Easy sunscreen alternatives to fend off UV rays

Singapore’s tropical climate puts us at the mercy of summer all year round. It’s not just the heat we have to contend with. Our position near the equator also makes us more susceptible to exposure to UV rays. To combat this, we need UV protection that’s effective and fuss-free.

We know that we should be applying sunscreen. But we’re usually too lazy to do so or just plain forgetful. Some of us with sensitive skin avoid it for the fear of breakouts. Here’s a piece of good news: you can still protect your skin besides just slapping on sunscreen. Here are 7 easy ways to protect yourself from harsh UV rays:

1. UV detergent for clothes

There are a couple of reasons why we don’t run around stark naked. It’s socially unacceptable for one. But it’s also because clothes do protect the skin from UV rays. To really amp up the protection, you can wash your clothes in UV-repellent detergent, like SunGuard Laundry Aid.

One wash is enough to raise the UV protection factor (UPF) of your clothes from 5 to about 30 to 50, which means it’ll take UVA and UVB rays up to 50 times longer to penetrate fabric to reach the skin. As a bonus, these detergents will also help prevent the colours and fabric structure of your clothing from wearing out faster.

2. Take oral sunblock to boost the body’s natural sun protection

easy uv protection supplements

Most of us tend to skip over the supplements section when making a toiletry run at Watsons or Guardian. After all, a healthy diet means our bodies would be making natural sun shields like Vitamins A and C, and antioxidants like L-glutathione.

But the harsh reality is that most of us prefer to chow down on junk, meaning we’re probably not consuming enough vitamins and minerals to be properly protected against the scorching Singapore heat. 

To boost your body’s own protective measures, take an oral sunblock like VitaHealth’s L-Glutathione Plus that contains multivitamins and antioxidants. They’re an ideal option to give bodies an extra defence in the natural sun shield department.

Read on to find out more about how VitaHealth’s L-Glutathione Plus works to protect us from sun damage.

3. Avoid light-coloured & tight-fitting clothes for outdoor activities

easy uv protection proper clothing

Whether fitness enthusiast or newbie on the court, the right gear can help you play your best while keeping yourself safe from the scorching sun. You don’t have to be covered head-to-toe, but just a switch in colours can increase your protection against UV rays. Opt for dark colours or neons like yellow and orange, as they’ll absorb UV rays better than white or light colours. 

Also, while sports tights are great for athletes to maintain form and posture, tight-fitting attire stretches more easily, which allows UV rays to pass through. It’s better to wear loose clothing when out in the sun.

Pro tip: Wet clothes lose some of their protective ability against UV. You might want to fish out your dry fit class tees from the closet to wear, as these dry faster to keep your skin sunburn-free. 

4. Use UV sun patches on extra sensitive areas

easy uv protection sun patches
Image credit:

Apart from a risk of getting sunburned, another pesky side effect from staying out in the sun for too long is developing dark pigmentation spots and wrinkles.

Instead of having to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours or so, stick on UV sun patches before heading out. These patches are popular in Korea, especially among golfers who stay out in the sun for extensive periods of time.

Each patch deflects sun away from the under eye and cheekbone area, which are more delicate and prone to sun damage. You’ll be able to prevent crows’ feet from landing earlier than desired.  

5. Use heat-protectant shampoo and conditioner

easy uv protection uv shampoo

One of the lesser known areas of our body that we should be giving sun protection to is our scalp and hair. Beyond donning a stylish baseball cap, we can afford to show a little more love to our luscious locks. Too much UV can fry our hair, making it dry and brittle.

It’ll be a mess trying to spread the thick goo of sunscreen onto your tresses, even for the sake of UV protection. But for a fuss-free way, upgrade your hair care routine with shampoos and conditioners that contain heat protectants.

Brands like OUAI have leave-in conditioners for this purpose, or look out for products that contain argan oil, like the OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo. They can help to stave off UVA and UVB damage for the day. Plus, they’re effective against heat damage from regular use of straighteners, curlers and blow dryers.

6. Have an antioxidant-rich diet to reduce skin cancer risks

easy uv protection antioxidants in diet
Image credit: Unsplash

In line with Singaporeans’ favourite hobby, eating the right foods can help reduce the more major side effects of sun damage. You’ll want to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants to help prevent cell mutations from excessive exposure to UV rays, which can cause skin cancer.

Look out for cauliflower, tomatoes and leafy greens the next time you pick ingredients for your mala hotpot, and choose to add watermelon, berries and chia seeds in your morning smoothies. These are all packed with skin cancer fighting antioxidants.

7. Install UV blockers on windows

easy uv protection curtains and window film

Just because you’re indoors and in the shade doesn’t mean you’re safe from UV rays. So long as there’s sunlight, there’s no escaping UV exposure, even if we’re cooped up at home.

Blackout curtains are an effective way of blocking out the light, but if you still want to enjoy natural light, brands such as 3M have UV blocking films you can stick onto your windows. Think of these as like getting your whole house to put on a giant pair of shades. You’ll still get to enjoy the view without causing damage to your eyes.

Stay protected with VitaHealth’s L-Glutathione Plus

Singapore, AKA our sunny island, has good reason for having such a moniker. When you face the sun 365 days a year, it’s only natural to have experienced some sun damage like dark spots or frizzy hair. But it’s never too late to up the ante on your sun protection with oral supplements like VitaHealth’s L-Glutathione Plus.

easy uv protection vitahealth

Each pill is packed with nutrients and vitamins that boost our bodies’ antioxidant reserves. The main player is of course, L-glutathione, which does double duty to encourage our body’s own antioxidant production, protecting skin from UV damage while lightening pigmentation on the skin. Best of all, you just need to pop a tablet a day to get these benefits.

easy uv protection vitahealth supplements

You can get VitaHealth’s L-Glutathione Plus at selected Watsons and Guardian outlets. They’re also available at OG, Metro, and Welcia-BHG.

These pills are a more convenient alternative to applying sunscreen. And just by adding this single step to your daily routine, you’ll be saving your skin from irreparable UV damage. 

Shop for VitaHealth L-Glutathione Plus on Shopee here

This post was brought to you by VitaHealth.
Photography by Alvin Wong.