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Sk-II Atmosphere Airy Light UV Cream SPF50+ PA++++ Ingredients Explained

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Published on February 18, 2023 Submitted by screamadelica

Overview

What it is

Sunscreen with 28 ingredients that contains exfoliants, niacinamide, SPF and Vitamin E

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing and dark spots

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, oils or sulfates

Fun facts

Sk-II is from Japan.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

Chemical UV Filter (5)
Mineral UV Filter
Vitamin E
Exfoliators (2)
Niacinamide

Benefits

Hydrating
Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing
Reduces Large Pores
Anti-Aging
Dark Spots
Scar Healing
Acne Fighting
Brightening (2)

Concerns

Drying
Irritating (2)
Rosacea (3)
Eczema (4)

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free
spf rating
50

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
1 / 0
3
UV Absorber, UV Filter
0 / 0
Chemical UV Filter IconMay cause irritation IconNon-Reef-Safe Icon
4
UV Absorber, UV Filter
Chemical UV Filter IconNon-Reef-Safe IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
5
UV Absorber, UV Filter
0 / 0
Chemical UV Filter IconNon-Reef-Safe IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
6
Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Silicon Icon
7
UV Absorber, UV Filter
Chemical UV Filter Icon
8
Cosmetic Colorant, UV Absorber, UV Filter
0 / 0
Mineral UV Filter IconNon-Reef-Safe Icon
9
Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
10
11
Emollient, Emulsifying
1 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
12
Skin Conditioning, UV Absorber, UV Filter
Chemical UV Filter Icon
13
Perfuming
Fragrance Icon
14
15
Preservative
Preservative Icon
16
Absorbent, Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning
17
Buffering
18
Preservative
0 / 0
Preservative IconParaben IconNon-Reef-Safe IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
19
Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
20
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
21
Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
22
Skin Conditioning, Soothing
23
Preservative
0 / 0
Preservative IconParaben IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconNon-Reef-Safe Icon
24
Abrasive, Absorbent
Exfoliant IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
25
Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3
Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
26
Buffering, Masking
27
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
28
Abrasive, Skin Protecting
Exfoliant Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 28 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

3
What it does: UV Absorber, UV Filter
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is an organic compound that provides UVB protection. It often goes by the more common name of octinoxate. It is created from methoxycinnamic acid and 2-ethylhexanol.

Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate absorbs UVB rays with wavelengths between 280-320 nm. UV absorbers protect your skin by using chemical reactions to convert UV rays into heat and energy.

UVB (290-320 nm) rays emit more energy than UVA rays. They are capable of damaging DNA, causing sunburns and are thought to be linked to skin cancer.

The state of Hawaii has banned sunscreens containing octinoxate due to its potential impact on coral reefs. More research is needed to bridge gaps in this research. The European Union allows higher levels of octinoxate in sunscreens than the US and Australia.

Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is oil soluble. It is not stable and may lose efficacy when exposed to sunlight.

Learn more about Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
4
What it does: UV Absorber, UV Filter
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Octocrylene protects skin from sun damage. It absorbs UV-B with peak absorption of 304 nm. It is a common sunscreen ingredient and often paired with avobenzone, a UVA filter. This is because octocrylene stabilizes other sunscreen ingredients by protecting them from degradation when exposed to sunlight. Octocrylene is a photostable ingredient and loses about 10% of SPF in 95 minutes.

Octocrylene also acts as an emollient, meaning it helps skin retain moisture and softens skin. It is oil-soluble and hydrophobic, enhancing water-resistant properties in a product.

Those who are using ketoprofen, a topical anti-inflammatory drug, may experience an allergic reaction when using octocrylene. It is best to speak with a healthcare professional about using sunscreens with octocrylene.

The EU allows a maximum of these concentrations:

Learn more about Octocrylene
5
What it does: UV Absorber, UV Filter
Community Rating: Disliked

Ethylhexyl Salicylate is an organic compound used to block UV rays. It primarily absorbs UVB rays but offers a small amount of UVA protection as well.

Commonly found in sunscreens, Ethylhexyl Salicylate is created from salicylic acid and 2-ethylhexanol. You might know salicylic acid as the effective acne fighter ingredient and BHA.

The ethylhexanol in this ingredient is a fatty alcohol and helps hydrate your skin, similar to oils. It is an emollient, which means it traps moisture into the skin.

According to manufacturers, Ethylhexyl Salicylate absorbs UV wavelength of 295-315 nm, with a peak absorption at 307-310 nm. UVA rays are linked to long term skin damage, such as hyperpigmentation. UVB rays emit more energy and are capable of damaging our DNA. UVB rays cause sunburn.

Learn more about Ethylhexyl Salicylate
6
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Disliked

Cyclopentasiloxane is a silicone used to improve texture and trap moisture. An easier name for this is D5.

