Are you guilty of only applying sunscreen to your face, arms and shoulders and calling it good? What about your hair, your feet, and other hard-to-reach places? A sunscreen spray can help make it easier to protect your whole body from damaging UV rays! But there are so many, including well-known brands like Suncut, Biore and Shiseido's Anessa- how can you choose?
Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping for the best Japanese sunscreen sprays available online. We then picked out the most popular products and tested them.
We focused on five things:
We then ranked the products and put what we learned into a buying guide to help you choose the best Japanese sunscreen sprays available online.
Doctor Yoko Funasaka graduated from Kobe University School of Medicine in 1984 and has studied abroad at Yale University and the University of Cincinnati. Since October 2014, she has been a professor of dermatology at Nippon Medical School. Her specialty is pigment cell biology, cosmetological dermatology, and photobiology. She is the current president of the International Federation of Pigment Cell Societies, the director of the Japanese Society of Photomedicine and Photobiology, the director of the Japanese Society of Aesthetic Dermatology, and the director of the Japanese Society for Laser Surgery and Medicine.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
Experts featured in this article only reviewed the content of our buying guide. They had no part in the selection or ranking of products or services listed.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the relevant research (as of 11-04-2022).
Sunscreen sprays are used to spray UV-blocking agents in a mist form. Some products, which can be used upside-down, can also be useful in spraying hard-to-cover areas like your legs and feet, the back of your neck, your back, and your hair.
Depending on the product, some can even be applied directly on the face, making them convenient for applying sunscreen over makeup.
Moreover, sunscreen sprays can help prevent your hair from drying out from UV rays, making them great for those who are concerned about hair damage or don't want their hair color to fade.
However, sunscreen sprays don't cover as evenly as lotions and creams and aren't as waterproof or sweat-resistant. Sprays should not be used as your primary sunscreen to cover your whole body, but as a secondary product, they're indispensable.
Keep one in your bag for protection throughout the day, and avoid accidental sunburns all summer!
For other types of Japanese sunscreen, including creams, milks, gels, lotions, and powders, check out the link below.
In addition to SPF, which protects against harmful cancer-causing UVB rays, Japanese sunscreens also feature another metric that you may be unfamiliar with, called PA.
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). Japanese sunscreens often list both these ratings, as they protect against different things.
The PA system was developed in Japan in 1996, based on the persistent pigment darkening (PPD) evaluation method, and is used to rate how well a sunscreen protects against tanning.
All of the numbers and plus signs used to measure each factor can get a little confusing, so here’s a simple breakdown:
We advise keeping in mind four points when picking one of the sunscreen sprays.
How many effective body care products have you stopped using, not because they didn't work, but because they were frustrating or you didn't like the feel?
Sunscreen is a daily essential, so it's important for it to have a scent and finish that you enjoy. You should also look at the size. Get a smaller one for throwing in your bag to take out, and a bigger one to keep at home or for long trips.
Consider the spray pressure, too. For your hair or face, a spray that is softer and wider will be most comfortable and effective. For the body, we recommend something that isn't too strong, so it's more comfortable to apply. Make sure to check the photos of each one's spray pattern in our top 10 list!
As we mentioned, spray types are not as tough as other sunscreens when it comes to water. Especially if you plan to be in the ocean, lake or pool, or you know you'll get sweaty, get one that won't come off easily.
Look for a product advertised as waterproof or sweat-resistant. We included this in our descriptions, so check that you get one that suits your needs.
You don't want to damage your skin by scrubbing too hard to get the sunscreen spray off. Some of these will wash away with plain soap and water, but others require a cleansing solution of some sort, like a makeup remover.
The more you layer it up, the harder it will be to remove as well, so keep that in mind if you plan to use it for repeated applications during the day.
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Dr. Ci:Labo UV Protect Spray 100
The Best Japanese Sunscreen Spray
Lishan Large Volume UV Spray
Easily Removable, High-Volume Sunscreen Spray
Koh Gen Do
Clear UV Veil
A Compact, Resilient Spray-On Sunscreen
Suncut UV Perfect Spray Super Waterproof
The Best Japanese Sunscreen Spray for Hot, Sticky Days
Anessa Perfect UV Skincare Spray a
Excellent Burn Protection in a Compact Package
Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Spray
Excellent UV Protection With a Refreshing Scent
Vibeke's UV Protection Spray
A Scented, Smooth Sunscreen Spray
Biore UV Athlizm Skin Protect Spray
Great UV Resistance in a Compact Package
A Pocket-Sized Sunscreen That Offers Plenty of Protection
Dr. Ci:Labo UV Protect Spray 100 is a sunscreen spray that can also be used on your hair. It’s useful in hot weather, as it has a cool, refreshing feel. It also helps prevent dry, rough skin with skin conditioning ingredients like stearyl glycyrrhizinate.
