Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed

by Paris B on · 20 comments

in Product Reviews,Sunscreen


Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On March 27, 2014
Last modified:March 26, 2014

Summary:

When it comes to sunscreen or sunblock, I think many of you are familiar with my raves for the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector. I go through these like water and every time I toss up an “empties” post or photo, it appears somewhere in there after a couple of months. I think most people are sick of it already – don’t you have other faves?! I get that wail.

Erm… if I did, then it won’t be a fave right? icon razz Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed But recently, a friend told me to give the Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ a try. According to said friend, this was their fave, and knowing my predilection for sunscreen, I had to try it. So when I ran low on the Shiseido one, I sprung for this Impress version.

impress brightening sun protector Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed

Impress IC is a brand under the Kanebo Cosmetics umbrella so you can find it at major Kanebo Cosmetics counters, and as I have indicated in the image above, yes this Brightening Sun Protector is quite impressive!

Like most Japanese style sunscreens, this has a lightweight liquid texture and you have to shake up the bottle to ensure all the ingredients mix up. For those who dislike the feeling of heavy, thick sunscreen textures, then these sort of light liquid might sit better with you.

While not as affordable as the other sunscreen alternative I shared with you before, this has joined the ranks of Shiseido and Hada Labo as one of my favourite sunscreens icon smile Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed

The box is all in Japanese, but there’s information in English contained within the box that tells you a little more about the product.

impress brightening sun protector directions Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed

As they have indicated, the texture is very light and non-sticky and blocks both UVA and UVB rays with SPF50+ and PA+++ ratings which are really high. I have noticed that these Japanese are good at perfecting the sort of lightweight, comfortable sunscreen textures while offering very high protection, that we don’t see in Western brands.

I do however have to point out that like most Japanese brands, there is alcohol in there as well as silicone but I don’t notice a significant slip to the texture. Also, I don’t notice this to be drying on my skin which naturally sits well with me as I have drier skin, and my gripe with many Japanese type sunscreens is their nature of being drying.

Does this make a good makeup base like the Shiseido one? Yes it does. That’s part of the reason I don’t bother using primers, because my sunscreens already give me the base I need for my makeup to sit on which negates the requirement for an additional layer of product on my skin.

impress brightening sun protector swatch Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed

Left: Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector  Right: Shiseido Perfect UV Protector 

Here are product swatches of the Impress IC and the Shiseido sunscreens. The Impress IC one has a lighter more liquid texture while the Shiseido one is a wee bit more creamy. In terms of colour, the Impress IC one squeezes out white while the Shiseido one squeezes out with a tint of pink. Once applied on skin, it’s transparent and there is no visible colour cast for me for both.

Does it turn oily? Nope.

In fact, here’s what I did. For almost a week, I applied the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector on half my face and this Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector on the other half, just to see how they fare next to each other. I pit everything against my holy grail sunscreen unfortunately, which means I’m rarely very fair to other brands LOL! icon biggrin Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed

What I noticed was…. nothing! The Impress IC performed just as well as the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector so I was very happy. However… yes there is always a however, if I was forced to choose, I am still picking the Shiseido one simply because there’s something about it that I like better, but I would be also more than happy to use this Impress IC version if I can’t get hold of the Shiseido.

impress brightening sun protector size Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed

In terms of value, the Impress IC version offers slightly better value at RM142/60ml as opposed to the Shiseido version at RM130/50ml. So how do you choose? Hmm… good question. I don’t know icon razz Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed Good luck icon razz Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed

In a nutshell

I picked up this Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector at the recommendation of a friend who has been using this for a while. It has a lightweight liquid milky texture that sits very comfortably on my skin without drying it out nor turning oily. There is no noticeable white cast and it makes a great makeup primer so you save a step. It has high SPF of 50+ and high UVA protection with a PA+++ rating. Comparing this side by side to my favourite Shiseido Perfect UV Protector sunscreen, I find them almost indistinguishable. While I’d pick the Shiseido just based on personal preference, I’m quite happy to use this too.

