This was my first Japanese sunscreen. I usually avoid Japanese SS because most of them contain alcohol and I have dry and sensitive skin that does not tolerate alcohol in products.
I bought this from an online etailer (not sure if it was from Sasa or Adambeauty) and it is relatively cheap at around £10 for 38 ml. I like the fact that Asian SS come in small packaging as I don't like to keep SS open for long.
I apply this product over a layer of serum and moisturiser - my skin is so dry that I have not found a SS that would allow me to skip those steps. I allow the serum and moisturiser to sink in (it is usually very quick) and apply this SS. I am not 100% sure I am applying 1/4 teaspoon as the texture of this SS is very liquid and thin, so it's very hard to measure. But I do apply as much as I can, one area at a time. At first it makes my skin look really oily but then it sinks in quickly - maybe in 5-10 minutes max. After that, if you don't wear any makeup on your skin, you're good to go - as most of the protection comes from zinc oxide, it is effective immediately. I normally apply some concealer or foundation and I have to say: this is where this product really won me over. Makeup applies really well over it. Bear in mind that this is no a mattifying sunscreen at all - it leaves your skin with a "moisturised" appearance and not a matte one. But this is a good thing for those of us with dry skin.
It does not "ball up" when layered with serums (under) or foundation (over), which is great because most of the euro sunscreens I've tried ball up terribly (if you don't know what "balling up" means... it's basically when you layer products and they start to flake like crazy. Huge pet peeve of mine as it makes your face look dirty).
I am not currently reapplying this at lunchtime because it's winter now (it was supposed too be spring already, though...) and I don't sweat a lot or go out in the sun very often. But I will definitely reapply it when summer comes.
In the afternoon I normally notice my skin getting a bit dry again, but I can't blame this on the sunscreen as it happens with pretty much any product I try. I've used Accutane a couple of years ago and I am having to cope with dry skin after that.
I wish I could comment on the level of protection and its effectiveness but unfortunately I don't have the % of the actives (which are octinoxate and Zinc oxide) and I haven't used this product long enough to say whether it has helped fading hyperpigmentation. However, it is SPF50+ PA+++ which means a PPD of at least 8 (or perhaps even higher, as this was manufactured before they added the PA++++ level) and it has zinc oxide, which is a good broad-spectrum sunscreen.
I would not say it is moisturising per se, but it certainly is not drying. It contains no alcohol or fragrance. I am finishing my bottle now (good thing is that you can see how much product is left) and I will try the Whitening version, which is also SPF 50+ PA+++. I will certainly buy this again, as I expect to go through one bottle every month during summer and this is certainly worth repurchasing!
Link to ingredient list (cosdna):
Things I forgot to mention!
1) I don't know how they do it, but this leaves NO WHITE CAST whatsoever. I an NC20ish (a bit lighter) but even some chemical SS leave a white cast on me and I hate it. Although this one has zinc oxide in the formula, there is not white cast at all.
2) no breakouts. But then again, I'm not that prone to break out due to products (except LRP sunscreens which create havoc on my skin)
3) I finished my bottle today - not sure how long it lasted as I used it until halfway through it, stopped it for a while (to wear a more moisturising, lower SPF SS - Avene AntiRougeurs SPF 20 - that left me with hyperpigmentation during the English winter...) and went back to it. On my last day I decided to actually measure it on a measure spoon and I applied exactly 1/4 teaspoon of the SS. I reckon I was applying about 3/4 of that amount before... it definitely looked way more shiny with 1/4 tsp - actually my face looked completely WET for about 10 minutes, until the SS dried down to the semi-dewy finish that I normally get with it. I applied foundation over it (Bourjois HM serum) with no problems at all. No balling up, no white cast, no oily skin (but bear in mind that my skin is drier than most).
I am now about to use the Whitening version of this SS, which contains vit C and arbutin (blue bottle) and I will report back after I've used it. I have other 5 unopened bottles of SS to test over the spring/summer but I am considering buying this one again just in case - who knows if they are going to discontinue it!
This was the first (and probably the last) Japanese sunscreen I ever tried. The finish was great: no balling up, no white cast, shiny only at first, then sinks in and it is fine. I don’t find this moisturizing (and my skin isn’t dry), but doesn’t make me dry either.
