Are Japanese sunscreens better? KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++

Friday, 28 August 2020

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


Japanese sunscreens are probably the most popular J-beauty products. This time, I've decided to check KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ also known as KAO Biore Athlizm IR. It's a sunscreen recommended for active people (especially outdoors activities) who needs a broad spectrum of sun protection. Is this the only sunscreen you need in your life? Or maybe it's a total failure? 

Why you need sunscreen? 

If you expect me to say no then I got bad news for you - we all need sunscreen. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, daily use of sunscreen might lower the chance of skin cancer to 40%. But it's not only about skin cancer, but also ageing. We call that process photoaging. It's a process caused by UVA I, UVA II and UVB radiation (I won't mention HEV & IR in this part). The damage is not only related to earlier wrinkle forming but even changes in DNA. The only ways we can make this process slower are sunscreens and antioxidants. 

Does IR protection make any changes? 

It might look like it doesn't, but it does! Especially if you have heat-induced pigmentation issues then IR protection is a must-have! 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


About Biore 

Biore is a Japanese beauty brand. The mother company of Biore - KAO started to function in 1887. The name is interesting because Kao in Japanese sounds like word face. The main concept behind this company was not only creating products of higher quality but also creating bonds with customer. According to KAO's website, one of the first products sold by the company is soap. During many years of work, KAO created brands such as Sofina, Kanebo, Curel, Kate, Sensai and more. Biore's history starts in 1980 with a release of a facial cleanser. The name Biore is a combination of Japanese words for life (bio) and gold (ore). The brand is focused on skincare, especially pore care. In march 2020 KAO introduced a new product to the market - KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ - a broad-spectrum sunscreen with not only UVA & UVB protection, but also NIR protection. 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ - Packaging 

The packaging of KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ is different from the designs we European and Korean brands have. Japan can always surprise you, and this is not an exception. Paper & plastic - not the most sustainable packaging. If you wonder - my Japanese is way worse than Korean. I do not understand what packaging says - I just translated myself everything with Google Translate app. Athlizm series sticks to minimalism, but instead of using white and grey, this brand is all about red, white and black. Each colour has meaning, red - energy, black - strength and white - radiance and ambitions. KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ has one additional shade - orange. 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ - Texture & Scent 

The texture is like water or milk, lightweight and liquid. You can't control it - and I don't say that without reasons. It has a beige colour, and you might treat it as good or bad news - it will tint your skin. I'm very pale, but it makes my skin even lighter. The scent is not very heavy, but you can mostly smell the alcohol which is quite high in the formula. According to the brand, it smells like flowers. 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ - Ingredients 

Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Alcohol, Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Isopropyl Palmitate, Lauryl Methacrylate/​Sodium Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Zinc Oxide, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprate, PEG-3 Dimethicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Glycerin, C30-45 Alkyl Methicone, Dipropylene Glycol, C30-45 Olefin, Acrylates/​Dimethicone Copolymer, Methicone, Polysilicone-9, 4-T-Butylcyclohexanol, Dipentaerythrityl Tri-Polyhydroxystearate, Silica, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Tin Oxide, Iron Oxides, Menthyl Lactate, Menthol, Talc, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance 

Dimethicone is a dry emollient, that some people might find clogging, but it keeps your skin moist and protect it from dehydration. It has a positive effect on skin barrier by creating occlusion and it helps with scars. It can also smooth your skin visually. It's also a silicone that's why some people like to talk badly about Dimethicone just because of this fact, but there's no reason to be frightened. It gives your skin an occlusive film, but it doesn't suffocate your skin. We need occlusion to prevent water from TEWL (Transepidermal Water Loss) - to keep the skin moist. It protects your hair from dehydration and weather and it makes it easier to brush your hair. 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


Titanium Dioxide is a mineral sunscreen. It protects your skin from UVB and UVA (II) radiation. Usually, Titanium Dioxide leaves a white cast on the skin. Many people with sensitive skin prefer to use Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide instead of organic sunscreen (organic sunscreen agents contain carbon, inorganic sunscreens aka mineral sunscreens doesn't contain carbon). Nano version of Titanium Dioxide fixes the problem with the white cast (not fully, but you can spot the difference). You might not know that, but Titanium Dioxide is a super useful colourant and sunscreen agent. If you have melasma, you want this ingredient in your sunscreen and makeup. It gives your skin a "barrier" that protects your skin from UV radiation. 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


Usually, when people see Alcohol in skincare, they treat it as the worst thing that exists. The fact is that Alcohol has a positive and negative meaning for our skin. It all depends on the amount of Alcohol. One of the main reasons why companies use this ingredient in their products is better penetration of the skin, thanks to Alcohol substance gets deeper than when it's used on its own. We can't deny that Alcohol kills microorganism and bacteria. It's a long topic, but if you ever search for alcohol to sanitize your hands or makeup brushes - search of Isopropyl Alcohol in 40-70% solutions, they are more effective than 90% versions. 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


