These three sunscreens have a light feel, absorb quickly and leave a slightly shimmery finish:
Etude House Face Conditioning Cream Light (SPF25 PA++): I tried the original type two years ago and it took me a whole while to realize that it was clogging my pores and making me break out. The original one has some coconut derived ingredients and goes on very greasy. I wanted to try the Light version since the formula is very different. It contains alcohol which makes it feel more light but also irritating (along with the fragrance). Some reviews said that it is a great primer for oily skin. But my experience was that even though the alcohol in this makes the product absorb quickly it is still greasy. It made all my makeup slide around my face like no other product ever did. Unfortunately my skin tone is not even enough to wear this on its own - without adding powder or concealer or foundation. Before I throw it out I am still going to test it out more but I can already tell it is a total fail as a primer.The following sunscreen makes a better primer:
Nivea sun Creamy UV Essence (SPF50 PA++++): This is the new generation of Japanese sunscreen featuring four + as UVA protection. It is one of those "evil" alcohol-sunscreens. I bought this because the formulation is supposed to have an overall moisturizing formula. Still I cannot wear this without applying a lotion underneath because it is too drying. While it is drying it is not matte at all. It is drying and shiny at the same time. The overall feel is not nearly as good as the following sunscreen:
Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel UV (SPF50 PA++++): A very lightweight and refreshing sunscreen with slightly shimmery finish like the previous ones, minus the white cast. It is one of my favorites, because it contains no drying alcohol but feels a lot lighter than many that do. The only thing that does not make this my favorite of all time is the fact that it is not matte. And that is just my preference as someone with oily skin.
I have only 2 Western sunscreens. As expected they are white and greasy:
Reuth Moisture Sunblock (SPF30): I have shown this before in my winter skin care routine but now the weather got warmer so I am not using it.
Clinique Superdefense (SPF25 PA+++): It is a daycream with sunscreen protection and some anti-aging and antioxidant ingredients. But this sunscreen can sting and burn if you exfoliated a lot and your skin is sensitive. Overall I prefer the much more gentle Reuth sunscreen. Both of them have a bit of a white cast plus greasy finish on me though.
Here are two slightly greasy sunscreen milks (no drying alcohol):
Hadalabo air UV oily skin version (SPF30 PA+++): I bought this one in Walmart. It is a white sunscreen milk that spreads easily but does not dry well. . I do not like it because it keeps my face greasy all day and I keep blotting and powdering. But it is a gentle formula with not too much white cast and no fragrance so I would recommend it for people with sensitive skin.
Nexcare 3M (SPF 30 PA+++): The same goes for this sunscreen. Very gentle, no fragrance, slightly more white-cast. It is my go-to sunscreen when I am going to be outdoors a lot. It seems to be water-and sweat-resistant (not 100 percent sure). These two sunscreens take a while to dry down, so I usually wait a few minutes before applying makeup. This is sunscreen is from Taiwan by the way. Taiwanese products are quite good in terms of quality and reliable (at least those which I tried).
These sunscreen are completely transparent and leave a very shiny finish:
Miniso Sunblock (SPF25/30): I have not used them so much because they smell like shower gel. I cannot tell if they provide sufficient sun protection but I checked the Chinese ingredients and it seems to contain some chemical filters as well as zinc oxide which is odd. Zinc oxide is usually pasty and white unless it is a nano-particle one. And those are very questionable. So I probably will not use these.
Tinted primers with SPF are quite common in Japan. It is always great to have a two-in-one option. On days when I will only go out for maximum half an hour I do not feel like I need to slather on tons of sunscreen. So I just use these instead, as they act as a base makeup for me:
Kiss me Mat Chiffon UV Base Moist #1 (SPF26 PA++): I should have bought #2 since this color is too pale. It is not moisturizing as the name indicates (there is also a whitening type). In fact when I put this on with a damp sponge it mattifies quite well. The color is a really pale beige so I kind of want to buy the darker color to see if I like it more. Applied with fingers it can be a little bit hard to spread, so I suggest using a sponge.
Cezanne Make Keep Base (SPF28 PA++?): One of my favorite makeup-bases because it goes on shiny but dries very matte. The color is very sheer. It is a pale pink that makes me look paler but I do not mind that as my face is strangely a lot darker than my neck and chest. This base just looks good and keeps the rest of my makeup looking fresh the whole day.
Sana Pore Putty Make up base Moist (SPF25 PA++): It is a bit thick and moisturizing yellowish base. It only comes in 1 color. Luckily this is exactly my skin color, though it is a tiny bit too yellow. On me it looks like a foundation so it is strange that they name it "make up base". It is too greasy and shiny for me on most days (when the weather is warm), so I prefer the other two.
Lastly I have 2 powders with very high SPF protection in case I was planning to stay at home and suddenly have to go somewhere during the day. Or when I just want to touch up my sun protection throughout the day:
Tout Vert Mineral Sunscreen (SPF50 PA+++): It is a pure mineral sunscreen, no chemical filters. I bought this because of the great ingredients. It is a loose powder that mattifies but also looks a bit "light-reflective" (contains Mica). It can look pale and pasty if I put too much on. I mix my own mineral foundation with different mineral powders, so by adding this I can get more SPF. Maybe it is a little bit too radiant as a setting powder. To set makeup, the best powder is pure silica powder, also known as HD powder.
Mamonde Pact UV #21(SPF50 PA+++): I have this in my collection since a long time. I already hit the pan. These two powders look the same. This is basically a pressed version with slightly more pigment. Both powders are a pale rosy-beige color, so they will only look good on pale people. In summer when my skin is slightly darker it will look too ashy. I have been trying to find #23 but it seems the product has been discontinued. I cannot find it anywhere.