Last month, one of my readers reached out to me asking about my experience with Bionike’s sunscreens. Honestly, I have little experience with Italian suncare. Before, I had tried two sunscreens from Rilastil, which I had thrown away after a few applications and never attempted to review them – dreadful experience. So when I was asked about Bionike’s products, I was willing to give another Italian brand a chance. I admit I am positively surprised by this product.
The formula includes a combination of chemical filters and titanium dioxide, blended into the amalgam like Mother Nature made it with little processing (more on that later). The filters create a reliable anti-UV shield of SPF 50+ and relatively strong anti-UVA protection. There is a host of wholesome ingredients such as everyone’s favourite niacinamide, patented mix of Beta-Glucan and L-Carnosine to fight off free radicals, and skin-soothing allantoin, panthenol, and vitamin E. The vehicle contains quite a bit of glycerine and shea butter, but the sunscreen delivers the promised dry-touch finish. The formula is free of fragrance and alcohol, suitable for all skins. The product includes a technology that spreads the UV filters in a type of ‘mesh’ on skin, providing an even distribution of filters and stable performance.
Not everyone will appreciate this sunscreen, though it resembles Japanese suncare. It creates a less tacky version of a latex-like film comparable to Biore’s Aqua Rich Watery Gel or Kanebo’s Allie Sunscreen. However, this one doesn’t have a wet feeling when you touch it. Once the sunscreen settles on skin, it is matt with a tiny, but I mean the smallest, amount of oil left on your fingers when you touch your face – it’s due to emollient base. I think everyone would appreciate the texture of the sunscreen, but not the look of it. The other resemblance with Japanese sunscreens is the product’s brightening effect, or as it’s often called in the West – the white cast. If you try to apply this product at the right thickness, a quarter of a teaspoon (1.25g) per application, you will get a ghost-white face. I suspect that titanium dioxide is the culprit. What else could it be? Silica can leave some residue but not that much. Fortunately for us, the product creates a perfect base for makeup because you will need something colourful to revive your complexion back to life. If you apply two thin layers of the fluid, the colour difference is imperceptible; anything above three layers will brighten up your skin. However, without measuring, the applied amount will most likely not be sufficient to achieve decent anti-UV protection. If you go out for a few minutes outside or sit home, you may get away without applying a quarter of a teaspoon, but it isn’t enough for daily outings. If a sunscreen isn’t greasy and doesn’t break me out, I can compromise on a sunscreeny face, but I know many people don’t like it. I will gladly return to this product because it’s affordable here, and I have tried it a few times during warmer days, and it hasn’t caused any issues, which is a strong point for any sunscreen. Also, it doesn’t look too bad after sweating.
Overall, it’s a nice, tone-up type of sunscreen. It has a matt finish, and the formula includes skin-benefiting ingredients. Unfortunately, it leaves a white cast, and it won’t be suitable for many people, especially with deeper skin tones.
aqua (water), ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate, glycerin, silica, dibutyl adipate, triacontanyl PVP, poloxamer 407, niacinamide, titanium dioxide, ethylhexyl triazone, tocopheryl acetate, sodium carboxymethyl beta-glucan, carnosine, caprylyl glycol, butyrospermum parkii butter (butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter), panthenol, allantoin, potassium cetyl phosphate, dimethicone, sodium polyacrylate, PPG-12/SMDI copolymer, ethylhexylglycerin, cetearyl alcohol, jojoba esters, pentylene glycol, trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinate. (bionike.com)
The DEFENCE SUN NO-SHINE FLUID SPF 50+ is available in a few countries around the globe. In Italy, the RRP is €21.50, but you can get it for less at most pharmacies across the country, and it’s sold in Singapore at Watsons for S$69.