Random Japanese SPF mini reviews
The natural process of aging combined with societal pressures has led me to thinking about sunscreen more than I used to. I’ve tried quite a few throughout the years but there was never any real thought behind it. 👀 I dunno, deep diving into things can be fun but also dangerous.
People who are into Asian sunscreen products seem to really love the expensive Anessa sunscreens. It would’ve probably been in my list had I not tried it before. Never felt like repurchasing it! Also, a lot of these sunscreens are titled something something “gel,” and perhaps I need to expand my understanding of what a gel is, but anything that says it’s a gel feels and looks more like lotion or cream…? Perhaps what they mean is that it glides on and liquifies quickly like gel? Not too sure. 😶🌫️
Skin Aqua (Rhoto) – UV Super Moisture Gel 110g / 1,155円 SPF 50+ PA++++ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Honestly, this first one is super solid and I really like it, but the packaging isn’t amazing. Other than the smell of alcohol for the first few seconds of application, it doesn’t really have a weird smell. Works great as a makeup base, so I never feel the need to wear a primer after. However, it’s not exactly super moisturizing. Doesn’t matter who you are, this isn’t going to leave a white cast.
Kose – Suncut Perfect UV Essence (Waterproof) 60g / 800~円 SPF 50+ PA++++ ⭐⭐
I really disliked using this and it took forever to use up. It’s grainy, and feels weirdly drying. There’s a pretty strong alcohol smell when you first put it on, but like usual that’s gone after a minute or so. It’s truly transparent and won’t leave a cast on darker skin. It does feel super lightweight and goes on like water. Did I mention it was gritty? It might just be me who notices or cares though.
Allie (Kanebo) – Gel UV EX 90g / 2400円 SPF 50+ PA++++ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Quite pricey compared to other sunscreens, and this is as much as I’d pay for one. Again, I’m feeling a disconnect with the naming as it doesn’t feel like a gel. It’s quite thick like a cream moisturizer. Once your massage it in, what appears to be a white cast will disappear. Definitely feels the most skincarey out of everything I have, and it’s not sticky or greasy. Has a faint, nondescript smell. Makes a great makeup base and I really love how it feels. The packaging is boring but sleek.
Biore UV – Aqua Rich Watery Essence 70g / 780円 SPF 50+ PA++++ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This has a similar texture and color to the Kose one mentioned before, but I like this a whole lot more. It’s not gritty or grainy! It’s a watery gel-like formula that feels lightweight with no white cast. Unlike the Kose one this doesn’t make my skin dry out which I don’t get because the ingredients look very similar. I really love the bottle design, it’s different! Has a very faint alcohol smell that disappears. I think this’ll be ideal for super hot days.
S Select – UV Cut Spray 90g / 700~円 SPF 50+ PA++++ ⭐⭐⭐
Seems like the efficacy of sprays is often debated, but my stance is that some spf or even splotchy spf is better than none. I mainly got this to spray on top of makeup since any other method is impossible for me. I also find it’s way easier to get my ears and neck by spraying and then rubbing in. While convenient, I feel like the packaging is really wasteful and this stuff gets used up REALLY quickly. It’s transparent, not fragranced, leaves a slightly greasy sheen. Says to spray it in hands first when applying to face, but that defeats the purpose of over makeup re-application to me…
Biore – UV Aqua Rich Mist 90ml / 980円 SPF 50+ PA++++ ⭐⭐⭐
The mist is fine enough, I guess. I like this more than the spray, but it has the same issue in that it gets used up way faster than regular liquid/lotion spf products. Again, the directions say to spray it in your hands first when applying some to your face, but I spray it directly on my face over makeup and pat it around a little. Unlike all the others this one has a very strong scent. I’m a fragrance fanatic, but for use on the face it’s almost too much even for me lol. Less greasy than the spray, also transparent.
Biore sunscreens are really everywhere. Big sections at drugstores, pretty much in all supermarkets and convenience stores.
It’s time to focus on using up the spray, then I’ll work on Skin Aqua! Since I really love that one, especially under makeup.
In other related drugstore finds, there’s a bigger version of the Meishoku Bigansui medicated “skin lotion” for acne now. I used a few bottles up years ago but my skin was in peril at the time. Now that I have things under control I thought I’d pick up this big version to use on troubled spots from time to time. I also missed its stinky yet soothing medicinal smell. 🌿
Drugstore point cards really can come through at times. My Sugi Drug point card knocked off around 200 yen from the Bigansui bottle, and like 250 yen off the Allie sunscreen. That’s pretty big. Though I think it’s on Amazon here for less than that…but I would much rather not buy from Amazon, so it still feels like I’m saving money. 😅
Glad to have brought back a gigantic bottle of Tylenol from the US. Sometimes I just don’t know what’s going on with Japan, but $10 for 20 Tylenol pills is beyond wild. Like, be for real.