• Top 28 Best Japanese Sunscreens to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 1
  • Top 28 Best Japanese Sunscreens to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 2
  • Top 28 Best Japanese Sunscreens to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 3
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  • Top 28 Best Japanese Sunscreens to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 5

Top 28 Best Japanese Sunscreens to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True!

Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best sunscreens. We then chose the 28 most popular products and tested them.

Since sun damage is serious business, we focused on five things: how well it prevented sunburn, friction resistance, how waterproof it was, how easy it was to take off, and how it felt on our skin. We then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the best Japanese sunscreens available online.
  • Last updated: 01-09-2020
  • 3,926 views
Table of Contents

Top 28 Best Japanese Sunscreens to Buy Online

We picked out of the most popular products and tested them for the following: how well they prevented sun damage, resisted rubbing off, repelled water, how easy it was to remove, and how it felt.
Then, based on how they performed on our tests, we graded and ranked the top 28 Japanese sunscreens available online.
※Japanese prices for the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.
Japaneseカネボウ アリィー エクストラUV パーフェクト
Sun damage prevention4.8
Amount2 oz
Friction resistance5.0
TypeAbsorbent
Waterproof4.5
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal5.0
Special cleanser required?No
How it felt to use2.8
Works as a base?Yes
Overall score4.6

2. Dr. Ci:Labo UV&White Enrich-Lift 50+

$29.19

JapaneseドクターシーラボUV&WHITE エンリッチリフト50+
Sun damage prevention5.0
Amount1.4 oz
Friction resistance4.0
TypeAbsorbent
Waterproof4.5
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal4.0
Special cleanser required?Yes
How it felt to use3.0
Works as a base?Yes
Overall score4.4
Japanese資生堂アネッサ パーフェクトUV スキンケアミルク
Sun damage prevention5.0
Amount2 oz
Friction resistance4.0
TypeAbsorbent
Waterproof5.0
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal2.0
Special cleanser required?No
How it felt to use3.0
Works as a base?Yes
Overall score4.3
Japaneseコーセー スポーツビューティ サンプロテクトジェル
Sun damage prevention5.0
Amount3.2 oz
Friction resistance4.0
TypeAbsorbent
Waterproof3.0
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal4.0
Special cleanser required?No
How it felt to use3.8
Works as a base?Information not provided
Overall score4.2
Japaneseカネボウアリィー エクストラUV ハイライトジェル
Sun damage prevention4.8
Amount2.1 oz
Friction resistance4.0
TypeAbsorbent
Waterproof3.5
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal5.0
Special cleanser required?No
How it felt to use2.8
Works as a base?Yes
Overall score4.2

6. SK-Ⅱ Atmosphere Airy Light UV Cream

$72.72

JapaneseP&GプレステージSK-Ⅱ アトモスフィア エアリー ライト UV クリーム
Sun damage prevention5.0
Amount1.1 oz
Friction resistance5.0
TypeAbsorbent
Waterproof2.0
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal4.0
Special cleanser required?Yes
How it felt to use3.5
Works as a base?Yes
Overall score4.2
Japanese資生堂アネッサ パーフェクトUV スキンケアジェル
Sun damage prevention4.5
Amount3.2 oz
Friction resistance3.5
TypeAbsorbent
Waterproof5.0
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal3.0
Special cleanser required?No
How it felt to use3.0
Works as a base?Yes
Overall score4.1
Japanese無印良品日焼け止めローション
Sun damage prevention5.0
Amount1 oz
Friction resistance1.0
TypeAbsorbent
Waterproof5.0
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal5.0
Special cleansing required?No
How it felt to use3.9
Works as a base?Information not provided
Overall score4.1

9. Biore UV Athlizm Skin Protect Essence

$17.50

Japanese花王ビオレUV アスリズム スキンプロテクトエッセンス
Sun damage prevention4.5
Amount2.5 oz
Friction resistance4.0
TypeAbsorbent
Waterproof3.5
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal4.0
Special cleansing required?No
How it felt to use3.5
Works as a base?Yes
Overall score4.1
JapaneseエキップRMK UVフェイスプロテクター50
Sun damage prevention4.3
Amount1.8 oz
Friction resistance4.0
TypeAbsorbent
Waterproof3.5
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal4.0
Special cleanser required?Yes
How it felt to use4.0
Works as a base?Yes
Overall score4.0

