One teaspoon—that’s how much sunscreen your face and neck need to get the full benefit of the daily recommended SPF 30.
The most common mistake Filipinos make about sun protection is that “they don’t wear any, or not enough,” said Dr. Raissa I. Francisco-Pasion.
The dermatologist says most Filipinos believe that, because their skin is not fair like Caucasians, who are typically more prone to skin cancer, they don’t really need to wear sunblock.
“Remember that Bob Marley died of melanoma,” Francisco-Pasion said. The music legend was a person of color, and his skin cancer started on his toes. He died at 36.
While Marley’s case was rare and was possibly genetic, dermatologists like Francisco-Pasion advise their patients to protect themselves against the sun’s harmful UV rays primarily to prevent skin cancer.
Then there are the cosmetic concerns: overexposure to the sun causes wrinkles, sun spots, freckles and a leathery skin texture.
“UVB rays bounce off on glass, but UVA, which has a longer wavelength, penetrates through glass,” she said. “So even if you don’t walk around under the sun on a daily basis, you still need to apply sunscreen. If you drive, your left arm will have more freckles and wrinkles without sun protection. It will also have more sun spots. That’s all the UVA coming in.”
The UVB is what causes the skin to get dark, she added.
Laboratory studies have found that you need a certain amount of thickness of the sunscreen to get the minimum recommended SPF 30, which is one teaspoon, she added. “A pea-sized amount decreases that to an SPF 5.”
That’s why it’s imperative to not rely on makeup that contains SPF “since you won’t be putting on a teaspoon of makeup on your face.”
She noted that many are discouraged from using sunscreen because they don’t want that heavy, greasy after-feel of many suncare products, especially in the country’s humid weather. They don’t want to pile on too many products on their face.
To avoid that, “I always suggest to skip the moisturizer in the morning and go for the sunscreen, because that would be enough moisturization,” she said. It’s also prudent to choose the right kind of formulation.
Water-resistant sunscreen sticks to the skin better, which makes them ideal for the beach, but they’re also typically heavier than the ones recommended for everyday use, she added.
Francisco-Pasion was a speaker at the launch of homegrown beauty brand Happy Skin’s first sun care line, Catch The Sun, which consists of two products: the Brightening UV Gel Cream SPF 40 PA+++, and the On The Go Hydrating UV Mist SPF 35 PA+++.
The former is an ultra-light formula that delivers that matte, shine-free finish favored by many Filipinas. Its moringa seed oil ingredient is also claimed to offer protection from pollution and free radicals that speed up skin aging.
The UV mist doubles as makeup setting spray and a sunscreen touch-up that can be sprayed over makeup. Its unique formula allows it to adhere to the skin without melting your makeup. It’s ideal and convenient, as it’s a must to reapply sunscreen every two hours, said the doctor.
The SPF indicated in the bottles usually gives a “false sense of security,” since people are taught that the SPF indicates that you can stay under the sun protected for 10 times longer than someone who has none; an SPF 30 means you can stay for 300 hours under the sun without burning.
“But you sweat or wipe your face, so the need to reapply as often as possible,” she said.
“Studies have seen no improvement beyond SPF 50,” she said. “SPF 15 filters 93 percent of the sun’s rays, while SPF 30 filters 97 percent.” SPF 50 filters 98 percent, which isn’t a big jump from SPF 30. Therefore, it’s unnecessary to pay for more with products claiming to have an SPF higher than 50.
Happy Skin also launched new product lines, including a quick and easy makeup brush cleanser, Come Clean Conditioning Brush Cleanser—spray, wipe off, and dries in seconds; Bye Bye, Blues Brightening Concealer Wand, an under-eye concealer with light-diffusing technology; the mattifying Tickled Pink Skin Perfecting Super Absorbent Charcoal Blotting Sheets; as well as limited sets of the brand’s best-selling matte liquid lip colors and lip liners.
All new products are now available at Happy Skin stores and counters.