Water is an ingredient which you can find in almost every product, its purpose in products is easy - it's a solvent. Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate or Octinoxate is a non-stable UVB sunscreen agent. Hydrogenated Polyisobutene is a polymer and a dry emollient. Some people like to call it a synthetic squalane. You shouldn't mistake both of these ingredients. Hydrogenated Polyisobutene is similar to squalane, people use it as a substitute, but after all, it's a synthetic substance that makes your skin smooth. Isopropyl Palmitate is a dry emollient, but it's also an ester which you get after mixing isopropyl alcohol and palmitic acid. Lauryl Methacrylate/​Sodium Methacrylate Crosspolymer is a copolymer which I mostly see in Japanese sunscreens. Zinc Oxide is an inorganic (aka mineral or physical, in chemistry inorganic means that Zinc Oxide has no Carbon atoms in its structure) sunscreen. Zinc Oxide has a wide range of UV protection. It protects your skin from UVB, UVA II and UVA I radiation. What else do we want? It leaves a white tint on the skin which many people might not like, but if you have rosacea or melasma, you should go for mineral sunscreens since it gives you even better protection. Mineral sunscreens are recommended for sensitive skin as well. Thanks to the colour, sometimes you can find cosmetic brands using Zinc Oxide as a pigment. Some brands like to add "nano" to name of this ingredient, nano version means fewer problems with a white cast. C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is a synthetic emollient with antimicrobial properties. It's a liquid oil with no smell, that helps with the application of the product. Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate or Uvinul A Plus is a sunscreen agent that protects your skin from UVA. It has the same problem as Tinosorbs - you won't find it in Canada and USA due to regulations in both countries. Does it mean that Uvinul A Plus is not good for you? No, it just means that some countries have different regulations and need more time before they allow the ingredient to use. Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprate is an emollient. 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


Aluminum Hydroxide is an emollient, but it can be used as a colourant or... a tiny help for your sunscreen. Aluminum Hydroxide is a coating for Titanium Dioxide. Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine is an ingredient that gained popularity lately. You might hear of it as Tinosorb S. It's a sunscreen agent that covers a larger range of UV radiation than other ingredients. Tinosorb S protects you from UVA and UVB radiation, which makes it an ideal sun protector. It's a stable ingredient so it doesn't need any additional substance, but you won't see it in the US. It can't be sold as a sunscreen in the US that's why brands like Krave decided to call their sunscreens as day fluid, sun shield, daily moisturizer, etc. It's quite a new ingredient, but it is considered to be one of the safest sunscreen agents. 

Glycerin is one of the most popular humectants in skincare. There's a large number of myths around glycerin like it can clog your skin. It doesn't clog your pores, but too much glycerin can make a sticky layer on the skin and even make your skin dryer than before due to TEWL (Transepidermal Water Loss). Still, it's an ingredient which we want to see in formulas. 

Dipropylene Glycol is a solvent. Acrylates/​Dimethicone Copolymer is a film-former with anticaking properties which makes it ideal for makeup. It makes your skin look soft and help your makeup last bit longer. Methicone is silicone and a dry emollient. Silica is a thickener with magical properties for acne-prone and oily skin. It absorbs sebum, but at the same time, it can reflect the light to make your skin looking healthy. Polyhydroxystearic Acid is probably the most interesting ingredient in the entire formula besides sunscreen agents. Polyhydroxystearic Acid is added to formulas based on mineral sunscreens - Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to make them easier to apply evenly and make the white cast problem less annoying. Tin Oxide and Iron Oxides are colourants. Menthyl Lactate is an ingredient used instead of Menthol due to lower irritation level. It has similar properties to Menthol - it gives scent to the product, but it can cool your skin down. Menthol is a scent ingredient which we all know well. It is derived from peppermint Menthol has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It cools your skin down and helps with relaxation, but it can be sensitizing for the skin. Talc is an ingredient which you can find in many makeup products. Similar to silica, it absorbs the sebum. BHT is used in low concentrations in the skincare products. In such concentrations, you shouldn't be scared of it, because it works as an antioxidant. Phenoxyethanol is a preservative. This product contains fragrance. 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ - How does it work 