D5 is considered lightweight and volatile. Volatile means it evaporates quickly after application. Once evaporated, D5 leaves a thin barrier that helps keep skin hydrated.

D5 is an emollient. Emollients help soften the skin and prevent water loss. Silicones create a silky texture in products. D5 helps other ingredients become more spreadable.

Studies show D5 is safe to use in skincare products. We recommend speaking with a skincare professional if you have concerns.

Learn more about Cyclopentasiloxane
7
What it does: UV Absorber, UV Filter
Community Rating: Mixed

This ingredient is more commonly known as Ensulizole, a chemical sunscreen ingredient.

Ensulizole mainly protects UV-B (290-340 nm) but offers a little UV-A (320-400 nm) protection. It is often paired with less photo-stable sunscreen ingredients due to its photo-stability.

Due to it being water-soluble, Ensulizole helps give sunscreens a light and non-oily texture.

Ensulizole is approved worldwide:

Learn more about Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid
8
What it does: Cosmetic Colorant, UV Absorber, UV Filter
Community Rating: Mixed

Titanium dioxide is known for its UVA and UVB protection properties. It is non-comedogenic and non-irritating. Titanium Dioxide is a physical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens reflect light and prevent it from reaching your skin.

Protecting your skin against UV radiation can prevent the signs of aging. Sun damage is associated with fine-lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness, and hyperpigmentation. Titanium dioxide can help prevent premature aging.

With modern production, nano-scale or fine-grade titanium dioxide can be easily produced for cosmetics. In sunscreen, titanium dioxide absorbs UV light. Our skin is not able to absorb Titanium dioxide, even nanoparticles.

Titanium itself is the 9th most common element in the Earth's crust. Titanium dioxide is formed when oxygen is introduced and can be found in ores, dust, sand, and soil.

Pure titanium dioxide is a white powder that is used in many products to add or change color.

Learn more about Titanium Dioxide
9
What it does: Smoothing
Community Rating: Loved

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
10
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

We don't have a description for Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer.

11
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Disliked

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

Glyceryl Stearate is used to stabilize the mixing of water and oil ingredients. By preventing these ingredients from separating, it can help elongate shelf life. It can also help thicken the product's texture.

As an emollient, it helps soften skin and supports barrier-replenishing ingredients.

In cosmetics, Glyceryl Stearate is often made from vegetable oils or synthetically produced. The human body also creates Glyceryl Stearate naturally.

Learn more about Glyceryl Stearate
12
What it does: Skin Conditioning, UV Absorber, UV Filter
Community Rating: Liked

You might know this ingredient as Tinosorb S or Bemotrizinol. It is a UV filter that covers both UVA and UVB rays.

Bemotrizinol has two peak UV absorption peaks ( 310 and 340 nm) and is able to absorb both UV-A and UV-B rays. Skin exposed to UV causes free-radical molecules to form. This ingredient works by preventing the UV from reaching your skin.

It is highly photostable and helps prevent the photodegration of other sunscreen ingredients such as avobenzone.

Bemotrizinol is not approved in the US but is allowed in the EU, Australia, and Asia.

In fact, it is the most effective UV absorber at maximum concentration (measured by SPF) permitted by in the EU.

It is oil-soluble.

Learn more about Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine
13
What it does: Perfuming

Heptanol is a fragrance.

14
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Acrylates Copolymer is used as a film-forming agent and texture enhancer.

After applied, Acrylates Copolymer forms a thin film cover that helps skin feel more soft. It can help sunscreens become more water-resistant.

It is also used to make a product more thick.

Learn more about Acrylates Copolymer
15
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

16
What it does: Absorbent, Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Polyacrylate is the sodium salt of polyacrylic acid.

Sodium Polyacrylate is a super-absorbent polymer. It can absorb 100 to 1000 times its mass in water. As an emollient, Sodium Polyacrylate helps soften and soothe skin. Emollients work by creating a barrier to trap moisture in. This helps keep your skin hydrated.

Sodium Polyacrylate is also used to stabilize products.

Learn more about Sodium Polyacrylate
17
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
18
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Methylparaben is a preservative and is a paraben. It is used to prevent the growth of fungus, mold, and other harmful bacteria. Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives in both cosmetics and food.

Methylparaben can be synthetically created. It can also be found naturally in some fruits, such as blueberries.

Oftentimes, Methylparaben is combined with other parabens to help increase the shelf life.

The safety of Methylparaben is currently being studied. While ongoing studies are looking into the safety of parabens, the results have been very mixed. Some studies have not found Methylparaben to be harmful.

Learn more about Methylparaben
19
What it does: Masking, Preservative
Community Rating: Disliked

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It's used in both cosmetic and food products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. It is typically produced synthetically.

Both the US FDA and EU Health Committee have approved the use of sodium benzoate. In the US, levels of 0.1% (of the total product) are allowed.

