This all-physical, alcohol-free sunscreen first appeared on my radar (as many Japanese stuphs do) when 2catsinjapan posted a review on her blog, My Asian Skincare Story.
Serum like? Non-sticky and non-greasy? Pump dispenser? It sounded great…except for the price (4,320 yen or about $40 USD for only 22g; Acseine site currently shows it at 4,000 yen). I ended up buying and testing a ton of cheaper Japanese sunscreens instead.
Fast forward 2 years, and 2catsinjapan raves again about it. My interest piqued–and determined to try MOAR sunscreens so I can make the best sunscreen balls possible–I ordered it off of Amazon. Surprisingly, it was very close to Japanese retail price at “only” $46 US. (Note: This is Super Sunshield EX even though “EX” doesn’t show up on the front of the bottle or box.)
Unfortunately, this turned out to be an expensive failed experiment.
Acseine Super Sunshield EX SPF 50+ PA++++ Review
The sunscreen’s a fluffy lotion tinted pale beige and pumps out neatly in pea-sized globs. To get 1/4 teaspoon’s worth, you’d need more than 1 pump (I haven’t measured exactly how much). I’ve actually never applied more than 2 pumps because WHITE CAST and ALL THE FLAKES. ::cue horror music:: My best results came when I applied just one pump in light layers.
Reading the impressions of 2catsinjapan, @jollyhatgirl, and @the_lost_duck / The Lost Duck (she reviewed the Bright Shield version, which has slightly different ingredients and is supposed to have more coverage/color-correcting), I’m reminded of something I heard on S-Town (so good). The host, upon hearing Reta describe her interpretation of events, says, “As she goes through her side of the story, it’s like nearly every little thing that Tyler said happened, Reta confirms, only the opposite, if that makes sense.”
That sentence was loaded with shade, but what I mean here (without shade) is that we can agree on a sunscreen’s qualities but view them through different lenses because we have different skin types and preferences and skincare/makeup routines.
- Color-correcting tint? Yes, but not enough to eliminate the white cast. While one light layer creates a not-terrible brightening effect like the kind some pinkish “tone up” creams give you, that is the white cast at work. Adding more creates a more obvious white cast, and there’s a clear demarcation line at my hairline. And I’m only NC15-20/usually the second or third lightest color in a foundation line so I imagine anyone darker would look grayish.
- Not sticky or greasy? Yes, but my fingers and powder brush also drag a bit over the surface of my skin. Also, I wish there were some “grease” because it initially sucks up the moisture from the underlying skincare. On the plus side, it didn’t dry my skin out further so long as I skipped foundation.
- Matte finish? Yes, so much so that it mattified a super-shiny moisturizer and turned dewy cushions matte and flat and normally smooth mineral powder dry and flaky. That meant my foundation would fade and break up a lot sooner than usual.
- Skin smoothing? Yes, one light layer fills in pores and smooths out texture. I only had issues with it applying patchily and sinking into the large pores on my nose.
Ultimately, Acseine Super Sunshield EX was minimally better than other all-physical sunscreens I’ve tried. To be fair, dryness, white cast, and sinking into nose pores are typical problems I face with most physical sunscreens, and on those fronts Acseine did a slightly better job.
I also see all the reasons why it works for others–which is why I’m not raging about having spent $46 on a product I can’t return. Maybe this would have worked on me if I were oilier, paler and pink-toned, makeup-free, and suited to physical sunscreens.
Acseine Super Sunshield EX SPF 50+ PA++++ Ingredients
This post brought to you by Sunscreen Week.
All week long, we and our furrriends below posted (mostly on Instagram) about sun protection–and some of you joined us in posting, too, via the #nutsforballs, #sunscreenweek, and #angelasballs tags. (Hmm, did we just troll you all into saying #nutsforballs? Teehee.)
Even though Sunscreen Week has ended, I have some more sunscreen reviews and posts in the works. Stay tuned!