Singapore has one of the highest UV levels as per the WHO’s UV Index, so humid weather or not, there is no excuse for skipping on the sunscreen. But when the weather is so muggy, the last thing you want to do is add on another layer of goop onto your already sweaty skin.
Bearing this in mind, we have sifted through and tried and tested several products that will make summer-time (or in the case of Singapore, all the time) protection more bearable.
The depletion of the ozone layer has increased our risk of sun damage from harmful UV rays. Sunscreen blocks these rays, greatly reducing the likelihood of sunburn and by applying sunscreen every day, you can cut your risk of contracting skin cancer by half.
It’s All About Protection: Here’s A List Of Our Favourite Sunscreens
Sunscreens come in many forms. From your familiar topical cream or spray sunscreen, to oral sunscreen and more recently shower-on sunscreen.
The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Face Mist SPF45 PA++ 60ml / $35, we love how handy this anti-pollution, anti-oxidant and anti-dullness spray is. Reapplication of sunscreen is a breeze with this, just shake and spray.
Dermatologically tested, non-comedogenic and suitable for all skin types, this sunscreen spray is enriched with Community Trade marula oil from Namibia and is the perfect size for your handbag or in my case, my satchel. I am a huge fan of The Body Shop products and this has now become a daily must-have.
EHA Sunshield 24hr, 30ml / $98, I really like how lightweight this sunscreen is. Eventhough it provides SPF100 protection, it does not feel heavy or thick on my skin at all. This sunscreen is lightly tinted and evens out my skintone and makes my skin look natural, but better.
It has been proven to block UV-A and UV-B rays by 99% as well as blue light, for a period of 24-hours, with just one application. It also prevents spot generation, keeping the skin cool and resistant against sunburn. The main ingredient used in EHA Sun Shield 24hr is the “Y titanium particle” and you only need a very thin layer to get a whole day’s protection. No reapplication required. My editor swears by this product and I can totally see why.
ANESSA Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Milk SPF50, 60ml / $39.90, this sunscreen is not only sweat and waterproof, it is also friction resistant – which is great news for those of you who like to take a quick nap post lunch. With its improved Aqua Booster EX Technology, UV protection becomes stronger even when in contact with sweat or water.
It is also formulated with 50% skin care ingredients to protection against dryness, sun damage and skin ageing caused by UV exposure. I haven’t used Anessa sunscreen before, but am totally loving how lightweight it feels on my skin.
Maria Galland Cell’defense Daily Protection Veil SPF 50+, 30ml, this invisible multi-protection sunscreen smells so lovely. I seriously can’t get over how amazing Maria Galland products smell.
This sunscreen protects skin cells against UVA and UVB rays with its perfect blend of chemical and mineral filters while simulataneously protecting the skin from damaging environmental pollution.
LIERAC Sunissime Energising Protective Fluid SPF50, 40ml / $58, has a light fragrance and keeps skin protected without leaving a greasy residue. It also provides anti-slackening and anti-dark spot protection.
It provides full-spectrum filtering of UVA, UVB and Infrared and Visible light, while pro-taurine traps free radicals and hyaluronic acid forms a protective film to keep skin moisturised.
Heliocare Advanced XFgel SPF50, 50ml / $54.55, is now my daily go-to topical sunscreen for full body protection. With vitamin E and photo-protective technologies, it is able to give optimal protection by repairing damaged cellular DNA, slowing down premature skin ageing, reducing the degradation of collagen and preventing hyperpigmentation.
It is super lightweight, melts into the skin and is suitable for all skin types and does not leave that unattractive white cast that certain sunscreens tend to do.
The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SFP50, 40ml, this is feather light, milk-to-water essence with broad spectrum UV filters, brightening red algae and Vitamin C, to help protect skin against multiple skin aggressors, while providing utmost comfort.
