The sun is great but we cannot stress enough the importance of having proper sun protection to prevent premature aging and uneven pigmentation when in the outdoors, especially on our face, arms and neck.
When you are choosing the best or most suitable sunscreen for the face, there are usually a few considerations: will it be sticky and heavy, will it irritate or dry my skin, is the sun protection (SPF) sufficient?
Let’s start with the easy question. Generally, any protection below SPF15 is insufficient in Singapore’s sun. Therefore, if you really want protection from the sun rays, pick one that is at least SPF25.
Next consideration, would the sun block irritate or dry my skin? Do you have sensitive skin that flares up easily when the wrong product is applied? If so, I would strongly urge you to do a test spot before applying any cream or lotion to your face. For sunscreens, there are 2 main types, chemical block or physical block. For chemical block, the active ingredients, usually octolcrylene, octinoxate and avobenzone, counteract with the harmful UVA and UVB rays when they reach your skin, reducing the sun damage. Chemical sunscreen will usually require user to apply the lotion at least 20 minutes before exposure to the sun for maximum effect. Because there is a chemical reaction that happens when the active ingredient neutralise the harmful rays, it can cause allergic reactions on and irritate sensitive skin.
For physical blocks, the sunscreen contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These two minerals act as a physical barrier to block out the harmful rays. If you must know, titanium oxide protects your skin against UVB and some UVA rays, while zinc oxide deflects the full spectrum of UVB and UVA rays. These are the ones that will leave a tone of whitish hue on your body.
The last consideration would be your personal preference: fragrance or non-fragrance, with moisturising qualities or without, spray on or rub one, compatibility with make-up, and the list goes on. It is also common for the sunblock to feel light and gentle on the face and is non-greasy.
Here are two organic sunscreen I would recommend you:
1) The Sun Lotion from Little Innoscents. SPF30. It is fragrant free, non-greasy, uses zinc oxide as an active ingredient and is suitable for face and babies.
2) The SolarCare Lotion by Buds Organics. SPF25. It uses titanium dioxide to reflect UVA and UVB rays. It is another light sunscreen that is created for babies’ use and suitable for the face and sensitive skin. Natural emollients like sunflower, olive and jojoba oils and shea butter offer deep moisturisation, while aloe vera, rich olive leaf extract and natural vitamin E offer additional protections against free radicals.