Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sunblock Discovery: TOJI Hiyakedome Lotion

Hi everyone,

I'm baaaack! Since I discovered how wonderful Japanese sunblocks are, I have been using them for a while and they don't disappoint. Recently, the friendly Val from Choice Essentials in Singapore contacted me and asked me if I wanted to review a couple of skincare products from Japan. Since I know how amazing Japanese skincare products can be, I had to say yes! And now I have a new sunblock to love as well!

TOJI Hiyakedome Lotion ($31.54 USD)
(TOJI Sunblock Skin Whitening Lotion SPF 30 PA++ (25ml))
First of all, I have to say I did not know the price until I wrote this review. Therefore, this sunblock from TOJI is the most expensive sunscreen I have ever used! It has 25ml of products and has SPF 30, which makes it suitable for everyday use. I have been applying it on my face and arms before going to work and it is a nice and non-oily sunblock. So far, after a month of using it, I haven't had any breakouts, which is a big deal when it comes to sunscreens. Also, it doesn't feel heavy or cakey, either.

The cute bottle
See the two green bottles next to the word SPF 30 PA++? We are going to talk about it in a second.
The one thing I appreciate about Japanese skincare is their ability to incorporate traditional ingredients to their products. With TOJI, they use junmai-shu, the rice ferment filtrate from the Japanese rice wine sake. Sake is known to have skin nourishing and whitening activities and geishas are known to use it as a toner for their skins. With modern technology, they use junmai-shu, one of the three types of sake, as the essence used in skin care as it contains 19 amino acids, vitamin B, minerals and polysaccharides that are good for the skin. TOJI uses junmai-shu in their sunscreen but in a rather small quantity compared to the other skin care products that I tried.

I got to test out its waterproof property as an accident when I went out on a rainy day. Since the first ingredient is cyclomethicone, I figured out I can skip a foundation primer and applied my mineral makeup right on top. It worked really well and despite the rain, my makeup stayed put for about 4 hours.

Unlike many other sunscreens I've tried, this one is tinted. It has a light beige tone that matches my skin when I don't get a lot of sun exposure. At first, I thought it was an anomaly but after I did some research on Japanese sunscreens, the tint seen on TOJI is a norm. It works out nicely for me as the coverage is decent and since it is a mattifying sunscreen, I don't need to use any foundations on top unless I want to. To me, it's like a BB cream minus the grease.

I guess the biggest problem for people with darker skin is the amount of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide present in the products. While they are excellent sunblock ingredients, they are also light reflective. And if you use a physical sunblock like TOJI underneath your foundation, you might end up looking like Snow White in pictures. If you don't believe me, take a look at this:

I'm not kidding: it's the same skin area but the before and after are in two different shades!
Therefore, while it is an excellent sunblock that I can vouch for, those with darker skins than me should be aware as it can make your skin look too light and ashy. However, as I look closer at my "after" picture, I can see how much smoother my skin look. It's the -cones at work after all!

In conclusion, I believe TOJI Hiyakedome lotion is a decent sunblock. It is lightweight and tinted. Also, during the time I used it (and I'm still using it!), I did not get any breakouts. On top of that, it is a good foundation primer and if you don't want to use foundation, this sunblock provides decent coverage as well. However, the two things I don't like are the price and the whitening effect.

If you choose to purchase this product from Choice Essentials, they do ship internationally and their shipping time is very fast. Also, customer service is good and they will answer your questions very promptly. Thank you, Val, for sending TOJI sunblock lotion to me. I really appreciate it!

With love,
Dao xoxo

Disclosure: I received this product as a press sample

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