My obsession with sunscreen knows no bounds. The letters SPF are like poetry to me and I really do consider it important work to share formulas that not only protect, but feel good on the skin. More often than not people avoid wearing sunscreen daily because it feels thick, greasy, ghostly or irritates. And herein lies the issue because not only is sun exposure the main contributor to skin cancer (including melanoma) but the leading cause of accelerated ageing. No one wants either, so you see my point about wearing SPF daily as a non-negotiable.
Ultra Violette is an Australian skincare and sunscreen brand that has played a crucial role in making luxurious, intelligent formulas available to everyone. The brand launched back in 2017 with three “skin screens”: Queen Screen (a milky, hydrating option) Supreme Screen (a lightweight moisturiser-primer hybrid) and Clean Screen (a physical/chemical gel with a soft matte finish). All are broad spectrum, under $50 but most importantly, feel nice – as if they’re skincare rather than traditional sunscreen.
While the trio above are all 10/10, co-founders Bec and Ava have been hard at work expanding the brands offering, namely a physical iteration with high levels of protection and zero white cast. To provide context, there are two forms of sunscreen available: Mineral or physical (more correctly known as inorganic) and chemical (more correctly known as organic). Chemical formulas are more common and essentially convert UVA and UVB to heat. Physical ones work in a similar way, but also physically reflect UV rays away from the skin. One key point to note is that the protective compound in inorganic sunscreen is either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. But both of these compounds are white powders, so turning them into a product that feels light and doesn’t leave that dreaded white cast on the skin is notoriously tough.
But back to the launch… So finally (!!!) Lean Screen is here – an inorganic SPF 50 zinc oxide sunscreen that feels lightweight, doesn’t look chalky and doesn’t irritate sensitive skin types. I was fortunate enough to trial it a fortnight before launch and obviously I was expecting something epic, but Lean Screen has well and truly exceeded my physical sunscreen expectations.
It applies with an extremely sheer beige tint – it’s not at all a coverage product, but the inclusion of mineral pigments counteracts the white cast. I found it worked into my medium, olive-toned skin easily (I can’t comment on darker skin tones). The texture is definitely thicker than the brand’s chemical options but for an SPF of 50, it’s pretty viscous – not sticky in the slightest. It wears beautifully, plays well with skincare and makeup and keeps skin feeling clean and matte all day. I’m someone who likes a luminous finish but was impressed with how comfortable this was – perfect for sweaty summer days or outdoor workouts.
But most significantly, it provides a stellar option for those who suffer from sensitised skin and associated conditions (like eczema and acne). It’s fragrance free, and unlike chemical protective compounds, zinc oxide is known to soothe and calm, so it won’t just feel comfortable but treat the skin as well. Things like watery eyes, burning and breakouts are (hopefully) a thing of the past.
My pick from the brand is still Queen Screen, but for anyone who is oily, acne-prone, eczema-prone, sensitive or prefers matte, this is as good at gets (trust me, I’re tried them all).
SHOP LEAN SCREEN BELOW
Ultra Violette Lean Screen SPF 50+ Mattifying Zinc, $45. shop now