To prevent sunburn from happening, dermatologists recommend applying body sunscreens to keep your skin protected in hot or humid weather. With summer looming in, many might still plan to visit beaches and resorts or go on trips where they will be exposed to the sun. The summer heat may feel good, but its harmful UV rays can also damage your skin, especially without proper protection.
Sunscreens, like any skincare product, can vary in terms of their effectiveness and added benefits. This article aims to help you pick a sunscreen by enumerating factors to consider and giving you a curated list of the top 10 body sunscreens available online. Let the comments and tips from dermatologist Dr. Katrina Erika Habaluyas Luz help you on your search!
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is also a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila.
She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
Disclaimer: These products are recommendations made by our team at mybest Philippines. Our expert, Dr. Katrina Erika Habaluyas Luz, is not affiliated with, nor is she endorsing any of the brands we mention below.
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
The products we introduce below were carefully curated by the mybest team using the points mentioned in our detailed and thoroughly researched buying guide. For ranks 1 to 3, in addition to the buying guide, we also referred to more than 100 reviews in Lazada to come up with their respective rankings.
|Best for||Dry and Normal Skin|
|Best for||Sensitive Skin|
|Best for||All Skin Types|
|Net Weight||50ml x 2|
Nivea Sun Protect and Moisture Lotion
Light Gel Sunscreen
Keep Your Skin Protected and Moisturized With SPF50 Sunscreen
A Dermatologist-Favorite for Sensitive Skin
An SPF60 Sunscreen That's Eco-Friendly
|Price Starts at||₱366||₱847||₱394|
|SPF/PA||SPF50 PA++||50+||SPF60 PA++++|
|Best for||Dry and Normal Skin||Sensitive Skin||All Skin Types|
|Net Weight||75ml||50ml||50ml x 2|
We have more product recommendations in store for you! Listed in no particular order, here are seven more of our recommended products carefully chosen by the mybest team.
|Best for||Oily Skin, Combination Skin|
|Broad Spectrum||Not indicated|
|Type||Dry and Normal Skin|
|Best for||All Skin Types|
|Best for||All Skin Types|
|Best for||All Skin Types|
|Best for||All Skin Types|
|Best for||All Skin Types|
Whitening UV Sunscreen Gel
Protect and Refresh Spray
Body Booster Sunscreen Lotion
Max SPF100 Lotion
Sun UV Protect Essence
Daily Sun Cream
Save Time And Money With A Sunscreen That Doubles As a Primer
A Refreshing Sunscreen That Lets You Stay Cool Under The Sun
Broad Spectrum Coverage at a Budget-Friendly Price
A Lightweight, Quick-Drying Sunscreen With Superior SPF Coverage
A Fast-Absorbing Formulation Packed With Moisturizing Extracts
A Local Brand That's All-Natural and Reef-Friendly
Make Sun Protection a Part of Your Skincare Routine
|Price Starts at||₱1,192||₱566||₱119||₱319||₱415||₱599||₱296|
|SPF/PA||50+ PA++++||SPF50 PA++||SPF30 PA+++||SPF100++||SPF50+ PA++++||SPF50+||SPF50+ PA++++|
|Broad Spectrum||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Not indicated|
|Best for||Oily Skin, Combination Skin||All Skin Types||All Skin Types||All Skin Types||All Skin Types||All Skin Types||Cream|
|Type||Not Specified||Chemical||Not Specified||Physical||Chemical||Physical||Dry and Normal Skin|
|Water-Resistant||Yes||Yes||Not Specified||Yes||Yes||Yes||Not Specified|
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a measure of how effective sunscreen is in blocking Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from the sun. It can range from SPF 15 to an SPF as high as 100. To protect yourself from skin damage, choose an SPF that offers enough shield against UV rays.
In terms of protection, there is only a small difference between SPF15and SPF100. In fact, SPF15 blocks 93% percent of Ultraviolet B rays while SPF100 blocks off 99%.
Despite that though, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends sunscreen that is at least SPF30 or higher. This is because a lesser SPF such as SPF15 only offers protection against sunburn and not skin aging.
Dr. Ardrash Mudgil, an expert dermatologist based in NYC, recommends SPF30 for standard protection against the sun. According to him, SPF30 is the ‘magic number’ since it blocks 97% of Ultraviolet B rays giving you enough protection from sunburn and other skin diseases.
