Personal Essentials / The Look Book

Protection Is Key, Don’t Leave Home Without It

Happy Sunday everyone, today’s post features sunscreens I am currently rotating – some new, some have been with me for a while. I have excluded BB Creams and makeup bases which contains SPF because the list will be too long.

While drafting this post, the sunscreen song written by Mary Schmich in 1997 suddenly popped in my head – it’s a song telling everyone to wear sunscreen. I was 13 years old and really, I didn’t care or perhaps there is no one around me who seems concerned at all. I used to do so much sports under the sun (banging my head on the wall right now for not using a sunscreen).

I guess it’s never too late to start wearing a sunscreen, right?

I find sunscreens formulated in the past extremely thick, oily and heavy – I am really glad that advancement in technology and science are able to bring us the sunscreen we see today. Most of the formulas are lightweight, gentle on the skin and filled with skin caring ingredients – and smells good too.

Let’s take a look at what I have been using to protect myself from the harmful UV rays.

1. CLINIQUE Sun Face Cream SPF 50 UVA/UVB

Product information:

  • Innovative SolarSmart technology stabilizes high-level protection against the aging and burning effects of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Triggers a repair that helps prevent signs of aging.
  • With solar-activated antioxidants that help prevent visible damage.
  • Gentle enough for sensitive skins.
  • Dermatologist tested.
  • Oil-free.

Thoughts & usage:

  • The most creamy and thickest sunscreen amongst the rest.
  • It’s creamy and spreads over skin at ease.
  • Quick and simple application.
  • Dries clear with a dewy finish – I find the need to blot more often as compared to other sunscreens.
  • Due to the thicker consistency and it feels heavier on my skin, I only use it when I head to the beach.

Retails at S$45 for 50ml, made in Belgium. Available at all local Clinique destinations.

2. KIEHL’S Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA+++ UVA

Product information:

  • Prevents up to 90% of skin aging.
  • An oil-free, fragrance-free, colourant-free lightweight formula.
  • Provides broad-spectrum protection against 90% skin aging.

Thoughts & usage:

  • Although it’s in a cream form, it feels very lightweight on the skin.
  • Texture is somewhat airy, like whipped-cream – soft and fluffy.
  • Spreads easily on skin with fingers and dries clear with no white cast.
  • Blending is simple and fuss-free.
  • I enjoy wearing it under makeup as it’s not oily nor sticky.
  • The formula doesn’t alter my foundation shade nor causes my foundation to slip throughout the day.

Retails at S$95 for 60ml, made in France. 30ml is available at all local Kiehl’s destinations, 60ml is a limited edition size.

3. ORIGINS Mega-Bright Skin Illuminating UV Protector SPF 40 PA+++*

Product information:

  • Formulated with White Tea plus Maritime Pine and powerful UVA/UVB.
  • Helps perfect and protect skin from environmental damage to delay visible signs of aging.
  • Lightweight and hydrating.
  • Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins™ Mega-Bright Skin Illuminating Range previously introduced here.

Thoughts & usage:

  • Has a noticeably strong scent which I believe is a blend of White Tea and Citrus.
  • The orange filled scent wears off, doesn’t lingers around – it was quite dominant at first use but I got used to it, it’s really refreshing for the morning.
  • Illuminates skin instantly without making skin look oily or too shiny.
  • Texture is creamy, soft and easy to blend.
  • May appear tinted but it doesn’t provide any great form of coverage nor colour – spreads and dries out clear (suitable for all skin tones).
  • I enjoy wearing it alone or under my makeup as a 2-in-1 sunscreen + illuminating base.
  • This sunscreen creates a nice and smooth base for my foundation.

Retails at S$70 for 40ml, made in Belgium. Available at all local Origins destinations.

4. NARS Pro-Prime™ Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30 Sunscreen PA+++

Product information:

  • Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30/PA+++ harnesses the benefits of anti-oxidants, anti-stress and anti-pollution skincare ingredients to protect, soothe and balance the skin.
  • Ultra light and creamy to the touch, it keeps all skin types in balance by promoting hydration and absorbing oil where needed.
  • Mineral powders blur fine lines and wrinkles, allowing for a smooth, even makeup application.
  • This multi-tasking primer works with all skin types to protect and prime the skin for a makeup-ready finish.
  • Powerful anti-oxidants shea butter and the Tibetan urnula flower protect against free radicals and the irritation caused by environmental pollutants.
  • Indian frankincense, known for its potent anti-irritant benefits, balances reactive skin and creates a more even tone.
  • Oil free, alcohol-free, paraben-free, synthetic-fragrance free.
  • Dermatologist tested.
  • Non-comedogenic.

