Looking Good: Screen that Sun

THE FIFTH COLLECTION has a love/hate relationship with the sun: we love all the short term health benefits, such as the vitamin D in encourages our bodies to produce and the way a little sun makes us a look and feel, but we hate the long term threat of skin problems such as sun spots, wrinkles and even melanoma.

So a question we often wonder about under our sometimes oppressive Singapore sun here is: are we doing enough to protect our skin? Our team at THE FIFTH COLLECTION takes skincare very seriously, and this leads to a debate in the office about what sunscreens are best for the skin and for this climate. We thought we'd distill some of our thoughts for everyone's benefit: 

When it comes to sunscreen, selecting our products is often a compromise between two objectives; we like our sunscreen to be invisible and feel seamless on our skin, but still provide broad-spectrum coverage to protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Chemical sunscreens achieve the former better but we've never gotten fully comfortable with the idea of a chemical block. You might call us old-fashioned, but this article from the Environmental Working Group confirms that our hunch is more than pseudo-science. The preferred option, physical or mineral sunblocks, actually have small particles in  them that literally reflect the sun away from your skin. The two main ingredients in this category are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which, despite the technical names, are naturally occurring minerals and have other positive effects on the skin. The downside is that it is an art to find a sunscreen that has enough zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide but does not make you look like you're wearing a mask on your face (titanium dioxide is also expensive, which is why sunscreen manufacturers tend to be stingy with it). Lastly, as working girls and boys, there's a practical consideration: it's important to reapply sunblock throughout the day, like before heading out into the sun for lunch, but slopping on an extra layer of sunscreen in this humidity is not exactly and attractive proposition, nor is it very helpful if you're wearing makeup.

So much to think about, so this week THE FIFTH COLLECTION look at some of our favourite products when it comes to fighting the sun. Please let us know of any favourite products of your own by posting below...