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Sunscreens are important in shielding the skin from harmful UV rays which can damage your cells and ultimately cause wrinkles as well as fine lines. To prevent these premature ageing signs, uneven spots and possibly skin cancer, it’s crucial to slap on some sunscreen with the right amount of SPF. 

Is water-based or oil-based sunscreen better?

None is better than the other. In fact, it has to do with who should use which. For those with oily or acne-prone skin, they should best opt for water-based sunscreens. That's because oils can clog the pores and cause a breakout. As for those who have sensitive skin, they can opt for oil-free, water-based and noncomedogenic sunscreens. But no matter what, water-based sunscreens are bound to be more lightweight for your skin.

Protect your skin from the crazy rays with our list of recommended sunscreens below.

1. Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defence SPF 50
Best rated, overall water-based sunscreen for face

Ready to combat the sun? Do it with Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defence, a sunscreen that is dermatological tested and is loaded with SPF 50+ UVA and UVB rays protection. The sunscreen contains anti-pollution ingredients such as Baicalin and Vitamin E to reflect skin-damaging free radicals in our city's pollution.

2. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
Best water-based sunscreen for acne prone skin

Suffering from acne-prone skin? You may want to stick to oil-free formulations that won't weigh down the skin or block your pores. This one from Supergoop is a good choice. Its formula is non-greasy and slides onto the face smoothly. The sunscreen is also lightweight, comfortable to wear under makeup.

Bio Essence
3. Bio-essence Bio-water Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 50
Best water-based sunscreen for dry skin

This hydrating SPF is ideal for dry skin, containing a combination of hyaluronic acid and allantoin. The two ingredients help in hydrating the skin, keeping it plump and healthy. It has a milky gel consistency that quickly absorbs into the skin, leaving behind a glowy finishing. 

Etude House
4. Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish
Best water-based sunscreen for oily skin

Containing an ultra-light milk formula, you'd be surprised that the sunscreen is anything but sticky. Its moisturising formula is made sebum-free and contains ingredients that absorb surface oil and reduce shine. Moreover, the formula has a soothing, milky texture that settles quickly into the skin.

Ready for the best part? This sunscreen dries with a matte finish and you can easily wear it under your makeup like a primer!

5. Nivea Sun Protect Super Water Gel SPF 50/PA+++
Best water-based sunscreen gel

This oil-free, hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic sunscreen is sure to protect you from the sun while keeping you hydrated. Containing hyaluronic acid in the formula, the sunscreen, yet, feels lightweight thanks to its gel consistency which absorbs quickly into the skin. It’ll provide long-lasting UV protection and is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive ones. 

6. Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50 PA ++++
Best water-based sunscreen for sensitive skin

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50 PA ++++ sunscreen is fragrance-free and lightweight, making it ideal for sensitive skin types. The water-based sunscreen provides light moisture which sinks quickly into the skin for quick application. This sunscreen also contains panthenol, beta-glucan and allantoin that soothes skin irritations. Plus, you won't need to worry about any whitish cast on your skin. 

7. Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream
Best Korean water-based sunscreen

Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream provides long-lasting protection against UVA and UVB rays while moisturizing the skin at the same time. Formulated with aloe vera leaf extract, this lends the sunscreen its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits, making it calm on sensitive and sun-damaged skin. It also has a soothing, creamy texture that settles quickly and protects the skin from daily sunlight.

8. Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Mild Milk
Best Japanese water-based sunscreen

Hate being sweaty on your day out? This ANESSA Perfect UV Mild Milk sunscreen with SPF 50 has a sweat-resistant formula that's ideal for all skin types. It promises to provide hydration while providing adequate sun protection thanks to its Aqua Booster Technology. Moreover, the formula is a lightweight milk consistency that glides easily on the skin.

9. Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50
Best drugstore water-based sunscreen

There are so many variants when it comes to drugstore brand. One such well-known one that's frequented by many is this water-based sunscreen that won't make you skin feel sticky or leave a white cast behind. Its SPF 50 formula provides a cool ‘water-like’ fresh feeling for your skin when absorbed into the skin. Due to its formulation which contains Hyaluronic Acid and Mix Citrus Essence, you can trust that your skin is well cleansed. 

Hada Labo
10. Hada Labo Air Aqua UV Fresh
Best non-comedogenic, water-based sunscreen

Afraid of irritants or allergies? This sunscreen doesn't contain mineral oils and fragrance, hence it’s suitable for sensitive skin. The formula delivers a double punch of hyaluronic acid to moisturise the skin as well as a dose of vitamin C for brightening. With SPF 50+ and anti-ageing properties, the Hada Labo Air Aqua UV Fresh sunscreen will protect your skin as well as nourish it.

For those who wish to soak only natural minerals, this sunscreen is formulated without sulfate and parabens. It'll protect your skin from harmful UV rays and contains about 17% zinc oxide and 0.7% titanium oxide in its ingredients. Aside from physical sun protection ingredients, this sunscreen also contains white mulberry root to help with skin brightening as well as improve uneven skin tone. 

12. Biore UV Perfect Spray
Best water-based sunscreen spray

Especially useful for re-application while you're out in the sun, this oil-free, non-comedogenic sunscreen spray provides a maximum of SPF 50+ PA++++. There’s also the sebum-absorbing powder that controls oil while you’re out and about. If you're worried about looking greasy, the sunscreen is formulated with a translucent powder to leave a powdery, smooth finish. 

Disclaimer: The pricing shown is just a good indication of how much these products are worth. The prices could change based on the e-commerce promotions that are going on. If some of the products are not available, do email us at [email protected] Thank you!

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