If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that SPF is a non-negotiable in our skincare and makeup routine.
But it wasn’t always this way.
The introduction of high-quality sun care products, that not only sit well under makeup but also have an SPF rating of 50+, have made protecting our skin so much easier than it used to be. Plus, with the rise of movements like non-for-profit Call Time on Melanoma promoting sun protection and regular skin checks, sunscreen has quickly become an essential in everyone’s beauty bag. We chatted with Ava Matthews, co-founder (alongside Bec Jefferd) of the new gen sunscreen brand Ultra Violette, about why they felt the need to launch a sexy SPF product and why the extra product in our routine is oh-so-important.
As ex-MECCA employees, Ava and Bec knew a thing or two about high quality beauty products… “from the way they look and feel and smell, to where they’re sold…[we] realised there’s nothing sexy about sunscreens…and [it’s] the one thing all dermatologists will tell you that you need to wear everyday…but nobody is making that a nice experience,” said Ava. “We also felt that sunscreen was rarely considered in context of what is layered before and after, and how women actually wear these in real life…it felt like an afterthought for a lot of skincare brands…we wanted to create a range of facial sunscreens that looked beautiful, spoke to you in a way you could understand, felt nice to wear, contained great ingredients and played well with the rest of your skincare and makeup products,” and so, Ultra Violette was born.
Why is it important to wear sunscreen everyday?
With the tagline “Future-proof your face”, the Ultra Violette girls know what’s up. Why? “Because UV rays are the biggest cause of premature ageing and they’re around all the time so unless you want to age quickly, you need to wear [SPF] everyday. Less botox, more SPF,” explains Ava. “[It can also help] with some markers of skin ageing: pigmentation, clarity and some minor texture but big volume loss it can’t help with.”
By this point, we know we should be wearing sunscreen everyday but find it hard to incorporate it into our daily routine, especially when it comes to makeup. Any tips?
The biggest thing, Ava points out, is to find a sunscreen you enjoy wearing. “There are so many options out there, you’ll find something you like. And use it consistently. This is key – replace a product such as your daily moisturiser or primer with a hydrating formula, so it’s covering three steps, not one. There’s no excuse not to wear daily.” Whatever you do though— says Ava, do not mix your sunscreen with base products like foundation or primers. “Apply on it’s own as a base layer and then if you want to be super diligent, apply again mixed into foundation. Make sure you have that solo layer though.”
So, the SPF in foundation isn’t enough?
“Nope, nope and nope. Even if it’s 50+ — you would need to apply SO much to get the right amount of protection. You’d look ridiculous.”
For many of us, putting on sunscreen is a one-and-done, especially if it’s worn under makeup. Should makeup-wearers be reapplying our sunscreen throughout the day, even if it’s under our base?
“Theoretically, yes. Although it’s hard to do this and not super practical. If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors during high UV times [which is almost always in Australia], you should be reapplying every two hours. If, like most of us, you have an office job and are indoors most of the day but like to spend half an hour outside at lunch, I’d try and reapply over your makeup with a mineral powder and then use an SPF lip balm and cover the areas of your chest and arms that are exposed. You can also reapply more lightweight sunscreens (like ur Queen Screen) with a makeup sponge and keep your makeup intact. We have a demo on our Instagram highlight,” explains Ava.
Tell us a little about Ultra Violette and the concept of ‘Skinscreen’…
“Skinscreen is basically a word we invented – but that doesn’t mean it’s not a thing! Ha” said Ava. “It’s a combination between sunscreen and skincare —- which is how we’ve designed all of our products. It’s not just about providing the bare minimum of sun protection anymore. Sunscreens need to do more— they need to include other ingredients to keep your skin hydrated, to protect from the full solar spectrum and contain other skin-saving antioxidants (Green Tea, Kakadu Plum). SPF is the one product you need to wear daily, so it’s important to think just beyond the realm of traditional sun filters and include other benefits for the skin too.”
With the goal of making sun protection sexy, wearable and most importantly, easy to understand, Ultra Violette have quickly sky-rocketed to cult-brand status. Want to get your hands on it? While it’s available directly on the brand’s website, the brightly coloured range of sunscreen (you can’t miss ’em) will be available at Sephora from February 5th.
Now you have absolutely no excuse. You can thank us (and Ultra Violette) later.