One of my most requested posts, ever, is always about sunscreen. Every time I mention sunscreen, inevitably, someone will pop up and say “Is there a cheaper option that’s just as good at the Shiseido one you recommend?” ** and inevitably, I’ll say “I’m afraid I have not found one.”
Well, now I have. Almost.
Ladies and gents, may I present to you the Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Aqua Booster SPF50+ PA++++ that steps up to the plate as a more affordable option to the sunscreen that, in an Apocalypse, you’ll have to pry from my stiff dead fingers **.
There is one snag – there always is – us poor sods here in Malaysia have no local access to it. (UPDATE FEB 2018: The Shiseido Anessa sunscreens are available in Watson’s stores in Malaysia. Keep your eyes peeled!) Cue a cacophony of wailing and beating of breasts in anguish 😀
Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen SPF50+ PA++++
I’d heard of the Shiseido Anessa sunscreen for a while but had never tried any, for the simple reason because it was not available locally before. It is however, available in neighbouring countries and in most other Asian countries. This bottle was kindly gifted to me by a reader, Liz, whom I met earlier this year. I must say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting readers over the months, some of whom have become friends 😀
Liz was a girl after my own heart, for she knew I was a sucker for sunscreen, and she told me she enjoyed using this one, and wanted me to see if I liked it. Well Liz, I do and now, I’m bummed that it isn’t as easily available here haha 😀
Anessa is a subsidiary brand of skincare giant, Shiseido, and there are a few different types of sunscreen available. This Annessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Aqua Booster comes in a gold bottle, with yellow plastic packaging, and boasts SPF50+ PA++++ UVA/UVB protection. I believe this is the highest protection in the brand.
Shiseido Anessa Sunscreen texture
Like most Japanese brand sunscreens, the texture is light, like a lotion. However, if you prefer watery type textures, then you will not like this one, for this has a heavier milky-lotion texture.
Compared to the Shiseido Perfect UV, I find this texture a little heavier. It is rather comparable to the Shiseido Perfect UV Hydrofresh formula, although that one is heavier. So, this sits somewhere in the middle.
You may notice how it is a little runny. If you click over to the Shiseido Perfect UV Hydrofresh review, you can see that that one is thicker. This one reminds me a lot of the Shiseido Perfect UV Face & Body (Europe version) in terms of texture.
Be sure to use sufficient product – 1 tablespoon for your whole face minimum
You must shake it up before use, and it feels comfortable. While the creamier texture will lead you to believe that only a little is required to cover your face, I must disagree with this notion.
Unlike a face cream, where this statement might hold true, this is NOT TRUE with sunscreen. With sunscreen, you need enough to protect your skin. A THIN LAYER OF SUNSCREEN IS NOT ENOUGH! And I’m frankly tired of people who spread this disinformation.
If you find that putting on sufficient sunscreen (At least 1 tablespoon for your whole face at minimum) makes your skin feel uncomfortable, you are not using the correct sunscreen for you.
My sunscreen use: 1 length of finger for each section of my face
I use a very generous amount all over. My gauge is very simple. One finger’s length of sunscreen for EACH section of my face i.e. 1 finger-length for each cheek, 1 finger-length for forehead, 1 finger-length for nose and chin, down to my neck and chest.
RELATED READING:For more even distribution of sunscreen consider using the 13 dot technique to distribute but please ensure you use sufficient product to begin with READ HERE
Not one tiny dollop to cover my whole face. That said, having had to battle pigmentation problems, I am probably more aware than most of how reactive my skin can be to the sun, and so I take greater pains to protect myself.
I find the texture comfortable. But I do have drier skin, which might explain why. But more importantly, I find that this Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Aqua Boost sunscreen offers me sufficient protection from the sun.
How do I gauge this? By the fact that my skin does not react by heating up when I’m out in full sun, and by my not developing more pigmentation spots caused by the sun unlike this useless P.O.S.
Is the Shiseido Anessa sunscreen comparable to the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector?
Is it as good as my holy grail Shiseido Perfect UV Protector? Well, it’s close. I do still think the Shiseido Perfect UV makes a better primer, and texturally, feels better on the skin. It is not as heavy as this Anessa Aqua Boost sunscreen and it doesn’t smell as strongly of alcohol.
** Please Note: The Shiseido Perfect UV Protector has been reformulated (now called Multi-Defence) and I no longer use it nor recommend it, for these reasons READ HERE
Comparing the ingredient lists side by side also throws up a lot of similarities between both the formula, which is encouraging.
