10 Lightweight Face Sunscreens You Can Count on This Summer

Plus, a handy explanation of what the terms on the bottle actually mean.

best facial sunscreens
PHOTO BY Fenty Skin, Happy Skin, Supergoop, Sunplay, Anessa ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) We’ll get this out of the way right now: Yes, you need to wear sunscreen every day. We understand this piece of advice has gotten old at this point—skincare junkies repeat the phrase like a mantra every chance they get—but it’s still true. Sunscreen works to protect you from UV radiation coming from the sun—and as sun exposure is pretty much unavoidable, you should be taking measures to make sure you don’t get too much of it or are at least protected when you do.

Think of it like this: The skin is an organ (the largest organ on the body, in fact), and as you would with your lungs, kidneys, stomach, heart, and bladder, you need to make sure the skin stays healthy so it can continue to function as necessary. Now, sunscreen of course isn’t the only way to prevent sun damage—avoiding too much sun exposure, (especially in the late morning and early afternoon) and wearing protective clothing and accessories can also help. But it’s almost summertime, so we know sun exposure may increase—and wearing high-coverage clothing will likely decrease—in the coming months. So to help you keep your skin safe as the sunny season approaches, we’ve got a list of 10 great facial sunscreens you can shop locally below.

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Now, in case you get confused about all the terms that sunblocks tend to employ, here’s a quick rundown: Sunscreen is meant to protect you from ultraviolet rays. There are three kinds: UVA, UVB, and UVC. The former two are what you’ll find on the labels of most sunscreens out there. UVA rays are responsible for skin-aging—and beware, they can penetrate through windows, which is why it’s important to apply sunscreen even when you’re staying indoors. UVB rays, on the other hand, are the rays from the sun that cause sunburns, but cannot penetrate through glass.

The number you see on sunscreen represents its sun protection factor or SPF, which protects the skin from the burning caused by UVB rays. The term "PA+" indicates the protection grade against the UVA rays, which means the more plus signs you see, the higher protection you get from skin-aging. If you see the term "broad spectrum," it means the sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. Take note of these terms and choose between the available sunscreens accordingly.

These are the best facial sunscreens to buy for summer 2022:

Daydream Sheer Sunscreen SPF50 PA+++ (P449) from BLK

blk cosmetics day dream sunscreen
PHOTO BY BLK Cosmetics
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Sunscreens get a bad rap for being thick and gloopy and we know that sticky feeling on the face can be uncomfortable, especially on hot days. If you're looking for something a little more lightweight, check out BLK Cosmetics’ Daydream Sheer Sunscreen. It has an almost watery texture that’s easy to spread, melts right into the skin, and gently moisturizes. We tried it out ourselves and the easy-to-apply formula has quickly become one of our go-to options for everyday use—it even sits well under makeup. You can also opt for the tinted variant if you’re looking for a light-coverage base with SPF.

Available on Shopee and BeautyMNL.

Rescue Me Invisible Sun Gel Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 40 (P899) from Happy Skin

happy skin sunscreen primer
PHOTO BY Happy Skin

If your biggest pet peeve (when it comes to sunscreen at least) is a ghostly white cast on your complexion, Happy Skin’s new sunscreen-slash-primer is for you. Right out of the bottle, the formula is totally clear, so it applies pretty much invisibly on the skin. It also has a primer-like texture—think silicone-based primers—that prevents you from looking greasy and helps your makeup apply smoothly. Plus, you get broad-spectrum protection and SPF 40!

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Available on Happy Skin’s website and Lazada.

Go-Getter Moisture + Sun Stick (P550) from Habitude

habitude sun stick
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Habitude

Sometimes, the number one deterrent to applying sunscreen religiously is, well, the actual process of putting it on. We get it, skincare can be high maintenance; and on some days, you just want to get it over with. Well, this Sun Stick from Habitude may be just what you need. Instead of a liquid formula that you need to spread with your fingers, this sunscreen is solid. It has a twist-up, lipstick-like applicator that you can swipe all over the face in seconds. Be warned: The stick can leave a bit of a white cast at first if applied too thick, but the balm-like formula melts right into the skin and disappears as soon as you blend.

Available online.