Pros: Lightweight texture is comfortable on skin, Does not dry out my skin, Does not irritate my skin nor break me out, Does not leave a white cast, Does not turn oily, Makes a good makeup base

Cons: Pricey

Who will like this: Anyone who likes lightweight liquid texture type sunscreens, Anyone looking for a sunscreen with high UVA and UVB protection without feeling heavy on skin

Here is the ingredient list from the box which is in Japanese. I can’t read it, naturally but I included it in case someone can.

impress brightening sun protector ingredients Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed

I have however extracted the English ingredient list from here: Cyclomethicone, Water, Zinc Oxide, Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Methocycinnamate, Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sorbitan Isestearate, Diphenylsiloxy phenyl trimethicone, Methyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone /Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Trifluoropropyl Dimethiconol, Mevanolactone, Methylserine, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein, Murraya Koenigii Extract, BHT, Fragrance

I note that there is zinc oxide in this product which is also present in the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector. However, although my skin is very sensitive to high zinc oxide levels (it clogs my pores and breaks me out) my skin handles both these products well with no breakouts nor clogged pores. It puzzles me but hey, I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth! icon biggrin Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed

Have you tried this Impress IC sunscreen? Do you like using Japanese sunscreen or do you prefer creamier Western versions?

Thus far, I’ve had a lot of luck with Japanese sunscreens except the popular ones from Biore or Sunplay that break me out. Currently my sunscreen picks would be Shiseido Perfect UV Protector first and if not, then this Impres IC Brightening Sun Protector and not very far behind, Hada Labo Whitening UV Protector. I do still like the Hada Labo one but this just pips it to the post for me icon smile Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ : Another Sunscreen that left me truly impressed

Paris B

Impress IC Brightening Sun Protector SPF50+ PA+++ Price: RM142/60ml Availability: Kanebo Cosmetics counters in major towns or the Kanebo salons

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[ 20 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

liyeun March 27, 2014 at 9:13 am

The Impress-ive sunscreen is Rm2.36 per ml while the Shiseido is Rm2.60….. so which one to choose again? Lol!

Reply

Paris B
Twitter:
April 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Haha toss a coin? :P

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AnT March 27, 2014 at 9:36 am

Waaaaaaa…sounds impressive! I am going to try it out too!! :D

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I do like it a lot but price for price I’d still pick the Shiseido. Still, it’s one of those things that you may like anyway :)

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AnT March 27, 2014 at 9:43 am

LOL!! I like the idea of using one product half on the face and the other on the other half of the face :D half half half… tongue tight!! :D

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 3, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Haha yeah, best way to test things head to head :D

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Firn March 27, 2014 at 10:29 am

Shiseido has relabelled the Perfect UV protector to be PA++++ (PPD 16 and up) vs Multi Defense’s and Kanebo’s PA+++ (PPD 8 and up) so for me, it’s pretty obvious, that choosing Shiseido’s is a no-brainer! Also the Perfect UV has Tinosorb S which is a superior UVA blocker compared to micronized zinc (which both formulations have).

Kanebo’s formula looks less cloggy than Shiseido’s (which tend to sliiightly increase the number of blackheads I get) but Orbis (available online or in Singapore) does a similar formula with PA++++!

I wish Japanese sunscreens would start using Tinosorb M, Currently only a few do. I’ve tried Dr Wu and Ducray’s Tinosorb M-containing products and both tend to be greasy yet drying, accentuating every flake of dry skin. Bioderma and Avene do have Tinosorb M sunscreens but they have added avobenzone, which means potentially unstable, photoirritation and NO makeup over top. :(
I’m sure the Japanese can make a more elegant product!

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Firn March 27, 2014 at 11:05 am

Here’s a great website about UVA protection spectrum for different sunscreen ingredients. Note that micronized sinc oxide (the “gold standard” of sunscreen ingredients) doesn’t protect against shorter UVA rays.

http://www.rosacea-sunscreens.net/Solar-Wavelengths.html

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 3, 2014 at 1:18 pm

That’s very insightful, Firn thank you! :) I guess my gut feel of picking the Shiseido works out well in the end eh? :) It’s interesting that you mention Tinosorb. When I first came across it many years ago, it was in a Eucerin sunscreen and I hadn’t seen it used anywhere else. The tricky thing about sunscreen I find, is that a lot of the time, for it to work, we have to be diligent at it and if the formula doesn’t suit us, we just won’t use it or worse, shy away from any sunscreen at all! I’ve been told that it’s good not to wear sunscreen all the time, to which my answer is, I get my Vitamin D from other sources and I’m not risking my skin to all these damaging rays, thank you kindly!

