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It’s a well-known fact that sunscreen is the ultimate skincare staple. The damage UV rays do to your skin are irreversible no matter how many serums and creams you incorporate into your daily skincare routine. Taking steps to protect your skin from the sun is essentially the best way to maintain your complexion. 

Rain or shine, I’m always sure to never step outside without first layering on some sunscreen. In this article, I’d like to share my honest opinion of two popular sunscreens available at virtually any drugstore in Japan.

Allie Extra UV Gel

I tried out Allie Extra UV Gel consistently for a little over a year. With the protection of SPF 50+ and PA++++, I always felt fairly confident that my skin was well protected. Because this sunscreen is of a rather thick consistency and I found it to lock in moisture when I layered it with a moisturizer. However, while this was great during the colder months, it wasn’t necessarily the best on days I applied makeup on top of my sunscreen. Unless I first blotted off some of the sunscreen--which in turn decreases its effectiveness--I found that my makeup would slide around on my skin and not blend well. Moreover, this sunscreen tended to leave white streaks on my face unless I was very careful about blending it all out. 

Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Gel

I made the switch to Anessa after my curiosity was piqued by the endless advertisements I saw on social media. This sunscreen also has an SPF factor of 50+ and PA++++ and is advertised as a gel. While Allie is of a thicker consistency, this UV gel is considerably runnier and has a more watery consistency. As a result, it’s easier to blend and I haven’t had any issues with white streaks on my face. Allie didn’t have a scent, but Anessa has a slight scent that I can smell even after applying it to my face. When it comes to wearing makeup with Anessa, I’ve found that as long as I wait around 10 minutes before applying foundation there is no issue with my makeup not blending.

Overall, I would recommend Anessa sunscreen over Allie. While both products have the same SPF and PA protection level, I find Allie requires more steps to ensure an even application, and makeup becomes difficult to apply. 

Regardless of what brand you choose, damage from the sun doesn’t show up right away, so always remember to apply sunscreen before going outside! 

Originally from California, Anna is currently pursuing a degree in Psychology at International Christian University in Tokyo. In her free time she enjoys dancing, drawing, and reading.
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