Thoughts & usage:

  • Texture is light and creamy, doesn’t feel heavy on the skin.
  • Doesn’t provide any forms of coverage, spreads over skin clear with a natural, dewy finish.
  • Although, the brands states that it helps blur fine lines and wrinkles, I did not notice any difference.
  • However, it does provides a smooth surface for makeup application afterwards.
  • I usually use this sunscreen under makeup but I wish to see an improvement on its oil control – it tends to get a little oily around my T-zone.

Retails at S$44 for 30ml, made in USA. Available on Nordstrom and NARS.

5. CLARINS UV Plus | HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 PA+++ UVA/UVB [Neutral]*

Product information:

  • UV Plus shields from sun damage with 100% mineral filters.
  • Defends against the elements with a patented anti-pollution complex.
  • Fights free radicals and DNA damage deep within the skin’s surface with organic Cantaloupe—Clarins’ powerful new anti-oxidant from Provence.
  • Invisible protection so sheer, it pairs perfectly with any moisturizer.

Thoughts & usage:

  • One of my all time favourite sunscreens.
  • Smells lovely, texture is light and watery – blends extremely quick and easily.
  • Doesn’t leave a white cast.
  • Creates a smooth and radiant base for makeup application.
  • I enjoy using this sunscreen with or without makeup – usually without makeup.
  • More of my thoughts on UV Plus | HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 PA+++ UVA/UVB [Neutral] here.

Retails at S$74 for 30ml, made in France. Available at all local Clarins destinations.

6. CLARINS UV Plus | HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 PA+++ UVA/UVB [Tinted]*

Product information:

  • Gives a natural-looking healthy glow.
  • Incredibly fine texture.
  • UV Plus | HP forms a protective film which leaves the complexion smooth and velvety, while enhancing its radiance thanks to a subtle pink-tinted texture.
  • It protects against UVA-UVB, dark spots and darkening of the complexion.
  • It also delivers very high anti-pollution and antioxidant protection which protects skin against premature ageing.

Thoughts & usage:

  • Texture is nice and smooth like the neutral version.
  • Creates a nice and even base for makeup application afterwards.
  • The light pink tint brightens up my complexion instantly.
  • Wearing it under my makeup helps provide a radiant, healthy glow.

Retails at S$74 for 30ml, made in France. Available at all local Clarins destinations.

7. CLARINS UV Plus | HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 PA+++ UVA/UVB [Beige]*

Product information:

  • Includes all the benefits stated above.
  • Slightly tinted, it is ideal for everyday and will leave your skin smooth and matte while boosting a very natural-looking radiance.
  • Previously introduced here.

Thoughts & usage:

  • The newest addition to the Clarins UV Plus | HP range.
  • I find this sunscreen’s texture a little thicker than the other two (neutral and tinted).
  • It’s a little more difficult to blend and I find the shade a tad too fair for my skin tone.
  • I had to apply in parts and blend before the sunscreen dries.
  • Colour seems to match me better if I dust a small amount of loose powder/compact foundation over with a brush.
  • Provides more coverage with a sheen.

Retails at S$74 for 30ml, made in France. Available at all local Clarins destinations.

8. SHISEIDO Multi-Defense UV Protector SPF 50 PA+++

Product information:

  • Oil-free daily protector against 3 major causes of skin cell damage: UV Rays, oxidation and over production of sebum.
  • This ultra-light formulation spreads smoothly and contains mineral powders and herbal extracts to maintain a pore-free and shine-free finish.
  • Formulated with Shiseido’s highly effective multi-defense sun protection system and advanced skincare ingredients which prevent damage and free radical production.
  • Exclusive OptiVeil-UV technology provides advanced protection from UVA/UVB rays that may cause photo-aging.
  • Provides sufficient moisture for skin that is smooth to the touch.
  • Free of any sticky residue, doubles as the ideal base for a long-lasting, beautiful foundation finish.
  • Is easily removed with a daily cleanser.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Suitable for oily skin types.