My issue with this sunscreen is that every time I used it I got horrible breakouts! I have acneic skin already, but when I use this product I get worst…I put it once and during that week I will get huge acne pimples. For my acneic skin, this is one of the worst products I ever came across.
Feels really great going on; no sunscreen-y smell, feels smooth, leaves a good base for foundation. Love the texture, no powdery finish or whiteness. Looks pretty loaded with parabens and cones though, which I deducted a point for.
This product retails for SGD19.90. It's expensive for a drugstore product but if you get it in HK, it would definitely be much cheaper. That's the reason I give 2 stars for the price.
The texture is really moisturising. I'm not sure about the sun protection efficiency as I only use this for short walks etc. I would use a stronger one if I were to exercise or be under the sun for long hours. However, due to it being a mild sunblock, it does not require special cleansing is a bonus!
Thanks to the previous reviewer that prompted me to this product.
Absolutely worthy 8 lippies, 10 times better than my ex-favourite Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Water- Light SPF 60.
This has absolutely no white or shiny cast left on the skin, it does, however, silicone in it, which does not bother me. If you wait for the correct time, right before the product completely dried (absorbed) into the skin, you can skip the silicone primer before liquid foundation, which is a big plus since I can skip one process in the summer heat.
It also blurs the pores and make the skin appeared more procelain like, I know some day cream that does that, but a high SPF sunscreen, I would sell me mother in law for half a bottle of this.
Depending on the weather, sometime I warmed up some heavier moisturizer on my palm & press it on my dry cheek afterwards for addition moisture (my cheeks are super dry)
The only con is the expiration date, it is in code, mine reads 2B2.
It costs me US$14 from an oversea website. continued >>
This is my holy grain sunscreen, I have already went through about five or six bottles. This sunscreen does not leave a white cast at all (I am about NC40-45), is not oily but does moisturize (it is oily at first, but then it settles into my skin and leaves it quite matte), and gives good protection (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide).
I am always looking for a high SPF that does not leave a white cast and is not oily, and I have tried lots of different brands, such as pharmacy brands (Eucerin, La Roche Posay, Vichy) and regular brands (Clarins, Chanel) and Japanese sunscreens (Sofina, Biore). The European sunscreens were either too oily and broke me out, or left a white cast on my skin, and the Japanese ones contained a lot of alcohol.
This sunscreen by Hada Labo is the first one that does not contain any alcohol, is not oily, and does not leave a white cast on my face. It's amazing for any woman of color that does not want a white cast, for anyone that has combination skin (because it is not oily, but it does moisturize a little bit) and for people who wear makeup (on my skin it also works as a base/primer).
The only con for me is that I go through it pretty quickly, I use about a teaspoon for my face and apply liberally and do about a month and a half with one bottle (38 ml). Another con is that it does feel a little bit oily at first, but then it settles into my skin and I only have a little bit of shine. Because I use powder foundation, it doesn't really matter to me. I also don't mind because I rather have this product than something with lots of alcohol that can irritate the skin, and this has not broken me out either.
Edit (May 2013): I have now moved on to the Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion, which is basically the same product with added vitamin C against hyperpigmentation in a blue bottle. It works exactly the same for me, does not leave a white cast and is not oily. It has not really lightened either my scars or my overall skintone, but considering this version does not break me out and still protects my skin well, I think added vitamin C can't do me any harm.
I bought this from a seller on ebay and had it sent to me from Japan for a total of $20 usd, including shipping. It is amazing - one of the best if not the best sunsreens I've ever tried and I've tried at least 100. I have dry, reactive, flaky, rosacean skin that breaks out if I look at it wrong. This sunscreen is much more moist than the other Japanese sunscreens I've tried (Shiseido Senka and Allie) and it doesn't require a special cleanser to remove it. It doesn't seem to have the high alcohol content that I have experienced with other Japanese sunscreens, which is great for me because alcohol causes my rosacea to flare and it makes my skin rough and scaly. Active ingred: zinc oxide, not sure what %. EDIT 6/2: I think this was the cause of a horrible breakout that took several days to subside so I've lowered my rating to 1. It also caused me to be really oily by the end of the day. I'm now using the Shiseido Urabn Environment Oil-Free everyday with much better results - no problems at all.