If there is one thing I never leave Japan without, it is sunscreens. As a religious sunscreen user, I make it a point to amass several bottles of sunscreens whenever I visit Japan. What’s so good about Japanese sunscreens? And why do I buy them in Japan instead of in Singapore?
Lightweight and Scentless
I have never come across a western sunscreen that never leave a sticky film after application, and the trademark smell of sunscreen that only heavy perfumes can seem to mask is terribly off-putting. But Japanese sunscreens are formulated such that they are more lightweight and are thus easily absorbed into the skin within minutes. What’s more, while a few may smell a little of alcohol, they all do not have the distinct sunscreen odour that leaves little to be desired.
Many Japanese sunscreens are also ideal for both face and body use, and gives additional skincare benefits with the infusion of moisturising and antioxidant ingredients like hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, B5 and E, among others, which protect and care for your skin from harsh environmental aggressors.
With all these goodness for my face, I also find that they are ideal as a makeup base as well. Being lightweight, Japanese sunscreens glide on like a dream on the face, priming my face so that my foundation goes on smoothly. With one less step for my daily makeup regime, this definitely saves quite a bit of time for my morning rituals so I can hit snooze on my alarm for a little longer.
Super Adorable Limited Edition Bottles Only in Japan
I never realised how much joy had been missing from my life till I started living in Japan. Japanese seem to love limited edition and seasonal products, and they have them for all kinds of commodities under the sun, from ice-cream to sanitary pads (Yes, extra, but I think it really makes every woman on their darkest period happier). Seasonal and limited edition items serve to entice even the dullest of shoppers, and woke the shopaholic sleeping within me.
As everyone knows, Japan is the OG of all things cute, so naturally you can expect to find many cute limited edition sunscreens there. They are not only exponentially cheaper than Japanese sunscreens found in Singapore, but these limited edition merch also can’t be found anywhere else outside of Japan.
Speaking of limited edition sunscreens, let me introduce to you two great finds I got on February! They are decorated with Disney characters, which is a common sight in many Japanese merchandise. Japanese people all seem to have an unabashed love for Disney-themed items, and I am a fellow Disney fan like them. Hence, being in Japan and surrounded by all things Disney was a dream come true for me.
Alice in Wonderland
This limited edition Alice in Wonderland Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Gel SPF50+ PA++++ 110g is a watery gel sunscreen. Said to be ultra moisturising, it is supercharged with a bevy of hydrating skincare properties like super hyaluronic acid, hyaluronic acid, collagen, and amino acid which work together to keep the skin bouncy and supple. It is also touted to be super waterproof and yet easily washed away by soap. Some people may dislike Japanese sunscreen because of the alcohol scent, but this particular one actually has a wonderful floral fragrance!
I always bring a sunblock spray out with me when I know I will be out all day, for a spray is the easiest and handiest way to touch up the fading sun protection, and can be used over makeup and also sprayed on the hair. And this Suncut UV Protect Spray 60g has a really adorable limited edition Mickey Mouse design, so I simply had to purchase it. It is imbued with 10 types of plant extracts which deeply moisturise the skin. Like the previous sunscreen, it is also waterproof but removable by soap.
Sunscreen in Japan is half the price of that in Singapore
As mentioned, sunscreens in Japan are way cheaper than in Singapore. But just how much cheaper? Let me break this down for you. The regular price of Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Gel SPF50+ PA++++ 110g in Watsons retails at S$19.90 while the same bottle in a Japan drugstore costs around 700 yen which is S$9. The Suncut UV Protect Spray SPF50+ 50g in Watsons also amounts to S$19.90, while the 60g one in Japan (Strangely no 50g bottle) is bigger, and yet sold at 600 yen which is a mere S$8. The cherry on the cake is that the limited edition sunscreens are sold at the exact same price as the usual sunscreens!