Sunday, May 14, 2017

Biore UV Milks (Face, Perfect and Bright) SPF50+ PA++++

I bet you never thought you'd see such an entry on this blog. Don't worry, neither did I.
But since summer is almost upon us, it means the inevitable sunscreen questions keep piling up in my mailbox. And it seems that to nearly all Western fans of Asian beauty products, "sunscreen" is synonymous with "Biore".

Yeah... Even though Ratzilla regularly writes about Biore; even though everybody, their mother and her pet chihuahua have already reviewed all things Biore a few million times; apparently when it comes to Biore sunscreens, enough is never enough.

So it must be the sign of times and surely the Apocalypse is near, because a dedicated Biore entry is appearing on this blog.

Why I am doing this? Because YOU asked for it. And because I was curious if I still felt about Biore the same way as always.

You see, Biore is an OK line of products. The same way that McDonald's is an OK choice of fast food if you are hungry and there's nothing else available in the nearest vicinity. Once in a while it's perfectly acceptable. It's cheap, it's literally everywhere, and it gets the job done.

Biore is exactly the same. It's cheap, found in practically every store, even in the deepest countryside in the middle of Hokkaido nowhere, and it offers solid UV protection. What more could you want?

Personally, I'd like a freshly-made salad with locally grown organic vegetables, fresh mozzarella cheese and homemade basil vinaigrette dressing. I'm not going to find it at McDonald's.
It's the same for my sunscreen. I'd like something that is a bit more skin-friendly than the bare-bones Biore lineup.

But who knows, Biore might still surprise me. You never know until you try it.

Today's first contestant is Biore UV Face Milk SPF50+ PA++++, or actually, Biore UV Perfect Face Milk SPF50+ PA++++ (white bottle).

This is confusing, because it only says "Biore UV Face Milk" on the front of the 2017 version bottle in English. However, on the back of the bottle, the full Japanese name still has the word "perfect" in there written in katakana. Actually, it says "Biore Sara Sara UV Perfect Face Milk t" on there.
So, what's the official name? What the hell? I guess, the Japanese one.

Why do Japanese companies do that? To confuse the enemy, I suppose.

As most Japanese sunscreens, Biore UV (Perfect) Face Milk SPF50+ PA++++ comes in a tiny bottle. There's just 30 ml of white liquid inside, along with a mixing ball. The scent is very faint, a vaguely sunscreeny chemical alcoholy type of thing. It's not very offensive at all. Compared to some other sunscreens out there, this scent is a non-issue even for sensitive noses like mine.

On the back of the package the explanations talk about using a "suitable amount". The blurb suggests a drop of 2 cm in diameter to be applied little by little to the skin.

I don't know about you, but I always use more. I guess my face is larger than a typical Japanese face. I find that for me a drop of 2 cm will be just enough for both cheeks and the nose. I need another drop of about 1 cm for my forehead. What can I say? I have a huge face, it seems.

According to the descriptions on the package, Biore UV (Perfect) Face Milk SPF50+ PA++++ can be used for incidental daily exposure, such as during daily commute, or during leisure activities, and it also doubles up as a makeup base.
It claims to be super waterproof with resistance to water, sweat and sebum. Waterproofness tests were conducted for 80 minutes and the sunscreen still provided UV protection. How they tested it? I don't know, don't ask me. But as with all waterproof claims, it's better to err on the side of caution.

Ratzilla, bless her heart, has the ingredients on her site - Biore UV Perfect Face Milk SPF50+ PA++++ ingredients are here. Click on the link to read the listing for the 2015 formulation, which is what the 2017 version is. The ingredients are the same, only the packaging is different. Sorry, unlike other bloggers, I don't have time to translate the ingredients that have been translated by a pro already.

I'm just going to say that according to the UV blockers:

  • Zinc Oxide
  • Octinoxate
  • Uvinul A Plus
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Tinosorb S

Biore UV Perfect Face Milk SPF50+ PA++++ should provide full UVB, UVA1 and UVA2 protection.

Now, let's talk about skinfeel...

Hmmm... Here is where it gets interesting. You see, I've been testing Biore UV Perfect Face Milk SPF50+ PA++++ (white bottle) on one half of my face, with Biore UV Perfect Milk SPF50+ PA++++ (blue bottle) on the other half.

Both of them felt pretty much the same - horribly drying, silky smooth, powdery to the touch. Perfect for 100% humidity and wet and sweaty days. Or for oily skins. For oily skins with no skin problems.

