My Top 5 SPF50+ PA++++ Japanese Sunscreens for 2017

Only new 2017 launches need apply!

IIt’s time for my 7th annual Japanese sunscreens ranking. I’ve chosen a variety of formulas for all budgets that I think suit a wide audience in this year’s run-down of my top five newly released SPF50+ PA++++ sunscreens of 2017.

Having normal (and very resilient) skin allows me to test a large variety of sunscreens, however what suits my skin/lifestyle/personal preference might be terrible for yours so please be sensible when following recommendations.

Details of each of the Japanese sunscreens are linked below. If you missed last year’s top picks, you can check it out here. So check out my picks below (in no particular order).

1) Parasola Illumi Skin UV Essence

Warm weather is here and if you hunting for products that will get your legs into presentable condition lightning fast, then this colour-correcting sunscreen should be on the to-try list. I dub this “K-pop idol legs” in a tube. It’s loaded with good-for-skin ingredients (3 types of vitamin C, Job’s tears, ceramide, and hyaluronic acid just to name a few!) to make sure skin is fully moisturised and healthy looking. Its blue-lavender tint and luminising effect really do noticeably brighten up skin tone and create the illusion of slimmer legs. (You can use this sunscreen on the face — I haven’t done so — but it’s really intended for your limbs.)

2) NIVEA SUN Creme Care UV Cream

Think of this as a rich, nourishing, dry-skin moisturiser cream with added sun protection. It makes your skin all plump and supple, and gives it a gentle youthful sheen that sits beautifully underneath makeup. The superb UV protection is the icing on the cake! If you hate Nivea Creme’s signature scent, this isn’t for you — this smells exactly it.

NIVEA Sun Creme Care UV Cream

3) Sports Beauty UVWear Super Smooth

A sunscreen milk that gives superb long-lasting UV protection that is suitable for everyday wear and the outdoors. True to its claim, it absorbs super quickly, feels unexpectedly lightweight, and leaves a really silky-smooth finish yet it doesn’t feel drying on the skin.

4) ACSEINE Super Sunshield Bright Veil

Acseine makes brilliant alcohol/chemical-free sunscreens for drier, sensitive skin, but since I only pick from new launches for my annual top list, it sadly, until now, never had any qualifying contenders. This is the same as Japan’s cult favourite Super Sunshield EX — very lightweight, non-sticky, non-greasy, waterproof — but with an amped up instant skin-perfecting effect. Its soft-focus pigments blurs the surface and gives that “lit from within” effect. (Hover over image below for ingredients.)

5) Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Milk

This has an invisible finish and a to-the-point formula that ideally suited for drier skin. It’s not as lightweight as the Sports Beauty sunscreen mentioned above, but it does have a more hydrating feel. If you have no problem with dryness, you may find that you can skip moisturiser altogether.

ROHTO SKIN AQUA UV Super Moisture Milk

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Carol
Carol
2 years ago

Hello, I live in the USA and would like to purchase the Acsceine sunscreen you recommended but the page is in Japanese when I try to find stockists. can you help?

Nam
Nam
2 years ago

Can you please recommend for me a moisturizer with built in sun screen for oily and sensitive skin?

sara
sara
2 years ago

Hi there,
Do you prefer Acseine Bright Veil over EX ? Which one is better in your opinion and why ? Are there any differences in shade? I’d love to hear your opinion.

Shirley
Shirley
2 years ago

Hi, love your blog! Is the Acesine sweat and sebum proof? I didn’t see a proper review on your site. On the Japanese site, it says that it is waterproof. Is this the equivalent of sweat and sebum proof? Thanks and keep up the good work!

Ella
Ella
2 years ago

Hey, Ratzilla! Love your sunscreen reviews- thanks so much for creating this site! I’ve found some favorites thanks to you!

Do you know much about the Japanese formulation of the Shiseido wetforce sunscreens? I am currently using up my bottle now of the US version, but have heard the Japanese formula contains different filters that aren’t available here and has less of a whitecast.

katalinawinemixer
katalinawinemixer
3 years ago

When purchasing Japanese sunscreens, what is a good way to determine weather they are intended for daily wear vs outdoor use? I live in Florida and have very fair skin, so I feel that, for the most part, daily wear or “incidental exposure” sunscreens aren’t enough protection. I know that the Anessa line is supposed to be very good for use outdoors, especially when it comes to water activities, however I’ve also heard that it wears very heavily. I am looking for something I can wear every day, sometimes under makeup, that falls somewhere between an incidental exposure and a… Read more »

Marie
Marie
3 years ago

Thanks for this list! I always enjoy reading about what new sunscreens are available and I’m looking forward to trying out some of these. Especially the sports beauty as I’ve been looking for something to wear when I will be outside for some time. I’ve been using Japanese sunscreens for a number of years now and typically go through them fairly quickly so I never worry about “expiration dates.” But I just found a tube of sunscreen stashed in the back of my cupboard so I looked up the manufacturing date. It’s a couple of years old and I’m questioning… Read more »

Cristal Cox
Cristal Cox
3 years ago

Hi there! What is the best product for everyday sun protection… and then also when I’m on vacay or doing summer outdoor activities, a stronger formulation? I have very light skin with dark melasma patches for over 10 years now, and despite my zinc wearing obsession, (best I’ve found is eltamd) my skin has still darkened in splotchy patches anytime I’m in the sun and in winter they do lighten a tad but never go away! I’ve tried HQ and a myriad of products and even BBL laser, ACV and lemon, and nothing really gets rid of these spots! I… Read more »

