|BEAUTY TIPS| Don't Hate Sunblocks, Just Choose The Right One!

how to choose sunblock
Intothegloss (click image for image source)

Sunblock has not been my thing until I was almost 20 years old. In my mind back then, sunscreen was just a hair sticking, disgusting cream that kept me from having a good day with my skin. Not to mention it made me look like an oil slick under Malaysia's super hot weather! Having a greased up skin all day had also broken me out so often I've almost given up on sunblocks and declared it a no-touch. But I've changed my mind since.

I started learning about the 10-step Korean skincare in 2015. You know I was just once a cleanser-moisturiser girl? I used to only use sunblock when my mum forced me to put it on before we headed out to one of the Penang beaches. Now I cannot go one day without putting on a fair amount of my favourite suncream, the Aloe Soothing Sun Cream by Cosrx. If you read my review on that, then you also know I was told sun spots have developed on my skin (one of the main reasons why I'm a suncream fan now).

Loving your sunscreen is not hard, you just have to find the right one to love. So today we are going to discuss how to choose the right suncream that you'll love to use every day! Before we start, you first need to know that there are chemical and physical sunblocks that can come in the form of cream, lotion, gel, spray, roll-on and stick. Since I'm preparing this mainly for beginners, I will not go deep into the details. But if you are interested in knowing more, visit here for a detailed guide!

There are two types of sun rays, the UVA and UVB rays. UVB just causes sunburn while UVA causes permanent ageing of the skin (also increases risk of skin cancer). So it's important to get one with protection against both rays, especially UVA. Hence you must get a broad spectrum suncream. If it contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, both known for great protection against UVA, perfect.

Sunblocks are rated according to their abilities to fight the rays. SPF is for UVB while and PA is for UVA. We all know for SPF it means the higher the number, the better the protection. Same goes for PA, the more pluses you see, the better it is. Generally I suggest to look for AT LEAST SPF30 and PA++. This is the minimum protection you should get for your precious skin in the everyday occasion. For a more detailed guide, here's a table from Banana Boat to help you with your SPF selection based on skin tone and hours you spend outdoors.

(click images for image source)
how to choose sunblock
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING AFTER SPF AND PA. I've gone through so much pain using a very sticky sunscreen and I've never hated myself more for buying that UHU glue. Every time it feels like I've put honey on my face and it's just plainly annoying! Choosing one that is not sticky is not hard. All you have to do is do a quick google search and dig through the lists being presented to you. The one I recommend will be the Innisfree Daily UV Protection Cream Mild. Many have claimed that it is not sticky and it smells really good.

Skincarisma - Innisfree Daily UV Protection Cream Mild Ingredient Analysis

how to choose sunblock

An oily suncream is the most hated one. I had one super oily sunscreen from a retail aesthetic centre in KL and I have a story. When I was back at the shop for a facial, I complained to one of the professional aestheticians about the cream being too oily for my skin, to which I got the following reply:

"Oily is good mah! Can keep your face moisturised!"

Whaaaat? Since when oily equals to being moisturised? Girl, I am not that clueless about basic skincare knowledge! Amused, I have the feeling that an argument may not be my best bet, so I smiled and told her instead that the suncream gave me pimples (which is 100% true). She gave me a look and just walked away from the conversation, literally! Err, okay, ruuuude!

So I put in effort and looked for a sunblock that is not oily yet moisturising (but no I didn't go back to argue with her LOL). A good one that I'll recommend will be the Yadah's Oh My Sun Screen. It has a pretty good reputation in not being greasy at all.

how to choose sunscreen

Ha! This is the tricky one. Not everyone likes white cast, but I've seen Pony using one that has white cast (to brighten) as a base in place of a foundation. So this depends on you! If you're looking for one that can substitute your BB/CC/DD cream, then aim for one with white cast like the Avene Sun Very High Protection Sun Cream (the one used by Pony in her video) but it has only PA+. So I'll recommend you to go for the Klairs Mid Day Blue Sun Lotion (read my review here), which is similar in price but has SPF40 and PA++.

Skincarisma - Klairs Mid Day Blue Sun Lotion Ingredient Analysis

how to choose sunscreen

Otherwise opt for the COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream which is my absolute favourite. It doesn't leave a white cast and is super moisturising on the skin. You can feel its moisturising effect on your skin the moment you pat it on!
I don't know how to stress this more. Sunscreens aren't supposed to give you acnes! It should be just like any other products in your skincare routine, protect your skin while keeping it smooth and happy. But I really can't help you out with this one. Not every skin reacts the same to the same products. One might be perfectly fine with sunscreen A but break out terribly using sunscreen B yet another might be happy with sunscreen B but react badly with sunscreen A.