Thoughts & usage:

  • Another one of my all time favourite sunscreens.
  • Lightweight texture and velvety matte finish is a plus for my skin type.
  • I bought it after trying sachets of its sample.
  • Read more of my thoughts about the Shiseido Multi-Defense UV Protector SPF 50 PA+++ here.

Retails at S$59 for 30ml, made in Japan.

9. SHISEIDO Perfect UV Protector SPF 50+ PA+++*

Product information:

  • A very water-resistant sun protection lotion that provides reliable defense against UV rays while offering advanced skincare benefits.
  • Ideal for face and body, and especially formulated for strong sunlight conditions.
  • Protects skin from UVA/UVB rays and helps reduce signs of photo-aging with exclusive SuperVeil-UV 360 technology.
  • Absorbs quickly and feels comfortable on skin.
  • Promotes a smoother application of foundation and a lasting makeup finish.
  • Removes easily with basic cleansers.
  • Very water-resistant.
  • Perspiration-resistant.
  • Shiseido Perfect UV Protector SPF 50+ PA+++ previously introduced here.

Thoughts & usage:

  • Newest addition to the Shiseido sunscreen family.
  • If you like the Shiseido Multi-Defense UV Protector SPF 50 PA +++, you will love this.
  • Easy to apply with no visible white cast.
  • Spreads easily over the skin and sets into a very natural second-skin finish.
  • Feels light all day – as if I am not wearing anything on my face.
  • I enjoy wearing this sunscreen under makeup as it’s so light and invisible.

Retails at S$59 for 50ml, made in Japan.


Generally, I am very happy with most of the sunscreens I have at the moment. What do I look out for when it comes to sunscreens? High protection, anything that’s above SPF 30 would be great. I don’t mind if it’s cream or liquid, so long it feels light, not sticky nor oily.

To round-up and summarise all the sunscreens above, I would recommend the following if you are looking for a new sunscreen to try;-

Best sunscreen for daily use:

  • KIEHL’S Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA+++ UVA
  • CLARINS UV Plus | HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 PA+++ UVA/UVB [Neutral]*

Best sunscreen for use under makeup:

  • ORIGINS Mega-Bright Skin Illuminating UV Protector SPF 40 PA+++*
  • CLARINS UV Plus | HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 PA+++ UVA/UVB [Tinted]*

Best overall performer, multi-use sunscreen for use alone, under makeup etc.:

  • SHISEIDO Perfect UV Protector SPF 50+ PA+++*


Since we are at the topic of suncare, I found this article from Her World June 2012 which I would like to share.

just how much sunscreen do you need?

When to reapply – Every three hours, says Dr Vanessa Phua, aesthetic physician at Asian Healthcare Partners. But if your sunscreen isn’t waterproof or it has a liquid texture (read: it runs off skin more quickly), reapply every two hours.

Mass coverage – For your sunscreen to be really effective, the British Association of Dermatologists recommends: at least 2mg per square cm of skin. Confused? That’s about one shot glass for the entire body surface.

you know your SPF but there’s more

What’s the best way to apply sunscreen – massage into skin like a serum or pat all over?
There isn’t much of a difference. But gently patting on any skincare causes less irritation than rubbing it in, especially if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin. Also, too much massaging may cause your sunscreen to rub off.

Can I use a regular cleanser to remove sunscreen?
This depends on the sunscreen’s consistency. If it is a thick cream or has an oily texture, you should remove it as you would for cosmetics – with a makeup remover. If it’s not creamy or oily, a facial wash will do.

What works for sensitive skin?
Sunscreens in lotion, gel or spray formulas. These are usually lighter and less oily so they won’t aggravate skin so much. Also, choose those with physical sunblock ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These two blockers have fewer chemicals, so potential irritants are reduced.

The thicker the sunscreen, the more it protects: true?
Creamier sunscreens usually contain oil, making them more water-resistant – good for the beach or for swimming. But the SPF is the only indicator of the level of protection.

I work indoors. Will applying SPF 30 PA+++ in the morning protect me sufficiently?
Yes, but if your skin comes into contact with excessive perspiration, water or friction (when you use a towel or tissue), you should reapply sunscreen before heading out.


Hope this post has been helpful. What sunscreens are you currently using? Do you have any favourites to share?

