Love that this product has such a high SPF content, but the white mask that it left on my skin overshadows that. I've had to apply color primer atop of this cream, just to try to even my skin tone prior to applying my makeup. This does not go on sheer! (Which it claims to!) Also, by the end of the day, my face is an oil slick. Returning this product to Sephora.
Horrible for my face. I needed a sunscreen due to hours of toiling directly under the sun. This product is a mask that suffocates my pores, and makes my skin bumpy at the end of the day. I hate mattifying products to begin with, but this was MATTE. Sweat and natural face oils did not break through. Usually, I can feel sunscreen melt off when I wash with hot water and cleanser. This did not budge, and I reapplied every 2 hours. Fortunately, the cream didn't sting or irritate. I bought the product because I have combo, very sensitive skin. It may be a good sunscreen for a hot, humid day at the beach, but so are most brands available at the drugstore. I can understand those who love this, since it does not feel oily, and would be nice under makeup. However, given that one morning application is not enough, I can't imagine having to reapply this if I worked at the office, and needed sun protection at the end of a long, summer work day--unless I could wash the first layer off. Since the tube is small enough for the handbag, and the texture is emollient enough, I'm using it up as a fast-absorbing hand cream.
This review is a contrast of the 2 different versions (cream and lotion) of Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection. The lotion is my HG, but sometimes I use the cream. Here are the differences, as I've noticed:
The cream is a little more moisturizing, but it is more prone to leaving a white cast on your skin. The lotion is silkier and easier to blend, therefore less likely to leave you with a thick white mask of product. The lotion is also cheaper, ounce for ounce, than the cream. On the other hand, though, the lotion must be shaken every use to keep the formula from separating. It seems like the last 5-10 uses in a bottle are thicker than normal.
7-10-10 update: Love love love HOLLLY GRAIL. I use it every day. It's crack to me!! Yes it is both primer and mattifier AND SPF to boot. Yes it is awesome...gold gold gold. I literally don't blot my face anymore when I wear this (even in this very humid and hot weather we have had on the east coast recently). GOLD!
(older review) Ok, this is a preliminary review of this cream based sunscreen. I think I have found my HG but I need to test further, since I have only been using this product for 1 week. So this is what I've noticed...it is a sunscreen, primer and mattifier in one. For those of us with extremely oily skin who use benzoyl peroxide products to manage our adult acne...you need a mattifier with an spf...and this is it!!! Ok, cons...I hate the scent...too perfumey, it's expensive, the cream is pretty thick and you can feel it sitting on your face. But otherwise, it has not broken me out and it applies smoothly, stays on all day, keeps my make-up on all day (from 8am to 11pm--I go to school at night). It is amazing. However, its only been a week...so I will definitely keep you posted as I continue to use it.
I bought this when i went on accutane and have been using this for about 3 yrs and it's my HG ss. I only gave it a 4 because it is expensive and i think it should come in a pump bottle, the tube gets a bit messy, but it doesn't stop me from using it. I love the texture a light cream that spreads easily, and also i feel it acts like a primer as my makeup glides on and it has never irritated my skin like other ss's tend to do. If i'm going out for a special occasion i use this as a base as well.
LOVE! After a family member passed away from melanoma, I decided to start wearing sunscreen daily on my face and to be more strict about putting it on on sunny days and when swimming. I have sensitive skin and lots of cheaper sunscreens with the typical scent irritate it, make it greasy, and can make me break out. Not a pretty picture! After reading rave reviews on sephora and learning it didn't have the typical sunscreen scent, I went ahead, cringing (quite expensive), and ordered it. I love it! It's great to use as a primer underneath both liquid, cream, and powder foundations. The only problem is it makes me look weird. I'm already super super pale (most makeup brands do not carry light enough foundations- lightest shade in MAC and Armani LSF) and this does something weird with the light and can make me even look paler. Sometimes people ask me if I look ill. Regardless, I don't really care. I just put on a little blush and peachy bronzer and I look fine. No matter what, I love this. It definitely stays on all day (need to use a good cleanser to get this off) and has a wonderful spf (most moisturizers are just spf 15). It is a great moisturizer during the summer but is not moisturizing enough for me in the winter (put a little cerave or clinique's moisturizer underneath).
UPDATE: This sunscreen was put to test twice. Spring break I went to galveston and windsurfed all day long in the bright sun. Of course I got sunburned on other parts of my body (I was out on the water for several hours at a time) but my face remained nice and pale. This summer I went to Hawaii and went snorkeling, scuba diving, and spent a lot of time on the beach and in the sun. This was great then! However, I did take it on a retreat with me and wore it while swimming. I was protected perfectly, but my black friend threw a fit because when she applied it it looked fine, but when she was in the water and touched her face, it turned white. As long as her wet hands didn't come in contact with the sunscreen (I think the movement and the water emulsified it on her skin and made it look white) it was fine. But dark ladies, be warned. It does have zinc oxide and sometimes it makes even me (super white- N3 in mac, 00 alabaster in BB, you get my drift) look pasty.
I wanted a good protection ss and Shiseido is top of the line when it comes to that. I have very very dry skin and in the winter it's even worse. This does not dry me out. I put it on in this order: moisturizer, primer, ss, foundation, powder and it works great. A little goes a long way so this should last at least 6 mo. It doesn't break me out, but I don't have acne-prone or sensitive skin...You should give this a try if you're looking for high quality spf.
Wow, I have FINALLY found a lotion with a sunscreen that doesn't make my face look like an oil slick after using it! I still need to blot after an hour or two because I am very oily but it doesn't cause any excess oil production like most other products (especially with sunscreen) seem to do. I wasn't sure if it would work for me because it's a cream, but it does. Works throughout winter and summer. This is definaley HG for me. I am so glad I found this product, thanks to MUA. It's pricey but definatley worth it. I have repurchased over 3 times already and WILL repurchase for the rest of my life until it's no longer available.
Love this sunscreen!
I use a retinol product, Ziana, so I really need a good sunscreen. This is my HG.
I tried various Neutrogena products and even an expensive Chanel pure sunscreen, but none worked as well under makeup as this cream. I like the extra moisture that the cream provides, too.
I break out easily and have had no clogged pores even with daily use.
My layering routine in the mornings:
Benzaclin next to the skin, then Chanel Rectifiance Intense Moisturizer, then Shiseido 55 Cream, then Primer of the Day (Primed and Poreless, for example), then Chanel Lift Lumiere foundation, concealer, then powder, then blush. Wow! Lots of layers! I let each layer dry and alternate working on eyes between each layer.
I don't wear this when I am attending events where there is photography as it does blanch the face in pictures.
The major complaint I have about this sunscreen is that with 1/4 tsp on my face it is too whitening on my medium toned skin. It has decent protection, waterproof, and quite mattifying. This would be good for someone with a lighter skin tone. I didn't mind the smell although others did. I like the compact packaging, thought it's quite expensive for only 50mL. It never irritated my skin. If I had fairer skin i would probably keep using this.