sunscreens klairs uv essence suntique i'm pure cica

Update 1/20/2021: Klairs has suspended sales of all its sunscreens in light of the Purito controversy. The band is in the process of testing the SPF on all its formulas. Read about that and more in this post.

Are you familiar with Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence? It’s touted as a holy grail by many in the skincare community. Alternatively, Suntique’s I’m Pure Cica Suncream seems to fly under the radar in most circles.

What do these two sunscreens have in common? Well, quite a bit, but more importantly: I’ve used them each for at least a month. Now I’m ready to share my impressions.

klairs airy uv essence pink

How I came across the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence

Back around March my go-to sunscreen at the time, Cosrx’s Aloe Soothing Sun Cream, had not been playing nice with my face. I took to Instagram and asked for some recommendations. One of my dear friends on the platform not only suggested the Klairs UV Essence, she even sent me a small sample to try. It didn’t take long before I was hooked, and I immediately threw Wishtrend my money to have a full-size tube arrive at my house as soon as possible.

suntique i'm pure cica suncream nyc

How I came across the Suntique I’m Pure Cica Suncream

In May, I had the opportunity to attend a summer skincare showcase at Lovue NYC where Suntique was one of the featured brands. Lovue had all four of the I’m Pure sunscreens on display for guests to try. As I was just about out of the Klairs and desperately needed sunscreen for summer travels, I figured I’d use the 10% off in-store discount Lovue generously gifted all attendees and buy the Suntique suncream I liked the most in the Cica.

Klairs vs. Suntique

As I mentioned already, the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence and Suntique I’m Pure Cica Suncream have quite a bit in common. The biggest difference between them is the filters; Klairs is a chemical sunscreen while Suntique is a physical sunscreen.

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Comparing the textures

I found both of these sunscreens to be quite watery, although the Klairs is more of a gel while the Suntique is a straight-up cream. Both are rather light — moreso the Klairs by a smidge. As it’s a physical sunscreen the Suntique does have some whitecast to it but it’s far from the worst I’ve experienced. However, it does take me a little more effort to get my skin to fully absorb the Suntique than the Klairs, which — as a chemical sunscreen — leaves no whitecast.


Which feels better?

Fortunately, neither the Klairs nor the Suntique leave behind any greasy residue, which is especially ideal on deathly humid days. Makeup application has never been an issue for me while wearing either one of these formulas, and I’ve experienced no pilling.

However, in terms of daily wear, the Suntique Cica Suncream tends to leave my face feeling a bit dry or tight after a while. That hasn’t been an issue with the Klairs UV Essence.

Which *is* better?

If I believed in giving products that esteemed holy grail tag, I would slap it right on the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence. It’s my favorite sunscreen. It applies beautifully and doesn’t leave my skin feeling gross or dry. I can apply makeup over it no problem. The coverage is superb. I love it so much, I actually bought another tube of it last week. I should probably stock up on it for the next…decade or so?

Of course, that’s not to say the Suntique I’m Pure Cica Suncream is bad. In fact, despite those occasional feelings of dryness I liked it very much, especially for the cica component. But there’s one thing I’ve come to realize: I’m a chemical sunscreen type of gal. It’s a personal preference, really. I feel those types of sunscreens apply better on my skin than physical formulas. (Plus, I can do without whitecast — I’m pale enough!)

If you’re one who likes a more “natural” sunscreen, then the Suntique may be your cup of tea. It’s formulated without “bad” ingredients like parabens, or benzophenones. (But it does have sunflower, chamomile, and “blue weed seed” oils.) Plus, it’s EWG rated 0-2, which means it’s deemed very safe to use by the Environmental Working Group.

Otherwise, if you’re fine with a chemical sunscreen, then certainly give the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence a try. Bear in mind, however, that the formula does contain an essential oil in citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) for a very faint fragrance. But if that doesn’t bother you, give it a try and determine for yourself whether or not the hype is real.

Now over to you…

Have you used either the Klairs or the Suntique? What’s your go-to sunscreen? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Buy them here:

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence at Wishtrend

Suntique I’m Pure Cica Suncream at Amazon

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I am not a professional. All opinions are my own. 

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