It was hard not to go crazy buying up all the skincare in sight while I was in Japan earlier this year. Very hard. It helped that there was a language barrier – it prevented me from quite literally falling for every product out there! Yet, I managed to hoard a number of items, predominantly sunscreen, and one that caught your eye was the Kanebo Allie Extra Perfect UV Sunscreen SPF50+ PA++++ I showed in some of my pictures back then.
Quite a few of you asked me about it, but I wasn’t comfortable sharing, as I’d quite literally opened it up to use while in Japan, and it was too new to actually form an opinion on. I wanted to come home where the heat and humidity is high, to see how I’d like it. Then, I wanted to really put it through its paces, so I took it to the beach, where I spent an ungodly amount of time in the sun and by the pool.
I wanted to be very sure about how I felt about this one. This was because I’d already fallen in love with it while in Japan, and I really really wanted to know if it was as good for me as its first impression was.
Happily, or unhappily, I think this is the perfect successor for me, to my long-time favourite, the Shiseido Perfect UV sunscreen. The latter has been reformulated this year where the name now states “Multi-Defense” and before you ask, no I have not yet tried it. I know I should, but I am working through other sunscreens I own (I need to before they go off – 2 years shelf life for best efficacy!) and to be honest, I’ve read too many unhappy comments about this new formula – enough to put me off trying.
Well, let’s just say that I’m not actively looking to try the Shiseido one either, because this Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect sunscreen has me very happy with it. And yet sad.
Why sad, you may ask.
Well, let’s deal with the happy bits first 😀
This Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect sunscreen is a very liquid sunscreen. There is another gel formula that I’ll try and share with you another day. This is your typical Japanese style fluid sunscreen that you shake up to mix before applying to the skin.
The texture is very fluid, and the temptation is great to use just a little, because it spreads so easily. I will however, caution against that, because you may not be using enough product. Despite how fluid it is, I still use the same amount I use with ALL my sunscreen – One finger’s length for each portion of my face.
As I said, the temptation will be there, to use very little, simply because it spreads just like water all over. Just resist that temptation, and rub in as much product as you can. Not that anyone’s listening 😛
I personally find the formula very comfortable on my skin. I have read reports of people who find it drying (and it may feel that way for some) but on my dry skin, I don’t find it to be so. I don’t find it to be uncomfortable either.
I do find that it makes a good makeup base as well, which is great for me, because I don’t use primer otherwise. This seems to keep my makeup in place and doesn’t react with it at all. If you’re familiar with the formula for the Shiseido Perfect UV sunscreen, this one is more runny but it feels the same on skin.
There is however a small snag. Deeper skin tones may experience a white cast. I attribute this to the use of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as its UV blockers. These physical blockers do tend to leave a white cast on skin. I do find that when I first rub it into my skin, I do notice it. But then, it disappears, or perhaps just blends into my skin so I don’t notice it after that. It does not leave my face looking noticeably whiter than my neck so for me, it wasn’t something I was very concerned with.
In terms of sun protection, the Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect sunscreen boasts an SPF50+ UVB protection and PA++++ UVA protection. That, by all accounts is very high and basically what I look for in all my sunscreen. I rarely will look any lower than SPF50. Never, in fact 😛
Its UV blockers/filters are Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Octinoxate and Uvinul A Plus, so it is a mix of physical and chemical blockers/filters. I do try to find sunscreen with a mix, as often, the formula is a little more elegant and easier to apply. While I do realize that physical blockers offer the best protection as they don’t get absorbed into the skin, I have not found a formula I’m comfortable using.
What makes me happy using this Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect sunscreen is the fact that despite my being on the beach and by the pool, under noonday sun, I did not burn nor did I even turn red where I applied this sunscreen. I used it all over my face and body (arms and legs) and because I was aware of being under prolonged sun exposure, I reapplied about every 90 minutes. I barely even tanned! Yes, that’s a good thing 😛
I suffer from hyperpigmentation, and the time I’ve been using this (since May – about 3 months) I have not noticed new spots forming, although my recent frolic in the sun did leave my existing spots a little darker. But nothing new that I spotted, which for me, is a good thing! 😀
The Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect can be used all over face and body, and it is also water resistant. I did find that because I was reapplying so often while on holiday, I had to really make sure that it was properly removed from my arms and legs. I’ve found that a little oil cleanser helps. For my face, because I double-cleanse every evening, I make sure it’s properly removed at the end of the day.
Personally, I thoroughly enjoy using the Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect sunscreen, which brings me to the bad news. It’s hell of a hard to find outside of Japan, and here in Malaysia. I think you can get it in Hong Kong or Taiwan where they carry many Japanese drugstore brands. But here in Malaysia, you may be limited to resellers and the like who jack their prices sky high. [Edited to add: I’ve just learnt that Kanebo Allie is available in Thailand where I go at least once a year, so I hope they carry this version there too! 😀 ]
So, if you are planning a trip to Japan or know someone who is, shop there. I swept a couple before I came back because I knew I’d not be able to get it here, and because, as I told you above, I’d already fallen in love with it in Japan! 😀
Dec 2019 UPDATE: Kanebo Allie sunscreen is now available in Malaysia at Watson’s stores and online!