In the UV test, while it didn't completely shut out all UV rays, it still earned a great score. It adhered strongly to the skin, giving it great friction resistance. Certified waterproof, water repellency was not an issue at all. It’s also easily removed with thorough washing.
When put to use, it applied well with even coverage, thanks to its incredibly fine particles. It left almost no white residue or stickiness, which testers loved. This is a great spray-on sunscreen with a balance of excellent UV protection and convenience.
istyle’s Lishan Large Volume UV Spray is characterized by a clean, soapy scent. It’s been allergy tested and is free of parabens, alcohol, or coloring agents.
While the UV label got slightly discolored during testing, this sunscreen got a moderate score. However, if you need more UV protection, we recommend using this in combination with liquid sunscreen. Although the sunscreen runs in water, its friction resistance was highly rated as we couldn’t even see where we had rubbed.
Great features are how easy it is to remove with mild body soap and how it sprays slowly with good coverage, meaning it’s unlikely to apply unevenly. It also leaves no white residue, making it a convenient sunscreen.
Koh Gen Do's Clear UV Veil uses hot spring water and herbs as part of its ingredients, making it a nonchemical, fragrance, alcohol, and paraben-free spray-on sunscreen.
In our tests, we found that while it didn't offer tons of UV protection, it was highly abrasion and water-resistant. Additionally, it adheres incredibly well to the skin but is also easily removable with soap.
Our testers were particularly fond of this spray-on sunscreen's compact size but noted that it does leave a white streaky residue. Still, if you're looking for a sunscreen that is resilient to rubbing and sweat, this is a great pick.
Kosé's Suncut UV Perfect Spray Super Waterproof is available in two different sizes; 60 and 90 grams. This sunscreen spray can be used as a makeup base, and can also be applied on wet skin.
While our UV labels slightly changed colors, we felt that it offered plenty of protection. It also showed great resilience to friction, and it was also able to repel water, making it handy to have on particularly hot and sweaty days. As for how easy it was to remove, we felt that it was pretty average.
In the ease of use test, our testers were fond of how it didn't leave a white residue. This is an all-around great sunscreen spray that should prove useful at the beach or by the pool.
Shiseido's Anessa Perfect UV Skincare Spray a is unique in that it's sand-proof, making it perfect for the beach. It can also be used upside-down, which allows for easy full-body application.
In our burn protection test, we found it offered undisputable UV resistance. However, while it did withstand friction well, it came short in the water resistance test, where it failed to repel water as well as other products. Still, our testers had no issues removing it with soap.
Its slim, compact size makes it ideal for carrying around. We found that it's best to hold this spray at a distance when applying, as it otherwise can spray unevenly. That being said though, this makes for a great sunscreen to use outside of the home.
Rohto's Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Spray promises a lavender tint to correct your skin tone, but we found that to be fairly faint, so it could be used by anyone.
In our tests, we found that it excelled as a sunscreen, providing plenty of protection. While it wasn't the most resilient to friction, it did manage to repel water to some degree.
While this spray is formulated with micro-pearls to add an extra sheen to your skin, this also made it harder to wash off. We recommend using a body scrubber or a towel to thoroughly wash off this sunscreen.
If you're only planning to go outside for a little bit, or are otherwise not planning to be moving around too much, this sunscreen should be enough to keep you protected.
Vibeke's UV Protection Spray from Chou Chou is formulated with ingredients that help suppress shininess from excess sebum. It also comes in a generous 150 g size and can be used upside-down, making it extra convenient.
In our burn resistance test, we found that it let through a little too much UV rays than we'd hoped for, so it's best to use this as a supplementary sunscreen, and use a liquid sunscreen as your main protectant.
On the other hand, we found that this sunscreen spray was resistant to friction, and repelled some water. However, some of the sunscreen got smudged, so it's best to reapply whenever you wipe any sweat off.
Our testers were fond of how gently it sprayed and that it didn't leave a white residue. It also wasn't sticky. However, it does have a strong herbal scent, so it may not be the best choice for those who aren't big on that kind of scent.
Kao's Biore UV Athlizm Skin Protect Spray is a non-comedogenic tested sunscreen spray, available usually in the 90 g size, but larger, 250 g sizes are also occasionally available online.
In our UV protection test, we saw almost no change in our UV-reactive labels, so we can stay confident in knowing that this will offer a decent amount of protection. While it can withstand water to some degree, we found that it easily rubs off, but was simultaneously somewhat difficult to wash off, although this can be easily remedied by using a washcloth.
