2 Jan 2017

Review: Kose Sekkisei Sun Protect Essence Gel SPF50+/PA++++

Let's talk about my favourite sunscreen today, what I usually refer to as my holy grail sunscreen, the absolute must-have in my sunscreen stash. I couldn't decide which one I like better compared to AMPM 10-Peptide Sun Lotion but this is definitely one of my holy grails!

As shared in my last review on Kose, Kose is a brand that I have always been intrigued to try. It's one of the "classics" that one must try at least once in their life. Of course, due to heavy alcohol content, Kose products may not be suitable for everyone especially those with sensitive skins. But normal skin especially dull and pgimented skin will find this works really well on brightening up their entire skin tone and fading those naughty little dark spots!

Besides, Kose sunscreen is actually quite affordable if you consider its price-to-volume ratio. My holy grail AMPM 10-Peptide Lotion costs RM 45 per 50ml, and even the cheaper Biore Watery Essence is RM 30 per 50g. This Kose sunscreen is only RM 98 for 81ml, so just slightly more expensive than those over-the-counter sunscreens, and perhaps the cheapest you can find among departmental store brands!

Like most other Japanese sunscreen, this has a high SPF and PA, with a PA of ++++, making it an effective weapon against against UVA rays that cause aging and hyperpigmentation. Due to its silky soft texture, this can also function as a makeup base for those who don't want to put too many layers of makeup on their face. Although Kose claims that this can be removed with a normal cleanser, but I still like to wipe my skin with cleansing water since it has the property of a makeup base and contains ingredients like talc, mica and titanium dioxide. I know a lot of people hate sunscreen that requires a makeup remover hence this might also be a big plus for those who want to skip the trouble of double cleansing.

I love love love the texture of this sunscreen! Since I don't own a machine to measure the effectiveness of sun-protecting ability of sunscreen, texture is one of the greatest contributing factors to decide how I like a sunscreen.

This Kose sunscreen has the most wonderful texture for a sunscreen imaginable, especially for normal to dry skin. It is highly spreadable, with a light-weighted milky lotion texture that dries down silky soft on the skin. It leaves a "breathable", comfortable tacky finish that I find pleasurable. Unlike AMPM Sun Lotion that feels refreshing and hydrating, the Kose Sun Protect Essence Gel is more towards moisturizing and softening.

As for the scent, it has the usual "Kose scent" but not as strong as its Lotion or Emulsion.


Water, Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Polysilicone-15, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Akebia Trifoliata Stem Extract, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-Yuen Seed Extract, Melothria Heterophylla Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, BHT, Carbomer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone/Phenyl Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Glyceryl Sterate, PEG-30 Phytosterol, PEG-5 Phytosterol, Potassium Hydroxide, Silica, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Talc, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Zeolite, Methyparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Mica, Titanium Dioxide


Sunscreen actives used here are more or less the same as other sunscreens I've reviewed. I guess formulation and technology will affect how effectiveness are they but the skeleton will be the same. Kose uses octinoxate, polysilicone-15, uvinul A plus, and tinosorb S as sun filters here. Although I also spot titanium dioxide but I think it functions as a pigment (as a makeup base) rather than sun filters here, which makes this Sun Protect Essence Gel a chemical sunscreen. There isn't much to talk about as these sunscreen filters are generally quite safe to use on the skin. Although some (like uvinul A plus and tinosorb S) are not FDA approved, but they are common ingredients found in most Asian sunscreens especially those with lighter texture.

What I really enjoy about this sunscreen is the amount of botanical extracts present in the little bottle. We have a blend of akebia trifoliata stem extract, dang gui extract, coix seed extract, white lotus extract, peony flower extract, and peach leaf extract. These are mainly skin moisturizers and anti-oxidants to repair skin damage, soften the skin and prevent the aging of skin. Dang gui extract, peony flower and coix seed are commonly seen in Kose products to provide anti-aging, skin softening and brightening benefits. They are probably the contributing factors to how Kose always so proudly labels themselves as "20% whitening; 80% moisturizing". And I'm excited to know that I'm enjoying the skincare benefit of Kose products from their sunscreen - something that I need to use every day!

The rest are mainly texture ingredients that makeup the texture, scent and presentation of this product. There are some ingredients flagged oranges when you run it through CosDNA but nothing really worrying here, unless if you are sensitive to any particular ingredient in the formulation. For instance, BHT is a preservative found to have toxic effects on lung tissues and cancerous effect on the body. However, reviews conclude that BHT is safe to be used in cosmetics since it is present in very small concentration that is unlikely to create any irritation or carcinogenic effects on the skin.


I am extremely picky about sunscreen. I think I've finished at least 25 sun products and reviewed close to 20 of them. So far, only 5 are considered my repurchases and 2 are what I would call holy grails. A good sunscreen must be, in my definition, light-weighted, fast-absorbing, has decent SPF and PA, refreshing or hydrating, does not have funny scent, and is not extremely expensive. Kose Sekkisei Sun Protect Essence Gel SPF50/PA++++ is such sunscreen that passes all my requirements with flying colours! It's a joy to use it.

About: sunscreen, makeup base, skin primer
Properties: sun protecting, moisturizing, anti-oxidizing, brightening
Best suited for: combination/normal to dry skin
May not suit: oily and/or sensitive skin

packaging: ★★★★
scent: ★★★★
texture: ★★★★★
ingredients: ★★
efficacy: ★
overall impression: ★★ (holy grail)

You can get this from: Kose Malaysia
[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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