As we all know, long-term exposure to UV rays in the sun is harmful to our skin, which damages our dermis, increases the production of melanin, weakens skin immunity and leads to skin aging. If you don’t wear sunscreen for a long period of time, it may cause all kinds of spots and sunburn, so be sure to take precautions. Sunscreen effectively prevents your skin from tanning and sunburn by blocking or absorbing UV rays, and you need to choose the value of SPF or PA according to your needs. SPF stands for the sunscreen’s protective effect against UVB, which is the ability to prevent redness and sunburn. PA represents the ability to protect against UVA, that is, the ability to prevent suntan. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that the SPF value of sunscreens needs to be higher than 30, which is clinically proven to effectively reduce the harm of sun exposure on our skin.
We rounded up a host of brands with a cult following, like ANESSA, SHISEIDO, La Roche-Posay and so on. Each brand boasts a wide range of super-quality products, most of which are the winners of multiple beauty awards. Now, if you’re ready to get the perfect sunscreen, scroll down to check the following list of brands we’ve compiled for you.View More
As the only sunscreen brand under SHISEIDO, a Japanese company, ANESSA ranks top on sales of sunscreens in Japan for consecutive 15 years. ANESSA launched Aqua Booster EX technology in 2018 as its ace ingredients and after two years it launched Thermo Booster technology contained in 2020 ANESSA Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Milk. By adding the exclusive ingredients, the sunscreen film can be evenly, finely applied on the skin under high temperature, achieving a better effect with SPF50+ and PA++++.
Compared with the 2018 version, the version of 2020 is added with more moisturizing ingredients and less alcohol, offering a more gentle and moisturizing texture. It is suitable for all skin types apart from extremely dry skin. It is still formulated with allergy-causing alcohol and fragrance so those with sensitive skin should be cautious. The newly-upgraded product lines of ANESSA are more clearly classified with each color corresponding to each benefit.
Though the Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Milk is effective, it doesn’t mean you will never get tanned after applying. The effect of sunscreens is also closely related to how consumers use them. We recommend applying enough sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going out and reapplying it every two hours if you are going to stay outside for a long time.
SHISEIDO, a famous Japanese cosmetics brand created in 1872, is favored by consumers in Japan and abroad. Its products are available in 85 countries around the world and this cosmetics group ranks first in Asia and widely recognized by the whole world.
SHISEIDO WHITE LUCENCY CREAM SUNCARE is the most renowned, which is usually compared with ANESSA Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Milk. This sunscreen offers persistent sun protection and a more comfortable feeling but costs twice than it. The Urban Environment Sun Protection Collection is the main collection of SHISEIDO and it contains wetforce waterproof technology earlier than ANESSA.
The new version of SHISEIDO WHITE LUCENCY CREAM SUNCARE comes in two types. One is light yellow sunscreen gel that can be applied easily and more lightweight than the old version but it is slow to form a film. Formulated with piperitol and alcohol, this sunscreen leaves the skin feeling cool and refreshing but lightly irritating. The improved sunscreen has a better effect on sun protection and still effective at resisting sweat.
The other is similar with ANESSA Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Milk in formula and can be used for strong sun rays. You need to shake it before use. It has a strong liquidity and can form a film quickly. This product contains SuperVeil-UV 360 technology which help the sunscreen to be evenly applied on the skin, feeling refreshing and not sticky. This product is more expensive and less cost-effective.
CLARINS is a well-known French beauty brand created in 1954. When most brands give their priority to develop other products, CLARINS has already set its market goals with a complete product line of body care products and laid the foundation for its brand future.
Clarins UV Plus Multi Protection Sunscreen combines sun protection with evening skin tone to simplify the makeup steps. This product comes in three shades with pink for correcting skin tone and brightening, cream-colored for evening the skin tone. It can also acts as a foundation if you don’t have any imperfections to conceal, and the natural color, free of any coloring agents, can not correct the skin color. Clarins UV Plus Multi Protection Sunscreen, a physical sunscreen cream, protects the skin from all lengths of rays. It is qualified for its sun protection ability. If you need to take outdoor activities for a long time, you need to reapply timely. This product is formulated with preservatives, fragrance, and alcohol so we recommend conducting a patch test if you have sensitive skin.
The milky lotion-like Clarins Protection Sunscreen leaves the skin feeling refreshing and moisturizing, suitable for those with dry skin for evening skin tone. Its new version has a stronger fragrance.
LANCÔME, a world-known high-end cosmetics brand, is created by Armand Petitjean in France in 1935. Its business, involved in many areas such as skincare, beauty and fragrance, is targeted at mature women with high education and high income aged 25 to 40.
