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How Not to Hate It: Sunscreen

Your skin will thank you later.
How Not to Hate It: Sunscreen
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/kelseymerritt
Your skin will thank you later.

Welcome to How Not to Hate It, where we make serious cases for misunderstood beauty products. Here, we talk about things that: You like but find tricky to work with, don't like but everyone else loves, and products that you have no idea how to use. Basically, this is a safe, prejudice-free space for newbies, haters, and lovers alike to making a specific product work to their advantage. So sit back, keep an open mind, and scroll through for a deep dive.

How Not to Hate It: Sunscreen

The sun is our skin's worst enemy. It speeds up aging, causes sunburn, darkens dark spots, and the list goes on and on. Because we can't get rid of the sun, the least we can do is to protect ourselves from it—sunscreen being the most convenient choice. We know not everyone agrees with the "convenient" part, so ahead, we rounded up some tips that might change your mind:

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1. Apply it as your last skincare step.

Since it's your last frontier against UV damage, sunscreen should go on top of all your other skincare products, regardless of its texture. No exceptions! That's because applying it any earlier (like under moisturizer, for example) will dilute the sunscreen and prevent it from doing its job, rendering it useless.

2. Don't put up with a sticky sunscreen.

Sunscreen shouldn't make your skin sticky and greasy. If it does, then you're probably using the wrong product. There are a ton of options for lightweight ones in the market, which include gel-based sunscreens, oil-free formulas, and mattifying kinds that are perfect for oily skin and for daily wear.

Another way to avoid that sticky feeling is to use a product designed specifically for the part you're using it on. By that, we mean avoid using a body sunscreen on your face, since body sunscreens are traditionally thicker (read: too heavy for the face).

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PHOTO BY Kiehls

KIEHL'S Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel SPF 50 PA ++++, P2100, Greenbelt 5

3. Avoid anything that's too drying, too.

Some of you might have the opposite problem of sunscreen drying out their skin too much. This is most likely caused by a product with too much alcohol in it, which brands use as a preservative and a way to avoid a greasy finish. If you have this issue, opt for alcohol-free formulas, or products that don't have alcohol too high up on the ingredients list.

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That said, you shouldn't actually expect much hydration from your sunscreen. You should get most of your nourishment from your other skincare underneath it!

PHOTO BY Mizumi

MIZUMI UV Water Sunscreen Serum SPF 50+ PA++++, P1099, Beautymnl

4. Use enough.

In theory, we need a lot of sunscreen—two milligrams per square centimeter, to be exact. When you're heading to the beach, you should apply at least a shot glass worth of sunblock on your body for full protection. Meanwhile, you need a dollop around the size of 10-peso coin to properly cover your face. It sounds like a lot, but it won't feel like a lot if you're using the right formula for your skin type.

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5. Make sure it can actually protect your skin.

With sunscreen, everything you usually need to know is on the label. First is SPF (Sun Protection Factor), which is a rating that measures how effective a product is for preventing sunburn from UVB rays. Dermatologists recommend using an SPF 30 or higher for daily use. Then there's PA, which measures protection against aging and skin cancer-causing UVA rays. The number of pluses (e.g. PA++++) next to the PA on your sunscreen label determine its level of protection.

If a product has both SPF and PA, it's considered a broad spectrum sunscreen—or able to protect you against both UVA and UVB rays. It's the ideal kind for everyday use since it literally has you covered.

6. Cheat your way out of the white cast.

Sunscreens that use mineral or physical filters like zinc oxide and titanium oxide create a physical barrier to protect you from light—like an umbrella for your skin, so to speak. That barrier commonly materializes into a white cast in inexpensive formulas, hence that ghostly look.

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The easiest way to avoid this is to opt for sunscreens that use chemical filters like avobenzone and oxybenzone as these are absorbed by the skin and don't leave a white cast. Or, invest in a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide particles so small that they have a translucent finish. You can test this by swatching the product on the back of your hand in-store and checking the finish!

PHOTO BY Sephora
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SUPERGOOP! Everyday Sunscreen with Sunflower Extract Broad Spectrum SPF 50, P620, Sephora.ph

7. Find a convenient way to reapply.

Having to reapply your sunscreen every two hours feels like such a hassle, especially if you're wearing makeup. Thankfully though, you don't have to wash off your glam just to do this necessary step. You can touch up your sun protection with makeup, too, such as with a face powder or cushion foundation with SPF. A no-contact option is to use a spray sunscreen, but make sure that it's not an oil-based one so that it won't ruin your makeup.

PHOTO BY Sephora, MAC
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SUPERGOOP! Invincible Setting Powder SPF 45, P1720, Sephora.ph; MAC Studio Fix Complete Coverage Cushion Compact SPF 50/PA++++, P2200, SM Megamall

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