I find this an entirely effective sunscreen. I wore this to the Boston Marathon this year (as an observer, not a runner), and it was one of the hottest, sunniest days in Boston Marathon history. Not a cloud in the sky, the sun was beating down, and I came home without any red or even browning on my hands or arms.
I never used Shiseido sunscreen before this, unlike most of the reviewers who have previous experience with other formulations. I love the way it sinks into my skin quickly, and I love how it seems to be a very effective shield, given my experience thus far.
However, I hate how runny it is, and the bottle gives little control over how much product comes out.
Also, I think it's responsible for some whiteheads, pore clogging, and minor breakout issues.
This bottle will serve me well this season, but I probably won't repurchase this particular formula; perhaps Shiseido will revamp this yet again.
p.s. I learned the hard way that you must shake this product thoroughly before applying. If you don't, you simply get a river of oil in your hand ...
I have been using the shiseido sun protection line for five years and never questioned my decision on using it. They say "you can't hit'em all" when it comes to makeup and skincare products, but this is THE holy grail sunscreen for me. You may not like it due to personal preferences but definitely test it out at a shiseido counter if the PROs and CONs you see at the bottom meet your requirements!! =)
WHY I LOVE THIS PRODUCT:
-very light, incredibly smooth when applying
-watery texture and leaves a minimal amount of white cast
-my skin has not broken out NOT EVEN ONCE using this product
-high spf protection
-has a pleasant scent (I don't hate it, very tolerable)
-quite waterproof and sweatproof (which means you must cleanse with some sort of oil cleanser to remove it off completely)
-because it is very light and sheer, it's perfect to use under makeup. Some of the thicker cream-like texture of sunscreens I tend to have a huge problem with the foundation moving around my face because sunscreens do not get absorbed into your skin unlike a lotion or a moisturizer. The sunscreen sits on the surface of your skin so if it's a heavy cream-like texture, the foundation almost always moves around the face. THIS SUNSCREEN MINIMIZES ALL OF THAT!
When it comes to the cons, it is quite pricy for a sunscreen for 100ml. Shiseido is not a drug store brand (of course), but it really is worth the price in my opinion. You really can't find a sunscreen at the level of this quality for $20 at a drug store. Also, there is no marked expiration date on the bottle for this sunscreen. From my years of using this product, it's usually two years from the day you open it OR once the scent has diminished sigificantly inside the bottle, it's time to chuck it and buy another one.
Lastly, I want to mention the difference between Shiseido sunscreens sold in Asia (Anessa) and the ones sold in the U.S. and Canada. They are different products and some ladies prefer to use Shiseido Anessa sunscreens because it is literally 'like-water' and leaves NO white cast (even less than the product I'm reviewing now). The watery fluid gets absorbed into the skin very nicely, can be used as a makeup base under foundation, matte finish, etc. BUT - Shiseido Anessa sunscreen is a CHEMICAL SUNSCREEN, not a PHYSICAL SUNSCREEN. There is a difference and there are pros and cons in using a chemical sunscreen.
The ingredient in sunscreens that leaves the white case is zinc oxide which is a physical ingredient that protects your skin from the UVA&UVB rays. Since a chemical sunscreen doesn't contain any zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, it does not leave a white cast. Also, chemical filters in chemical sunscreens are a better protection against FULL SPECTRUM UVA rays whereas physical ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide does not provide protection against full spectrum UVA rays. It provides partial UVA protection but just not full spectrum. UVA protection is so so SO important because the damage it causes to your skin isn't immediately visible to the eye and it is a slowly and gradual damage deep inside your skin, destroying collagen and elastin which will cause ageing. So it's not the redness that you can visibly see on your skin after going out in the sun so it's more disguised and hidden damage which will show up one day. And chemical filters are a better protection against such full spectrum UVA rays.
HOWEVER! There is almost twice as MUCH chemical ingredients replacing the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in a chemical sunscreen that may cause irritations, allergic reactions, breakouts, etc. Also chemical sunscreens almost always has alcohol as an ingredient (check the box), used as a solvent to thin-out the solution to achieve that watery consistency for easier and smooth application.
Personally, I am not allergic to any ingredients in chemical sunscreens and tolerate it very well but I prefer to use physical sunscreens with minimal white casts. Only because I don't think anyone in this world has used chemical sunscreens long enough (30-40 years) to really know what side effects those chemicals bring to an individual. Short term, yes - chemical sunscreens may sound like the answer to all our prayers (no white cast, easy application, full UVA/UVB protection) but I don't want to risk any additional complications further down my life (30-40 years later) by introducing a greater range of chemicals to my skin. That's just my personal opinion and preference. I cannot possibly protect my skin 100% of the time from the sun so I don't even bother being picky about full spectrum UVA protection that the chemical sunscreens offer. For me, the UVA protection that the physical sunscreen offers is plenty and will live on in peace :)
I have extremely sensitive skin and used to have problems with cystic acne. This is the ONLY sunscreen that I use that does not break me out. Yes, it is a bit pricey but it is light and you do not have to use a lot. It makes your skin feel silky and is also a really nice base before your foundation. There was a worker at Sephora that recommended it and his skin looked pretty moist and healthy, I am glad I went with it! I will definitely continue to purchase this product, my husband even uses it now (of course, he bought his own!) :)
I bought this for use on my face and I am pleasantly surprised by the quality. I love Shiseido, so I bought this off Sephora. There is a very faint scent, but it isn't bothersome to me. It dries quickly and leaves behind no white cast. Then again, I'm extremely pale, even so, I can't detect anything. I feel I am doing something good for my skin when I use this, by protecting it from the sun's harmful rays (skin cancer runs in my family), but also because this is marketed as an anti-aging skincare product as well. I will repurchase, but this may be overpriced. I guess I might be a sucker, but since this works for me, and my skin is highly sensitive, I don't think I will switch for any other product.
