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Last summer I did a whole series answering your sunscreen questions, and one of the videos I did was on sunscreen pills as in pills you take for added sun protection. One brand I mentioned was Heliocare – actually the parent brand is Cantabria Labs, a pharmaceutical company, and Heliocare is their sun protection line, featuring the “Photoprotection Capsules” as well as different actual sunscreens.
As I had never tried anything from the line, just voiced my problem with the capsules, I figured it was only fair to test an actual product – meet the Heliocare 360° Water Gel Sunscreen SPF 50.
What the Heliocare 360° Water Gel Sunscreen claims
Its ultra-light, noncomedogenic aqueous formula is quickly absorbed leaving the skin hydrated and maintaining comfort during sun exposure. Its slow-release hydrating system keeps the skin hydrated from application and over time. Its characteristics allow comfortable use and daily application. It is water resistant and does not irritate the eyes. It can be used on all skin types, even sensitive.
Facts about the Heliocare 360° Water Gel Sunscreen
Prize and size
One bottle contains 50 ml and retails for around 25 € on the different online pharmacy websites I looked at. It is water resistant and classified as non-comedogenic.
Texture and smell
After a long time using the cosmetically elegant Korean sunscreens, I have to say that this one feels and smells like sunscreen when you get it out of the tube. There is no confusing it with a lightweight moisturizer, but to be honest after the whole sunscreen gate that was kind of reassuring for me.
How to use the Heliocare 360° Water Gel
Before using it, you shake it up. As It is a sunscreen, you apply it in the mornings as last step in your skincare routine and before makeup. What is crucial in order to get the claimed protection is that you apply enough of it. I like the three fingers method for measuring, but be careful, this sunscreen is runny. Three fingers are enough for my face, behind the ears and part of my neck – I either have a really large head or, the likelier explanation, really short fingers, as three fingers should usually be enough for your whole neck.
As you can see there is a faint initial white cast that quickly disappears and a very dewy finish upon application, but what is fascinating is that the Water Gel dries down to an almost powdery feel and looks just like skin.
If the white cast is more of a problem on someone with darker skin I can’t say, but as it disappears when you massage it in I think it should be fine.
Heliocare 360° Water Gel Sunscreen Ingredients
Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
It combines different older filters like Octocrylene, Avobenzone and Octisalate with newer ones like Ensulizone, great for light formulations, Uvinul A Plus, Uvinul T 150, Tinosorb A2B and a bunch of humectants and antioxidants. The filter Octocrylene and the added Perfume along with Linalool and Limonene might be troublesome for very sensitive skins, but I had no issues.
Does it live up to its claims?
It is a lightweight sunscreen that wears comfortably throughout the day, but I di not find it particularly hydrating, something that is actually good for oily skin in the summer.
How does it compare to…
The La Roche Posay Shaka Fluid SPF 50
La Roche Posay made my (and many fellow oily skinned people’s) favorite water resistant outdoor sunscreen, the famous Shaka Fluid. But while I still love it for the beach, I have to say that the Heliocare offer is just a tad bit nicer in terms of how it sits and feels on my skin. It has more potential for irritation though if your skin is sensitive, so which one you end up going for is up to your personal preference – I really like both.
You can read my review of the La Roche Posay Shaka Fluid here
Would I repurchase?
I am impressed with this product and it has overtaken the La Roche Posay Shaka Fluid in Water Resistant as my favorite outdoors/ summer/ beach sunscreen. Not that I had much beach or outdoors this year, but you know, I have been daydreaming about being on a holiday and this one always made its way into my daydream beach bag.
Whom do I recommend it to?
I can see oily skins falling head over heels for it due to the texture once it has settled on the skin – when it was a little colder, I had to wear a moisturizer underneath, which rarely happens to me, so I am not 100% convinced of the hydrating powers, but as a sunscreen this is chefs kiss. If you are more on the dry side and tried it, please share your experiences – my guess is you needed a moisturizer underneath to make it work.
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