Ultrasun and Why It’s So Important to Use Sunscreen
In the office I work in (my general barometer of regular people’s approach to skincare) I am always horrified by the number of people who happily admit they don’t use sunscreen at all. I am always shocked by people taking their skin and health for granted in this way, so I thought I’d give you the lowdown on why sunscreen is vital for looking after your skin for health and vanity purposes!
WHAT DOES SUNSCREEN DO?
Sunlight that reaches our skin consists of two types of harmful rays: UVA and UVB. Without using any sun protection, both of these types of rays penetrate into the skin and can have damaging effects such as skin cancer. UVA rays cause skin to age and wrinkle as the rays penetrate into a deeper layer of the skin. UVB rays are the ones which cause sunburn. Now neither of these are great news, are they?! A high UVA filter is key to protecting your skin, which is why Ultrasun products filter over 85% (against an EU standard of 33%). SPF (Sun Protection Factor) measures the UVB filter in sunscreen, so the more likely you are to burn, the higher SPF (UVB filter) you need. I stick to SPF30+ due to my pale skin and tendency to burn.
I TESTED OUT A NEW BRAND
For my recent holiday, I tried out Ultrasun, a range I’d heard a lot about but never used before. They do not test on animals and are aimed at people with sensitive skin so they sounded right up my street.
The Ultrasun range is marketed as perfect for people with sensitive skin. Most of the range contains zero perfume, preservatives or emulsifiers. You may wonder why there is no need for preservatives – this is down to the airless dispensers which not only reduce product wastage, they also ensure that the products have a shelf life of 24 months after first being opened.
The sun screen formulas are non-sticky or greasy, have a fast drying effect and are easily absorbed. Despite the SPF50 or SPF50+ formulas available being strong in sun protection, they also offer a nice light consistency, rather than the thick gloop you get from a lot of other brands once you get into high SPF levels.
LONG LASTING SUN PROTECTION
Ultrasun needs to be applied far less often than other sunscreen brands. They do say you can apply this once a day. However, you will need to be sensible. I am a paranoid pale person so I reapplied if I went for a long sesh in the sea (an hour snorkelling for example) as if I came out and then towelled dry I did assume most would be rubbed off. So I would then reapply.
Bearing in mind I normally reapply regular sunscreen every hour -this I applied just twice a day! It saved so much time and product (and therefore money saving as you use less). Can you believe I actually managed to get a bit of a tan, for the first time in my entire life! Normally I can’t spend enough time out in the sun, even in factor 50, to get any sort of tan as I will just instantly burn. So this was very exciting to me – thanks Ultrasun.
ULTRASUN PRODUCTS I’VE TRIED AND QUICK REVIEWS
Anti-Age SPF30 / Anti-Age SPF50 Tinted Honey
Perfect for my sensitive skin and hot climates! Both tinted and non-tinted versions worked brilliantly in Antigua as I didn’t burn once but my face still tanned. The Tinted Honey is easy to apply and it didn’t feel thick or tacky like other tinted face sun creams can make your skin feel. There are two shades available, Tinted Ivory is paler, so best to go to a store that sells this and try a tester first. It would be nice if there was an option for dark skin tones.
The consistency is similar for the non-tinted version, I moved to this after about 4 days when my skin had started to have its own light tan so I didn’t necessarily need the tinted one any more to look alive. Both versions are great to wear all day, don’t sweat off and keep your face sunburn free, even on noses and ears. This would be perfect to use in the UK during summer as your everyday tinted moisturiser.
This body sunscreen is blimming brilliant. I have never sunbathed much as I suffered with heat rash whenever I went in the sun or just started to burn. Using the Ultrasun Glimmer sunscreen, I had zero issues. I was able to stay out in the sun without burning and get a light tan without any adverse reactions. The glimmer in this is a bonus and really sets off your tan. It’s subtle and makes your skin glow as opposed to being glittery. I don’t think I would use any other body sunscreen now, this is great and well worth the money.
I didn’t burn* when I used it properly, and I was in the sun pretty much all day every day for a week. This was a revelation. Normally I have to either retire to the shade or I get prickly heat after half an hour so I have never really bothered sunbathing. This has been a fantastic product to find, and after so long not having a tan I am now pretty chuffed!
* Note of My Own Silliness – I did get a bit carried away in the sea one day and forgot to reapply the Ultrasun after getting out and towelling dry (what a Donny). So, I did get a bit of a sunburn on my shins, however this was fully user-error and nothing to do with the product.
After Sun Cooling and Moisturising After Sun
As with the sun screen I tested this out in Antigua which (to me at least) has very strong sunshine, I applied the after sun each night and it was very cooling to the skin and it really helped get the heat out of my skin which I think helps you tan rather than burn. I would have a nice cool shower and then pop this on, it soaks into your skin quickly and leaves your skin feeling hydrated straight away. An added benefit is that it smells lovely.
WHEN SHOULD I APPLY SUNSCREEN?
Despite what it looks like in the UK, UV rays are always out there! Even on a miserable cloudy day, UV rays can still make their way through and to your skin. That’s why I tend to use an SPF every day in the Summer. If you’re outside a lot then in the winter too obviously (I generally get to work in the dark and leave work in the dark in winter, so there’s not much point).
For daily Ultrasun use, you need to remember to apply a good amount all over the body, trying to avoid missing anywhere and rather than slapping this on once you’ve got to the beach you need to apply Ultrasun sun cream to cool, dry skin 30 minutes before going outside.
WHERE TO BUY AND PRICES
You can buy Ultrasun from so many places so I’ve listed some of the most popular:
- Superdrug (on most high streets, website offers click and collect)
- Feelunique (often has discount codes or free shipping offers)
- Marks and Spencer (the best selection of beauty from a department store in my opinion)
- John Lewis (some Ultrasun products/sizes are exclusive to John Lewis)
- QVC (often have special offers, discounts and gift sets)
Prices for my favourite products are:
- Ultrasun Anti Age Facial SPF30 – £20.00
- Ultrasun Anti Age Facial Tinted SPF50 – £26.00
- Glimmer Body SPF50 – £22.00
- Ultrasun After Sun – from £16.00