IN A NUTSHELL
The Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect sunscreen SPF50+ PA++++ is a drugstore brand of sunscreen from Japan. This version is a very fluid version that you must shake up before dispensing, to mix up the ingredients. The texture is very light and very liquid which makes it easy to spread. There will be the temptation to use less because of this, but please resist and use a significant amount for best protection. Deeper skin tones may experience a white cast which I notice when I first apply it to skin, but not after I’ve rubbed it in. I find it makes a very good makeup base for me, which allows me to skip using primer. I also don’t find it drying, although some people do. It’s fragrance-free and waterproof and best removed with a cleansing oil at the end of the day. You can also use it all over your face and body. I thoroughly love this one, and only wish it was easier to get outside of Japan!
PROS: Lightweight texture, Not particularly drying, Waterproof, Can be used on face and body, Compact packaging, Affordable, Protects my skin well, No fragrance
CONS: Not easy to find outside of Japan, Possible white cast on deeper skin tones, Some people complain of it being drying (I don’t), Light fluid texture may result in people using less product
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who wants a versatile sunscreen for face and body, Anyone who wants a light textured sunscreen with very high sun protection factor
PRICE: ¥2800 for 60ml (approx RM103 at today’s exchange rate) (Dec 2019 Update: RM97 for 60ml)
WHERE TO BUY: Watson’s stores and online, Most drugstores in Japan, Some online sites like Rakuten, YesStyle, Ebay or sites that specialize in products from Japan but I haven’t tried any so have none to recommend. Please ensure you are buying the right product and check for expiry dates
Here is the ingredient list for the Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect sunscreen:
Methyltrimethicone, Zinc Oxide, Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Titanium Dioxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Bytylene Glycol, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, PEG-8 Trifluoropropyl Dimethicone Copolymer, Dimethicone, Aluminium Hydroxide, Trifluoropropyl Dimethiconol, Silica, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Nylon-12, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimenthicone Crosspolymer, Dipentaerythrityl Tripolyhydroxystearate, BHT, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Collagen
Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect sunscreen or Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV sunscreen
Let me preempt your question 😀
I know I said before this that the very popular Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV sunscreen is an alternative to the Shiseido Perfect UV sunscreen and in many ways, it is accurate. I did edit to review my view after prolonged use, if you missed it 😉
But if I were to pick from either the Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect or the Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV sunscreen, it’d be a no-brainer. It’ll be Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect all the way because the smell of the alcohol isn’t as strong, and it protects my skin far better than the Anessa. With the Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV I still get a little red even with re-application, and my skin can feel heated. I even feel it on a daily basis. With the Kanebo Allie Extra UV Perfect, I don’t. For that, it wins my vote 🙂
Have you tried the Kanebo Allie sunscreen?
In Japan, this is a very popular brand and very highly rated, on par with Shiseido Anessa. Was very thrilled to finally be able to try it after reading about it for years and years! Now, if anyone is headed to Japan, you know what to get me 😛
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Hah! Just in time! My parents are visiting Japan next month so I’ll get to try this out. When I saw that there was a “bad”to this review, I just knew what it was going to be …
FYI, I sampled of the new formulation of the Shiseido HG one and found it significantly more fluid that the original formulation. Just noting it here since you described this Kanebo one to be more runny in comparison to the Shiseido original.
Paris B says
Your parents can probably find this at most drugstores in the sunscreen section. There are a few different types, so you might want to ask them to get you the gel one in a tube as well because it’s also supposed to be good LOL 😉 I still haven’t sampled that new version of the Shiseido and it’s interesting that it’s more fluid. I’m getting so many conflicting reports on it, I’m almost scared to try in case I really hate it 🙁
One thing about Japanese drugstores that bug me is that quite often, I see display shelves of skin care and make up items placed outdoors in direct sunlight. That can’t be good for the contents! Of course I ensure that whatever I purchase comes from indoors but still, I do wonder about their storage practices.
I stocked up on the Hydrofresh version of the Shiseido sunscreen (the one with white trim instead of orange) as I know that works for me as well. But I’m guessing it’s a matter of time before they reformulate that one as well grrrr!!!!