The LANCOME UV EXPERT AQUA GEL is outstandingly effective at sun protection. Apart from regular sunscreen agent like OMC, the outstanding formula also contains the patented Mexoryl XL technology of L’Oreal. It helps protect the skin from all ranges of rays with SPF50 and PA++++, effective enough at fighting against the UV rays in summer. But this sunscreen cream is not water- and sweat-proof, you need to reapply it timely. The sunscreen is prone to stay on the skin, suitable for those who usually put on makeup. It helps moisturize and whiten and it helps follow-up makeup stay on the dry skin, reducing an uneven finish. The yellow lotion-like sunscreen cream can be easily applied and helps moisturize the skin. But it is sticky for those with oily skin even in winter. It is formulated with fragrance, preservatives and other potentially harmful ingredients, not suitable for sensitive skin and pregnant women.
Another LANCOME UV PRECIOUS CELLS is targeted at mature skin. This high-end sunscreen is packed with anti-aging Pro-XylaneTM, a core ingredient of L’Oreal Group so its price is twice as much as that of LANCOME UV EXPERT AQUA GEL.
POLA, under the Japanese cosmetics brand POLA ORBIS HOLDINGS, is created in Japan's Shizuoka in 1929. The high-end B.A collection enjoys a high reputation since created and it is upgraded into its fifth generation.
The products of POLA are packed with many skincare ingredients to achieve a comprehensive effect while fighting against UV rays. They are closer to the face cream or lotion, more like a skincare product with a sunscreen effect. POLA B.A PROTECTOR is formulated with many skincare ingredients with SPF50 and PA++++, effective at sun protection for commuting in summer. It leaves the skin feeling moisturizing and gentle with a pleasant smell has moderate spreadability. It helps prevent you from getting cakey and meltdown for dry skin if it is applied before makeup. This sunscreen cream is expensive, recommended for those who pay attention to skincare and are not on a tight budget.
Another cost-effective POLA WHITISSIMO UV Block Shield White has basic skincare benefits but leaves the skin feeling comfortable, featuring moisturizing. The old version is suitable for oily skin with refreshing oil-control effect while the new version is more moisturizing, suitable for normal and dry skin. This lightweight and moisturizing can be easily applied without disturbing the follow-up makeup steps.
ELIXIR, a professional collagen brand, is born in Japan in 1983. ELIXIR finds out that collagen is the source of beautiful skin. It has been focusing on women’s aging problems since created and keeps the Collagen Activation Technology researches to make full of scientific accomplishments.
ELIXIR Revitalizing Care Day Care Revolution and ELIXIR White Day Care Revolution are two salable in color of gold and silver tubes respectively. Both these two sunscreens, with a moderate sun protection ability, are very suitable for commuting and leaves the skin feeling comfortable. The golden tube is more moisturizing while the silver one offers a more refreshing feeling. They are suitable for different skin types and seasons. The lotion-like golden one features moisturizing property while protecting the skin and can be easily applied with great liquidity. The silver one features whitening and offers refreshing feelings while protecting the skin, suitable for oily skin. Both these two types have two versions of SPF30 and SPF50.
ELIXIR sunscreens take moisturizing as its highlighted feature, suitable for dry skin or oily skin in winters and summers. These two sunscreens are not water- and sweat-proof, needed to be reapplied timely. They are formulated with irritant ingredients such as alcohol, fragrance, and preservatives and potentially dangerous ingredients such as OMC and tranexamic acid so those with sensitive skin and pregnant women should be cautious when choosing this product.
Cosme Decorte is a top-notch skincare and cosmetics brand under Kose Group in Japan and its products are available on the counter. Created in Tokyo in 1946, Kose Group is one of the three biggest cosmetics manufactures in Japan.
As one of the most hydrating sun protection creams, Decorte Sun Shelter Multi Protection is moisturizing and has great spreadability. The milky-and-yellow sunscreen, offering a refreshing experience and smell, is suitable for dry skin. As a qualified sunscreen used before makeup, this lightweight product can be paired with many other cosmetics without affecting the follow-up makeup steps. The SPF50 and PA++++ Sun Shelter Multi Protection leaves the skin feeling comfortable and protects you from harmful UVA and UVB in chemical ways.
The sunscreens can be removed by face washes but can not resist water and sweat. If you are going to stay outside for a long time, you need to reapply timely. This sunscreen is formulated with alcohol, fragrance, and preservatives so we recommend those with sensitive skin conduct a sensitivity test before use.
