UPDATE (7/14/09): I am convinced that my Retin-A using skin was not being protected from the sun while using this sunblock! For the past couple of months, a few brown spots (from acne) on my cheeks and nose would not go away despite the fact that I was using a prescription spot bleacher, and was using this sunblock religiously. Weirdly, in the past, my brown spots would go away within a few days after applying a prescription bleaching cream, but lately they had persisted!
I am now using Shiseido Ultimate Protection Lotion 55+ and within a couple of days my brown spots started to fade. I STRONGLY SUGGEST USERS OF PRESCRIPTION FACE PRODUCTS LIKE RETIN-A TO MOVE ON TO A STRONGER SUNBLOCK AND/OR ONE WITH PHYSICAL SUNSCREEN, I.E., ZINC OXIDE AND TITANIUM OXIDE.
I am a cool beige color in winter and a warm tan color in Summer; I have oily/combo skin; adult hormonal acne (usually connected to menstrual cycle) .
I've been using this for several years and have had good results - not oily feeling, although i do have to pat my face a few times per day. However, because I use Retin-A, get glycolic peels, and am constantly doing other things to fight my hormonal acne and acne scars, and because I'm finding the morning routine is beginning to take too long: wash (pro activ), tone (pro activ), moisturize (Derma E Hyaluronic Mositurizing Serum), sunblock (Neutrogena Dry Touch 45), primer (Tarte Clean Slate), foundation (MAC Studio Fix), I'm on the search for a sunblock that can work as a primer too.
After reading about Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection two days ago, I realized that I had a sample of it last year and really liked it so much that i saved the container. Well, I located the bottle and found it was the Cream and I used it in late May or early June in Dallas (note, however, the weather was unusually rainy and cool in June 2008, so i'm not sure if i should get the Lotion or the Cream for this summer).
I plan to get the Shiseido product for my face and neck and continue using the Neutrogena for arms and body. And on days that I do a prolonged outdoor acitivity, I usually wear the 55 or 75 of Netrogena Dry Touch. (I recently bought the Dry Touch SPF 85, so i'll be trying that out soon too. For outdoor activity, I will either use the neutrogena 85 or the Shiseido 55 PA +++ on my face and still use the 55 or 75 for body).
I cannot feel the dry/matte finish that many other people love about this product when I apply it on my face. It's just too greasy for me. But I think it makes a good body sunscreen, it's not too dry and doesn't have that shiny/oily finish like those sunscreen sprays from Neutrogena. I'd purchase this product again only as a body sunscreen.
No way this stuff migrates into eyes and stings for hours..the emergency eyewash from Cvs from Meyers kinda helped, but I almost went to ER.
I've been using this as my facial moisturizer/sunscreen for about 2 or 3 weeks now. I'm very happy with it. My skin is not particularly dry or sensitive. This goes on light and sinks in quickly, dries down to a matte finish. I've noticed a big improvement over how long my makeup stays nice. I don't have to blot or powder as soon as with other moisturizers. I like the high spf and the fact that it doesn't leave a white cast. I don't think it's expensive considering you get 3 oz for less than $8 (at Walmart) when some facial moisturizers or sunscreens cost many times that. I did notice the spf 30 and 45 versions don't have the word "helioplex" on them anymore...that's my only worry....that it's not as stable as the 55 and up versions. But I'll buy again. Would definitely recommend!
It does what it says as far as non-greasy and water-proof. As for lightweight and fresh scent, I disagree. Right before I put on my make-up, it does feel a bit heavy but not overly. I wouldn't exactly call the smell of your average sunblock as "fresh scent". It's not overbearing but I just don't particularly enjoy such smell on my face. I got pretty sun burnt on my forehead last week but after using this, it hasn't got any darker, so the SPF works well, but the other details, I'm not crazy about.
Pros- did not get oily even at the pool for two hours.
Cons- migrated into eyes and stings
Biggest con I got the #70, was at the pool for two hours and got color on my face and chest. I am not a happy camper as I am proud to be a porcelain lady. Lastly, it stings my skin which is not particulary sensitive. So my search goes on for the perfect sunscreen for poolside days.
