MANILA, Philippines – Summer is finally here, and your SPF game better be strong AF, because the sun definitely is. Sun exposure can lead to skin aging, damage –wrinkles, age spots, discoloration, sagging – and skin cancer. That’s why investing in a good sunscreen is vital, especially in a country like ours where the sun doesn’t let up.
There are two primary things to consider when choosing sunscreen: the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and the PA (Protection Grade of UVA). The former protects against UVB rays, which cause sunburn, while the latter protects against UVA rays, which cause skin aging.
For Koreans, sun protection is a top priority. You have only to look at your favorite K-drama star’s complexion to see that. Koreans know that when it comes to protecting the skin against the harmful rays of the sun, it’s full-on war, so it comes as no surprise that their sunscreen products are built for combat. In addition to bringing their A-game in the fight against sun protection, what makes K-beauty sunscreens better than your usual sunscreen is that they’re lightweight and non-greasy.
Neogen Daylight Protection Sunscreen SPF50/PA+++
Neogen’s sunscreen is perfect for all skin types and moisturizes as it protects your skin: rose and raspberry extracts provide major hydration and minimize redness. The quick-absorbing formula offers heavy-duty protection against the sun while remaining extremely lightweight. It also doesn’t react with your makeup and leave you with a streaky foundation. Available on BeautyMNL, P1,150
Missha All-around Velvet Finish Sun Milk SPF50/PA++++
You gotta love a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection, is humidity-proof (a plus in our sauna-like weather), is non-greasy and lightweight, and has a matte finish so it can easily double as a makeup primer. As if that’s not enough, the key ingredients include plant extracts that protect against environmental stressors like pollution, dust, and the UV rays. When they say all-around, they mean all-around. Available on Althea, P990
Etude House Sunprise Mild Watery Light SPF50+/PA+++
In case the name hasn’t clued you in yet, this sunscreen is ultra-lightweight and airy. Thanks to the formula, which contains water-soluble lecithin, it glides on smoothly and leaves no greasy residue. It contains a whopping 20 plant ingredients that combat sun damage, like dwarf ground sedge extract for UV ray protection, aloe vera for skin hydration, mistletoe leaves for skin renewal, and acai berry for skin vitality. Available on Etude House, P548
Make P:rem Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF50+/PA++++
This sunscreen protects agains UVB and UVA rays as well as IR (infrared waves)! Infrared waves penetrate even deeper into the skin than UVA rays, causing faster skin aging. The plant extracts in this sun gel is what lowers skin temperature and cools it, preventing IR heat damage. It’s also light enough to act as a makeup primer, leaves no white cast, and has hydrating properties. Available on BeautyMNL, P1,300
CosRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50+/PA+++
All that broad-spectrum protection against UV rays plus powerful skin hydrating and soothing properties from the aloe make this sunscreen a top pick, especially for girls with sensitive skin. It has a light formula so it’s easily and quickly absorbed by the skin, leaving no unwanted residue or unsightly white cast and making it totally makeup-friendly. Available on BeautyMNL, P666
Dear Klairs Midday Blue Sun Lotion SPF40/PA++
Formulated for sensitive skin, this sunscreen is a tone-up K-beauty product. This means that it brightens and evens out your skin tone and protects it from discoloration, making it the perfect pre-makeup sunscreen. It contains guaizulene that has anti-inflammatory properties, soothing skin irritation and redness brought on by infrared heat. Available on BeautyMNL, P1,300
The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Power Long-Lasting Sun Cream SPF50+/PA+++
This sunblock is a bestseller for good reason: It gives you powerful protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, is water- and sweat-resistant (a plus in Philippine climate), provides hydration courtesy of the sunflower sprout extract, and also serves as a skin-brightening makeup primer that evens out skin tone. Available at The Face Shop branches, P895 – Rappler.com