If you’d rather not lug a parasol around all day during Tokyo’s hot summer, slip one of these lightweight beauties into your bag for on-the-go sun protection.
For a Little Luxury
Shiseido Future Solution LX Universal Defense SPF 50+ PA++++
You could probably think of this luxurious Shiseido cream more as a skincare solution than just an everyday sunscreen – it features a variety of innovative technologies developed by the brand including SuperVeil-UV 360TM which creates a UV-protective veil, and Cashmere Touch Emulsion Technology which creates a dewy, non-greasy texture. Besides protecting from UV rays, pollution, and dryness, it also helps to reduce dark spots, roughness and wrinkles. Use it as a primer before applying your foundation.
¥9,720 (RRP). shiseido.com
For Fans of Alice in Wonderland
DHC Alice in Wonderland Suncut Q10 50+ Aqua Gel
Japanese skincare powerhouse DHC has been collaborating with Disney for a few years now, releasing limited-edition products with irresistible illustrations. We spotted the DHC Alice in Wonderland Suncut Q10 50+ Aqua Gel at our local Family Mart and, have to admit, snapped it up based on the packaging alone. However, the formula is excellent too – it contains coenzyme Q10 for anti-ageing, collagen and olive oil, and its aqua gel texture absorbs easily yet is resistant to water.
Around ¥1,200 from drugstores, convenience stores, and Rakuten. www.dhc.co.jp
Lissage Men Perfect Protector UV SPF 50+
Launched by Kanebo last year, Lissage Men is a prestige men’s skincare line that utilizes the brand’s two decades of collagen research and pays attention to hydration, anti-ageing, and protection. Their sunscreen comes in this simple yet sophisticated white and silver packaging, and contains extracts of aloe, prune, and tea.
¥2,700 (RRP). www.lissage.jp/men
For Sensitive Skin
Nov UV Shield Ex SPF 50+
Nov created their range of hypoallergenic cosmetics with a team of dermatologists in 1985, ensuring ingredients are kept simple and gentle for those with highly sensitive skins. Their sunscreen is made without UV absorbers; instead, it uses UV light scattering agents to reflect the rays away from your skin. Nov UV Shield Ex SPF 50+ is the brand’s bestselling sunscreen, and leaves skin feeling smooth and soft.
¥2,700 (RRP). noevirgroup.jp/nov
For a Light Touch
Sekkisei Sun Protect Essence Gel N SPF 50+
Winner of a Best Cosme Award in 2015, this is an exceptionally lightweight sunscreen that goes on like lotion, and gets absorbed quickly. It contains oriental herbal extracts such as coix seed, peach leaf, and angelica, and skin-brightening ingredients such as moutan bark extract. It won’t leave your skin feeling oily so it’s great as a make-up base, and it also washes off easily with face cleanser.
¥2,800 (RRP). sekkisei.com
For Blemish-free Skin
SHQ-1 day & night stick essence
This is a brand-new product line set to be released in Japan this fall, and includes day and night treatments. The Day (SEED-D) Stick Essence is a dark spot corrector with SPF 28 and vitamin C, giving you extra protection underneath your everyday sunscreen and helping to lighten blemishes. The Night (HADA PEARL gold) Spot Care Stick Essence is made with organic, natural ingredients. The star ingredient in both is prinsepia oil, which is rich in fatty acids and vitamins A,D, E and K, and has recently started getting attention amongst skincare brands for its anti-ageing properties.
¥4,000 (RRP) each. principlecosmetics.com
This article appears in the August 2016 issue of Tokyo Weekender magazine.