The Pestlo Safe Recipe Sun Essence claims to be a lightweight, non-greasy, mattifying and super-fast absorbing mineral sunscreen which will keep skin protected and hydrated without white cast or pilling. Ideal for all skin types, even sensitive.
As anticipated, the formula comprises high concentrations of the actual sun protection ingredients. Both are mineral based and provide UVA and UVB protection by creating a physical barrier over the skin that prevents radiation absorption. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide sit on top of the skin reflecting ultraviolet rays. Each is a powerful force against UVA and UVB radiation, however, the latter offers a slighter stronger UVA resistance. Together, they ensure solid broad spectrum protection.
As with most sunscreens, there are several silicones in the formula, Cyclomethicone represented at the highest concentration. Since their molecules are too large to enter human pores, silicones sit on the surface of the skin to provide a smooth, lubricated finish, preventing sticky or oily residue. However, they don’t block active ingredients penetrating the skin because they leave significant space between each other for those actives to pass. Furthermore, this product doesn’t have a dense silicone structure in practice, remaining light and airy.
Typically for Korean products, there are a few exotic botanical extracts in the essence. Chia Seed Extract is packed with fatty acids, containing between 50-60% Alpha-linolenic Acid which helps to keep skin moisturised and calm. Around a quarter of its composition is Linoleic Acid which strengthens the skin barrier while 7% Oleic Acid boosts the fight against acne. Chia is also a good source of antioxidants. Similarly, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil is rich in fatty acids (14% Linoleic Acid, 10% γ-linolenic Acid, 33% α-linolenic Acid and 14% Stearidonic Acid) that make it highly moisturising. It helps repair the skin’s protective barrier which in turn improves hydration and reduces roughness.
Historically used in Asian medicine, Centella Asiatica together with Houttuynia Cordata Extracts are introduced because of their healing and anti-inflammatory properties which assist to reduce acne and inflamed skin. As well as contributing natural fragrance, Pine Bark and Rosemary Leaf Extracts display antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin E, is a strong antioxidant with an ability to promote healing, strengthen the skin’s barrier function and reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Sunflower Seed Oil boosts both the Vitamin E and essential fatty acid content of the formula.
Then of course come the moisturising ingredients. Two that are explicitly noted on the packaging are Panthenol and Ceramide. Vitamin B5, Panthenol, is an effective skin penetrator, able to reach into the lower layers for deep skin cell absorption and effective moisturisation. Some research indicates that it may also provide anti-inflammatory benefits that can counteract acne causing bacteria. Ceramide NP displays water retention capability, helping to strengthen the moisture barrier by replenishing natural lipids lost due to environmental factors. Several emollients and humectants accompany these notable performers.
A handful of Amino Acids round off the formula. Amino acids are present in the skin and part of the Natural Moisturising Factors (NMFs). Those in the formula collectively help maintain skin’s smoothness and hydration and strengthen skin’s natural defense system, making it less likely to show signs of ageing from environmental damage.
Water, Cyclomethicone, Zinc Oxide, Propanediol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Caprylyl Methicone, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Aluminium Hydroxide, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Stearic Acid, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Saccharide Hydrolysate, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Pullulan, Pentylene Glycol, Ethylhexyglycerin, Octyldocecanol, Panthenol (10,000 ppm), Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Butylene Glycol, Dibutyl Adipate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Undecane, Tridecane, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Phosphatidylcholine, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenyl Trimethicone, Pinus Pinaster (Pine) Bark Extract, Ceramide NP (1 ppm), Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Serine, Lysine, Alanine, Arginine, Threonine, Proline, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil
The Pestlo Safe Recipe Sun Essence is packaged in a plastic tube with screw top lid. There is a protective foil seal on the opening when new to help retain freshness. The trial/travel size version also comes in a pretty gift box.
Apply at the final step of your daytime skincare routine, after moisturiser to entire face. Pat in gently. Re-apply throughout the day and as needed.
This sun essence has a naturally derived herbal scent.
The 15g sample/travel tube of the Safe Recipe Sun Essence costs AUD$10.00 while the regular (50g) size is AUD$37.00.
The UV essence has limited availability. I received mine from Franki + Seoul who has since closed down.
Going by the labeling, the product has a shelf life of over 2 years and expires 12 months after opening.
Firstly, regarding the packaging, this sunscreen is presented in a typical plastic tube with squeeze action dispensing. It works well and makes it hygienic and very travel safe, particularly this sample size which is easy to slip into a handbag or even your pocket. The trial (15g) size comes in a cute gift box with a metallic seal. The only negative is that the ingredient list is printed in such tiny font, that I had to take a photo of it and blow it up to make it legible. The company artwork is clean and minimalist resulting in an overall attractive product.
The scent is naturally derived with no added ingredients for fragrance. It has a light smell, clearly herbal, that is primarily due to the rosemary and pine bark extracts. It is not at all overpowering, rather very refreshing. The sun protection rating is high quality, offering a maximum broad spectrum SPF 50+ PA ++++. So, skin is definitely well protected. A 50ml (full size) tube costs AUD$37 which is a little on the pricey side, particularly given how quickly you can get through sunscreen with multiple applications a day.
The essence itself is incredibly lightweight and glossy with effortless slip. It retains an almost lotion-like, silky consistency that allows it to glide on easily and absorb really quickly. There is no need to work this in as you might thicker sunscreens, it simply melts into the skin with minimum effort. It reminds me of the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence only that one works with chemical filters.
I apply it to my entire face, excluding my lips. The product directions don’t stipulate avoiding lips, I simply prefer to use a sun smart balm. The sunscreen doesn’t effect my eyes at all, observing no stinging or irritation. It leaves no residue whatsoever, no oiliness, tackiness or greasiness. There is absolutely no hint of a white cast, the product disappearing the minute the essence absorbs. It leaves a powdery soft, matte finish that’s ready for makeup. I don’t apply makeup immediately (over anything) without a few minutes absorption time. In this case, 2 minutes is plenty! Foundation glides on nicely. As the product doesn’t pill, the sunscreen perhaps even acts as a primer for a more flawless finish.
Regarding its ability to hydrate the skin, well, I always apply a dedicated moisturiser under my sunscreen so this alone is never going to be my sole hydrating agent. It certainly has sufficient moisturising ingredients such as the panthenol, ceramide and fatty acids to address this. However, I wouldn’t wear it alone without a cream underneath, as I consider moisturiser a vital step in my routine. This essence simply enhances the moisture retention capability of the preceding steps.
Reflecting on the product claims, yes, this essence is lightweight, non-greasy, mattifying and super-fast absorbing. Indeed, it offers excellent sun protection, does not pill and leaves no white cast. Although hydration is not something I expect solely from my sunscreen, this one enhances the moisturising efforts of previous routine layers.
Pestlo recommends this product for all skin types, even sensitive. Ideal CosDNA and EWG assessments together with a lack of Mineral Oils, Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES), Colours and Fragrance and harmful/artificial preservatives, I concur.
Nothing short of a pleasant surprise from a brand I have only just discovered. This mineral sunscreen delivers to a high quality on every aspect. It is lightweight, fast absorbing with a matte finish lacking white cast, extra high broad protection with a hydrating, safe formula. 10/10!
|CosDNA & EWG confirmed safe formulation||A bit expensive|
|Very lightweight and fast absorbing||Only available online|
|No white cast|
|No residue, rather leaves a clean matte finish|
|Excellent sun protection|
|Pleasant natural scent|
|Suitable for all skin types|
Cyclomethicone The Derm Review
Zinc Oxide Benefits for Protecting Your Skin from the Sun + More! Jillian Levy
Titanium Dioxide Paula’s Choice Skincare Ingredient Dictionary
Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil INCI Decoder
Panthenol Truth In Aging
Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil Beautiful with Brains
Sunflower Seed, the Skin Protector Annemarie Skin Care
Centella asiatica: The miracle ingredient your skin needs Oh Lolly
Tocopheryl Acetate Truth In Aging
Ceramides Paula’s Choice Skincare Dictionary
Pine bark extract improves skin aging signs Dermatology Times
Amino Acids for Skin Paula’s Choice
Please read in context with my disclaimer.
This product was provided to me free of charge by Franki + Seoul for review. This post only includes my honest opinion and experience of this product and is in no way influenced by Franki + Seoul, Pestlo, any of its representatives or any other third party.