It protects skin from UVA rays, including long UVA rays, which reach deep within the skin and accelerate the process of skin ageing. SPF 50 helps protect skin from UVB rays that trigger redness and damage the skin’s surface while red algae extract and vitamin C brighten the skin for a more luminous complexion.
ANESSA Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Gel 90g / $32.90, this sunscreen can be used on your both the face and body. It’s sweat and waterproof and can even be used as a makeup base. Its Aqua Booster Technology means that its UV protection becomes stronger even when in contact with sweat or water.
This sunscreen also provides long lasting hydration and keeps skin soothed and comfortable. The non-sticky gel spreads easily and leaves skin looking dewy.
ANESSA Whitening UV Sunscreen Gel SPF50, 90g / $32.90, this light, aqua touch dewy gel for the face and body helps to brighten the complexion. Both sweat and waterproof, it can even be used as a makeup base. Formulated with 50% skin care ingredients, it protects as well as cares for your skin.
Its unique brightening essence helps to suppress melanin production to prevent the formation of dark spots and freckles. With a non-sticky and light weight texture, the Whitening UV Sunscreen Gel spreads easily and keeps the skin moisturized.
Porcelain Summer Skincare Kit, $88 (UP $101), I love this little travel set, which I can just pop into my satchel. The set consists of their Porcelain Soothe – Hydro Cleanser (30ml) a sulphate free gentle cleanser, Porcelain Soothe – Deep Hydrating Lotion (30ml) which replenishes and locks in moisture. Heals and regenerates the skin with rose, jojoba and vitamin E oils and the Porcelain Soothe – Aloe Recovery Gel (10ml) which repairs, heals and protects. Think of it as your handy little skin care emergency kit for when you are on the go.
Sun Protection Beyond Sunscreen
Sometimes, sunscreen is just not enough. The primary function of broad spectrum sunscreens is to act as a barrier against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens cannot filter out IR rays, which can penetrate deep into our skin and damage its DNA.
UNIQLO AIRism UV Cut Mesh Hoodie $19.90, this super lightweight and very cute hoodie can shield up to 90% of harmful UV rays. UNIQLO’s UV Cut collection keeps you protected and comfortable in hot climates and offers a protection level of UPF 40 (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). The UV Cut range is stylish and so very comfortable and also includes a men’s and kids’ collection.
Heliocare Oral 60 Capsules $57.75, since I started working on this story, I have been religiously ingesting a capsule every morning after breakfast. The key ingredient, Fernblock is an excellent antioxidant property which is able to reduce free radicals by up to 50%, preventing the formation of hyperpigmentation caused by UV rays. It protects the entire skin surface, increasing the skin’s resistance against sunburn by up to 300%.
Other than protecting your skin from harmful UV rays, Fernblock repairs existing damage on the cellular level, preventing cell mutation and premature skin ageing.
Keep Skin Moisturised, But Not Greasy
Just because it’s sweltering outside, does not mean you can skip on the moisturiser. Moisturizing your body after a shower is important because hot water strips the moisture and oils out of the skin, leaving it dry.
Here are some great body care products that keep your skin hydrated minus the heavy feeling that usually comes with most body lotions.
Jowae Nourishing Dry Oil 100ml, $25.60, this lightweight oil is suitable for normal, dry and even sensitive skin. This is seriously a great multi-tasker as it can be used on the face, body and hair. Antioxidant Lumiphenol and Camellia Oil nourishes and comforts the skin and it also leaves my skin smelling lovely.
LOVE BEAUTY AND PLANET Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Luscious Hydration Body Lotion, 400ml, $13.90, OMG this lotion smells divine (it’s the mimosa flowers) and the scent can last for a few hours. It leaves skin hydrated for 24-hours but is not heavy or sticky, making it perfect for our weather.
This lightweight and fast absorbing moisturiser comes in three gorgeous smelling varients which we are obsessed with.
The Body Shop Aloe Multi-Use Soothing Gel, 200ml / $27, is a soothing, cooling and refreshing, lightweight face and body gel moisturiser that hydrates and helps soothe dry and sensitive skin. Dermatologically tested, it is non-greasy and gentle on the skin and can even be used as an overnight leave-on mask, which I have been doing weekly.
The Body Shop 100% Natural Shea Butter, 150ml / $31, this is The Body Shop’s iconic Community Trade Shea Butter in its purest form. It comes as a solid block and has been carefully whipped to create a creamy, melting texture. This moisturising, multi-purpose butter can be used on the body, hair, face and lips and is inspired by Ghanaian women’s traditional beauty rituals.
I love using it on my hair after a shower, on my lips and elbows and knees. It’s just so rich and creamy and just perfect before bed.
Summer Friendly Facial Skincare Products That We Are Obsessed With
Once again, the humid weather is not an excuse to skip your facial skin care regimen. Here is a bunch of face loving products that will keep your skin in tip top condition without making you look or feel greasy.
Senka All Clear Sheet, 10pieces / $3.50, I personally prefer cleansing sheets when I double-cleanse as they are so much more convenient. For me, personally I prefer to get those that are more environmentally friendly. That’s why I like the fact that these are made from 100% pure cotton from Japan and is gentle on the skin, but still able to thoroughly remove heavy makeup, even waterproof mascara.
Infused with moisturising and skin-conditioning ingredients (SENKA’s signature natural silk cocoon essence, double hyaluronic acids and Xylitol) it moisturises my skin and reduces dullness. Specially loving the fact that it is formulated to clear blackheads and dead skin cells for clean and clear bare skin.
Senka Perfect Whip Facial Cleanser, 120g / $7.90, when the weather is so yucky, you need a gentle yet effective cleanser to keep your skin clean. I can totally see why it has been voted Japan’s No.1 Facial Cleanser in Japan for eight consecutive years.
Shiseido’s unique moisture-boosting Aqua-In-Pool ingredient protects and strengthens the skin against day-to-day damage and reinforces the skin’s barrier function, while Senka’s signature Silk Cocoon Essence locks in moisture, leaving skin clean but not tight.
EHA Suncare Facial Wash SPF30 / 236ml, $65, all I can say is that it’s about time someone invented a face wash with sun protection. Now it’s as easy as washing your face to stay protected, how cool is that!
This revolutionary user-friendly SPF technology encapsulates all the active ingredients, providing a layer of sun protection in one easy step. It is also infused with soothing antioxidants that leaves skin supple and soft with no greasy residue.
JOWAE Hydrating Water Mist, 200ml / $18.00, I use this as a face toner and keep it in my bag so I can refresh my skin and makeup whenever I am feeling hot and bothered. With antioxidant Lumiphenols and Sakura blossom water, this delicately scented water is suitable for all skin types.
It moisturizes, refreshes and revives the skin, leaving it looking fresh, plumped and bright. It comes in two sizes and I carry the 50ml bottle with me at all times.
Maria Galland 64 Silky Soft lotion, 200ml / $82.39, this is a really lovely soft melting gel textured toning lotion that instantly plumps up the skin. It’s alcohol-free and suitable for all skin types, especially dry and sensitive skin. This toner balances the skin’s pH level and gets it ready for your skin care products. Because it’s so hydrating, makeup applies really well over it.
NEOVA DNA Total repair, 30ml / $169++ – $180++, ever since I got this product to test, I have been using it religiously, twice a day, hoping it can reverse the damage that years of neglect have caused.
Studies have shown that topical sunscreens can only protect up to 68% against DNA damage. This groundbreaking formula addresses the assaults of environmental and UV stressors that damage the skin and its DNA resulting in the visible signs of photo-ageing. This serum claims to be able to repair the damage and reduce it up to 93%.
Dermatologically tested, this serum treats fine line, wrinkles and discolourations caused by UV and environmental damage.
