Sunscreen prevents sun damage, which includes sunburns, wrinkles, and age spots. If you’re still looking for which sunscreen to buy, then check out our very own local sunscreens. Local brand sunscreens have stepped up their game and produced formulas that are on par with international brands.
Nowadays, you can find local sunscreen that’s reef-safe and even tinted ones! To help you with your shopping, take a look at the best local sunblocks that made it to our top 10 list. If you are still having trouble making up your mind, be sure to read through our buying guide to know what to consider—we also included tips and insights from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Aznaida L. Tawagon-Pandapatan!
Graduated Dermatology Residency from University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), Dr. Aznaida L. Tawagon-Pandapatan is a diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society. She is also a consultant and the Section Head of the Dermatology Section in Amai Pakpak Medical Center. Dr. Aznaida is also a part-time faculty of Xavier University-JPRSM. Aside from that, she is also the co-founder of Pandapatan Dermatology Clinic in Marawi City. She is passionate about skin health and skincare, and dreams of world peace.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Table of Contents
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Sun protection factor, also known as SPF, is the rating used to tell how well a sunscreen can shield your skin. Note that these levels only apply to UVB rays. Experts recommend using products that have a minimum of SPF 30. This means it can block up to 97% of the sun’s rays.
Higher SPF numbers should not cause you too much worry. To give you an idea, products with SPF 45 shield against 98% of the UV rays, which is not much of a difference. To make the most out of your sunscreen, it is important to constantly retouch and apply the recommended amount.
Another term you may encounter is the PA system or Protection Grade of UVA. It is less common compared to SPF, but it measures the product’s protection from UVA rays. It ranges from PA+ to PA++++, with more plus signs meaning better protection. For moderate UVA protection, search for sunscreens that are PA++ or higher.
SPF 30 sunscreen gives 97% UVB protection if you apply the required adequate amount of the product on your face. But based on some studies, most people do not apply enough sunscreen on their face and neck.
And this is why dermatologists would recommend you to get SPF 50 to ensure that even if you apply less product, you can still get better protection. The same goes for PA protection—PA++++ is better than less plus signs.
Not all radiations from the sun affect our skin the same way. These can be classified into two types - UVA and UVB. UVA goes deep into the skin has the capacity to age it. It causes wrinkle formation and age spots. Meanwhile, UVB rays can affect the skin’s upper layers and long exposure can cause skin burns that tend to peel.
To ensure your skin is well-protected, look for sunscreens labeled with ‘broad-spectrum’. This means it can effectively shield you from both types of UV rays, so keep this in mind when shopping for local sunscreens.
And if you want to take it a step further, some local sunscreens even produce formulas that protect against blue light emitted by computer and phone screens. This is particularly helpful for those attending online classes or those working from home.
Broad-spectrum is a term that means the sunscreen will protect you from both UVA and UVB. Still, you have to check if the protection is adequate. So look for SPF 30 or higher, this is your UVB protection. For UVA protection, look for PA+++ (3 to 4 plus signs are better).
Sunscreens should be a vital part of your morning skincare routine. That is why you must look for a sunscreen geared towards your skin type to make the most of it. Before you "add to cart" make sure your sunscreen contains the right ingredients.
Sunscreens are typically applied before any makeup. So, if you have dry or sensitive skin, it is important to get products with added moisturizers to keep your skin hydrated. They can also prevent any redness or irritation.
Check the ingredients list for humectants as they draw water to the skin and keep it from becoming dehydrated without being harsh on your skin. Look for ingredients like glycerin and ceramides for better moisture retention.
You could also look for natural plant moisturizers such as shea butter to boost the skin's moisture. Moreover, it is recommended to stay away from harsh ingredients that may irritate the skin such as parabens, fragrances, or alcohol. And check the label to see if it is safe for sensitive skin, hypoallergenic, or dermatologist-tested.
Some sunscreens can dry out your skin, especially if you already have dry skin in the first place. This is why it is good to look for moisturizing ingredients in sunscreens. Look out for ingredients such as glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, ceramides, shea butter, and the like. You may also ask the store clerks for moisturizing sunscreens.
For people with oily or combination skin, get ones that have added oil-control ingredients. These include niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, which should help manage sebum production.
This also means staying away from ingredients that are too heavy such as coconut oil to avoid clogging your pores. And in terms of formulation, you should look for solutions that are lightweight to keep your skin from feeling greasy throughout the day.
