I originally intended to do a June theme special on sunscreens. They are the item which I tend to purchase/hoard and my recent order from Japan included 5 different sunscreens, including the popular Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence water base SPF50+ PA+++.
Much to my surprise, there was a strong smell of alcohol when I applied the sunscreen on my face. There was also a discernible silky texture to the sunscreen., which I immediately associated with silicones. Puzzled, I turned to the all-mighty Internet to seek answers and reviews.
Paper/cupboard packaging of Biore sunscreen, front & back
The amazing Ratzilla noted similar comments in her review. After dissecting the pictures on her website, I concluded that I had the latest (2014) version of the Biore Aqua sunscreen.
I was then determined to find the original (according to Ratzilla, 2011) version since the original version did not have the strong alcohol smell and silicone-y texture. Popping into several Watsons stores, I eventually spotted this.
Judging from the packaging, I concluded it was the upsized version of the original version. There were a few physical similarities in the packaging of my purchase with the picture shown on Ratzilla. Based on the physical look alone, my purchase looks more similar to the original upsized version than the new upsized version.
Screenshot of new (2014) version taken from Ratzilla
However, at the back of my purchase, the manufacturing date was stated as 20140226, hence I am unable to ascertain at 100% confidence levels that this 75g tube I have is the original version. I did ask a staff personnel from Watsons whether he remembered when the 75g tubes arrived in stores and he thought it was March 2014 but declined to confirm this was a nation-wide on-counter date.
Biore original version unboxed
Batch number-wise, my 75g upsized tube was "T0000574" whereas the batch number for the new tube was "T0001124".
Batch number for 75g tube purchased in Singapore
Batch number for tube purchased from Japan (order placed in mid May 2014)
I personally find that the 75g tube does not have such a strong alcohol smell and is less silky. However, smell and texture is highly subjective.
According to Ratzilla, the ingredient list for both the original and the new version vary slightly (I counted the first difference at the 5th ingredient listed in order).
Ingredients list for original version listed by Ratzilla
Ingredient list for new version listed by Ratzilla
Since I have both versions, I just pick whichever is closer to me at hand to use on a daily basis. I have only been testing the Biore sunscreens for under a week now, and am unable to conclude as to their effectiveness of sun protection in the long run yet.
Disclaimer; I received no payment or payment in kind for writing this blog post. Any opinions expressed are my own.