[REVIEW] Secret Key Thanakha Mild Sun Cream SPF47 PA+++

Secret Key Thanakha Mild Sun Cream SPF47 PA+++ Review:

The sun is something that is both amazing and scary – in the way that it brightens and lightens our days and yet too much sun exposure can give us skin cancer. I guess it isn’t something that bothers or worries everyone, but as someone who lives in a place with extremely high skin cancer rates it does bother me. Because of this I’m always researching for new or different sunscreens because I never know when one will be discontinued, or whether I’ll find one that I like using more. I usually have a bunch of sunscreens on my radar that I plan to try at some stage or another and I found this sunscreen the last time I was looking for one.

I often choose sunscreens after looking at the sunscreen filters, I don’t generally care too much about the other ingredients which may or not be a bad thing. But what I look for is a sunscreen that protects against both types of UVA rays (and UVB rays too). Some sunscreens only partially protect against all of the range of UVA rays, which automatically rules them out for me. It’s another reason I like mineral sunscreens because the mineral filters protect against all the types of UV rays (UVA1, UVA2 and UVB) so it’s easy (for a lazy person like me) to check if it protects well against UVA rays. Phew I wrote a lot of boring stuff, right? Unsurprisingly I mostly chose this sunscreen because it was a mineral sunscreen and I had good experience with the last Secret Key sunscreen. Not the most exciting reason, but somehow this sunscreen appealed more than any of the others I had been researching, so read on if you’re curious to see how well it performed.


+ Physical sun protection component 100%

+ No white cast, all family can use with a base filled with moisture

+ Thanakha extracts and abundant tannin help pore flexibility and cooling effect helps sooth skin

+ Fluffy finish with no stickiness

+ Effect of thanakha: helps protect skin against the sun, cooling effect, alleviation of blemishes, freckles and wrinkles


Purified Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Glycerin, Titanium Dioxide, Cetyl Peg/ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Dipropylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Niacinamide, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Cyclomethicone, Hydrogentated Polydecene, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Sorbitan Olivate, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone/methicone Copolymer, Silica, Polysilicon-11, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Camellia Oil, Dimethicone/vinyl Dimethicone Crosscopolymer, Aluminium Hydroxide, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Stearic Acid, Limonia Acidissima Extract, Yeast Extract, Betula Alba Juice, Glacier Water, Pentylene Glycol, 1,2-hexandiol, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Poly Epsilon L-lysine, Fragrance, Adenosine

Secret Key Thanakha Mild Sun Cream SPF47 PA+++ Review

Volume: 100g

How to use:

1. On the last step of basic care apply the recommended amount of one use (about the size of 500won coin) on the part where it is easily exposed to the UV rays

2. as there are several blind spots, such as nose, philtrum and eye area, it is recommended to apply it to each part carefully

My skin type: Dry, easily dehydrated skin with mild rosacea

Secret Key Thanakha Mild Sun Cream SPF47 PA+++ Review:

The first thing that stood out to me when I received this sunscreen was the size and the bright yellow color. I’m not a fan of yellow so I didn’t like the color much, but the size stunned me. When I bought the sunscreen, I hadn’t checked how large it was, and so I expected the usual 50gm/50ml sunscreen. So, to see a 100ml tube stunned me, it seemed massive compared to the usual tiny tubes of sunscreen we get.

Secret Key Thanakha Mild Sun Cream SPF47 PA+++ Review

I still remember the first time I ordered a Korean sunscreen, and when it arrived the tube seemed so tiny and so expensive. I took a photo of it with my two favorite sunscreens Etude House Sunprise Mild Perfect Relief Suncreen and The Saem Eco Earth Power Pink Sun Cream beside it – so you can see the size difference. It doesn’t actually look that much bigger in the photo, but in the box it did.

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I actually opened this sunscreen a few months ago during summer (yes, my seasons are backwards to most places – it’s currently winter here) but found that it was too moisturizing/heavy for summer. So, I put it away and waited for winter to return, figuring it would be a perfect sunscreen to use during the cooler seasons.

The texture of this sunscreen is quite weird – it feels almost greasy and oily to me, which is why I hated it during summer. It does have a light scent too, but thankfully it’s not overpowering or too heavy.

It claims to not have a white cast which is peculiar, because most physical sunscreens do have a white cast. And even those that claim not to have a white cast generally do have one, even if it’s not as noticeable as some sunscreens. I generally do have very red cheeks, chin and nose so it’s obvious to me if a sunscreen has a white cast.

This sunscreen actually doesn’t have a white cast on me, when it’s wet/first applied it looks whitish but after you leave it for a while the white cast fades. I have no idea how they do this, I don’t think it’s magic but it sure is weird. I’m not sure if the white cast would show up for other people but the fact that it goes transparent makes me think it wouldn’t.

Secret Key Thanakha Mild Sun Cream SPF47 PA+++ Review

You can see in the swatches how it’s white when it’s first applied and patted onto my hand. The second photo it looks white – but after that the whiteness disappears and instead it looks oily. The fourth photo is simply to show how oily it looks after a few minutes, you can see the line where the sunscreen is applied. I waited some time between taking the photo for three and four, and yet the skin with the sunscreen still looks quite oily, although four does look less oily than three.

Now for the ingredients – this sunscreen has a distinctive name which automatically stood out to me “Thanakha mild sun cream”. I had no idea what “thanakha” was, but according to the Secret Key website and research it is a paste that originates from Myanmar and has been used for 2,000 years.

When I asked my friend “Google”, I found out that it comes from a variety of different trees and is ground down to form a paste. The people in Myanmar have been using this thanahka paste for protection from the sun and for a cooling effect as well. It contains “marmesin” which apparently does protect against UVA rays in a similar way to titanium dioxide. So, it does offer some slight UVA protection.

Thanakha also has antibacterial properties and is used to treat acne and rashes as well. So, it seems that this natural product does actually have some sun screen properties and can be beneficial to the skin. Disappointingly, the sunscreen doesn’t seem to have a huge amount of this product, as it is right near the end of the ingredient list. It’s hard to know how much of an effect this ingredient actually has in the product.

It also contains niacinamide – which seems to be in everything and is used for brightening, anti-aging and helping to repair the skin barrier. There also seems to be a lot of silicones in this which could be bad for people who find silicones clog their pores.

I’ve been using this sunscreen for a couple of months now, and I intended to write a review much earlier. But I felt so conflicted about this sunscreen that I thought it was better to keep using it for a longer period so I could see what I really thought about it.

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The sunscreen itself as I mentioned before is quite oily/greasy feeling for me. I’m not sure if it’s just me and my dehydrated skin as Secret Key said the sunscreen isn’t heavy and that it’s moist without being sticky. I don’t know why but it’s not like that for me, and I certainly can’t use this sunscreen in summer because of how sticky it feels to me.

I do find that it is very moisturizing, probably the one of the most moisturizing sunscreens I have used, and it doesn’t feel that heavy on my skin. But it does have a tendency to feel oily and greasy some of the time which can be off putting. My hair sticks to my face when I wear it, but when it’s really cold this is less of a factor.

The sunscreen also takes a long time to dry down, again I’m not sure if this is just because of me and my skin type, but that’s another thing I dislike about it. I don’t wear this on mornings when I have work because it takes so long to dry.

I don’t have that much time in the morning – and fifteen minutes is about the time ideally, I’d like to wait for my sunscreen to dry. This Secret Key sunscreen however takes at least 30 minutes and more like an hour to dry for me. I suppose I could try patting on a powder sooner to help it dry, but I honestly don’t want to do something that might make the sunscreen less effective.

This is why I feel conflicted about this sunscreen – on one hand it’s moisturizing and my skin looks less dehydrated and better when I use it. But it takes so long for it to dry down, that I’m unsure if it’s worth using it. It is also a big tube so it’ll last a long time which is another good thing about it, but again I’m not sure if it’s worth repurchasing.

I guess it’s only useful for me in winter, as my other sunscreen is too drying in winter. But because of how long it takes to set/dry, I think I’d rather look for another sunscreen to use instead of this one. I haven’t noticed a cooling effect either, but maybe that’s only noticeable in warm/hot climates?

In conclusion I probably wouldn’t repurchase this sunscreen, because of how long it takes to dry down. It is quite a nice sunscreen to use but for me it’s annoying because I have to wait so long. It might just be my dehydrated skin causing a problem, so I might try it again in the future but at this point I wouldn’t repurchase it.

I think it’s too oily/greasy/moisturizing for people with oily skin and probably wouldn’t work well in humid climates. Even though it’s supposedly designed for the summer, but personally I don’t think it would work in warmer climates. Because it is so moisturizing I think it only suits people with dry skin and is best during the dry cooler months of winter.

Where to buy:


Have you tried Secret Key Thanakha Mild Sun Cream?

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