I seem to have recently become fixated on sunscreens, but who can blame me, really? a) I work for a skincare company touted for its photoprotection range, b) I live in Spain, and c) sunscreen is like, really important, you know?
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few years, sunscreen is one of the most sensible purchases you can make when it comes to curating the perfect skincare routine. Aside from the fact that sunscreen helps in the prevention of skin cancer, it’s also key in any anti-ageing routine. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting old and growing wrinkles – but the sun accelerates this process in your skin through UV damage. So no need to go obsessive over your sun protection (gotta get the D – ahem, vitamin D – somehow), but getting into the habit is a great idea.
Anyway, lectures about sunscreen are not why you’re here. You’ve arrived because you want to know all about The Pure Lotus’ Jeju Botanical Sunscreen. Well, are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
The Pure Lotus Jeju Botanical Sunscreen
The Pure Lotus is a Jeju-based brand, as you might have been able to guess from the name of this sunscreen. They source many of their ingredients locally, using those which traditionally grow on Jeju, such as green tea, rice, lotus leaf, aloe vera, tangerines, cactus, and rosemary. Swoon. These ingredients make up their botanical complex, which I believe is included in all of their products, including this. This sunscreen was sent to me by Bemused Korea, as part of their launch event for The Pure Lotus, so thank you to them for making this review possible.
The full ingredients list is as follows:
Water, Homosalate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Octocrylene, Niacinamide, Silica, 1,2-Hexanediol, Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract, Glyceryl Stearate, C14-22 Alcohols, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Cetearyl Olivate, Arachidyl Alcohol, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Root Extract, Tromethamine, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Sorbitan Olivate, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Behenyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Carbomer, Arachidyl Glucoside, Polyurethane-1, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Mallotus Japonicus Bark Extract, Xanthan Gum, Adenosine, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Glucose, Juniperus Mexicana Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil.
I’ve highlighted the sunscreen ingredients so you can tell what they are: this sunscreen uses chemical filters (organic compounds), which work by absorbing the sun’s UV rays and converting them to heat energy. Nifty. Homosalate is a UVB filter, and while octocrylene alone isn’t able to work incredibly well on its own as a sunscreen, it boosts other sunscreen filters so they work better.
Finally, we have an ingredient which just rolls off the tongue: bis-ethyhexloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine. It’s probably better to remember this as Tinosorb S, which is what it’s often marketed as. This has been approved in the European Union, Australia, and other countries, but not in the USA under the FDA. That doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Based on European legislation, Tinosorb S is ‘the most effective UV absorber measured by SPF’…so just because one country doesn’t approve it thanks to its (outdated) rules, doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy filter.
Tinosorb S is both a UVA and UVB filter, so this sunscreen can be marked as providing both UVA and UVB protection. It’s listed as a PA+++ SPF50+ sunscreen.
At first, I was a little worried about the texture, as it’s still not winter over here, and it seemed like a heavier cream-based sunscreen. Pictures of Casper the Friendly Ghost floated through my mind upon opening it. But I needn’t have worried – while this sunscreen does have a somewhat creamy texture, it melts into the skin easily with no frantic rubbing, and leaves behind no white cast. Check the pictures below to see what the texture is like:
It layers really well under makeup, as it absorbs quickly, and I don’t experience any pilling with it, or greasy feeling. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it has a completely matte finish, as it’s a moisturising sunscreen in my opinion, but it certainly leans that way.
Packaging & price
Honestly, this packaging is gorgeous, down to the box the sunscreen comes in. I haven’t thrown it away yet (partly because I’m a packaging hoarder, but I’m doing well in my own self-imposed rehab. I just can’t give this one up). It’s colourful, with beautiful pictures of a lotus pond illustrated on it – and the sunscreen packaging itself is simple but pretty too. It’s a sleek white squeeze tube, which is long and thin, containing 50ml of product, standard for a facial sunscreen. The only downside to that lovely white packaging is I don’t want to take it anywhere with me, as I’ll get it dirty in my bag.
Bemused Korea stock this at $28 (USD)*. I usually pay around €15-25 for my facial sunscreens, and after conversion, this comes in at roughly €25, so it’s on the higher end of my limit. I’d spend that on a treat sunscreen, and as this does have more of a ‘luxe’ feel to it, I’d likely be able to justify that once in a while for a quality sunscreen.
One thing I haven’t mentioned up to now is the scent – which is actually the thing I like most about this sunscreen, and the reason I’d get it myself. I hate the smell of sunscreen (along with everyone else – I know many people who won’t wear it every day because of it), and this doesn’t have a single trace of that typical scent. It smells like lemons – I guess it’s the citrus side of the ingredients, as I couldn’t see any added fragrance. I’d recommend it on that scent alone.
All in all, I’ve really enjoyed using this sunscreen. It’s probably a better choice for winter thanks to its texture, but as I have dry skin, it wasn’t a problem for me on hot days, particularly as I like to use full coverage foundation and need a good base. It’s moisturising and provides me with the protection I need, while also not smelling awful and looking rather nice.
I’d absolutely consider getting the Jeju Botanical Sunscreen again in the depths of winter – and yes, you still need sunscreen then. Don’t argue.