I did a major sunscreen haul this summer because I moved abroad & looked forward towards having a more active lifestyle than I had in Chicago! Missha has long been my favorite brand of sunscreens & this particular product quickly became a cult favorite for the season.
Missha is one of the big names in the South Korean beauty industry, offering a variety of lines to cater towards the budget conscious & luxury items, along with creating cheaper dupes or high-end brand like SK-II & Estee Lauder. I also consider Missha to be the master of cosmetic sunscreens.
Missha also appears to be involved in some sustainability efforts, such as recycling program for environment protection & “assist neglected & estranged neighbors”. I have followed up with Missha, who has great customer service, for further clarification on the latter & I will update one I have more information.
This is a combination chemical-physical sunscreen that offers UVA & UVB protection. It is advertised as being waterproof & sweat-resistant. This is designed for sebum control on oily or combination skin so it may be drying for certain skin types, but my dry skin only had occasional issues with this product.
This type of product is for AM routines only & would be applied towards the end of a skincare routine. There is some debate whether chemical sunscreens should be applied before or after moisturizer, certain chemical sunscreen compounds are shown to be activated by skin contact & recommended to be applied before moisturizer.
My perspective with sunscreen, as well as most skincare: Do not get overwhelmed with routine order, it is probably better to have the product on your face than not at all. So this sunscreen will either be the last or 2nd to last step in your routine!
This a milk sunscreen so it is more of a liquid instead of cream sunscreen that I usually gravitate towards. Despite the fluidity, the application is much easier to control than other fluid sunscreens I have tried. I find this to have a pearl, matte finish though I have seen some reviews refer to this as chalky.
Reference: My MAC shade is NC20
The white cast is very noticeable, but it definitely is not the worst white cast of sunscreens I have tried. However, the white cast does not dissipate with time so I either have to wear makeup or just really not care. This isn’t ideal for me since I bought this with the intention of using it on the beach & jogging, basically situations where I would not want to be wearing foundation. I would be concerned that this may appear ashy on darker skin tones as well.
The smell is very light, it reminds me of baby powder. It is a far cry from the chemical scent of many sunscreens & even though I do not prefer the scent of the product, it definitely is not overwhelming.
The packaging is functional, the only interference is the packaging is hard plastic instead of silicone. This packaging does look more luxurious than the Missha AASB Essence Sun [My Holy Grail] & the formula is so fluid that the product just pours out, but the hard plastic is very difficult to squeeze & may be more of an issue with there is not much product is left.
This is the standard size of the product, but it does come in a bigger bottle. This is different in comparison to Missha’s other sunscreens since 70ml is their standard size for their other facial sunscreens instead of 30ml.
My main purpose for purchasing a waterproof sunscreen is because I am a relatively active human & I am extra active in the summer. I go jogging, rock climbing, hiking & I love lounging on the beach or working outside on my balcony.
I immediately began questioning the “waterproof” durability of this formula. I initially began noticing some issues with irritability & burning sensations in my eyes. I have a few eye minor eye issues so they are always watering & I have to put in drops a couple times a day. I have noticed the eye irritation issues when I would go jogging after applying this product as well.
This could be completely coincidental & there are certain ingredient that just irritate my eyes, but I only have this reaction when I am doing sweaty or water-based activities. I will note that I have worn this hiking this summer & I have not gotten sunburned any of the times I have used this product.
Another issue I had was extra dryness in my skin if I used this product multiple days in a row. I went on a two-week trip & I only packed this sunscreen, my face began feeling slightly drier than usual & minor flaking after 4-5 days. Now I make sure only to use this product when I am doing an activity where I need a waterproof formula & I have not encountered any major issues when I use this as an occasional product instead of a regular step in my routine.
The Makeup Test
This product does have a fairly strong whitecast, as I mentioned previously. It is a whitecast that tends to linger so I either need to wear foundation or just deal with looking like Capser the Chalky Ghost for the day. This product absolutely does not interfere with makeup layering though, which is a major benefit to this sunscreen.
I did a huge sunscreen comparison at the beginning of summer & I noticed the sunscreens that did not work with makeup either were creamy sunscreens or contained lots of silicone. This is a matte sunscreen, but it has TONS of silicone so I was initially a bit worried though this proved to be a non-issue. Also despite the whitecaste, it does not affect the appearance or show through my foundation like the issues I had with La Roche Posay Anthelios XL.
There is one very minor issue I encounter I have when applying foundation over it. The 2nd picture, in the top, right corner of my foundation swatch appears to be slightly crusty or at least lighter than the rest of the swatch. This issue is easily remedied with concealer or an extra layer of foundation, but I noticed that the Waterproof Sun Milk can dry slightly streaky unless it is applied perfectly even.
An even application is not impossible, but it does take more effort than the average sunscreen because the formula is so fluid & slightly chalky.
Missha Sunscreen Comparison
My Holy Grail sunscreen is the Missha AASB Sun Essence & the Waterproof Sun Milk has not knocked it off it’s pedestal. It is important to keep in mind that these are completely different formulas & they do not have the same intended purposes.
