Sunscreen Review: Biore, Jurlique, Elucent

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These three facial sunscreens from Biore, Jurlique and Elucent have full ingredient lists. Yes you read that right – FULL INGREDIENT LISTS! My pet hate with Australian sunscreens is that even though you get decent UVA protection and they tell you the percentages of the active ingredients, they’re classified as medicines so a full ingredient list isn’t mandatory. A lot of manufacturers don’t provide one, to keep their formula more secretive I assume – which is well and good for the company, but annoying as hell for the buyer. You don’t know if they contain things you’re allergic to, or react with your skin, and you have no idea whether they’ll actually suit your skin type.


Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ PA++++

This ($15-25 for 50 g) is the reformulated version of the cult classic light-as-air, high protection sunscreen. The biggest change in Biore’s new UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence is that it’s now PA++++, which is the highest rating available and translates to a UVA protection factor of 16+. It’s also not lumpy like the older formula, although the lumps smoothed out on application and were never an issue anyway. It still absorbs quickly, leaves a smooth base for makeup and is a little drying (it has a relatively high alcohol content), so it’s awesome for oily skin but you’ll be better off with a richer formula if you have dry skin.

Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Alcohol, Lauryl Methacrylate/Sodium Methacrylate Crosspolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Dimethicone, Xylitol, Trisiloxane, Acrylates/C10-30 Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dextrin Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, C30-45 Alkyl Methicone, Agar, C30-45 Olefin, Potassium Hydroxide, Carbomer, Polyvinyl Alcohol, PEG 400, PEG-50 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Triisostearate, PEG-3 Castor Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Royal Jelly Extract, Orange Fruit Extract, Grape Fruit Extract, Lemon Fruit Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Fragrance.

Jurlique Sun Specialist SPF40 High Protection Cream PA+++

Jurlique Sun Specialist ($50 for 100 mL) is a thick cream that smells of lavender not sunscreen, which is good or bad depending on your preference. It’s feels a bit heavy going on and requires a bit of spreading – Jurlique products lean towards catering for drier, mature skin, and this will keep dry skins moisturised. It doesn’t leave any white cast after you rub it in which surprised me, but on second thought it shouldn’t because it doesn’t contain any zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are usually responsible for the white cast. Bonus points: it also tells you the UVA rating, which is PA+++ – this rating was pre-2014, and I don’t think it’s been revised since, so it means it has a UVA protection rating of 8+ (this was the highest PA rating at the time).

Active ingredients (%w/w): Octyl Methoxycinnamate 7.5, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane 3.0, Octocrylene 2.75. Contains: Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Benzyl Alcohol.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Phenoxyethyl Caprylate, Acrylates/Vinyl Neodecanoate Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Glyceryl Stearate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Myristate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Plukenetia volubilis Seed Oil, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) Butter, Palmaria palmata Extract, Ascophyllum nodosum Extract, Fucus vesiculosus Extract, Porphyra umbilicalis Extract, Coriandrum sativum (Coriander) Extract, Chamomilla recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Rosa gallica Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Viola odorata Extract, Viola tricolor Extract, Sambucus nigra Flower Extract, Camellia sinensis Leaf Extract, Cucumis sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Tasmannia lanceolata Fruit Extract, Syzygium leuhmanii Extract, Kunzea pomifera Fruit Extract, Fragrance/Parfum, Silica, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Tocopherol, SD Alcohol 40-A (Alcohol Denat.), Sodium Phytate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium PCA, Sodium Hydroxide, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Farnesol, Citral.

Elucent Whitening Day Moisturiser SPF 30

Elucent’s Whitening Day Moisturiser ($49.99 for 95 mL) contains a few ingredients which should help with pigmentation: niacinamide, emblica fruit extract, sodium lactate/lactic acid and safflower seed oil (which contains linoleic acid). It has UVA protection but doesn’t say how much. The scent is very no-frills and inoffensive. It’s formulated for drier skin so it ended up sinking in OK on my oily skin, but left a bit of a tacky finish, which was easily dealt with using some powder. It didn’t leave me greasy or oily, which is always a worry with heavy sunscreens!

Actives (% w/w): Bemotrizinol 2.15, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane 3.5, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol 5.0, Octyl Methoxycinnamate 8.0.
Preservatives: Hydroxybenzoates
Aqua (Water), Cyclotetrasiloxane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Sodium Lactate, Isostearic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate (and) Glyceryl Stearate, Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Phyllanthus emblica Fruit Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Decyl Glucoside, Dimethicone, Lactic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Parfum, Disodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, Linalool.

Jurlique and Elucent sunscreens were provided for review, Biore sunscreen was purchased with my own money, which did not influence my opinion. This post also contains affiliate links – if you decide to click through and support Lab Muffin financially (at no extra cost to you), thank you! For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

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5 thoughts on “Sunscreen Review: Biore, Jurlique, Elucent”

  1. The Biore Watery Essence used to be an old favorite of mine, but for some reason it still caused me to tan and get dark spots, and after reading reviews in Taiwan it seems like that was a common issue with this sunscreen for some reason, so I’ve since stopped using it 🙁
    Usually western brands don’t display PA values, so props to Jurlique for doing it!

  2. Hi Michelle, I’m new to your blog! I have a question regarding UVA protection. Do the “+” marks indicate protection against both UVA1 and UVA2 rays? If not, how would I be able to tell if a product can adequately protect against both? I also have the Biore Watery Essence and was thrilled that it offers UVA and UVB protection, that is, until I found out that there’s a difference between protection against UVA1 and UVA2 waves. Also, thanks for posting this sunscreen comparison, it’s super helpful!

    • The + marks just show how well it performed in a PPD (persistent pigment darkening) test. I think this is a more useful measure than UVA1 and UVA2 protection levels since it shows the actual effect on your skin! The only other way would be to look at the UV absorption of the individual filters, but that doesn’t reflect how it’ll perform on your skin.

  3. Ooh. I had a sunscreen conversation with a dermatologist (via Twitter!) this week. My argument was that in England we’re 4 days off the shortest day, the sun’s really weak and I’m outside for <20 mins so it seems crazy to wear spf. She said no you must. Your thoughts?


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