Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen was one of few sunscreens which met my criteria. It's matte, non-oily, no white cast, and most importantly, doesn't cause any irritation to my rather sensitive eyes. Great for summertime, but a little too dry in winter even for my oily skin. So I've picked up this "Essence" version, which claims to be more moisturizing.
You're supposed to shake the bottle well before use. The texture is runny and watery, a little thicker than milk, which is commonly found in Japanese sunscreens. It's not as matte as Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen, a little greasy and shiny on my oily skin. Definitely not for summer, but acceptable in winter. I do need to use some face powder to remove excess oil. No noticeable white cast on my medium Asian skin.
However, as soon as I apply it to my face, my eyes sting! I've never experienced eye irritation in other Anessa products, so it's an unpleasant surprise. A big disappointment.
I'll definitely not buy it again. Now I have a second thought about re-purchasing Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen too, because it was re-formulated since I last used it.
I love the Anessa Perfect UV but it is quite drying (love the matte finish though). So I thought I would try the Essence in the hopes that I would still get a matte finish but with a little more moisture.
The one I tried is the reformulated PA++++ version (not the older PA+++). This Perfect Essence is a very runny liquid just like a lot of Japanese sunscreens. It doesn't give me a matte finish when applied but instead looks a little shiny. Not as shiny as some other sunscreens (PTR Sheer SPF50, Kate Somerville Serum Sunscreen SPF50, Replenix Antioxidant Cream SPF50 etc) but it is still clearly noticeable. When foundation is applied on top it is still shiny and I do need to add powder which is a huge disappointment. I have tried this with several different foundations and I still get the shininess. I will continue to use this up but won't repurchase.
This review is for the 2013, PA++++ version.
Perfect Essence has a thin texture, is easily applied, doesn't leave a white cast, doesn't ball up and feels light and fresh on the skin. It differs from Perfect UV in that it is more moisturising (less drying), I'm guessing because of a lower alcohol content (although I don't know the exact ingredients). The downside of this: it is less matte than Perfect UV.
The finish, after applying 1/4 tsp, is dewy, almost a tiny bit shiny, but way, way better than all the Euro sunscreens I've tried. I also feel that Perfect Essence is less resistant to water/sweat/rubbing than Perfect UV.
So if you're looking for very matte and very resistant: choose Perfect UV. If you want more moisturising, go for Perfect Essence. Both are very, very good products.
Btw, I order my Anessa sunscreens at http://ichibanko.com: good prices, fast and kind service.
Bought this because I am curious to try Anessa sunscreens. I got this in the 2013 version (white bottle, where as the previous 2010 and 2011 bottle is light blue) and the PA level is improved to PA++++ (more protection from dark spots and tanning) and now it's lightly scented rather than un-scented like the previous version.
The texture is runny, a little bit thicker than the Shiseido Perfect UV protector SPF 50+ PA++++. Although the change into fragranced type boggles my mind because I thought it's really not necessary because nowadays people tend to look for unscented product. Thankfully, it has very little scent (which I say is a bit chemical), very subtle when compared to the usual flowery scent from Shiseido products.
When applied to the face, it instantly moisturized the face (compared to the Perfect UV protector and Urban environment oil-free), there is a bit of a greasy feeling but fades away quickly, has a nice dewy finish. It doesn't leave any white cast immediately after applied which is really nice.
No breakouts so far and I'm happy to say I like this product! A great sunscreen for everyday use (especially those bare make up free face), I like the fact it's moisturizing but not overly dewy or greasy even for my oily skin, I'm sure drier skin types who found the perfect UV or urban environment oil free drying will love this better. But to note, this is not waterproof and I don't know about the sweatproof because some website said that it is while some said it isn't.
The price is quite expensive (I got this for 31 $ from sasa for 60 mL/2fl.oz) but you only need a little for the whole face, and it can be a primer too!
As a sunscreen, I found this effective. I got no extra colour, and certainly did not burn. This was my first experiment with Japanese sunscreens, and compared to many of the sunscreens I'd used previously, the texture and finish of this were amazing. It did not turn my pale skin ghostly, and did not make me glow like a disco ball by the end of the day.
However, after using this for a while I realised that it was really irritating my eyes (my eyes are pretty sensitive- I have chronic blepharitis, and this sunscreen made that flare up). This was despite making an effort not to apply it around my eyes, not to touch my eye lids (in case I was accidentally applying some that was on my fingers) etc etc. By the end of the day, something was migrating somehow despite my efforts.
I've subsequently used other Japanese sunscreens which were as good, texture and finish-wise, and did not irritate my eyes. So this was not for me, for facial use. I also think that you could find other good Asian sunscreens that were less expensive, too.
I took the chance to venture out of my comfort zone given the good reviews and also that it is also by Shiseido, and I regret it! I have been a loyal user of Shiseido sunscreens, I've used the blue packaging version, and most recently white tube called Urban Environment UV protection SPF 30 and 50 - which I love. This Anessa sunscreen feel really light and watery and like a previous reviewer pointed out, is loaded with silicone! I am not a fan of products laden with silicones and apart from this, my skin breaks out when I use this product. It's a shame that this sunscreen doesn't agree with my skin. I've gone back to the white tube again, and it's great - doesn't leave a white cast and removes easily with my cleanser! Will be trying the new Shiseido Perfect UV sunscreen soon.
I am on the neverending search for sunscreen that protects my skin while also not breaking me out. I was convinced they didn't exist, but finally this search has led me straight to Japanese SS. I bought this product along with a few other kinds of Japanese SS from ichibankao.com (great service!). I liked this one the best of all of them, until I tried the tiny little sample bottle of the plain old gold Anessa that came attached to the package... LOVE. This one, not so much. The reason it's called "essence" is because it's supposed to also act as a base for your makeup, therefore it has a lot more in the way of silicones in it. The reason I like Japanese SS is because of the "barely there" feel, which unfortunately for this particular one was not the case. It's not "heavy" (and therefore doesn't go as far as doing the work of a regular primer, for those who are thinking of using it as that), but using it every day I would be afraid of it breaking me out, especially in the summer heat. If you're not breakout-prone and want a slightly smoother base for your makeup this could be a good product for you. No sunburns with this product at all!
This stuff is the best! I use to have the old formula, in the silver bottle. When I used that all up, I bought this new version and I LOVE it. It's even better than the original formula. It is matte, goes on smooth, and acts as a primer! It also blocks out the sun perfectly! When I use this during the summer, I don't any sort of tan on my face. Which I love. I apply this over my moisturizer and then I apply my mineral makeup. It works better than any of my old primers, I don't even use them anymore.
I'm on my 2nd bottle now and i lovee the product so much. Sheseido never disappoints me. :) The consistency is very thin and it goes on easily. it evens out my skin tone a little too.
However as I've gone through the second half of the bottle i notice the chemical smell. could be due to high alcohol content (but i'm not sure) which makes it so thin. i have a backup (3rd bottle) but will not repurchase this because i want to try another sunscreen from shiseido as well.
I never got a chance to use the old version so cannot compare the two, but this sunscreen is superb. It is also an excellent primer, making it so easy to smooth on my double wear foundation. My skin literally looks flawless and glowing when used under foundation.
It is of a milky white runny consistency and you don't need a lot on your face. There is no smell, in fact, it so not like sunscreen at all!!!
Only gripe is that I find it a bit pricey and I cannot buy it in Australia, but I will always repurchase.
7/03/2011 update. Sadly, I have to stop using this. I think the chemicals in this sunscreen is blocking my pores and causing me to break out. I am now going to use Invisible Zinc, as I think physical sunscreens are much better than chemical sunscreens for my body.