Review - Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50+ PA++++
Updated: Jul 13
With summer just around the corner, it's the perfect time to test and review the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence for KBeauty Australia. I have not used any skincare from Klairs before this. In fact, I haven't used any Korean beauty product consistently over an extended period of time. I am really excited to tap into the world of K-beauty.
This review is based on my opinion after using it for 6 weeks.
The Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++ is an everyday sun protector for sensitive skin. As it is water-based, it holds a gel-type texture to give a soft weightless and light finish. Also with its high SPF and PA level, it completely guards the skin against UVA, UVB without leaving any greasiness or white cast.
A water-based sunscreen, that is non-sticky, light, and fresh. Apply the Soft Airy UV Essence after using this line to shield your skin from UV lights and enhance vitamin effects. Containing ingredients that helps to brighten, hydrate, and protect:
Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil (aka Sea Buckthorn Oil), in Korean cosmetic, the ingredient is listed as 'Vitamin Tree Oil' and it helps to supply the skin with moisture.
Tocopherol is an antioxidant that fights against free radicals found in the skin.
Panthenol, beta-glucan, and allantoin soothes, relieves skin irritations.
Niacinamide is a skin brightening agent and helps to brighten the overall skin tone.
SPF & the amount to use
I found that a lot of people get too bogged down on whether a sunscreen is SPF 30 or SPF 50+ (a labeling of higher than SPF50+ is not allowed in Australia). According to Cancer Council, an SPF50+ sunscreen filters out 98% of UVB radiation, while an SPF30 sunscreen blocks out 96.7% of UVB, meaning that an SPF50+ sunscreen is only marginally better than an SPF30 sunscreen.
What I found to be more important, is whether the recommended amount can be practically applied on the skin. "A little goes a long way" is not a good thing for sunscreens. In order to achieve the SPF labelled on the product, Cancer Council recommends to apply one teaspoon (5 mL) for face and neck. Do you see the problem of relying on a foundation or a BB cream to provide proper sun protection? It's going to look ridiculous. Because of this, a dedicated sunscreen is necessary - preferably one that is light enough to be applied liberally.
SPF & PA
In many Asian countries, sunscreens are labelled with both SPF and PA. SPF is a rating scale for UVB blocker whereas PA (originated from Japan) is a rating scale for UVA blocker. UVA can lead to pre-mature aging and skin cancer. The highest rating is PA++++.
As far as rating goes, Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence is as high as a sunscreen can go for both SPF and PA.
Note that Australia has not adopted the PA rating system. However, if a sunscreen is labelled as "broad-spectrum", it means that it can filter both UVA and UVB rays.
This is by far the most lightweight sunscreen I have ever used. It is even more lightweight than many moisturisers. Whoever came up with the name "Soft Airy" was spot on. It has a whipped-cream texture that is also slightly gel-like. It is very easy to be evenly applied on the skin, just like another layer of moisturiser. Admittedly, I still haven't been piling a whole teaspoon of the sunscreen on my face; but if I am going to bake myself in the sun, I probably could.
When the sunscreen is freshly applied, it has a slightly luminous finish. After 20 minutes, it fades to what I call an invisible finish - there isn't any visible difference between before and after application. It feels fully absorbed with no sticky residue. It does not change the finish of my makeup (unless I apply my makeup before the sunscreen is fully absorbed, in which case the makeup seems to stay luminous).
1: before application; 2: during application; 3: immediately after application; 4: 20 minutes after application
The sunscreen does not look or feel greasy at all, even at the end of the day. My make up sits nicely over the sunscreen. My T-zone is no shinier than it usually is without wearing any sunscreen. My skin feels perfectly balanced throughout the day.
The ingredient line up is quite impressive for a sunscreen. Many sunscreens contain no more than the active UV blocker and a cream base. Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence contains ingredients that actually have skincare benefits, such as glycerin and sodium hyaluronate (skin humectant), niacinamide/Vitamin B3 (skin brightening and strengthening agent), beta-glucan and panthenol/Vitamin B5 (skin soothing agents), tocopherol/Vitamin E (antioxidant), etc.
This sunscreen is a chemical sunscreen (instead of a physical sunscreen), but I haven't experienced any skin sensitivity.
During the past 6 weeks (including a week-long beach side holiday) I have been out in the sun a fair bit. I have not experienced any sunburn, tanning, darkening of pigmentation or congestion. From what I can tell, it is a very effective sunblock. Together with its light texture, it's the best facial sunscreen I have used so far.
No greasiness or shininess
Perfect under makeup
Reasonably priced at $32.95 for its size (80mL)
Effective guard against sunburn, tanning and hyper pigmentation
For those who prefer a physical sunscreen - this is chemical sunscreen
Full ingredient list
Water (Aqua), Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Butylene Glycol, Dibutyl Adipate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Silica, Cetearyl Olivate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Olivate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Panthenol, Beta-Glucan, Disodium EDTA, Citrus Junos Fruit Extract, Adenosine, Sodium Hyaluornate, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol, Allantoin, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil
The product was provided by KBeauty Australia. My opinion is honest.
Makeup artist and hair stylist based in Sydney. Founder of the well-known award-winning bridal specialist team Faces Makeup & Hair. Beauty junkie with an obsession for skincare.