This year’s revamp of the Allie range is focused on sustainability. The bases of the sunscreens are the same, but the UV filters have been swapped for elements that are safer for sea life. What’s more, the products now come in more eco-friendly packaging – plastic mixed with paper, which in reality is more problematic to recycle. I haven’t used the Allie gel intended for the body & face in over five years, but this year, I chose it over the face (primer) version, as it features Mexoryl XL. Kao are the first, major competitor of L’Oréal’s to use a UV filter developed by them. The patent for the filter expired many years ago. Still, not many brands have decided to use Mexoryl in their preparations, which is unfortunate because it’s a terrific UV-absorber offering long-lasting protection.
This sunscreen contains a mix of zinc oxide, quite large particles, and chemical filters, resulting in a strong sun shield of SPF 50+ and PA++++, the highest possible ratings in Japanese suncare. The vehicle contains an abundance of moisturising ingredients such as glycerine, dimethicone, and other emollients, whose thickness is somewhat diluted by denatured alcohol. There is also hyaluronic acid for even deeper hydration. Similarly to the previous formula, this sunscreen is also proof against sweat, water, and friction. It is also free of fragrance and suitable for all skin types. There aren’t any new claims regarding the sunscreen bases in the Allie range, so they should be more or less similar to the 2020 formulations.
The Allie Gel has unquestionably changed. It’s no longer the watery and bouncy gel that I remember. Now, the product has a more substantial cream-like, dense and buttery texture. It still absorbs quickly but feels heavier on the skin. Regardless, it has a pretty good-looking finish. I’d recommend layering it in small quantities, or large for most sunscreen users, around a quarter of a teaspoon, as that’s when the sunscreen presents itself best on the skin. The suncream leaves a faint, white overlay, which subsides as it dries down— that’s the iconic tone-up effect present in Japanese suncare; with this product, however, it isn’t excessively prominent after one application. It looks fine on my fair complexion, but it may not suit all skin tones. The sunscreen also gives a bit of glow, which I appreciate, but some of you may not like it, so you will need to powder your face. Thicker coatings intensify these features, so bear in mind that you may end up with a white, greasy-looking layer on your skin after a couple of reapplications. There are two reasons for this, the zinc oxide particles are large, and there are many humectants in this formula. Also, due to the size of the zinc oxide, I need to make sure that I blend the sunscreen well around my hairline, eyebrows, and stubble, as it easily clings to hair and leaves a noticeable white glaze. Also, in a short amount of time, the suncream gathers in the creases of my eyes, which is slightly irritating because I need to wipe it off every half an hour.
Since Kao haven’t added any enhancements to the bases of Allie sunscreens, I will compare this product to the Allie Face Gel, which I reviewed last year. In my opinion, the body version doesn’t hold as well as the face version, it is less dry, and it seems like the lack of powders, or whatever else they add to the face version, renders the body version less tenacious – it washes off with far less effort, and it leaves an oily residue behind, e.g. on sunglasses, which I dislike. One noteworthy aspect of this sunscreen is that it’s completely unaffected by perspiration; sweat penetrates the sunscreen, ascends almost transparent on the top, and then runs down my face without visibly distorting the protective layer.
Overall, the Allie Beauty Gel UV EX is a decent sunscreen, but it’s not my preferred one. I like better the Allie Face Gel. Sadly, it doesn’t contain Mexoryl XL. I would say that this product is great for leisure time, technically a beach suncream, when I don’t care if it makes me look white as a ghost or greasy as if I’d applied olive oil on my face. However, for daily usage, I need suncare that will make my face look good and won’t attract people’s eyes.
The Allie Gel UV EX SPF 50+ is available from Yesstyle.com [aff].