When it was set that we were going to Malaysia earlier this year I started researching the best sunscreens for hot and humid climates. While my trusty La Roche Posay UVEMUNE Invisible Fluid would probably have sufficed, I was intrigued to find out what the locals were actually using and recommending. After a month of searching, the Shiseido’s Expert Sun Lotion came up as a popular choice. With its wet- and heatforce technology, it sounded just like the type of formula I needed to feel protected by the Malaysian hot and sunny weather!
The price of Shiseido’s sunscreens felt a bit steep though… But after doing some price comparison, on whether to purchase in Malaysia or at home, I interestingly found that the cheapest was to pre-order it through Dufry airport store. At least in Arlanda airport, Sweden, you get an additional 20% off duty-free products when you pre-order. Otherwise, the price tags of Shiseido products in Sweden vs Malaysia weren’t vastly different. It was even cheaper for me to order before my trip as I could get it for online prices at home.
Different Names & Different Formulas
Before we jump onto reviews I wanna put a little disclaimer.
After looking more closely, the popular blue and yellow Shiseido sunscreen line seems to go under different names in the world. In Europe, it’s called “Expert Sun Protector”. In Malaysia it’s, “The Perfect Protector Suncare”. While in the US it’s, “Ultimate Sun Protector”.
I’ve also noticed that all three have different formulas!
The US version is completely based on chemical UV-filters. The European version uses newer kinds of chemical UV-filters but also contains some Titanium Dioxide (nano). And The Malaysian version has a mix where Zinc Oxide seems to be the base.
Definitely be mindful when researching reviews on this one! While the rest of the formula seems to be the same, the use of different UV-filter may somewhat alter the experience. So have in mind that I’m reviewing the European version and have not tried the other ones.
Shiseido Sun Expert Face & Body
Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+
What really sold me was that the Expert Sun Face & Body Lotion came in a 150ml bottle and was suitable for both face and body. So there was no need to bring two separate sunscreens with me. The bigger size also meant I could share with my boyfriend without skimping on the application. And should last us the whole seven days we stayed there and more.
When I got to Malaysia I saw its popularity and felt like I had picked a winner. Shiseido sunscreens seemed to be best-sellers at Sephora MY and there you could even buy a travel-sized version (50ml). However, it cost the same amount as the 150ml sells for in Sweden. 😬 With the exception of their popular eyelash curler (which goes for only 90RM!), Shiseido is not a cheap brand in Malaysia.
To tell you the truth, I was a bit worried about buying this before swatching it. While most reviews I came across were positive, there were some complaints about it feeling oily and coming off white when exposed to water. After having tested it out in the most humid and hot environments, I can confidently say this isn’t true. Or at least not for the European version.
I gather that the ones complaining either got a bad or old product. Or they simply did not shake the bottle very well before applying. Once shaken adequately, the lotion transforms into a lightweight cream with silky-smooth consistency that glides effortlessly onto the skin, without leaving any greasy or sticky residue behind. It may feel a bit oily initially upon application but, as it’s formulated with talc, will settle to a comfortable semi-matte finish in both touch and feel. Which helps your skin stay dry and cool in the sunny heat.
Out of the bottle, it’s got a pink-beige hue that goes completely transparent when applied to the skin leaving no white cast whatsoever. The skin feels instantly smooth and soft and acted as an excellent primer for makeup, especially for the BB Sport. (which I talk about further down)
One negative thing about the Sun Expert Lotion is that, although it’s a dry-touch formula some fine sand and dirt will still get stuck where it’s applied. I also wish it came in a fragrance-free version. While I’m okay with fragrance on the body, I find it unnecessary to have it on the face. I do find the fragrance pretty mild and non-lingering though. And it’s become a scent that reminds me of Malaysia if anything. 😅 It is fresh and with a hint of citrus. Overall, my skin has not developed any issues with the fragrance or the formula.
In my quest for a reliable and effective sunscreen, the Shiseido Expert Sun Protector Face and Body Lotion SPF50+ emerged as a true standout. Its ability to withstand the hot, humid weather of Malaysia while providing luxurious application and nourishing benefits truly impressed me. The initial concerns about texture were easily dispelled, and I found the product to be an absolute delight to use!
With its SynchroShield technology, making the protection even better in hot and sweaty environments, this protected me very well against the harsh Malaysian sun. I did however keep my body covered as much as possible. And tried to stay indoors around noon. Still, considering my skin had not seen the sun in months before my trip, coming home from Asia with no burns or barely a tan, I’d call it a win! Even my boyfriend who burns more easily, and is not as vigilant as I am, was spared from any type of redness.
I’ve also been loving it when out jogging and orienteering. It’s simply the best and most comfortable sunscreen for body and face I’ve used for sports! While working up a sweat your face and body does not feel uncomfortable and sweat tends to dry much quicker. Basically, it kind of keeps me cool and I haven’t experienced much transfer and eye stinging.
I recently came across a 300ml bottle of the Expert Sun Lotion at 50% off which I could not resist buying! (300ml usually costs the same amount as the 150ml! – in Sweden) With it being an El Niño-summer this year, I’ll be spending lots of time in the water, and I can’t imagine any other sunscreen to be better for that purpose!
Many people complain that this sunscreen is expensive at 150ml. However, when comparing milliliter costs, it’s actually not far more expensive than, let’s say, LRP Invisible Fluid on sale for the same amount! Of course, this all depends on the country. But I feel like more need to take into account that this works as well on the face as it does on the body. 150ml is quite generous and will cover both. Maybe not for a family of four. But definitely for you and a partner!
Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick Spf50+
Very popular product and sold out twice on Dufry before I managed just 48h(!) before my flight to snatch one and make a pre-order. My first pre-order even got canceled because they ran out of it before handling my submission. But it wasn’t hard to get why. While the Face & Body sunscreen lotion only added up to 30% off, the Clear Suncare stick was around 50% off retail!
I mainly got it for my boyfriend so he could easily reapply at midday. It’s conveniently small to have in your bag for touch-ups. And it also felt like a less messy way to apply sunscreen to his neck and ears where he’s more prone to get a sunburn. I ended up using it a lot myself for touch-ups or whenever I forgot to put sunscreen on my hands and arms.
Just like their sunscreen lotion, the sunscreen stick also features their SynchroShield technology, repelling water and sweat. However, the formula and finish are a bit more emollient and do not stay completely in place like the fluid. Which has led to more cases of eye-stinging. Especially if applied around and close to the eyes. Another thing to note is that the stick is fragranced with the same scent as the rest of the line.
The good thing is that this applies completely transparent and once rubbed in with hands, doesn’t feel sticky. But fine sand, dust particles, and even hair strands may cling to the skin.
This is my first time using a sunscreen stick so I can’t compare. While I wouldn’t solely depend on a stick for full protection… It does make touch-ups and applying on the go an easy feat! It’s also a product that’s small enough to toss in your handbag without worrying about leakage. I’ve definitely become inspired to always have one on hand. And as long as I didn’t apply it around the orbital bone of my eyes, the Shiseido Clear Suncare Stick felt like a charm to use!
While I find the Expert Sun Face & Body Lotion to be somewhat fairly priced (where I live) I can’t say the same about the suncare stick! While it does all the things as promised, it’s simply not worth the full price tag as it can’t possibly deliver full protection alone. I do think that the price I got it at (260SEK) is more reasonable for its use. I also wished the finish was more matte, like the sun lotion.
I’ll definitely be trying out more sunscreen sticks in the future and we’ll see if I’ll come back! Overall, I do enjoy using this one from Shiseido, but would not pay full price for it.
Shiseido Sports BB Cream SPF 50+
First of all, this thing is T-I-N-Y. Like it fits the size of my palm. Somehow I must’ve missed the memo that it’s only 30ml when I ordered. In my mind, I imagined it to be at least 50ml considering it’s a sunscreen… Or? When I opened the package and realized its size I was like, “Did I just pay 300SEK for this tiny thing that isn’t even a real sunscreen?!” I consoled myself reminding myself I got it 40% off. Could’ve been worse. But to be real, the packaging is so tiny and darn cute that it’s hard to stay mad at it.
The small size does serve its purpose of reminding you that this is not to be confused with actual sunscreen. Although this goes under the category of skincare and sunscreen on the Shiseido website, this is pure makeup. Very expensive makeup. It is not to be used in place of or as a sunscreen. It even says in the little pamphlet that comes in the box, that most people discard, “Recommended for use with either a moisturizer or a makeup base with SPF15 or higher.”
Second of all, I don’t know if my review is necessary as rumor has it it’s being discontinued…? At least in the US. But oh well, I’ll still tell you my experience and thoughts!
I tried using the proper amount of 1/4 tsp for the face and it ended up badly. Not only does it not look good but the thing took three double washes to come off! The color may transfer a bit but for the most part, once applied, this stays on!
With that said, this is one of the most loveliest BB creams I’ve used! Pretty much does completely what it says. It gives you a matte but sort of luminous finish. Has a high coverage that will make it look cakey or like you obviously have makeup on if you use too much of it.
With its quick-dry technology, sweat truly gets absorbed and your face feels dry and comfortable throughout the day. It stays put for hours! I put it through the ultimate test. I used it while orienteering, where you run in the forest for 4-6 hours. And when I got home my skin did not reflect the tiredness of my body. It looked as fresh and luminous as being ready for a night out! This also features their wet-force technology, and is truly the makeup to wear at the beach if anything!
However, the quick-dry technology does make the Shisedio Sports BB cream a bit hard to apply compared to similar lightweight formulas. It simply dries down matte a bit too fast and you need to be quick to spread it out. It’s best to apply in sections.
You get the best finish when using a maximum of 3-5 drops, applying it sheerly, on top of the Expert Sun lotion or any other Shiseido sunscreens. I’m not saying this to be salesy. It just truly is formulated to work better with their own products. The coverage is medium to full and reminds me a lot of the Kosas Tinted Oil (review here) when it comes to coverage and finish. Minus the annoying pilling. So although only 30ml, when used properly, should last you for quite some time.
Had it not been that the shade range sucks, I might’ve considered picking this up again! In Sweden, there are only three shades: light, medium and dark. Neither shade does really match my skin tone. The shade Light is a bit too light but matches my neutral/olive/yellow undertone (my perfect match right now is the shade Sand in Maybelline’s Eraser). The Medium that I got, I can make it work as I wear it sheerly. However, it is more of a pink-leaning neutral than a true neutral. And the shade Dark would perhaps be the best shade for summer. But looks more like a bronzer in natural lighting. In other countries, there seems to be a shade between medium and dark that perhaps would’ve been the best fit for me.
With that said, as you can see in the pictures. In direct sunlight, the difference isn’t very striking and it does oxidize a bit. But maybe there’s not much to ponder about if the Sports-line of products is being discontinued? If it is, I hope they come out with a similar product with a more varied shade range. ‘Cause this product is truly brilliant! But it also could’ve had a lesser potent coverage, perhaps turning it into a tinted sunscreen in larger packaging in which you could use the proper amount for full protection.
If you’re into sports and want a makeup foundation you can rely on, to just even out your skin tone and stay on, this is the one!