27 Jun 2016

Review: Hada Labo Air Aqua UV Day Emulsion SPF50/PA+++

If you are someone with sensitive and normal-to-dry skin, yet needs light-weighted, wide spectrum sun protection, then this will be the perfect candidate for you.

The Air Aqua UV line was released when Hada Labo upgraded their formula and varied their products according to skin types. So this one also came out with a moist version for drier skin and a fresh one for oilier skin. I have normal skin on the drier site so I chose this, but I think the fresh one will serve me well as well.

The upgraded version promises lighter product consistency that is breathable and airy light. Instead of sunscreen, this can also be used as a skin primer or makeup base. Contrary to the Perfect UV Gel that has 50g, this only has 30g of product inside.

However, if you look at the ingredients and claims (i.e. photostability, long-lasting protection, extra skin benefits), it may actually justify the price for that amount of product.


Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Polyglycerin-10, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, Dimethicone, Water/Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Butylene Glycol, Arachidyl Alcohol/Behenyl Alcohol/Arachidyl Glucoside, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Dimethicone/Dimethiconol, Sodium Hydroxide, Polysorbate 60, Water/Polyquaternium-51, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum/Hectorite/Cellulose, Xanthan Gum, Methylparaben, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Tremella Fuciformis Polysaccharide, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein, Water/Butylene Glycol/Nephelium Longana Seed Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Resveratrol

{sun filters, skincare benefits}


I can see that this formulation is actually milder and safer than the blue-bottled Perfect UV Gel which I've done a detailed review before. This particular one does not contain alcohol and triethanolamine, both of which might cause sensitive reactions to certain skins. Sodium hydroxide, a pH adjuster used here is also milder than triethanolamine without the worries of carcinogenicity when not properly formulated. In addition, this also has more skincare benefits and extracts compared to the Perfect UV Gel.

The Air Aqua UV Day Emulsion uses multiple chemical sun filters:
  • ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate is a UVB filter approved for use in sunscreen up to a concentration of 7.5%. Concerns have been raised about its properties of cellular signalling interference leading to cell death. It also may cause allergic reactions in some people.
  • phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid is a UVB filter with light and non-greasy finish. Cosmetic Database rates this ingredient as moderately hazardous with potential of causing cancer and cellular damage.
  • univul A plus is a relatively safe UVA2 filter
  • octyltriazone is a safe UVB filter that is water-resistant and long-lasting
  • anisotriazine is a safe UVA and UVB filter that also stabilizes other sunscreen actives in a product

Unlike a lot of Hada Labo products I've tried, this one contains far more actives and extracts that are beneficial to your skin in it. It has tremella mushroom extract, a jelly fungus with the ability to hold up to 500 times its weight. There is also longan extract and hyaluronic acid to nourish and moisturize the skin. It also has ascorbic acid for skin brightening and dark spots reducing. Hydrolyzed lupine protein, commonly used in hair and skin conditioning products, contains abundant essential amino acids to fight against premature aging and rejuvenate the skin. Lastly, the sunscreen is also packed with the powerful antioxidant resveratrol to eliminate free radicals and whisk away sun-related damages.


This Air Aqua UV Day Emulsion lives up to its name. It has really light consistency like a light-weighted hydrating lotion or emulsion, quite hydrating and very moisturizing, and will soak into the skin few seconds after smoothing it out. It doesn't leave a white cast since it contains mainly chemical filters, dries down semi-matte but moist enough to reflect light and gives a dewy finish. The smell reminds me of dermatological formulated sunscreen with the sunscreen-smell. It's not perfumy or overwhelming, but not too pleasant either. The smell dissipates within a few minutes. In addition, since this also serves as a makeup base, it should be removed with a cleansing water or makeup remover before a foam cleanser. You need to do the double cleanse.


In short, this is a decent sunscreen with slightly-above-average price for its volume-to-cost ratio (i.e. 30g for RM 52.90). It still has propylparaben with a warning 7/7 safety assessment on CosDNA. And it doesn't contain any physical filters which I generally prefer over chemical filters. Another thing is that you'll notice how fast you finish this little bottle. At 1/4 tablespoon per application, this might last you less than 10 uses, of course unless you rarely apply sunscreen or rarely go out.

Other than that, this sunscreen will still please many people out there, especially those with picky taste when it comes to sunscreen. It is light-weighted, hydrating, no white-cast, soaks in fast, gives dewy finish and can be used as a makeup base. It is perfect for most skin types (since it has two versions to serve different skin types), and will appeal to sensitive skin looking for a wide-spectrum and gentle approach to sun protection.

I enjoy using this sunscreen. It is feathery light and moist for a SPF50 product. However, I think I will still go back to AMPM Ultra Light UV Lotion which is far more refreshing and hydrating than this. This Air Aqua one feels like it has a lot of texture stuffs (i.e. emulsifiers, silicones, emollients etc) that makes it rather powdery-matte compared to the AMPM one. Besides, AMPM has better ingredients and also a physical filter titanium dioxide. Of course, just like Biore Watery Essence and Hada Labo Perfect UV Gel, AMPM contains alcohol to give it the fresh and hydrating texture I enjoy. If you're someone with absolutely no tolerance to alcohol, then you should go for this or the fresh version for something similar to the AMPM Ultra Light UV Lotion that I'm consistently raving about.

About: sunscreen, skin primer, makeup base with spf
Purpose: wide spectrum sun protection, moisturizing base for makeup
Best suited for: normal to dry and sensitive skin
May not suit: those who don't use a cleansing water or makeup remover to remove sunscreen, oily skin looking for sebum-absorbing properties, individuals who cannot tolerate chemical sun filters
Skincare Step: cleanser > toner > treatment > moisturizer > Hada Labo Air Aqua UV Day Emulsion SPF50/PA+++

packaging: ★★★
scent: ★★☆
texture: ★★★

ingredients: ★★★★
efficacy: ★★★

overall impression: ★★★
 (quite good and I somehow enjoy it)
PS: -★☆ for the price factor; slightly disappointing consistency, scent and ingredients

You can get this from: Watsons | Guardian | SASA | Hada Labo Malaysia | Hermo | NattaCosme
[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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