Skincare Lesson: Sunscreen


In my years as a beauty editor, the one question that I am faced the most often is, “What do you do for your skin?”

To which I reply, “Cleanse, hydrate, protect.” like a well-rehearsed parrot.

Most people do the first two, but not many actually commit to the last – protect. Despite overwhelming evidence that UV exposure fucks your skin up in many ways, like burning, speeding up the ageing process, making your skin look like a tortilla or a piece of beat-up leather and in general not dainty, I hear excuses like, “Sunscreen feels oily!” and “It’s too time-consuming!” and “I hate the feeling of having too much stuff on my face!”

Well darlings, here’s a little story.

I hated sunscreen and never wore sunscreen until I was 23 and working the counter for a Japanese beauty brand. They carried an SPF30 sunscreen that, while it was one of the lightest and least offensive-feeling, still felt heavy and greasy on my skin. But heck, I get a discount and I have to believe in what I’m selling, so I started using it every day.

And then, I got used to using sunscreen. The “heaviness” no longer felt heavy, it felt normal. I’ve never gone a day without sunscreen since, and I’m almost 29, and I still get asked if I’m 16.

So darlings, the tl;dr version is: you’ll get used to wearing sunscreen and it’ll literally feel like nothing on your skin.

I’ve used many, many brands of sunscreen over the years and I have my faves, including the ones pictured above, which I’m currently using. Sunscreen textures have progressively gotten lighter and less offensively-greasy, with the majority of them now feeling like moisturizer or gels.

Current Sunscreen Rotation

For face: The Skin Pharmacy Silky Smooth Sunscreen SPF50. It’s a Singapore-based brand that makes no-frills skincare, and its products only contains what you actually need on your skin. It feels like a light moisturizer and doesn’t require much blending since it doesn’t leave white streaks. However, it’s a chemical sunscreen, not a physical one. They make a physical sunscreen that I’ll probably check out once I’m done with this.

For body: HABA UV Kids Gel SPF 15. I love the Japanese brand (I went to Tokyo and Hokkaido for a press trip a couple years ago and visited their amazing factory) but it’s sadly not vegan as its signature ingredient is squalane from sharks. Note: although I’m a dietary vegan, the products I use aren’t exclusively vegan because as a beauty editor, I received tons of products and it feels wasteful (and now that I’m a freelancer and not rolling in the dough) to give them away. So I’m working on using up my stash from my working days before putting my money where my heart is and switching over entirely. Anyway, this is a delightfully light gel that disappears when you put it on, and washes off in the shower. I couldn’t find a link to the exact one, but it’s similar.

For lazy: Bioderma Hydrabio Perfecteur SPF30. It triples as a moisturizer, sunscreen and makeup primer, and this was what I used exclusively on my Seoul trip because I can’t be arsed to bring that many products when I travel. It works a dream, left my face looking matte and bright and it has pigments that blur and hide pores.


6 thoughts on “Skincare Lesson: Sunscreen

    1. Hello darling!

      I’m assuming you’re referring to acne and pimples when you say spots? Acne-prone skin is often very sensitive, and should be treated gently like sensitive skin. I’m a huge fan of Bioderma products, and I’ve “prescribed” their Sensibio and Sebium ranges to friends who struggle with acne and they’ve all reported great results. Bioderma makes an excellent sunscreen for sensitive skin that’s suitable for acne as well, the Bioderma Photoderm Sensitive Sun Extreme Milk SPF 50+ 100 Ml“>Bioderma Photoderm Sensitive Sun Extreme Milk SPF 50, which is very light and won’t aggravate existing spots, but with excellent UVA and UVB protection. Also, always remember to cleanse and hydrate your skin well, in order to strengthen its immune system against the acne-causing bacteria on your skin, drink lots of water and eat lots of fiber in your diet to ensure you’re consistently flushing out toxins in your system. Hope this helps!

  1. I’ve tried convincing my friends that sun cream is so important but they don’t listen to me *sigh* Personally, I really like the Eucerin Sun Fluid Mattifying Face 50+!

    1. Darling, when you’re 60 but look 35 and they’re 35 but look 60, they’ll finally listen! Hahaha just kidding. I do like Eucerin, their Shower Oil is great for super dry skin!

  2. I am trying to find a sunblock with the highest level of UVA. The term ‘broad spectrum’ only guarantees good protection; the three star Asian system is too vague and even the Boots 5 star system is not entirely reliable. Is it true that there needs to be at least 9% zinc oxide to provide good UVA protection in a physical sunblock? Do you know the percentage of meroxyl needed for a chemical block?
    Thanks x

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