I will observe that this Shiseido Anessa sunscreen, like the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector, offers both physical (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) and chemical (octixonate, octocrylene, uvinul A plus, tinosorb S) UV protection. I always go for a formula that offers both, or at the minimum, physical UV protection, as I have little faith in only chemical UV filters.
I hesitate to call this a “cheaper option” to the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector, but it is more affordable and comes in a 60ml bottle.
You can get it in Singapore at Watson’s for S$39.90, and also in Thailand Watson’s (THB859), Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan, if you’re heading there. Look in the pharmacies (drugstores).
You can also buy Shiseido Anessa sunscreen in Malaysia, and practically the whole range is stocked here at Watson’s stores
IN A NUTSHELL
The Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Aqua Booster SPF50+ PA++++ is a more affordable sunscreen, as compared to my regular recommendation from the same mother company. I find the texture more creamy than the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector, but lighter than the Hydrofresh option. It is a creamy milk-lotion texture that might suit drier skin types better, due to the amount you should use for best UV protection. I do like this formula very much. It is comfortable on my skin, and it offers my skin the protection I need and is supposed to be water resistant. My skin does not heat up even with intense sun exposure, and my skin seems to be well protected from reacting to UV exposure (I don’t develop new sun spots). It is not cheap in the truest sense of the word, but it is more affordable than the department store option. If I had better access to it, I will be happy to switch over. For Malaysians, you can buy it online, but read above, my thoughts on shopping for sunscreen online. You decide for yourself. As for me, I’ll buy whatever I can get close to hand at any given time.
PROS: Comfortable hydrating formula, High UVA and UVB protection, Mix of chemical and physical UV filters, Fairly affordable, Portable size, Protects my skin well from the UV rays
CONS: Pricey for a pharmacy/drugstore brand, Strong scent of alcohol
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who wants a more affordable but good quality sunscreen with high SPF and UVA/UVB protection
PRICE: S$39.90 | THB859 | US$30 or US$40 for 60ml depending on where you look
WHERE TO BUY: Watson’s in Singapore and Thailand, Sasa stores in Hong Kong and online, pharmacies (drugstores) in Taiwan, China, Japan etc but not in Malaysia at time of writing, Online at Strawberrynet, Cosme-de, YesStyle
For those interested, this is the ingredient list for the Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Aqua Booster.
Ingredients: Dimethicone, Water, Alcohol, Zinc Oxide, Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Isopropyl Myristate, Talc, Isododecane, Octocrylene, Polybutylene Glycol/PPG-9/1 Copolymer, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Titanium Dioxide, Glycerin, Diisopropyl sebacate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Dextrin palmitate, Xylitol, Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine, PEG/PPG-14/7 dimethyl ether, Sodium chloride, 3-o-ethyl ascorbic acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Thymus Serpillum Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Curcuma Longa Root Extract, Isostearic Acid, Aluminum hydroxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Stearic Acid, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Distearyldimonium chloride, Trisodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, BHT, Sodium Metabisulfite, Fragrance
I may be critical about Japanese skincare in general, but there is one thing they do very well, and that is sunscreen for which I place my trust in few others. (Well, some of them anyway. Senka is also by Shiseido and look where that led me!) Well, except for makeup as well, for which Japanese base products, powders, blushes and brushes cannot be surpassed! 😀
UPDATE: Is the Shiseido Anessa sunscreen better than the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector?
I have been using the Shiseido Anessa sunscreen for a while now. I also bought a few bottles when I was in Bangkok because they were on sale, and at the time, unavailable in Malaysia.
What I can say after extensive testing, is that my preference still lies with the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector (NOT Multi-Defence). The texture is more refined, and the scent of alcohol is not as strong. It makes an excellent makeup primer, and feels more comfortable on my skin. More importantly, I feel like it protects my skin better.
Having stopped using it for a while, I have noticed an odd pigment spot or two developing. As someone who battles hyperpigmentation, this is a big deal. For this reason, I will be reverting to the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector. This one will do in a pinch, and perhaps for use on my body where I can be more lavish.
** Please Note that I no longer recommend the Shiseido Perfect UV Sunscreen Multi-Defense. It sucks.
Have you tried this Shiseido Anessa Aqua Booster sunscreen?
Do you like it? Not like it? Wish you could get your hands on it? 😀 I have been told that the sensitive skin version does not contain alcohol, so I will try that and let you know if I prefer that version.