Additionally, in comparison to Coppertone Sensitive Skin formula, I would say this is quite similar. I would recommend that to anyone who is unwilling to purchase this but is looking for a less expensive alternative.
Again, I'm pretty loyal to Shisiedo. What else can I say?
I'm absolutely shocked that this is "too greasy" for some people, but then again, what works for someone of a certain skin type won't work for someone else of a different skin type. I have normal/ oily skin, and this has been a miracle in a bottle for me. After I let my moisturizer sink in, I shake the bottle and apply this. It looks shiny when I first apply it, but it sinks in in less than a minute and it doesn't look or feel like I have anything on at all. The most amazing thing about this sunscreen is that it's actually what has been keeping my foundation looking shine-free and fresh ALL. DAY. LONG. No seriously, the times I've used this, my foundation looks matte for AT LEAST 12 hours, with maybe a couple of blots, and this is in Miami weather. I'm ecstatic. Even though this has a lot of negative reviews from people saying it's too greasy, if you have oily skin and struggle with keeping foundations looking fresh, I suggest you AT LEAST try it.
I love this sunscreen. Being extremely pale with freckles, I have to wear sunscreen everyday and this is the only one yet to break me out. I used to use Neutrogeona Ultra-Sheer, and like every other sunscreen it felt like I had liquid saran-wrap on my face. This sinks right in and I can't even feel it at all. Perfect sunscreen!
Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 16.3%, Octinoxate 7.4%, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid 2.0%
Major fragrance overload! Most people don't know that fragrance itself is not a very strong irritant per se but the solvents that are required for adding fragrance prove to be the most detrimental to the skin. So anyone, sensitive to smell or not, should avoid fragranced products altogether to avoid getting in contact with the harmful solvents.
This lotion dries to a somewhat matte finish compared to common US sunscreens on the market, but no way is it topnotch. It still leaves an obvious white cast which can be misinterpreted as having a buttload of makeup on (I've had it said to my face and I'm male), at least for someone who isn't Tilda Swinton pale. It is very water-resistant - I'll give it that, but that's about its only merit. I much prefer the Gentle Sun Protection Lotion for Sensitive Skin and Babies in the same range (pure physical, fragrance-free, same amount of content but less expensive).
Greasy and sticky I can handle. That's what loose powders are for, not to mention that powder is a very powerful physical sunscreen in and of itself. I actually get genuinely disappointed if a sunscreen dries too matte which inhibits me from coating my face with a large amount of loose powder. But white casts are unacceptable for me, any given day, greasy or matte.
I do not get what all the hype is about. If you happen to live in Asia and are surrounded by numerous Japanese sunscreens that are 100000000000 times more cosmetically elegant than this pasty white lotion than you wouldn't even have glanced at it in the first place.
1) SHISEIDO's best-selling Asian exclusive sunscreen line ANESSA has some of the best sunscreens on the market, even surpassing the much overrated Sofina which does not provide adequate enough protection.
2) KOSE has a fabulous line called RESOA which contains 19.88% Zinc Oxide yet still dries 100% transparent. I can put 3 layers on in the morning and it is still undetectable. Now THAT is what I call sunscreen technology.
3) KANEBO has its own ALLIE line that shares the same patent from the Kao Group as Sofina's, but the protection ALLIE offers is far superior to Sofina's.
There you go, the 3 major Japanese brands with their own sunscreen lines that are selling like hot cakes here in Asia. I have used sunscreens from all over the world including those nasty glue-like high PPD European ones. And all I can say is the Asian sunscreen technology/market/awareness are light years ahead of its western counterpart.
Sorry folks but American sunscreens are total BS though. I always cringe at the thought of having to purchase sunscreens imported from the USA, because they are almost always pure chemical which is basically like setting fire to one's face and contributing to further melasma. Luckily I don't have to given the variety of options I have. America is the land of plenty but certainly lacking in the sunscreen department. One of my favorite quotes from someone on this topic is "What are you gonna do? Wait for the FDA to get real?"
I have sensitive pale skin and sunscreen is a MUST
It was really hard to find a sunscreen that didn't feel gross, leave a white film, or make me breakout. My skin is very oily in the summer and some products would just slide off.
This sunscreen is very thin and absorbs easily into my skin. The high SPF is great and I don't get burned.
LOVE this line of suncare. (in the dry winter I switch to the cream)
My favorite sunscreen. It's light and non-greasy formula makes it a breeze to put on before makeup. I use it after moisturizer and before primer. The scent is light and pleasant. Best of all, I've definitely noticed a reduction in expression lines now that I use sunscreens daily.
Definitely the best sunscreen I've ever used. The protection is just about the best you can get. SPF 60+++. It has a high percentage of zinc but does not give off a whitish cast to your face at all. In the past few years, I've been getting an outbreak of freckles on my cheeks and the bridge of my nose. This product, along with my AHA cream, has helped combat this problem.
It has an extremely milky consistency but I actually like this, because I have very dry skin and can layer this over my moisturizer in the morning. It spreads easily and although is goes on slightly greasy at first, it eventually turns into a matte-like finish after about half an hour (maybe less). **Be sure to shake the bottle well before use as the product separates if you don't.
The only issue I might have is that it is quite expensive. I paid $40.00 + tax for 3.3 fluid oz. Because of this, I only use is on my face and neck. However, I'm a firm believer in sunscreen being one of the most important items in your beauty regimen, so I am willing to pay that price for what it does. Also, it's very water resistant and can be difficult to remove. I don't feel that your average cleanser would do the job to remove all traces of this on your face. Shiseido recommends using their oil based cleanser but I think any oil based cleanser will do. I would suggest finding one that suits your skin - I recommend DHC.