Quest for Truth (2)

The question for this week’s edition of Quest for Truth comes from Sook Yen, and her question goes like this:

                       “I’m currently using biore water-base sunblock. I like it because i don’t feel oily and sticky but it seems like it’s not that effective cause my face appeared more brown spots nowadays. I tried olay before but it’s too oily. Is there any suggestion?”

Thank you for asking, Sook Yen! Wow, girls like you make me proud! You are young, and yet you have been taking good care of your skin by applying sunscreen every day. It is such a pain to know that dark spots are present even though we diligently and religiously use sunscreen on a daily basis. Having said that, we must still apply adequate amount of sunscreen (at least SPF30) every day, preferably with good UVA protection, so do look out for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in the ingredients of your sunscreen. Both of these two chemical-free ingredients is the way to go if you are prone to sensitivity or breakouts although Titanium Dioxide tends to leave a white cast on your skin. Sad but true, dark spots knows no age and can develop in your early 20’s.

Besides aging, those spots are cause by genetics and excessive sun exposure. Sometimes, stress and acne could also cause pigmentation in the form of spots (brown colour). Since you are currently living in Malaysia, we can’t help but to agree that The Sun plays a large contributing role to having dark spots. So, to counteract this problem, you would need to minimize sun exposure and apply a minimum SPF30 sunscreen every day, where ever you are. Sometimes, it is not entirely the sunscreen to be blamed, but also the method of applying it on your skin.

If you are concerned with the dark spots and want to do something about it, there are treatments available to manage these spots including microdermabrasion, IPL, and chemical peels, but you would still need to apply sunscreen to protect your skin from further sun damage. Always re-apply your sunscreen every 2-3 hours whenever you can. Also, you could consider using anti-dark spot serum/essence to combat dark spot formation and a daily moisturizer that contains Vitamin C to give you a more unified appearance. I have personally used Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum and Decleor Paris 10-day Radiance Powder Cure, which I find help to even out my skin complexion.

Dear readers,

Do you have any remedy or advice to help Sook Yen?

With love,



Quest for Truth 1

Hi lovelies,

I have decided to have a series of Quest for Truth on a weekly basis. If you have doubts or questions regarding skin care or cosmetics, feel free to send your questions to me via email or my Facebook page (just search Engaged With Beauty). I am NO makeup guru, skincare specialist, pharmacist, or a dermatologist, but I will try my very best to answer your enquiries. Of course, you wonderful readers could also feel free to chip in their ideas or experience by posting your comment below! Let’s be happy and pretty together! *high five*

My blog is alive for two weeks now, and I have received a few questions from some of my readers, a BIG Thank You to you! Without further ado, let me share with you guys the very first question for this week!


“When I go for my regular facials, my therapist would discourage me from getting a sunscreen with SPF higher than 30. According to her, SPF 30+ is good enough for anyone to use on a daily basis. Anything higher than that will lead to breakouts and clogged pores, so I don’t dare to use anything higher than that when I go to work and when I go out to shop. Is her claim true?”

First of all, I need to salute you for taking good care of your skin by having regular facials. Some of us just don’t have the time!!!! Now we all know sunscreens come with a range of ten to a hundred, so what is good enough? Is there anything good ENOUGH? If SPF 30 is good enough, why are there formulations of higher SPFs? My purpose to ask you these questions in return is actually to guide you to understand that all sunscreens come with different PA ratings, different types of texture, different finish, different weight, and etc., which you will need to deligently REMOVE at the end of the day.

Shiseido - liquid; Chanel - liquid;  Diorsnow - cream;  Biore - cream

Shiseido – liquid;
Chanel – liquid;
Diorsnow – cream;
Biore – cream

Your therapist is right TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. Yes, you are always advised to reapply every few hours, so layers and layers of sunscreen on your face might raise some concerns. What she did not tell you is that breakouts and clogged pores are not entirely caused by the SPF level. Rather, one may reapply as often as he or she needs and still have flawless skin! You need to always double cleanse your skin at the end of the day, everyday.

Whether the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) level is enough or otherwise will depend very much with what you do everyday. Do you stay at home always? Then SPF 15-30 would be good, but once you hit the streets where you will have a leisure walk under the sun or drive to a destination, then you may need sunscreens something higher than SPF30. The higher the SPF, the lesser you burn. The fairer you are, the higher SPF you will need because fair beauties tend to burn faster. Does this mean those with darker skin colour could escape from using sunscreen? NO, if you want to slow down the aging process, to reduce pigmentation and to have an even skin tone.

You have mentioned that you use an SPF30 to your workplace. I do not know the nature of your job, but if you always need to face the computer, you will also need to reapply your sunscreen to avoid suffering from pigmentation later on due to the radiation generated from the computer screens. Again, using SPF 30 is good to protect yourself from all evil, but do you always have the privilege to reapply your sunscreen? Perhaps no, and do you know that the thicker you apply (and reapply) your sunscreen, the more likely you are getting the advertised SPF on the sunscreen bottle?

One of the reasons why many people opt for higher SPF is because they understood the duration concept of the SPF numbers. The higher the SPF level, the longer period of time you could spend under the sun or in front of the computer.

Last but not least, whether you reapply your sunscreen and regardless which level of SPF you use, remember to always double cleanse at the end of the day. It is a MUST. Proper double cleansing is KEY to NOT having clogged pores.

I hope I have cleared your doubts. Like I said, your therapist is right, but I also know some facial salons do not have sunscreen higher than SPF 30, and that is why some therapists said what your therapist said. I have been to a facial salon that also carries a sunscreen with SPF50, yet one of the therapists told me to get the one with SPF30 and told me it was enough for me. The thing is I am always on the road and I burn easily. It is definitely not enough, and when I told her that I do drive around, she actually said “Oh, then you should get SPF50”. What??? See??? If I do not drive around but stay indoors and use the computer for prolonged hours, does that mean SPF30 is enough???? It all goes back to your lifestyle, your skin type, and the ingredients of the sunscreens before using that sunscreen.

Readers, do share your thoughts on this. Have you heard any sales promoters saying exactly the same thing as her therapist?

With love,