This is a pleasant-feeling gel sunscreen, it sinks into my skin easily and doesn't feel greasy. I do get a little bit of a shiny effect from this but not as bad as the shine I get from Anessa's Perfect Essence SPF50 or basically any other SPF50 sunscreen.
It works great as a base for makeup, but I have had several issues with the product balling up under foundation or flaking off which means that I won't be buying this one again. But on the plus side, this doesn't go on streaky. I have areas of dark spots and so I apply an extra layer of sunscreen over these. It sinks in perfectly leaving my makeup to apply easily on top (but will ball up if rubbed).
My tube of sunscreen is rated PA++++ so I guess it is the newly refomulated (or repackaged) version for 2013. I am concerned with the high alcohol content of this sunscreen. I am aware of the damage that alcohol can do over time to your skin and I do try to avoid sunscreens with a lot of alcohol in them if I can. Unfortunately the ones I like the most texture-wise are the ones with the most alcohol in! I won't be buying this again although I do really like it. I have to have a product that does not ball up on my skin and this one does.
I bought this also with the Long Keep gel, and they look pretty similar out of the bottle, but this product is meant to be, and actually is, more moisturizing. This product has a gel cream consistency, and it's super easy to spread out and apply. I like that when it dries, even if there are areas where there was a little bit extra and I forgot to blot, my face doesn't look like a streaky mess once I apply my powder after it. It doesn't take that long to dry despite being a moisturizing SS, either. I use this every day around my eyes, and it doesn't irritate them or dry them out. It's perfect for this, and when you mostly use it around your eyes it takes absolutely forever to run out because the tube is so huge. When I use this on my oily skin it does get shiny halfway through the day, so I limit using it on the rest of my face unless it's dry from using Retin A or something the night before. It's a little more expensive than some of the other Japanese sunscreens, but comparable to the Shiseido Anessa line and less expensive than the Shiseido SS they sell at Sephora (and I think it's way better than those), plus it's PA++++, so you know you're getting great protection. Therefore, I think it's a great deal and will repurchase until I find something better (which is looking pretty difficult at this point, but you never know!).
My skin: Sensitive, rosacea-prone.
Regimen: On Retin-A 0.025% and Avene Triacneal (Retin A every third night)
To tell you a little something about my skin, it's very finicky. Quite a lot of products don't play well with it, and usually I get something like burning rash, pimples or oil seeds (milia?) to contend with. In the case of sunscreens, I need to watch out for oil seeds as the last one I used called Shiseido Anessa (the one in the gold bottle) caused a bunch of oil seeds around my temples and cheeks over time. I had those removed, and swapped over to Kanebo Allie immediately.
Since I am on Retin-A and Avene Triacneal, sunscreen is an absolute must. It's very difficult to find one I like - one that is not too greasy, protects more than adequately, and of course, one my skin is compatible with. Kanebo Allie protects VERY well. I haven't had a single new discoloration appear since starting to use it. Grease-wise, it can be pretty shiny at first, but will subside in an hour or two. I don't use foundations or mineral makeup now so I can't say how it's like to put them on top of Allie. I did rush through once and put on mineral makeup, I think... and it was alright. It doesn't control oil all that much but it isn't a concern for me because, even though I live in a hot and humid climate, I make sure my skin's oil production is balanced by using the right moisturizer.
When I had my oil seeds removed, my skin began the healing process and scabbed over, and during this period I used Kanebo Allie. It didn't irritate, didn't cause any discoloration to the marks... yeah, I'm pretty happy about it. I buy mine in twos and threes from Japan directly via Rakuten. You can find links to purchase them from Ratzillacosme's site. Or, you can try google "Rakuten Kanebo Allie extra UV gel mineral moist" and see what comes up.
I am on my 3rd tube of this sunscreen now. I purchased it the first year it came out, then just repeated buying every summer. Before purchasing this I've always purchased Anessa over Allie. I found that Anessa in yellow bottle kept me more matte than the other Allie. Plus, the other Allie sunscreens irritated my eyes and made me teary. But a few years ago Anessa reformulated its sunscreens and the yellow bottle started to irritate my eyes as well, and I also found that my skin got drier over the years, so I decided to try this Mineral Moist sunscreen from Allie.
The texture of this sunscreen is different from the other typical milky Japanese sunscreens. The name is UV Gel but actually it's not a clear gel, but a white colored gel. It's not as heavy and oily as the cream susncreens but not as oil absorbing and drying as the milky type. For my combo skin, this works the best in the summer when I stay all day indoors in an air-conditioned room. It gets a bit oily if I'm in a humid environment such as a tropical resort (I go to back to Anessa yellow bottle), and it gets drying during the winter (I use Lancome UV Expert). I've tried both the blue version (water proof, for face and body) and pink version (not water proof, marketed as for face and neck) and honestly cannot tell much difference.
The only negative points about this sunscreen is that it does ball-up a bit if I rub too much, but this can be avoided it if I just apply quickly. It also leaves my skin a bit shiny (but not oily), but most gel creams or sunscreens make me shiny and a little powder will help solve this problem. All in all I like it a lot and I will keep on purchasing. The price is reasonable for such a big tube.
I bought the newest 2013 version that has SPF 50 PA++++ (that's right, 4 pluses). Unfortunately the extra UV protection made the new formula shinier and heavier. Like many sunscreens, this eventually broke me out. I'd rather stick to a lower SPF sunscreen than have more pimples, especially if I'm indoors for work most of the day. Maybe if you have drier skin your skin would be able to suck up the shininess better as I tend to have oily skin, especially so when it's warmer.
I'm on my 4th bottle of this amazing product. Cannot live without it. I did a lot of research before purchasing and I'm so happy I found it. I couldn't really wear sunscreen before I found this one. Most of the times they just felt too oily and heavy, clogged my pores or left an ugly cast. None of this happens with this product.
Another great thing about it is that I have sensitive skin, and despite the alcohol being high up in the ingredients list, it does not affect me negatively. As a matter of fact, when I first began applying retinol every night, I didn't even know my skin was sensitive until I ran out of Allie Gel and borrowed my husband's Neutrogena sunscreen. OMG, I felt my skin was on FIRE!!! Needless to say I didn't try any other brands since then. Will stick with Allie Gel as long as Kanebo keeps making it.
The only downside to this product is that, as Ratzilla has mentioned, most of the Japanese lines get "revamped" pretty much every year. As a result, something that works for you now may not suit you when they change the formulation (and that inevitably happens most of the time). I used to prefer the 2011 version of this product in particular.
This is my favorite sunscreen right now in terms of cosmetic elegance and decent protection. According to ratzillacosme, this has a minimum PPD of 16 because it will be repackaged to PA++++ later this year. While that's only half or less of Euro sunscreens, I just can't make any euro sunscreen work for me aesthetically. It's very easy to apply, it doesn't dry out my skin which is pretty dehydrated right now, doesn't give me a white cast, and doesn't ball up or pill like many other sunscreens do. I bought my first one from Adambeauty, a 25 g mini tube, and it was really expensive (like $30 or so?). I'm going to try and find another retailer to see if there's anything cheaper. For everyday normal wear, I definitely recommend this SS.
Texture is very light like a cream gel, very fresh and doesn't leave a white cast or greasy skin. There is a quite strong alcohol smell as it is second in the ingredients and this ss can be quite drying on non oily skin!