I have normal-to-dry skin with a small patch of sehorrehic dermatitis, occasional hormone-induced zits (I used to have horribly broken-out skin, so I'm still wary of what I put on my face), and sensitivity to certain ingredients. I also use AHAs and retinoids so I try to use the strongest, best sun protection I can get my hands on. I've been using this everyday for over a week now.
I recently decided to stop using sunscreens that have alcohol as an ingredient, which means I had to abandon my trusty Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection as a staple product. I've been using Skinceuticals UV Physical Fusion sunscreen lately and am pretty happy with it, but of course it's best to have a number of products in the rotation in case one gets discontinued or becomes a problem. This Hada-Labo sunscreen is well-reviewed and has no alcohol plus hyaluronic acid. It's also fairly inexpensive so if it didn't work out, I wouldn't be out too much money (about $14 with shipping for 38mL).
This is very similar to other Asian sunscreens I've tried (DHC, Sofina, Shiseido, etc.). It comes in a small, slim blue tube with a pointed nozzle tip. You must shake it before using it. It dispenses with a thin, runny, silky texture that is typical of Asian sunscreens due to the fact that it has a lot of silicone in it. I've never had issues with silicones (I always use DHC Deep Cleansing Oil to remove my makeup and sunscreen), but it may cause problems for some. I also like silicone-heavy sunscreens since it means I can skip applying a primer. The big difference between this and other Asian sunscreens I've tried is that it lacks the distinct alcohol odor. It has no real scent at all. Unlike many western sunscreens, it feels weightless.
Applying the recomended 1/4 tsp requires a minute or two of fairly vigorous massaging. My face will look shiny until it absorbs, then it gains a semi-matte appearance. I do not get shiny or oily later either, and my skin also doesn't develop those annoying flakies that Shiseido and even my beloved Sofina sunscreen sometimes gave me, even with heavy moisturizer beneath. Instead, my skin looks and feels smooth, hydrated and comfortable. My makeup (Laura Mercier TM and Secret Camouflage) stay on all day and don't oxidize.
So far, I haven't experienced any negative side effects of using this sunscreen. It hasn't triggered any rashes or zits or clogged my pores or anything like that (but again, I recommend using a cleansing oil to remove it). It also seems more hydrating than my Skinceuticals sunscreen. I think this will be a good choice when the weather is drier and cooler, while the Skinceuticals (which is a purely physical sunscreen) will be better for more humid weather. The sun protection it offers seems good enough for a normal day in which I am exposed to the sun when walking to and from my car and through windows. I have not tested it by staying out all day, however.
The one major drawback is that I have to order this from overseas and it takes about 2 weeks+ to reach my door. The bottle is relatively small, so I think one would definitely have to order multiples. But otherwise, I'm pleased to add this to my rotation and would recommend, especially for those with normal or drier skin.
I apply this as the last step in my morning skincare routine.
The sunscreen itself is a white runny lotion-like liquid which is non-greasy, spreads easily and absorbs well into the skin without leaving a white cast or film.
It is free from Fragrances, Mineral oil, and Alcohol, and contains Ascorbyl Glucoside, a stable form of Vitamin C, which is supposed to inhibit the synthesis of melanin. Although I have not experienced any whitening effect so far, I do like that this has anti-oxidant properties. While it cannot replace your moisturizer (though those with oilier skins may be able to do this) it is not as drying as some other sunscreens I have tried. This is probably due to the fact that it contains Sodium Hyaluronate and Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid.
It also offers great UV protection because it contains Zinc Oxide (other UV filters used are the chemical sunscreens, Octinoxate and Ethylhexyl Dimethoxybenzylidene Dioxo Imidazolidine Propionate). Note that despite containing Zinc Oxide, the UVA protection it provides is rated +++ by the Japanese (++++ being the highest protection). Perhaps the concentration of Zinc Oxide is not high enough to offer full protection.
Overall, highly recommended as a sunscreen!
As a side note this is supposed to also function as a makeup base, but I find that I need to apply a primer in order to provide a smooth canvas for my make up.
UV Filters: Octinoxate, Zinc Oxide, Ethylhexyl Dimethoxybenzylidene Dioxo Imidazolidine Propionate.
Others: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isononyl Isononanoate, Butylene Glycol, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Ascorbyl Glucoside (Vitamin C), Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Glycerin, Disodium Phosphate, Lauroyl Lysine, Titanium Dioxide, Silica, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Sodium Hydroxide, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid