Tomar, Portugal

Dealing with the scorching sun.


Europe has been experiencing a heatwave this summer and Portugal is no different. We’ve had days where temperatures reach the mid-40s (Celsius) but regardless of how hot it is, the sun is always extremely bright. I’m not exactly sure what the reason is, but compared to Singapore, sunlight here feels much harsher. I can definitely feel the effects very tangibly on my skin.

Apart from trying to stay as hydrated as possible by drinking copious amounts of water, seeking shade at every opportunity I get and covering up with loose, breathable long-sleeved shirts, I also slather sunscreen on my face before heading out. However, the thing is, my skin doesn’t always get along with sunscreen. Most of the western brands I’ve tried have given me a ghastly white cast, broken my skin out or felt extremely uncomfortable. Since turning to asian brands (specifically Korean brands), my skin has certainly felt the difference. It is far less irritated and less prone to breakouts.

In the spirit of sharing, I thought I would introduce you to my current tiny collection of sunscreens. Each of them is unique in its own way and I use them in different situations. For your reference, I have normal/combination skin although it varies depending on the climate and season.

I heard great reviews about this some time back and finally decided to give it a go. It’s very lightweight and thinner in consistency than the other two. What I like about this is that it doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy after application. It also has the added benefit of brightening your skin with a light pinkish hue and has tiny particles of sparkle just like the name of the product implies. I use this primarily when my skin looks dull and tired, on its own or under a light layer of makeup.

This is my most recent purchase out of the lot but I’ve been loving it since I got it. I first heard about it on Chriselle Lim’s YouTube channel where she talks about how to look beautiful without make up. This cream is a little odd because it’s actually pale green in the tub. However, when you start working it into your skin, it melts seamlessly and somehow blends into your skin tone and evens it out. I’m not sure what the technology behind that is, but one thing for sure – it looks and feels amazing! One of the key ingredients, Tiger Grass, also has antibacterial and wound-healing properties, prevents ulcers and reduces scarring which is an added bonus. When I want some coverage and don’t want to wear makeup, this is what I end up reaching for.

The thickest feeing cream that I have, this particular tube of suncream has somewhat of a cult following. Many people seem to swear by its soothing properties. However, I’m not quite a fan of how it feels on my face. You know it’s there and I prefer not to feel my sunscreen. There is also a fairly strong scent but I do actually like how it smells. It doesn’t feel particularly soothing to me but my skin seems to be doing okay with it despite having some issues with sensitivity at times. I use this when I need sun protection outdoors the entire day. It also wears fine under makeup. However, I do feel like I do really need to give my skin a very good cleanse after using it to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.

There are tons of asian sunscreens out in the market and we’re really spoilt for choice. I’m really interested in trying a few other brands once I run out of the Cosrx and Heimish ones. I will, however, most likely be using the Dr Jart+ Cicapair for a long time. It has very specific properties and fulfils a niche purpose for me. It certainly has become a fast favourite!

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