Living in Bangkok is literally living as close to the sun as humanly possible. Walking around along the equator with pollution flying around everywhere can’t be good for our skin. Everybody knows how strong exposure to the sun causes dark spots, premature ageing, dry skin, and multiple skin diseases including cancer. But we Bangkokians are even more vulnerable to these effects. Luckily, the solution to protecting yourself from those dangerous rays is pretty simple. So simple, in fact, that it’s one word: sunscreen. But with “SPF” and “PA +++” being printed on virtually every tube, bottle, and compact out there, it can be difficult to find what works best. And being a Bangkokian, a.k.a. equator-dweller, you really can’t just throw on any old thing claiming to be “UV protection”. So here’s a guide to the best sunscreens that are actually suited for sunny, humid, polluted Bangkok life. Trust us, you’re going to need it.

[Hero image and Feature image credit: Supergoop!]

Supergoop! Super Screen Daily Moisturiser SPF 40

Image Credit: Supergoop!

No conversation about sunscreen should ever leave out the mention of Supergoop! With their brand hashtag (#bufirstsuncreen), it’s clear that this brand is serious about protecting your skin from those dangerous rays. Supergoop! are the gods of SPF. All of their products work as sunscreen, use only clean ingredients (no harmful chemicals like standard sunscreens), and are designed to work well with make-up. Supergoop! gets that putting on sunscreen can be pretty boring. So, with some creative innovation, they’ve committed to making sun protection a lot more fun for us. They’ve got sunscreen in super delicious-looking mousse form (unfortunately not for eating), as well as SPF 50 “glow sticks”, a sunscreen and highlighting stick rolled into one. From mineral powder brushes to slim tubes that fit into tight jeans pockets, Supergoop! genuinely want to make sure you’re carrying around SPF everywhere you go. We love their brand-new Superscreen Daily Moisturiser (THB 1750) which is absorbed amazingly quickly for a light and non-greasy after-feel.

Available at Sephora. Locations: Emquartier, M Floor, 639 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110 (10am-10pm). Siam Centre, G Floor, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm). ICONSIAM, Level 1, 229 Choaren Nakhorn Road, Bangkok, 10600 (10am-10pm).

Shiseido BB for Sports 

Image Credit: Shiseido.

Ever noticed how your work-out clothes wick away sweat really quickly and also make your legs look a lot more toned? This brand new Shiseido sunscreen (THB 1500) does the same thing for your face. The trusty SPF 50 doubles as a BB cream infused with Contouring powder, which tones your face and stops the tinted sun cream from “running”. Since it’s designed for sports activities, there’s no way this sunscreen is going to be defeated by sweat. With the use of Wetforce and Quick Dry technology, the sunscreen sets lightly on your skin and almost immediately gives you that refreshing barely-there feel. Its effective tint means you can skip the foundation too, giving your skin a break from the heavy make-up routine.

Available at Shiseido. Locations: Emquartier, M Floor, 639 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110 (10am-10pm). ICONSIAM, Level 1, 229 Choaren Nakhorn Road, Bangkok, 10600 (10am-10pm). Siam Paragon, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm). 

Clarins UV Plus & BB

Image Credit: Clarins.

Clarins makes a classic no-frills sunscreen, but that doesn’t mean it’s just an average UV-protector. Using the highest quality ingredients and technology, the amazingly lightweight fluid sunscreen (THB 1900) is also a super block against pollution and signs of ageing. You can also choose to have it in skin-brightening tints which give you a natural-looking fair and rosy glow. Like many of their products, Clarins‘s sunscreen was tested particularly on Asian skin in Asian city environments, so the results are truly perfect for us Bangkokians.

Available at Clarins. Locations: Emquartier, M Floor, 639 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110 (10am-10pm). ICONSIAM, Level 1, 229 Choaren Nakhorn Road, Bangkok, 10600 (10am-10pm). Siam Paragon, M Floor, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm).

Pixi Sun Mist

Image Credit: Pixi.

Hailing from Soho, London, this beauty brand was a sell-out phenomenon when it launched online-only in Thailand. Known for its glow-enhancing skin products from toners to face masks, Pixi is an example of the saying “it’s popular because it works”. Swedish founder, Petra, is a busy mother of four, which means she loves to create products made for multi-tasking and on-the-go women. Her SPF 30 sunscreen comes in mist form, which is convenient, lightweight, and refreshing to apply. It’s infused with chamomile and bamboo extract, which gives you a de-stressing scent of clean botanicals. The chamomile helps to soothe your skin, get rid of redness, and neutralise free radicals, while the bamboo is a collagen-producer which is great for skin-elasticity and wrinkle-erasing. Because it’s always important to keep reapplying sunscreen, Pixi makes it really easy – and fun – to do so. And good news: after their online popularity, they’re opening their very own boutique in Bangkok on March 14 at Central World. Get ready to get your hands on their Sun Mist!

Will soon be available at Sephora. Price to be announced at launch.

Dr Dennis Gross

Credits: Dr Dennis Gross.

With a background in cell biology and dermatology, Dr Dennis Gross brings clinic and medical results to your bathroom. Dr DG says if there’s only one thing you do to look after you skin, it’s sun protection. With intensive research on the causes and effects of photo-ageing, skin cancer, and oxidative stress, all of the brand’s sunscreens serve to give the best protection against all of these dangers. The Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is a failsafe shield against UVA and UVB rays. Meanwhile, to fight against photo-ageing (that’s dark spots, wrinkles, and fine lines), the sunscreen uses a Mela-C Defense Complex which features melatonin and Vitamin E, and three forms of Vitamin C. The defence measures are strong for sure, but the sunscreen has also been known to fade away existing dark spots. Is it better to prevent or cure? Dr Dennis Gross says you can do both.

Will be available at Sephora from March 14.

Clé de Peau Beauté

Credits: Clé de Peau Beauté.

Almost everybody in Asia can attest to the quality and effectiveness of this luxury Japanese skincare brand. Using advanced technology and naturally-sourced ingredients, Clé de Peau’s products always deliver the results you want — plus more. Their sunscreen (THB 3000) doesn’t just have impenetrable Broad Spectrum SPF 50. Anti-pollution ingredients are still the bare minimum for the brand’s high standards. Clé de Peau’s UV Protective Cream also involves Illuminating Complex EX with precious platinum golden silk and pearl to help moisturise and retexturise environmentally-damaged skin. Meanwhile, the Ginkgo Biloba Leaf and Wild Thyme extracts help to restore skin’s youth by providing powerful anti-oxidants. These are just a few of the premium Asian-focused ingredients incorporated in this luxurious does-it-all sunscreen.

Available at Clé de Peau Beauté. Locations: Emquartier, 1 Floor, 639 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110 (10am-10pm). ICONSIAM, M Floor, 229 Choaren Nakhorn Road, Bangkok, 10600 (10am-10pm). Siam Paragon, M Floor, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm).