Review: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid

Review: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid

It’s La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Shaka Fluid SPF50+ that I want to talk about today, notable for its PPD46 UVA protection. Most review online of it have been unblemished and so, I was expecting to be blown away by it. But I wasn’t. In fact, I was so completely underwhelmed by it.

I can tell you that I’ve now tried the sunscreen with a light moisturiser beneath it, on bare skin, in ultra-hot and unbearably humid Japanese summer, and in pleasantly warm weather. Each time I’ve come to the same conclusion: Shaka Fluid and I do not quite see eye to eye.

The facial sunscreen boasts the “highest UVA protection achieved on an Anthelios product”. In theory, it’s a “non-greasy cream” with an “invisible, light-weight texture” that “does not leave white marks and does not migrate”.

But this isn’t what happened on my (relatively normal) skin at all. In Japanese summer weather, it didn’t sink in at all — it was so off-putting that I had to wash it off. I tried it again in a much milder climate. While it was significantly more pleasant, it left a greasy, filmy residue that transferred onto everything my skin touched. It wasn’t possible to apply makeup over it without wrecking the protective layer underneath. The texture was light and fluid, but the appearance was shiny — and not in a glowing or dewy way. Its distinct sunscreen-y odour didn’t dissipate with time.

It’s worth pointing out that Shaka Fluid‘s purported PPD46 is not actually on the packaging. I find this odd considering the sunscreen is heavily marketed around it. La Roche-Posay is boasting that Shaka Fluid has the highest UVA protection ever achieved in the lineup, so why isn’t its impressive PPD on the packaging for everyone to see? It couldn’t be due to E.U.’s labelling regulations. There are, after all, French sunscreens with PPD printed on the box (e.g. Bioderma) in Europe. I’m inclined to think the reason is that the PPD46 rating has not been tested according to international standards to be true.

(I never got the hype with Mexoryl. They aren’t as great as the rumours suggest, especially Mexoryl SX. L’Oreal is secretive about their proprietary Mexoryl filters and data on them is scarce because neither is as good as they sound. The veil of secrecy both blurs their inadequacies and helps the hype going. They’d sell them if they were that great, so there’s another conspiracy theory for you.)

Regardless, superior UVA protection is a bit of a moot point if the sunscreen doesn’t agree with your skin or you simply can’t stand it. It also needs to stay put on the skin in order to be protective. Shaka Fluid claims to be resistant to water, sweat and sand, but on my skin, the only thing it is resistant to is splashes of tap water. It comes off far too easily for me to feel confident that it will protect my skin.

So why did I persevere with Shaka Fluid? Firstly, as I’ve explained, most reviews online have been glowing, which made me question my own results. Secondly, it is still a lot less greasy and shiny than any French sunscreens I’ve ever tried. So it’s not as though I hate this sunscreen. I just do not want to use it again given the myriad of better and cheaper options I have available.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid SPF50+, 50ml, is sold in drugstores across Europe for about €15.70. You can find it online for US$21.90+ here.

Review Overview
Ease of Application
Speed of Absorption
Cosmetic Elegance
Transfer Resistance
Performance to Claims
SUMMARY
2.0

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jay
jay
1 month ago

surprised you dont like it – i absolultely love this one and the PPD is super high vs other japanese sunscreens.

Sil
Sil
5 months ago

I have emptied one bottle of this sunscreen already….It works for me. I live in a tropical climate, and tbh I have never found any sunscreen, Asian or European, that dries down completely on me, so I’ve just learnt to use those that dry down to a tolerable level then powder over. I can’t comment on the PPD protection since I’m not knowledgeable enough in that area, but texture-wise this is ok for me. It’s one of my favourite actually.

Vikki
Vikki
7 months ago

Thanks for your review. I was also expecting to be blown away by it, especially as I am a huge fan of their body and their kids sunblocks. I thought I had finally found a perfect sunscreen that would suit my skin, but instead it broke me out in rough bumpy skin almost immediately, and I had to stop using it after a few days. Just ordered the Klairs UV Essence and I’ll try the newly released Anessa too!

Leon
Leon
10 months ago

Shows how subjective sunscreen is. This is my holy grail. Is it as light and weightless as your typical Japanese sunscreen? No. But the most flattering Japanese sunscreens are usually not water resistant at all. And even though they contain better filters than the stone age US sunscreens, their PA/PPD rating doesn’t come close to what LRP has achieved with their Shaka Fluid. On my normal skin the Shaka Fluid does sink in, it leaves an almost matte and comfortable finish and I can apply it again and again without balling or any other issues. And in contrast to the… Read more »

Mina
Mina
10 months ago

I had the same experience unfortunately. There were so many reviews raving about how weightless and unnoticeable this sunscreen was with excellent protection, so I was excited to try it out. When I did, I found that it left a very unpleasant film on my face that felt very greasy and never sank in. Maybe it is because some people don’t apply the proper amount?

Anyway, I guess the search for the perfect sunscreen continues…

Hales
Hales
1 year ago

I actually love this but being in the UK we really don’t have the range of facial sunscreens like in Japan. Unfortunately suncream seems to be something people only wear when they go abroad, it makes it almost impossible to buy suncream from a shop in the winter months!

This is the first facial suncream I have found in the UK that I can actually apply makeup over without it looking tacky and heavy. So, whilst some of the Asian products are much better, this is definitely the best option in the UK.

Zwolfy
Zwolfy
1 year ago

Thank you for this review; as someone who usually uses Anessa sunscreens I was also unimpressed with this supposedly superior European one. While it certainly is less heavy than most European ones and much more pleasant than the Anthelios light fluid, it never seemed to fully set on me and felt like it slid off in high heat and humidity.

stavroskay
stavroskay
1 year ago

I think that your review is a bit biased against European cosmetics in favor of probably Asian cosmetics which makes perfect sense as the site was created for them. Please allow me to express my points. The European Union does not require that sunscreen manufacturers reveal the PPD value and La Roche Posay is not a niche brand aimed at skincare enthusiasts. They are the bestselling pharmacy brand in Europe and they aim their products to millions of users that have barely heard about UVA rays. Adding the PPD on a very busy packaging that must by law include so… Read more »

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