The Best Japanese Sunscreen
When I was living in Tokyo and buying Japanese sunscreen for the first time, I didn’t know my whole concept of sunscreen was about to change forever. Instead of realizing this, I was confused in the drugstore, attempting to translate the labels and choose from a selection of products that all looked very similar to me.
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with sunscreen. While I love that it protects me, with my sensitive combination skin, I tend to burn easily and sunscreen has always wreaked havoc on my face. It’s caused all manner of traumas and I’d never found one I liked.
And then I (accidentally) discovered the best sunscreen in the world. I’m fairly minimal when it comes to beauty and maintenance. If a product runs out (even in a foreign country) I’ll just go and buy the nearest alternative. That is not however, the case with my sunscreen.
The Best Japanese Sunscreen
Nivea Sun Protect Super Water Gel
This Japanese sunscreen has a thin gel consistency, which makes it easy to apply in a nice light layer. A little bit goes a long way. You can barely feel it on your face and it is non-greasy. It dries quickly with a matte finish, and has a very slight tacky consistency. The gel is translucent and it stays like that, with no risk of white streaks or chalky residue, especially on darker skin.
The product is perfect for oily, combination, acne-prone and/or sensitive skin. I’ve never experienced breakouts, not even in incredibly humid Japanese summers. It doesn’t really have much of a fragrance and can be used on both the face and body.
In terms of protection, Japanese sunscreen has two measurements. PA is a measurement for preventing ultraviolet A waves (UV-A) and this sunscreen has PA+++. The more + the better, and there is only level above this. SPF is a measurement for preventing ultraviolet B waves (UV-B) and this sunscreen is SPF 50.
Nivea Sun Protect Super Water Gel comes in both pump packs and small bottles too, which I’ve come to love as they are incredibly practical for taking everywhere, even in carry on luggage. I have mailed it in bulk to overseas friends who adore it and when I moved away from Japan myself, I packed quite a few bottles to take with me. Luckily, it can now be ordered on Amazon.
The Runner Up
Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence
My second favorite Japanese sunscreen is this product by Biore and it is very similar to the Nivea product in many ways. It has a thin consistency and is easy to apply. It’s non-greasy, dries matte (slightly tacky) and is great for sensitive skin too. It is suitable for face and body, and also has a cult following too.
In terms of differences, this product gives a little more UV-A protection (PA++++) and has a slight lemon scent. In the end, they are both incredible products and it really just comes down to personal preference!
Popular Japanese Sunscreens
If you’re curious about other brands on the market, these are some of the most popular Japanese sunscreens that are available outside of the country. Our favorites are at the top:
|Japanese Sunscreen Product||UV-A||UV-B|
|Nivea Sun Protect Super Water Gel||PA+++||SPF50+|
|Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence||PA++++||SPF50+|
|Shiseido Senka Aging Care UV Sunscreen||PA++++||SPF50+|
|Rohto Skin Aqua Super Moisture Gel||PA++++||SPF50+|
|Kanebo Allie Extra UV Gel Sunscreen||PA++++||SPF50+|
|Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Mild Milk||PA++++||SPF50+|
|SK II Atmosphere CC Cream||PA++++||SPF50|
|Fancl Sunguard Sunscreen UV Lotion||PA+++||SPF50|
|Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence||PA++++||SPF50+|
|Kose Suncut Sunscreen Gel||PA++++||SPF50+|