Since February, I have resumed WFH practically every day, and my daily routines have changed including my skin care routine. Just when I was getting the hang of applying sunscreen every morning, I became mostly homebound and shifted to only applying SPF when I had plans to leave the house. But is that enough sun protection for skin? A fellow editor once told me that itís important to apply sun protection even if youíre indoors all day, as UVA rays penetrate through glass windows. I also have a friend who got sunburnt at home just from sitting by the window!
UVA rays are one of the biggest culprits of sun damage on skin, leading to premature aging, dark spots and coarser skin texture. As I often sit near the window without sun protection for over eight hours every day, I realized my WFH routine could potentially nullify all the anti-aging products I use.
When it comes to sun care, sun sticks are generally my go-to when going out, but they donít fit in naturally with my stay-at-home regimen. While desperately looking for a product that fits into my morning skin care routine, I stumbled across sun serums. As the name suggests, sun serums combine the skin care benefits of serums with the SPF protection of sunscreens. For three weeks, I added three different sun serums Ė Abibís Heartleaf Sun Essence Calming Drop, AROMATICAís Kakadu Youth Glow Vita Tone Up Sun Serum and XOULís UV Mild Suncream Ė into my morning skin care regimen to see which formulas work best for me during warmer weather.†
Heartleaf Sun Essence Calming Drop
Sun protection power: SPF 50+ PA++++
What is it? A lightweight, quick-absorbent and hydrating essence that protects skin from UV rays and contains heartleaf extract to soothe fatigued and sensitive skin.
Abibís Quick Sunstick Protection Bar is one of my favorite sunscreens, especially during summer when Iím outdoors, so I have high expectations for its Sun Essence Calming Drop. This sunscreen serum comes in similar minimalist packaging of a 50ml glass bottle with a dropper Ė a typical design for serums. As a lightweight serum, its milky texture slides silkily on skin and dries to a soft, velvety finish. To my delight, the formula doesnít have much of a scent, and it left my skin soft and hydrated throughout the day.†
Kakadu Youth Glow Vita Tone Up Sun Serum
Sun protection power: SPF 50+ PA++++
What is it? A clean, reef-safe mineral sunscreen featuring a serum-like texture that leaves a glowy and non-sticky finish. Itís enriched with fermented extracts, Vitamin C and kakadu plum extract to rejuvenate skin. The sun serumís slightly green tint instantly cancels out redness, leaving skin with a brighter skin tone.†
Although Iíve tried my fair share of skin care products from clean beauty brand AROMATICA, this is my first time using one of its sunscreens.
Coming in the brandís usual eco-friendly packaging, the sun serum is presented in a cream-colored bottle with a pale green cap. The texture seems a little powdery at first, but it blends smoothly and absorbs quickly into skin, leaving a moisturized and glowy finish.†
The scent is strong Ė a mix of nutty and floral aromas. After reading through the ingredient list, Iím guessing it may be from the baobab oil. I usually steer away from tone-up formulas as a white cast is the last thing I want, but this sun serum boasts a natural-looking finish that softly blurs blemishes and dark circles.†
Sun protection power: SPF 50+ PA++++†
What is it? A gentle and multifunctional sunscreen packed with anti-aging, brightening and calming benefits, all in a lightweight and refreshing texture. Itís formulated with EWG green-grade ingredients, such as heartleaf extract, centella asiatica extract and calamine to soothe skin. Additional ingredients like BHA regulate oil production and prevent a buildup of dead skin cells.†
Although branded as a sun cream, this formula has an emulsion-like consistency that is more lightweight and refreshing than standard creams. Its mild citrusy and botanical scents from the infused†lavender oil and limonene arenít too strong. The sun cream absorbs quickly into skin, leaving a soft and moisturized finish without a white cast. I also like its compact packaging in a 35ml squeeze-type container that is only slightly bigger than palm size.†
Iím sold on sun serums. The fact that these sunscreens are easy to apply, feel extra nice on skin, and offer added skin care benefits make them simply amazing. Out of the three products reviewed, Abibís Heartleaf Sun Essence Calming Drop has the quickest absorbency and the most natural finish, while AROMATICAís Kakadu Youth Glow Vita Tone Up Sun Serum is superior when it comes to skin benefits, particularly its redness-cancelling tone-up effect. The biggest drawback of AROMATICAís sun serum is its scent that I still havenít gotten used to. As for XOULís UV Mild Suncream, I love its scent, texture and oil-balancing formula, but I wish it comes in a bigger size so I can use it on my body as well!
All three sun serums are fitted with broad-spectrum sun protection of SPF 50+ PA++++. They are super easy to apply and leave a lightweight finish. The products also generally sit well with moisturizer or under makeup. Suitable for most skin types, these sun serums are perfect for summertime.
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