11. Mentholatum Sunplay Super Block

$14.99

Japaneseロート製薬メンソレータム サンプレイ スーパーブロック
Sun damage prevention4.8
Amount1.1 oz
Friction resistance4.0
TypeAbsorbent
Waterproof4.5
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal1.0
Special cleanser required?Information not provided
How it felt to use2.8
Works as a base?Information not provided
Overall score4.0
Japanese花王キュレル UVローション SPF50+ PA+++(医薬部外品)
Sun damage prevention4.8
Amount2 oz
Friction resistance2.0
TypeUltraviolet scattering agent
Waterproof5.0
SPF/PASPF50+/PA+++
Ease of removal4.0
Special cleanser required?No
How it felt to use2.8
Works as a base?Yes
Overall score4.0
Japaneseファンケルファンケル サンガード50+ プロテクトUV
Sun damage prevention4.8
Amount2 oz
Friction resistance4.0
TypeUltraviolet scattering agent
Waterproof4.0
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal2.0
Special cleanser required?Yes, if used on the face
How it felt to use2.7
Works as a base?Information not provided
Overall score4.0
Japanese花王ニベアサン プロテクトウォータージェル
Sun damage prevention4.3
Amount4.9 oz
Friction resistance4.0
TypeAbsorbent
Waterproof3.0
SPF/PASPF50+/PA++++
Ease of removal4.0
Special cleanser required?No
How it felt to use4.7
Works as a base?Yes
Overall score3.9

Other Products That Work Great as a Makeup Base

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? We’ve thrown in a few extra suggestions that didn’t necessarily receive top scores but that would work well if used as a makeup base.

Other Products That Work Great as a Makeup Base

Some sunscreens work best by themselves, while others can actually enhance your makeup. Shinseido’s cle de peau Beaute UV Cream is one of those products; it moisturizes the skin and protects it from aging as well as sun damage. La Roche-Posay’s UVIdea XL Tone-up light cream would also work in place of a moisturizer.

Kose’s Sun Cut Tone Up UV Essence comes in a lavender shade that can revitalize dull-looking skin. It has a strong fragrance, though, so be warned if you want to use this on your face. 


The Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence and Lancome’s UV Expert Youth Shield Tone Up Milk also work as a pairing to your makeup. While they’re effective at blocking damaging sun rays, it doesn’t stand up to water or friction.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

And why they didn't quite make it.

Products with an Iffy Texture

Products with an Iffy Texture

Most of us have experienced that greasy or sticky feeling of slathering on way too much sunblock lotion. If you’re someone that cares about texture, you might want to read our review before you consider buying. 


While Biore UV’s Aqua Rich Watery Gel is advertised as a gel, we found it to be more akin to a slightly sticky and filmy lotion. Other sticky sunblocks included Kose’s Sun Cut Perfect UV Gel.

We also thought DHC’s Sun Cut Q10 EX and Shiseido’s Sun Medic UV Medicated Sun Protect Ex Milk Gel were a bit oily, and though Natural UV Protection Milk from Neal’s Yard Remedies received top scores in the sun protection department, we found it difficult to blend into our skin unless done thoroughly.

Not So Protective

Not So Protective

Some sunblocks just weren’t doing their job: protecting us from damaging sun rays. This was the case with Biore’s UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence, which didn’t offer protection from the sun unless blended in well. 


Yuskin S UV Milk SPF25 PA++ has a lower SPF than the other lotions we tested to begin with, but even then it didn’t offer much protection. Skin Aqua’s Super Moisture Gel wasn’t super waterproof or sun-proof, so we’d recommend it if you’re going to be indoors for most of the day.

A Sunblock That Comes off Too Easily

A Sunblock That Comes off Too Easily

If you’re going to be active or in the water, you’ll want a sunscreen that can handle it. While we enjoyed how moisturizing Decorte Sun Shelter Multi Protection Sunscreen was, it rubbed off easily with a towel and didn’t stand up to our waterproof test. We’d recommend this for indoor use, perhaps if you’re worried about your skin drying out from air conditioning.

How We Tested the Sunscreens

We put the 28 most popular sunscreens through five tests, each designed to gauge a different factor. One test measured how effective it was against the sun’s harmful rays; two others measured moisture and friction resistance; and we also measured how it felt and how easy it was to take off.

Test ① Sun Protection

Test ① Sun Protection
We tested for how well each sunblock prevented sunburn in two ways. One was by applying each sunscreen to a sectioned clear file and placing a label over each one that changes colors when affected by UV rays. We waited to see how long it took for the label to change colors.
Test ① Sun Protection
Another was by using a human being (one of our editing staff) and putting each of the 28 sunscreens on his back. He laid on his back for 30 minutes in direct sunlight, and then we checked his skin for results.

