure I will want to add a primer for those days when I know I’ll be leaving my makeup on for a long time, or if I knew I was going to be anywhere hot. I don’t know if it will really control excess sebum because ever since I switched to the Korean skincare method, I don’t have a problem with excess sebum anymore!
The only negatives about this sunscreen is that I wish it provided more SPF coverage and was waterproof. So I know it won’t be enough for summer or for exercising outdoors, but I’m happy with it for everyday use in Chicago during the winter! And I used this sunscreen for almost 2 months and it hasn’t given me acne (unlike other sunscreens). Woohoo!
I’m normally really picky with sunscreens, but I really like this one! It spreads and absorbs really easily into the skin. It doesn’t leave a white cast, it’s not shiny, and it works really well as a makeup base.
Pros: No white cast, no bad ingredients, moisturizing, non-shiny, and good as a makeup base
Cons: Not waterproof, and wish it had more SPF coverage. (I like being a vampire!)
Total score: 8.5/10
Ingredients: 9/10 (overall a really good ingredient list with few acne-triggers. It didn’t make me break out like a lot of other sunscreens do!)
Quality: 8/10 (It did everything that it promised, except it didn’t help reduce the appearance of my pores, and I’m not sure if it controls excess sebum.)
Wear: 9/10 (spreads easily, absorbs really well, no white cast and non shiny.)
Price: 8/10 (I paid around $30, which is pricey for Korean skincare, but it’s comparable with most higher-end sunscreens at Sephora. And at least it’s been lasting me awhile. I think I could get 3 months out of one container.)