Review Nivea Japan Sun Protect Water Gel Super 2016 Version

Clique aqui para português.

Second and last review of the products that was kindly provided by Pó de Arroz Cosméticos, a Brazilian store, for review purposes. I already reviewed the Etude House Moistfull Collagen Kit, don’t forget to stop by there and let me know what you think of it.

This time I’m going to be reviewing a Japanese sunscreen from Nivea. As you might know, Japanese sunscreens are always changing the formula or packaging. It was released in 2013 but it got reformulated in 2015. The formula didn’t change that much. They just added butylene glycol, a type of lysine, an herb extract, removed an emulsifier and I think that’s it.

I can’t know if there was a change in the concentration of the UV filters but they all come in the same position both in the 2013 and 2015 formulation. It’s said that the 2015 formula was renewed to be gentler and more moisturizing while feeling more like a natural bare skin.

The product was repackaged in 2016 but nothing about the formula has been changed.


Ok, I am reviewing the newest version (2016) and below there’s a description.

“Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel SPF50 PA+++ is a daily use Japanese sunscreen gel.

The water-light sunscreen gel applies and feels like a Japanese lotion to gently protect the skin against UV rays. Hyaluronic acid and plant extracts keep skin hydrated throughout the day. It has refreshing sensation with an invisible finish that is ideally suited for everyday use.

  • For face and body;
  • Not resistant to water, sweat, or sebum;
  • Double as a makeup base;
  • Removable with a face/body wash.”

Personal note: this sunscreen is not water, sweat, or sebum resistant as said before but it does contain a sunscreen filter that is completely insoluble in water.

Ingredient list

Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Pyrus Cydonia Seed Extract, Geranium Robertianum Extract, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hydroxide, BHT, Methylparaben.

Analysis of some ingredients

Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate: Also called Octyl Methoxycinnamate, it is an active ingredient in OTC sunscreen products;

Alcohol: Solvent. Helps the product to dry down faster;

Propylene Glycol: Like other glycols and glycerols, it has hydrating and ingredient delivery properties;

Dimethicone: It’s a silicone that works as an anti-foaming agent, skin and hair conditioner and skin protectant. It prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by forming a hydrating barrier on the skin. It has a unique fluidity that makes it easily spreadable. It can also fill in fine lines/wrinkles on the face, giving it a temporary plump appearance;

Ethylhexyl Triazone: The most effective UVB filter. Marketed as Uvinul T 150, it is a white to light yellow powder that is not approved for use in OTC sunscreen products in the USA. It’s an ultraviolet absorber that is derived from triazine. It has high UV absorbency and due to it, only small concentrations are required to achieve a high SPF. It is completely insoluble in water, so it is often used in water-resistant formulas;

Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate: Marketed as Uvinul A Plus by BASF, this ingredient is used in sunscreen to absorb UVA radiation. It has an excellent photostability (100%) and compatibility with other UV filters and cosmetic ingredients;

Butylene Glycol: Skin conditioning agent;

Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine: A plant-derived ingredient that possibly can help rejuvenate the skin while is mostly used as an emulsifier;

Pyrus cydonia Seed Extract: A.K.A quince, this extract may have antioxidant properties;

Geranium robertianum Extract: Commonly known as Herb Robert, it contains tannins, volatile oils, flavonoids and polyphenols (hyperoside, ellagic acid, isoquercitrin, quercitrine, kaempferols, caftaric acid, rutoside). It’s mainly an antioxidant.

Evaluation of antioxidant capacity of Geranium robertianum extracts;

Phellodendron amurense Bark Extract: Known as Amur Cork Tree, it’s an anti-inflammatory ingredient;

The anti-inflammatory potential of Cortex Phellodendron in vivo and in vitro;

Sodium Hyaluronate: The salt form of hyaluronic acid, a water-binding ingredient that has the ability to fill the spaces between collagen and elastin. Sodium hyaluronate has been used for moisturization and wound healing since its discovery, it can hold up to 1000 its own weight in water;

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer: Commonly found in moisturizers, sunscreens, cleansers and anti-aging products, it contains both hydrophobic and hydrophilic groups allowing it to bind to both water and oil, which makes it useful when combining two phases to create a single one. It is also used as a stabilizer, viscosity enhancer and also can form a film when applied topically;

Tocopheryl Acetate: A compound that consists of acetic acid and tocopherol (Vit E). Works as antioxidant, skin-conditioning…;

BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene): It’s a toluene-based ingredient used as a preservative in food and personal care products.

UV Filters

Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (aka Octyl Methoxycinnamate and Octinoxate), trade names Eusolex 2292 and Uvinul MC80:

  • Range of UV spectrum covered: UVB;
  • Wavelengths covered: 280-320 nm.

Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, trade name Uvinul A Plus:

  • Range of UV spectrum covered: UVA;
  • Wavelengths covered: maximum of 354 nm.

Ethylhexyl Triazone marketed as Uvinul T 150:

  • Range of UV spectrum covered: UVB;
  • Wavelengths covered: maximum of 314 nm.

Inorganic UV filters: None;

Organic UV filters: Uvinul MC80, Uvinul A Plus, and Uvinul T 150.