Cristal Cox
Cristal Cox
3 years ago
Reply to  Ratzilla

Thanks, I’ll review the ones above. I’m just looking for one with a high PA rating that is not thick as I apply foundation over the top…. As far as skin lightening, are there any products you could recommend?

lee chen
lee chen
3 years ago
Reply to  Cristal Cox

elta md does not have enough zinc in it to help honestly the only cure for melisma is staying out of the sun completely or a physical cover like a hat with face flaps look on coolibar for that also you need something like 20% or more zinc like shiseido babies and children I avoid the sun like the plague and this is the only one that does give me some protection

smol
smol
3 years ago

Thank you for your great reviews, I’m always glad to have a vague guideline for buying new sunscreens. That being said I saw you talking about the recommended amount of sunscreen you apply doesn’t need to be a quarter teaspoon. This makes me curious, how much do you normally use for your face? I know that the 1/4 “rule” is a bit tricky since everyone’s skin surface differs in size but I always thought better safe than sorry and slapped it all on my face. Could it be that you don’t need to apply that much when it comes to… Read more »

smol
smol
3 years ago
Reply to  Ratzilla

Thank you!

remusat
remusat
3 years ago

Hi! Love the ranking, as usual (the SportsBeauty is definitely going on my wishlist). I was wondering though if you could recommend a sunscreen similar to the now-discontinued Shiseido Anessa Perfect Essence Sunscreen?

Ariane
Ariane
3 years ago

Hi there,
Would you be able to post a list with the top physical only sunscreens? Or is there already such a post on here?
Thanks for your reply in advance!

hausofissues
hausofissues
3 years ago

Do you have any top picks that are chemical only (and preferably sweat/sebum resistant) ? I noticed these all contain at least one physical blocking ingredient, which i find tends to leave a white cast on my skin.

sara
sara
3 years ago

I’m a bit confused about photostability.. It’s my understanding that avobezone Is photostable for 2 hours. How many hours are the tinsorbs
and unival photostable? It would be nice to put it on in the morning and go, similar to what I do with zinc oxide. Thanks for your help.

sara
sara
3 years ago
Reply to  Ratzilla

thank you for the response. how about the tinsorbs and unival. How many hours are they photostable?

sara
sara
3 years ago
Reply to  Ratzilla

thanks!!

abc1two3
abc1two3
3 years ago

I enjoy reading your reviews and I have to admit that I once the first quarter of the year has past, I keep an eagle’s eye for your Top Sunscreens of the Year list! Can’t wait to try a couple of these.

Qistina Yazan
Qistina Yazan
3 years ago

I’m so glad to see the Skin Aqua on this year’s list because it really is a great sunscreen! The former formulation was also my HG and now that they’ve bumped up the PA rating I love it even more. Funnily though I don’t find this sunscreen greasy at all and I have oily skin.Thank you for putting this list out every year!

Dewi Salim
Dewi Salim
3 years ago

I love Nivea Creme’s signature scent… but I find this newly launched Nivea Sun Creme Care UV Cream smells more like… Nivea Men?

Do Thuylinh
Do Thuylinh
3 years ago
Reply to  Ratzilla

Thank you for your suggestions. I will find it in store 🙂

The Beauty of Peace
The Beauty of Peace
3 years ago

Can you please suggest the best sunblock that is good for oily/combo skin?

JK1881
JK1881
3 years ago

Thanks for these recs! I wonder if you’d be willing to give your opinion on this. You have noted before that sunscreen formulated for “everyday use” is not suitable for spending a significant amount of time outside – in my case, 3-5 hours a day for my job. I do not sweat except in the dead of summer, and I always apply at least 1/4 teaspoon of sunscreen and reapply at least once every 2 hours (plus I wear a hat and sunglasses and UV-protective clothing; I need to use my hands so umbrella isn’t an option); but do you… Read more »

JK1881
JK1881
3 years ago
Reply to  Ratzilla

Thanks for taking the time to respond and responding so fast! I don’t measure out the sunscreen either, but at this point I can eyeball if it’s more than 1/4 tsp. I haven’t gotten a tan since I became really diligent about sunscreen, but I still may switch to outdoors-formulated sunscreens for greater peace of mind. By the way, I’m not boasting about not sweating – when I lived in Japan I sweat like a pig for months every year, indoors and outdoors! The struggle is real there! I grew up in a tropical country and I swear it is… Read more »

Xeno Wah
Xeno Wah
3 years ago

I always wait for your annual recommendation every year. But this year, my sunscreen ran out very soon and wanted to try the new lunches. And I tried skin aqua uv milk and then I like it so much. And I guess it would be on your annual list this year. Now, I’m right. I found that your recommendation is always suitable for me. Thanks!

Christina
Christina
3 years ago

Yes! I always your annual sunscreen recommendations. I’ve had a lot of fun trying a variety of brands thanks to your posts. My only concern this year is the ban that Japan has on shipping sunscreens to other countries. It’s a real bummer that this happened!

Canvas Notebook
Canvas Notebook
3 years ago

Yes! Glad to see two alcohol-free ones made the list. I’ll have to look into them more. Thanks!

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