I tried this on my absurdly sensitive skin after a friend with sensitive skin said it wasn't irritating. The sunscreen went on easily, wasn't greasy on my face (which tends toward dry), didn't cause a problem when I put powder over it, didn't migrate down into my eyes, and the first day it seemed fine. Within three days, however, I had bright red blotches all over my face and my dermatitis went crazy. Into the trash it went.
So far I like this a lot. After just a few minutes on, it's completely "dry". There's no greasy feel, no white cast - it basically feels like I have nothing on my skin, other than maybe a very small amount of a light moisturizer.
Just started using it, so I don't know if it will break me out or not, most things don't, although I do seem to be prone to clogged pores.
I'll update if there's any change.
Update: after reading about the probability of the ingredients in this SS causing more harm than good, I'm changing my rating from a 5 to a 2. I'd give it a 1, but it's not too greasy or white, so that is okay for now, but I will not be repurchasing any SS with these harmful ingredients anymore.
After reading some of the info on ingredients at cosmeticsdatabase.com, I'm going to try to stick to safer/natural/organic products as much as possible. Scary info there.
I like this sunscreen! I agree with most that it is a bit pricey for a sunscreen, but I only use it on my face, so it's not a problem for me! =)
Living in sunny Hawai'i, you have to have a HG sunscreen with you if you want to preserve your skin's health. I never used to wear any, and because of that, I have splotchy skin on my face (my forehead and cheeks are darker). I only recently started using sun protection on my face (and although I'm concerned about protection, I still like to get my tan on ^_^ SAFELY) and this stuff is great!
1. Smell / Feel - I'm used to the sun tan lotion-y smell (that's all you really smell in the malls next to the beach haha) and it doesn't bother me too much (it has a lighter scent of tunscreen). Also the feeling of this lotion is great! Moisturizing, but it does become dry to the touch after a minute! I use this on my face, (I have an oily complexion) and as it doesn't make my face TOTALLY matte, it finishes my face in a dewy sense. It's great.
2. Price - At $10.99 for 3 fl. oz. it's a little expensive. But I'm only going to be using this on my face, so it should take me just short of forever to use this up ^_^
3. Packaging - The packaging is sleek and nice, nothing more I can really say. I would have preferred a flip cap though.
4. Availability - It's located at any Walgreens or Target or Walmart probably. And also CVS. I think Target is cheapest out of all of them, but it might depend on where you live.
First, I'd just like to say that I think that it's pretty hard to be objective when reviewing a sunscreen, especially if it's for the face. Some people are very sensitive to certain sunscreen ingredients, and others are not. Some people burn very easily, others do not. Some people hate a little shine, some people don't mind. I guess it's that way with a lot of other products too, but sunscreen in particular strikes me as something you really have to find the one that is good for you personally. So, personally, for me, this one works great. It doesn't burn my skin (others have, including ones meant for the face), it doesn't feel greasy (thank god, I hate that), and it presumably protects my skin from sun damage (I couldn't tell you for sure, as I try to stay out of direct, prolonged sun exposure anyway, and just wear sunscreen for those times when I happen to get some sun anyway). I skip it on weekends, figuring I might as well let my skin produce some vitamin D. So far, so good, and I've been using it daily for several months now. It seems like a small amount you get for the price, but if it's just for your face, it lasts a good long time (I bought it at least three months ago, and no sign of running out anytime soon even with daily use). Good luck if it's for your body, though... if you use the right amount (an ounce for one application), you won't get a dozen uses out of it. I'd use something cheaper for body application if I'm going to the beach or pool or something. But yeah, I'd buy it again, because I love it for my face.
Edit - I recently started using Tazorac, a prescription retinoid. I now experience a burning sensation every time I apply this stuff. So far, I'm just gritting my teeth and bearing it, because I must wear sunscreen while on Tazorac, but I am on the search for one that won't irritate. Just an FYI if you also use a prescription strength retinoid - it didn't have any irritating effect on me while using an OTC retinoid.