All beauty experts seem to agree on one thing – that every single one of us needs to be wearing sunscreen daily. Despite knowing how bad the effects of UV rays on the skin can be, many of us are still struggling to hop aboard the sunscreen train. Though we could attribute this to laziness and procrastination, we feel the situation is a bit more complicated. It’s ridiculously difficult to come by a good sunscreen that doesn’t go on sticky, pill under makeup, dry out the skin, and/or leave behind a chalky white cast. So should we just grin and bear? Japanese sunscreens offer an attractive solution, and just might get you to change your habits once and for all – here’s why.
1. Advanced sun protection
We’re used to hearing about “broad spectrum” sunscreens, which can be a vague metric when it comes to performance as a UVA and UVB shield. Japanese sunscreens are a lot more specific about UVB and UVA protection, with most formulas offering a high level of SPF and PA ratings. SPF (sun protection factor) defends against UVB rays, which are responsible for sunburns and play the biggest role in causing skin cancer. Japanese sunscreens usually offer SPF of at least 30, with many offering SPF 50 and up. While UVA rays also lead to skin cancer, they penetrate the skin more deeply and accelerate premature skin aging, including wrinkle formation and hyperpigmentation. Since there are about 500 times more UVA rays than UVB rays in sunlight, it’s pretty vital that a sunscreen be able to shield the skin from UVA rays as well. The PA rating tells us the level of UVA protection offered by a sunscreen, and it’s common to find Japanese sunscreens with PA+++, with many going as high as PA++++ - the highest PA available on the market.
2. Formulas for all skin types and preferences
Japanese sunscreen brands seem to have formulated sun protection in every texture, for every skin type, for every situation imaginable. Sure, you’ve got your standard creams, sprays and sticks, but then there are gels, essences, milks, and powders, too. Some are designed for dry skin, oily skin, and others to be used as makeup primers. There are waterproof formulas for sweaty situations, yet also oil-based types that can be easily washed off with soap and water. No matter what you choose, the good news is that there are plenty of affordable options, and you can easily find a high-quality sunscreen that won’t make your wallet cry.
3. No sticky residue
Although each brand has undoubtedly developed its own sunscreen texture, they generally have non-greasy options aplenty due to the hot and humid Japanese summers. For this reason, texture seems to be a major factor for Japanese consumers when selecting a product, and as a result, Japanese sunscreens tend to be fast-absorbing and lightweight. It’s also worthwhile saying that they don’t leave behind a slimy film on your skin – which almost sounds too good to be true.
4. Sayonara, white cast
Several sunscreen brands have formulated clear gel formulations or cream, spray and stick equivalents that go on clear. This makes Japanese sunscreens a great choice especially for more pigmented skin tones, for which white cast can become a nagging issue. And considering that we need sun protection year round, the clear formulation makes Japanese sunscreen a go-to option for daily sun protection.
5. Beyond sun protection
We could say that Japanese sunscreen walks the line between skincare and sun protection. It isn’t just about guarding the skin from harmful UV rays, but treating the skin with active ingredients. You can find sunscreens that help keep the skin hydrated, youthful and radiant with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, collagen, and plant extracts.
Yes, Japanese sunscreen does sound like a whole new world of sun protection. But once you’ve discovered it for yourself, there’s really no excuse to slack anymore. With literally something for everybody, we should all be able to find our holy grail Japanese sunscreen, and commit to it once and for all!