ego skincare, sunsense sunscreen

Whether I’m in (my country of birth) sunny Scotland (*insert sarcastic giggle* because when is Scotland ever sunny?) or (my current country of residence) in Australia, I make sure that I slap on some sort of sun protection every morning because I do not want :-

1) wrinkles
2) pigmentation
3) skin cancer

Yes, some people associate ‘sun’ with ‘tan’ and they LOVE baking in the sun but no, not I, sir!  Don’t get me wrong though, I love sunshine as it is uplifting and makes me happy but I’ll go slap on sunscreen and sit in the darkest shade, thank you very much.

In case you’re not a skincare boffin, allow me to give you a mini sunscreen lecture along with product recommendations…

There are basically 3 types of sunscreens :-

1.  Let’s Get Physical

Physical sunscreens protect skin from the sun by blocking or deflecting the sun’s rays.  I think of it as a physical barrier.  Applied after normal skincare.

Active ingredients :  Zinc oxide, titanium oxide
Pros :  Immediate sun protection, generally stable, doesn’t cause skin radicals (these are nasties which can cause skin irritation, wrinkles, etc)
Cons :  Can leave a white ghostly cast, takes longer to rub into skin

Invisible Zinc

Product recommendations :  Invisible Zinc range { I have yet to find another purely physical sunscreen brand but if you know of any, please let me know }

1.  Invisible Zinc ESP – everyday moisturiser!  My ultimate long-time favourite!

2.  Invisible Zinc 4 HR Water Resistant SPF 50+ – great for a day at the beach and outdoor fitness enthusiasts

3.  Invisible Zinc Face + Body Sunscreen – I actually use this when I’m just dashing out quickly to the post office and I use it on exposed areas of my arms and hands.  You can use it on your face too but I prefer ESP over this as I feel it has a sticky feeling.

2.  My Chemical Romance

Chemical sunscreens mostly work by absorbing the sun’s rays.  This has to be applied before any other form of skincare; directly onto skin to have full effect.

Active ingredients :  Octylcrylene, avobenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, etc
Pros :  Easier to blend, no white cast
Cons :  Must wait 20 minutes after application for full effect of sun protection, considered safe but some chemicals can cause free radicals (the nasties which cause skin irritation, wrinkles, etc)


Product recommendations

1.  Aspect Envirostat Dry Touch SPF 50 – this is a great sunscreen which doesn’t leave that sticky feeling and dries really quickly on the skin plus it is travel-friendly with that clip making it easy for sunscreen top-ups

2.  Sunsense range – this range is purse-friendly and my current favourite product is Moisturising Face SPF 50+ which I use when I’m at home or under make-up when I have a major event to attend

3.  A Mixed Bag

Mixed sunscreens contain active ingredients from both physical and chemical sunscreens.  Not really a TRUE type of sunscreen…but it means you get the best of both worlds right?


Product recommendations

1.  Cetaphil UVA / UVB Defence SPF 50+ – a nice everyday moisturiser when I know I’ll be indoors most of the time.

2.  La-Roche Posay Anthelios range – I LOVE their SPF 50+ Tinted Cream – you know a skincare product is a winner when your colleague compliments you!!!  Yep, I’ve not even worn BB cream since I started using this!  The Melt-In Cream is pretty good too but I always have a white cast residue as it clings onto my dry skin patches.

Important Points To Remember

  • Makeup, e.g. BB creams (and even daily moisturisers with SPF) may not have adequate sun protection
  • You need to know the concentration and the active ingredients of sunscreen (beyond the scope of this post, I’m afraid…)
  • SPF 100 does not mean it gives double the sun protection of SPF 50.
  • Regardless of SPF or which sunscreen type, you ALWAYS need to reapply sunscreen.
  • How often should you reapply sunscreen?  Well, I couldn’t find an answer for that as it depends on so many factors…but according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “no sunscreen, regardless of strength, should be expected to stay effective longer than two hours without reapplication”

Well, if you have made it this far, thank you for reading my mini sunscreen lecture.  I am definitely no sunscreen skin expert, but if in doubt, just slap it on, you slapper 😛  Otherwise you’ll get burnt like I did once upon a time in a blog post named Asians, Alcohol and After Sun

Disclosure :  Some of these products were provided for editorial consideration but I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t like them.  I have also repurchased some of these products as it is sunny season in good old Melbourne!

8 Comments on Types of Sunscreen & Product Recommendations in Australia

  1. Paige Mckinnon
    30/10/2014 at 2:28 pm (3 years ago)

    Such an informative post! ^ ^
    I live in Australia too and I always make sure that I am wearing sunscreen when I am stepping out! ^ – ^

    • Ling
      04/11/2014 at 11:38 am (3 years ago)

      @Paige Mckinnon, Thanks Paige! Whereabouts in Australia do you live?

  2. Andre
    30/10/2014 at 8:55 pm (3 years ago)

    Nice blog…my wife will love this…You have great graphics on your blog too, by the way!…Keep up the good work!

    • Ling
      04/11/2014 at 11:38 am (3 years ago)

      @Andre, Thank you!

  3. Tram
    02/11/2014 at 1:29 pm (3 years ago)

    Reapply after 2 hours?! How to reapply if I’m wearing make-up and out for the day? =(

    I’ve heard a lot about Invisible Zinc, but it’s kinda pricey!!! Meep.

    Hope all has been well cute Ling xx

    • Ling
      04/11/2014 at 11:38 am (3 years ago)

      @Tram, Good question! I don’t actually reapply if I’m wearing a full face of makeup because mehh…don’t want to ruin my face! All is good, thank you cutie Tram!!! Hope all is good with you too xxx

  4. Karen
    09/11/2014 at 8:34 am (3 years ago)

    I’m pretty sure that Becca does a physical sunscreen – in a teal tube. And perhaps their tinted moisturisers are also physical sunscreen based (I haven’t checked though). The only thing I don’t like about physical sunscreens is they feel very suffocating on my face. That said, I’d go for one of those if I was spending the day outdoors. My mother’s dermatologist recently recommended Cetaphil Suntivity 50+ as a good suncreen.

    • Ling
      11/11/2014 at 9:22 am (3 years ago)

      @Karen, Thanks for the recommendations Karen. I’ve just read a review on Cetaphil Suntivity and that’s going on my neverending to-buy list hehe