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Firn April 8, 2014 at 9:40 am

The rest of your body skin will absorb UV rays and make vitamin D unless you really cover up and really slather on sunscreen on the rest of your body. Anyway those recommendations are for temperate countries where the solar intensity is much less than in the tropics. Brands like Avene or Ducray advise maximum protection and maximum SPF for people living in the tropics with fair skin.

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xin
Twitter:
March 27, 2014 at 10:48 am

i have been wanting to try out the shiseido sunscreen, and now there’s a similar one? hmmpph! my kose is running out again, and it’s the only jap brand i like so far. ah dilemma :P

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 3, 2014 at 1:19 pm

I tried the Kose one! It was ok but I didn’t like it very much but if you like it, I think you’d like either the Shiseido or this Impress IC one ;) Same philosophy.

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Victoria March 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Ah, I always love your sunscreen posts because you are such a good enabler when it comes to purchasing sunscreens. LOL. I will stick to both Shiseido and Hada Labo because I love them both – Shiseido for Mon-Fri and Hada Labo for Sat-Sun. Haha. I do find Hada Labo more dewy compared with Shiseido but I am find with that.

Funny story to share. I was lining up in Guardian recently to pay for my Hada Labo and this girl in her early twenties came up to me to ask if the sunscreen is really good because she was holding the Sunplay one and was not sure if it is good. I told her my favourite blogger uses this one and I am using this one too. She added it to her purchase together with the Sunplay one because she could not decide. First time it has happened to me and I laughed about it later at the randomness of it :-)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Haha that IS a funny story, thanks for sharing, Victoria :D I like your logic of using different sunscreen on weekends – helps with the budgeting process too! Smart! :D On a personal note, I really dislike the Sunplay sunscreens :P The whole 130+ SPF kills me >.<

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Shyra March 27, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Hi Paris, I emailed the company a few years back (I think about 2-3 years ago) and asked for the ingredients in English and here’s the reply from them (not sure if the same ingredients are used now): Cyclomethicone,
Water (aqua), Zinc oxide, Alcohol, Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Diphenylsiloxy phenyl trimethicone, Sorbitan isostearate, Methyl trimethicone, Silica, Dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Dextrin palmitate, Glycerin, Methicone, PEG-8 trifluoropropyl dimethicone copolymer, Trifluoropropyl dimethiconol, Fragrance (parfum), Mevalonolactone, Methylserine, BHT, Hydrolyzed lupine protein, Murraya koenigii extract, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Thanks for the info Shyra :) I don’t know either if they’ve reformulated it but I got the ingredient list off someone who translated it from what was on the box. I do see PEG amongst the Japanese words though so it looks like yours might be correct too! LOL I wish they’d have their ingredient list in English :P

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Sasha March 27, 2014 at 11:37 pm

I don’t trust any western sunscreen since some French brands got caught for the uselessness of their product against uv. To me Japanese sunscreens are the best, it’s super light and efficient. My favorite is the Bioré Perfect Milk. I’ll totally try the IC Impress since it doesn’t get oily :D

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Ooh were some brands caught out for this? That’s awful to know that people were applying products that didn’t work and especially for something as important as sunscreen! I have gone around the block a little with sunscreen. Started out with American brands and then French (L’Oreal and La Roche Posay) and then Japanese and now I’m back to the Japanese again. The new formulation is so much better and feels so comfortable on the skin. I can’t use Biore unfortunately because it breaks me out but I know loads of people who love it and it’s so affordable too! :D

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Katie April 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm

I used to love this Impress Sunscreen a lot because of its light feeling, nice scent, and zero white cast. I feel that Shiseido sunscreen made my face feel heavy, like I can feel wearing it. The white cast left on the face is not working for me either since I’m on the darker skin tone. Impress answer all the questions for me. However, after two bottles I notice more of sunspots on my face and nose. I could be that I’m older or sun in Asia is much stronger than the US. Anyway, I suspected that Impress didn’t give me enough protection. I changed to La Roche Posay. As for the sunspots, once they’re there they stay for good.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2014 at 11:31 am

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this Katie! I feel much better now for prefering the Shiseido sunscreen which another reader Firn, shares has better ingredients and sun protection. I don’t find my pigmentation worsening when I use the Shiseido so I’m sticking with it. Good to know you’ve found a sunscreen that works for you! I used to use La Roche Posay but it got to be such a hassle coz we don’t have it here so I’m glad I’ve found one I like that’s available locally too :)

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