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Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
For sponsorship, collaborations and engagements: arisa1443@gmail.com

Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence Sunblock Review

Summer is here and one of the things i can't live without right now is sunblock! Back when i was staying in Malaysia, it took me literally forever to finish a whole tube of sunblock because most of my foundation/ base already has SPF in it and i mostly drove around instead of walk outside so i didn't see the need to constantly rub on sunblock like there is no tomorrow but in Japan what is car? I walk 90% of the time from my house to the nearest available public transport and after i get off it still requires more walking. So yea i'm constantly being exposed under direct sunlight even though i'm not at the beach (wish it was) and UV umbrellas alone isn't going to protect you 100%. 

Guess i as i grew older i started taking care of my skin more diligently because it isn't regenerating itself as quickly as it used to be (unfortunately). And skin cancer is a real thing, not some online hoax to scare you into stocking up a cupboard full of sunblock. So it's best to be always safe than sorry!

This sunblock i'm going to share today has been my all time favorite for the past 2 years (it's from Rhoto btw!), this was before Skin Aqua released the Tone Up UV Essence series in 2018. I've shared an entry on how to survive summer in Japan before so you guys can read up on it to prepare yourself for your upcoming summer trip.

No.1 reason why MOST PEOPLE HATE SUNBLOCKS is because of it's tacky & heavy cream texture, i still remember my first application as a kid while going to the beach that indirectly traumatized me into avoiding sunblocks at all costs until gel like texture were invented about 6 years ago. That's about the same time i started building the courage to "give it a chance" again because hey, we can't run away forever right?


When i first came across Skin Aqua's gel sunblock (light blue tube) i went nuts over it because of how lightweight the texture was and it absorbs quickly without leaving the skin sticky (last thing you need on a hot & sweaty day). Then the next following year they released the Tone Up UV Essence Sunblock which they claim to help brighten up your skin at the same time creating a protective UV barrier, i picked it up from Donki (slightly more expensive than the usual series) out of curiosity and i'm glad that it didn't disappoint! 

The tube packaging alone was attractive (i'm bias towards purple lol) thanks to it's good color combination, definitely stands out more compared to their usual single colored tubes. 

Application wise, it lathers on rather well despite it not being completely gel like texture (combination of gel + cream?), still lightweight and it has a power-ish like finishing that acts as the "tone up" function as advertised by the brand. The lavender colored sunblock leaves you 1 shade brighter than your original skintone, and if you are going for the healthy sun kissed tan look then this sunblock isn't for you (you'll need tan tinted sunblocks).

The tone up function does even out my skintone overall especially with my arms & belly area which are painstakingly a stark contrast from each other (i'm sure you gals get me on this issue). 
So to not look weird in my swimsuit, (dark arms + white belly), the sunblock did a great job on making things even without making me look too fair and pasty. 

Does it Work?

What surprises me most is that it actually prevented me for getting sunburn after being out by the beach all day last summer while i was traveling around Yamaguchi prefecture. I know sunblock usually prevents sunburns but this literally prevented that and me getting more than 1 shade darker than my original tone. So i didn't have any issues with my foundation being too fair after my trip!
It was because of this experience that is why i went around recommending people this awesome sunblock, and i'm not being paid to rave about it but i would gladly do so because it ACTUALLY WORKS!!

It's waterproof too, but i like being careful so i reapplied my sunblock every 2-3 hrs especially when i'm directly under it the whole day. 

This sunblock is my holy grail out of all my sunblocks because this can be used both on body & face, the texture and formulation is suited for it unlike normal sunblocks that's made for specific parts of your body. It also works as a make up base* (No need fancy color correction base liao) with decent oil control thanks to it's matte finishing, it's also easy to remove with face wash/ soap; no specific cleanser needed.

Been restocking it non stop and earlier this year they even released a special packaging design for the Tone Up UV essence- Alice in Wonderland

*The lavender undertone from this sunblock works well in balancing out our usual Asian yellow skin tone, helps to brighten up overall (not excessively) especially for those who experience dull & uneven skin patches all over.

Tube or Spray?

There are 2 kinds available tube (80g) & spray (70g), to be i prefer the tube more because it has more in terms of weight but each has their own function depending on a person's preference. Spray can definitely helps you reach areas that are difficult to reach, example like your back and it's faster to use compared to the tube, with no rubbing required. Downside with spray are it isn't child friendly, needs to be done in a well ventilated space and finishes quite fast as you can't control how much is being use with each push. Also spray can is abit more expensive- 1000yen+

However the tube, it lasts longer; for me using it everyday all over from face to my legs a tube lasts about 1.5-2 months. And i don't have to worry about using it indoors around my kid because it's just rub on, i can control how much i use with each squeeze and it only costs 700yen+ a tube.
Downside i need someone to help me to apply on my back if we are going to the beach.

Where to Buy?

Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence Sunblock can be found at any drug store throughout Japan, and tax free shopping areas like Don Quijote (Donki), Bic Camera, Yodobashi, etc. 
So make sure to grab once while you are in Japan!
It's also available in Malaysia & Singapore at your local pharmacies but slightly more expensive due to import fees & taxes. 

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