Some people say western beauty products are too serious and boring, but I LOVE exploring them because their approach tends to be different from what I am used to with Japanese products which I find very unique and interesting. I enjoy trying out different products from the brands unavailable in Japan, and often encounter amazing products.
That being said, I think Japanese UV protectants are the best. It is hard to find a Japanese sunscreen that smells funky, makes the skin look super pale and feels sticky. I am pretty sure Japanese brands have raised the level of the quality in the market.
One of the most spotlighted UV protectants is SKIN AQUA Tone Up UV Essence. It can be found at the drugstores and stores like Tokyu Hands and Loft, and easily accessible. Not only does it have a strong UV protection (SPF50 PA++++), its tinted gel evens out the skin tone and make it look fresh prior to makeup application. Of course it can be used on the body too, but I personally prefer using this on my face due to the colour correct effect.
They also have a spray version called ‘Tone Up UV Spray’ which is easier to apply on your body such as your back or the back of your legs.
It kind of looks greyish in the photos, but it is more like lavender in person. Lavender is mixture of blue, which gives ‘clearness’ to the skin (you know Japanese people LOVE having clearness on their skin) and red, which gives a rosy tint and a healthy glow. Which means it instantly improves your complexion.
The gel formula with a touch of pearl, glides on smoothly on the skin without making it feel sticky or greasy. It instantly makes the skin brighter and illuminating, which is absolutely perfect before makeup. It is completely invisible but corrects the skin tone in the most subtle way.
In terms of the smell, I wouldn’t say it’s completely free from the chemical smell that typical sunscreens have, but it’ll go away after a couple of minutes. It leaves a floral scent like shampoo on the skin which is pretty nice. I am very sensitive when it comes to ‘that smell’ but my alarm hasn’t gone on when I applied this product 😉 If you’re looking for a UV protectant that works as something else too, you may want to add it to your wishlist!