Japanese Sunscreens Are Amazing! Our Top 4 Recommendations

  • Since summer has already started in Japan, all sorts of sunscreens are now occupying shops’ front lines. Different sunscreens suit different types of skin, so it is important to choose the best one for you. You need to know the ingredients of the sunscreen first and whether the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is ideal or too high for your skin. Most Japanese sunscreens are light and don’t give off a strong smell, which makes them popular not only in the country but also overseas.

    It is for this reason that consumers who try Japanese sunscreens tend to state that they are superior to the products available in other countries. It is not uncommon for tourists to head to drug stores chains like Matsumoto Kiyoshi to stuck on sunscreens.

    After all, Japanese sunscreens are so good that they don’t have some of the usual trademarks that make people complain about sunscreens. Ergo, most Japanese sunscreens are not oily, have no added scents, art not sticky, and have a light texture reminiscent of a serum or lotion.

    1. Bioré UV AQUA Rich Watery Essence

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    One of our favorites, this is a water-based sunscreen that is comfortable to wear as it provides a non-greasy feeling. It spreads easily and has no aroma. It wards off UV rays and provides an ideal protection for the face and body against sun rays. It can be washed off with a regular cleanser.

    A new version of this sunscreen was released in 2017 which provides more resistance to sweat, though it’s not as light as the original version. Nonetheless, both sunscreens are best-sellers thanks to their high quality and great pricing (they are usually less than 800 yen).

    Whichever of the two you get the chance to try, you’ll surely love them. This sunscreen can be bought at major drugstores all throughout the country.

    2. ALLIE Extra UV Gel

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    Gel-type sunscreens are not as sticky as cream-types. An example of this is Kanebo’s ALLIE Extra UV Gel which is a hydrating sunscreen. What’s great about this is it is super waterproof and can be applied even on hot days. Its gel-type formula makes it resistant to water, making it easy to apply and ideal for those who’d like to go swimming for a long time.

    This sunscreen can be applied to the face and body, and can also double as a makeup base. It can easily be removed using a facial wash. It is fragrance- and coloring-free, and can be found in most drugstores in Japan.

    3. ASTALIFT White Perfect UV Clear Solution

    People who don’t like sticky sunscreens go for the lotion-type as they are not sticky at all and feel as if you’re just applying a skincare product. An example of this is the ASTALIFT White Perfect UV Clear Solution which has been created with its own original UV filter. This filter guarantees the protection of skin against UV rays that cause aging, sagging, wrinkling, and discoloration. It also hampers the acceleration of skin darkness brought about by sun exposure.

    This sunscreen has a pleasant Damask rose fragrance (not ideal if you are not looking for scents) and is pink in color. It can be used daily and has a light feel which is perfect for this sweaty summer season. They have an official online store (Japanese only) but it can also be bought in drugstores and from authorized dealers.

    4. ANESSA

    ANESSA’s marketing has focused on showing television personalities going to the beach, shopping in resort towns, and Naomi Osaka playing tennis. The reason being that ANESSA’s sunscreens are specially design to resist water and sweat, making them ideal for swimming and for exercising outdoors. In fact, their campaigns often remind consumers that ANESSA is the option to go for those who play sports.

    Not Only For Women

    Sunscreen ads, like ANESSA’s ones, tend to focus entirely on women.

    The reasons why sunscreen ads feature mostly women is simply. Since sunscreen falls under the cosmetics’ umbrella, it is assumed that women are the ones interested in applying sunscreen to protect their skin. However, it doesn’t matter if a company is targeting products to women (or to men for that matter). A sunscreen is a sunscreen, and you should buy one that fits your needs.

    Have a blast this summer season in Japan while protecting your skin against the sun’s UV rays. Don’t get yourself overexposed to the sun and stay fresh and comfortable while enjoying your outdoor activities with three trustworthy sunscreens!

    *Featured Image by anessa_official_shiseido (アネッサ公式) on Instagram
    : anessa_official_shiseido/