Neogen has branded its reputation as a leader of dermaceutical innovation in the K-beauty industry. They are more than just cute packaging. The skincare junkie bloggers seem to love this sunscreen specifically, so obviously I needed to try it!
Neogen is a South Korean company that launched in 2009. They advertise their products as all-natural with minimal processing. The brand does go against the Korean skincare trend of a multi-step routine by promoting shorter skincare routines with better cosmetics designed with biotechnology.
Here are the product claims from Sephora:
This lightweight fluid-like sunscreen offers major protection with broad-spectrum SPF 50 PA +++. It offers light but nourishing hydration from rose and raspberry extracts, so those with dry skin can get an extra boost of hydration after layering over moisturizer and normal to oily skin can use this is a moisturizer with sun protection. It protects all day and wears well under makeup, leaving zero white cast or greasy feeling on your skin.
There are two major claims that stand out to me that I want to discuss:
This is a chemical & physical sunscreen, which physical sunscreen ingredients are notorious for leaving behind white casts. However, this product has no phantom effect so it may be a promising option for deeper skin tones.
Universal Skin Types
I never believe any product claims that it is beneficial for all skin types, Neogen is not an anomaly to this theory. The ingredient list is dominated by botanical oils, which should make this more geared towards dry or dehydrated skin types. While the formula is non-greasy, it is quite oily with a dewy finish & I do not imagine this would play well already oily skin. There are are a number of acne triggers & irritants contained in the ingredient list so anyone with sensitive or acne-prone skin types may want to study the ingredients with care.
It is white, lightweight fluid that feels smooth & dewy on the skin. While I would categorize this as a fluid type of sunscreen, it is not so watery that is difficult to control during application. The formula never seems to separate despite the high oil content of the product.
While there is no artificial fragrance added to the product, there are a number of fragrant botanical oils in the product. The scent is soft & dissipates quickly, it is reminiscent of lemon drop hard candies from my childhood.
I am not a packaging fanatic, I just want it to be functional at the end of the day & that is not an obstacle here. The Neogen sunscreen comes in a silicone squeeze tube like most other facial sunscreens, through the packaging material is noticeably thinner & cheaper than others.
However, this sunscreen is over $20.00 so I have expectations, Neogen. The plastic squeeze tube is presented in cheap foil packaging with a sticker label. I do not often comment on aesthetics because packaging is largely superficial, but this sunscreen just looks tacky. Do better, Neogen.
I like this. Quite a bit, if I am being honest. This is the first screen that has come close to rivaling my Holy Grail: Missha All Around Safe Block Sun Essence SPF 50+.
It is a thin consistency that absorbed into my skin quickly, I liked the luminous finish though I tried to tone down the shine with loose powder even on no makeup days.
I did not continue liking it as much with time though.
Experience with a cosmetic is a highly individual phenomenon, I had issues with clogged pores & whiteheads as I continued using this sunscreen. I did not want to believe Neogen was the culprit because I loved how this product laid on my skin so I discontinued use for my skin to clear up & reintroduced it again, twice.
I had the same reaction every time, a sheen to whiteheads in my t-zone. This product does not contain any of my usual triggers [Palm Oil & Dimethicone], but my skin does react oddly if it becomes overly dry. There are a number of astringents & alcohol in this product so my guess is the combination caused my skin to freakout.
A secondary issue I had with this product was makeup wear. This sunscreen layers beautifully with other skincare, even makeup initially. However, this formula is quite oily, I noticed it would breakdown my foundation & cheek powders within a few hours no matter how I tried to set my makeup.
4 Acne Triggers & 2 Irritants according to CosDNA
|Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Zinc Oxide, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Hexanediol, Isoamyl P-Methoxycinnamate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus(Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Carbomer, Lippia Citriodora Leaf Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Angelica Archangelica Root Extract, Beta-Glucan, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Alumina, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Citrus Limon (“Lomon”) Fruit Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Cedrus Atlantica Wood Oil, Disodium Edta, Potassium Hydroxide, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis(Orange) Oil, Aluminum Stearate|
- Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate [UVB]: Controversial ingredient that has been linked to cancer in the past, but is considered completely safe & approved internationally
- Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine [UVA & UVB]: Not yet approved in the USA, but has been approved in EU countries for decades. It considered a great sunscreen since it protects against the full UVA range.
- Zinc Oxide [UVA & UVB]: Considered one of the most safe & non-irritating sunscreens, potentially promotes antioxidant activity.
- Titanium Dioxide [UVB]: One of the most safe & least irritating suncreens, ideal for sensitive skin or rosacea.
This ingredient can potentially assist product absorption, but it can cause skin dryness & damage the outer skin barrier in high enough doses.
It it is a naturally occurring substance that helps repair the outer skin barrier. This ingredients works to soften skin so other ingredients can more easily penetrate the skin.
This product contains one of the highest rated forms of this ingredient, which hyaluronic acid is ordinarily considered a super ingredient for it’s water attracting & binding abilities.
This product contains 19 botanical extracts & oils. Ordinarily this would entice me, but I find the choices in this product to be lackluster.
There are 5 botanical extracts that are most known for their fragrance properties. While some people will prefer natural fragrant additives to artificial perfume, this makes up over a quarter of the product. A few of these are common skin irritants as well, such as the lavender & citrus oils.
Another 3 of these botanicals are astringents. This is not inherently bad, it just means this product may be better suited for acne-prone skin. Dry or dehydrated skin types may struggle with this product due to the combination of alcohol & astringents.
There are only 2 notable anti-inflammatories, which this product advertises the antioxidant content. I am disappointed to see so few antioxidant variables in this product. The irritants, whether fragrant or skin sensitizing, seem to outnumber the anti-inflammatories by a large margin.
Price: $20.06 / 50ml, $11.80 per Ounce
This sun care product is widely available online to the international community. However, this was the final deal breaker that has held me back from coveting this product.
It is pricey.
This is a nice enough product, the ingredient list is solid even if it is not my personal preference. However, Neogen is approaching higher end price tags, it is similarly priced as suncare products carried at Sephora like Clinique or SuperGoop.
Ranking: 3.5 / 5
I enjoy the formula of this product & it offers a great range of UVA / UVB protection, but it is an expensive sunscreen that rivals higher end brands with prices similar to Clinique. I encountered issues with the formula, I continually had clogged pores in my t-zone. I wanted this product to work for me because I enjoyed the product so much, but I cannot justify the price tag because the ingredient list did not do it for me.