Paris B says
Yup! I notice that too! But I think it’s because of their weather maybe? In summer it’s probably a bad idea. But in other weathers, where the sun isn’t as strong, then I think the damage is reduced. It’s like when I go to Sephora or duty free and see all the items placed under hot, bright light. I usually try to ask for a new item from inside. Sometimes the SA obliges, often, they give you a black look 😛
I already knew what the ‘bad’ was before reading further. Hahahaha. Such a pity we cant get this in Malaysia. I am using the new formulation of the Shiseido sunscreen and the only difference from the previous one is that it has a light scent which dissipates after application. I will stick to Shiseido for now and I will as usual try to stock up when Sephora has its 20% sale for black card members (I believe another sale is due either in November or December).
Paris B says
I’m told Thailand carries the brand, so that’s our closest port of call! 😀 Thanks for reporting on the new formula Shiseido sunscreen. I was made aware of the scent which I found unfortunate. But good to know it’s still serving you well. I lost my black card so no more sale prices for me LOL! Hence the need to find alternatives 😛
Very detailed analysis. I think you are the go-to person to seek advice on sunscreen. Did you manage to use Allie under wet condition? I really prefer such watery sunscreen than thick creamy type, but do not have the courage to use them for beach activities yet.
Paris B says
Haha thanks Nicole. Not an expert for sure – I leave that to chemists 😀 I did get wet on holiday, but the Allie is supposed to be waterproof. If you plan to use sunscreen with water activities, be sure to pick one that is waterproof. However, I did reapply, because that’s what I do when I go by the beach. I’m just paranoid then. On normal days, I’m not so diligent 🙂 I think the Japanese are great at formulating comfortable, lightweight sunscreen that is effective. The western brands aren’t so good.
Great. I’ll try watery sunscreen for my next beach holiday. I did buy some water-proof ones from Japan. Hope those work well. 🙂
wait is that the reason my skin is a little bit oilier when using the new shiseido formulation?
Paris B says
Hmm has it lost it’s slightly powdery finish? I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t help you Jue. I really should suck it up and get a bottle, if only for curiousity sake LOL! 😛
I’ll have to check this out! Sad about the Shiseido 🙁
Paris B says
I really like this one Kuri! They do some gel formula in tubes that are quite nice too. But I’ll share about those another time 🙂
I bought another sunscreen from this range at Matsumoto Kiyoshi in Bangkok. The price wasn’t cheap, I remember it was around S$40 to S$50.
Recently, I started buying Japanese skincare from this website called myhuo.net which has a wide variety of brands. The price is quite reasonable when there is discount. And they do run brand specific discount all the time.
Paris B says
They have a Matsumoto Kiyoshi in Bangkok!??!! Where, pray tell! I’ll be headed there soon and I’ll have to check it out! They also have a gel formula that comes in tubes, that doesn’t need shaking up and is more “creamy”. I don’t mind that one too! And thanks for sharing the site for shopping Japanese skincare! I’ve recently gotten back into Japanese skincare and am on the lookout to try more. We don’t get many brands locally, so I’ll have to go online
I am currently using the older formula of the gel – the Mineral Moist NEO one – and happily it doesn’t make my oily skin oilier, although I think it’s not as heavy-duty as Anessa Perfect UV (also the older formula). I have a tube of the most recent formula, will see how it compares to Shiseido/Anessa.
Paris B says
I have the gel version too (in a tube right?) I remember I tested it in Japan before buying more so I must have liked it LOL! But haven’t put it to a thorough test yet. I have read that the Anessa Perfect UV has been upgraded and is now even better and more hydrating than before. I can’t keep up with all these reformulations LOL!
I need to try this. And I didn’t know Shiseido reformulated the sunscreen! I’m still using the old one because I usually have backup. I bought the Anessa ones here, and you know what? It’s different from the one I bought in Hong Kong a few years back. I find that the new ones have stronger alcohol content because the fume chokes me. I’ll have to keep this in mind, so when I’m in Thailand next (dunno when tho), I’ll have to look for it.
Paris B says
I was told about the reformulation, and then I saw the box which looks different now but like you I have back ups so haven’t tried it yet. I didn’t know the Anessa here is different! But it does have a strong alcohol smell based on the ones I bought in Thailand. Perhaps they have reformulated. These Japanese brands reformulate all the time! Now, they have just reformulated the Anessa again (it now has a blue bit on the cap) and apparently it’s even better, so that’ll be one to try next. I might stick to Allie though, if I can find this one in Bangkok. It feels better and doesn’t choke me
Thanks for the comprehensive review. After reading it, I was quick to decide that I should get both Kanebo UV Perfect and Gel. My very kind friend just came back from Japan last Thursday and got me the small sizes.
I like Sheseido Wetforce’s light texture and subtle glow, except it’s scented and loaded with chemicals.
I’m sure to switch to Kanebo Allie. Gel gives the hydrating glow while Perfect leaves a white cast. Gel does become oily at midday. Both allow me to go bare face to work, like I do with Sheseido. I can’t decide which one yet, maybe I’ll wear Gel above Perfect. Ah! Why can’t they add a tinge of pink to Perfect? Kanebo Allie certainly ticked more boxes than Sheseido for me. Not only they cost half the price, most importantly, they contain less harmful ingredients.
