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The Colorful World of Japanese Tinted Sunscreens

Last Updated on 2024-03-26 by Teni

Welcome to the technicolor world of Japanese tinted sunscreens, where superior sun protection meets a spectrum of skin-perfecting hues!

The Japanese approach to skincare isn’t just about keeping skin healthy; it’s about enhancing natural beauty with precision and care. Japanese tinted sunscreens are at the forefront of this philosophy, offering a blend of high-tech UV defense and skin tone correction that feels more like a beauty secret than a daily necessity. 

Use this guide to the world of Japanese tinted sunscreens to transform your skincare game, one shade at a time.

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Japanese Tinted Sunscreens 101

First, let’s take a look at Japanese sunscreens as a whole. You might have noticed that Japanese sunscreens have a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating, usually between 35 to 50, and they use a PA (Protection Factor A) rating, too. 

SPF measures how well a product protects against UVB (UltraViolet B) rays that penetrate the upper layer of your skin.  

But, Japanese sunscreens also measure PA, the strength of protection from UVA (UltraViolet A) rays. This is why you’ll see products measured from PA+ (the lowest level of protection) to PA++++ (the highest level of protection). 

UVA rays penetrate the deeper layers of skin and cause prematuring aging, which is why sunscreen is one of the biggest Japanese anti-aging beauty secrets

What Special About Japanese Tinted Sunscreens?

Now, when it comes to Japanese tinted sunscreens there are two types on the market: “color control” (コントロールカラー // kontoro-ru kara-) and “tone up” (トーンアップ // to-n appu).

Color control sunscreen, as the name suggests, is primarily for color correction (adjusting for skin sallowness and dullness) or concealing redness and blemishes.

Tone up sunscreen, on the other hand,  works by enhancing the brightness of one’s skin tone, either through a creating pearlescent veil or milky finish. Essentially, these are a form of Japanese whitening products.

Now that we know about the kinds of Japanese tinted sunscreens on the market, let’s break down this rainbow coalition and see what each color brings to the party: 

Green 

Problem Solver: Redness be gone! Whether it’s from a bit too much sun or a natural rosy disposition, green tinted sunscreen is like that calm friend who knows just how to cool things down.

Best For: Those with rosacea, acne, or sunburns. It’s like having a green tea ice cream on a hot day – soothing and oh so refreshing.

Maquillage Dramatic Skin Sensor Base NEO — Mint (SPF 50+ PA++++)

Maquillage Dramatic Skin Sensor Base NEO is a tinted sunscreen series that won first place in @Cosme “Budget Skincare Category”  in 2023. It is long-lasting (up to 13 hours) and boasts a “moisturizing sensor coat” that also minimizes the appearance of pores. 

Try It! Available on Amazon Japan

Primavista Skin Protect Base — Melon (SPF 20 PA ++)

Released in October 2022, Primavista Skin Protect Base prevents dryness in addition to giving your makeup extra staying power. While this is more akin to a primer rather than a full-fledged sunscreen, Melon is an excellent choice if concealing redness caused by hay fever or dermatitis/eczema is your top skincare priority.

Try It! Available on Amazon Japan

Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence — Mint Green (SPF 50+ PA++++)

Skin Aqua Tone Up Essence is a mint green-tinted sunscreen with blue and green pigments that correct redness and improve skin tone complexion. It’s one of many shades in the Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence sunscreen line!

Try It! Available on Amazon Japan

Pink

Problem Solver: Pink to make everyone wink! This shade is a master at brightening up dull skin. It’s like flipping the switch from “just woke up” to “ready for a photoshoot.”

Best For: Fairer skin tones or anyone feeling a bit lackluster. Imagine it as that morning stretch that brings you to life.

ALLIE Ariy Nuance Change UV Gel 03 (SPF50+/PA++++)

Allie is a Japanese sunscreen brand known for its whitening/brightening properties and fresh, dewy finish. Its Nuance Change series also act as color correctors that protect the skin from harmful UV rays. ALLIE Ariy Nuance Change UV Gel is a light pink waterproof and “friction-proof” sakura-scented gel. It leaves a glowing, pearlescent finish on the skin.

Try It! Available on Amazon // Amazon Japan 

Curel Intensive Moisture Base Milk Tone Up — Pink (SPF24 PA++)

Formulated specifically for dry, sensitive skin, this Japanese tinted sunscreen moisturizes, protects, primes, and enhances skin tone in one easy step.

As with Primavista Skin Protect Base,  this product is more akin to a primer rather than an actual sunscreen. However, if you have sensitive skin, it’s a great product to have in your makeup bag when you want to keep your routine light and easy!

Try It! Available on Amazon Japan

Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence — Rose  (SPF 50+ PA++++)

Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence in Rose gives the skin a fresh and bright three-dimensional  glow thanks to its pearly pink undertones. It evens out skin tone and creates a natural translucency. As a bonus, its formula also contains Vitamin C derivatives which moisturize and brighten the skin.

