Review – Extreme Senstive SPF50+ by Ultrasun

Ultrasun Body

MY SKIN
Dry and sensitive, acne prone – primarily hormonal; eczema prone.

THE PRODUCT
Extreme Sensitive SPF50+ by Ultrasun, body sunscreen, £22/100ml.

IN A NUTSHELL
This is exciting, because this bottle is empty! Despite not getting a lot of daily exposure I have been trying really hard to keep up with my sun protection during the heat wave we’re having in the UK. I feel that this empty bottle is testament to my dedication; I am proud!

Ingredients and Texture
To keep it brief, this sunscreen is a physical and chemical hybrid formulated to be suitable for sensitive skin. This means it does not contain several potential irritants, but the ones I’m most excited about are no fragrance, mineral oil, or octinoxate – my Number 1 chemical to avoid in sunscreen. What is included are botanical extracts to nourish the skin and antioxidants to increase the skin’s ability to protect itself against outside aggressors.

In texture this cream is quite scary upon application – it’s like a thick lotion that takes some work to rub in, but it’s manageable. It’s difficult to tell, because I am very fair of skin tone, but on me this cream does not leave a white cast. In fact I kind of enjoy the fact that it takes a while to rub this cream in, because it helps to see how well you’re covering your skin, and after several seconds it absorbs completely. I find that I can feel it on my skin throughout the day, but it’s not suffocating. It will DEFINITELY get sticky when you get sweaty, but then again, you’ll be sticky with or without sunscreen – or at least I will be.

Packaging
The packaging is great – simple but effective. It features an airless pump that not only preserves the product, but also ensures that you get every drop of it, and the bottle is made of sturdy and opaque plastic that again, preserves the product within. The bottle comes in a cardboard box which has a plethora of information printed on the inside walls, eliminating the need for wasteful leaflets that realistically no one ever reads. My favourite part is the instructions with recommended application.

Ultrasun Guide

As the majority of the population does not use enough product to warrant adequate protection, this is not only important but also very useful for the average consumer. I certainly have found it handy and it enlightened me about how much I should use.

Performance
If you haven’t been aware, here in the UK we have been having a crazy heat wave for the past couple of months and the sun is intense. As I’ve mentioned earlier, my skin is very fair in skin tone and although I do not burn crazy easily, the sun we’ve been enjoying would fry me up momentarily.

Since purchasing this sunscreen and wearing it daily I have not a trace of tan anywhere on my skin. I’ve had co-workers ask me if I stay indoors all day to avoid burning. I have strangers gush in disbelief at how fair I am remaining during this summer weather. Honestly, I’m a little shocked too, but very, very happy. As a bonus, after taking a shower my skin is soft and nourished after wearing this sunscreen. I have had absolutely no irritation whatsoever with it, so it certainly lives up to the “sensitive” claim.

FINAL VERDICT
I am very, very impressed. I was prepared for this cream to work well and keep me safe from burning based on my experience with the Facial Anti-Spot & Anti-Pollution Fluid SPF50+ from Ultrasun, but I wasn’t expecting to remain as pale as I would be in the dead of winter. I don’t enjoy the sticky feeling I get in intense heat, therefore I’ve decided to look for an alternative option to use on days when I have little sun exposure – eg. work days with not much more than the brief commute to and from work. But for days out on the beach, in the garden, in town, with a lot of time out in the sun, this will be my go to. 100% worth every penny.

Review – Face Brightening, Anti-Spot & Anti-Pollution Fluid SPF50+ by Ultrasun

Ultrasun SPF

MY SKIN
Dry and sensitive, acne prone – primarily hormonal; eczema prone.

THE PRODUCT
Face Brightening, Anti-Spot & Anti-Pollution Fluid SPF50+ by Ultrasun, facial sunscreen, £28/40ml.

IN A NUTSHELL
My first ever experience with Ultrasun was with a body sunscreen that I’ve found incredibly effective. Upon realising that they also offer a variety of facial sunscreens I started digging and picked this as my first trial.

The Fluid is a hybrid of both chemical and physical protection against the sun. It boasts of patented technologies and makes many claims that make it sound like the Guardian Angel we’ve all been waiting for. On top of providing high protection from UVA/UVB radiation, the Fluid also claims to protect against infrared and pollution, to be fast absorbing, non-greasy, moisturising, ultra light, brightening and water resistant. It contains antioxidants like vitamins C and E for boosted benefits and a few botanical extracts to help nourish the skin. It doesn’t contain a lot of the nasties I try to avoid: octinoxate, fragrance and mineral oil being the main three.

I do not find this sunscreen fast absorbing, ultra light or non-greasy – but it’s not terrible. The most important thing is that it doesn’t break me out or dry out my skin while being highly protective. It’s rather thin in consistency, like a milky lotion, so it’s best to shake it up before applying. It’s relatively easy to spread across the face and rub in until absorbed, but I find that if I roughly spread across one area, focus on another, and go back to the first, it can get pretty tricky. It leaves the faintest of white casts; on my fair complexion it doesn’t bother me as it makes my skin tone look more even, but darker skinned people might find this a nuisance. I don’t like this to wear under makeup, as I find it just sits on my skin and as the day goes by, it will pill off my face – I’ve found it doesn’t mix well with oils, despite containing squalane. The Fluid leaves my face looking shiny and I can feel it on my skin most of the day.

I really appreciate the packaging of this product. It’s a squeezy bottle that’s sleek, small, fully opaque, and the cap is secure so you don’t have to fear any leakages if you put it in your bag. The box it comes in includes a guide to help you understand how much product you should be using for best protection – something I appreciate and have found very useful. All the information you will ever need is written on the box, inside and out, eliminating the need for leaflets that realistically no one ever reads.