Acne triggers according to CosDNA

Dimethicone and Butylene Glycol strike 1 out of 5.

Irritants according to CosDNA

Carbomer is the only one, it strikes 1 out of 5.

Safety according to CosDNA

Most of the ingredients are green flagged (1 or 2 out of 9). Propylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, and Sodium Hydroxide strike 3 out of 9. Methylparaben strikes 4 out of 9. Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, and BHT strike 6 out of 9.

There isn’t a single red flagged ingredient.

CosDNA analysis: Nivea Japan Sun Protect Water Gel Super 2016.


This product contains 3 packaging types. An 80 g non-pump bottle, a 140 g pump bottle and a 125 g refill. The one I’ve got is the 140 g pump bottle.


It’s actually the first sunscreen in a pump bottle that I’ve got. I’m very happy with its design. Very practical. No mess. Easy peasy.

Texture and scent

The texture is interesting. It’s a true watery gel with a milky color. It’s a bit more watery than Bioré Aqua Gel 2017 and doesn’t dry down as fast even though it contains what it seems to be a high concentration of alcohol.


It smells slightly like typical sunscreen and alcohol due to the absence of fragrance. It’s very light and doesn’t bother me. Once applied and dried down the smell disappears.

How to use

Apply evenly over face, neck and/or body. Reapply as needed.

For your face, you need to apply at least 1.2 mL (1/4 teaspoon) to achieve the SPF described on the label. For your neck (front and back) is also around 1.2 mL and for each arm, you need around 2.46 mL (1/2 teaspoon). Leg (each), chest, and back need around 4.9 mL each (around 10 mL for both legs, 5 mL for chest and 5 mL for the back).


Being a very light sunscreen, it’s much easier to apply the right amount of product without that horrible sticky/greasy feeling that many sunscreens leave. I am going to show how invisible the protection is.

Below there is my bare hand.


The amount of product used.


Spreading it evenly.


Below you can see when it’s dry.


Would you say I am using anything? It looks and feels like I just applied a regular toner.


I’m gonna do a quick comparison of Nivea Sun Protect and Bioré Aqua Gel. Bioré Aqua Gel (2017) has already been reviewed here on my blog. If you missed, you can click on here to read it.

Since they are both sunscreens for face and body, Bioré is very famous, and I know some people would ask my opinion about the differences between Nivea Sun Protect and Bioré Aqua Gel, I thought that a comparison would be very handy.

Main differences

  • Nivea isn’t water/sweat resistant while Bioré is;
  • Nivea contains only organic filters while Bioré contains both organic and inorganic filters;
  • Nivea offers SPF50 PA+++ while Bioré offers SPF50+ PA++++;
  • Nivea doesn’t leave white cast while Bioré does;
  • Nivea doesn’t leave as much glow as Bioré does;
  • Nivea has a simpler ingredient list while Bioré doesn’t;
  • Nivea is fragrance-free while Bioré isn’t;
  • Nivea costs around US$14 while Bioré costs around US$11;
  • Nivea contains 140 g while Bioré contains 90 g;
  • Nivea comes in a pump bottle while Bioré comes in a squishy bottle;
  • Both can be removed with regular facial/body soap;
  • Both contain alcohol and moisturizing agents.

Bellow, there are pictures of both Nivea and Bioré’s finishing.

Nivea is more transparent than Bioré.

Final thoughts

Well, well, well… this sunscreen is totally amazing! It feels as light as a cloud. Should I say it doesn’t feel anything at all? Pretty much the same, huh? It’s totally free of white cast and this is what makes me most happy because I can easily apply the right amount on my face (1.2 mL) without any sensation at all.

It does contain alcohol but I do not experience any dryness after using it. I can even tell you my skin feels slightly more hydrated not to mention smoother and with a bit of glow. Talking about the glow, this sunscreen does leave a slightly glowy effect on the skin but it doesn’t bother me. It’s almost matte, though. The glowy effect is much less than Bioré Aqua Rich Gel, which is still a good sunscreen for face and body but the glowy effect can bother some people.

The only bad thing about this sunscreen is the fact that it isn’t water/sweat resistant. I hardly ever sweat and wet my face while I am outside, so this sunscreen works very well for me. If you don’t sweat and are always avoiding the sun rays, this sunscreen might be a good option for daily use. It also doesn’t offer PA++++ which can be a disadvantage for some people. Not for me, though.

I confess, since I first started using this sunscreen, I stopped using both Bioré and Thank You Farmer sunscreens. I completely fell in love with its texture, the absence of feeling when it’s dried, the perfect daily protection, the huge bottle (if you use it only on your face, it will last you nearly 5 times of what one regular Japanese facial sunscreen bottle would last). Not to mention that a sunscreen in a pump bottle is amazing, right?

I enjoyed this sunscreen very much and it worked very well both on my face and on my body. I’ll definitely purchase it!


Rate: 4.7/5

Click on here for more sunscreen reviews.

This product was sent by Pó de Arroz Cosméticos for review purposes. ALL the opinions are of my own and the review is 100% honest, like all of my other reviews that I’ve written here and on Instagram.


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