Sodium benzoate works as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of bacteria inside of cells. It prevents the cell from fermenting a type of sugar using an enzyme called phosphofructokinase.

Sodium Benzoate is the salt of benzoic acid. Foods containing sodium benzoate include soda, salad dressings, condiments, fruit juices, wines, and snack foods.

Studies for using ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate in cosmetics are lacking, especially in skincare routines with multiple steps.

We always recommend speaking with a professional, such as a dermatologist, if you have any concerns.

Learn more about Sodium Benzoate
20
What it does: Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

On the technical side of things, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide - a combination consisting of multiple sugar molecules bonded together.

Xanthan gum is a pretty common and great ingredient. It is a natural, non-toxic, non-irritating ingredient that is also commonly used in food products.

Learn more about Xanthan Gum
21
What it does: Masking, Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, can be a blend of hundreds of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "Parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.

In the US, the alternative name for parfum is 'fragrance'. The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term.

For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance. One example is Calendula flower extract. Essential oil ingredients still impart a scent or 'fragrance'.

Depending on the blend, it can cause allergies and sensitivities on the skin. Some ingredients that are known EU allergens include linalool and citronellol.

Products use parfum often to give products a scent or cover up smells of different ingredients.

The bottom line is: not all fragrances/parfum/ingredients are created equally. If you are worried about fragrances, we recommend taking a closer look at an ingredient. And of course, we always recommend speaking with a professional.

Learn more about Parfum
22
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Soothing

We don't have a description for Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate.

23
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Propylparaben is a preservative and is a paraben with antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

This ingredient can be naturally found in plants and insects, but most of it is synthetically manufactured for human use. In cosmetics, it is usually created by reacting para-aminobenzoic acid and propanol (an alcohol).

You can usually find this ingredient in water-based products.

Parabens have come under controversy due to the claim they are hormone disruptors. Studies show conflicting results. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any concerns.

Propylparaben is commonly found in food, medicine, and cosmetics.

Learn more about Propylparaben
24
What it does: Abrasive, Absorbent
Community Rating: Disliked

Silica is a mineral naturally found in our skin. It helps to thicken and smooth the texture of a product. It also acts as an agent for other ingredients by increasing the absorption of other ingredients into the skin.

Silica is often used for absorption and can help reduce shine when products are applied. Silica occurs in naturally in materials like clay and sandstone, and it can also be produced synthetically.

Silica is present naturally within the skin during collagen production and when reducing inflammation.

Learn more about Silica
25
What it does: Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

Vitamin E also helps keep your natural skin lipids healthy. Your lipid skin barrier naturally consists of lipids, ceramides, and fatty acids. Vitamin E offers extra protection for your skinโ€™s lipid barrier, keeping your skin healthy and nourished.

Another benefit is a bit of UV protection. Vitamin E helps reduce the damage caused by UVB rays. (It should not replace your sunscreen). Combining it with Vitamin C can decrease sunburned cells and hyperpigmentation after UV exposure.

You might have noticed Vitamin E + C often paired together. This is because it is great at stabilizing Vitamin C. Using the two together helps increase the effectiveness of both ingredients.

There are often claims that Vitamin E can reduce/prevent scarring, but these claims haven't been confirmed by scientific research.

Learn more about Tocopherol
26
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Sodium Citrate helps maintain the pH of a product. Normal pH level of skin is slightly acidic (~4.75-5.5). The acidity of our skin is maintained by our glands and skin biome. Being slightly acidic allows our skin to create an "acid mantle". This acid mantle is a thin barrier that protects our skin from bacteria and contaminants.

Sodium Citrate is a chelating agent. It neutralizes metal ions from water and prevents them from binding to other ingredients. This ensures the other ingredients will not be altered.

Learn more about Sodium Citrate
27
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Actinidia Chinensis is the extract from kiwi fruit. It contains antioxidants in the forms of Vitamin C and polyphenols.

Antioxidants help protect your skin against free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin.

28
What it does: Abrasive, Skin Protecting
Community Rating: Liked

Hydrolyzed Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract is an exfoliant.

Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 28 ingredients in this product โœจ

21% are loved or liked
21% have mixed ratings
50% are disliked or very disliked
7% have no rating yet

When to use

Here's some more info on how this product is used by our community.

Directions

1. Take a pea-sized amount of sunscreen onto your palm.
2. Use fingertips to dot on forehead, cheeks and chin.
3. Smooth evenly over skin, applying more product on areas that need extra care
4. Reapply when needed.

1. Take a pea-sized amount of sunscreen onto your palm.
2. Use fingertips to dot on forehead, cheeks and chin.
3. Smooth evenly over skin, applying more product on areas that need extra care
4. Reapply when needed.

Verified by SkinSort

We're dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date and science-backed ingredient info out there.

The data we've presented on this page has been verified by a member of the SkinSort Team.

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