If you’re scrambling to replace an old favorite kbeauty sunscreen after the whole SPF scandal, perhaps you’ve stumbled upon the Neogen Day-Light Protection Airy Sunscreen and wondered, is this one worth it? Well let’s find out.
What is it
This lightweight sunscreen includes 20 types of plant extracts soothes, moisturizes and controls sebum and keeps your skin hydrated and rejuvenated even under harsh sunlight.
SPF50+, Broad spectrum
8% Octocrylene, 8% Homosalate, 3% Avobenzone
How I use it
In the mornings after applying moisturizer. I squeeze out 3-fingers worth of product, and apply each finger in layers for a total of 3 layers. I finish off by powdering the eye area so the product doesn’t travel and get into my eyes.
Best suited for
All skin types looking for an everyday sunscreen with the elegant texture found in Asian sunscreens that passes FDA testing requirements. FYI this test isn’t required for most of the popular Asian sunscreens because they’re not sold as sunscreen in the US (due to filters used).
Things to note
Due to FDA requirements, it doesn’t feature any of the more stable next-gen filters. Also contains fragrance and essential oils.
A plastic tube with a twist cap, pretty standard sunscreen packaging.
A fresh floral scent. Dissipates once you apply the sunscreen.
A light lotion texture that’s easy to spread and quick to dry down. Doesn’t feel sticky, heavy, or uncomfortable in anyways.
A satin finish with no white cast. Will sting like hell if it gets in the eye.
I’m not a fan of the limited filters available in US sunscreens, especially the ones Neogen selected:
- Octocrylene isn’t the strongest filter out there, though it can act as a stabilizer for other filters. It also covers the UVB and some UVA II range.
- Homosalate is another weak filter, UVB only, and requires Octocrylene for stabilization. However it does work well to dissolve other sunscreen filters that are in powder form, eg. Avobenzone. Also due to its potential hormonal impacts, the EU will be capping it at 1.4% in the near future.
- Avobenzone is the only FDA-approved UVA filter and notoriously unstable, hence why we need Octocrylene in the formula. However once stabilized it actually offers really good protection without any potential risks. 3% is the max allowed in the US.
I’m suspecting to boost its UV protection, Neogen added a bunch of ingredients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits (highlighted in green). However there are no studies showing any of them to actually boost a sunscreen’s protection levels.
There’s also the question of how much these plant extracts will benefit the skin, considering sunscreen is applied last over moisturizer and who knows how many other products beforehand.
Lastly there’s the inclusion of fragranced essential oils. I don’t think EO’s are inherently bad, but a few of these such as orange peel, bergamot, and lime oils are phototoxic, which means they make your skin susceptible to damage when exposed to UV light. Literally the opposite of what sunscreens are supposed to do!
Obviously the dosage makes the poison, so it’s possible there’s not enough essential oils to pose a risk at all. However I would’ve preferred a fragrance-free option instead for my peace of mind.
✔️ Universally elegant texture
I can see all skin types enjoying this texture. It’s light yet slightly moisturizing, but not to the point where it’ll leave skin dewy (or greasy to oily skin folks). If I had to rank all the sunscreens I’ve tried by texture, this would be a top 3 for sure, even a winner!
Texture is super important here because it’s key to applying the full amount (1/2 tsp for face, 1/2 tsp for neck), which is key to getting the labeled level of protection!
✔️ Layers well under makeup
Some sunscreens, while light, can leave an overly dewy or matte finish, which actually makes applying makeup a pain. I’d either have to powder it down first or apply a moisturizing primer to “neutralize” the effect so I get a good base for my foundation. Since the finish is satin and almost skin like, there’s no extra treatments necessary. Plus it doesn’t pill at all!
❌ Be careful around the eye area
Because this will STING like a &^%#$ if you get it in your eyes! Obviously avoiding the eye area completely makes no sense because you need sun protection there too, so what I recommend is powdering down that area if you’re prone to sweating or oily lids. A bit of a hassle but you’ll spare yourself a lot of tears – literally!
❌ Not for extended outdoor use
Due to the weaker filters and the fact that it’s not labeled as water or sweat-resistant, I would not use this if you’re planning to be mostly outdoors. Commuting to work/school should be fine, just make sure you reapply before heading out again.
Neogen Day-Light Protection Airy Sunscreen SPF50 alternatives
If you’re looking for a similar elegant texture and finish for everyday use, I recommend the Innisfree Daily Mild Sunscreen which has been tested to have SPF30 and UVAPF 23.8/PA++++. It’s also really affordable at just $9 too!
If you’re looking for a US sunscreen that follows FDA guidelines, I recommend the Paula’s Choice Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid. It doesn’t have the problematic filter Homosalate or the essential oils, instead it’s full of beneficial antioxidants. It also doubles as a moisturizer so it does feel richer than the Neogen.
Neogen Day-Light Protection Airy Sunscreen SPF50
For me the biggest selling point of this sunscreen is definitely its near flawless finish, one that beats most Western sunscreens and even Asian sunscreens as well. This makes it so easy to apply the 1/2 tsp necessary on the face and reapply as needed. However the filter and formula leaves much to be desired.
With other sunscreens boasting similar textures and superior protection, I don't consider this Neogen one a must have. But compared to most US sunscreens, it's done alright.