Sunscreen is an important part of any good skincare routine and most of us should already know this, especially since we are in a country that is exposed to the sun all year round.
However, reading and understanding sunscreen labels are not quite as straightforward as simply opting for a product offering higher SPF. A recent announcement by the FDA warns consumers that almost 25% of all sunscreen products on the market today do not meet the new standards for UVA protection – shocking!
When it becomes difficult to trust marketing labels, we turn to field experiments (like this viral one by Chinese cosmetic inspector, Captain Lele) because they show us exactly how sunscreens perform when they are bench-marked against competitors with the same SPF rating.
With that in mind, Daily Vanity has decided to test one of the winning brands from Captain Lele’s field experiment — La Roche-Posay — to see how well their newest sunscreen, Anthelios Shaka Fluid SPF50+ would hold up in Singapore’s hot and humid weather.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid: what makes this different from competitors?
Although sunscreens may vary greatly in their efficacies and claims, one particular product has often been named as the cream of the crop: La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Shaka Fluid. It has SPF50+ (filters out 98% of UVB radiation) and PPD of 46 (2.5x higher than the usual standards of PA++++), which are some of the highest levels of UVA and UVB protection provided by any sunscreen in the market.
This popular sunscreen has been through 31 clinical tests and many other informal experiments, only to be repeatedly proven that it offers the highest UVA protection compared to the top 5 sunscreen brands worldwide. It has even been recommended by 60,000 dermatologists worldwide!
The newest edition of Anthelios Shaka Fluid has been further enhanced with an even better texture and higher protection so that it is very water, sweat, and sand-resistant. The brand also claims that this sunscreen won’t leave those dreaded white streaks and sticky residue on the skin.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid review: does it live up to its claims?
Is the Anthelios Shaka Fluid oily and/or hydrating?
Personally, I felt that the Anthelios Shaka Fluid felt like a lightweight serum upon application, which was very impressive. It had a watery texture, so I could easily spread it across my skin and rub it in easily.
There was also no sticky feeling left on my skin – in fact, I thought that it felt quite refreshing and hydrating after application on my skin!
To make sure that I wasn’t imagining it, of course, I had to test it the scientific way and make sure that I was reporting accurate results.
It was a pleasant surprise to see that instead of drying my skin out or making it greasier than usual, the Anthelios Shaka Fluid actually reduced the amount of oil while increasing my moisture levels – great to know that this sunscreen benefited my skin in more ways than one!
Does the Anthelios Shaka Fluid provide more protection than other sunscreens?
In order to test the amount of protection I was getting from the sunscreens without actually having to endure sunburn, we used a UV camera that can show how much protection you are actually getting – the darker the colour, the higher the UV protection.
I used Anthelios Shaka Fluid on the left side of my face, my regular sunscreen from a famous brand on the right (let’s call it Brand X). Brand X boasts the same SPF50+ and PA++++ (which indicates PPD = 16 or higher) as La Roche-Posay’s, so I had expected to see similar intensity of black on both sides of the face.
I was shocked to see that Brand X provided obviously much less coverage than Anthelios Shaka Fluid!
This certainly proved that labels can actually mean very little in terms of actual sun protection – the amount of UVA protection can differ greatly between two sunscreens similarly labelled as PA++++, as it indicates a PPD that is 16 and above.
Is the Anthelios Shaka Fluid resistant to water and sweat?
The easiest way to test this was to spray water onto skin applied with sunscreen and see if the product will be cleansed away. After spraying water and rubbing my fingers along the sunscreen, I used the UV camera to check if the sunscreen was still intact.
The sunscreen barely budged at all!
Since the Anthelios Shaka Fluid had passed the simple water test, the next challenge was to see if it would hold up against sweat. This was particularly important for me, as I tend to sweat very easily in Singapore’s weather, so I have to buy waterproof, long-lasting makeup to ensure that I won’t have pigments running down my face just from a 5-minute walk outside.
For this test, I had Anthelios Shaka Fluid on the left side of my face and Brand X sunscreen on the right. I then headed out for a full day of activities under the sun.
The weather was really hot that day, and I was sweating way more than I normally do. My buckets of sweat (coupled with the fact that I have combination-oily skin) were even causing my supposedly-waterproof eyeliner to smudge. I thought that there was no way either of the sunscreens on my face could possibly hold up at all.
To my utter surprise, I could see from the UV camera footage that La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Shaka Fluid was clearly still there on my face, while Brand X’s sunscreen had disappeared almost completely!
It is understandable that the sunscreen isn’t completely intact, especially with the amount that I was sweating. The fact that the Anthelios Shaka Fluid continued to deliver on its UV protection while I underwent the day’s activities was both impressive and highly comforting.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid review: final thoughts
I’ve gone through my fair share of sunscreens from different brands in the attempt to find the perfect sunscreen. Unfortunately, thanks to the fact that I have sensitive and acne-prone skin, it has been very difficult to find one that doesn’t contain irritants, nor clog up my pores if I wear it under makeup.
I tried a few sunscreens based on recommendations from beauty junkies, including those from top brands which have very impressive reviews and ratings. Some have very watery textures but end up leaving a sticky finish and white cast that felt and looked terrible sitting on my skin.
Surprisingly, I found that this sunscreen from La Roche-Posay had none of those characteristics. There was no strong alcohol smell and applied as a lightweight liquid that was quickly absorbed into my skin. My skin remained the exact same colour, with no hint of white cast or streaks at all.
I am very satisfied and amazed by the results that La Roche-Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid SPF50+ has proven to deliver – it clearly topped any other sunscreen that I have used before, be it in terms of efficacy, texture, or scent. What I like most about this sunscreen is the ease of mind it gives me, as I now know that I can carry out my activities knowing that I am well-protected from damaging UV rays, no matter how much I sweat.
If you are interested in testing this sunscreen for yourself, you can head to major Watsons and Guardian stores to purchase La Roche-Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid SPF50+. It retails at SGD46.90 for one bottle, but you can get to enjoy a special price of SGD72.90 for two in August!