Friday, August 2, 2013

Review: Innisfree Eco Safety Aqua Sun Gel SPF 30 PA++

This is the second sunscreen I bought this summer to try. My first one was the full version of Missha All Around Safe-Block Mild Sun Milk but I got a few red bumps right below my nose recently so I thought might as well give my face a "break" and try out the sunscreen from Innisfree since this brand is known for the "6-free" (as shown on the box in the picture): free of paraben, talc, artificial colors, animal derivatives, mineral oil, and artificial fragrances.

Description (taken from
  • Formulated with ecocert organic sunflower 
  • Non greasy aqua sun block
  • Jeju organic green tea extract hydrates skin and protects it from environmental factors
  • Paraben free, artificial pigment free, mineral oil free, talc free, animal nature material free, artificial scent free
My impression:

Korean skincare brands have done a great job at making sunscreen light weight and non-suffocating for the skin and yet containing sufficient SPF for summer use. They also have lots of different "types." So far I've seen sun milk and now this is sun gel. I've read somewhere that sun gel makes it so that it is cool when applied to the face, which I agree after trying this out. This sun gel is thicker than sun milk when you first squeeze it out, BUT after putting it on it actually feels MORE refreshing, MORE light-weight, LESS oily than sun milk. However, this could also be partially due to the fact that this is SPF 30 whereas Missha All Around Safe-Block Mild Sun Milk is SPF 45. We all know the sunscreens get greasier as the SPF increases. Also, the fact that it's thicker means that you will be using more each time than with the sun milk.

This sunscreen led to less oil production during the day than Missha All Around Safe-Block Mild Sun Milk. I thought sunscreens couldn't get any lighter after trying out Missha All Around Safe-Block Mild Sun Milk, but I think this one just proved me wrong. This sunscreen also didn't agitate the red bumps that I got a few days earlier, so I am definitely liking their 6-free formula!

I've learned before that you should never just assume every sunscreen offers you adequate protection. So today I decided to do some reading. According to this NY Times article (and there are many other sources stating the same facts if you google), SPF 30 deflects 96.7% of UVB rays whereas SPF 50 deflects 98% of UVB rays. So unless you're going to the beach to tan, chances are SPF30 will be more than enough for UVB rays.

However, one important thing is that sunscreens should contain active ingredients that protect us from both UVB and UVA rays. SPF tells us how it protects us from UVB rays while PA tells us how much it protects us from UVA rays. UVA rays are actually the ones responsible for aging skin and are here year round. According to this website, avobenzone and zinc oxide provide the best UVA protection.

This innisfree product, despite it saying PA++, according to, contains the active ingredient methoxycinnamate which does not seem to offer very strong UVA protection. Missha All Around Safe-Block Mild Sun Milk has three different ingredient lists on cosdna but this one seems to say that it has Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, which offers more UVA protection. Now, the lists look like they're uploaded by anyone and I don't know just how authentic cosdna is, but it's definitely some food for thought.

Now as to where to find the official ingredient list of Korean sunscreens and how avobenzone and zinc oxide are written in Korean, your guess is as good as mine...


Very light weight, feels like I'm putting lotion on my face
Minimal oil production during the day
SPF 30 protects 96.7% of UVB rays--good enough
PA++ but according to, the ingredient list don't offer much UVA protection?
$11 for 60ml on eBay

Grade: 4/5 because of its great light weight consistency but not much UVA protection

Value: 4/5 because it's a good price but not much UVA protection

Repurchase? I think I'm gonna take a closer look at the ingredients and try to find a sunscreen with better UVA protection..because that's what ages skin and that's what we're all afraid of!


  1. You actually bought it! :p

    If you actually upload a picture of the ingredients on the box, I could translate/find the ingredients you're looking for!^^

    1. Hahaha thanks for the tip and offer! I just realized that the box has ingredients in English too! I'll take a photo soon and upload it.