Our testers liked how wide and evenly this sprayed, and it added a bit of extra moisture to the skin, making it a good choice if you're concerned about dry skin.
Muji's Sunscreen Mist is formulated with hyaluronic acid and can be applied over makeup. It's also incredibly compact and is great for carrying it on the go.
We found that despite its water-like consistency, it was still able to provide ample UV protection. On top of that, it hardly rubbed off when friction was applied. While it was fairly average in terms of water resistance, we did feel that it would easily come off when trying to wipe off sweat. On the other hand, it was a bit difficult to wash off.
Since this spray is more watery than others, it's more likely to drip in comparison to other sunscreen sprays and is probably best used on the body, rather than the face.
We put the most popular sunscreens sprays through four 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; we also measured how easy it was to take off and how easy it was to use.
We first tested how much UV protection each product offers, since this is the most important factor when it comes to sunscreen. For this test, we used a UV-reactive label that turns pink when exposed to ultraviolet rays.
We covered a plastic clear file folder with the aforementioned UV-reactive labels, and then applied the sunscreen on top of it. We then exposed the plastic folder to sunlight for three minutes and scored the products depending on how much the label changed color.
Next, we applied each sunscreen to our tester’s arms to judge their friction resistance and water repellency.
To test its friction resistance, we rubbed the area with a cotton swab twice and observed how much came off. We rated each sunscreen on a scale of 1 to 5, with a score of 1 meaning that a significant amount of the product had come off, and a 5 meaning the product barely rubbed off at all.
We tested for water repellency test by spraying artificial sweat onto the sunscreen to see how well they repelled water. Again, they were evaluated on a 5-point scale, with any product that showed runniness scoring a 1 and any product that clearly repelled water scored a 5.
Next, we tested to see how easily each sunscreen was removed.
We colored the sunscreen before applying it to our tester's arms, then let it dry for a set period of time. We then rubbed the area with a cotton swab soaked in mild body soap and observed how easily it came off. We again used a 1 to 5 scale scoring system, with 1 being difficult to remove and 5 being easy to remove.
With the cooperation of three Japanese female testers, we also rated how each product felt to use. We had them apply each sunscreen to their arms and had them score each product out of 5, based on how well the sunscreen blended onto their skin and if it left a white residue. We then calculated the average scores.
Additionally, we applied each sunscreen to artificial skin to test its stickiness. The artificial skin was then pressed into a tray filled with small beads to see how many beads stuck. This was also evaluated on a 5-point scale.
We have some advice about how to apply sunscreen sprays, and a tip for disposing of the empty containers safely and responsibly.
First, to apply your new sunscreen spray correctly, back off! Keep the nozzle about eight inches away from the skin you're spraying. Getting too close can irritate your skin. Avoid coating the same area for longer than a few seconds, and move the bottle around while keeping the spray even.
Using your hand to rub the spray in a bit can prevent uneven application that would leave you susceptible to burns. If you can't do this - for example, if you don't want to smudge your makeup or you're spraying your hair - then make sure to spray in a circular motion at a distance of eight inches for even coverage.
To avoid possible explosion, make sure to fully empty the can of all gas before tossing it in the trash or recycling it. While many of the products have a special cap that can be used to fully dispense any remaining aerosols before disposal, if they don't, you may need to punch a hole in the can.
※When emptying or punching a hole in the can, be sure to do this away from any sources of fire.
The TSA allows for passengers to bring sunscreen sprays onto planes as long as the amount is less than or equal to 3.4 oz/100 ml for carry-on bags.
Moreover, the TSA only permits passengers to board with sprays that have a button or nozzle that is protected by a cap to prevent accidental release.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends that sunscreens be reapplied liberally every two hours or after swimming or sweating. This is because no matter how water or friction-resistant a sunscreen is, it can still come off. Moreover, UV absorbers in sunscreen lose their effectiveness once they've absorbed a certain amount of UV rays, making it essential that you reapply frequently to ensure you're getting enough protection.
Whether you're headed for a day on the water or plan to hit the snowy slopes, you need to protect your skin from the sun! These products might help.
No. 1：Dr. Ci:Labo｜Dr. Ci:Labo UV Protect Spray 100
No. 2：istyle｜Lishan Large Volume UV Spray
No. 3：Koh Gen Do｜Clear UV Veil
No. 4：Kosé｜Suncut UV Perfect Spray Super Waterproof
No. 5：Shiseido｜Anessa Perfect UV Skincare Spray a
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