December 7, 2023

Sunscreen vs. Oral Sunblock: Why Singapore Prefers the Latter

  • August 31, 2023
Sunscreen vs. Oral Sunblock: Why Singapore Prefers the Latter

Sun protection is a subject that transcends geographic and cultural boundaries, emerging as a global concern. In tropical climates like Singapore’s, the issue takes on heightened significance. Traditional sunscreens have been the staple of sun care for years, effectively offering a layer of protection against harmful UV rays.

However, an intriguing shift is underway, with oral sunblock gaining notable traction as an alternative form of sun protection. Consequently, it raises important questions: What accounts for this change in preference? Is it a mere fad or indicative of broader lifestyle and environmental considerations?

This shift prompts a closer look into the dynamics of traditional sunscreen and its oral counterpart. Moreover, understanding the reasons behind this preference becomes crucial. While both offer protection against UV rays, their methods of delivery, efficacy, and user convenience differ vastly. Additionally, environmental implications and market trends also play a role in shaping consumer choices. Let’s deep dive into the comparison of Sunscreen vs. oral sunblock in Singapore and know why Singaporeans prefer the latter one.

Understanding Sunscreen

Definition and Ingredients

Firstly, let’s discuss what sunscreen is. It’s a topical application designed to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Common ingredients include organic compounds like avobenzone and inorganic compounds such as zinc oxide.

Organic vs. Inorganic Ingredients

Organic ingredients absorb UV rays and transform them into harmless heat. On the other hand, inorganic ingredients reflect the UV rays away from the skin. Each kind has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

How it Works

Sunscreen works by either absorbing, reflecting, or scattering UV radiation. Thus, it serves as a physical or chemical barrier between your skin and the sun.

Application Guidelines

When using sunscreen, apply a generous layer to all exposed skin areas. Furthermore, reapplication is necessary every two hours, and even sooner if you are swimming or sweating.

Special Cases

For outdoor activities that involve water or excessive sweating, water-resistant formulas are recommended. Make sure to read the label carefully for application instructions.

Advantages of Sunscreen

Immediate protection is one of the major advantages of sunscreen. Additionally, there is a wide array of formulations that cater to various skin types and specific outdoor activities.


From sprays to creams, there are multiple forms of sunscreen, providing options for consumers. Some are even tailored for sensitive skin or designed to be child-friendly.

Disadvantages of Sunscreen

However, sunscreen is not without its drawbacks. Some people experience skin irritation or allergies. Furthermore, certain sunscreens are detrimental to coral reefs. In addition, the constant need for reapplication can become cumbersome for those with busy lifestyles.

The Rise of Oral Sunblock

Definition and Ingredients

Moving oral sunblock, it’s a pill or supplement taken orally. It usually contains natural extracts like Polypodium leucotomos and antioxidants such as vitamin C.

How it Works

Instead of blocking UV rays externally, oral sunblock boosts the body’s natural defences. It assists in eliminating free radicals produced by sun exposure.

Dosage Guidelines

Generally, one pill should be consumed about an hour before sun exposure. The effects can last for a few hours, depending on the brand and formulation.


For prolonged sun exposure, additional doses may be necessary. Always follow the instructions on the label or consult a healthcare provider.

Advantages of Oral Sunblock

One of the biggest advantages is the ease of use. Just one pill protects for several hours. It’s also more environmentally friendly and may be better suited for individuals with sensitive skin.

No Interference with the Skincare Routine

Oral sunblock doesn’t interfere with your makeup or skincare routine. This makes it a practical option for plenty of individuals.

Disadvantages of Oral Sunblock

While convenient, oral sunblock is not immediate; it needs time to become effective. Not all brands offer complete, broad-spectrum protection, and some people might experience mild gastrointestinal issues.

Why Singapore Prefers Oral Sunblock

Climate and Lifestyle

Singapore is hot and humid year-round. Therefore, sun protection is essential every day. The urban lifestyle here is fast-paced, making convenience a highly sought-after commodity.

Cultural Influences

Culturally, Singaporeans, like many in Asian cultures, prefer pill-based supplements. Additionally, there’s a strong emphasis on effective yet simple skincare routines.

Market Availability and Accessibility

Oral sunblock in Singapore is readily available in various retail settings, from pharmacies to online stores. This wide availability makes it an easy choice for many Singaporeans.


Over time, oral sunblocks may be more cost-effective compared to the frequent repurchasing and application of sunscreen.

Public Awareness and Policy

Health campaigns in Singapore often stress the importance of sun protection. Additionally, stringent government regulations ensure that only effective and safe sun protection products are available, further bolstering public trust.

Compatibility with Daily Routines

Given the hectic lifestyle in Singapore, people often look for multipurpose solutions. Oral sunblock fits perfectly into this scenario as it doesn’t interfere with other skincare products or daily routines.

Environmental Concerns

Last but not least, Singapore is increasingly focused on eco-friendly initiatives. Oral sunblocks align well with this vision as they don’t involve harmful chemicals that can affect marine life.


The shift toward oral sunblock in Singapore can be attributed to various factors, from climatic conditions and lifestyle preferences to environmental concerns and governmental influence. While both sunscreen and oral sunblock have their pros and cons, the latter seems more aligned with the needs and preferences of the Singaporean populace.

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