Sunscreen is something near and dear to my heart, as well as something I run through quite often. When I find a brand that works, I tend to try to stay with it, and I rarely if ever use anything below SPF50 PA+++ Honestly, in our tropical weather and being so near the Equator, I think anything less is just not enough.
But this isn’t going to be a discussion about SPF. I’ll leave that to the experts (which I will not profess to be). I’d just like to tell you about a sunscreen I’ve been hmming and hawing over the past couple of months, a little unsure about how I feel about it. Ultimately, I like it but there are a couple of things that does make me pause when I consider a repurchase.
The sunscreen in question is the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector SPF 50+ PA+++ which I believe replaces something similar currently in their line up. I have heard a lot of good things about Shiseido sun care products but I never tried them because I’ll be honest, I got confused. They have a range with blue bottles, they have a range with white bottles, and they have loads of sub-brands. Which do I choose?!
Well this is the one I’m using – the one that comes in a white 50ml bottle. The slightly odd bulging shape of the bottle is quite recognizable as coming from Shiseido. And notice how keen Shiseido is to be Perfect in everything they make? Perfect Foundation, Perfect Foundation Brush, Perfect Mascara… and now Perfect UV Protector LOL!
The bottle isn’t a flat white, but has a slight iridescence to it, which is quite nice. Packaging, no matter what anyone says, is as important as performance.
And this one performs very well. It claims to be a very water resistant formula, that shields skin from UVA and UVB rays with SPF50+ and PA+++ protection. On top of that, the formula is light and absorbs very quickly, leaving a matte finish so skin does not feel oily, clogged, sticky or anything that might make you dislike using sunscreen. I must say that it does deliver on many accounts.
You have to shake the bottle before use and the product dispenses through a nozzle. It makes it easy to control so I’m good with it.
When I apply sunscreen, I go by the “1 finger 1 portion of face” method. I squeeze out a generous dollop of product and apply on cheeks, forehead, nose and chin, working area by area. That’s 5 dollops in all applied in sequence, blending in as I go. I am quite particular about it, so I try to make sure that all my skin is covered.
I’ve swatched it here to show you what the lotion looks like (I know, a sunscreen swatch. Whatever next?!)
Straight out of the tube, the lotion is quite thin but not very runny. It will hold its shape as you can see here. The white lotion has a slight iridescent tint to it, but it is very light. When blended into my skin, it disappears. There is no white cast and it does feel matte to the touch. There is no shine either but it does not feel powdery or drying as many sunscreens of a similar texture feel. That’s my biggest concern with Japanese lotion type sunscreens. I tend not to use them because whilst they are light, they have a tendency to be a bit drying and make my skin feel dry and “papery”.
This one does not make my face feel that way so it is very comfortable and here’s another benefit – it is an excellent base for makeup. Seriously, I have no need for any other base, because foundation sits very well on this, and lasts without producing too much shine.
Another way I “test” my sunscreen is to wear it when I know I’m out in the sun or outdoors a lot. I find that with this, my skin doesn’t turn red, nor does it feel hot. My pigmentation also seems to be under control, not multiplying by the day. I also used it on my arms and I noticed that over the past 2 months or so, my arms have stopped tanning. I drive around, so although my face is protected most of the time, I am a bit lax about my arms and they are usually darker than the rest of me. But recently, I noticed that the skin on my arms looked better. Not as tanned and they don’t get blotchy and red when I’m out and about. Win!
So far so good right? Well what’s not so good then?
The scent. There is a light floral sort of scent and a slightly sharp under note that makes me think of alcohol. It dissipates, but it bothered me to the extent that I was hesitant to repurchase due to that sharp note. I’m still weighing it up because I do like how this sunscreen seems to be doing much more for my skin than many previous ones I’ve tried. I put this on a head to head test with a previous fave – Clarins UV Plus HP and I felt my skin burn with the Clarins after an outing, but in similar conditions, this one felt fine. If you are wondering, yes, I applied each on each half of my face so that’s how I knew LOL!