What you can do on this one is by screening the ingredients and kicking out those containing irritants your skin cannot tolerate. This can only come with MANY trials and errors and if you're a newbie this can be overwhelming! In this case, I'll recommend you to watch out for samples! Many brands give out samples of their products and retailers too if you buy from them! If you're in Malaysia, you can take a look at Malaysiafreebies. They help you keep track of all those sample giveaways so you'll never miss it when a brand is giving out samples!

Sunblocks don't have to smell like the the clay dough you play as a kid. Imaging rubbing metallic-smelling cream on your face every day. That can be off-putting especially if you're trying to get yourself on board! So if you're not allergic to fragrance and don't mind one, just go for one that smells good! If you're buying in store this is easy. But if you're all about e-commerce, then customer reviews are your best friends! 

Lastly, price. I find it unnecessary to spend a fortune on a branded sunblock where you can get a dupe at only half or even a quarter of the price. I personally feel the Kiss Me Sunkiller Perfect Water Essence is quite reasonable considering it has 50g of SPF50 with PA++++ (highest PA of all) suncream at only RM31.90. That's like, SUPER CHEAP in my opinion!
p.s. Kiss Me is a brand from Japan famous for their cosmetics products.

how to choose sunscreen

That's it, my super simple guide! Nonetheless, sunblock is not everything! There's nothing that can block out 100% of the sun rays and even if there is, you should never try it. Our body can only get enough Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight i.e. the UVB. It requires the vitamin to increase absorption of certain minerals in our body so insufficiency can lead to malnutrition as well! All you have to do is expose yourself to the sun just half the time it takes to feel burnt up. Then run back home and put on as much sunblock as you need! Also, remember to reapply as you go especially after sweating and swimming.

Note: here I used sunblock and sunscreen interchangeably but they actually are different things. I'm not going into the deets but you can take a look at the link if you're interested!

Have I missed out anything you want to know? Shoot me questions by leaving a comment. 

*Follow me on Bloglovin' to get updated posts when they are up!*

Thank you for reading, see you in the next post!

The pictures are not mine, just click on them and you'll be directed to the source. This post also contains affiliate links. Which means, if you use my link, I can earn some commission but it won't cost you extra. You don't have to use my link, but if you do, it would really help my blog!



  1. This is SUCH a good post - I think sun safety is something that's so overlooked! I've recently (naively) only gotten it, and have found Ultrasun face to be a godsend.. dries matte, is moisturising and factor 50, ticks all the boxes :)

    //teandtwosugars.blogspot.com xx

    1. Aww Georgia, thanks for making my day! It took me two weeks to churn out the content :'D So glad you think it's good!

      I know right, it took me 21 years to realised how important it is haha! And congrats on getting a sunblock that works for you! I'm happy for you. :)

  2. This is a really informative post! I always used to find sun cream so thick and greasy, the Garnier ambre solaire used to break me out too. I just had to try a few different ones to see which one my skin liked, and definitely go for a high SPF too :) x

    Velvet Blush

    1. Hi Velvet Blush! Glad that you found it informative! My first sunblock was a total disaster too I almost missed out on such an important skincare product. Hope you find one that works for your skin soon! x

  3. Hey Hey!
    Loved your blog and nominated you for the blogger recognition award <3

    Congrats <3

    1. OMG Nabeeda, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the nomination!! :D

  4. Aw such a great article! I wish I had the opportunity to use it, it's summer in the UK at the moment but so cold and rainy, it seems to always be about 10c and cloudy all year round! I am so jealous haha :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
    (lets follow each other on bloglovin or instagram)

    1. Hello Elizabeth! Glad that you liked it! UV rays are everywhere even if you can't see the sun so you can still use sunblock/sunscreen even if it's rainy :D Join the gang hahaha! x

  5. Great tips! I have very sensitive skin, so I have to wear sunscreen all of the time :)


    1. Thanks Nikoline! Then it must be very important for you to find the perfect sunscreen that feels comfortable! x

  6. Reading this post made me realize that I was once (and maybe still am..) like you, whose mom would always tell me to put on suncream whenever we're at the beach! Hahaha. But I think it does make sense to use suncream especially since I also live in a tropical country. Ahhh, now I am seriously considering to buy sunscream. Thanks for your insights and recommendations! :-)


    1. Hello Anna! Haha! Mums always know the best and want the best for us :D I've not been to Philippines but I know the weather there! Hope you get one that you like and is suitable for your skin! x


Hello! Thank you for taking the time to read this post and for leaving a comment too! You have just made my day! <3
Make sure to check back as all comments are read and replied to with much appreciation. :D