This review contains PR samples° and affiliate links* The LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel with SPF50+ PA+++ is the latest skinfluencer sunscreen darling from Korea, and so of course I had to put this trending beauty item to the test!
Finding the right sunscreen is pretty much a lifelong journey for a skincare lover like me. It’s not that I don’t already have a great variety of wonderful sun care options on my shelf – a nice mix of European pharmacy brands and mostly Korean sunscreens have been bringing me much joy these past months, with the Klairs Soft UV Airy Essence probably one of my favourites (UPDATE 2021: Well…not that much joy anymore, since it was revealed to only have an SPF of roughly 28 instead of the promised 50+, sigh).
But, being a beauty blogger means that I tend to always look for the next big thing, constantly hunting for trending products and newly emerging brands. It also means that brands and shops tend to send me their latest launches (though lately much of my PR has dried up, possibly due to COVID-19 related shipping problems!), and so even if I am content with what’s already on my vanity, I try out new things all the time, despite having found a number of “holy grails” already.
So, when the LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel with SPF50+ and PA+++ arrived, I was happy to give it a try even though I didn’t know that much about it. A lovely UK-based Korean beauty shop called Skinsider* had sent me a little selection of their brands (among them the recently reviewed By Wishtrend Propolis Ampoule!), and being an official LAGOM distributor they had added the sunscreen to the parcel. I received their package in autumn last year, so a while ago, and back then the Cellus Sun Gel was hardly on anyone’s radar. Well, fast forward to now – April 2020 – and suddenly it’s everywhere! Just a few days ago, I squealed with delighted surprise when Lisa Eldrige mentioned it in one of her latest videos. We all know that if the Queen of Makeup (TM) mentions a product, it will turn into a huge trend, so I was rather excited to have been using a soon to be hyped product for a while now.
I guess this is one of the reasons why I decided that it is high time for me to finally write my full review of the LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel, another reason being that I’m actually close to using up the 50ml bottle. After I emptied my 80ml Klairs UV Essence tube a few weeks ago, the Cellus Sun Gel has pretty much become the number one sunscreen I reach for on a daily basis at the moment. So, let me give you the basics about the brand LAGOM and this sunscreen first, followed by my personal experiences with using the sun gel.
LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel SPF50+ PA+++: the Basics
The brand LAGOM was founded in 2015 by Jung Han Ham, who worked with “12 expert scientists and doctors” (according to the official brand history) to develop skincare that would help achieve perfectly hydrated skin. LAGOM uses the patented AQUALICIA peptide blend as a key ingredient, which supposedly helps skin to maintain optimal hydration levels.
The brand has also won renown Korean makeup artist Ko Won Hye as their official ambassador and advisor, so the products are said to work particularly well as a makeup base. As for the brand name: the word “lagom” is a Swedish expression meaning “just the right amount” or “not too much, not too little” – how amazing is the Swedish language that it has a word for this? I love the thought behind naming a skincare brand with this idea in mind, the concept of finding “just the right amount” of care for the skin! You can read more about the brand and its mission statement in this interview with Skinsider.
As for the LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel, it is described as a lightweight sun gel providing a matte finish, with soothing and protective ingredients. This sunscreen is one of the bestsellers of the brand!
Here is the full list of ingredients for the LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel SPF50+ PA+++:
“Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Octocrylene, Alcohol Denat, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Propanediol, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Urea, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Maltodextrin, Indole Acetic Acid, Bis-PEG/PPG-20/5 PEG/PPG-20/5 Dimethicone, Methoxy PEG/PPG-25/4 Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Panthenol, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, BHT, Sodium Hydroxide, Isohexadecane, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Polysorbate 80, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Sorbitan Oleate, Rose Flower Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Styrax Benzoin Gum, Commiphora Myrrha Oil, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol.”
