This review contains PR samplesº and affiliate links* I have been using the Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway SPF50+ PA++++ for a few weeks now and felt it was time to let you know how I feel about this new kid on the block in regards to Korean sunscreens!
I know, I know, it hasn’t been too long ago since I reviewed the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence and basically declared my eternal love for it! So, why another sunscreen review from me? Well, ok – the obvious reason is that Althea kindly sent me the Petal Velvet Sunaway in their welcome gift box when I signed up for the “Althea Angels” influencer group. But, truly, I just want to introduce you to this sunscreen so badly – because I really, really like it, and I feel it is a great, budget-friendly choice for oilier skin types in particular.
I still adore the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence, but I would say that the Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway is a very worthy alternative, especially if you have dehydrated, oily or combo skin. But – one thing after the other: let’s first have a look at the ingredient list and see what Althea says about the product…
Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway with SPF50+ PA++++: The Basics
The Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway sunscreen with SPF50+ and PA++++ is marketed predominantly to oilier, dehydrated skin types, promising ultra hydration and sebum controlling properties. The “velvet” in the product name is a hint as to what we can expect from the sunscreen’s texture: soft and pleasant to the touch like “a flower petal.”
The “petal” part also refers to one of the key ingredients in this sun cream: damask rose extract (rose being one of those “it ingredients” that seem to be trending in K-Beauty this year!). Althea is an online K-beauty store that has recently started to launch their own in house brand, which offers affordable and very stylishly packaged skincare.
Here is the list of ingredients for the Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway SPF50+ PA++++:
“Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Disiloxane, Propanediol, Titanium Dioxide, Dicaprylyl Ether, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Aluminium Hydroxide, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone SilsesquioxaneI Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sorbitan Caprylate, Gylceryl Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Ethyl Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.”
This sunscreen uses two physical filters: Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, both effective at shielding the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. The quadruple plus PA rating is the highest an Asian sunscreen can get when it comes to UVA protection – UVA rays being, of course, the ones that cause sun damage and premature ageing of the skin.
Apart from the already mentioned rose damascena flower extract, there aren’t actually that many hydrating ingredients in this, apart from the “usual suspects” such as glycerin derivatives and butylene glycol. An earlier marketing text promising the addition of hyaluronic acid was later removed, thanks to a blogger pointing out the obvious lack of that ingredient on the list. I liked how quickly Althea took the criticism to heart and made the necessary changes on their English website!
The sunscreen is free from alcohol, which is nice to know, but I feel that the addition of a number of potentially skin-triggering essential oils such as patchouli and bergamot oil will sadly deter many of you from reaching for this product. As I often stress, I personally consider lower doses of essential oils ok for my skin, but I know more and more of you have a zero tolerance policy especially towards citrus oils, with bergamot of course being one of those.
Why I Like the Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway SPF50+ PA++++ So Much!
Alright, so I realise that my reading of the ingredient list might leave you somewhat unimpressed but…hear me out! Where this sunscreen truly shines is its texture. The “velvet” in the product name is no random addition, since it accurately describes how this creamy, watery formula feels on the skin.
Althea uses nano technology to combat the problems that usually accompany physical sunscreen filters, namely the white cast resulting from the zinc oxide in particular. They also added what they call “micro powder particles” to the Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway cream, and this is what creates that powdery-soft, velvety feel on the skin.
Since this sunscreen has a mix of watery and creamy components, it needs to be shaken before use, reminiscent of the Missha sunscreens (such as my favourite, the Missha Soft Finish Sun Milk* with SPF50+ and PA+++). This creates a beautifully balanced texture, a mix between hydrating and moisturising.
The Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway does not have any noticeable white cast, which is impressive for a physical sunscreen. Once applied to the skin it creates a beautiful, flattering finish that I would describe as semi matte. And, again, the skin really does get a “velvety” feel from this, it feels especially soft and smooth whenever I use the Althea sunscreen. Especially for my oily combo skin, this seems to be the ideal mix of hydrating and mattifying!
If you are sensitive to fragrance, this may be a tad too “perfumey” for you, since the scent is quite flowery, probably thanks to the rose-based ingredients in this. I did not find it too overpowering, however, and the smell does not linger once you apply the Petal Velvet Sunaway to the skin.
Comparing this to the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence I would say that the Klairs sunscreen still remains my absolute fave at the moment, simply because the texture is so “unobtrusive” – it completely disappears once you apply it, and it plays well with literally any skin type and so far, also with foundation or BB creams. I love the water-based, super light texture of the Klairs sunscreen, and would still rate it as one of the best sunscreens I know for everyday use.
The Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway, however, has the more appealing, unique texture and a slightly more exciting finish – the velvety softness you feel once you apply it just makes me happy! It is also a great choice if you want a physical sunscreen, since the Klairs one uses chemical filters. Both filter types are absolutely fine, by the way – just because something is called “chemical” doesn’t make it bad. Scientifically speaking, everything is “chemical”!
Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway SPF50+ PA++++: The Bottom Line
I currently love using the Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway with SPF50+ PA++++ and suspect that it will remain a favourite for a while. Basically, this and the Klairs UV Essence are my main sunscreens at the moment, and I like them both equally well. If you have dehydrated, oilier skin, then the Althea sunscreen may be something for you, especially if the idea of a velvety texture and soft finish appeals to you.
You can purchase the Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway suncreen directly at Althea Korea, where it’s priced at 10$ for a 55ml bottle. I think that it is a really budget-friendly choice for everyday use!
Let me know in the comments: What’s your current sunscreen fave? Have you tried any Althea brand products yet?
Take care guys!
°PR Sample, kindly provided by Althea Korea for review purposes – I am not obligated to write this blog review, and my opinions are entirely my own.
*Affiliate Links, meaning I earn a small commission if you decide to use the link to purchase an item. This does not raise the purchase price for you, and it helps me and my blog to grow – so, thank you for supporting me in this way!