I have melasma so sun protection is very important to me. Last summer I couldn't understand why despite applying SPF 45 or higher daily, my melasma still darkened considerably. And if I spent one day at the beach, even reapplying sunscreen diligently, it darkened rapidly! I went on MUA boards and found that chemical sunscreens (what I've been using) can actually worsen it (search Melasma on the board to read posts). So I decided to switch to physical (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) sunscreens. After reading reviews I chose this and have been using it for a month. Pros: I love the packaging, it clicks shut securely and the color makes it easy to find in my beach bag. It absorbs well and doesn't leave my face feeling or looking greasy (I have dry skin). Biggest pro: IT WORKS! I have gone to the beach twice for full days with this...one day, my umbrella broke, then my hat blew off and I had to spend the entire day in the blazing sun. My skin didn't get any darker! Con: Applying foundation over this requires good timing. If you do it too soon, it's greasy. If you wait too long, it becomes "draggy." About 2-3 minutes to sink in works. Originally, I thought this smelled like bug spray, but now I've grown to like the scent--it smells like sunscreen but that reminds me of summer and makes me happy. The other con is the price, but at $19 for 1.2 oz bottle (there is also a larger $38 size) this is about the same as the LaRoche-Posay I'd been using that DID NOTHING. If this keeps my melasma at bay, I'd gladly pay much more.
This is a really good product. I bought the 50ml size back in February of this year, I believe, and it's lasted me until now - the perfect amount of time imo just because spf does seem to go bad after a while.
I think the high factor is ideal for the full on days of summer, I'd mix it with my alpha hydrox glycolic acid cream and it makes a perfect base for makeup, too. And it's effective, I didn't tan with this on - my face is lighter than my arms and decollete right now. However, when I did try to mix it with my BWC oil free day cream - a thinner, more "slippery" product - the two didn't blend well and went on in streaks on my face.
It's also true that this leaves a white cast, especially on darker skin tones. I usually wore foundation or powder over it but that is pretty darn annoying. Still, I have yet to find an spf I have confidence in that doesn't leave that white cast. Argh, I love how the fashion mags tell us to never leave the house without this stuff on our faces but don't really give good recommendations for brands!
I think this is not easy to apply. It is a bit thick for my normal/slightly oily skin. I think it would work great on dry skin and mature skin. As for the effectiveness of product, that is hard to tell. I usually don't stay out in the sun for long and I don't get sun burn before getting dark. So the only drawback is I don't like the texture of it.
love this sunscreen. it is waterproof, survives 1/2 bike rides in blazing sun, and does not drip into my eyes. maintains a matte appearance all day. only downfall is needing the oil remover to clean my face afterwards. does not make me breakout.
i tried so many facial sunscreens- this is the only one that i like and trust.
the BEST sunscreen I ever tried with high SPF55
first i was afraid the cream formula will clog my pore and make my makeup greasy. But this cream is totally lovely as it smooth out the skin and leave a very matte finish for the following makeup.
It is a cream but it is also so easy to blend so a little goes the long way.
I bought this because I've been using RAM 0.1% and needed something with a good deal of UVA/UVB protection. I'm very pale with oily, clog-prone skin which is now rather sensitive. I've been using this for about three days now, so these are just my first impressions (I'll update if anything changes):
At first I was concerned that the cream texture would be too greasy for my skin, but I was wrong -- this sunscreen does a great job mattifying! So far, it's been a nice primer for my foundation. It gives me a natural, satin matte finish -- not flat matte, but definitely not dewy either. It absorbs well into my skin with a bit of massaging and doesn't feel heavy at all. I'm not bothered by the white cast of this sunscreen, as I'm very fair, but I wouldn't recommend it for darker complexions or for wear in flash photos. It is lightly scented (a bit powdery/floral), so those sensitive to fragrance might wish to look elsewhere. The packaging is certainly adequate (I'm not worried about it squirting all over my bag), with a sturdy, tightly-fitting cap on a thick plastic tube. So far, I haven't experienced any clogs/breakouts, but of course that remains to be seen. As for lasting power, this stuff *really* stays put and has to be removed with an oil-based cleanser and some scrubbing -- this definitely isn't sliding anywhere, even on my oily skin.
Overall, I think it's a great, cosmetically-elegant sunscreen. If things continue to look up, I'll definitely repurchase!