First things first – this sunscreen does contain both alcohol and essential oils, so it may not be suitable for people with very sensitive skin types, or those of you allergic to fragrance. I was actually surprised when I studied the ingredient list and saw all these fragrant essential oils added, because to me the LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel does not really have a strong scent at all! I also don’t detect any alcohol smell in the formula and had little problem with either the essential oil or the alcohol concentration in this product, but do make sure you are ok with these potentially sensitivity-triggering ingredients before use.
The sunscreen filters used in this are chemical – Incidecoder does a great job explaining their various functions and levels of efficacy, so check them out if you are interested in your filters. I’m not a chemist or scientist, so my ingredient decoding is usually on a simplistic level, and filters are always a bit confusing for me. I do know that octocrylene can sometimes trigger people with sensitive skin, so watch out if you know you don’t do well with this specific filter.
LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel with SPF50+ PA+++: Why This Sunscreen Is Winning over the Beauty Community!
Alright, so the ingredient list of the LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel may not be to everyone’s taste, due to the addition of essential oils and alcohol. But, as so often with skincare, a mere study of an ingredient list is really just one part of the equation when it comes to finding great products.
Because you see – this is still an absolutely fantastic sunscreen, maybe one of the best I’ve tried in the past years. For one, it does not feel “sunscreen-y” at all, but rather like a very light, milky moisturiser. I remember trying the sun gel out for the first time and being surprised at the amazing texture – even the Klairs UV Essence, a sunscreen I truly love, has a certain “sunscreen-like” feel to it, hard to describe, but you simply are aware that you are putting an extra layer on your skin that has a distinctive feel to it different from a regular moisturiser. But the LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel simply doesn’t have that “different” feeling to it – this genuinely has the texture of a regular moisturiser, and a more watery one at that, which is great for my oily combo skin.
The Cellus Sun Gel also isn’t as runny or super watery as some of the Japanese sunscreens can be, especially the ones with a ton of alcohol in them, which can be drying sometimes. It has a perfect balance between lightness and moisture-providing, more “compact” feeling creaminess.
The sunscreen disappears into the skin after application and doesn’t seem to bother my skin at all. I sometimes have problems with itching or redness with certain sunscreens, especially the European ones, but this one works very well for my sun-sensitive skin.
The sun gel produces a slightly cooling sensation on the skin upon application, which I find pleasant in this increasingly warmer spring weather. It also plays well under foundation or BB/CC cream, which is great. I would say the finish of the LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel is not really matte per se, but rather semi-matte, with a very slight glow. To me, this works best for normal, combo and slightly oily skin types – dry skin types can certainly use this as well, but should not expect a ton of moisture just from their sunscreen in that case. I am not 100% sure if very oily skin types would be ok with this sunscreen, as it doesn’t actively mattify the skin – the Klairs UV Essence may be a better pick, or the Missha All Around Safe Block Essence*, which is one of the lightest sunscreens I know.
LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel with SPF50+ PA+++: the Bottom Line
I can totally see why so many skinfluencers are obsessed with the LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel, and I am basically one of them by now! To me, this sunscreen reminds me greatly of the Kicho Ultra Moisturising Sun Cream,* which I adored when I tried it but haven’t been able to get my hands on again – it seems to always be out of stock outside of the US. Both of these sunscreens have this wonderful texture that is just like a regular moisturiser, milky, lotion-y and light, with no white cast or stickiness.
If you are interested in trying out the LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel with SPF50+ for yourself, UK-based peeps can find this at Skinsider* for £21 for a 50ml size, Germany-based skinthusiasts can purchase at Amazon Germany* for a price of 32.00€, and the sun gel is also available at Yesstyle* (for roughly 24$, so a pretty good price!), or Amazon US* for around 33$.
Let me know in the comments: What is your current sunscreen favourite? Or, do you skip the sunscreen right now due to being stuck at home?
Take care guys!
°PR Sample, kindly provided by a brand or shop – I am not obligated to write this blog review, was not paid for the article, 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!