Launched back in 2015, COSRX first and only sunscreen for 4 years running is touted to be an Aloe-based formula which moisturizes and soothes skin. Today, we take a look at what gives this sunscreen its staying power - seeing that it hasn't been updated for so long and without any other competing COSRX sunscreens.
+ Good moisturizing formula
+ Spreads easily and dries quickly
+ Almost perfect consistency – suitable for all skin types
+ Very Good UVA & UVB protection ratings
+ Uses advanced, environmentally friendly UV filters and a mix of both chemical and physical filters
= Fragrance can be a put off for some
= Not much callout ingredients
- Contains Alcohol which can be sensitizing and irritating
- Contains Fragrance which can be sensitizing and irritating
Just glancing through the ingredients list, this doesn’t seem to have any jump-out, “hero” ingredients (other than aloe) that we would have come to expect from COSRX products. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
This sunscreen does contain a mix of chemical and physical UV filters, and advanced ones as well. The UV filters in this are (in order of volume): Octinoxate, Tinosorb S, Ensulizole, Amiloxate, and Titanium Dioxide. The ‘advanced’ filters are Tinosorb S which blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and Amiloxate which blocks UVB rays. The difference between ‘advanced’ filters and ‘traditional’ chemical filters such as Octinoxate, Avobenzone, etc., is photostability.
Chemical (or more accurately: organic) UV filters will eventually break down due to light, and an ‘advanced’ filter is more photostable than ‘traditional’ filters. The reason why these filters are not as prevalent as they should be is because the US FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has still not cleared these filters to be used unlike in the rest of the major markets such as Europe, Korea, Japan, and Australia.
TL;DR - this sunscreen contains a good mix of UV filters, and should give long-lasting UV protection.
The next claim which we have to look at is the moisturizing bit. COSRX formulated the Aloe Soothing Sun Cream with Aloe Vera Extract which is indeed moisturizing and calming. Besides that, this sunscreen contains a good amount of Glycerin which also hydrates and calms. Vitamin E also makes an appearance here as Tocopheryl Acetate for its antioxidant benefits.
The only two ingredients which may be a cause of concern is the inclusion of Alcohol and added Fragrance. Alcohol can be drying and sensitizing for some, but in this formula, it’s not as high up on the list as compared to the Shield Fit Snail Essence Sun. Same concerns with the added fragrance – it can cause sensitization and irritation, especially for those with very sensitive skin.
Experience & Feel
The COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream is rated at PF 50+ and PA +++, which gives you very good broad-spectrum protection.
Because it’s made with a composition of different (and advanced) filters, it should protect you for a longer time than ‘traditional’ chemical sunscreens. That being said, this is still not a waterproof formula - so do reapply regularly especially if you sweat and spend a lot of time under the sun.
Like COSRX newest sunscreens, this does have a scent which fades relatively quickly after application. The scent can only be described as a sweet and grassy, not everyone will appreciate it.
Just like the Shield Fit Snail Essence Sun, the Aloe Soothing Sun cream blends in and absorbs quickly without a white cast, but a very slight shine. But its consistency is just slightly thicker.
When applying, it does give you a fresh and silky-like finish. It’s lightweight, yet it also feels sufficiently moisturizing. This would be suitable for a wide range of skin types, if not all.
With how this feels on application, and by looking at the formula, the COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream can be summed up as this: an excellent, straightforward daytime moisturizer without the bells and whistles, suitable for a wide range of skin types.
And because of that, this has recently become my new everyday sunscreen.
Full List of Ingredients
Water, Homosalate, Alcohol Denat., Octocrylene, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate [Octisalate], Acrylates Copolymer, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane [Avobenzone], Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Beheneth-25, Caprylyl Glycol, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Polysorbate 80, Sorbitan Oleate, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Disodium EDTA, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Allantoin, Panthenol, Dipropylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Sodium Palmitoyl Proline, 1,2-Hexanediol, Snail Secretion Filtrate, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate