Facial Sunscreens: Allie Mineral Moist NEO vs Clarins UV Plus HP

It’s officially summer today! So this is your annual reminder to wear your sunscreen every single day!  Let’s have a look at 2 facial sunscreens that I’m currently enjoying:

• Allie UV Mineral Moist NEO SPF 50+ PA++++
• Clarins UV Plus HP Sunscreen Multi-Protection Tint in Light

I’ll review each sunscreen and do a quick comparison of the two but I will say that I like both – they serve slightly different purpose and both have pros and cons. First, let’s look at the one I bought from Japan last year:

Allie Mineral Moist NEO SPF 50+ PA++++
This is also called “Allie EX UV Protector Gel”, from parent company Kanebo.

The main reason I bought this was that it was primarily a mineral based aka physical sunscreen. I have a preference for physical sunscreen since they’re generally more photostable and work immediately upon application, whereas chemical ones require a wait time of 20 minutes prior to sun exposure. The problem with physical sunscreens is how they look on the skin – they give that ghostly white cast (especially Zinc) and look terrible under makeup.

99% in Japanese…

I had a love affair with Japanese sunscreens for many years because of how lightweight and undetectable they were under makeup. However, it seems that they were able to avoid the dreaded white cast by using only chemical sunscreens. It’s very difficult to find Japanese physical sunscreens but there are a few out there. I compromised by getting the Allie Mineral Moist NEO sunscreen which is a mixture of physical (Zinc Oxide) and chemical (Octinoxate, Uvinul A Plus, and Tinosorb S) UV filters.

It was love at first use with this sunscreen! (it made my favourites recently) The texture is so lightweight, it felt like a gel lotion that’s not greasy.

It’s not a watery texture that is typical of most Japanese sunscreens – I actually prefer this lotion-y texture as I didn’t feel like it was drying out my skin. This sunscreen is water, sweat and sebum resistant and lasts really well on my skin.

It does have a slight dewy finish but it doesn’t get oily over the course of the day. One added bonus is that I find this sunscreen acts like a primer – it helps my makeup apply more smoothly and wear longer.

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 9.45%, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Octinoxate) 7%, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate (Uvinul A Plus) 2.7%, Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (Tinosorb S) 0.05%
Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Alcohol, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Butylen Glycol, Sodium Acrylate / Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isohexadecane, Triethoxycaprylilsilane, Methicone, Polysorbate 80, Xanthan Gum, Nylon–12, Methyl Trimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Soluble Collagen, Royal Jelly Extract, Averrhoa Carambola Leaf Extract, Coix Lacryma-Jobi (Job’s Tears) Seed Extract

While don’t like that this contains chemical UV filters, especially Octinoxate, but I do love that the physical sunscreen used in it is Zinc Oxide which has the broadest UV protection of any single UV filter. One odd thing I noticed is that nowhere on the packaging does it indicate the expiry date.  I looked everywhere!  I’ve noted when I purchased this and my best guesstimate is an expiry of 2018 (erring on the side of early). I bought this large 90g tube for ¥2,800 (approx $33.35 CAD) – it also comes in a 40g format for ¥1,400 ($16.70).  This is made in Japan.

Pros:
• No white cast
• Water, sweat and sebum resistant
• Feels moisturizing
• Long lasting
• Acts as a primer

Cons:
• Contains alcohol
• Not 100% physical UV filter
• Difficult to find outside of Asia

Stash worthiness: 9/10


Clarins UV Plus HP Sunscreen Multi-Protection Tint SPF 40 in Light

I’ve found that in recent years, Western brands – especially those from France – are coming out with many options for physical / mineral sunscreens. One of the ways that they’re trying to improve the look of the mineral UV filters is by adding a tint to the formula to help overcome the white cast. And for the most part, they perform really well. I’ve used the tinted ones from La Roche-Posay and Consonant Skincare in the past, and tested the offerings from Avene and Coola.  I decided to get the Clarins one when I asked the SA at Shoppers Drug Mart for her recommendation of a mineral sunscreen.

The expiry of this sunscreen is clearly stamped onto the label.

She advised this one can act as a light foundation as well. She was right – the tint has enough coverage that it acts as both my sunscreen and foundation. I mainly wear this one the weekends for a light coverage. If I want additional coverage, I top it off with a bit of BB cream (which also provides added UV protection).

The formula is very runny and the product needs to be shaken up prior to application (there’s a metal ball inside the bottle to mix the liquid).  There is a perfume-y scent to this product that is pretty strong initially but doesn’t linger.  The finish of this sunscreen is semi-matte and lasts extremely well on the skin, even through sweat and heat.

The shade I have is in Light, which is quite peachy and not all that light in tone. I’m around NC20 and it looks quite obvious if I apply a generous layer (as instructed on the bottle!)  And that’s one of the downfalls of tinted sunscreens – the colours available won’t match every skin tone.

In order to make this colour work on my face, I apply only a light layer or else it’s very obvious. Which means I’m likely not applying enough sunscreen to effectively protect myself from UV rays. It would be fantastic if Clarins offered a wider range of colours but I don’t see that happening any time soon – as it stands, in Canada this is only available in Light and Medium.  However, I saw online that it was available in Deep as well:

Source.

Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide 7%
Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Aqua/ Water/Eau, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Alcohol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, CI 77491/ CI 77492/Ci 77499/ Iron Oxides, Sodium Chloride, Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide, Phenoxyethanol, PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Mica, Tocopheryl Acetate, Parfum/ Fragrance, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Maltodextrin Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Benzyl Salicylate, Cucumis Melo (Melon) Fruit Extract, Geraniol, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Citronellol, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Benzyl Benzoate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Lapsana Communis Flower/ Leaf/ Stem Extract, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

I should note that Titanium Dioxide is the lesser of the 2 physical sunscreens as it doesn’t protect against the full spectrum of UVA rays (the ones that cause premature aging).  This retails for $42 CAD for the 50ml bottle and is made in France

Pros:
• No white cast
• Semi-matte finish
• Long wearing
• 100% mineral / physical UV filter
• Tinted formula acts as light foundation

Cons:
• Very limited colour range (no fair or dark options)
• Contains alcohol
• Does not block full spectrum of UVA rays
• Fragranced

Stash worthiness: 8/10


Comparison between Allie vs Clarins

• Allie is colourless and can match all skin tones (+ Allie)
• Clarins is 100% mineral UV filter (+ Clarins)
• Allie is unscented (+ Allie)
• Clarins is easier to purchase locally (+ Clarins)
• Allie provides broad spectrum UVB and UVA protection (+ Allie)
• Both do not have white cast (tie, both winners)
• Both long wearing, water and sweat resistant (tie, both winners)
• Both contain alcohol (tie, both losers)
• Allie is made in Japan and Clarins is made in France (neutral)

The Allie Mineral Moist NEO edges out Clarins UV Plus HP Multi-Protection Tint for me since it provides a broad spectrum protection without any white cast and is suitable for all skin tones. 😀

Source.

A few facial sunscreen tips:

• Aim for SPF 30 or above

• Use a separate sunscreen instead of relying a moisturizer or foundation with sunscreen – typically you’re not applying enough moisturizer or foundation to provide sufficient UV protection

• General guide is to use “two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin” – what does this mean? Around 1/2 teaspoon for the face, but of course this amount varies depending on the size of your face!

• Try to apply sunscreen as your last layer but it might not be possible when you wear makeup. I layer my face products as follows: serum, moisturizer, primer (if using), sunscreen, foundation, powder.  I like to wait 5 minutes after I apply my sunscreen before applying my foundation.

• Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen while you’re outside – sunscreens degrade with direct exposure to the sun. A general guide is to reapply every couple of hours at minimum.

I wrote another post on sunscreens a couples of years back showcasing other facial sunscreens – check it out here. I love trying out new sunscreens, can you tell?  I’m still on the hunt for a 100% mineral broad spectrum facial sunscreen.  The best I’ve found so far is the Consonant Skincare Perfect Sunscreen SPF 30 – I’d like to find something that has a higher SPF.  What’s your favourite facial sunscreen that you would recommend to me to try? 🌞

39 thoughts on “Facial Sunscreens: Allie Mineral Moist NEO vs Clarins UV Plus HP

    1. Oh yes, that’s another consideration! Do you know what ingredients break you out? That way you can do process of elimination. I know that some people are allergic to Titanium Dioxide, which sucks!

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  1. I was about to say, how on earth would you make the Clarins light work for you 😛 I thought it maybe too dark for you. The peach tint is visible even on NC25. So love how you nerd out on all the review wahaha. I have never actually even thought about physical vs mineral sunscreen becoming coming across your blog. In my old world it was white cast vs no white cast only *LOL*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been wearing the Clarins underneath BB Creams that are on the light side for me and it balances out.
      Haha, I used to not care about physical vs chemical either. Now, even with physical sunscreens, you have to be careful about whether they use Nanoparticles…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Allie one reminds me of the Biore Sunscreen Face Milk that I absolutely love. I also use it as a primer as it does help in controlling the oils and mattifying my face. Too bad, though, that it’s not widely available.

    I think I’ll pass on the Clarins one. I hate tinted sunscreens/tinted moisturizers because of the extremely limited shade range. If they put tint on it, they might as well release a wider selection of colors.

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    1. I just recently tried the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence. I use it mostly for the decollete and neck as I can tell it has the alcohol that can irritate my face since I am using AHA products right now. Have you used this one, and if so, how does it compare to the Biore Face Milk?

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      1. I haven’t used either Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence or Biore UV Perfect Face Milk but based on the ingredient list, I think the Face Milk is better since it contains both chemical and physical UV filters (both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide). It’s better suited for oilier skin though so it depends on what your skin type is.

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    2. I’ve heard lots of good things about the Biore sunscreens but most of them are purely chemical filters. I just looked up the Face Milk version and it has ZINC! (along with other sunscreens!)
      Yeah the limited shade range is frustrating. I hate not being to recommend products to people because of the limited shade offering!

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      1. Thank you for the info. I think I may try the Biore Milk Face version when I finish the Biore Watery Essence. I did like the Watery Essence because of how thinly it applied and doesn’t have the cast. Although I could tell it had alcohol in it. Usually the alcohol doesn’t bother my skin unless I am using AHAs. In the summer I ease off the the AHAs because of the extra and more intense sun exposure. I am guessing since the Face Milk has zinc it has a slight cast? It am not sure it will work though as I have normal to dry skin. I have never heard of the Allie Mineral but that looks like another alternative I will check into.

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  3. Nice comparison – the Allie looks really good! Yeah it is so hard with the physical-only sunscreens, they tend to be so chalky. I am currently using one by Innisfree which I like a lot so far. I think it is physical-only (both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) and it does leave a very slight white cast, but under makeup it’s fine.

    That Clarins looks WAY peachy! 😳

    I recently used a mineral-only sunscreen for the body and OMG my skin looked like Robert Pattinson’s in Twilight. 😂 It was SO SHINY and SPARKLY. Uggggh.

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      1. It’s this one, Triple Care: http://www.innisfreeworld.com/product/productView.do?prdSeq=10812&eventSeq=0&catCd01=UA

        I do want to try the one for dry skin, and CosLove just started another Innisfree sale (15% off). I might order it, lol!

        Glad your SO uses sunscreen. It’s a challenge with mine (and my family – no way!). He’s like “I grew up in a tropical country, I don’t need it!” Sigh. But he’s coming around a little.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. He complains a LOT when I nag him… direct quote, “I know it’s good for me but I hate everything about sunscreen!!!” Haha, your SO’s excuse is not valid! Just load on the sugar: “I love you so much that I would hate for you to get skin cancer or get sick.” SAD FACE EMOJI! 😉

          Those 2 Innisfree tubes look so similar! My only reservation is that it contains Sunflower oil – apparently polyunsaturated oils are unstable and can affect sunscreen. See this article: https://beautyeditor.ca/2017/06/02/how-to-choose-best-sunscreen

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      1. Hah, yes that is Light. I don’t have a swatch of the Dark unfortunately. I bet it doesn’t suit all dark skin either. I would just prefer non-tinted so it works for all skin tones!

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  4. I really wish the Clarins one was more lightly tinted (or not all) because I could definitely not pull that off. But I’m excited that brands like Clarins are actually trying to make 100% mineral based sunscreens! There is one from Drunk Elephant that I want to try. Haven’t seen any reviews of it, but it looks promising…

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    1. I haven’t tried any Drunk Elephant products – I just had a quick look at that sunscreen and it looks promising! 20% zinc oxide for SPF 30 protection. I’ve been pouring over online recommendations for mineral only sunscreens, my head is beginning to spin! 😛 Thanks for the rec!

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  5. Oooo I love that you’re talking about sunscreens Stashy! That, along with powder is pretty much my base now lately since it’s gotten warmer. (I really CBA with foundation.)

    My favourite that I’ve tried so far is the Biore UV Watery Essence (I think it’s called). I recently finished up the Eucerin Mattifying Fluid (finished today actually :P) and now I just have the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL which a lot of people rave about.

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    1. I also forgot to add – first time round when buying the Anthelios XL, I accidentally bought the tinted fluid and since I already opened it, I couldn’t return it. 😦 It’s too dark for me! You have to be pretty olive skinned to use it. But I agree, tinted moisturisers/sunscreens are just generally a fail.

      I then went to buy it again but made sure I just got the non-tinted fluid!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I had the tinted La Roche Posay Anthelios XL before and it was WAY too dark for me. I had to mix it with a super pale BB cream to use it. Too bad in the UK they’re so strict about returning opened beauty products. Here, they’re very accommodating!

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    2. I’m similar as you, lately I’ve been wearing the Clarins only and adding Mineral powder on top – the coverage is great and wears really nicely during the warm weather. 🙂

      I’ve heard lots of raves for the Biore – I would have bought it but it only contains chemical filters. I’d rather focus on trying mineral ones… or even ones that have a blend of chemical and mineral. I’m glad you’re liking it though!

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  6. I Like CLarins sunscreens (thankfuLLy they’re not tinted in Asia, just coLored white, bLue, and pink) but they’re so f-in expensive in Indonesia 😦
    ALLie seems interesting.. and did you reaLize that you mentioned it with three -sLightLy- different names in this post?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yeah, the Allie sunscreen itself has 2 different names, it’s so confusing. But, Allie only offers 4 sunscreens right now and only one has the word “moist” in it, so there’s low risk anyone will mistakenly pick up the wrong one. 😛
      Too bad Clarins is expensive in Indonesia – they do make really good skincare products.

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    1. Oh that sucks. Alcohol is one of those polarizing ingredients – on one hand, it helps the product dry down on the skin… but on the other hand, it’s drying for the skin!

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  7. I’ve never been fussed about sunscreens – I just use my body sunscreen on my face, which I know is a big no-no, especially because it sometimes makes me break out. I finally decided to buy one just for the face a few weeks ago.

    It’s funny, because I went into Shoppers to ask the SA for help looking for a mineral face sunscreen. I had the Clarins in my hand all ready to purchase, but she convinced me to buy the La Roche-Posay Antihelios mineral sunscreen instead. I’m guessing being the mineral sunscreen junkie you are, you’ve probably tried the La Roche-Posay one, haven’t you? The Clarins one looks promising, might try that next time – although I don’t like that there’s so little shade choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup I’ve used the La Roche-Posay one:
      https://stashmatters.com/2015/06/21/its-summer-solstice-lets-talk-about-sunscreens/
      I found the tint in that version to be dark, rather than peachy like the Clarins one. I think protection-wise, the LRP one is probably better. I just liked the feel of the Clarins on my skin a bit more – it blended in well and lasts well.

      I’m almost finished the Clarins and I’m unsure I’ll repurchase either LRP or Clarins now – I’m now more focused on getting ones that contain Zinc Oxide. I will stick with the Allie and then see what is out there. I’m leaning toward Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 or one of the newer offerings from other brands. Someone mentioned Drunk Elephant has a Zinc Oxide one – that’s what I love about skincare, they are constantly coming out with better stuff all the time!

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