Sunscreen Basics

by PJ on Monday, December 4, 2006

in skincare, skincare - moisturizing/others, What do you think? Beauty topics and thoughts

Just a reminder really. I’ll (try to!) make it short.

First of all, wear sunscreen EVERY DAY, regardless of the weather or whether you need to be outdoor for a long time. If you can see any daylight, UV rays are present and you need to use protection. I know it means you have to wear sunscreen every day for the rest of our lives, but it is human beings’ fault in the first place to have ruined Nature’s ability to shield UV rays. So we have only ourselves to blame.

Secondly, apart from proper UVB protection, which the SPF represents, UVA protection is equally important. UVB rays burn our skin and both UVA and UVB rays cause skin cancer as well as accelerate the aging of the skin (by damaging collagen fibers).

Thirdly, a sunscreen with proper UVA protection should have at least one of the following five ingredients:

zinc oxide
titanium dioxide
avobenzone (aka Parsol 1789 or butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane)
Mexoryl SX

(from Paula Begoun’s website, and go there for a very comprehensive guide on sun protection)

Do learn to check the ingredient list of the sunscreen product (or any skincare product, actually) you buy. If a sunscreen product does not have any of those ingredients, it is NOT something you should pay any money for.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous Friday, June 20, 2008

HAHAHAHAHA That is so funny! Thanks for the info! Off to get some sunscreen now


PJ Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hi there,

You are very welcome, and thank you for reading the post. Do remember to stay protected from the sun at all time! :)


Jane Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hi PJ, I’ve been a lurker for a while and I really like your site. I was wondering what you think about Japanese sunscreens? I am under the impression that they are superior to European, and certainly American products. Do you know where I can find more information about them?


PJ Monday, April 6, 2009

Hi Jane,

Thank you very much for reading my blog!

I am not really sure where you might be able to find more information on Japanese sunscreen products in general. (I will certainly let you know if I come across any.) Overall, what I would say is that most of the Japanese sunscreen products contain ingredients to protect against UVA rays, which can cause skin cancer as well as wrinkles. The level of UVA protection of Japanese sunscreen products is indicated by PA (from PA+ to PA+++).

On the other hand, some sunscreen products from European brands don’t have these ingredients. (They would have the SPF labelling, but, looking at the ingredient lists, I can see that they don’t have any of the anti-UVA ingredients mentioned in my post.)

(In my experience, most of the American sunscreen products that I have come across from major brands do contain anti-UVA ingredients.)

Thank you for posting your comment! :)


Jo Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I was reading your post and found out many things about skincare that i didn’t know…

i am wondering which sunscreen are you using? which one would you recommend? i have combination skin.


Anonymous Tuesday, May 5, 2009

thanks for the tips! are there any good sun care product that can be used on the eye area that you would recommend?


PJ Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hi Jo,

Thank you very much for reading my blog. I am happy that you find it helpful. :)

Currently I am using Olay’s Complete Care Daily Sensitive UV Fluid (with SPF 15). I also have Olay’s Multi-Radiance Daily Illuminating UV Fluid (also with SPF 15). You can read the review of it here. I think both of them would suit people with combination skin.

Hope it helps, and thank you very much for your question! :)


PJ Thursday, May 7, 2009


Here are a few daytime sunscreen products that I have been using in the past few years:

– Estee Lauder DayWear Plus for Oily Skin
– Olay Multi-Radiance Daily Illuminating UV Fluid (see review here)
– Olay Complete Care Daily Sensitive UV Fluid

(They all have SPF 15 and anti-UVA ingredients.)

I use all of these in the eye area and I have no problems with them.

Hope it helps, and thank you very much for your question! :)


Jo Sunday, June 14, 2009


So do you mean that most japanese sunscreen are not good? Cos i actually find japanese sunscreen with better texture for me as i have combination skin and quite oily in the summer times. Do you know any japanese sunscreen that is actually good?

great blog!
thanks for the help.


PJ Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hi Jo,

I am a little unsure about what you mean, and there might be something that I have written that confuses you. I don't think I have mentioned or implied that Japanese sunscreen items are inferior. In fact, almost all Japanese sunscreen products that I have come across have both ingredients to protect against UVA (indicated by the PA level) and UVB rays. (On the other hand, not all sunscreen products from western brands have ingredients to protect against both.)

The only thing I am concerned about is the fact that many of the Japanese sunscreen products have alcohol, which may irritate the skin. (It is the same case with a lot of Japanese toners and moisturizers.) But this would sometimes depend on the climate you use the product in. I have quite sensitive skin, but I used to use Sofina's Very Very UV Cut Milk for a few years when I used to live in a warm and humid climate. (I would never use it in the UK. The alcohol in it would definitely dry out and irritate my skin.)

Hope it helps, and thank you again for your comment! :)


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