Test ② Friction Resistance

Test ② Friction Resistance
To test how well each sunblock resisted friction, we blended each lotion into our skin and then rubbed the blended spot with a towel two times. Then we checked to see how much sunscreen was left.

Test ③ Moisture Resistance

Test ③ Moisture Resistance
After rubbing each sunscreen into our skin, we sprayed fake sweat (a blend of warm water and horse oil) to see how well each product held up against moisture. We learned that cream and lotion-type sunscreens are much more waterproof than gel-type products.

Test ④ Ease of Removal

Test ④ Ease of Removal
To gauge how easily each sunscreen came off, we applied a pump of face wash foam to our sunscreen-slathered arm, rubbed the spot a few times, and washed it with water. We gave our skin a once-over with our eyes to see how much was left. We found that products with high friction and moisture resistance were more difficult to remove.

Test ⑤ How it Felt to Use

Test ⑤ How it Felt to Use
If you’re going to be using sunscreen daily, you’ll want one that feels good on your skin. We asked our testers how they thought each product looked and felt after using them. They said that gel types felt the best, as well as some of the higher-end brands like SK-II and Lancome.

Tips on How to Choose a Sunscreen – Buying Guide

Here are five big things to look out for.

① Choose an SPF and PA Appropriate for Your Situation

① Choose an SPF and PA Appropriate for Your Situation
When it comes to sunscreens, SPF and PA are important acronyms to remember. SPF gauges how well you’ll be protected from ultraviolet B waves (which cause sunburn), while PA filters out ultraviolet A rays (which cause tanning).
All of the numbers and plus signs used to measure each factor can get a little confusing, so here’s a simple breakdown:
SPF50-50+/PA++++: good for the pool, beach, or outdoor sports
SPF30/PA+++: better for everyday use where you’ll be inside and outside
SPF10-20/PA+-++: best for indoor use or if you’ll only be outside for a very short amount of time

② Pick a Type that Feels Comfortable to Use

② Pick a Type that Feels Comfortable to Use
In our ranking, we mentioned a few types of sunscreens: lotion, gel, and cream types. Lotion types feel moisturizing and absorb into skin fairly easily while also standing up to moisture. They don’t feel sticky or sting, so we’d recommend this type for those with sensitive skin. 


Gel types absorb into the skin like water, and while they’re not as waterproof as other types, they’re easy to wash off. Cream types are suited for those with dry skin as they often contain moisturizing ingredients.

There are also spray type sunscreens that we haven’t reviewed in this article, mostly because they’re better used for sunblock touch ups than your main protection. Each type has its pros and cons, so decide which one would be best for you based on your preferences, situation, and skin type.

③ Go for a Sunscreen That Will Stay on

③ Go for a Sunscreen That Will Stay on
If you’re going to be in the water all day or very active, a sunscreen that doesn’t come off easily is what you need. These will often be advertised as waterproof or sweat proof. Two-layer types also come with double the protection and double the moisture protection, so they’ll often stay on better than a single-layer type.

④ How Easy is it to Remove?

④ How Easy is it to Remove?
How much effort do you want to use taking off your sunscreen? Check the label before your purchase: most sunscreens advertise whether they come off with regular soap, body soap, or whether they need specific cleansing. For the record, gel types tend to be easiest to wash off.

⑤ Absorbent or UV Scattering: Consider Your Skin Type

⑤ Absorbent or UV Scattering: Consider Your Skin Type
We’ve mentioned two types of sun protection ingredients: absorbent and ultraviolet scattering. It’s important to know the difference between these and how they could affect your skin before purchasing sunscreen.
Absorbent sunscreens work by first absorbing ultraviolet rays and then using your body heat to evaporate them. They have a high UV cut rate and often feel good on skin. If you have sensitive skin, however, you could have reactions to your body using so much energy to evaporate UV rays. We recommend a patch test to see how it will affect you.
Ultraviolet scattering-type sunscreens tend to come with a higher price tag and may change the hue of your skin. 

However, rather than using your body’s energy to evaporate ultraviolet rays, scattering types use ingredients like titanium oxide, zinc oxide, iron oxide, and aluminum to form a protective shield on your skin. These are often advertised for sensitive skin.

Looking for Other Skincare Products? Look No Further

If you’re crazy about skincare, you’ll love the products we recommend in our other skincare-related articles.

Summary

We rounded up members from our editing department, purchased the 28 most popular Japanese sunscreens, and tested them all.
We learned that the best of the best sunscreens not only protect your skin, but they also feel great, resist friction and moisture, and are easy to remove. Matching a sunscreen to your situation is as important as the product itself, but hopefully we’ve helped you get one step closer to finding your perfect sunscreen.

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