I’m not really swayed by fancy packaging. The real come-on for me is the magic words “oil-free” on that packaging. Let’s face it: we want people to see our inner glow and not the greasy sheen that cakes our faces by midday. I’m a very firm believer that you’re never too young to start using sunscreen (especially if you don’t want to look shriveled before you hit your 20s), so upon seeing The Face Shop’s Quick and Clean Oil Free Sun Cream, of course I had to try it.
Retailing for US$15 for 50 grams in a nice green tube with a gold cap, the sun cream is “infused with tea tree, aloe vera, chamomile and white birch extracts” and has a “matte, oil-free formulation,” all according to the information on the tube. With SPF 35 and a PA ++ rating (“PA” stands for “Protection Grade of UVA,” which is what most Asian brands use), I deemed it enough for my daily sun exposure here in Hong Kong. Of course, if you’re outdoors most of the time, a higher SPF might be better.
Not a Whiter Shade of Pale
There was nothing on the tube that indicated whether the cream could also be used on the body so I decided to use it on my face. I performed my usual 24-hour skin patch test along my jawline to make sure I wouldn’t have any allergic reactions to the cream.
That done, I applied two pea-sized dollops on my face after cleansing. The cream is white, slightly scented and noticeably less thick in consistency than my usual sunscreen. My concern with sunscreens, along with the risk of adverse reactions, is that it might leave a whitish cast on my face. Fortunately for this one, it didn’t.
Shiny, Shimmery is Not Splendid
My combination skin usually requires that I apply both a primer and a BB cream right after putting on sunscreen. But since I wanted to test the cream’s mattifying and oil-free claims, I skipped both the primer and BB cream, with some trepidation. I only applied loose powder and concealer.
Three hours later, there was a subtle sheen on my T-zone. I wish I could say it was my inner glow, but I knew it wasn’t. On the upside though, I didn’t end up too shiny.
Given the results, I think this sun cream is better suited to those who have normal to dry skin, or those who are not prone to too much oiliness. I didn’t try using this on my body but I’m guessing that if you sweat a lot or stay outdoors most of the time, it will not last long either. The mild scent wasn’t a factor for me, but those who have sensitive skin or noses may prefer fragrance-free options.
Given the price and amount of cream in the tube, I’d say this is still good when using underneath makeup, especially in dry climates.
The YesStyle Beauty Lab Rating: ★ ★ ★