La Roche-Posay is a French brand under L’Oreal and its Pharmaceutical Company is located in the small town of La Roche-Posay which specializes in the products enriched with thermal spring water. All the gentle and effective products of this brand is produced under the GMP standard.(Good Manufacture Practice of Medical Products)
La Roche-Posay, a representative of powerful sunscreen in European and American countries, focuses more on sun protection and less on than on how it leaves the skin feeling. The ANTHELIOS ULTRA LIGHT FLUID FACIAL SUNSCREEN has the highest PFA among the similar products. The old version is more sticky and oily. The new one in 2019 takes textures into consideration while keeping the powerful ability of sun protection. Apart from many regular sunscreen agents, it is formulated with patented ingredient Mexoryl SX of L’Oreal. This sunscreen helps protect you against all lengths of sun rays and delivers a stable sunscreen effect while resisting water and sweat. It also meets the needs of sun protection even if you encounters hot weather and water. The lightweight lotion-like new version has stronger liquidity and its increasing alcohol make the skin feel refreshing but those with sensitive skin should be cautious. Its package is printed with “SHAKA FLUIDE” to remind you to shake up and down before use. Its moisturizing ability is not outstanding and make the skin feel sticky with an unpleasant smell. We recommend pairing it with moisturizing products for those with dry skin.
La Roche-Posay offers many other sunscreen products for different skin types and different situations, which can be classified by its colors. The other two tubular sunscreens of this ANTHELIOS XL collection is labeled in blue and green. There’s no much difference among these three sunscreens in sun protection.The difference is that the green labeled one is relatively gentle and alcohol-free, suitable for oil-control and oily skin while the blue labeled one has moisturizing benefits, suitable for dry skin.
Kiehl's is created in Manhattan, New York, in 1851. Before 2001, the business run by the Mores family never expands beyond New York City. Kiehl's, providing limited, unique, and distinct products, gradually became an increasing star in the fashion area and highly recommended by the media. The Americans start to wonder: What is Kiehl's? and Where can we get it? They came to buy Kiehl's in New York from far away and the New York’s government marked November 12th as Kiehl'sDay.
The Ultra Light Daily UV Defence became a hit in 2018 with a powerful effect of sun protection. Kiehl's adopts the patented technology of L’Oreal-- Mexoryl SX, and pairs it with sun-screening agents to protect the skin against all lengths of sun rays with stable results, even for long time outdoor activities in summer. But its water- and sweat-proof ability is not outstanding so you need to reapply it timely. It works for moisturizing and soothing the skin. Because it is formulated with alcohol and preservatives. Those with sensitive skin should conduct a sensitivity test before use.
Ultrasun, a Swiss sun protection brand born in 1992, strictly follows the cosmetics and pharmaceutical standards during the research and development of products. The production process and the formula enable a safe sunscreen system of its products. It once worked with the Zurich Cancer Society to develop sun protection products which are recommended by many Swiss dermatologists.
The gentle and safe Ultrasun Face Anti-Ageing Sun Protection is a qualified product and formulated with skincare ingredients. Ultrasun Face Anti-Ageing Sun Protection contains the patented technology of GSP-T and works effectively for protecting you from harmful UVA and UVB. Free of fragrance, mineral oil, preservatives, and other harmful sunscreen agents, the new version, containing little alcohol, is suitable for those with slightly sensitive skin. The lotion-like new version is easy to message but a little sticky in summer, not good for the follow-up makeup steps. Ultrasun Face Anti-Ageing Sun Protection comes in SPF30 and SPF50, suitable for daily commuting and outdoor activities respectively.
The ECTOIN-free and cost-effective Ultrasun Family offers a larger volume and is often used as a body sunscreen. The sticky Ultrasun SPF50+ Extreme Protection, as its name suggests, has a high SPF number, specifically designed for outdoor activities in summer. As for kids and those with sensitive skin, Ultrasun provides two gentle kinds of purely physical sun protection products: Ultrasun Baby and Ultrasun Face Mineral. In addition, Ultrasun, owning a complete product line, launches various products with sun protection benefits such as hand creams, lipsticks, eye creams, and BB creams, etc..
L'OREAL PARIS, one of the most well-known and time-honored cosmetics brand under L'OREAL group, is mainly producing hair dyes, hair care, cosmetics and skin care products and is favored by the women across the world for its high quality. L'OREAL PARIS has its own first-class Pharmaceutical laboratory and dermatology center as well as the research and testing center across the globe. With a strong background of development and research, it consistently launches high quality products for global consumers to meet different needs.
UV Perfect Moisture Fresh Sunscreen, a qualified sunscreen favored by the public, contains the L’Oreal patented technology of Mexoryl sx and Mexoryl xl and many chemical sun-screening agents to protect the skin against all lengths of rays. This sticky product doesn’t offer the comfortable experience and has a strong fragrance. It is cost-effective in a relatively low price.