35 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Yay! So glad you finally made a post reviewing this gem! I love mine too, thanks to a dear friend who introduced me to it; my first one came all the way from Japan ? I am currently using both Shiseido and Anessa. I’m a bit late in this sunscreen business, I started to use it a few years ago but with lower SPF and I did not really understand the importance of it. Now, I always carry makeup remover and sunscreen everytime I go out if I needed to perform ablution and pray while I’m out. Great post Paris!
Paris B says
Yes, it most certainly is a gem Amy 🙂 I sort of regret not first checking it out when I was in Japan many years back! But better late than never I say! 😀 And that is true of sunscreen too. Never better time than the present to be diligent about its use 😀
My first reaction when reading the title was: What took you so long? XD
PS: I grabbed a 90ml bottle in Hong Kong airport
Paris B says
Haha I know Amalia, but better late than never right?! 😀 And they come in 90ml bottles! I’ll be sure to keep my eyes peeled for them 😀
I return to report that the 90ml bottles are available at Watsons in Changi Airport (T3)
Paris B says
Thanks for the update Amalia!
There is another subsidiary brand by Kanebo (Allie) which makes great sunscreens. However, they are not available locally as well >_<
By the way, how do you find Cosme-de service? As good as Strawberrynet? How fast is their shipping? Was tax imposed by customs?
Paris B says
Yes I’ve come across Allie being touted too, but their popularity seems to have waned in recent years for some reason. I’ve only bought from Cosme-de once. No problems and was quite speedy. But I haven’t shopped there in recent times so I can’t share any views sorry!
Su Hlaing says
Yeah!! This is my holy grail sunscreen! I’ve been using this product since 2008 and always come back to it even though I do have a wandering eye when it comes to skincare.. I’m working as a civil engineer. Many people are surprised when I told them that I work as a civil engineer as they would always exclaim “Why are you so fair?! Ain’t civil engineers supposed to be very tanned because they are working on construction sites under the hot sun all the time?” Ladies and Gentlemen, this product is the reason why I didn’t burn to a crisp or tanned when I need to go out into the hot sun for site inspections. I love this product so much that I would rave about it to everybody I know when they come to me for sunscreen recommendations!
Paris B says
Haha such an awesome story Su Hlaing, thank you for sharing! 😀 And to think I’ve only just discovered this now. Sigh. Super late to the party! That said, I do hope to be able to get more of them some day, although after conversion, the savings for me from the Shiseido Perfect UV isn’t that stupendous. But still, some savings nonetheless!
Thanks for the review! I am currently using the silver bottle. The silver bottle contains glycerin, so you might like it better under makeup! The golden bottle is a little bit more waterproof than the silver one. They are the main differences between the two. There is also a sensitive version for the gold (fps 50) and silver (white bottle, fps 35) bottles that removes some ingredients that can cause irritation like alcohol. Also great products! Might be worth checking them out next time you’re in Singapore!
Paris B says
Thanks for sharing Kim! It does get a little confusing with the different colours denoting different formula, yet being the same thing! haha… No plans unfortunately to head to Singapore any time soon, but who knows when or if the opportunity will arise. Till then, I’ll rely on the generosity of friends and family who travel 🙂
Evan Chang says
Paris! I saw this in KLIA 1 near the duty free shops. Maybe you can check it out there
Paris B says
Thanks for the update Evan! That is excellent news! Now, I have to plan a trip don’t I? haha
I’ve been wearing this for at least 3 or 4 years. Surprised you can’t find it in Malaysia. This is one of Shiseido best selling sunscreens.
Paris B says
Yep, it’s one I’ve come across over and over since I started getting interested in skincare. But sadly not carried locally. I’m not sure why, but I badger the local Shiseido people a lot every time the subject comes up LOL! Hopefully we’ll see it come in soon.
YESSSS. I’ve been looking for a replacement sunscreen but I wanted to wait for your recommendation. I suspected you liked this one when I saw it on your Instagram post a while back. Lucky me this time, I’m living in Japan! Let me know if you want more of this one, I’d be happy to send some your way :p
Paris B says
Aww lucky you to be living in Japan! You have such easy access to this brand then. Someone else has mentioned Allie as well so you may try that too 😀 And that’s a very kind offer Bev. I’ll be sure to keep it in mind 🙂
I used up the 90ml one last month, and was trying the AMPM one. Then my friend helped me buy another bottle of Anessa at Watsons Singapore! Yay! They only had it in 60ml though. She told me that sometimes, they have a Buy 2 Free 1 promo, so I told her to just grab it for me when there is. I do like the Shiseido Wet Force better, but for the price, Anessa is great 🙂
Paris B says
If it’s the white AMPM one, I thought it was ok. But I’d pick either the Shiseido or this Anessa any day haha! But you’re lucky to have a steady supply 🙂 I’ve told people in SG to keep an eye out but because I’m never sure when I might get hold of it, I’m just going to do a KIV thing – if I get it well and good. If not, Shiseido Perfect UV comes back into play! 😀 But someone has mentioned this might be available at KLIA. So that’s always something to think about too!
