Kao Nivea Men UV Protector SPF50+ – Review

I don’t usually write about skincare marketed for men. I know there are some histological differences between male and female skin. Still, at the end of the day, the division in the skincare industry is about marketing strategies and nothing else. This product is no exception; it will suit everyone. 

The formula combines zinc oxide and chemical filters producing high protection of SPF 50+ and PA ++++. The composition is rather plain, but we can find plentiful amounts of powders to mattify the skin and some mica for a brightening effect. In addition, it includes alcohol, which doesn’t irritate the skin, and a citrusy aroma compound that isn’t overpowering. 

This sunscreen has won me over – it is lightweight, doesn’t make me look like a ghost even if I apply half a teaspoon, and it’s affordable (it retails at €6 in Japan). The unusual thing about this sunscreen is that it gives a semi-metallic look. It’s a unique variation of the tone-up effect typical of Japanese sunscreens. This one doesn’t create a straight-up white overlay but a silverish hue; surprisingly, it looks pretty appealing on the skin – I like it. It won’t make you look like Tik-Tok from the Wizard of Oz; it has a smattering of silver. Many people fix their eyes on my face when I wear this sunscreen because it gives a sort of an airbrushed look. Bear in mind that I apply half a teaspoon of sunscreen, which is more than what many people usually do. I think this product would be great for people who aim to create a no-makeup makeup look, pair this sunscreen with some powder foundation or bronzer, and you will get radiant and polished skin. I think the semi-metallic finish is achieved due to the mica present in the formula. I try to avoid the ingredient as much as possible as its extraction involves forced and child labour, but in my defence, I have purchased the sunscreen without reading the ingredients list. 

There are four aspects of this sunscreen that I dislike. Firstly, I cannot apply it over any other skincare than watery essences or toners, otherwise, it will never settle properly – it will look oily on the skin. When used on bare skin, it mimics my skin, it appears semi-matte in my U-zone, and it’s a bit shiny in my T-zone, relatively natural-looking. However, even the tiniest amount of glycerine will turn my face into a greasy-looking ball. Another thing is that it breaks me out, not all the time, but when I sweat. It happens with a few sunscreens, but it is surprising that a sunscreen intended for doing sports, which I assume entails perspiring, does that. I would return to this product but in cooler months. Besides, it is meant for doing spots, but it doesn’t seem to form any particular adhesive film; it feels more like a daily sunscreen. The last two items on the list of downsides are that it gathers in my eyelid creases, and it produces a white layer on the skin when mixed with sweat. Neither of these is unsurprising because the product includes zinc oxide, and most, if not all, sunscreens with the filter will do just the same.

Overall, it’s a fantastic product for everyone; disregard the marketing claims. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, and it creates a cosmetically appealing, kind of airbrushed finish on the skin. I highly recommend this product as an affordable, everyday sunscreen option. 

Ingredients: COSNDA

Kao’s Nivea Men UV Protector SPF50+ is available from Amazon JP


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