Try It! Available on Amazon Japan

Lavender 

Problem Solver: Yellow tones, who? Lavender is here to neutralize and bring a sense of balance. It’s the zen master of the group, providing that inner peace but for your skin.

Best For: Sallow or yellow-toned skin. It’s like turning down the brass section in an orchestra to let the woodwinds shine.

Nivea UV Deep Protect & Care Tone-Up Essence Tinted Sunscreen (SPF 50+ PA++++) 

When it comes to Japanese sunscreens, I can’t get enough of Nivea’s formulations! Last year, I added Nivea UV Deep Protect & Care Sunscreen to my budget skincare routine. I’m currently using Nivea UV Deep Protect & Care Tone-Up Essence Tinted Sunscreen as part of my transition to spring skincare routine. It has pink-lavender hues which neutralizes dull yellow undertones for a natural-looking finish. If you have sensitive skin (or a sensitive nose) you’ll want to avoid it as it has a distinct floral scent.

Try It! Available on Amazon Japan

Suncut Sunscreen Tone Up UV Essence Color Control — Lavender (SPF 50+ PA++++)

There’s no better combination of summer, sunscreen, and selfies when it comes to Suncut Sunscreen Tone Up UV Essence Color Control! Its soft lavender hues neutralize dull yellow undertones for a natural-looking finish.

Try It! Available on Amazon Japan

Skin Aqua Tone Up Essence — Lavender (SPF 50+ PA++++)

Skin Aqua Tone Up Essence in Lavender uses 2 tints and extra fine pearls to create a flawless natural glow. Blue brings out the transparency of the skin while  pink rounds out the skin complexion. Whether you use it as a primer or as a standalone sunscreen, you’ll love the brightening effect that will make all your selfies picture perfect!  

Try It! Available on Amazon // Amazon Japan

And Everything Else!

Beyond these, you’ve got peach for brightening, yellow for neutralizing purple or blue tones, blue for sallowness, and white for a luminescent finish. 

Peach: Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence — Latte Beige (SPF50+ PA++++)

For the ultimate “no makeup makeup” look, try Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence In Latte Beige. As a makeup base, it also helps to even out the tone of your skin, leaving you with a beautiful complexion. NOTE: Unlike others in the Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence line up, this one is not water resistant.

Try It! Available on Amazon // Amazon Japan

Yellow: Suncut Tone Up UV Essence — Lemon Yellow (SPF50+ PA++++)

If you’re dealing with redness, dullness, or uneven skin tone, a yellow-tinted sunscreen can be a fantastic choice. Yellow is opposite to purple on the color wheel, so a yellow-tinted sunscreen helps neutralize purple or blue tones on your skin. The yellow tint can also  add a subtle brightness and warmth to your complexion, giving you a healthy and radiant glow. It’s like a little burst of sunshine in a bottle!

Try It! Available on Amazon Japan

Blue: ALLIE Nuance Change UV Gel CL — Lucent Breeze (SPF50+ PA++++)

ALLIE sunscreens boast a “Friction Proof” formula that’s resistant to sweat, water, and sebum/oil. It also uses hyaluronic acid and collagen to moisturize the skin. Lucent Breeze is one of 3 tints available in its Nuance Change UV Gel lineup. Menthol provides a cooling effect, perfect for those hot humid days, while the pearlescent/blueish tint evens out sallowness.

Try It! Available on Amazon Japan

White: Transino UV Protector (SPF50+ PA++++)

Transino UV Protector is a 4-in-one multifunctional product. It works as a heavy duty sunscreen, whitening product, milky moisturizer and makeup primer. Its formula contains the active whitening ingredient, “Tranexamic Acid,” which reduces melanin production and prevents stains and freckles. 

Try It! Available on Amazon Japan

The Colorful World of Japanese Tinted Sunscreens — Recap

Are you ready to embrace the fusion of high-tech protection and flawless beauty that Japanese tinted sunscreens bring to the table?

Choosing the right Japanese tinted sunscreen is like selecting your armor for the day – not only are you protecting your skin from the villainous UV rays, but you’re also correcting and conquering any little skin woes along the way.

While some of these products might lean more towards being BB or CC creams, they’re all infused with SPF protection and are beloved for their dual-action benefits in the Japanese beauty scene.

Remember, the best tinted sunscreen is the one that makes you feel like your most fabulous self. So, whether you’re battling redness with green, brightening with pink, or balancing with lavender, you’re not just protecting your skin; you’re perfecting your look.

Keep in mind that the availability of these products can vary. (I’m looking at you, Allie sunscreen). However, it’s always exciting to see which new innovations and formulations Japanese brands will come up with next!

Do you have a favorite Japanese tinted sunscreen? Which one(s) would you like to try?

For more on Japanese skincare, please check out the following posts:

Where to Buy Skincare Products in Japan

10 Best Japanese Skincare Products Under 1000 yen

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