EHA Hydra Serum, 50ml / $120, this has got to be my favourite serum ever. The texture is viscous and absorbs instantly into the skin and you can literally see fine lines and open pores vanishing as you rub it in. The key ingredient of this product is Hyaluronic acid of a very high concentration and quality.
This uniquely lightweight serum is unscented, does not clog pores and is great after a treatment like laser. The high viscosity enables this serum to form a thin, yet highly protective layer over the skin, to maintain and trap moisture.
The Body Shop Mint Mattifying Face Mist, 60ml / $12, my skin is so shiny it’s embarrassing. This delightfully scented mist leaves my face looking mattified and shine-free. Infused with a winning combination of mint from Nicaragua, seaweed extract from Ireland and kaolin clay from the UK, it leaves my skin feeling hydrated and instantly refreshed. I also like the fact that the bottle is small enough to pop into my bag for touchups throughout the day.
Keep B.O At Bay
A deodorant is a must-have, especially during the swealtering summer months (which is every day, here in Singapore), to prevent body odour caused by the bacterial breakdown of perspiration in the armpit area and other areas of the body.
Here are two deodorants that we just don’t leave the home without using.
Maria Galland Soft And Gentle Cream Deodorant 425, 40ml / $49.22, let us start off by saying that this is the first time we have used a cream deodorant and we loved it. The scent though subtle, is still able to keep our pits stink-free after an entire day of running around in the sun.
This is a gentle cream deodorant is alcohol free. Its delicate, allergen-free fragrance is extremely well tolerated by the skin, making it perfect for those with sensitive pits. The antiperspirant contained in the deodorant reduces the formation of sweat and provides long-lasting protection. Oat extract stimulates the repair mechanisms of skin frequently stressed by hair removal, and increases its resistance while liquorice root extract soothes the sensitive underarm area.
LIERAC Homme 24Hr Roll-On Antiperspirant Deodorant, $20, this men’s deodorant prevents sweating and neutralizes odours for 24-hours. We love the long-lasting and intense fresh feeling and the masculine but subtle scent.
It is also formulated with plant glycerin which softens the skin and is scented with mint and lemon and won’t leave any residue or white streaks on clothes.
Science Says That UV Damage Can Cause Hair Fall
And its not just your skin you need to protect. Studies have shown that not only is your scalp prone to skin cancer if left unprotected, UV rays can also cause hairloss and balding. Eeek!
But if the thought of applying sunscreen directly onto your scalp makes you feel uncomfortable, try these three products that will keep your scalp protected without making you look like you forgot to shower.
EHA Suncare Body & Hair Wash SPF30 / 236ml, $65, is a handy fragrance-free shower-on sunscreen that will keep your skin, scalp and hair protected from damaging UV rays with every wash, with no greasy residue. Not only are you protecting your scalp, you are also extending your hair colour – since UV exposure causes colour fading (for those with colour treated hair). We also love how easy it is to stay protected with just a shower.
Klenskin Kids Shower On Sunscreen SPF30 / 236ml, every parent knows just how hard it is to apply sunscreen on a wriggling child. Threatening kids with future pigmentation and photoageing has no effect, so having a shower cream that doubles up as a moisturising sunscreen for their face, body and hair and smells like fresh strawberries is just an all round godsend!
This product is hypoallergenic, Paraben, Sulphate, PABA and Phthalate free and perfect for their delicate skin. It also makes morning shower-time so much less stressful.
Anessa Perfect UV Spray Aqua Booster SPF50 / 60g, $29.90, the Aqua Booster Technology in this sunscreen means that its UV blocking abilities are enhanced when exposed to sweat or water.
Hyaluronic acid, glycerin and Rosehip extract keep skin and scalp hydrated and protected. We love that it comes with a “sand-proof” feature, that prevents the skin and scalp from being covered with sand.
This handy spray can even be used with the container turned upside down and has a clean and refreshing citrus fragrance. The best thing is that it can be easily washed off with soap or shampoo.