Sun Protection Week: Day 2 – My Sun Protection Strategy (Given that I Don’t Want To Put 1/4 Teaspoon of Sunblock on My Face & I Don’t Want to Re-apply)

Before anything else, let me be clear, I’m only talking about sun protection on an everyday regimen here. When I go to the beach, I don’t scrimp on quantity and frequency of application.

I want to justify my ‘disobedience’ by saying that my morning commute is a mere 10 to 15 minutes, I stay indoors all day, and I go home after sunset. I am aware that fluorescent light has UV rays but it’s not like I will get sunburn by getting artificial light exposure.

One-third teaspoon of sunblock is something I just can’t commit to right now. Note: On Dr. Bailey’s skin care blog, 1/3 teaspoon is recommended, but several articles say a quarter teaspoon is enough.

I want to be able to go out with just sunblock on and not look like a mime. I could remediate the mime look by masking the mask with face powder or foundation but that’s too much trouble and I don’t wear base makeup every day.

So, what constitutes my sun protection strategy?

I use a zinc-oxide and/ or titanium oxide-based sunblock everyday. I apply it only once, in the morning, at a quantity as much as my skin can absorb — I stop at that sweet spot right before my face looks like it’s been slapped by toothpaste. If I am going to wear makeup I will put less.

When my skin is parched, I will put even less or none and put on a good moisturizer instead. My face can only handle so much goop and I believe that moisture trumps sun protection every time.

I had an interesting observation a few years back. I noticed that when my skin is well-moisturized I don’t get post-acne hyperpigmentation.

So I googled on how the skin behaves when it is well-moisturized. My readings can be summarized as follows:

“The skin has better defense system when it is not dehydrated.”

Maybe that’s the reason why I don’t get post-acne dark spots and why dry-skinned people are said to be more likely to get pre-mature wrinkles and sun-induced photoaging.

Incidentally, I stumbled upon this blog post a few years ago by a cosmetic chemist using a day moisturizer with only SPF 4. There’s a line there that goes:

“I was intrigued to read a posting on the Money Saving Expert website where a woman stayed out in the sun but only got burned on the parts of her body where she hadn’t used her moisturiser!”

That made me even more stubborn with how I choose to protect my skin against the sun: moisture first, sun protection second.

Anyway, going back to when I said I prefer using something that has zinc oxide and/ or titanium dioxide. Those two are physical blockers i.e., they reflect UV rays. All other sun protection ingredients are non-physical and they absorb UV rays (the latter is called chemical sunscreen, which I thought was a little funny because physical blockers are chemicals too).

I prefer physical sunblock because I don’t want to re-apply during the day. I am already at my quota for the number of face things to do in a day: (1) oil blotting; and (2) re-applying lipstick. My brain can’t process any more than that.

Physical blockers don’t disintegrate upon sun exposure — or so I’ve read. This means, unless it is brushed off, it’s there. My argument on not re-applying is, maybe if I’m not too malikot, the sunblock will stay the whole day.

I usually buy sunblock with at least SPF 30 and 3 plus-es. I could go lower with the SPF number but the +’s that come after the SPF-rating (e.g., SPF30+++) is non-negotiable. The plus indicate the level of sun protection it gives against UVA rays.

UVA = UV rays that cause photo-Aging
UVB = UV rays that cause sunBurn

The mnemonic above is likely to be an over-simplification but I will leave the elaboration to scientists and your googling skills.

My sun care routine may not be ideal for you because my risk appetite has always been high and re-application is out of the equation for me. But overall I think it my routine is adequate.

Disclaimer: I have brown skin, and I don’t burn quickly. If you’re pale, something else might work for you. But I hope you don’t stress yourself too much about it. The stress might age, or worse, kill you more than sun damage will.

I listed below the skin care routine of some of my favorite blogs. You’ll notice how different they all are:

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19 thoughts on “Sun Protection Week: Day 2 – My Sun Protection Strategy (Given that I Don’t Want To Put 1/4 Teaspoon of Sunblock on My Face & I Don’t Want to Re-apply)

  1. Great post, Rae! I hate having to put sunblock on my face. D: I’ve been using either a spray sunblock (sprayed on my hands and patted on my face) or one that’s specific to the face (Belo), which is actually pretty good at “absorption.” I absolutely detest the feeling of sunscreen on my skin, but I am three levels of paranoid, so slather on the sunblock we shall

  2. Gah, you’re lucky you have bronze skin. I have fair (yellow) skin so I really apply 1/4 tsp every two hours (I use mostly physical+chemical screens). I cannot wear makeup anyways so might as well be diligent with sunscreen! :D

    • I admire the diligence! I’m not morena though, but before, I wish I was, I used to go outside and make sure I get darker. My skin is not the type to get red immediately so I guess I’m lucky.

      How many sunblocks do you buy in a month? The perfect face milk is only 30ml, if you apply, est 4x a day it’ll only last 6 days. Whoa

      • Kaya yun 1/4-1/3 tsp di ba? :)) Minimal kasi ang white cast. That’s the beauty of using combination physical (zinc oxide) + chemical filters – less white cast. I am currently hunting sunscreen with primarily zinc oxide + chemical filters but with no alcohol.. can’t really stick with Biore / Missha screens now because I am starting to have dry skin – I don’t know, maybe because of my age / hormones.

      • I can imagine this drying out my skin if used everyday. I prefer Kanebo Allie. It also has alcohol but it has a gel/ cream consistency that’s somewhat non-drying. It doesn’t feel very siliconey too.

        Do you put a moisturizer underneath? I usually don’t but now I’m considering it. Pero baka yung Andalou Naturals serum na lang, para di masyado heavy.

      • My skin is very oily, kaya medyo nag-aadjust ako ngayon. The weather is making my skin dry (pero di naman tayo winter levels, so I don’t know why). Baka sa summer ko na lang gamitin si Biore Perfect Face.

  3. Pingback: Sun Protection Week: Day 3 – My Sun Protection Strategy for Outdoor Activities | Scatterbraintures

  4. Excellent and informative post, as always! I love what you mentioned about hydration. To my mind, that’s one less product to worry about. And it’s so interesting how you point out that overall skin health (e.g. hydration) means improved skin “immune system”. Making this whole skincare shebang less complicated, one product at a time…

    • That reminds me, I wonder why people put a separate moisturizer, sunblock, and primer and they complain about their face being greasy. I think that if you feel your sunblock is creamy enough, then there’s your moisturizer. Haha.

  5. I’m so happy we’re on the same boat on this! :D I also researched about this because before, I don’t use moisturizer thinking that I have oily skin and it will make my skin oilier but I was wrong! Now, I really like my skin well-moisturized. That’s my secret with my skin now. :D

  6. I love sun protection week! I’m learning a lot and you’ve convinced me to repurchase a sunscreen/sunblock. I used to have the Neutrogena one but I used it up a while back and haven’t repurchased it. Naghahanap ako ng mas mura pero nakalimutan ko na bumili.

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