Extra Effortless Pore Perfecting Sunblock (P799) from Skin by BYS

bys sunscreen
PHOTO BY BYS
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You may know BYS Cosmetics best for their affordable makeup, which can easily be found in drug stores and department stores in the Metro, but ICYDK, the Australian beauty brand launched a skincare line in May 2021—and yup, it’s just as wallet-friendly as their lippies and eyeshadows. The line includes all the basics (and more) for a standard skincare routine and we especially enjoyed their broad-spectrum SPF 50 PA+++ sunscreen when we tried it out. It has a lightweight, spreadable consistency that leaves skin smooth and moisturized. It works great under makeup and on its own!

Available on Amorfia and Shop SM.

Perfect UV Sunscreen Skin Care Milk SPF 50+ (P1,990) from Anessa

Anessa sunscreen
PHOTO BY Anessa

Looking for a matte sunscreen for your oily skin? Anessa’s popular Sunscreen Skincare Milk is worth the hype. Out of the bottle, it looks like any old white, lotion-type sunblock, but when spread on the skin, it almost immediately dries down with no sticky residue or white cast. Plus, the SPF 50 PA++++ formula is water-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about sweat or pool water washing it off right away.

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Quick note: Even when it's water-resistant, sunscreen should still be reapplied throughout the day!

Available on LOOK’s website and Shop SM.

AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion With Sunscreen (P1,680) from Cerave

cerave sunscreen
PHOTO BY Cerave

Cerave is a cult-favorite among those with sensitive skin thanks to its no-frills formulas (they tend to stay away from irritants like fragrance and oils) and nourishing ingredients lists, which often include hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides. And this moisturizing sunscreen is no different. Not only does it provide broad spectrum SPF 30 protection, it also moisturizes the skin and helps protect and restore the skin barrier. But don’t worry, oily-skin folks: Though the lotion is noticeably thick on application, it dries down quickly and leaves a soft matte finish.

Available on LOOK’s website.

Purity Sun Essence SPF50+ PA++++ (P549) from Face Republic

face republic purity sun essence
PHOTO BY Face Republic
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If you’re looking for sunscreen that you can use every day with no fuss, you can’t go wrong with the Purity Sun Essence from Face Republic. It provides SPF 50 PA++++ protection with a formula that’s gentle, non-sticky, and lightweight. Take note, however, that this sunscreen does have a light fragrance, so if you’re sensitive to scents, it may not be for you.

Available on LOOK’s website.

Skin Aqua UV Watery Essence (P465) from Sunplay

Sunplay skin aqua sunscreen
PHOTO BY Sunplay

With sunflower seed oil, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C in the ingredient list, this Sunplay sunscreen promises to hydrate and brighten the skin even on hot days. But before you panic about the moisturizing ingredients, don’t worry because we gave this one a try and it has a surprisingly light, non-greasy formula. Give it a quick spread around the face and it will absorb quickly and leave no white cast.

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Available online.

Hydra Vizor Invisible Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Moisturizer (P2,280) from Fenty Skin

Fenty Skin sunscreen
PHOTO BY Fenty Skin

Since launching in mid-2021, Fenty Skin has become a popular choice among many a skincare junkie—Rihanna can do no wrong in the beauty department as far as we can tell. The brand’s sunscreen claims to be both a sun protectant with SPF 30 and a skin-evening moisturizer thanks to ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, aloe vera, and even exfoliants like AHA and BHA. Aside from its light, dewy finish, the Hydra Vizor’s claim-to-fame is its unique two-part packaging. The inner container, which houses the actual product, can be removed and replaced when empty, so you won’t have to toss the entire bottle altogether. That way, you can save a few bucks with each new purchase and reduce your plastic waste.

Available on Sephora.

Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40 PA+++ (P2,050) from Supergoop

Supergoop unseen sunscreen
PHOTO BY Supergoop
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Supergoop sunscreens have become holy grails for many beauty addicts thanks to their weightless formulas, many of which are specifically designed to work for those with oily skin. Go for the Unseen Sunscreen if you’re looking for a sun protectant that applies totally invisibly. You get SPF 40 PA+++ and a formula that’s sweat-resistant, too!

Available on Sephora.

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