Even expensive anti-ageing creams won’t work if you’re leaving out the most important product from your skincare routine – sunscreen! Here’s our list of super shielders, including a few formulated from all-natural ingredients and another that offers maximum protection from harmful rays so you can chill even when the weather heats up.
Astalift’s D-UV Clear White Solution, $72
I admit I was sold the moment I saw all the plusses on the tube. PA is a rating system developed to measure the level of sun protection offered by a sunscreen, and this PA++++ sunscreen by Astalift is supposed to have the highest UVA protection out there. (A sunscreen can have the highest SPF but your skin will still be damaged if the PA rating is low.) It’s also formulated with a bunch of skin-loving ingredients that I have trouble pronouncing, as well as three types of collagen so it doubles up as an anti-ageing weapon too.
To see if the product truly lives up to its hype, I slathered some on before a full day of biking with the fam. It comes in Astalift’s signature pink tint and rose scent that I’ve grown fond of and blends nicely into the skin, working almost like a subtle yet potent makeup base.
Two hours of pedalling under the fierce midday sun naturally caused me to sweat – yet the sunscreen stayed on. Four hours later, and it was still there. After six hours, my face and I emerged victorious, with nary a patch of sunburn. It could be the hat I was wearing, but I reckon there was some Astalift voodoo involved as well!
– Louisa Lim
IYAC Silk Sunscreen, $89
Free of nasties like paraben, synthetic fragrances and colouring agents, this silky smooth sunscreen from medical spa IYAC boasts a non-greasy and quick-absorbing formula. The gold cap is a luxe touch, and I love how easy it is to dispense just the right amount of sunscreen with a gentle squeeze. I didn’t get a cooling sensation upon applying it, but it definitely felt lightweight and absorbed well without much effort. Plus, the handy tube is the perfect size to carry along for touch-ups or staycations!
– Anthia Chng
L’Oréal Paris UV Defender, $29.90
Many sunscreens for the face have a thick texture or a chemical smell that I dislike. This product blew me away because it’s a serum – it’s absorbed easily by the skin to provide an SPF 50+ and a PA+++ wide spectrum protection.
There are four variations in the range: Moist & Fresh, Matte & Fresh, Bright & Clear, and Correct & Protect. They all sat lightly on my skin but my favourite is the latter – it’s tinted and blends into the skin like a BB or CC cream. Even after I applied my usual foundation over it, my skin still felt fresh. For casual days when I’m running errands or heading out for my daily teh-C fix, I’ll skip my CC cream and use this instead.
– Patricea Chow
Solbari Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF50+, $62
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Solbari are the sun protection experts. They specialise in UV-protective clothing, hats and accessories, so you know their sunscreen product is going to work.
Easily dispensed from a plastic pump bottle, the product spreads well and leaves a soft, almost powdery feel on the skin, and a little shine but no oil or tackiness. I have sensitive skin and this did not irritate at all. The scent is not strong either, which is nice if you want to wear sunscreen every day and not have it compete with your fragrance. It protects against UVA and UVB and is water resistant for four hours – even if exercising. They recommend reapplying every two hours, and to pop on one of their stylish Solbari sunhats, UV protective shirt and sunglasses when outside.
I ordered online and it was delivered via DHL within two days – quicker than some grocery delivery services here!
– Danielle Rossetti
CNP Laboratory’s Anti Blemish Correcting Sun, $49.90
First of all, I always thought Aussies reign supreme when it comes to sunscreens but I am now converted and think that the Koreans have gotten this recipe right.
At first, I was a little scared to try this product because I always thought anything with SPF 50+ is like putting cake frosting on your face… until I tried CNP Laboratory’s sunscreen. I was pleasantly proven very wrong about my sunscreen 50+ theory.
This cream has a wonderful light texture that glides on your skin like silk. It’s really easy to blend in and leaves no white after-colour – in fact, it makes your skin brighter and corrects uneven blotchy skin tone. The best part was that I didn’t find this sunscreen sticky or oily at all. I used it before putting on makeup and I found it very light and comfortable.
This cream is suitable for sensitive skin so I had my pre-teen daughter test drive it as well. She loves it. It’s perfect for everyday use and great for protection, and I love the packaging and the easy pump. Now, when are they going to come out with sunscreen 50+ with a tint? And where do I sign up?
– Susan Knudsen-Pickles
Porcelain’s Ultra-Sheer Platinum UV Protector, $128
What I loved most about the Porcelain UltraSheer Platinum UV Protector is that it’s a very lightweight formula that absorbs really well. I just let it set for a while before I put on my makeup. It’s an organic broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen that works double-duty to protect against blue light as well as UV rays. Other plus points are that this product leaves no white cast and doesn’t sting your eyes.
Initially, I was concerned that an SPF 28 may not be strong enough, especially when outside on sunny days, and as my skin is fair. But I have used it repeatedly on my walking tours and haven’t burnt at all. Having said this, I always lather on a generous amount and reapply every couple of hours to ensure best protection. It’s formulated with lavender flower water plus additional antioxidant ingredients and essential oils. One downside: I usually love skincare products with light natural scents, but I found the lemongrass scent to be a tad too strong.
– Karin Galley
This article first appeared in the December 2021 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy
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