Both aggravated my rosacea to the point that my face ended up looking like a red balloon. In addition, Biore UV Perfect Milk SPF50+ PA++++ (blue bottle) broke me out like there was no tomorrow. There were no breakouts on the Biore UV Perfect Face Milk SPF50+ PA++++ (white bottle) side. Just very, very tired, red and dry skin.

They both worked beautifully as makeup bases. I know some people complain that these milks pill and roll when worn under makeup, but it didn't happen in my case.
There was no white cast at all.
Both sunscreens were easy to remove using a cleansing oil followed by a normal face wash.


And since we've already started talking about Biore UV Perfect Milk SPF50+ PA++++, we might as well continue.
I hope this abomination will burn in hell, because that's where it belongs.

Biore UV Perfect Milk SPF50+ PA++++ bottle (which is blue) is bigger by 10 ml, which means you get 40 ml of product.

Again, we have the familiar issue with the name. On the bottle it says "Biore UV Perfect Milk SPF50+ PA++++" in English, but in Japanese on the back of the package and bottle it's written as "Biore Sara Sara UV Perfect Milk t". Whatever. I'm so over these name differences.

Biore UV Perfect Milk SPF50+ PA++++ can be used both on the face and body and according to the descriptions (look at the three pictures on the back of the package if you can't read Japanese), it's suitable for outdoor use.

Again we have the claim of Biore UV Perfect Milk SPF50+ PA++++ being superwaterproof (80 minute test), and resistant to sweat and sebum.

Again, Ratzilla has the ingredients ready for your reading pleasure - Biore UV Perfect Milk SPF50+ PA++++ ingredient list.

We have the same UV blockers are before:
  • Zinc Oxide
  • Octinoxate
  • Uvinul A Plus
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Tinosorb S
which means Biore UV Perfect Milk SPF50+ PA++++ should give us full UVB, UVA1 and UVA2 protection.

Skinfeel is lovely. There's no white cast, it's very lightweight and invisible. It's also horribly drying and it broke me out like I was back in my teens.
It aggravated my rosacea and made my face red, red, red.

There is a very slight fragrance of something fresh and flowery trying to hide a heavier scent of something chemical and alcoholic. However, even a sensitive nose like mine was fine with it.

As you can see in the last swatch photo, this sunscreen took the longest to absorb of all the three Biore milks. It still wasn't completely absorbed when I took that photo. It's like it was trying to tell me that we would not get along.

Meh... I should have gotten a frappuccino instead of this blue bottle crap.


And finally, our last Biore contestant today - Biore UV Bright Milk SPF50+ PA++++, or as it is also known - Biore UV Perfect Bright Milk SPF50+ PA++++.

Yo, it's pink. I like pink. We're off to a good start already.

Again, the English name on the bottle "Biore UV Bright Milk SPF50+ PA++++" is different from the Japanese name in katakana written on the back of the package - "Biore Sara Sara UV Perfect Bright Milk". Again, whatever.

We're back to 30 ml here.
As you can see from the pictures on the package, Biore UV Bright Milk SPF50+ PA++++ is a sunscreen for daily use.
It's primary purpose is to brighten the skin tone as a makeup base. In that respect it works just like fancy makeup bases that are four or five times as expensive.

Seriously, if it was right for my skin type, it would be my ideal budget-friendly sunscreen-makeup base combo.

Biore UV Bright Milk SPF50+ PA++++ feels silky smooth and super light on the skin. Despite "brightening" claims, there is no typical white cast. Instead, the skin just looks brighter with smaller pores and smoother texture.

In addition, we have the familiar claims of it being super waterproof, resistant to sweat and sebum.

Even though the liquid is pearlescent pink in color, the finish is actually quite matte. See what it did?It blurred my skin and made it perfectly smooth. I used quite a lot for this swatch to show the final effect.

When I used Biore UV Perfect Bright Milk SPF50+ PA++++ on my face, it did not break me out. It worked wonderfully as a makeup base. Seriously, if it was right for my skin type, I'd use it daily. Of the three milks, this one seemed the gentlest on my skin. It might have been just an optical illusion, but the "Biore rosacea redness" wasn't as harsh as with the other two milks.

The scent was minimally chemical, same as with the white bottle milk.

Biore UV Perfect Bright Milk SPF50+ PA++++ ingredients can be found over at Ratzilla's - link.

