May Favourites 2020

How’s everyone doing? I hope everyone is doing good and stay safe. Time flew passed quickly and we are midway through the year 2020. If you are new to this segment, I’ll be sharing about 2 or 3 favourites that I have used for May. It can be anything from beauty, makeup, book, music or app.

Favourite beauty of the month: Laneige Fresh Calming Sun Essence SPF 50+ PA++++

This product was freshly released last month, April in Korea but I discovered upon it in late April and decided to purchase it. This is not yet released in my country but I managed to get it online from Shopee (E-commerce store). The sun essence retails for 29,000 KRW for 50 ml which is estimated at about 33 SGD.

Sunscreen is the most crucial step in the skincare routine regardless of how many steps you have in your skincare or even how expensive is your skincare product. If you are not applying sunscreen, you are missing out a big piece in your skincare routine.

But why is it important to apply sunscreen?

Basically, we are living on Earth with the sun shining above us. It is not possible to say no to the Sun whenever we like it so we have to do our best to avoid sun exposure. Exposure to UV rays (sunrays) heightened the process of premature ageing of your skin such as wrinkles, fine lines, age spots.

You might be thinking that “I am still too young to get wrinkles or age spots on my face thus I do not need to apply sunscreen? OR “I spend most of the time indoor so I do not need to apply sunscreen?” The answer is NO! Even if you are like in your 20s, you still have to apply sunscreen to prevent further damage to your skin and UV rays can penetrate through the windows which will speed up the skin’s ageing process.

There are 2 ultraviolet rays from the Sun, UVA and UVB that are harmful to our skin. I’ll not go deep into the explanation of these two ultraviolet rays because this is not a science class. I’ll provide simple illustrations for a better explanation.

Image credit: Sungrubbies (www.sungrubbies.com)
Image credit: Gleneagles (www.gleneagles.com.sg)

Reference to the illustration above, UVA ray is capable to penetrate to the deeper skin tissues layer known as dermis that is responsible for premature skin ageing such as wrinkles, fine lines and hyperpigmentation while UVB penetrates to the top layer of the skin known as epidermis that is responsible for skin redness and sunburn.

There are two types of sunscreen: physical (mineral/inorganic) and chemical (organic) sunscreen. Similarly, I’ll provide illustrations for a better understanding.

Image credit: Babeandbeauty (www.babeandbeauty.com)

Reference to the illustration above, a chemical sunscreen contains organic UV filters that catalyse a chemical reaction when exposed to the sun. It will absorb the sun’s rays and transform them into heat which released into the environment. Whereas physical sunscreen contain inorganic UV filter that acts as a blocking barrier to reflect the sun’s ray from penetrating to the skin.

So which is a better sunscreen? This is a tricky question but it is dependent mainly on individual preference. As for me, I preferred physical sunscreen, not because I dislike chemical sunscreen but I experienced skin reactivity from using it. So far physical sunscreen has not caused any reactivity such as redness and hives on my skin.

Let’s get back to the star product…

I have been using this Laneige sun essence for more than 3 weeks. I have been pleased with this product but neither am I “wow-ed” by this nor am I disappointed at this. I think this is a fairly decent product launched by Laneige.

There has been an ongoing trend in Korea for sunscreen to be more than just giving you protection from the UV rays. But rather a sunscreen with added beneficial (hydration/moisture or even anti-ageing) to the skin. Therefore, you might come across labels such as “sun essence/cream” or “sun cushion”.

Laneige Fresh Calming Sun Essence a physical sunscreen that is suitable for all skin types especially toward troubled skin and sensitive skin. It is mildly formulated with 7 hypoallergenic free ingredients (animal ingredient, mineral oil, polyacrylamide, imidazolidinyl urea, triethanolamine, tar pigment and talc).

The SPF (sun protection factor) for this sun essence is 50+ with PA++++. I feel that it is best to go for a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 50, no more or less than this value because it’s at the optimal which is illustrated below.

Image credit: colorescience (www.colorescience.com)

As you might know that UVA rays are “silent killer” to the skin as the effect doesn’t take place immediately but rather a prolong exposure effect. The PA grading system origin from Japan to inform the consumers of the level of protection from UVA rays. The PA grading system was adapted using the PPD (Persistent Pigment Darkening) method that analyses the duration of the skin turning brown/tan. The PPD value is then converted into the PA grading system.

  • If PPD = 2 to 4 = PA+ = Some UVA protection.
  • If PPD = 4 to 8 = PA++ = Moderate UVA protection.
  • If PPD = 8 to 16 = PA+++ = High UVA protection.
  • If PPD = 16 or higher = PA++++ = Extremely High UVA protection.

For example, PPD rating of 8 should allow an individual to handle 8 times as much UVA exposure. But the PPD rating doesn’t give the exact amount of the UVA protection as there is no standardised system to evaluate the PPD scores. Thus, only 5 countries utilise the UVA testing: Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, and Australia. In Japan, PPD results are grouped and simplified into PA measurements.

The drawbacks about PA rating system, not everybody get tan easily. Some people don’t even get tan from being exposed from to the sun. So this might be insignificant and the PA rating does not tell the duration that it can last in a real-world situation.

What I like about this sun essence?

  1. This product is not solely a sunscreen that blocks UV rays from entering into the skin but also provide moisture to the skin as it contains 70% moisture essence derived from natural ingredients such as green tea. It also has a quick “cooling” sensation upon application.
  2. The ease of application for the sun essence. This sun essence has a gel-like texture with a slight peach tint that spread easily around the face. Compared to my previous sunscreen of a tacky texture that took a while to spread evenly on the face.
  3. The product does not leave a white cast and blend well with your skin tone leaving a soft dewy finish. Compared to my past experiences using physical sunscreens, they do leave a white cast that it’s pretty obvious that cause the appearance of a greasy face.

Do take note that this is more of like a tone-up sunscreen (reduce redness and discolouration) that brightens up your skin. And it is not water-proof too!

What I do not like this sun essence?

  1. This product does contains parfum/fragrance which can be potentially sensitized skin. I mentioned previously that even though fragrance makes the product smell nice, it does more harm than good to the skin. So far, the product does not cause any irritation to my skin so I am not mad at it.
  2. After application, my face does feel a slight stickiness but it take a few hours for the stickiness to be gone. Similarly, I am not mad at it because I hardly touch my face.

Overall, I think this product is suitable for people whom prefer a physical sunscreen over a chemical sunscreen and also brighten up your skin to create that soft dewy effect which is suitable to wear it alone or as a make-up base. If you are interested in the product, feel free to look it up! For more information: Laneige

My rating for this product:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I find this product beneficial to my skin but it may or may not works for everyone. Kindly understand that every individual has different skin type and texture. I recommend that you do some research before purchasing the product or patch test on your skin before usage. This is not a sponsored post too.

Click on page 2 for more favourites.