Bio Essence is an Asian skincare brand that formulates a range of skin care products with their proprietary Bio-Energy Complex, which they refer to as their “secret ingredient”.
One of the more popular products from the collection is the Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen, a lightweight sunscreen that offers SPF 50+ protection.
In this review, we’ll give you all the details on the key ingredients in Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen, as well as the research that supports (or doesn’t support) their use in skin care so that you can decide whether or not this sunscreen is right for you.
Is Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen Right For You?
Before we get into the details, here’s the TL;DR if you just want to know whether or not Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen is right for you.
- Key ingredients? Denatured Alcohol, Titanium Dioxide, Octinoxate, Avobenzone, and Oxybenzone
- SPF? 50+
- Skin type? All skin types
- Texture? Lightweight cream
- Fragrance? Yes
- Cruelty free? Unknown
- Cost? $25.90 USD for 40 mL
What Are The Key Ingredients in Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen?
What’s frustrating about this brand is that they don’t provide the ingredient list for Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen on their website. Rather, they highlight a few “key” ingredients and also state that the formula is alcohol-free and fragrance-free, which actually isn’t true.
We know this because we were able to find the ingredient list for Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen after doing a little digging. So let’s take a closer look at the true key ingredients you’ll find in this formula.
The first thing we noticed about this formula is that denatured alcohol is the third highest concentration ingredient. We can see why the brand included this ingredient, but we typically don’t recommend alcohol-based products. Here’s why:
On one hand, alcohol functions as a penetration enhancer by disturbing the skin barrier so that key ingredients can penetrate deeper into the skin. It also helps to remove excess oil and temporarily tighten skin while giving products a weightless feel and quick-drying finish.
On the other hand, alcohol-based products can cause excessive skin dryness. Over time, this can cause the sebaceous glands to compensate by producing even more oil, leading to clogged pores and acne.
Furthermore, alcohol disrupts the lipids that make up the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin), according to a publication in the journal BBA Biomembranes.
While there are some benefits of denatured alcohol, we don’t believe the benefits outweigh the risks.
The sunscreen ingredients in Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen include the mineral sunscreen titanium dioxide, as well as three chemical sunscreen ingredients: octinoxate, avobenzone, and oxybenzone. Together, these ingredients provide broad spectrum SPF 50 protection.
While the high SPF is great, we cannot recommend this formula due to the known adverse effects of oxybenzone
According to the American Cancer Society, “Some studies have shown oxybenzone can cause skin allergies. In addition, studies in animals and in human cells in laboratories show that oxybenzone can interfere with how some hormones work.”
In our opinion, it’s best to choose a 100% mineral sunscreen. While mineral sunscreens are notorious for leaving a white cast on the skin, there’s many brands that have overcome this formulation issue, such as Supergoop, Biossance, and CeraVe, just to name a few.
Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen includes a low concentration of sodium hyaluronate, the sodium salt form of hyaluronic acid. Once applied to the skin, sodium hyaluronate provides the same benefits of hyaluronic acid. Those benefits include improved skin hydration, as well as a more plump complexion with fewer lines and wrinkles.
Another problem with the Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen formula is the inclusion of grapefruit extract. Grapefruit and other citrus extracts are known to cause photosensitivity — a heightened skin sensitivity to UV rays — due to compounds known as furanocoumarins. It’s best to avoid skin care products with citrus extracts, especially sunscreen products like Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen.
The brand’s website claims that Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen is fragrance-free, however, the ingredient list that we found for this product shows “Fragrance” on the ingredient list.
Whenever you see “Fragrance” or “Parfum” on an ingredient list, this indicates that the brand created the fragrance with a proprietary blend of chemicals. On average, this consists of 30 to 50 chemicals (but it can have as much as 200 components).
This is concerning because of the potential health risks associated with putting these chemicals on your skin. For example, a 2018 study by Women’s Voices for the Earth discovered that in over 3,000 chemicals reportedly used for fragrances, 1,242 were chemicals of concern – and that included at least 7 possible carcinogenic (cancer-causing) agents.
Fragrance ingredients also have the potential to cause skin irritation and sensitivity.
How to Use Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen?
Shake well before use. Apply an adequate amount of Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen onto the face and neck. To ensure continuous sun protection, increase the frequency of application especially during outdoor activities or swimming.
Where to Buy Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen?
Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen and other Bio Essence skin care products are sold on the brand’s website (bioessence.com), as well as a few third party online retailers such as Amazon and Ebay.
How Much is Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen?
Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen costs $25.90 USD for 40 mL on the brand’s website.
What is The Bio Essence Return Policy?
Bio Essence only allows returns for products that arrived damaged or defective.
Is Bio Essence Cruelty Free?
It is unknown if Bio Essence is cruelty free as there isn’t any information available on the company website, Cruelty Free Kitty, PETA, or Leaping Bunny.
Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen Reviews
Unfortunately, this brand does not display customer reviews on their website, so we went over to Amazon.com to see if we could find Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen reviews. While this sunscreen is available on Amazon, there are no customer reviews.
There’s only two Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen reviews that we could find on Google, and they were both in a different language.
Overall, we don’t recommend Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen because there’s just too many issues with this formulation.
- High SPF
- Formula contains a high concentration of denatured alcohol
- Formula contains a synthetic fragrance blend
- Formula contains oxybenzone
- Formula contains grapefruit extract
- Very few Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen reviews
- Unknown if Bio Essence is cruelty free
What Are Some Alternatives to Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen?
Since we don’t recommend Bio Essence Bio Water Sunscreen, we thought we could recommend a couple alternative brands that can help address signs of aging.
One brand we recommend is Formulyst because they truly maximize the use of powerful ingredients and minimize the use of superficial ones, resulting in clinically advanced skin care solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin.
For example, Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Concentrate can help to address multiple signs of aging at once. This serum contains natural ingredients like squalane, green tea, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which provide powerful antioxidant activity to protect the skin against environmental free radicals that are known to degrade collagen. In addition, this serum contains Matrixyl 3000, a peptide complex that works to restore and maintain the skin’s youthful appearance by signaling to cells to produce more collagen.
Another brand that balances the power of plants with cutting edge science is Carrot & Stick. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skincare products.
American Cancer Society “How Safe Is Your Sunscreen?” Aug 2018>
BBA Biomembranes, May 2012, pages 1410-1419