Drugstore Sunscreen Roundup: Kojie San's new sunscreens are all under P500
The very first sunscreen I ever purchased was a Kojie San sunblock. It came in a little white and orange bottle, and I picked it up from a convenience store when I realized I didn't have any sun protection for my beach trip. Not gonna lie - that formula turned out to be greasy and scented but I cared more about preventing sun damage than being comfortable!
The brand is best known for its amazing kojic acid soap for lightening skin (I love using this as a body exfoliant!), so it only makes sense that they also offer products that protect skin from sun damage. No one likes a sticky, heavy sunscreen, and so I was happy to see that Kojie San has made great improvements in their formulas since I last tried them.
The first to catch my eye is the SPF50 PA+++ Face Sunblock (P269 for 50g, Watsons) because I'm always on the hunt for great budget options. After all, sunscreen is something we need to apply EVERY DAY, and the constant repurchases will eat up a lot of any skincare budget. This formula claims to be "Anti-UVA/UVB", contains Sunactyl for UV-stress cell protection, and also has shea butter and vitamin E to smooth and nourish skin. Of course, I skimmed the ingredients list and - there are no bad (aka, drying) alcohols here!
Texture-wise, it feels like a light lotion - it even makes my skin feel moisturized enough to skip moisturizer! There's no shine or white cast despite the zinc oxide content, and I found that it wore comfortably under my makeup without any pilling or patchy application. My only complaint is that it is scented and takes a while for the smell to dissipate. Otherwise, I find that this would work well as a budget-friendly daily sunscreen!
Admittedly, I subscribe to the popular belief that products made for kids are gentler and safer, so I picked up a tube of the SPF50 PA+++ Kids Sunblock (P195 for 75g, Watsons). This one is also "Anti-UVA/UVB" but formulated with Sunactyl, oat kernel extracts, and shea butter. It also claims to be water-resistant, so you can use it during wet and sweaty activities.
The texture feels a bit thicker compared to the Face formula, but it's still not heavy, greasy, or tacky. There's also no white cast even with the inclusion of zinc oxide, and it feels comfortable even under makeup. I don't quite understand why this is cheaper than the formula for the face. Some people may also appreciate that it doesn't contain parabens.
While I'm paranoid about exposing my face to the harmful rays of the sun, the rest of my body is often neglected. I find applying lotion to be a chore, so I figured that the Before Sun Spray SPF50 (P499 for 200ml, Watsons) can simplify my body sun protection. This is "an oil based formula with high performing UVA and UVB filters", plus shea butter. It is also paraben-free but spotting ethyl alcohol in the ingredients made me wary of putting it on my face.
The mist didn't work very well for me; instead of getting a fine spray, it ended up squirting a little puddle of product, so I still just dispense onto my hand and massage all over. It really does feel very much like an oil, and applying the recommended amount will result in a slightly greasy feel. It also has a strong smell of combined alcohol and fragrance, so I've taken to just applying this to my legs - the oil base makes them look smooth and shiny.
Both the Face and Kids Sunblock formulas feature a combination of physical and chemical sunscreen ingredients so I included a makeup-free photo to show how neither create a white cast on my skin despite the inclusion of zinc oxide. I also like that they don't make my skin look shiny but settles kind of matte.
I find it difficult to decide on which one I like better as both performed really well for. The Kids version is such a steal for just P195 though, so that wins by a slight margin! I've included the ingredients lists below - just click on the image to zoom in!
Have you tried sunscreens from Kojie San yet? If you had to pick one, would you wear a sticky-heavy sunscreen formula, or just soak in the sun's rays without protection?