3 Japanese Sunscreens Tried and Tested: Review

3 Japanese Sunscreens Tried and Tested


Applying sunscreen is a vital step to our skincare routine, especially in Singapore’s hot tropical climate. There are tons of sunscreens out in the market, which make us spoilt for choice. Being Asian, should we select Western brands or continue to trust Asian brands? What about cost vs. effectiveness? Does it mean expensive sunscreens perform the best?

C/o Datumou Recipe, an online site dedicated to testing Japanese cosmetics and beauty services, I got to try out 3 popular Japanese sunscreens from their curated list of top 12.

(L-R: SKII Atmosphere CC Cream, AstaLift D-UV Clear White Solution and Allie Extra UV Gel)

It’s been long since I last tried a Japanese sunscreen (see: Ettusais Herbal UV Jelly review) so I was very excited with this opportunity! I’ve picked a sunscreen from 3 price categories each (low, mid and high-end) to test. In this test, we’ll see if cost equates to quality when it comes to sun protection.

Let’s start with the most affordable, and work upwards, shall we? When I was going through the list of 12, I wanted sunscreens with the maximum sun protection – SPF50/PA++++. All sunscreens mentioned below have the same sun protection factor but differ in terms of texture, finish and additional benefits.

Allie Extra UV Gel (by Kanebo)

The Allie Extra UV Gel, by its name, is a sunscreen gel. Friction-proof and super waterproof, the sunscreen is supposedly able to withstand sweat, water and even sebum! It is totally made for my skin type as it glides onto my skin without leaving a greasy residue. It comes out as an off-white liquid but blends into the skin without leaving a white cast.


The key to this sunscreen is its Friction-Proof technology. It allows the product to cling onto the skin without sliding off even in this climate. I find that this sunscreen also works like a makeup primer that helps my makeup stay a bit longer in this heat.


Added Skin Benefits

For combination skin, this will be the perfect sunscreen because of its added skin-loving ingredients – hyaluronic acid and collagen. The formula helps to maintain a more moisturised look on the skin, keeping skin looking softer and healthier. Oh, not to mention that it’s fragrance- and parabens-free too!


Price: USD20

AstaLift D-UV Clear White Solution

You know you can trust AstaLift with their beauty products because:

  1. They’re owned by Fujifilm – a high quality Japanese tech company
  2. There’s > 80 years of R&D dedicated to the appearance of beautiful skin (linking back to their core business)

We now have smart technology heavily focusing on our everyday gadgets, but what about our beauty products? Well, the AstaLift D-UV Clear White Solution shows us what “smart” skincare really is.


With 2 special technologies – D-UV Guard+ & Stretch UV-Shield – the sunscreen blocks out the longest wavelength of UVA1 and helps the product move with your facial movements. Essentially, this means that UV penetration is completely blocked as the sunscreen maintains its form without cracks throughout the day, tested and proven!


Added Skin Benefits

Other than being a superb sunblock, it contains:

  • UV Action Capsule with beauty essence – Nano Astaxanthin, Nano AMA+, three types of collagen, Vitamin C, Alteromonas ferment extracts and Scutellaria Baicalensis root extract for well-hydrated and youthful-looking skin
  • Light Analyzing Powder – manipulates light to brighten skin tone naturally, so it works as a makeup primer too!


Price: USD50

SKII Atmosphere CC Cream

If you’re all about glowing skin, you’ll fall in love with this. The SKII Atmosphere CC Cream is a tinted and lightweight sunscreen that helps in not only UV protection but also hydration and radiance.


The light tint from the sunscreen enables me to lightly conceal spots and imperfections, making it a great product to wear alone on days for running quick errands! However, the texture can be a tad too glowy for my liking so I like to tone it down with some powder.


Added Skin Benefits

This luxe product is worth every bit of the penny because of its skincare tech – Atmosphere Therapy Complex U. The complex is a brightening formulation of PITERA™, Ume Extract, and Niacinamide to boost skin’s natural radiance and combat dullness and imperfections.

  • PITERA™ – the natural bio-ingredient is no stranger; with over 50 micro-nutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids and organic acids, it conditions skin’s natural functions
  • Ume Extract – Japanese plum extract with antioxidant and anti-glycation properties to prevent dullness
  • Niacinamide – A.k.a. vitamin B3; works on fundamental skin functions to improve barrier function and the appearance of firmness as well as brighten skin tone


Price: USD100

Final Verdict

So… does it mean the more expensive the better? Well, judging by the ingredients, I very well think so! Sunscreens nowadays are not only formulated to block out UV rays but to also provide an array of skincare benefits. It can even replace certain steps of makeup prep or makeup itself!

Having said that, I personally enjoyed the AstaLift D-UV Clear White Solution the most. It is relatively affordable as compared to the SKII, but still offer quality in terms of its technology. After all, a sunscreen needs to be superb in UV protection and AstaLift really impressed me with its longevity and texture.

What about you? What types of sunscreens – Western vs. Asian brands (see: full list of top 12 Japanese sunscreens) – do you prefer?

[Read More: The Ultimate Japanese Skincare Routine For Mochi Skin]

Create yourself and be gorgeous!
XOXO, Roanna.

Disclaimer: Products are provided by Datumou Recipe for consideration. The above review is based on my true and honest opinion and experience, without influence from others or the brand. It contains information from the brand. I am compensated by the brand to provide the review.

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