Simply put, SPF is the amount of time your skin will need to burn when using sunscreen. For example, it takes me 10 minutes to burn in the sun without sunscreen. If I use an SPF 15, it will take 15x longer for my skin to burn.
Now, you might think that SPF 15 would be enough as it gives you 150 minutes free from burning. But this actually only filters 〜94% of UVB rays. You would need at least an SPF 30 as this would filter 〜97% of UVB rays.
For those who have fair skin and/or skin that burns easily under the sun, an SPF higher than 30 is recommended. If you stay outside for a long time, it is ideal to apply SPF50, which blocks 98% of UVB rays. Afterward, you can reapply every two hours or so to make sure that your skin stays protected at all times.
Basically, sunscreens with higher SPF are generally better because no sunscreen can give you 100% protection, and a higher SPF can actually give you extra coverage against the sun.
You will hear dermatologists always say that for adequate sun protection you need at least an SPF 30 or higher. If you can get your hands on an SPF 50, even better! SPF 30 filters out 〜97% of UVB while SPF 50 filters out 〜98% of UVB. The higher the SPF, the higher the protection.
PSA: If you get hands on SPF100, remember that it doesn't exempt you from reapplication. People tend to get a false sense of security with this one. But the fact is, SPF100 only filters 〜99% of UV rays.
Ultraviolet radiation, which usually comes from the sun, can be classified into three categories: UVA, UVB, and UVC.
Compared to UVB, UVA rays are more penetrating and can cause more damage to the skin. To combat the more damaging UVA rays, choose sunscreen that offers “broad spectrum” coverage by looking for the term on the label. This guarantees that your sunscreen can protect even the inner cells in the top layer of your skin.
Aside from looking at the SPF also make sure that your sunscreen is a broad spectrum one. After all, only about 5% of UV radiation is UVB. A broad-spectrum sunscreen means it protects your skin from both types of harmful UV rays - UVA and UVB.
Formula types for sunscreens can take many forms, such as lotions, creams, gels, and spray or mist. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and picking which is the most suitable requires consideration of skin type as well as preference in texture and consistency. Lotions and creams tend to be heavier, while gels and mist are usually lightweight, non-greasy, and quick-drying, too.
The formulation of a sunscreen is important because at the end of the day it determines whether or not you like how it feels on your skin, and consequently, whether or not you will apply it consistently.
With the wide range of sunscreen products available, there are some that contain ingredients that you should look for since they cater to certain skin types. There are also sunscreen ingredients that you should avoid as they might cause irritation and other skin problems. All in all, it is ideal to assess first its ingredients and formula type before buying.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, it is better to go for sunscreens with lightweight gel. This is because gels are non-sticky and don't clog your pores as usual. In case your skin is really prone to breakouts, consider formulas with alcohol ingredients as it is less likely to cause aggravation.
Also, keep in mind that if you have skin irritations, allergies, and other skin conditions, it would be best to steer clear of products with alcohol and fragrances. If possible, you can consult your dermatologist first and ask for expert medical advice regarding sunscreens.
For oily and acne-prone skin, a gel sunscreen may be a good choice. Gel sunscreens tend to be more lightweight and don't leave that sticky feeling on your skin.
If you suffer from dry or chapped skin, opt for a sunscreen that contains hydrating ingredients. The is because moisturizers soften and soothe certain parts of your body, leaving it hydrated even under dry and humid weather. If you pick a sunscreen with this added benefit, it can be something you can already cross-off your skincare routine.
Common moisturizing ingredients found in sunscreen include hyaluronic acid and ceramide as well. There are also natural moisturizers such as aloe vera that might be worth considering, especially if you prefer gel-based formulations.
For dry skin, usually, creams or lotions are a good choice. Creams tend to be thicker and greasier than lotions or gels, but they make a good choice, especially for the face. Creams actually make ideal sunscreens since the most effective active ingredients can be easily incorporated into the oil phase of the emulsion.
Another plus is that these sunscreens usually incorporate a moisturizing ingredient too! Lotions can also be a good choice for dry skin, and some may even find it preferable as they spread more easily and are less greasy.
Sunscreens are classified into two: physical/mineral and chemical sunscreen. In a nutshell, the former deflects UV rays while the latter absorbs it. Read further to know more about the advantages and disadvantages of each type of sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays in order to make them less damaging to your skin. Common ingredients found in them are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. Although they might cause some irritation to sensitive skin, chemical sunscreens with safe ingredients are not really harmful and can be easily washed off with water.
