Japanese Skincare Review: Shiseido Anessa Perfect Essence Sunscreen SPF50

After my not too great experience with Shiseido’s Anessa BB Cream, I was really hesitant to try another Shiseido Anessa product.  BUT I was in a Japanese CVS-like store, and this was on sale.  So I bought it.  At the airport, they sell this for about $30+!  But I bought it on promo for about $12, so I figured what the heck.

Introducing: Shiseido Anessa Perfect Essence Sunscreen.

And here’s some product info:

  • A weightless daily sunscreen
  • Features a sweat- & water-resistant formula
  • Provides SPF 50 to block UVA / UVB to shield skin from harmful sunrays
  • Restrains melanin to prevent freckles & uneven skin tone
  • Can be used as a makeup base
  • Skin stays comfortable & youthful looking Perfect for all skin type except ultra-sensitive skin
  • To use: Apply to face as the final skincare step.
  • Dry skin & remove excess sebum before re-application.

From what I understand, the new design for the packaging is white, but it used to be a light blue.

After applying to my face, the first thing that I immediately thought was…that this product…

IS AWESOME.  Seriously, it’s that great.  The product might look a little weird/watery out of the bottle—it almost has no body (its almost entirely liquid, the opposite of a cream)—but it dries silky smooth.  It’s extremely light weight, I’m definitely impressed.  No greasiness at all and I could barely tell that I was wearing it!

Since it’s not a water-based product, you don’t get that ‘cooling’ feeling when you apply this product (you get that matte, dry-to-the-touch feel), but I don’t mind because I feel that this is a better product to wear for things like errands, shopping, etc.  The water-based products have a tendency to build up on the skin, after time (it looks almost clumpy, after multiple re-applications).

Also, upon application, it felt really hydrating.  I put on a really light moisturizer before hand, and my skin felt a little dry still.  After I applied the Anessa sunscreen, my skin felt perfect.

It does not smell like sunscreen at all (thank you, Japanese formulas!)—it smells almost like…powder.  Its a pleasant smell, not overpowering or irritating.  The lack of a sunscreen smell is one of my criterias when it comes to these high SPF sunscreens….I hope to only smell like sunscreen when I’m at the beach or doing something outdoorsy.  I’ve come to associate the smell with greasiness.  Meh.

The only thing I didn’t try was to apply makeup over it.  I think, since the finish is so dry/matte/smooth/amazing, it’ll be totally fine to apply my BB cream (with more SPF haha) over this.

So, Shiseido, you have definitely redeemed yourself in my eyes!  I thought your BB cream was rather disappointing but dang.  This sunscreen more then makes up for it.  I wish I bought two more!  Overall, 10/10.

PS: If you want to try a smaller (not full-size) version of this product, you can buy it on Amazon for $20  or $30 for the bigger version.

UPDATE!!!  There’s a new formula on the market!  I was in Japan in August 2014 and I noticed that I couldn’t buy this watery formula anymore—now it’s like a cream—the formula is thicker.  Honestly, I prefer the watery one better (it applied significantly lighter).

Here’s a link to my other Japanese Sunscreen reviews:
Biore Aqua Rich Water Essence SPF50
Kose Suncut UV Protect Spray SPF50
Shiseido Anessa BB Cream SPF50



4 thoughts on “Japanese Skincare Review: Shiseido Anessa Perfect Essence Sunscreen SPF50

  1. Thanks for your review! I will definitely pick this version up when I visit Japan. I was debating between the Perfect and the BB cream, but then I decided I don’t need something waterproof as my daily sunscreen, LOL.
    Where did you get yours? I am trying to make a list of shops/drugstores to visit. Is the Anessa series available in Sasa/Matsumoto Kiyoshi?

    • Yes it is! 😀 😀 😀 And they usually have sample bottles out so you can test each one. The drugstores usually have the large size versions too.

      • Thanks! Will be sure to stock up 😀
        One more thing, how does this sunscreen compares to Biore’s Watery Essence? I heard Anessa is much more oily/feels like film on your face, but Biore’s sunscreen is not sweat proof?

      • Yeah, the biore one isn’t sweatproof. It’s good for everyday protection (it has a really nice refreshing/cooling feeling) but if you’re going to be doing say…rigorous sightseeing, I’d go for the Anessa! The new Anessa (the formula changed since the original post) feels thicker though. It feels a bit oily going on but it’s not a “my pores feel clogged” oily, it’s just the texture. It dries very smooth! 😀

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