Comparing Sunscreens - AXIS-Y and MISSHA
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Comparing Sunscreens – AXIS-Y and MISSHA

By Kate Limond
22/06/2023 | Read time: 5m

Sunscreens are so important but texture and finish can make or break it! Let's compare two popular k-beauty choices.

What you need to know about K-Beauty sunscreens

Bianca has written about k-beauty sunscreens and covers the key points you need to know: higher SPF rating than lots of Western sunscreens, formulas that feel lightweight and absorb quickly as well as being packed with other beneficial ingredients that can hydrate, brighten and provide anti-aging benefits!

And, as Bianca goes on to point out, there are mineral and chemical filters, which both protect you against UV rays but absolutely feel different on the skin.

I’m going to review two sunscreens from Axis-Y and Missha but I’ll also compare them to two other popular sunscreens I’ve written about before, Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun gel and Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotics sunscreen.

Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk EX

It’s thinner than other K-Beauty sunscreens I’ve tried, which makes me think it might be the best one for oily skin! It’s even thinner than the Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun gel, which was the lightest K-Beauty sunscreen I’d tried until I tried the Missha. ‘Milk’ is such a good description – it really is that lightweight!

From the four sunscreens I’m talking about here, I think this would be the best for oilier skin – it dries down properly without any oiliness and yet doesn’t feel drying.

The look of the Missha on my combination skin was soft and blurred, very much like the finish on the Beauty of Joseon sunscreen. But whilst the Beauty of Joseon is arguably a bit glowier, it’s also more moisturising so if you have oily skin, you’d want to try the mini first.

And then of course the Isntree sunscreen is lighter than the Beauty of Joseon and gives you a dewy, glass-skin finish. There are definitely different benefits from different finishes and some of it will come down to how they appear on your skin and mesh with your concerns.

I feel like drier skin could use the Missha but you would absolutely need a very decent moisturiser underneath it, like my new favourite, Pyunkang Yul Nutrition cream. If you do have dry skin, you might prefer the Axis-Y sunscreen that I’ll talk about in the second part of this review.

I’m not surprised by how good the Missha is: I’ve written about my love for a Missha essence before. My only caution with this one is that whilst it has lots of excellent UV filters, it is rated as having a lower PA than the other sunscreens I’m talking about here. On the other hand, its the only one of this list that is waterproof so it’s worth bearing that in mind!

The fragrance is very mild and subtle – it has an inoffensive baby powder smell. It smells clean and gentle, which is quite nice.

Axis-Y Complete No-Stress Physical sunscreen

This is definitely the most moisturising sunscreen I’ve tried, not what I expected at all! As I mentioned before, I’m not sure this would work for oily skin – I think it’s even more moisturising than the Beauty of Joseon sunscreen but the good news is that there’s a mini for this too.

There is a white cast on application – if you haven’t come across this term before, it’s as it sounds – a chalky looking appearance to your skin. On pale skin, it doesn’t always show but it can be very noticeable on any other skin tones.

I’m pretty pale so I don’t notice a white cast once it dries down, so I can’t really comment on whether it would have a white cast on other skin tones. But, it’s a known and significant downside to mineral / physical sunscreens.

However, downsides aside: the mineral filters are amazing for sensitive skin. I found some chemical sunscreens fine for my face but they made my neck itchy. All the ones I’ve talked about here were fine, although the Missha really was a bit drying for my neck (although that was before I discovered the A’pieu Madecassoside Sleeping mask, which I reviewed here, and the Pyunkang Yul Nutrition cream I mentioned earlier).

I found the Axis-Y was a bit too oily for my face, which is combination – I don’t usually get oily throughout the day any more (thanks to Korean skincare!) but I did with this sunscreen.

The good news is that this gave my dry neck and chest the most incredible glow and left me perfectly moisturised all day.

However, there’s often a way round issues like a sunscreen being too moisturising – I dropped most of my usual routine and my skin stayed perfectly comfortable, hydrated and glowy all day! If your skin is oily, you might need to experiment a bit if you want to use this one.

I don’t use any other sunscreen for my neck and chest now – oh and it has this amazing fragrance: fresh, a touch herbal, a little sweet. It’s perfect for summer because it smells so refreshing!

As usual with K-Beauty and fragranced products, I don’t find it irritating for my sensitive neck at all – if anything, it’s one of the most calming feeling sunscreens I’ve tried. Plus the glow! It is even more glowy (on my neck) than the Beauty of Joseon is. I do wish I could use it on my face – ooh, maybe if I skip moisturiser??

If you’re not sure about fragrance in skincare products, check out this post for more information.

Final Word

K-Beauty sunscreens are so versatile! And they all have different textures, meaning there’s a genuine choice for a variety of skin types.

If you haven’t found your holy grail sunscreen yet, don’t worry – there will be one out there for you!

Or you might even be able to adjust your routine a little, like I did, to see if one you already have can work better for you!