Some sunscreen ingredients are naturally oily, and people with oily skin tend to find these unfavorable, especially if living in the topics like the Philippines. You may opt for lightweight formulations like gel or watery fluid instead of thick creams or oily liquids.
What makes sunscreen different from regular lotion is its ability to block out the sun’s rays. There are two types of sunscreens that can do this - mineral and chemical. Read further below to see how they work.
Mineral or physical sunscreens, like those that use zinc oxide and titanium oxide, are preferable especially if you have sensitive skin as these ingredients tend to go easier on the skin, though they can leave a white cast. They're also considered reef-friendly if you plan on swimming on the beach.
When applied, these minerals sit on your skin and act as a physical barrier to bounce off the sun's rays and prevent sun damage. They work faster than chemical sunscreens since work as soon as they are slathered on. These particles, however, are too big to get deep into the skin so their protection only affects the skin’s top layers.
Sunburn is mostly caused by UVB, but about 9-20% of the UV that hits and burns your skin are caused by UVA also! So definitely broad-spectrum is the best when choosing sunscreen for the beach or other outdoor activities. Mineral sunscreens like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide do not only act as physical barriers. In fact, the majority of their mode of action is to absorb UV also, just like chemical sunscreens.
Also, there have been no definitive studies that link chemical sunscreens to reef damage. Therefore, either physical or chemical, or mixed filters may be used to prevent sunburns. Just make sure the SPF is 30 or higher, it has PA+++ or higher, and reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours, or when sweating profusely, and whenever you towel off.
Examples of chemical ingredients include oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, and octocrylene. They provide stronger protection for the skin by being absorbed into its deeper layers. They absorb UV rays and convert them into heat, which dissipates into the skin.
For this reason, they may be more irritating for people with sensitive skin and children. They also pose the risk of entering the bloodstream. Plus, they take longer to activate, typically around 30 minutes after application. But it doesn't leave that dreaded white cast.
Chemical sunscreens have been getting a bad rap from the media due to cases of allergic reactions before. The fact is, most chemical filters are actually as mild and non-irritating as the physical filters. If you have sensitive skin, patch testing is the key.
If you do not have reactions from it after 3 days of patch testing, you may use them because chemical filters are as good as physical ones. All chemical and physical filters can protect you right after application. The companies advise you to wait for 10 minutes before going out to ensure that a uniform film has formed on top of your skin to give you optimal protection.
Sunscreens can come either in cream, gel, or spray forms. This is also where your preferences would come in whether you like sunscreens that are cruelty-free or vegan. Whichever you decide to get, the important thing is that you reapply it throughout the day. Remember that consistency is key.
The formula depends on your skin and preference. There are people with oily skin who still prefer oily or thick-based sunscreens. But in general, choose moisturizing ones for dry skin, and choose lightweight gels or liquids for oily skin. Opt unscented formula or those without essential oils if you have sensitive skin.
Creams are known for their thick consistency, which is very beneficial for sunscreens. So, you know that they will really get into your skin and provide you with maximum coverage. Unfortunately, they tend to get greasy, which can be difficult to manage, especially on a hot day.
Don’t be fooled by sunscreens that say the formulation is waterproof. This labeling has long been banned since all sunscreens can be washed away with water. Instead, look for ones that are water-resistant as well as sweat-proof to ensure your sunscreen won’t easily sweat off as you go about your day.
Brands usually add a note that says how long the sunscreens last. This can go anywhere between 40 to 80 minutes. Consistent reapplication and taking other precautions like using an umbrella or a hat are equally important steps to prevent sun damage.
For outdoor activities or the beach, waterproof formulations are better. But this does not mean that it is waterproof the whole day. Once you sweat or dip in the water or towel off, the sunscreen will most likely be partially or even fully erased. This means that despite using waterproof sunscreen, you should also reapply every 2 hours, every dip in the sea/pool, or when you sweat profusely.
When it comes to sunscreens, there are two kinds; one for your face and one for your body. Facial sunscreens contain less oil because our face can easily develop acne or get oily. And normally, what you can use for your face is also applicable to your body. However, it is not the same for body sunscreens.
Body sunscreens are specifically formulated for other skin surfaces like the arms, legs, and back. They can be slightly oilier and more fragrant than facial ones since the skin in these areas is not as sensitive. So, for all-around protection, get ones that are good for both the face and the body.
