Finally, a Clear SPF That Doesn’t Leave Behind a Glaring White Cast

Scouted/The Daily Beast/Shiseido.
Scouted/The Daily Beast/Shiseido.

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Name a more challenging task than consistently applying sunscreen per dermatologists’ and estheticians’ suggestions for those of us who hate the smell, sticky residue, and white cast many SPF formulas leave behind. Until I discovered Shiseido’s The Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+, sunscreen was low on my beauty routine totem pole. As a Black woman, despite countless beauty professionals who debunk the myth, I internalized the idea that melanated people don’t need sunscreen. To add to the problem, the options on the market all seemed messy, inconvenient, and unsuitable for melanated skin.

It wasn’t until a childhood friend’s wedding in Mexico City that sparked the search to find a product that fits into my lifestyle. Preparing for a combination destination wedding and mini vacation (with back-to-back daytime activities planned for all four days of the trip), meant finding a mess-free and sweatproof SPF formula that wouldn’t smudge makeup or leave a white cast was a must.

After reading countless solid reviews, I decided Shiseido’s Clear Sunscreen Stick would be accompanying me on my trip to Mexico City. Fortunately, the SPF stick didn’t disappoint and kept me sunburn (and white cast-free) during the entire trip, but that’s not the only reason this sunscreen is now my daily go-to.

Shiseido The Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+

The SPF 50+ chemical sunscreen is designed for both body and face provides broad-spectrum sun protection for all skin types over and under makeup—a must for an outdoor summer wedding. True to its claims, the sunscreen was actually clear when applied. With makeup on or off and through several re-applications, the stick never left a white cast or oily residue.

While the product glides on smoothly for the most part, at times the fragrance-free stick tugged at the skin on my cheeks, which tends to happen with roll-on products. To avoid this, I applied the stick in smaller sections and held the application area taut and had no issues.

Buy Shiseido The Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+ at Ulta, $32

Buy Shiseido The Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+ at Amazon, $32

When applied over my skincare and under makeup, the sunscreen leaves a soft sheen that makes the skin look and feel hydrated, perfect for someone with dry skin like me. On the other hand, some eviewers with oily skin reported experiecing too much dewiness. One reviewer shared, “Immediately post-application, my face looked and felt very oily/slippery. All my fine lines, pores, and more were heavily emphasized.” Based on the customer reviews and my experience, it seems the formula is best suited for dry and normal skin types.

When applied over makeup (usually when I’m reapplying), a glance at the stick shows a thin layer of transfer. For me, the stick didn’t ruin the integrity of the makeup or cause any noticeable smudging that would prevent me from continuing to use it over makeup. Unlike similar products that bleed when wet, the Clear Sunscreen Stick features Shiseido’s proprietary WetForce and HeatForce technology, which allows the product to work more effectively when wet or under intense heat.

Two months after the wedding, the sunscreen stick is a resident in my purse. The ever-popular “phone, keys, wallet” mantra that ensures all the necessities are on hand before leaving home is now “phone, keys, wallet, sunscreen.”


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