I’ve been using natural skincare and cosmetics for more than a decade until my friend gifted Sheseido to me last month. Natural sunscreen is the only product that I’ve not been happy about. Kanebo Allie isn’t green but their sunscreens are superior like that to make me switch.
Hui Min says
Hi Paris! Your latest post brought me here! I was about to tell you that I found this sunscreen during my trip to Bangkok last December and I even screamed a little when I saw it! So dramatic LOL
Have to say, it seems to be cheaper in Bangkok as it did not reach RM100 when I bought it in Asiatique (can’t really recall the exchange rate). This sunscreen also give me another excuse to revisit Bangkok more often 😀
Paris B says
Ooh! In Bangkok! Thank you so much for the heads up! Do you remember the store or was it a Watson’s store or any chain pharmacy? I haven’t been to Asiatique if you can believe it. I am such a creature of habit when I go to Bangkok that I go to all the same places all the time! LOL!
Hui Min says
Hi Paris, so sorry to missed your reply! You can get them at Beautirium (Asiatique), it is a huge drugstore looks like Aeon Wellness. You can also get them at Tsuruha, a Japanese drugstore in Thailand, in Gateway Mall, Ekkamai (you can go there by taking BTS, there is a station linked directly to the mall), as well as Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Thailand, which is nearby Siam Square (walking distance from BTS Siam station).
I don’t think they carry it in Boots.
Guess what, I am going to Bangkok again just to restock all these beauty hauls. Haha
Paris B says
I’m taking notes, as I’ll be headed there next month and need to pick up some sunscreen! 😉 Thank you so much
Shia Million says
Hi Paris!! Have you used the Allie gel??:) So which is better?:)
Paris B says
Hi Shia, afraid I haven’t as I’m now working through some other sunscreens first. Will definitely update when I do! But from memory (I did test it out) it doesn’t feel as watery (and therefore less dry feeling) than the lotion with less of a white cast 🙂
Chua Hup Guan says
Too bad as it contain alcohol which can be drying. Wish to try but … Worried.
Will you recommend this for daily usage? I read somewhere in your blog that suncreen is a MUST 😀 Just wondering if this will be too harsh to use daily?
Paris B says
I use it daily 🙂 Some people do find it drying, and Kanebo Allie has a gel version that might be more comfortable then. And yes, sunscreen everyday is an absolute MUST! 😀
Thanks Paris! Well this Allie is surely hard to find! So I go with the second best that you recommend, Anessa 😀 been using it for a week now and so far I like the formula :). They do have the gel version as well, are you saying the gel ones are better for dry skin?
Paris B says
YAY Happy to hear that Anessa works for you 🙂 I haven’t tried the gel version of Anessa, only the one I reviewed. I do plan to try them one day, and if I do, I’ll be sure to update! 🙂
Thanks Paris! Your blog has been very helpful especially for a nood like me. Else dunno how much I need to spend until I find the right product ???
Hi Paris B, I have been using the Shiseido sunscreen since moving to KL (based on your recommendations!) and it protects my skin very well. But it is also quite pricey cos I literally drink sunscreen! But I must say the new formulation is indeed more drying so I had to switch to a more hydrating day cream to counter the dryness. Now you have me curious about this Allie sunscreen 🙂 I see the gel version available on beauty box japan for close to rm100 in case you are interested 🙂 I have tried ordering from this site recently and delivery is fast and fuss free and usually free with purchase of at least 3-5 items.
Paris B says
Hey Tracy, I’m sure you know by now that Allie is available in Watson’s stores, so if you’ve tried it, I hope it works for you! It’s not terribly cheap, but it’s way cheaper than Shiseido, and IMO better! 😀
A little bit late in the party but better late than never 🙂 was so intrigued after reading your review but never got the chance to try. I got my sis to purchase this for me in Tokyo and my gosh I love it! The watery fluid is such a delight to apply as I’ve always hated the tackiness of creams. I find this takes a bit longer to rub it in compared to Shiseido and Anessa but it’s much more pleasant to handle so I don’t mind the slightly extra time needed. The finish is also comfortable and non greasy on my combi skin. LOVE! Wish it was more readily available though 🙁
Paris B says
Hi KT, well, if you didn’t already realize, it’s now available at Watson’s stores in Malaysia 🙂
Always enjoyed your reviews, just for your info it’s now available in Watson
Paris B says
Thank you so much for sharing! <3
Came back here to tell you that on my light to medium skin, the white cast is a real problem (unless I wear makeup, of course…). Recently I went hiking and applied two layers, one in the morning and one before we left. Honestly, even after working it into my skin I looked like a geisha (and my teeth horribly yellow!).
Well, mileage may vary, this recommendation didn’t work for me. 🙂