Sunscreens made for the face and body are great options, especially for those who want to keep it simple. These are also good for going to the beach and for travel to optimize luggage space. For those with sensitive skin, look for fragrance-free options. If you have dry skin, look for moisturizing ones. For oily skin, opt for watery liquids or gel types.
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SunExpert Reef-Friendly Sunscreen SPF60
A Strong Sunscreen and Reef-Friendly Sunscreen With SPF 60 and PA++++
Sunblock MAX SPF100++
High SPF Rating and Sweat-Resistance for Total Sun Protection
A Beach-Friendly and All-Natural Sunscreen Recommended for Sensitive Skin
Cosmetics Universal Skin Tint Sun Shield SPF 30
A Tinted Sunscreen for a Quicker Beauty Routine
Skin Care Watermelon Liquid Sunblock SPF75
An Eco-Friendly and Refillable Option for People With Dry Skin
Rescue Me Sun Gel Primer SPF 50 PA+++ with Anti-Blue Light Technology
Protects Skin From Harmful Rays and Harsh Blue Light
Skin Protect Brightening Sunblock SPF 80 PA++++ UVA/UVB
A Sunblock That Can Double as a Makeup Primer
Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 35 Scented
A Lightly Scented Water-Resistant Sunscreen to Keep You Smelling Fresh
Aqua Daily Sunscreen
A Lightweight and Fast-Absorbing Sunscreen That’s Great for Oily Skin
Papaya Sunscreen SPF50
Broad Spectrum Protection With Papaya Extract for an Even Skin Tone
This Sun Expert sunscreen from Belo is packed with minerals that provide broad-spectrum protection of SPF 60 and PA ++++. Their formulation is also reef-safe, making it ideal to use on the beach. It can even be used when you're on the go as it works as soon as it's applied!
This sunscreen is a lightweight and non-sticky solution that is water-resistant. It also has CellProtect Formula that prevents premature skin aging by strengthening the skin's natural defense. Additionally, it is clinically proven safe for sensitive skin in case you are worried about your skin condition.
This formulation is free of chemicals including oxybenzone, octinoxate, parabens, and octocrylene. Belo also follows a cruelty-free process in the making of their sunscreens! People who have given this a try say the formulation provides great coverage and doesn't leave a sticky residue when applied.
Want a high SPF sunscreen? This product from Beach Hut comes complete with an SPF 100 and PA ++ rating for broad-spectrum protection. It comes in a handy spray bottle for easy application, which makes it perfect for those hard-to-reach areas. Each bottle contains 150 mL of solution, recommended for the whole family!
This is ideal for those who like to do activities such as running or biking under the sun. Thanks to its improved sweat resistance, you can have more time in between reapplications. The sunscreen also sprays on clear to avoid any white casts. It is ultra-sensitive and hypoallergenic, making it safe for everyone!
Keep your skin clear of harmful chemicals with Human Nature's all-natural formulation. It has SPF 30 and PA ++++ rating to shield you from both UVA and UVB rays. And it uses zinc oxide to act as a physical barrier for your skin. Moreover, it is enhanced with natural oils like sunflower and coconut to provide better moisture retention.
It is reef-friendly, which makes it the perfect product to pack for your next surfing or swimming adventure. Plus, it doesn't use any parabens or synthetic fragrances to ensure the formula caters to people with sensitive skin. Users say they only had to reapply twice throughout the day and were totally protected from sunburns and tan lines!
Looking for a go-to morning skincare product? Blk's Skin Tint Sun Shield acts as both a sunscreen and a face primer. You can even drop your foundation, as this already provides great coverage. They come in 4 different shadesーVanilla, Butterscotch, Almond, and Chestnut, so you can find one that matches perfectly with your skin tone.
It has an SPF rating of 30, which provides you with the necessary daily protection. Moreover, it comes in cream form and is made completely cruelty-free and vegan. An avid user says it provides great coverage for redness, discoloration, and skin blemishes. So, it is highly recommended for those going for a no-makeup makeup look!
RRAW is making waves in the skincare industry with its highly effective products and moves to reduce plastic waste. They offer great discounts to loyal customers who send back their bottles for refills. Within their factory, they also upcycle all their plastic to decrease their waste production.
Their formulation is made of 20% zinc oxide and 20% glycerin that not only provide sun protection but also improved skin hydration. They recommend waiting 5-10 minutes after the initial application for the product to be fully absorbed before stepping out into the sun. You should also reapply every 75 minutes to ensure you stay protected during the day.