Additionally, chemical sunscreens are much easier to apply or rub into the skin compared to mineral sunblocks. Plus, you won't have to worry about looking paler than usual after applying it, as it tends to leave minimal to completely none white residue on your skin.
The fact is the best type of sunscreen is the one you will use again and again. The pre-requisites are that they offer broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection, have an SPF of 30 or up, and are water-resistant.
For chemical/organic sunscreens think of a sponge that absorbs the sun’s rays. Ingredients typically include para-aminobenzoic acid, oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Chemical sunscreens generally are easier to rub into the skin without leaving that white cast.
Also known as sunblock, physical sunscreen contains natural minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals, compared to other formulas, are less harsh to your skin compared to chemical sunscreen. Still, though, they protect your skin by staying on top of it and forming a barrier that deflects UVB and prevents it from penetrating your dermis.
To better understand the difference between the two, you can think of chemical sunscreen as a sponge that absorbs UV light. While on the other hand, mineral sunblock acts as a shield that forms a barrier and deflects harmful UV light from your skin.
As for physical sunscreens, you can think of a shield sitting on the surface of your skin and reflecting or scattering visible, UV, and infrared radiation over a broad spectrum.
Active ingredients include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Physical/mineral/inorganic sunscreens are a good choice for children, pregnant mothers, and those with sensitive skin. One of the reasons why people aren't so fond of physical sunscreens is because of their tendency to leave a white residue. However, newer formulations are now available that are able to minimize this!
Sunscreen is always present in swimming trips and rightfully so, as it protects your skin from the sun. Since you will probably be in and out of the water most of the time, it is advisable that you apply water-resistant sunscreen that won't wash off in between swims. Fortunately, there are many sunscreens with this variation, with some even catering to specific age groups.
Generally, it is ideal to apply sunscreen before going outdoors. Since they tend to wear off over time, it is also advised that you re-apply your sunscreen every two hours or so depending on product instructions. This is to ensure that you get the right coverage to protect yourself from harmful UV rays from the sun.
In general, regardless of activity, it is best to get a water-resistant sunscreen. This means that the sunscreen will stay on wet or sweaty skin for a while before you need to reapply. This is especially important, of course, if you live an active lifestyle.
Fun Fact: A sunscreen is generally considered water-resistant if the SPF level is deemed effective after 40 minutes of water immersion. So reapplication of the sunscreen every 2 hours is a must!
No matter what sunscreen you choose from our list above, it is important to know the correct way of applying it to your skin. In this YouTube video, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) gives pointers on how it should be done in order to get the most out of your sunscreen. We listed down the highlights for you for easy reference.
Even if you know some of the main points to consider before purchasing a body sunscreen, you might still have some unanswered questions on your mind. To answer those, read Dr. Katrina's thoughts on some of the internet's most asked questions regarding body sunscreens.
Typically, the active ingredients in both sunscreens are the same. However, you'll notice that sunscreens for the face are designed to be more lightweight and easier to spread or rub into your skin. If you don't have sensitive skin or aren't particularly fussy about the formulation, then by means, go ahead! All the more, if you only have one sunscreen on hand, then please don't hesitate to use that body sunscreen on your face!
Make sure that you apply the correct amount of sunscreen to fully reap its benefits! The recommended amount of sunscreen for an entire adult body is 1 shot glass (equivalent to 1 ounce or 30ml). For easy reference, that's 〜1 entire palm.
Apply that body sunscreen at least 15-20 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and immediately after sweating, swimming, toweling off, or bathing.
At the end of the day, the best sunscreen is the one that you use regularly and consistently! This is one step in your skincare routine that you should definitely not skimp on or miss!
After learning more about sunscreens, purchasing one, and following the tips, you are basically good to go. However, in case you are still not satisfied, here are more links to other skincare products for sun protection that may help.
Living in a tropical country can be both a blessing and a curse. While many may appreciate a nice tan, most do not realize that sun exposure can also cause long-term skin damage. Fortunately, there are products such as sunscreens that help keep the negative effects of UV rays to a minimum. With that, we hope that this article helped you know more about sunscreens and find the best products you can buy online.
Author: Katrina Balingit
Re-editor: R. Umlas
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
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