Saturday, 2 November 2013

The Truth about Sunscreen & Sunblock + MY HOLY-GRAIL SUNSCREEN! (Biore UV Face Milk Review)

In sunny Singapore, each of us know of AT LEAST one friend who loves to suntan. And more often than not, these friends do not bring along a sunscreen or sunblock with them as they strongly believe the application will prevent them from getting their desired tan after an hour or more of suntanning at Sentosa. Even if they do apply something, it will be the Banana Boat tanning oil which usually only contains SPF 4+/- (I don't even know what kind of protection - if any at all - SPF 4 will provide; probably just to prevent a little sunburn).

Believe it or not, despite my fair skin hahahaha, I was once that "friend"! There was a certain sense of satisfaction whenever I left Sentosa with a sunburnt skin; it would feel like my hour(s) of suntanning had not gone to waste. Likewise, whenever the sun was not at its hottest, I would not get a sunburn and I would feel rather disappointed. This carried on for a few months (back when I was a Year 1-2 polytechnic student), until I got tired because my skin lightened up pretty quickly and my tan would only last for a few days; which I am thankful for, in retrospect.

Talk about the damage I ever willingly did to my skin.

The unfortunate thing about sun damage is that it will not be visible to our naked eyes, and the aftereffects will only show a few years down the road. When we do not apply sunscreen/sunblock, not only are we risking our skin into getting cancer, we are willingly causing premature wrinkles, sagging and hyper-pigmentation ("aging spots", brown spots) to our skin. Doesn't that sound insane???

Especially in Singapore - where it is summer all year round, you don't even need to travel to Sentosa in your bathing suit and with your towel for the sole purpose of suntanning. Just by travelling to school, engaging in sports activities (even indoor ones), or taking a stroll in the park (even at night!) will create any chance for UV rays to penetrate into our skin.

Scary no?

Difference between a sunSCREEN and sunBLOCK

To make it easier to remember, sunBLOCK simply means it will BLOCK the sun, thereby blocking the sun's contact to your skin. Not only will this prevent you from getting a sunburn, it will also prevent your skin from becoming tanner. A sunscreen, on the other hand, only prevents sunburn. It will not stop your skin from getting a tan.

If you would like a more detailed explanation, here's an easily-digestible one from


Sunscreen refers to products that allow the Sun's rays to penetrate the skin but filter some of the radiation in the ultra violet spectrum. The UV rays get altered to a safer wavelength and are released. The chemical interaction between the sunscreen and UV allows the sunscreen to absorb the UV before it penetrates the skin.

Sunscreen offers protection from UV-A and UV-B, however sunscreen ingredients have the ability to deteriorate at a faster rate once exposed to sunlight, hence some radiation is able to penetrate to the skin. Some sunscreen products offer no protection against UV-A radiation whatsoever. Products often contain a mixture of physical and chemical block ingredients.


Sunblock works by preventing the Suns rays from reaching your skin - either by reflecting them away or absorbing them, changing their structure and releasing them. Sunblock used to sit on top of your skin and had a white appearance. With nano technology (making things really small) some sun blocking ingredients are now invisible to the eye, so you dont get that white ghost look. The main active ingredients in sunblock are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

(Source: here)

Here's an image to demonstrate the above information:

(Image credits: here)

I'm not hardworking enough to be diligently applying sunblock on my body every single day, this I have to admit.

BUT MY FACE, MY FACE IS A MUST. And so should everyone else apply sun protection on your face at the very least! Why should we voluntarily let our skin achieve all the brown spots and wrinkles, when we can easily prevent them by adding sunscreen/sunblock into our everyday skincare routine?

In the past, I would feel very lazy to apply sun protection, but more importantly I was very unwilling to do so because most sunscreens/sunblocks are extremely greasy. I have oily skin so I tend to shy away from anything sticky or greasy; such sun protection makes my skin look like it's oily enough to fry a egg. No joke. But after trying so many different brands (not even kidding), especially the ones that claimed they would not look greasy but ended up looking greasy and oily as hell, I HAVE FINALLY FOUND MY NON-GREASY HOLY-GRAIL SUNSCREEN. You have no idea how happy and excited I was when I discovered the following product.

This is probably my 100th bottle or something; I cannot even remember how many years I've been a loyal user of this sunscreen for.

There are 4 types of Biore UV Face Milk sold in Singapore:

(Image credits: here)
Purpose of the different types from left to right:
For face and body, for brighter skin, for oily skin, for dry skin

Based on the image above, you can see the one I'm using is the pink bottle, which is to brighten the skin. And it really works can!? At least in my opinion. Pictures in a bit!

Unlike regular sunscreens which have a creamy greasy texture, Biore UV Face Milk has a milky texture - as the name implies.

Here's the texture of regular sunscreens:

(Image credits: here)

Such sunscreens are usually very "misleading" because when applied to your hand - as you would when you are testing out a product in Watsons or any beauty store, it will not appear too greasy. But when you apply it to your face, it is more often than not a different story. I have no explanation for this but it's probably because both the skin texture and thickness of our hands and face are different. So always try it on your face (or jawline at least) before you come to any conclusion! Trying a new sunscreen product on my hand was what led to my countless "trial and errors" and me purchasing sunscreens that I absolutely hate, but I still had to continue using them if not I would be wasting my money... (Back in secondary school, even $15 on a skincare product was quite pricey to me!)