With everyone attending online classes and working from home, it's gotten a lot harder to keep ourselves away from a screen, which emits blue light. Did you know that even blue light can also contribute to premature skin aging? To combat this, Happy Skin has created a special gel primer with anti-blue light technology!
Their sunscreen is enhanced with hyaluronic acid and ceramides for better hydration retention. It also has an SPF of 50 and a rating of PA ++++ for use on both your face and neck. Once applied, the formula sinks into the skin rapidly and provides a light and dewy finish. Generally, it is recommended to be used after your favorite moisturizer and before any makeup products.
If you prefer a matte finish, then this cream sunblock from Lana fits right into your skincare routine. It imparts a super lightweight feel that's ideal for a makeup primer. Plus, it has remarkable sun protection with SPF 80 and PA ++++. Overall, it is recommended for people of all skin types, including acne-prone, dry, sensitive, oily, and combination skin.
This sunscreen is made gentle and safe without being tested on animals. Each bottle is packed with niacinamide and alpha-arbutin for balancing dark spots and brightening the skin. For best results, pair with Lana's DNA Repair Elixir to achieve the best anti-aging combination!
Being under the sun for long hours in the day may cause unpleasant odors. Dermplus' sunscreen is specially formulated to be iwas amoy pawis as it is lightly scented to keep you feeling fresh and clean longer. This formulation has a creamy consistency and can be used on both the face and body.
With an SPF rating of 35, this sunscreen can help protect your skin from sun damage and uneven tanning. It is also water-resistant, so you can get active without the worry of your sunscreen running. Reviews on this product say it is great for daily use and works even on sensitive skin!
Our country’s hot weather can sometimes discourage you from applying sunscreen. But with Luxe Organix’s Aqua Daily Sunscreen, you won’t have that problem! It comes in a fast-absorbing, gel formulation that won't leave you feeling malagkit upon application. This makes it perfect for everyday use.
Moreover, the sunscreen contains aloe vera extracts to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day. And it doesn't leave a white cast, so you can definitely use it under your makeup. If you're looking for a barely-there sunscreen that will still protect you from the sun's rays, then this is it!
Zenutrients makes use of Papaya extract to even out your skin tone and decreases skin discolorations. Their formula provides broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. This is highly recommended for daily use and comes in a handy spray bottle for easy application.
People who have given this product a try say it has a prominent scent. However, it is made up of natural ingredients making it gentle even for those with skin sensitivities. Make sure to spray the product onto your hands first before applying it to your face for better control.
Skin damage caused by the sun is a serious yet totally avoidable health concern. Check out these 6 simple tips from UKHealthcare on how to better protect your skin.
We apply sunscreen to lessen the chances of getting skin cancer and lessen signs of skin aging. Always remember to be consistent—use sunscreen daily, whether indoors or outdoors, whether rainy or sunny. Avoid doing outdoor activities during peak hours of 10 AM to 2 PM. Use protective clothing, a wide-brim hat, and sunglasses.
Also, remember that UV can bounce from surfaces—from the water, sand, roads, or buildings, and this is the reason why your sunscreen should be consistently applied and reapplied indoors or out.
Learn more about local sunscreens as Dr. Aznaida answers some of the most asked questions on the internet!
Sunscreens are not only anti-aging—the main benefit we get from them is their ability to help us prevent skin cancer when used correctly, adequately, and regularly.
Based on studies, we need 2mg/cm² of sunscreen product to apply to our face for us to get the SPF written on the product, this translates roughly to about 1/4 teaspoon for the face. Possibly a bit less than this amount for smaller faces or a bit more for larger faces.
Living in the Philippines, going to the beach is the ideal go-to to relax and unwind. Start planning your vacation today and make sure you've got all the essentials for your next trip. Check out our articles on must-haves for the whole fam!
Author: Roxanne A.
Editor: J. Cuizon
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.
No. 1：Belo｜SunExpert Reef-Friendly Sunscreen SPF60
No. 2：Beach Hut｜Sunblock MAX SPF100++
No. 3：Human Nature｜SafeProtect SPF30
No. 4：Blk｜Cosmetics Universal Skin Tint Sun Shield SPF 30
No. 5：RRAW｜Skin Care Watermelon Liquid Sunblock SPF75
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