FINAL VERDICT
This sunscreen is very effective in intense sun exposure, and for that, I take my hats off to it. It puts substance over style which I really appreciate. It’s very moisturising, non-irritating and has not broken me out. I do not enjoy wearing it due to its greasiness, pilling and mild discomfort of wearing, but I am willing to overlook this when times are hard. To sum it up, I do not intend to wear the Fluid on a daily basis, but on active days with intense sunshine and lots of exposure, this will be my Number 1 to go to and for that reason I will repurchase it when I run out.

Review – Silk Hydration Air Soft Face Lotion SPF30 by Hawaiian Tropic

Hawaiian Tropic SPF

MY SKIN
Dry and sensitive, acne prone – primarily hormonal; eczema prone.

THE PRODUCT
Silk Hydration Air Soft Face Lotion SPF30 by Hawaiian Tropic, facial sunscreen, £12/50ml.

IN A NUTSHELL
A combination of physical and chemical protection, the Face Lotion offers broad spectrum SPF30 with a boost of 12 hours’ hydration. This is the second facial sunscreen that I’ve found enjoyable to apply and wear, and I prefer this one for its price and accessibility (I will talk about the first at a later time). This was actually an impulse buy, and I have no regrets. Though I had my doubts about it, the Face Lotion has quickly become a favourite that I’ve already stocked up on.

At first glance, looking at the ingredients list left me feeling a little unsure; it goes on forever, and the first three quarters consists of words I can’t even begin to try saying out loud. I’ll hold my hand up to the fact that sunscreen ingredients are not my strongest point, so I don’t know whether this is good or bad, but I raised an eyebrow. Fragrance in the middle of the list was a big red flag. But towards the end of the list we have hyaluronic acid, silk amino acids, a vitamin C derivative and several botanical extracts including aloe vera, all of which made my eyes light up. The vitamin C especially (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) sealed the deal for me, as antioxidants enhance skin’s ability to fight external aggressors, therefore it amplifies the effectiveness of the sunscreen. There is no drying alcohol and no octinoxate – something I actively try to avoid – in the ingredients, so I thought this is worth the risk, even with the fragrance.

The claims on the bottle are ultra light texture, 12 hour hydration, won’t clog pores, suitable to wear under make-up and water resistant.

The packaging is sleek and plastic and features an airless pump which allows superb control of how much product is dispensed. The Face Lotion is yellowy in colour and of a light cream consistency. It is incredibly easy to spread out and rub into the skin without dragging. It absorbs well without leaving a cast, though I like to leave it for a few minutes to dry before applying makeup. I can attest to the compatibility with make-up claim, because everything applies beautifully on top of the Face Lotion without pilling – my biggest pet peeve. It also feels very hydrating but not at all heavy. It gives a bright glow – some might say shine – that I personally love, though I realise those with oilier skins might find it too much. At first when I applied this the fragrance made my skin feel numb and cold for a few seconds, but after a week of use I no longer get this reaction. I have been using this sunscreen for over a month now and I have no irritation, no breakouts, no sunburn, only a beautiful glow and hydrated skin. I haven’t been able to test it with water, but it doesn’t bother me either way as I would just re-apply after swimming. By the way, it smells lovely.

FINAL VERDICT
I was a little wary about this sunscreen to begin with… Too many times in my experience cheaper meant worse, and the affordability of this product (it’s always on offer somewhere) worried me that it would not be suited to my skin. I would prefer for this to not contain fragrance and to offer higher protection. But for how well it applies, makes my skin feel, wears under makeup, causes no irritation and contains no nasties (aside from fragrance) that I try to avoid, this one is a winner. I’m already stocking up on it during the summer sales.

Review – UV Super Moisture Milk by Skin Aqua

MY SKIN
Dry and sensitive, acne prone – primarily hormonal; eczema prone.

THE PRODUCT
UV Super Moisture Milk by Skin Aqua, facial sunscreen, £11.62/100ml.

IN A NUTSHELL
This won’t take long. I don’t like it. It broke me out, and when I used it on my chest I burned.

Let’s talk about the positives. This Japanese cult favourite has SPF50+ with a PA rating of ++++ – every skincare junkie’s dream. Though tiny and a bit of an eye sore, the bottle is well made, light, sleek, it has a squeezy nozzle and the cap screws on nicely without any trouble. The product is runny in consistency – indeed, like milk – and feels like a very light lotion going on the skin. Because of this applying a large amount isn’t a bothersome chore, which can often be the issue with sunscreens. It absorbs well without leaving a white cast, and my favourite thing about this is that it contains no alcohol or fragrance – heaven for my dry skin. One of the greatest highlights of this sunscreen is no drying alcohol which is near impossible to find in Asian sunscreen.

On the negative side I feel that the Moisture Milk made me a little bit greasy, which I think must have been the cause of my breaking out. I don’t know what it is, but while applying it it feels wonderfully moisturising yet something feels terribly off. Makeup did not wear well with this and I pilled around my hairy areas (hairline, brows). In the end this broke me out and I delegated it to body use, but it’s proven to be nothing more than a light lotion.

A brief look through the ingredient list brings no suspects to my attention that could indicate why I reacted to this. I’m also shocked that I burned with it, as I know this to be a favourite product of many people around the globe. Admittedly I bought this on Amazon, so perhaps it was an expired product… I don’t know, but this experience had been bad enough to make me not want to buy it again, especially as I’ve found a favourite since.

FINAL VERDICT
Again, in a nutshell, I simply don’t like Moisture Milk and enjoy very little about it. I’m going to assume it’s down to my skin being particularly finicky, because I’ve only seen good reviews about it thus fat. I will not repurchase this sunscreen and based on my experience I would not recommend it to anyone else either.