How to Choose Japanese Sunscreen according to Skin Type and Purpose

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Japanese Sunscreens

Cream, spray, sticks, powder, etc, various kinds of sunscreen products are on the market in Japan today, and you may get confused about which products to choose. But if there are more types of sunscreens, it means that you can choose right sunscreen according to skin type or purpose.

If you are serious about protecting the skin from the UV rays and give a good care to your skin, it’s definitely a wise idea to use different types of sunscreens according to purposes, situation and different parts of your body.

In this article, I’d like to share the ultimate guide to Japanese sunscreens, introducing common types of sunscreens available in Japan with their pros and cons, and how to choose the right sunscreen for you!

*Please note that this article contains affiliate links.

1. Spray type

Pros- easy to apply without spreading by hands, suitable for outdoor and leisure occasion

Cons- difficult to apply evenly

Shigaisen Yohou UV Spray Makeup Keep

Shigaisen Yohou UV Spray Makeup Keep (紫外線予報 メイクを守るUVスプレー) is a multi-functional sunscreen spray that protects skin from UV rays with the high SPF & PA rate as well as preventing makeup from smudging by applying on top of makeup as a setting spray. It has a waterproof effect.

Price: 1,650 yen (60g) 【Shop Online】

KOSE SUNCUT UV Protect Spray
Copyright (C) 1996 KOSE Corporation.

KOSE SUNCUT UV Protect Spray (コーセーサンカットUVプロテクトスプレー) is a top-selling spray type sunscreen in Japan. It offers a powerful sun protection (SPF 50+/PA++++) and a great longevity as it’s resistant to water, sweat and sebum. Not only for skin, but also it’s a great product to use for hair.

Price: 880 yen (90g) 【Buy it Now】

Check more spray type sunscreens ▶ Best Japanese Spray Sunscreens

2. Gel type

Pros- easy to apply evenly. The light and non-greasy texture. Great for oily skin.

Cons- some products might not be suitable for sensitive or dry skin

ALLIE Extra UV Gel
Copyright © Kanebo Cosmetics Inc.

ALLIE Extra UV Gel (アリィーエクストラUV ジェル) is a lightweight sunscreen gel that has powerful UV protection. It features waterproof and friction-proof effects and it’s highly resistant to water, sweat and rubbing. It contains beauty ingredients that moisturize the skin and provide a smooth texture.

Price: 2,190 yen (90g)

Rohto Skin Aqua Moisture Gel

© ROHTO Pharmaceutical Co.,Ltd.

Rohto Skin Aqua Moisture Gel (スキンアクア モイスチャージェル) is a lightweight and moisturizing sunscreen gel that has water-light smooth texture like a skin toner. It contains various moisturizing ingredients to protect the skin from dryness.

Price: 990 yen (110g) 【Buy it Now】

Check more gel type sunscreens ▶ Best Japanese Sunscreen Gels

3. Milk type

Pros- Lightweight. Easy to apply. Can wear under makeup.

Cons- You need to shake it before use. Some products leave white cast.

ANESSA Perfect UV Skincare Milk,f=webp:jpeg/resources/sw/products/img/20191223/SHOHIN_PL_C5_E80202.jpg
Copyright © Shiseido Co., Ltd.

ANESSA Perfect UV Skincare Milk (アネッサ パーフェクトUV スキンケアミルク) is a cult-favourite Japanese sunscreen that has fans across the world. It features Shiseido’s original booster technology that enhances the effects of longevity and UV protection when exposed to water, sweat or heat from the sun. It contains 50% skin care ingredients.

Price: 3,300 yen (60ml) 【Buy it Now】

Biore UV Athlizm Skin Protect Milk

Copyright © Kao Corporation.

Biore UV Athlizm Skin Protect Milk (ビオレ アスリズム スキンプロテクトミルク) is super waterproof sunscreen that is ideal for sports and leisure purpose. It features Biore’s original Tough Boost Technology and resistant to sweat, humidity and rubbing. The lightweight sunscreen can be used under makeup, too.

Price: 1,650 yen (65ml)【Buy it Now】

4. Essence type

Pros- Easy to apply. Moisturizing and gentle formula.

Cons- Weak longevity. May not be suitable for sports and leisure purpose.

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence

Copyright © Kao Corporation.

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence (ビオレUV アクアリッチ ウォータリーエッセンス) is a waterproof sunscreen that is popular both in Japan and overseas. The lightweight, watery sunscreen essence features the “Micro Defense Formula” which spreads evenly on the skin and protect from UV rays. It contains water capsule and moisturizing ingredients to protect the skin from dryness.

Price: 877 yen (50g) 【Shop Online】

d program Allerbarrier Essense

Copyright © Shiseido Co., Ltd.

d program Allerbarrier Essense (dプログラムアレルバリア エッセンス N) is a daytime essence with UV protection (50+/PA+++). It’s a non-chemical formula and recommended for sensitive skin type and even infant. While protecting from UV rays, it also prevents skin from allergens and dusts.

Price: 3,300 yen (40ml) 【Shop Online】

5. Cream type

Pros- Highly moisturizing. Strong UV protection.

Cons- Thick texture and could be heavy for oily or acne-prone skin

La Roche Posay UVIDEA XL Protection Tone Up
La Roche-Posay ©

La Roche Posay UVIDEA XL Protection Tone Up (ラ ロッシュ ポゼ UVイデア XL プロテクショントーンアップ) is a tinted face sunscreen/makeup primer that is made of gentle ingredients. It protects the skin from UV rays as well as environmental stressors such as PM2.5 and dust. It naturally brightens up your skin tone using light reflection. White and rose colour are available.

Price: 3,740 yen (30ml) 【Shop Online:Tone-up Light/Tone-up Rosy

6. Powder type

Pros- Convenient to carry and touch up

Cons- Low SPF rate

ETVOS Mineral UV Powder

Copyright © ETVOS.

ETVOS Mineral UV Powder (エトヴォス ミネラルUVパウダー) is a chemical-free sunscreen powder made of minerals and beauty ingredients. It protect the skin from various lights causing damages and dryness on the skin including UV rays, blue light and near infrared rays. It absorbs excess sebum and keeps the smooth skin for hours.

Price: 3,080 yen

More products ▶ Best Japanese Powder Sunscreens

7. Stick type

Pros- Long lasting. Can be applied without your hands getting greasy. Useful to apply partially on face and body.

Cons- Could be heavy and sticky.

SHISEIDO Clear Stick UV Protector

Copyright © Shiseido Co., Ltd.

SHISEIDO Clear Stick UV Protector (資生堂 クリアスティック UVプロテクター) is a water-resistant stick sunscreen that can be applied and blended smoothly on the skin without leaving sticky feeling.It features Shiseido’s original “WetForce Technology” which enhances the effect of the UV protection veil when contacting with water or sweat.

Price: 3,080 yen 【Shop Online】

BRISA MARINA Athlete Pro EX UV Stick


BRISA MARINA Athlete Pro EX UV Stick (ブリサ マリーナアスリートプロEX UVスティック) is a popular sunscreen among athletes and marine sports fans such as surfers and divers. The clear sunscreen stick offers great longevity and high SPF rate that resists well under water.

Price: 3,080 yen

Check more Japanese sunscreen sticks ▶ Best Japanese Sunscreen Sticks

8. Tinted type

Pros- Correct your skin tone for beautiful and bright skin. Can wear under makeup.

Cons- Could appear too white when it doesn’t match with your skin tone

SKIN AQUA Tone Up UV Essence

© ROHTO Pharmaceutical Co.,Ltd.

SKIN AQUA Tone Up UV Essence (スキンアクア トーンアップ UVエッセンス) is a tinted sunscreen for face and body. The lavender shade essence contains micro-fine pearl particles and brightens up the skin tone for clear and translucent looking while protecting the skin from UV rays.

Price: 1,100 yen (80g) 【Buy it Now】

Check more tinted sunscreens ▶ Best Japanese Tinted Sunscreens

Did you enjoy the list? A wide selection of sunscreens can be found in Japan so I hope you’ll find the products that are perfect for your skin type! It’s also a great idea to use several types of sunscreens according to purpose and season! Most of introduced products are sold at Japanese drugstores 🙂

For more information about Japanese sunscreens, please check out these articles, too!

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Written by

"The world is my oyster" A globetrotter 🌎 and hammock lover 🌞 who loves taking adventures to fuel wanderlust. Born and raised in Japan, I have lived and explored countries around the world. As a resident of Japan and based on my travel experience, I'd love to share my knowledge and tips for travelling Japan with my readers. I hope my story will help you plan your trip and have a great time in Japan 🌈