Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunplay, Sunkiller and MK Customer generic sunblocks

This is part 5 of our 2015 alcohol-free sunblock series (part 1 part 2part 3part 4)

It all started innocently enough.
Miss K and I were at Matsumoto Kiyoshi. She was buying feminine protection, and I - contact lens cleaner. I had a coupon for 10% off, that was the only reason why we were there. Matsumoto Kiyoshi is one of the largest, if not THE largest, drugstore chains in Japan. If you live in the US, think Walgreens on steroids. As a point card carrying member, every so often I get a postcard coupon in the mail. And that is pretty much the only time I shop at Matsumoto Kiyoshi, or MatsuKiyo for short.

I was camping in the sunblock isle (yes, there was a whole isle of sunscreens) and sniffing and smearing and checking the ingredients. I was looking for ethanol-free sun protection products. Miss K saw me reaching for SunBears.
She grabbed it out of my hand and said, "No, no, you don't want this one. This is made in Thailand. I don't trust such cosmetics."

"But it's made by a Japanese company, right?" was my answer.
"Doesn't matter. If it's not made in Japan, you can't trust it. Here, try this instead," she said.

She stuck an unassuming store brand sunblock in my hand.

MK Customer UV Protection Super SPF 50+ PA++++

A generic brand made specifically for Matsumoto Kiyoshi. To be honest, usually, I don't even look at MK Customer products. I always tend to make a bee line straight towards brand names.

"This one here is an exact dupe for SunBears," Miss K informed me.
"It's even made by the same company - Omi, but unlike SunBears Strong, they make the generic version right here, in Japan," she helpfully added.

We compared the ingredients one by one.

Miss K was right. Japanese-made MK Customer UV Protection Super SPF 50+ PA++++ was indeed an exact dupe for Thai-made Sun Bears Strong Super Plus SPF 50+ PA++++.

To shut her up I bought it. I also bought Sunplay Super Block SPF 50+ PA++++ (made in Vietnam) and Sunkiller Perfect Strong Moisture SPF50+ PA++++.

And for good measure, I also threw in MK Customer UV Protection Cool SPF 50+ PA++++, which turned out to be an exact dupe for SunBears Strong Cool Super Plus SPF50+ PA++++, and which turned out to be dreadful, awful and all things horrible.

So let's go back to the more pleasant option of standard MK Customer UV Protection Super SPF 50+ PA++++.

It's a no frills, simple bottle. Inside there's 30 ml of product.

MK Customer UV Protection Super SPF 50+ PA++++ has exactly the same specs as SunBears Strong Super Plus:

  • - milk type
  • - combination of UV blockers and UV absorbers
  • - waterproof
  • - sweatproof
  • - sebumproof
  • - suitable for outdoor activities
  • - non-drying
  • - grapefruit scented (very fake, annoying smell)
  • - ethanol (alcohol-free)

It feels moderately light on the skin and doesn't seem to leave a white cast. There is no oily, sticky film on the skin.

The specs claim it can be used as a makeup base, however, I didn't try it.

Unfortunately, it's not a sunscreen for me, as despite claims that it has moisturizing properties, I found it very drying. But then again, I have very dry skin. I think it would work great for normal and combination skin types.

You can check the ingredients on Ratzilla's website.

Final thoughts on MK Customer UV Protection Super SPF50+ PA++++:

  • All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised. 
  • And it's very cheap - MK Customer UV Protection Super SPF50+ PA++++ costs 400 yen (tax included).
  • I might consider it in the future as a body sunscreen.
  • Solid, functional, dependable, affordable - buy? YES!


Next up we have Sunkiller Perfect Strong Moisture SPF 50+ PA++++.

It's made by Isehan, and it's just one of several options in their sunscreen lineup.

Again, we get a simple, plain bottle containing 30 ml of product, made in Japan.

Sunkiller Perfect Strong Moisture SPF 50+ PA++++ specs:

  • - milky type
  • - ethanol (alcohol) free
  • - paraben free
  • - waterproof
  • - resistant to sweat
  • - resistant to sebum
  • - chemical UV absorbers

As its name suggests, it's moisturizing. It's very moisturizing. It's moisturizing to the point of being an oily, sticky mess.
There was no white cast, but instead, we get a shiny slick of stickiness.

And as you easily guess, it took forever to dry. Or rather, it didn't want to dry.

The specs say it can be used as a makeup base, but it's very hard to imagine how that would work, this stuff is just too moisturizing and too rich.

Here you have Sunkiller Perfect Strong Moisture SPF 50+ PA++++ ingredients:

And you can find the ingredient list in English on Ratzilla's website.

Final thoughts on Sunkiller Perfect Strong Moisture SPF 50+ PA++++:

  • Ugh!
  • No, thank you!


And finally, our last contestant today - Mentholatum SunPlay Super Block SPF 50+ PA++++

This is a bit complicated. This sunscreen is made by Rohto, but the version you see above was manufactured in Vietnam.

However, at some stores, you can find the Japan-made version. Below you have them side by side:

SunPlay Super Block SPF 50+ PA++++ made in Japan on the left, and made in Vietnam on the right. As far as I can tell, apart from the place of manufacture, these seem to be identical products.

Here are the specs for SunPlay Super Block SPF 50+ PA++++:
  • - milky type
  • - super waterproof
  • - sebumproof
  • - sweatproof
  • - intended for heavy-duty outdoor use
  • - ethanol (alcohol) free
  • - combination of UV blockers and UV absorbers
  • - paraben free

Again, plain and simple bottle with 27 ml of white goo.

27 ml is listed as 30 grams. So overall, it contains a bit less product than the other two sunscreens presented today.

Here is how SunPlay Super Block SPF 50+ PA++++ looked on the skin:

As you can see, it appears a lot more creamy and thicker than the other two sunscreens.
It leaves just the slightest white cast. 
It's indeed bullet proof. Removing it is hard work. Oil cleanser in the shower is a necessity.

I didn't use it on my face.
I used it on my arms, and this is what happened:

This was a very unpleasant surprise, because I had used this sunscreen in previous years with no adverse reaction. And this season it wanted to eat me alive.

I'm not sure what ingredient was responsible for this violent reaction.
It was a good reminder that patch testing is ALWAYS necessary.

Here are SunPlay Super Block SPF 50+ PA++++ ingredients:

And in English on Ratzilla's website.

Final thoughts on Mentholatum SunPlay Super Block SPF 50+ PA++++:
  • - no, thank you.

Overall, it was an interesting batch of sunscreens.

Unfortunately, none of them worked for me.
So if anyone wants them, they're available for US $6.00 for all three plus shipping of your choice.
Send me an email, if you're interested.

PS> First come, first serve. They found a better home.

To be continued....


  1. Piękny czerwony placek miałaś na ręce - dobrze, że nie próbowałaś go na twarz :-)
    Powinnaś zrobić także przewodnik po filtrach, tak jak robisz po kremach BB w poduszkach :-)

    1. Co nie? Az sie boje pomyslec, co by wtedy bylo!
      Hmmm... mam wstawic zakladke "filtry" w gorny pasek, czy jakos tak?
      Jestem otwarta na wszystkie sugestie :-)

  2. I'm interested in the moisture version now! Eva L

    1. Eva, all three of them found a new home in a record time!
      I'm sorry!
      But keep visiting.
      I have more things to destash :-)

  3. Between these and the Grinif, I'm very sad for your wallet!

    1. Well, you know how it is. You win a few, you lose a few... At least these sunblocks were cheap! :-)

  4. Even the sunscreens you feature on here that don't really look good still look better than most sunscreens in Germany....I'm so happy to return and test myself through all those little bottles XD


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