Little Beauty Helpers (Summer Edit): FOR BELOVED ONE Melasleep Whitening High Sunscreen Protection SPF50**

 Afternoons sitting under the shade of cabanas, lounging in the pool, enjoying the warm summery breeze and the heat from the sun… I was looking forward to all of that when on my holiday to the balmy tropical Mactan Island in Cebu, Philippines. What I wasn’t that hot about was getting sun burnt or insanely tanned, which typically comes as a package with any beach or resort holiday. Trust me, I can get there… I HAVE gotten there. On my trip to Boracay in the Philippines, everyone started speaking to me in Tagalog while they tried to Annyeong Haseyo 안녕하세요 my travel companions. What does that tell you?

Hat: ALDO Accessories / Weekender Carry-on Bag: Victoria’s Secrets / Handbag: Longchamp

This trip to Cebu, I almost busted my check-in baggage limit by bringing a tonne of sunscreen and large floppy hats.  A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to avoid being burnt crispy.

The only other options available were to avoid pool dips under the mid-day sun (impossibru!) or wearing long-sleeved protective swimwear (sacrebleu!!) instead of bikinis. Seriously, are those even considered a modern woman’s options?

I mean look at this pool. LOOK! Am I going to miss having a damn good time in my bikinis in this awesome environment because I’m afraid of a tans, burns and sun spots? Hell no. I’ll take my chances with advances in sun protection technology in skincare and the risk of looking incredibly bimbotic and vain (but totally fashionable) in pretty sun hats.

I think I pulled this whole thing off because I stepped back into office and I got quite a number of comments that I didn’t look too toasted. It didn’t seem like I went on a four-day holiday to a beach location AND dived too. <SuccessKid.jpg>

Out of all the sun protection I used, I thought I’d share with everyone this new one I tested out that I felt was really pretty awesome: FOR BELOVED ONE Melasleep Whitening High Sunscreen Protection SPF 50** (Beige).

This is one of three different sunscreens in the Melasleep Whitening Sunscreen series, created to suit different skin types and needs. This particular range of sunscreens from FOR BELOVED ONE is meant to be soothing, hypoallergenic and developed to be lightweight, easily absorbed and to repair skin along with (a must have quality of any legit sunscreen) comprehensive sun protection coverage.

This one that I’m using (Beige) is great for outdoor use with high SPF 50**. It protects against the sun (both UVA and UVB), brightens and moisturizes skin as well as provide a very subtle light coverage that evens out skin for a natural look. (Resembles a very subtle BB cream effect, but is still very sheer and good for layering even under primers or BB cream.)

The Melasleep Whitening High Sunscreen Protection comes in a 30ml tube and retails at $52.

For sun protection newbies, let me break it down for you, right here, right now.

UVA (Long-wave): UVA rays are able to penetrate deep into the thickest layer of skin called the dermis and being exposed to these long rays will result in premature ageing of skin. It’s what causes wrinkles and sun spots!

UVB (Shortwave): UVB damages the top layers of your skin and depending on intensity can cause sun burns. It’s the damn UVB rays, that causes your skin to redden, darken and burn.

SPF (Sun Protection Factor): This is to measure SPECIFICALLY sunscreen’s effect against UVB rays only. This means that for different people with different skin types, the same sunscreen can protect them from the effects of UVB rays for different amounts of time. (E.g. If it takes you only 10 minutes before you burn without sunscreen, an SPF 15 will allow you to stay in the sun for a maximum of 15 times longer. This means you can frolic in the sun for 150 minutes/2.5 hours before you start burning and need to reapply your sunscreen again.) This is just a loose gauge of efficacy and is not exactly accurate.  Why? SPF is derived from lab tests using a sample of people with and without the sunscreen, the average result is what you see on your sunscreen SPF rating. You have to make sure you’re well-covered in sunscreen as per what the sample subjects have on during their testing to enjoy the same effectiveness. Usually, we use FAR LESS than that is used in lab tests. So reminder to all sun lovers like myself out there, make sure you really slather it on.

So now you know what those words mean on the label when you’re selecting your sunscreen!

Tip: Do take note of whether your sunscreen offers you protection against both UVA and UVB rays as some sunscreens can have really high SPF but does not necessarily protect your skin from UVB rays.  Always read those labels and don’t jump to conclusions.