We have the familiar set of UV blockers:
  • Zinc Oxide
  • Octinoxate
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Uvinul A Plus 
  • Tinosorb S
which means Biore UV Perfect Bright Milk SPF50+ PA++++ should should come with full UVB, UVA1 and UVA2 protection. Titanium Dioxide moved up on the list, no doubt for its "brightening" properties.

So, yeah, there you have it. All three Biore milks in a row.

And believe it or not, I still have more Biore to blog about. Because you asked for it. And this is the kind of stuff I'd do for your clicks. Heh...

Biore Part 2 is here.


  1. Gah, this whole post made me want to dunk my face into a vat of moisturizer. I've learned to avoid milks like the plague because milks seem intent on sucking oils from skin. My very oily-skinned friend does love the Bright Milk for the reasons you mentioned. Can't wait to read your thoughts on the other Biores ;) -Angela

    1. There are some milks that are moisturizing. I am quite liking the Raysella one right now. But it does cost about 5 times as much as Biore.

  2. Thank you for your review. I feel bad for what you're putting your skin through. I hope the readers are happy! For a time, I liked the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence since it was so light. You see I have a very oily skin and was living in a tropical country then. Light as it was, the blackheads kept on coming. Perhaps it's the silicone? I'm not sure. I went on looking for lightweight Japanese sunscreen which has no silicone. Google pointed me to Isehan Mommy! UV Mild Gel. Thank god it was available in Amazon. Alas, it takes forever to dry! Searching on google with no knowledge of the Japanese language can only give limited results. In this regard, may I ask if you know of any lightweight silicone-free Japanese? Being oily-skinned, alcohol is to an issue. Thank you for reading my comment and any information you may have. Please keep on blogging! I love the non kiss ass tone! Haha!

    1. I actually quite like the Mommy! one. On my dry skin it dries pretty fast.
      You see, the climate here dictates the formulations of sunscreens. When it's hot and humid, the silicones make the sunscreen experience bearable.
      You can search by ingredients on Ratzilla's website.

    2. Hello again! Thank you for your response. I ended up in Ratzilla's site and I think the Mommy! one has either been reformulated or repackaged and it's called Mommy Sun Protect UV Natural Gel. Might try it out once available. Thank you! 😊

  3. I have normal to dry skin and I absolutely love the Perfect Milk. In fact it was recommended to me by a fellow dry-skinned friend. It's a beautiful base too and it prevents my makeup from pilling on patches where my skin gets drier. YMMV I guess but I hope Bioré don't screw up with the formulation of this sunscreen because I plan on using it for a long time.

    1. If I didn't live in Japan, I'd probably feel the same. But as it is, I have access to dozens of better options, and in comparison Biore ends up looking rather basic, harsh and not that skin friendly.

  4. I have used older versions of all three and just bought the blue one last week because my usual gels didn't feel strong enpugh for a day out in the heat. It really does keep my face matte, and I have combination skin. Sometimes, I'll just use it on my T-zone (and another sunscreen on the rest, of course!) to keep it matte, and it works. Surprisingly no break-outs yet, I think - maybe those zits on my chin are not from Saturday's party with candy and pizza...?

    I've also noticed that on Japanese sunscreen commercials, the models will only apply a tiny amount - maybe to make the bottles seem like they'd last longer?

    Which sunscreen do you recommend?
    As for other Bioré stuff, we only have their green face wash here because Ratzilla recommended it and it's gentle enough.

    1. Yeah, in the commercials they only apply a tiny bit, which is contrary to the advice printed on these Biores - to use a drop that is 2 cm in diameter. But as someone who used to make TV commercials, I can tell you that what you see is what looks good on TV with no bearing on reality whatsoever.

      Sunscreens are such personal animals that I prefer not to recommend anything. What works for me might not work for you at all. Right now my love is Evermere, perfect for dry skinned people like myself.

  5. Biore was my first asian sunscreen, I bought the blue one and was shocked, because it was great on my oily skin - it was very light and even though I put a quite a big amount on my face I didn't feel greasy or anything. And I really thought I had the perfect sunscreen until it broke me out like hell the second day.
    Thank you for reading my sad story.
    But your review for the pink one made me consider trying it out. I just need my cheap asian sunscreen, damnit.

  6. Which Japanese sunscreens do you recommend, then? Perhaps we can buy them on Amazon.


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