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Song Hye-kyo’s creamy complexion – yours if you’re a sunscreen convert! © Laneige

Warning! If you reckon you have a sunny disposition, mooning over melanoma probably isn’t all that fun. And yet it bears repeating that sunscreen really is of the essence if you want to stave off skin cancer.

Yes, I’m well aware that preachy rebukes like mine will register as so much white noise against the beguiling backdrop of bronzed beach bods, consider this: An astounding 90 percent of visible skin aging can be directly attributed to sun exposure.

“You’re inviting the signs of aging sooner than you have to and throwing your money away on cosmetic procedures if you neglect to use sunscreen,” warns Dr. Adam Geyer, a New York dermatologist and Kiehl’s consulting medical expert. 

But what about the suffocating stickiness, Eugene! I hear you, guys. The solution’s simple: Let SPF50 be your upper ceiling when choosing sun care products, as anything above that is wont to weigh heavy on your skin. Besides, as Guardian Health & Beauty’s senior patient care pharmacist  Joshua Wong notes, you get minimal returns with anything higher than the magic number 50: “Sunscreens with a high SPF value may give you a false sense of protection, as some assume there is no need for reapplication, which is patently false.”

Now, shopping for sunscreens isn’t like swatching glittery liners: It’s just not all that engaging. To make a somwhat tedious activity a little more diverting, here’s a hit-list of the sun protective salves you should consider, all sorted into shopping baskets for specific personality types. See if any of the following products are calling out to you or your girlfriends, and happy beauty shopping!



TRY: Ioma Cell Protector SPF 50+ PA+++, $85

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The quietly posh new Parisian baby in Singapore’s saturated skincare market, Ioma’s incredibly easy to love, from its polished packaging to the thoughtful little flourishes thrown in for good measure.

The very first sunscreen in Ioma’s curated stable of products, the Cell Protector inches pretty close to perfect in my beauty books: Very respectable SPF, potent protective agents said to sop up free radicals, hygienic click-and-pump dispenser and – saving the coolest conceit for last – its very own mobile app. Search for “Ioma A Moi” on your Android or iTunes-enabled smartphone; The free app will display a 48-hour UV index for your region – a neat trick of scaring you into slathering on some sunblock.


TRY: Laneige BB Cushion Pore Control SPF 50+/PA+++, $59

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Does just about everything: Gentle exfoliants purge gunk from your pores; salicylic acid zaps zits on the go; taffy-like polymers stretch over your skin to smoothen out lumps and bumps; and a botanical blend of exotic bark extracts promises to temper the effects of environmental pollutants. That’s above and beyond its sun-killing skills and the silky coverage courtesy of special light-reflective pigments. Wear this on bare skin and you’re good to go.


TRY: Sulwhasoo Snowise Whitening Essence BB SPF50, $74

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From one K-Beauty to another, Sulwhasoo’s spectacular superstar from the Snowise range sells itself as a serum in sun-protective disguise: Sulwhasoo says a good 46 percent of this tinted fluid consists of the Korean prestige brand’s legendary Snowise EX Whitening Serum.

Seeing as this is Sulwhasoo we’re talking about, this suncare cream also comes complete with an extraordinary league of botanical heroines, chief of which is of course white ginseng extract, said to block the production of specific melanin cells which cause unsightly skin sallowness.


TRY: Shiseido UV Protective Stick Foundation SPF36/PA+++, $38

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This heavy-duty product is everything an athletic Aussie-visiting lass would want from a sunscreen, right down to the deep lagoon packaging. A sweat- and water-resistant creamy concoction you swipe straight from the stick, the generously girthed opening means you cover more ground with every stroke.

Just run it over each side of the cheek twice, then blend. Skin-friendly ingredients work in combination to soothe and moisturise. As any self-respecting ‘Stralian would tell you, don’t forget to slip, slop, slap.


TRY: Sisley Sunleya G.E. SPF30 PA+++, $320

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One word: Sisley. Expect all the trappings of the luxe label: Metallic rose-gold ribbons on a clean white receptacle, plus a suite of sumptuous botanical oils that are said to stop the cascading enzymatic actions that lead to skin slackening and fine lines.

Promises to imbue your skin with a burnished luster, as if you were made of money (and you probably are, if you’re a Sisley supporter.)


TRY: Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50 PA+++, $78

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Sturdy, dependable and very Kiehl’s. Delivers superbly on the “ultra light” promise inherent in this marvel’s monicker. The American heritage beauty brand says the next-gen filters in this finely textured fluid prevents it from breaking down under duress, meaning you’ll enjoy the full protection required to fend off the fury of Singapore’s sun. Beauty bonus: This is good for sharing with your too-cool-for-tinted guy, too, as it’s translucent, oil-free and well nigh undetectable.


TRY: Bioré Aqua Rich Watery Mousse SPF50+/PA++++, $18.90

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Insider goss: This particular product’s an avowed fave of a well-respected face painter in the industry, but it’s also so much fun to use. It’s souffle-soft in consistency, so it glides on like a dream dessert.

Brightening benefits come by way of citrus oils, and its dewy finish is sexy and so on-trend. Don’t apply this when you’re peckish; the pale peachy tint reminds me of mandarin orange mascarpone. Good enough to eat!


TRY: Ettusais UV Block Spray SPF 50+/PA++++, $23

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One of the very best from a burgeoning crop of spray-type sunscreens, this scent-sational beauty from Ettusais can be used on every inch of your body, from the tips of your mane to your manicured tippy-toes. If you’re a perfume person like I am, be sure to spritz liberally on your face and decolletage, eyes closed, of course. The refreshing rose-infused droplets impart a subtly floral, deeply cooling effect – perfect for dousing the heat of the dog days ahead!