I’ve only just gotten into trying Asian sunscreens this summer (I dipped my toe in with Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Cream and Innisfree UV Perfect UV Protection Cream Triple Care, and have Missha All Around Safe Block sitting in my queue), and so far the Innisfree is doing very well, indeed. Recently, I also received the new Benton Papaya-D Sun Cream in exchange for an honest review, and was delighted to test it out!
Benton is one of the smaller Korean brands—as it isn’t owned by one of the major conglomerates—and it is cruelty-free. Their main selling point is the use of natural ingredients and the freshness of their products due to Benton’s small-batch production.
The Papaya-D Sun Cream I received marks Benton’s first foray into suncare. It is a combination chemical-physical sunscreen: in order on ingredient list: titanium dioxide, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (octinoxate), isoamyl p-methoxycinnamate (amiloxate), and bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (bemotrizinol/Tinosorb S). Of the sunscreen ingredients, amiloxate and Tinosorb S are EU-approved and undergoing regulatory evaluation in the US. Benton is currently in the process of releasing a second, physical sunscreen containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Other beneficial ingredients include papaya fruit water and papaya fruit extract, which contain vitamins, polyphenols, minerals, and papain. Papaya seed oil helps to keep the skin to retain moisture. Niacinamide and adenosine work to brighten the complexion and smooth the skin. The product aims to not only protect the skin from UV damage and other external stressors, but also to moisturize and improve the complexion at the same time.
I’ll be very honest here: I never really bothered to use sunscreen—unless I was at the beach or something—until I hit my 30s. I’m not an especially outdoorsy person, though I’m fond of long walks on not-too-hot days. I generally need to fry for a few hours under a tropical sun to burn at all, and I tan quickly. And I quite like the look of my skin when tan: I turn a burnished gold! But I never seek it out, of course.
Tanning easily and burning rarely sounds like a nice combo, doesn’t it? But in my early 30s, I started to notice that the more delicate areas of my skin—neck, chest, shoulders, backs of knees—would develop a rash within a half hour of being in even moderate sun, and even through thicker clothes! No burning and flaking, or even much redness—just an itchy, slightly bumpy reaction which lasts for a couple of days (ugh).
It appears to be a sun allergy, which can develop when you haven’t been exposed much to the sun (um, I live in Toronto, so yeah) and it can improve with more exposure (no, thanks).
This new reaction prompted me to get with the sunscreen program, which really is a good thing, since who wants sun-damaged skin and heightened risk of skin cancer, right?
Now, applying sunscreen to my body is pretty easy, but I’ve long known that sunscreen—at least the kind that’s usually added to foundations—can give me acne. Aaaargh.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been hauling a little too much, lately! ColourPop, Deciem (plus I’m still waiting on two orders containing their new foundations), Sephora, and tarte were my biggest weaknesses. I love a great sale!
But online Korean shops have been another: I’ve ordered from Jolse and again from Cosmetic Love (referral link).
I should be winding down now for the next month or three…
Meanwhile, here’s what I ordered last month from Cosmetic Love. This package arrived in a mere 18 days from Seoul to Toronto, which is awesome! My Jolse order took about a month. Obviously, Canadian customs is the main reason for the length of time it takes for the packages to arrive, so it’s probably just the luck of the draw. Both shops shipped my orders very quickly. (Of course, Jolse aren’t doing free shipping to Canada for the time being, so Cosmetic Love remains my first choice shop.)
Prices are all in USD. I ordered during an Innisfree sale, if you can’t tell!
Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream (10x samples) [$4.95]
The Face Shop Trendy Nails in Trolls Collection TR001 [$5.15]
Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream Triple Care SPF50 PA+++ [$14.16]
Unfortunately, there are no nail polishes in this collaboration between Korean cosmetics brand The Face Shop (owned by LG) and Fox’s The Simpsons. It’s a collection of sunscreens, hand creams, body oil, and sheet masks.
I’ve been getting a little obsessed with the state of my skin lately, and while it’s been super fun ordering Deciem products (items from The Ordinary, Hylamide, and NIOD lines are now in my possession!), this also meant that I hit up the online Korean beauty shops, too.
Little did I know that with my most recent Jolse order, I snuck in just before a Canadian shipping issue!
In the past, I pretty much stuck to Cosmetic Love (referral link):
The site is super easy to navigate, and generally I don’t have any issues with it. I personally find it nicer to look at than some of the more popular Korean beauty sites. The photos also tend to be slightly better.
Brand and product selection seem good to me, though there have been a couple brands I’ve been vaguely interested in and had to look for elsewhere.
CS is good, though I’ve never had to do more than get a quick response about a minor issue.
Prices are a bit higher than some other sites, but shipping is always free so I like not having to tally up the final cost. I really hate when the shipping charge differs depending on the size of your order (is it by weight? by price? gah!) and then I have to shift products in and out of my cart to get the max stuff for my money. The price is less of an issue to me since I just shop their sales, anyway. With free shipping, I can order, like, $20 worth of stuff during a sale and not have to think about spending $100+ to get free/cheaper shipping elsewhere.
Delivery has never been a problem for me. Yes, it takes a few weeks, and maybe a bit longer, but that’s not the store’s fault. They always ship very promptly and it’s Canadian customs that’s the hold-up. Luckily, I’ve never gotten dinged by customs, but I keep my Korean orders to around US$40 max. (Technically, orders totalling CA$20 or less are duty-exempt.)
They give a useful amount of samples—though it’s usually just handfuls of those single-use pouches of Tony Moly Tomatox Magic Massage Pack and Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum. I don’t think I will ever need to buy those two products.
But last year, I finally branched out a bit and ordered one test product from Jolse via Amazon (some Innisfree sheet masks, which I haven’t even bothered to use because shortly afterward, I decided I’m not really a fan of sheet masks).
Innisfree It’s Real Facial Sheet Masks (15 pc) (US$19.08)
Then last month, I placed a trial order from Jolse proper (and I forgot to use the $3 sign-up discount, gah!):
COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence (US$16)
Holika Holika Naked Face Illuminating Powder (US$11.88)
They sent a lot of different samples, which is awesome, but on the other hand, it’s a little useless to test a skincare product with just a single one-use sample. Cosmetic Love, by comparison, send about 10 of a product sample, but I almost always get the same two products so it’s not great that way, either.