Waterproof Sun Milk is much more fluid & it is waterproof, which was a major pro for this summer. It does have a slight whitecast, but it is very matte. The Sun Essence has a dewy finish & takes longer to dry, I usually wait about 10-15 minutes before applying makeup.
A slightly strange issue with the Waterproof Sun Milk I noticed while doing the “Makeup Test” is a bit more obvious here, the formula really clings to the baby hairs on my inner forearm [Most obvious in 2nd picture]. This is not an issue if you shave your face [This IS A THING, ask a makeup artist] & it is much less noticeable once the sunscreen dries.
It definitely was not visible once I applied makeup, but it might standout if you are not wearing makeup or it may cause the sunscreen to apply unevenly, which the formula can appear mildly streaky even after it dries if this occurs.
There are 4 low acne triggers & no irritants according to CosDNA.
|Helichrysum Italicum Flower Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Zinc Oxide, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol, Isoamyl P-Methoxycinnamate, Butylene Glycol, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Ethanol, Peg -10 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Hollyhock Extract, Roseroot Root Extract, Guava Leaf Extract, Eucalyptus Leaf Extract, Cinchona Succirubra Bark Extract, Aloe Vera Leaf Extract, Desert Sand Verbena Leaf Extract, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Methoxy Dimethicone, Dimethicone / Vinyl Dimethicone Cross Polymer, Alumina, Disodium Edta, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Yellow Iron Oxide|
Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate [UVB]: Controversial ingredient that has been linked to cancer in the past, but is considered completely safe & approved internationally
Zinc Oxide [UVA & UVB]: Considered one of the safest & non-irritating sunscreens, also potentially an antioxidant
Methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol [UVA & UVB]: Not yet approved in the US, but has been approved in EU countries for decades. It considered a great sunscreen since it protects against the full UVA range.
Titanium Dioxide [UVB]: One of the safest & least irritating suncreens that is ideal for sensitive skin or rosacea
Isoamyl P-Methoxycinnamate [UVB]: Considered one of the safest forms of SPF protection
Dimethicone & Cyclo-silicons
Holy cheap silicons, Batman! This ingredient is popular in AB [Asian Brand] cosmetics, but there is usually one 1 or 2 forms of silicone per product. This product has FIVE forms of dimethicone. I have an entire post dedicated to my issue with this specific ingredient, the short version is that due to the molecular structure of dimethicone it is much more comedogenic than other silicons. Dimethicone is an acne trigger for my skin, but it is low enough in the ingredient list that this product did not cause issues for my skin.
This product has another two forms of silicone: Cyclohexasiloxane & cyclopentasiloxane are not considered comedogenic, but they have been shown to harm aquatic life so a few Western countries have limitation bans on the ingredient. This form of silicone in skincare acts like a “wetting” emollient, it is easily spreadable & has temporary plumping effects by filling in pores & fine lines.
I mentioned that this product felt drying on my skin in the performance section so I was expecting to find some irritating alcohols in the ingredient list, but my assumption was wrong because this product is nearly alcohol-free. I have a few theories to the excessive dryness while using this product, which all my theories could be completely wrong because I am have no dermatology or scientific training.
#1 The Silicone Blockage Theory: Silicons are frequently recommended for dry skin because they form a barrier on the skin to trap moisturizing agents by the skin & prevent water loss. I hypothesize this product might be too rich in silicons & the barrier they form could be problematic for me because I have a short morning skincare routine & this ingredient is not rich in emollients like my “Holy Grail” sunscreen. I also typically live / travel in humid climates so the combination of the humidity being blocked from my face & not enough hydration under this product may have led my face to feeling extra dry.
#2 The Lauric Acid & Alcohol Theory: This product is free of common comedogenic & irritating alcohols, but there are still forms of alcohol present. I do not typically have an issue with ethanol, but there is an interesting ingredient in this product called Hexyl Laurate. This specific ingredient is a mixture of alcohol & lauric acid, which is an anti-bacterial. I don’t have enough experience with this Hexyl Laurate to definitively say this is drying to my skin type, but there is at least some justification that this ingredient could be the causation of my extra dry skin.
Product Price: $18.00 USD / 1.4oz = $12.86 USD per Ounce
I would consider this price “mid-range” AB facial sunscreens. It is not drugstore prices, but it is a reasonable price to pay for a well-formulated sunscreen & cheaper than similar products sold at Sephora. It is also fairly accessible online for Western countries, both through wholesaler / Missha brand sites & Amazon Prime.
The ingredient list is mediocre for dry & dehydrated skin types, in my personal opinion. I found this product to be too drying & lacking emollients for my individual preferences. This product also has high UVB protection, but people may desire higher UVA protection than this product offers.
Rating: 3 / 5
Missha products are either my Holy Grails or epic fails, but this is my mediocre product by the brand. I like the matte finish, it layers with skincare / makeup well & it offers UVA / UVB protection. The ingredient list is otherwise mediocre & I found the product to be drying if I used it multiple days in a row. It is also a bit pricey, but it is a good product that is a cult favorite. It did not live up to the hype for my skin, but I would still recommend trying it if you want to try something new!