The star product UV Perfect Ultimate Protection Fluid leaves the skin feeling better than UV Perfect Moisture Fresh Sunscreen and its lotion-like texture is easy to spread. It is refreshing and has a moderate moisturizing benefits without affecting the follow-up makeup steps. The new moisturizing version of UV Perfect Ultimate Protection Fluid is formulated with moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, suitable for dry skin in falls and winters.
ISDIN, called an “expert in photo aging”, is created in 1975 and headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. It is dedicated to providing skincare solutions to photo aging.
The lightweight ISDIN Fusion Water Protection,with a strong liquidity, leaves the skin feeling comfortable and can form a film quickly. It has a moderate moisturizing benefit, suitable for many skin types. It can be used as a primer before makeup. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a long-lasting sun protection ability so you need to reapply it frequently. It is not water- and sweat-proof, only suitable for daily commuting or in falls and winters. It is worth mentioning that ISDIN is one of the rare alcohol-free sunscreens and leaves the skin feeling refreshing. But ISDIN Fusion Water Protection is packed with fragrance and preservatives which might cause allergies.
ISDIN, abiding by the EU Cosmetics Regulation, shows the UVB (SPF) without PA in its products package. But all its products can protect you from harmful UVA and UVB.
SOFINA, a flagship brand under Kao, in Japan, becomes widely popular after Shiseido, Kanebo, and Kose.
The lotion-like Moisturizing UV Cut Emulsion, with strong liquidity, is easy to apply and you need to shake it before use. Its new version is suitable for dry skin. Moisturizing UV Cut Emulsion Whitening is less moisturizing but more powerful at sun protection, suitable for outdoor activities.
The four products have a similar formula and all, with SPF50+, contain common chemical and physical sun-screening agents such as OMC and zinc oxide. The Moisturizing UV Cut Emulsion is of PA+++, and the other three products are of PA++++. All these four products are formulated with whitening ingredients. With alcohol, and fragrance contained, those with sensitive skin should be cautious when choosing this product.
Neutrogena, is an American classic skincare brand and once a beauty saloon supplier of the professional film industry. It starts to take market share when launching a non-alkaline cleansing soap called Neutrogena which soon gained popularity and was recommended by many dermatologists. It also represents the company image-taking gentle and simple ingredients.
The cost-effective sunscreens of Neutrogena are for the whole body. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer® Dry-Touch Sunscreen is a hit that contains the core sun protection technology of Helioplex, effective at blocking Harmful UVB and UVA. Ultra Sheer® Dry-Touch Sunscreen comes in SPF50, PA++++ and SPF30, PA+++ respectively. The former is suitable to fight against strong sun rays and the latter is more suitable for commuting or falls and winters. The white creamy sunscreen has moderate liquidity and speadability and is slow to form a film. It is a bit moisturizing, suitable for falls and winters. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer® Sunscreen Spray is relatively refreshing with water-like liquidity. It delivers an even and dense spray and helps form a film quickly. But it has a strong fragrance.
With a powerful ability to protect the skin against harmful UVA and UVB, the Cool Dry Sport Water-Resistant Sunscreen Spray is most suitable for outdoor activities. But it doesn’t offer a great sun protection experience and has a strong fragrance, mostly used for swimming.
American EWG shows that the products of Neutrogena are prone to cause allergies so it is not recommended for pregnant women.
Nivea is a big global skin care and body care brand created in Germany, in 1882. Over 100 doctors from the PGU research center of BDF company, which is widely acknowledged by the world as the most authoritative medical and dermatology research center, are dedicated to developing natural and effective products. Their research accomplishments have made Nivea the biggest global skincare brand. Forbes released a list of the 100 most valuable brands across the world in 2018 and Nivea was also on the list. Nivea, along with La Prairie, is under Beiersdorf, a German company.
Nivea Sun Protector Water Gel is cheap and leaves the skin feeling comfortable. This lightweight product with white and half-translucent gel texture, is not sticky. It has a strong liquidity and great spreadability, easy to message, so it is very convenient for you to apply it on the whole body. Nivea Sun Protector Water Gel is formulated with three regular chemical sun-screening agents and comes in SPF35 and SPF50. It is not water- and sweat-proof so you need to reapply it timely. It can be removed by face washes or body washes. It has a moderate sun protection ability, suitable for daily commuting. It has a high level of alcohol so we recommend conducting a patch test before use.
This product is made in many countries with the Japanese version as the best, which is manufactured by Kao Group. It is also the winner of many COSME Awards in Japan.
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