I was not too fond of the last version of the Anessa Milk, but this year’s reformulation shows considerable improvements compared to its predecessor. Unfortunately, even though I enjoy using this Anessa Milk, it doesn’t fulfil my testing criteria.
This product is not merely a sunscreen but, as the name indicates, a skincare product. Besides the blend of mineral and chemical filters, the formula is packed with skin-benefiting elements such as green tea extract, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, hyaluronic acid, collagen, and stalwart glycerine. There is also a heap of powders such as talc, corn starch, and silica. The formula contains fragrance and alcohol, though other ingredients counterbalance its adverse effects. All of these make the Anessa Milk an all-in-one product suitable for a complete yet undemanding morning routine.
The new Anessa Milk features Shiseido’s latest auto-booster technology, which makes the UV-protecting film ‘more uniform when it comes into contact with sweat, water, heat or moisture in the air.’ Most importantly, the fluid is also resistant to friction. Shiseido claim that this Milk offers ‘[t]he highest level of SPF and PA in Japanese regulation with the highest water-resistant effect.’ (Shiseido)
Like many other Japanese suncare products, this one also provides the iconic tone-up effect, described as a beautifying effect by the brand. The tone-up effect is tricky; sometimes, it gives a pleasing effect on the eye and sometimes ends up looking like a typical white cast. With this Anessa Milk, the latter is often the case. I can’t apply much of the fluid at a time, about 1.25g or even less. Layering my usual 2.5g during the first application makes my face look white like flour, which is not the best look even in summer. However, a few thin coatings lighten my complexion and make it appear more polished. And usually, I would drop many products at this point, but I like how the Anessa fluid wears and looks on my skin. Let’s be honest, I like the tone-up effect, that’s why I keep buying Japanese sunscreens.
The fluid holds onto the skin like glue, but in a positive sense. I sweat a lot, but the sunscreen always emerges uninfluenced when challenged by sweat and friction. It also seems to block some of the sweat secretions on my face; I sweat less while wearing Anessa than the Allie Gel. Shiseido have also improved the white paint issue. The sweat droplets no longer look like white paint on my skin but more milky and murky, comparable to other sunscreens, which is fine.
Similarly to many other suncare products with mineral filters, this one accumulates in the creases of my eyes. And, the fluid clings to facial hair or dry patches of skin – it presents itself best when applied to a perfectly smooth and moisturised surface. There’s one thing that doesn’t bother me but makes me question the fluid’s ability to act as a makeup base – it’s one of the claims. On my skin, the Milk mimics the natural state of my complexion; it looks semi-matt in the U-zone and shiny in the T-zone. However, the fluid is a bit oily; I can feel it while applying, though the product doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. I’ve also noticed that the sunscreen leaves a greasy residue on my sunglasses, which makes me wonder if the Anessa fluid would reduce the durability of makeup because it doesn’t seem to be the best primer. Perhaps if you severely underapply it.
Due to aesthetic reasons, I can’t apply much of the fluid, so I don’t use it on days of prolonged sun exposure, but I like it while running errands and when I am not in the sun for too long, as it offers reliable protection. However, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it because it won’t work for many people, and you can’t layer much of it without looking like a ghost. If you like the Anessa fluid, then keep using it, but if you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out on much. I prefer the Skin Aqua fluid over this one, it’s more versatile, and I don’t have to worry about the white cast. The Anessa Milk seems more like a product for the beach or doing sports. I am not sure if it is designed for such activities, but I don’t need ultra-resistant suncare daily. Even if I sweat a lot, I often reapply sunscreen to maintain protection. I think the fluid would’ve been better with less talc in it.
The Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Milk N is available from Yesstyle.com [aff].