As an eco-adventure company, we are happy to note an increase on interest on outdoor pursuits. With the countless adventures the Philippines has to offer, we are excited that more people are now taking time in leaving their office cubicles to escape the metropolis stress and commune with nature. We see couples hiking together, parents bringing their kids to the beach and friends doing walking tours exploring historical and cultural sites of the country. However, there is still a lack on skin protection awareness among the group.
For one, there is this misconception in the Philippine market that sunscreen lotions are skin whitening creams and though this may be true for a few brands, for the most part these two are exclusive. We won't tackle here the absurd Pinoy obsession with fair skin because that is a completely different story that is best explained through historical and social context. This is mentioned here only because one of the reasons that we always get why some refuse to wear sunscreen is because they're already using a(nother) whitening cream. Fact: some whitening cream have sunscreen protection but the reverse is not necessarily true. If you will be exposing yourself under the sun for a very long time (e.g. hiking, open water swimming) then your whitening cream will simply not do the job of protecting you from burning.
Then there's this inane thought that SPF is a beauty product and is therefore only for women. Fact: if you have skin and head outdoors with no sun protection, you will most likely burn --- no gender discrimination here.
When Dermplus learned that we wanted to educate our travelers on the benefits of wearing sunscreen, they gladly partnered with us to help us spread the word by providing all of our clients with sunscreen. How cool is that, right?
Dermplus is one of the more budget-friendly sunscreens in the market now (Php350 for the 100ml tube). It is made and sold in the Philippines by Derm Pharma Inc. Their unscented Extreme 80 variety is a straight-up, no non-sense moisturizing sunscreen. It is PABA-free, water and sweat resistant and has no oxybenzone --- all of which are good indicators of a good sunscreen. Because of its high SPF, the formula is thicker than usual but we're happy to note that it is easily absorbed by the skin so you don't need to worry about looking like a kabuki performer. As with all sunscreen products, re-application at frequent intervals especially after swimming, towel drying, sweating and prolonged sun exposure is the smart way of using it.
Our clients were given sachets of this product for road-testing at Mount Pinatubo, Sagada, Taal volcano, Pagsanjan falls and Anawangin cove and it has passed with flying colors. Perhaps the only thing we want to change on the packaging of the sachet is the absence of perforation (for easy opening). Maybe they can also place a resealable closure on the sachet (think: ziploc) so the contents don't spill in your bag.
Where to get: leading supermarkets and drugstores
Next article: Beginner's guide to day-hiking in the Philippines