I have bought a small bottle (1.2 oz) of this for the past 3 summers. I do not use it on a daily basis for when I work indoors, but I use it for going to festivals, parades, camping, the beach anytime I will be outdoors, for my face because my body can take the cheaper stuff. I have very sensitive facial skin and using this type of sunscreen w/o avobenzene is key for me, and out of all the zinc/titanium oxide brands I tried I like this one the best. I do not tan on my face when I use this.
I took a star off for price and because if I do not blend or wear with makeup it can come off as a white cast. A friend of mine called me "Casper." So be sure to blend or do not apply without a mirror.
I like that this product provides sun protection along with skin benefits. It does however leave a bit of a white cast, but slighter than other sunscreens, and also has that sunscreen scent. I like that this doesn't add extra shine though, since I have very oily skin. This product doesn't help control oil though, but I don't find that as a downside because it really wasnt meant to do that to begin with.
I bought the travel sized one for $19.50 for 1.2 oz., but I feel like either packaging is still a little expensive. I'm willing to pay a little more for skin care products if they actually work though, so I will repurchase once I run out.
UPDATE (6/18/12) One year later and I LOVE this stuff. Total HG. I've repurchased several tubes. I am including the current reformulated ingredients at the end of my review since someone keeps changing them back to the "old" formulation.
ORIGINAL REVIEW: I would agree that this is an excellent sunscreen and what's more, it's one Japanese sunscreen that's easily available for purchase here in the States. It retains all the qualities of the best Japanese formulations......very water/sweat resistant, very protective, mattifying and works well as a primer for MU. I love that Shiseido avoids using that awful new silicone, cyclopentasiloxane, as its primary silicone. As for my skin's response: it's still early days yet for my finicky skin. No obvious clogging anywhere except a small area on my chin. However, I'm not yet convinced that it's the result of this sunscreen. I plan to avoid using on my chin till things clear up. Then I'll retry it there. I will update at a later date. INGREDIENTS:
Active: Octinoxate (7.4%), Titanium Dioxide (2.2%), Zinc Oxide (16.3%), Other: Cyclomethicone, Water, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquoixane, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Polybutylene Glycol/PPG-9/1 Copolymer, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Glycerin, Xylitol, Methyl Gluceth-10, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Ononis Spinosa Root Extract, Ectoin, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Cyclopentasiloxane, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Isostearic Acid, Trisodium EDTA, BHT, Syzygium Jambos Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
This is an excellent product. I am obsessed with balancing intense sun protection with intense fake tanners as I live in Miami Beach. I have been using titanium and zinc sunscreens for a few years now and have the same complaints as everyone. White cast, not good under makeup etc. Not only are mineral sunscreens harder to find than chemical, they are way more expensive so trying them out really stinks. In south florida the weather is VERY humid. Whatever you put on practically melts off within a few hours and even if you are normally not greasy, your skin just "dews up". This shiseido sunscreen stays put forever, keeps me matte longer and does not break me out as many things do. I use this as my everyday sunscreen. i wash my face, apply this, and after about 5 mins use my mac concealer and whatever else. For protection touch ups throughout the day I use the bare minerals natural tinted sunscreen powder which is also zinc/titanium based. Even though the shiseido stays put, it's still a good idea to reapply sunscreen throughout the day and a powder is easier than a lotion if you have makeup on. The texture of the shiseido is very smooth, it does not ball up and it does not get stuck in your eyebrows like many zincs do. The zinc content is insanely high-around 14%- and you do not feel the sunscreen sitting on your skin. It does not wipe off, it does not leave you greasy and it is waterproof. It is hard to find any sunscreen, much less a mineral one, that works well with makeup on top, so i am thrilled to say this one works better than even non-mineral sunscreens to that effect. I have also tried z-silc and t-silc by neova. The former was not as "cosmetically elegant" nor did it have as high a zinc concentration. The latter REALLY broke me out and left me greasy making makeup even harder than normal to apply much less keep on. Plus in my research, i've learned zinc offers more protection than titanium. I will definitely be buying this sunscreen again, and in my opinion asian companies (especially the japanese) are light years ahead of the west as far as sun protection goes. It's their culture to stay light, where for us in the west, being dark is normally preferred. As for using this with/ without a moisturizer, I don't have dry skin so i only moisturize at night. I don't think using this without a moisturizer underneath would be a problem for most people as the texture is very good and does not seem to highlite flaky skin as many sunscreens do. The texture is almost similar to many makeup primers i have tried leaving your skin smoother and better prepared for makeup. And lastly the smell. I do not like it. I hate powdery scents, but this one goes away within a few minutes and the product is so good overall it's not even worth subtracting a point over. A+ for shiseido! Love it!