05.28.2015
56
Wetforce Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ for Face/Body
3.3 fl. oz. for $40
Expert Rating
Community Rating (0)
Expert Reviews
Last Updated:05.28.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes

Shiseido's Wetforce Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ for Face/Body has a few drawbacks, but it does have some advantages, including its "Wetforce" technology (more on that in a moment) that gives it an edge over the average sunscreen.

Labeled as a face and body formula, it's best for combination to slightly dry skin when used as a facial formula—this isn't what we would describe as an incredibly light lotion, but its sheer degree of moisture makes it a lighter option than Shiseido's Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 50+ for Face. An in-part mineral sunscreen, it provides broad-spectrum protection with a considerable list of actives, including octinoxate (7.4%), octocrylene (3%), titanium dioxide (1.4%) and zinc oxide (16.4%). This contains a low amount of fragrance and alcohol, which makes it a formula we cannot recommend for those with sensitive skin, including those with rosacea or eczema.

Wetforce Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ for Face/Body is a very water-resistant formula (up to 80 minutes), and it requires some amount of effort to remove at the end of the day. You may find using an oil-based cleanser prior to your preferred water-soluble cleanser a must (or use a soft washcloth with your facial wash) to remove it all.

The main appeal of this formula is the much hyped Wetforce technology, which Shiseido claims gives it an edge under conditions like water exposure or extreme perspiration. According to the brand, this sunscreen technology increases in UVB/UVA protection after exposure to water or sweat, the result of an interaction between the minerals and their Wetforce formulas. Of course, the details of how Wetforce works are largely confined to press releases, so there's no published, peer-reviewed research to back Shiseido's claims.

Shiseido also claims their Wetforce technology improves the aesthetics of this sunscreen, but we would argue that this is more likely the result of its combination of light moisturizing ingredients, silicones, absorbent ingredients, and alcohol. This isn't a revolutionary approach, as these combinations have been used for years to improve its aesthetics of sunscreens.

Shiseido also added antioxidants, mostly from plant extracts with little research supporting their benefit for skin. However, any variety of non-irritating plant extracts will theoretically provide some antioxidant benefit, which boosts the protection from your sunscreen by offsetting the free-radical damage incurred by UV exposure.

While we weren't thrilled with the caveats Wetforce Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ for Face/Body presents, Shiseido did include enough significant benefits, including its very water-resistant formula, high SPF, aesthetics and added antioxidants, to make this a good option to consider for occasional use—those instances of which you know you'll be exercising outdoors (and sweating profusely as a result,) or anticipate swimming or being in a humid environment.

Pros:
  • High, broad-spectrum SPF protection via in-part mineral sunscreen actives.
  • Very water resistant.
  • Tenacious formula with better aesthetics than you would expect.
  • Contains added antioxidants.
  • Packaged to protect its ingredients from air and light exposure.
Cons:
  • Contains a small amount of fragrance and alcohol, which pose a risk of irritation and preclude a recommendation for those with sensitive skin.
More Info:

A significant amount of research shows alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012). Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skin-care products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. If this weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol actually causes skin cells to self-destruct (Alcohol, 2002).

Research also shows that these destructive, aging effects on skin cells increased the longer skin was exposed to alcohol; for example, two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day, and that's at only a 3% concentration (Alcohol, 2002). In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).

For more on alcohol's (as in, ethanol, denatured alcohol, and ethyl alcohol) effects on skin, see the Paula's Choice Research Team's Expert Advice article on the topic, Alcohol in Skin Care: The Facts.

Community Reviews
Claims
Swim, play, and enjoy the outdoors, knowing your sunscreen loves water as much as you do. Providing powerful protection for your skin, this innovative protective veil actually becomes even more effective on the applied area when exposed to water for 15 minutes*, because of its WetForce technology. This unique formula especially for the face includes beneficial ingredients to help prevent skin dryness. Ideal for outdoor activities and sports, it provides high sun protection, yet is comfortable and gentle on the skin. Broad spectrum UV protection helps reduce the appearance of photo-aging with exclusive SuperVeil-UV 360™ technology.
Ingredients
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.4%, Octocrylene 3%, Titanium Dioxide 1.4%, and Zinc Oxide 16.4%. Inactive Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Isopropyl Myristate, Isohexadecane, SD Alcohol 40-B, Isododecane, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polybutylene Glycol/PPG-9/1 Copolymer, Xylitol, Glycerin, Methyl Gluceth-10, PEG/PPG-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Saxifraga Sarmentosa Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Ectoin, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Isostearic Acid, Dextrin Palmitate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Silica, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Talc, Alcohol, Trisodium EDTA, BHT, Syzygium Jambos Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Fragrance.
Brand Overview

Shiseido At-A-Glance

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-lightening 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). Massage to repair sun damage—give me a break!

For more information about Shiseido, visit www.shiseido.com.

Shiseido Makeup

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 and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.


Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!

See all reviews for this brand

Shiseido At-A-Glance

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-lightening 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). Massage to repair sun damage—give me a break!

For more information about Shiseido, visit www.shiseido.com.

Shiseido Makeup

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!