How to Pick the Right Shiseido Sunscreen for You

BY Wendy Rodewald-Sulz · July 13, 2020

Hands holding Shiseido sunscreens

Shiseido’s sunscreens have racked up an impressive array of beauty awards—no surprise for a brand that combines a 140-plus-year heritage with the some of the most groundbreaking advancements in recent skin care science. But with so many buzzworthy SPF formulas, which one is right for you? Let’s take a closer look at Shiseido’s best-selling sun protection products and what makes them stand out.

Smarter Sunscreen Technology

While many sunscreens boast high SPF values and broad-spectrum protection, not all formulas can keep up with a sweaty outdoor workout or a swim in rough surf. Shiseido’s sunscreens designed for active use (a.k.a. beach days or other outdoor activities) feature the brand’s own WetForce technology—which actually helps them become more effective on wet skin rather than rinsing off. This process works when negative ions in the formula combine with positive ions in perspiration or water to create an additional layer of invisible sun protection. Pretty genius, no?

The brand’s latest discovery, HeatForce technology, works in a similar way: A heat-sensing essence in the sunscreen becomes activated by external heat (from the sun or your body), forming a stronger barrier.

Like all sunscreens, you still need to reapply Shiseido’s high-tech formulas every two hours (or 80 minutes in the water) and after toweling off. But you can swim laps or work up a sweat without worrying your sunscreen is leaving you exposed.

How to Choose the Right Shiseido Sunscreen

Prefer mineral actives over chemical ingredients? Looking for a sunscreen that goes on sheer? Need an SPF that won’t leave your skin greasy? There’s a perfect formula for you here:

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+

Why it’s great: This sunscreen checks all the boxes: It goes on invisible, rubs in quickly and can be used for face and body. Its reef-safe formula (which meets Hawaii’s guidelines for ocean-friendly sunscreen) is ideal for splashing in the waves—or lounging on your towel.
Active ingredients: Avobenzone 2.3%, homosalate 10.0%, octisalate 5.0%, octocrylene 5.0%
Key Ingredients: WetForce and HeatForce technologies create a protective veil that’s strengthened by water and heat.
For face or body?: Both
SPF: 50+
Oil-Free?: No
Water-Resistant?: Yes; 80 minutes

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Cream SPF 50+ Sunscreen

Why it’s great: This moisturizing, reef-safe formula for face and neck is ideal for keeping skin both hydrated and protected from the sun—without the greasy feel. It also contains zinc oxide, which dermatologists love for its broad-spectrum protective power.
Active ingredients: Octisalate 5.0%, octocrylene 7.0%, titanium dioxide 3.8%, zinc oxide 19.4%.
Key Ingredients: WetForce and HeatForce technologies help boost effectiveness while swimming and sweating.
For face or body?: Face
SPF: 50+
Oil-Free?: No
Water-Resistant?: Yes; 80 minutes

Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42 Sunscreen

Why it’s great: For everyday protection, this sunscreen can’t be beat. Its excess sebum-controlling matte finish makes it ideal for wearing under makeup. Plus, it’s easy to wash off at the end of the day.
Active ingredients: Octinoxate 4.9%, octocrylene 3.0%, zinc oxide 12.5%.
Key Ingredients: Paeonia albiflora (peony) root extract helps reduce the look of visible pores.
For face or body?: Face
SPF: 42
Oil-Free?: Yes
Water-Resistant?: Yes; 40 minutes

Shiseido Clear Stick UV Protector WetForce SPF 50+ Sunscreen

Why it’s great: On-the-go types will love this invisible sunscreen stick, which can be applied anywhere, completely mess-free. This non-sticky formula can be used both under and over makeup, making midday touchups a breeze.
Active ingredients: Avobenzone 2.5%, homosalate 10.0%, octinoxate 4.9%, octisalate 5.0%, octocrylene 5.0%, oxybenzone 3.0%.
Key Ingredients: WetForce technology boosts protection when it comes into contact with water or sweat. This SPF also contains soy lecithin (known to help prevent wrinkles) and licorice extract (known to help prevent dark spots).
For face or body?: Both
SPF: 50+
Oil-Free?: No
Water-Resistant?: Yes; 80 minutes

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion WetForce for Sensitive Skin and Children SPF 50+ Sunscreen

Why it’s great: All-mineral active ingredients make this SPF ideal for sensitive skin that’s easily irritated by chemical sunscreens. It’s free of fragrance, alcohol and parabens, and safe for kids to use, too.
Active ingredients: Titanium dioxide 9.1%, zinc oxide 19.3%.
Key Ingredients: Raspberry fruit extract provides antioxidant protection, while aloe-leaf extract hydrates, calms and soothes irritation. WetForce technology boosts protection when exposed to water or perspiration.
For face or body?: Both
SPF: 50+
Oil-Free?: No
Water-Resistant?: Yes; 80 minutes

Wendy Rodewald-Sulz

Wendy Rodewald-Sulz

Wendy Rodewald-Sulz is Dermstore's Content Manager and a lifelong skin care and beauty devotee. She graduated from cruising the drugstore aisles for Lip Smackers as a teen to a career as a beauty editor, where she learned her antioxidants from her AH... Read More >