Dang, I just got back from Japan! But more reason to plan another trip 😛
A friend who runs a beauty start-up has it on her store, Luxella.com. I can vouch for the authenticity and she’d likely oblige if asked politely to provide the date of manufacture. But after the mark-up, the price (RM155) isn’t very far off from the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector though.
Paris B says
Ahhh your Japan trip! I hope it was a good one. I am supposed to be planning next year with my parents (Not sure why I undertook the task!) So I might have to look for your tips and/or itinerary LOL! 😀 Thanks for the website recommendation but you’re right. The price isn’t too far from Shiseido and in a pinch, I’d pick the Shiseido one 🙂
Oh yeah I saw this selling here but never thought of picking it up. Watsons often do promotions. Maybe I’ll try it when I run out of my current sunscreen. 😉
Paris B says
I’ll be there in Dec so I plan to pick up at least 2 bottles! Hopefully Watson’s will be on promo then 😀
Love this post, Paris! Been waiting for your review on this 😉 I’ve used this before but haven’t tried your HG Shiseido one – can’t wait to get my hands on it. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who’s paranoid about whether companies are storing their sunscreen / skincare properly and whether they are “older” products!! It totally makes sense, doesn’t it. TBH sometimes I’m even paranoid from buying from counters where the product is placed underneath a hot bright light hahahaha. Anyway, keep up the good work, Paris! You are the sunscreen queen!! xx
Paris B says
Hi LM, OMG you are the same as me! When I see the products, especially in Sephora under the bright lights, I avoid them LOL! I try to buy where they are properly stored. I think I’m just more paranoid about sunscreen than other products coz I’m not so fussy with other skincare Haha! I’m no sunscreen queen, just a huge advocate of wearing it, and I have to thanks to skin that’s so sensitive to sun I get dark spots so easily! Must maintain that fair, princess look that all Asians love, right? HAHA! 😀 What’s your current sunscreen?
Hi Paris, just to let you know, Hermo just started selling them!! 🙂 🙂
Paris B says
Thanks for the update MY, it’s started appearing in many other places now too 🙂
Hi, since you said Japanese sunscreen brands are good.. have you tried Biore? I’m currently using the Perfect Milk one (beige tinted), there’s also a white one and pink one. Both dry matte, the pink is more for brightening. I haven’t tried the Shiseido ones but Biore seems to suit my skin well so far. It’s pretty cheap as well. Maybe you can do a review on them in the future as I’m not sure how they would hold up against the more expensive Shiseido brand?
Paris B says
Hi SL yes I have tried Biore, but I have not had a good experience with the brand as it tends to break me out, or to give my skin little bumps so I prefer not to use anymore from the brand. If it works for you, I say stick with it 🙂 It is more important to find a sunscreen that works for your skin and which you don’t feel is too expensive, as it is something you use daily.
Love your sunscreen posts! Quite puzzled at the amount of sunscreen you use. 1 tablespoon for face is so much. I read a few sources saying 1/4 teaspoon for face is enough to get the spf protection.
Paris B says
To be honest, no matter how much we use, it’s never enough. In lab (which is how they test for SPF30, 50 etc) it is 2mg sunscreen per square cm of skin. Realistically, we’d never ever achieve that in real life 😀
hi Paris, im using the sensitive version of anessa sunscreen and i would say, i love i far more than shiseido blue bottle. as i’m not in the fair skin group, this anessa sensitive version didnt leave me strong white cast as shiseido does. i bought in pudong airport during my business trip to shanghai and the price was almost half price watson is selling here.
Paris B says
Thank you so much for sharing Liza! I truly appreciate it as it will be helpful for anyone else reading <3 I've since ditched the Shiseido blue bottle one as the reformulation made it awful 🙁
I recently read this and got a shock, are you joking? If u need a tbsp (15ml) of sunscreen per application it means a bottle of 60ml only lasts for 4 days??! Wow