i recommend

Editor’s note

Customer reviews on most platforms are kinda crap—and a lot of those Insta posts are just glorified ads. Most of us end up relying on the same set of friends for advice any time we have to buy something new. So we decided to trial a community-sourced version of the ‘I Recommend’ section—to pool our collective wisdom to help each other out. 


Here’s how it works: You tell us what products/services you need help with. We will then gather together the best suggestions from our subscribers, personal networks and social media followers. Each month will have a different theme—examples: workout equipment, jewellery, men’s clothing, luggage etc. By popular demand, this edition of I Rec features all kinds of sunscreen.


Each edition is based on your requests. So be sure to let us know what help you need by filling out this single-question form. FYI: also check out our previous guide to a pair of good exercise shoes. 


Wanted: The perfect sunscreen

Sunscreens are among the hardest products to buy. Many of them look bizarre on Indian skin tones. Others leave your skin feeling caked and greasy. Do the lighter versions really offer any protection? How do you pick the right one for you? That’s what many of our subscribers wanted to know. And here’s what the splainer fam suggests.


Re'equil Ultra Matte Dry Touch (SPF 50): This was the most popular recommendation on our list. Moitreyee says “I have been using it for a while now, it works great for Mumbai weather for a combination skin-type and gives great protection. I tan very easily, but this one has protected me in places like Goa and Muscat.” Sonali and Sirisha love it because of its SPF and how light it feels on their skin. 


Rohini adds that it “does not melt and roll down with sweat. I sweat a lot and this was my biggest peeve with even neutrogena which was otherwise a great sunscreen.” An added tip: she points out that it’s not easy to spread on your bare face and thus recommends using a toner and/ or moisturiser to prep the skin. The only downside: “My one tiny issue is that I am prone to blackheads on my nose and the high silicone content in the product causes flare ups. I have to ensure I have a regular salicylic acid and mud pack routine to combat the blackheads.” (Rs 626)


FYI: Bhakthi Pereira recommends the Sheer Zinc Tinted Mineral (SPF 50) also by Re’equil. She says it is “easy to apply, blends well, no white cast. Bit on the pricier side but works very well.” (Rs 806)


Lotus Herbals MatteGEL (SPF 50): This was the other hot fave on the list. Lavisha says it “doesn't ever give me breakouts. Feels better than most I've tried. Only thing is, it isn't swim proof. So it's not for the beach. But most sunscreens which are swim proof are bad for the water and fish, so haven't found a solution for that yet.” Devashree says, “It’s been my to go sunscreen for many years. I love the fact that it does not leave any white patches on your skin like some other sunscreens. It gives a nice moisturising effect and it smells great too!” 


While Sanjeeta recommends it because she has “oily skin and using cream sunscreens mean that it will, a 100%, cause breakouts and an unnecessary amount of pain. The Lotus Herbals sunscreen, therefore, is an absolute lifesaver. It is light on your skin, there is no stickiness and it really does protect you from the harsh summer sun rays.Trust me, from the beaches of Gokarna to the sweltering summer heat in Berlin and it has kept my skin safe and un-tanned!” (Rs 270)


Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry Touch Sunblock (SPF 50+): Many of our subscribers swear by this product. Anasuya says it “protects against even harsh sunlight. Very smooth and non-greasy. Very light and blends well, even after I apply it on after moisturiser. Used it on a week-long trip to the mountains, and haven't tanned a bit. Love it!” While Peehu likes that it “doesn't leave a white sheen like many sunscreens do”. Mallika Fatehpuria adds that it is “effective and economical”. And Manasi loves that “it’s not oily”. (Rs 234)


Fixderma Shadow Cream (SPF 50): Srivatchala recommends this one saying, “I have dry skin and most sunscreens, when applied, are very greasy on my face. This coupled with sweat is overall a horrible experience. But the Fixderma one is perfect for me. It isn't greasy at all, the white cast settles down on my skin tone and best of all, it gets absorbed into my skin! It is also matte-ish so it's perfect.” (Rs 325)


PS: Need more options? 

Here’s a longer list:


 (Rs 449)

  • Bubblefarm Ultra Light Daily Sunshield (SPF 40): Srivatchala swears by this product because “I have dry skin and most sunscreens that promise a 'dewy' finish are too greasy for me. If I don't want to go for a matte option, I choose this Bubblefarm one. It provides good protection, it gives no white cast on my skin tone, and it is also a little moisturising.” (Rs 497)
  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion (SPF 50) and Sun Bum Moisturizing Lotion (SPF 50): Added bonus from Twitter: Vikas Navratna says “My wife, who doesn't tweet, wants me to tell you that [these] are [the] best options for fast-absorbing non-oily sunscreen lotions that don't make brown people like us look like freshly made powdered donuts when applied.” Neutrogena: (Rs 1,549) Sun Bum: (Rs 2,564)


Note: We do NOT receive any revenue from the brands recommended.

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