FOR BELOVED ONE has a two-pronged approach to sun protection. It has both physical and chemical sunscreen ingredients to prevent sun damage from UVA and UVB rays. The Melasleep Whitening High Sunscreen Protection also has skincare benefits as it contains ingredients like PENTAVITIN® which hydrates skin, Phytosoothe™ which soothes and repairs skin, and Lumiskin™ which brightens skin and clears blemishes.  I think the skincare benefits are what really sets this sunscreen apart from its competitors. Oh yes, it also contains RonaCare® AP which complements UV protection ingredients and promises advanced sun protection. “When applied to the skin it adjusts its protective skin to the individual conditions. It operates 24 hours. It demonstrates excellent antioxidant properties.”

Physical sunscreen ingredient Titanium Dioxide is effective in physically blocking UVB from penetrating skin. While there’s debate on whether Titanium Dioxide can be harmful to us as a lab test has been done on rats who inhale Titanium Dioxide particles and the results are quite alarming, it is not small enough to be absorbed by skin and should instead form a protective layer on skin to guard against the ill-effects of prolonged UVB exposure.  (I don’t think having rats inhale a powdered version of Titanium Dioxide can be used as a good test to say that the same ingredient topically applied on human skin can have the same results.) That said, there has not been sufficient testing to determine if topically applied Titanium Dioxide will be harmful to humans YET.

Chemical sunscreen ingredients, Octyl Methoxycinnamate and Octocrylene, which are also found in this sunscreen. These two chemical ingredients work together to absorb and filter UVA and UVB rays. Both ingredients on its own are also highly debatable and have their own list of cons. Octyl Methoxycinnamate (Octinoxate) is absorbed quickly by skin and there are concerns that when it is exposed to sunlight, it becomes less effective unless used with other ingredients. Octocrylene on the other hand is a pretty weak sunscreen ingredient on its own, but is a stable ingredient that does not degrade in sunlight and works to protect and improving the effect of other UV absorbing ingredients. Again, debates rage on regarding whether these chemical ingredients can cause long term harm to skin but once again, no conclusive tests have been made to prove that they are harmful as well and more research is still needed.

Don’t take my word for it, but I believe that we need to take a look at all the ingredients of your sunscreen. Some ingredients mitigate the risk of other ingredients or increase the efficacy of them, so it makes sense not to point an accusatory finger at any one ingredient and say that it’s going to cause more harm than good. I’m no expert in toxicology, so this is just what I understand are the risks associated and highlighted through various sources from using these ingredients. But lets just say that so far, there is not one sunscreen in the market that does not include these debated ingredients because we expect ALOT from a sunscreen. What we can do is make informed decisions. I thought this chart from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) was pretty informative and to the point. You should take a look at it! I hope you’re not going cross-eyed (or blind) from this wall of text!

My experience with the product so far has been stellar. I only used this on my face during my Cebu trip, so do note that I used a different sunscreen for my body.

I did not get any sunburn (I usually burn and peel near my nose area, but I’m safe this time round on my Cebu trip), my face is not as tanned as I would have expected from so much sun exposure (do not that I do apply and reapply my sunscreen liberally) and I did not get any outbreaks, skin irritation or stinging sensation on my skin from using it. I don’t look unnaturally shiny or greasy and I love the way it applies on my skin – not oily, not sticky and a lot like BB cream texture.

I think the best way to use this product is to constantly ensure that you are applying more than what you think you need. Too often we under-apply sunscreen, but to really get your sunscreen to work, you have to apply it properly. The coverage is sheer as well, so no worries that you’ll look white and pasty if you apply too much. (But then again, I’m not THAT tanned, so it works for my skin tone, not sure if it blends as well for darker skin tones.)

I’d definitely consider repurchase. The FOR BELOVED ONE Melasleep Whitening High Sunscreen Protection has entered my list of personal top sunscreen products and has slid along-side my existing favourite sunscreen, the Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50 PA+++. While at the same price and size ($52 for 30ml), the FOR BELOVED ONE whitening sunscreen delivers additional beauty product benefits. But in terms of ingredients wise, I’d think the Kiehl’s one would work for more sensitive skin types, since it uses a dermatological tested formula. Don’t get me wrong, both products are awesome of course! I think both are very different products, even while serving the same main purpose – protecting skin from sun damage!

Disclaimer: Products in this post were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions shared are honest and my own based on my experience.

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