Another thing I’m a bit iffy about is the texture. On my face, it seems to work well. It doesn’t feel too drying and because I use a makeup remover everyday, everything is taken off. But on my arms, its quite a different story. I found after about a week, that soap isn’t quite sufficient to remove it. I could still feel a bit of a “layer” on my skin and water droplets would just slide off. But when I applied a thin layer of oil cleanser to it, then it felt cleaner and water would actually spread on my skin. Also, I found the need to use a body lotion/body oil daily or the skin on my arms would feel a bit dry otherwise. But the skin on my arms look clearer and better and not as tanned! So that’s the other toss up.
I’m one of those who isn’t afraid of sunscreen feeling a bit oily on my skin or of cream based sunscreen. So products like La Roche Posay and Kiehl’s sunscreen work for me even if they turn a little oily over the day. Yet, if I complained about the price of the Kiehl’s sunscreen before (RM140/30ml) then this Shiseido one makes more economic sense at RM130/50ml.
So there’s my conundrum. I like how this performs, in particular in how my skin seems to have benefited from regular use of this – less sun damage, matte feel, does not feel hot after being out in the sun but yet I’m a little iffy about the sharp note in the scent, texture and price. Conundrum indeed!
In a nutshell
The Shiseido Perfect UV Protector SPF50+ PA+++ is a liquid lotion sunscreen with high sunscreen protection and a light feel on the skin. It leaves no white cast and does not break me out at all which is surprising because it contains zinc oxide. My skin seems to have benefited from using this over about 2 months. Sun damage seems minimized (less tanning), skin does not feel warm after being out in the sun and the texture is very light and comfortable on the skin. It seems to live up to its water resistant claims because droplets of water just seem to slide off my skin. As a result, I have to use a cleansing oil on my arms to ensure the sunscreen is properly removed. Its a bit curious but there you go. I do like this one very much. If I can get over my hang ups I will repurchase when I’m done, because my skin seems to have benefited from it.
Pros: Light texture, Matte feel on skin, Skin does not turn red or warm, Tanning is minimized, Excellent makeup base
Cons: Floral scent with a bit of a sharp note, Pricey for first investment, A little drying on arms
Who will like this: Anyone who wants a sunscreen with high UVA and UVB protection, Anyone who wants a sunscreen that feels light on the skin with no white cast and makes a good makeup base, Anyone who wants a sunscreen that does not make the skin turn oily throughout the day
Here is the ingredient list for those interested.
My primary concern when trying this sunscreen was the presence of Zinc Oxide. My skin dislikes Zinc Oxide and will usually break out when a sunscreen uses this as its blocker. When I started using it, I did experience some minor spots but after 2 months I can safely say its not attributable to this sunscreen because I haven’t had any serious breakouts since. No clogged pores either.
After about 2 months and with daily use on face and arms, I am just slightly over halfway through the bottle. I suppose on a cost-per-wear basis, the RM130 goes a much longer way than other sunscreens in a similar category 🙂
If you didn’t already know, good sun protection products and practices are the best anti-aging treatment you can have. UV rays damage the skin and can cause it to look older than it really is. Till today, I gasp in mild horror whenever someone tells me that they don’t use sunscreen for whatever reason. There are loads of different products with different textures in the market. I’m sure there’s one for everyone 🙂
Do you use sunscreens from Shiseido or have you tried this by any chance? Its been out for a couple of months but as I have noted, it is a revamp of an existing one. I used to be recommended sunscreens by Shiseido everytime I asked but as I said, I never knew which to try. So since I’ve tried this one, I can safely say that it gets the thumbs up for sun protection, provided you get past the scent 🙂
Shiseido Perfect UV Protector SPF50+ PA+++ Sunscreen Price: RM130/50ml Availability: Shiseido counters