Here's the texture of my favourite Biore UV Face Milk:

(Image credits: here)

You can already tell the difference by looking at the texture! Regular ones definitely look way thicker and greasier than Biore's milky formula.

Now if it was in the past, I would never ever leave the house without AT LEAST concealer on my face, even if I was just heading nearby to get some food. I always needed something to cover my dark circles, as well as my unsightly pimples and acne scars (I used to have so many...). But today, I'm not afraid to leave the house as long as I have my trusty sunscreen, Mentholatum colour-changeable lipbalm, and eyebrow liner! Yes groomed brows are still a NEED even when I decide to leave the house bare-faced.

Here are some photos of my face about a minute or two after applying the sunscreen (unfiltered!):

I used my iPhone's lousy front camera so the quality is unfortunately not clear.

My face is naturally blush-y and sensitive so please look past that hahaha, but can you look at how smooth my skin is? My face doesn't even look like I have any sunscreen on! In the photo collage, you can even see how brightened my face was while standing in front of the window. I wish I can show you how my face will look like if I apply one of those greasy sunscreens that I used to apply back in secondary school. Very gross.

WHAT IS PA+ / PA++ / PA+++?

If you take note of all sunscreens and sunblocks in the market, you will notice that some sun protection only state PA+ / PA++, while some others state PA+++. Is there a difference? If there is, which is better?


PA+       = Prevents against UVA ONLY
PA++     = Prevents against UVA & UVB
PA+++   = Prevents against UVA & UVB & UVC!

We all know that there are UVA and UVB rays. I'm not gonna go into the medical and scientific explanation because I'm not an expert, but I will type like I'm talking to a friend ok?

In simpler terms, UVA prevents against AGING, and UVB prevents against BURNING.

But there is another type of UV ray that most people don't know and/or seldom talk about.
UVC = prevents against CANCER.

UVA - Aging
Long wavelengths that are less intense than UVB, but can penetrate through clouds and glass; these rays will reach the deeper layers of the skin, contributing to all the nasty skin damage e.g. premature wrinkles. This is why I mentioned above that UV rays can penetrate into your skin even if you're engaged in indoor activities, or working in the office!

UVB - Burning
Short wavelengths that damage the more superficial layers of the skin, hence the cause of sunburns.

UVC - Cancer
I have no idea how to explain this because the information is too scientific, but they are basically even-shorter wavelengths, higher-energy rays that can somehow get in contact with our live skin tissue even though the rays are too short to penetrate into our skin. While some research have shown that UVC rays do not cause skin cancer, many other research have shown otherwise. SO HOW?
My solution is to be kiasu and buy sun protection that has PA+++ to prevent all 3 types of UV rays!

Simple information that you should always remember by heart!

Understand better? :) No?


General rule of thumb:

SPF 15 blocks roughly 93% of UVB
SPF 30 blocks roughly 97% of UVB
SPF 50 blocks 1-2% more effectively than SPF 30

Hence, to be honest, SPF 30 is sufficient for Singapore's weather. But I would like to stick to my kiasu roots and opt for SPF 50 (no higher as it will not make any difference).

And I'm very glad that my favourite sunscreen in the whole wide world has SPF 50+ (which is considered more than enough) and PA+++! *REJOICE*

Biore UV Face Milk is also very affordable, about S$15+ for 30ml!

So how? Convinced that you should go out and buy this sunscreen already?

This is such a long post, but I sincerely hope that all of you who are reading this have benefitted from this post! If you have read all the way till this sentence without skipping any chunk of words, KUDOS TO YOU!!!
I hope you have learnt something :)

To end off this post, here's something cute - how a grandma applies what seems to be sunblock on her lips:

(Image credits: here)
And FYI, NO YOU DO NOT put sunscreen/sunblock on your lips hahahaha;
use a lipbalm that has SPF protection please! I have one from Banana Boat and I like it!
Non-sticky; no sunblock smell.

Till my next post, take care, God bless, and go be freaking amazing this week.

P/S: You know you're awesome if you click on my Nuffnang advertisement on the right-hand side!!!

With love,

Jolynn Lim
My Beauty Road

"Don't forget to love yourself."

Follow me on Instagram @mybeautyroad for more beauty updates!


  1. Do you put sunscreen after you have put on moisturiser on your face, or before moisturiser? Cause different websites/beauty gurus say different procedures!!

  2. Hi hun! I will definitely advise on applying your sunscreen AFTER your moisturiser. Sun protection should always be applied as the last step of your skincare routine, and as the first step of your makeup routine - a reason why many people say your sunscreen can act as a makeup base :) Hope this helps!

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  4. Ah I think I will get this sunscreen after I use up my current one. I'm tired of the oily face but I don't want to put up with a chalky face x.x hopefully I can find this here in the US!

  5. Thank you for reading this, Cindy!! Oh I really hope it will be but I doubt so… You can definitely try to get your hands on it via online though! :) This stuff is seriously amazinggg!