First Impression: Benton Papaya-D Sun Cream

Promotional Sample

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I know I’ve got a mess of other reviews to post, but I do want to get to this one first because it’s my first true promotional sample in a while, and I wanted to get on this as quickly as possible. Please note, while I like to test things for a full 2-4 weeks before reviewing, I’ve not had the opportunity to give this particular product that kind of mileage, so this is only a first impression. I’ll definitely write up an update on a later date giving my thoughts after having used this for at least a month. Please note that while Benton did send me this sample free of charge in exchange for my review, all thoughts expressed here are purely my own.

According to the information Benton sent, they are a Korean company that “is inspired by and named after the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (that movie where Brad Pitt ages backwards). They’re purpose is “to restore skin back to its original, healthy condition with healthy recipes, rather than to give temporary effects with harmful ingredients. Also, Benton presents freshly made products by sticking to small batch production.”

Benton makes a few products I already own and am in love with. Namely, I use their Snail Bee High Content Essence and their Honest TT Mist. In fact, I have a couple of other reviews coming up for Benton products I’ve purchased. I also use their Snail Bee High Content Masks, and their Snail Bee Steam Cream is on my list of things I’d like to try. (I’d link to Benton’s web site, but for some reason, it doesn’t show price listings for me. Maybe my browser’s broke? You be the judge.)

Also in their favor, their products are super easy for me to get my hot little hands on, as they’re usually readily available through Amazon Prime. If I have any gripe to give regarding the products I’ve tried, it’s that Benton seems to have a weird aversion toward preservatives. Small batch production also typically translates into somewhat pricier products, especially when they have a (deserved) cult following. Neither of these is a deal-breaker for me, and in some ways they’re actually a plus.

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Benton Honest TT Mist and Snail Bee High Content Essence, pulled straight from my skincare drawer. I use both products at least once per day, and both are holy grails for me.

I was super excited to give this a try since I’m currently in the market for an alternative to my current holy grail sunscreen. Japan’s blanket ban on exporting sunscreens has made that particularly hard to obtain, and so switching to a Korean brand (or at least having it as an alternative) is definitely on the menu.

Also, Benton sent me a few extra foil samples as an added bonus (as if a full size sunscreen wasn’t enough):

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This is the first and only sunscreen from Benton that I’ve seen, and it contains both physical and chemical sunscreen filters. It’s designed for everyday use and (as the name would suggest) is made with papaya, which is supposed to contain “various vitamins and nutrients that help keep skin moist and vibrant.” There’s also niacinamide and adenosine included among the ingredient list, both of which offer multiple anti-aging benefits. (This is something I’ve come to expect in my other Benton products.) Here’s the full CosDNA breakdown for the curious.

Benton focuses on three main ingredients in its literature: papaya water and extract, papaya seed oil, and papain. In a nutshell, there are ingredients here that focus on evening out skin tone, moisturizing skin, making pores and fine lines less visible, and sebum control. That last one is a particularly nice benefit for people like me who have oily skin, though I imagine it’ll be good for most skin types. This is a SPF 38 product and blocks both UVA and UVB rays.

I’m expecting a product that will be lightweight and easy to wear during hot summer months while at the same time providing some nice moisture without making me greasy. Any additional skincare benefits are, for me, just a nice bonus. It sounds like a lot to expect from a sunscreen, and when dealing with American brands I’d generally agree. I’ve gone through a lot of American sunscreens and just haven’t found many I like, let alone love. But my experience with Asian brands (primarily Japanese brands when it comes to sunscreen) has vastly changed my outlook on sunscreen and inflated my expectations. Asian brands truly are miles ahead of us on this.

Packaging

Like most Benton products, the packaging is refreshingly minimalist. Don’t get me wrong… I love cute packaging as much as the next AB fanatic, but I think it says something when you can just let your products speak for themselves. The outer box will of course feature Benton’s holographic sticker and list the usual information: directions, ingredients, company information, expiration dates, and cautions.

The inner packaging is more of the same simplicity in a pretty 1.7 oz tube. I unfortunately neglected to snap a photo before I removed it, but the nozzle end of the tube is sealed with foil.

Worth noting, Benton is (I believe) supposed to be releasing a second sunscreen very soon, but at this time I’ve not seen it, so I can’t give any kind of distinguishing features in the packaging. I’ll simply note that the artwork is a light lime green on white packaging.

Scent

Let me get this out of the way… I hate how most sunscreens smell. It’s that Play-Doh smell that just doesn’t seem to want to go away. I will notice it all day.

Most of the Asian brands I’ve tried, however, have a much more pleasant fragrance to them, and Benton’s Papaya-D Sun Cream is not an exception. This smells delicious, like fruity candy, and that’s no mistake when you consider that the product does contain natural fragrance. But if you hate it, it will dissipate within a few minutes. I haven’t been smelling it over the course of the day, which I know is a good thing, but I love the smell of this stuff so much that I’m a little bummed about it.

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Texture

This is definitely a cream, though not a heavy one. It blends out well, absorbs quickly, and isn’t noticeable at all.

Finish

There is a little bit of a white cast, but it’s almost completely unnoticeable, as you can see here, though keep in mind that the lighting is a little different from the above picture:

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Overall Impression

I like this, but I can’t just yet speak to the long term effects of using it. As I said, it’ll take at least a solid month of testing before I can fully report on that. That said, I definitely notice a difference in moisture, particularly when testing this on one hand versus the other. If for whatever reason it doesn’t work out on my face, it’ll be a great option for my hands.

Speaking of, I have been wearing a separate moisturizer with it on my face, but I do wonder if I can wear it without a moisturizer underneath. Things to experiment over the course of the next few weeks…

I’d say that overall I’m really enjoying it so far. I’m pleasantly surprised, even though I went in with some pretty high expectations. Benton clearly has left them all in the dust, and in a good way. Unless this ends up breaking me out something fierce, I’ll likely buy more of it. It hasn’t popped up on Amazon just yet, so I can’t speak to what the pricing will be. I’m going to wager by looking at the listing on Style Korean that it’ll be somewhere in the $20 ballpark. Would I pay that much for a facial sunscreen? Well, it’s more than I’ve paid for other brands, but considering I already do pay that for some of Benton’s other products… Yes, I probably would pay that much.

All in all, I think this is a great product, and I look forward to checking back in a few weeks from now to give an update.

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