Thank you for reading, have a great week ahead.

29 thoughts on “Protection Is Key, Don’t Leave Home Without It

  1. I love this post. A good comparison among the many sunscreen options. I am currently using the Clarins one but I replaced with BB cream with SPF during days with makeup. Do you think it suffice?

    • Hi Carrots,
      Thank you and hope this post helped..
      Does your BB Cream contains sufficient SPF?
      I think it depends, if you are always indoors, I think SPF 30 is good enough but still, try to look for something that’s SPF 50 so you don’t have to worry getting outdoors too =)
      When I apply BB Cream, I still apply a layer of sunscreen as I normally replace BB Cream for foundation..

    • Just wanna add that, IMO, it’s a MUST to wear sunscreen under blemish balms or any other skincare / make-up products even if they contain SPF, because to get the amount of sun protection stated on the products, you need to apply roughly ½ teaspoon’s worth of product. Nobody really applies that much product on their faces, which means that most of us aren’t getting as much sun protection as we think. If your moisturiser / make-up base only provides SPF 15, you aren’t well-protected from sun damage at all. The best thing to do is to buy a sunscreen with high SPF (above 30*, PA+++**) so even if you don’t apply 1 tsp of it, you’re getting more protection than if your sunscreen is under SPF30.

      And, don’t forget your lips! Maybelline Baby Lips is a lip balm which offers SPF20 protection (not sure about PA ranking).

      *SPF30+ recommended by American Academy of Dermatology. **PA refers to the amount of protection from UVA rays; SPF refers to protection from UVB rays.

  2. joey, thank you for this post. You have put so much effort into this and I always enjoy reading your blog.
    Shiseido’s sunscreen is very popular among bloggers, I am sure this one is really good. How do you compare Shiseido’s to Kiehl’s?

    • Hi dear,
      You are most welcome!!
      Both are love, I can’t decide but I guess the main difference is Kiehl’s is creamy and Shiseido’s is watery and that it can be worn over body too + very water resistant..
      If we were to compare price + benefits, I think the Shiseido one is more value for money?

  3. Very informative – thank you! Definitely going to get the Shiseido Perfect UV Protector next. Can you tell me what percentage of zinc oxide there is in it?

  4. I came across your blog by random and I have to say you did a great review! Thanks for clearing up my doubt. I would like to try out Kiehl’s as I don’t like creamy and oily sunscreen. 🙂

    • Hi Michelle,
      Thank you for popping by and commenting!!
      You are so kind =)
      Kiehl’s is creamy tho but not sticky nor oily for me..
      You may want to try Shiseido’s because it’s more watery?
      Grab some samples!!

  5. hi! i’ve always used clarins neutral/tinted sunscreen. but have been thinking of getting SHISEIDO Perfect UV Protector SPF 50+ PA+++ for my next bottle. i have dry/sensitive skin, with oil t-zone (more of on the nose). does the SHISEIDO Perfect make your skin oily? would you prefer shiseido’s to clarins’s?

    • Hi Vick,
      I have combination/sensitive skin, I get oily around my T-zone mid day so blotting is a must no matter what I use =(
      Shiseido’s light and it doesn’t make my T-zone as oily as some others do.
      I like both Shiseido’s and Clarins’ as much but I think Shiseido’s a tiny better than Clarins’ when it comes to oil control.
      When you switch from Clarins’ to Shiseido’s, you will find Shiseido’s very watery and easy to blend, it literally feels as if you have nothing on your skin – yes, that light.
      Hope I helped =)

  6. Hi, I enjoyed reading your comparison between diff brands of sunscreen. It is very informative for a newbie like me. I m looking for a non shiny & pore concealing sunscreen. Which brand do u think I should try? Does Shiseido really provide powdery finish? Tks.

    • Hello Jovin,
      Thank you so much for leaving a comment.
      Am really happy my post helped =)
      Yes it does!!
      I used the Shiseido one during my trip to Maldives and it provided me beautiful finish, I didn’t even wear any makeup during the day!!
      It’s lightweight and stays comfortable all day despite the heat and sweat xx

  7. Hi Joey! I also have combination skin, which would you recommend more? Shiseido multi-defense or shiseido perfect? Have you tried shiseido Anessa? Thank you!

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