Let's start with some basic facts. Name Athlizm is a combination of words Athletic and a suffix "-izm". Just by knowing what's behind the name of this series, we know it's going to be a long-lasting sunscreen that works in the extreme surrounding. The premiere of KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ was on March 7th 2020, it's a new sunscreen and probably the first sunscreen with IR protection in Japan. KAO used here two significant technologies. First one is Durable Outer Skin. This sunscreen creates a second layer of the skin to keep up the moisture of your epidermis even in an unpleasant environment - during the hot and humid days. I saved this sunscreen for summer to check if it really works, but I'll mention that later. The second technology is Tough Boost Technology. This sunscreen should stand sweat, chafing, and touch during the day. It's super durable, it's a waterproof sunscreen, and according to Biore, it can stand up to 80 minutes - it was checked with the water-resistance test. 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ is a sunscreen which you can use on your face and body. I only used it for my face, because the tint feels like it can transfer on clothes. Before you use it, you should shake it well. It's a liquid formula, so shaking doesn't surprise me. The formula was made for people with acne. Even if it has a bit too heavy hint of alcohol (which you can find in a formula), it wasn't hard to get used to this scent. Alcohol is not the best ingredient if you have melasma or sensitive skin, but it can be really useful in sunscreen formulas - not only as a solvent but it can adjust penetration of active ingredients. Application of this sunscreen was a challenge. It's not your typical, chemical sunscreen! It's a product with a delicate, light tint. I'm not a fan of tinted makeup, because usually, such sunscreens are super dark. Not this one! KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ can work as a makeup base. It's smudging a lot on my combo skin, but I have to admit that once you add foundation - it looks lighter! Even flawless in some way. I wish that all my sunscreens could do this - make my foundation look bit lighter, even if my current foundation from Missha (which I want to review, but I'm waiting from March to get a new version of it to compare both) matches my skin almost ideally. 

I'm not sure if you saw the photo of Mark Zuckerberg with sunscreen on, but this sunscreen reminded me of him. Actually, KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ was made for people who enjoy outdoor activities, so you shouldn't be surprised that KAO collaborated with pro skaters, pro surfers and other women in sport to promote it. But let me tell you my problems, last sunscreen review I made here was about Sesderma - both have IR protection, but Sesderma is based on nanotechnologies such as encapsulating active ingredients in liposomes for better absorption. KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ was fine at first, but after about two weeks it turned into a small disappointment. 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


I believe that it is not KAO's fault. In Poland, you still need to wear masks in closed spaces like shops, public transport (or when you drive a car with someone who's not your family, but I'm not sure if people actually follow that). I do my makeup quite easily - skincare, sunscreen, foundation and makeup spray. When I used Sesderma this way, I didn't really have problems with removing sunscreen from my skin. What about Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++? Once you put a mask at the store on your face, you have to keep it unless you want to burn your skin or go out with uneven makeup. The brand told us that this sunscreen can stand chafing, while it can't survive 15 minutes of shopping. I went out of the store and ended up with sunburn on my nose. I clearly blame masks for that. Even if I totally agree that we need to wear masks, and it always makes me laugh how at the beginning of March people were looking at me wearing a mask like I'm a weirdo - since I got an autoimmune disease, my mom asked me to wear masks in public spaces, because she was scared that my immune system might be too weak for infection (especially when two years ago I was told at the hospital that I should think about additional vaccination due to the low immune system). Masks are great, but what makes me not happy in Europe is the lack of sunscreens which you can apply on your skin outside - mists or cushions. I do not imagine reapplying KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ on the street, especially when it smudges. 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


I have to admit that, it's easy to remove it with cleanser, but is it as durable as everyone want it to be? When I'm out, and I do not wear a mask - yes! This formula was made for acne-prone skin, and even if I didn't have more acne after using it, I had a problem with sebum production. The Alcohol here is quite high, and I believe that's my main issue of why my skin started to produce more sebum - because it felt dehydrated. 

It's not a total failure, and I believe some people will enjoy KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++, but I'm not one of these people. I guess I'll just stick to K-beauty (I really want to test AHC IR sunscreens, but thanks to COVID-19 it's impossible at the moment). There are four or five different sunscreens in Athlizm series - including a mist - maybe one of them works better than IR version. 

KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++


KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ - Where to buy it & Price 

I do not know Japanese stores, but I'm pretty sure Ber De Ver had this sunscreen. I bought mine on Ebay for $40, now it'll cost less. The reason why I paid $40 was express shipping, I have to add that I bought it the same day KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++ was released. I had some issues with getting it to Poland - the package came, but I got no invoice, then I had to stay 2 hours in rain and snow to even get to the post. Yesstyle has 2 other versions of Athlizm - Essence and Milk. Both cost $28.90 at regular prices. Dokodemo or Rakuten should have Athlizm IR as well as other versions, but usually shipping from both of them is not the cheapest thing. 

Overall, I feel a bit disappointed with KAO Biore Athlizm Sunburn Protect Milk Spf50+ Pa++++. I was expecting something new and better. Let me know what do you think about sunscreens with IR protection.

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