Bioré UV Aqua Rich Canadian Version Compared to the Japanese Version

By Sunday, June 02, 2024 , , , , ,

Bioré has a reputation for have an absolutely fabulous sunscreen....in Asia. Their UV Aqua Rich formula has a bit of cult following, and where I live, Canada, you cannot buy it legally in stores. See Canada and America have some pretty outdate sunscreen regulations sunscreen regulations, which means we haven't had any new sunscreen active ingredients in since the start of the 90s. This just means people in Canada have been buying this cult favourite online or asking if stores have it behind the counter, until now. 

Bioré launched earlier this year their North American version of their sunscreen. I picked a four pack up at Costco. 
Since I happen to have a bottle of the Japanese formula from last summer and my new bottles of the Canadian formula. So let's compare the formula descriptions and then see how I feel about the formulas.
Japanese Version - Biore UV Aqua Rich Light Up Essence SPF 50+ PA++++:
Water, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, ethanol, BG, isopropyl palmitate, titanium oxide, bisethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyltriazine, ethylhexyltriazone, dimethicone, crosspolymer (lauryl methacrylate / Na methacrylate), hydrogenated polyisobutene, diethylaminohydroxy Hexyl benzoyl benzoate, silica, hydrous silica, mica, dextrin palmitate, dipentaerythrityl tripolyhydroxystearate, (Acrylate / alkyl acrylate (C10-30)) crosspolymer, triethoxycaprylylsilane, cetanol, glyceryl stearate, hydroxy Ethyl cellulose, polysolvate 60, polysilicone-9, Al hydroxide, K hydroxide, royal jelly extract, Na hyaluronate, tin oxide, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, EDTA-2Na, BHT, fragrance
First off, there are a few versions of the UV Aqua Rich in Japan, I happened to have found the Light Up Essence version when I was in a store last year. It has a SPF of 50+ PA++++, which means it "Very good UVA protection, up to over 95%. Filter time up to 16h", which is from what I understand as strong as their ratings go for sunscreens. It is made in Japan and has a waterproof formula with an essence in it.
Its active ingredients are Titanium Oxide, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, and Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine. 

Canada's formula - Biore UV Aqua Rich Weightless Moisturizer SPF 50:
Active ingredients (w/w) Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 7 %, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5 % Inactive ingredients Aqua, Alcohol Denat., Lauryl Methacrylate/Sodium Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Dextrin Palmitate, Glycerin, Phenyl Trimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Dipropylene Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Parfum, Glyceryl Behenate, Cetyl Alcohol, Limonene, Sorbitan Distearate, Isoceteth-20, Sodium Hydroxide, Stearoyl Glutamic Acid, Arginine, Linalool, Geraniol, Disodium EDTA, Citral, Sodium Hyaluronate. Ingredients are subject to change at the manufacturer's discretion. F
This formula has an SPF of 50, which means it filters out 98 per cent of UV radiation. It is made in Canada in a carbon neutral plant, which I think is fantastic. It is supposed to be based on the Japanese water-based formula and is vegan. It comes in both 30 and 50 SPF.

Its active ingredients are Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene.
Japanese version on the top, Canadian version on the bottom.
What do I think?
The bottles are similar and the only thing to really say is that I prefer that the Japanese version have a bit more of a tip to it and makes it less messy to apply.

The Japanese version feel a bit more watery coming out of the bottle, but not a whole ton. I applied it to the right side of my face, and the Canadian one to my left for a week. After the first day I couldn't really notice an actual difference. Both blended it well, did not sting my eyes at all (I did my lids and got sweaty, nothing stung or ran). When I looked in mirrors, my right side, which had the Japanese version on it, seemed a bit more shiny. But they both felt the same on my skin and when I touched my face. I really could not tell any difference between the two on my skin.
Japanese version on the top, Canadian version on the bottom.
Overall, I think they feel identical on my skin, and cannot tell a difference at all. They are hydrating and light on the skin, it feels just lovely. I love that they both are skincare with solid SPF going on for them. They do not sting they eye and don't seem to run on my face. There is a good reason Bioré has such a good reputation for their sunscreen and it shows when using it. I have no regrets that I bought four bottles of it, they will get good use this summer.

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