Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 50 Sunscreen + WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children
One of the big claims for Shiseido's Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen + WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children is that "it becomes even more powerful when the applied area is exposed to water or perspiration for 15 minutes." The good news is that the "WetForce" technology behind it checks out, but there's one potential drawback to consider…the whitish cast this sunscreen leaves. If that doesn't bother you, this is a great option for its intended skin types and those with an active lifestyle.
Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen + WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children comes in a nifty, flip-top bottle where you can either squeeze to dispense the liqu-thin texture or tip upside down to pour it out. Due to the fluidity, it's quite easy to blend.
Once set, you'll notice it has a slightly drying feel. This sunscreen is labeled for use on the face/body so whether or not you'll appreciate that depends on your skin type and where you're applying it. Obviously, if you have dry skin this isn't an ideal match, but for the normal to oily-skinned folks out there, it's suitable.
The previously mentioned white cast does mellow out during wear, although its tinge never fully goes away until you wash it off. For those following up with foundation, it's less of a concern, but if you're going bare-faced with this, it noticeably alters your complexion.
One of the other major claims for this sunscreen is that it's gentle on skin—enough so that you should feel comfortable applying it on sensitive skin and children. While technically not fragrance free due to a minimal inclusion of a fragrant plant extract, the overall formula has a typical sunscreen scent, so we're not worried about its potential to irritate. Moreover, Shiseido's choice of broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen actives (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) instead of synthetic ones is ideal for the sensitive skin and children this sunscreen is intended for.
What about the "WetForce" technology we mentioned above? From what we could dig up, which comes primarily from Shiseido but stands to reason, the technology is based on acrylates and calcium and magnesium ions present in water and perspiration. Acrylates are film-forming ingredients that swell when they come into contact with water, suspending the particles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Once suspended, the particles are now more easily deposited on the surface of the skin, increasing the UV-protection by scattering sunlight evenly rather than leave patches of skin unprotected or less protected.
Shiseido also claims their Wetforce technology improves the aesthetics of this sunscreen. Other sunscreens achieve similar results by utilizing smaller particle sizes and various suspension methods, so Shiseido's formula doesn't necessarily have superiority in that regard. We will applaud them, however, for including a handful of antioxidants, which boost environmental protection by offsetting the free-radical damage incurred by UV exposure.
In the end, if the white cast issue doesn't bother you, Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen + WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children has appeal for its intended skin types. The tenacious, water-resistant formula is also a great option for those with an active lifestyle or beach/pool days—though don't forget to reapply! It's not the cheapest sunscreen out there, but it's a good one.
- Gentle, broad-spectrum sun protection (via mineral actives) ideal for sensitive skin/children.
- Great option for day at the beach due to WetForce technology.
- Antioxidants boost the formula.
- Easy to blend, liqu-thin texture.
- Leaves a white cast.
- Not 100% fragrance free despite claims.
How We Rate Sunscreens vs. Daytime Moisturizers with SPF: Sunscreens are judged based upon whether they provide broad-spectrum sun protection, their SPF rating, potential for irritation, packaging and aesthetics. Additional qualities that push it into four or five star (best-rated) category are the inclusion of meaningful amounts of repairing, cell communicating or antioxidant ingredients as well as unique characteristics that enhance its wearability.
"Sunscreens" are differentiated from "Daytime Moisturizers with SPF" by three primary qualities.
• They must be marketed as "sunscreens" only by the brand.
• They lack specific anti-aging claims.
• Their size is greater than 2 ounces, unless it is specifically called out as a sunscreen for the face and is not positioned as a facial/daytime moisturizer with SPF.
For more detail on how we rate this category of products, see the Best Sunscreens section of Beautypedia.
Strengths: Most of the sunscreens provide sufficient UVA protection and present a variety of options, whether you're looking for titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or avobenzone; a handful of good (but not great) moisturizers; worthwhile oil-blotting papers; foundations with sunscreen that provide sufficient UVA protection (and there are some wonderful foundations here); pressed powder with sunscreen for oily skin; the Perfect Rouge Lipstick is one of the best creamy lipsticks at the department store; mostly good mascaras.
Weaknesses: Expensive; several drying cleansers; boring toners; no AHA or BHA products; no products to effectively manage acne; no reliable skin-brightening options despite a preponderance of products claiming to do just that; irritating self-tanners; gimmicky masks; jar packaging; uneven assortment of concealers (and some terrible colors); average to disappointing eye and brow shapers; average makeup brushes.
Shiseido is one of the largest cosmetic companies in Japan, and the founder wants consumers worldwide to know that the brand he began is meant for all who seek beauty. Oddly enough, Shiseido (pronounced "she-say-doe"), whose products have a distinctly Japanese appearance and appeal, began in 1872 as Japan's first Western-style pharmacy. Its products have been sold in the United States for over 40 years, and it has become a nearly overwhelming product line. Although there are some respectable products, Shiseido's skin-care collection is far from a total approach to anything, unless your skin-care mantra is "it has to be average yet needlessly expensive and the routine has to include more products than any other line recommends."
A total approach to health and beauty would take into account all that has been learned to date about how skin functions, how it can repair itself, how it ages, and what it realistically takes for it to look, feel, and function at its best. Such an approach does not, however, involve cleansers with alkaline ingredients that cause skin to be unnecessarily dry, lackluster toners, or far too many products with alcohol; that can only harm the skin, which isn't beautiful in the least.
If anything, the numerous skin-care options presented here are merely average or really disappointing. Many of the moisturizers have luscious textures, but again, it takes more than a sensational feel to create exceptional products that have your skin's best interest (and best appearance) in mind.
One point of difference with this line is that Shiseido insists on regular facial massage. That means you'll find several facial massage creams, although most of them have traditional moisturizer formularies that differ little from what's seen throughout the lineup. Shiseido maintains that routine facial massage creates firmer skin that's less prone to sagging because the massage action tones the muscles, but that simply isn't true. The muscles of the face are among the most frequently used. Repetitive muscle movements are a prime cause of expression lines around the eyes, mouth, and on the forehead. Botox has become such a popular procedure because it selectively prevents these muscles from working, which smoothes creases and lines. Massage alone cannot do that; if anything, routine facial massage can encourage lines and sagging by stretching the skin. Furthermore, when skin slackens and sags, it involves more than just the muscles. Sun damage plays a role in collagen and elastin destruction, as does gravity, which causes fat pads beneath the skin to slip. And then there's bone loss, and the fact that, as we age, skin continues to grow (yet has less to hold on to).
For more information about Shiseido, visit www.shiseido.com.
Although Shiseido is known more for their seemingly endless array of skin-care products, their makeup, while not without its problem-child products, is clearly not just an afterthought. The main and most impressive part of the color collection is the foundations. For the most part they have silky textures, and provide adequate sun protection (at least an SPF 15 with UVA-protecting ingredients). If you're keen on shopping this line you should also pay attention to their Perfect Rouge Lipstick, lip gloss, the mascaras, and some distinctive specialty products. Items to avoid entirely include the eye and brow pencils and a couple of the eyeshadows; the makeup brushes are serviceable, but pale in comparison to what makeup artist-backed lines offer. Ignore the inflated claims that accompany many of Shiseido's makeup products, but don't ignore the best of what they have to offer, because in that regard, they're better than ever!
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.