This summer has been interesting. I am seeing more and more mis-information about SPF in general and how pigmented skin reacts in the sun. Suffice to say that if anybody, be they black or a skincare professional or any brand representative tells you that ‘black people don’t burn in the sun’… they are at best mis-informed and at worst idiots. Hmmm…I feel a rant coming on, which I will probably save for a video… on to the review!
Anti Ageing and Anti Pigmentation SPF 50
Last year I was wearing SPF 30. This year, I’ve upped my game and am using the Anti Ageing and Anti Pigmentation formula which is SPF 50. In addition, I have been using one of the newest products from the range which is the brand’s first face mask.
I have a patch of pigmentation under my right eye. It is visible with the naked eye as a patch of hypo-pigmentation. Hypo-pigmention is where there is an absence of the normal level of melanin in the skin so on my, this area is lighter then the rest of my face. It is not my eyes playing tricks on me. I had my face ‘mapped’ earlier this year at Dermologica and this patch was the first thing my consultant observed. This patch is something that I associate with driving. I had a job where i drove to work every day and I was doing a regular forty mile journey every weekend at this time. Prior to spending all that time in my car, no hypo-pigmentation. After, visible hypo-pigmentation and despite the fact that I don’t drive as much as I used to it is still there. I am not worried about it, but obviously, I don’t want it to get worse.
The formula of the 50 plus is similar to the thirty it is a rich emulsion. I apply it after cleansing and toning. You have to work it into the skin and whilst it does not leave a Casper-the-ghost white cast, it is is noticeable on dark skin after it is first applied. This is a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB protection) product with both chemical and physical sunscreen in it. If applied properly it will give you full protection. Give it a few minutes (I usually have breakfast and brush my teeth at this stage ) before applying serum and a light weight moisturiser or if I am feeling lazy, straight on with make up. This is not a product that you apply and go – make sure that this product is on the skin for a good fifteen to twenty minutes before heading into the sun.
I had great hopes that I would be able to mix this product with Cover FX Custom Cover drops but sadly not. It diminishes the activity of the sunscreen actives. If you have a combination or oily skin as I do, you may find that using your normal skincare routine on top of this product makes your skin too greasy. I found the Heaven Orange hydragel really useful when using this product either as a toner under the product or as a primer over my moisturisers. It was a drier (if that makes sense) layer which was a great base for moisturiser and lessened the dewiness of my face when I applied makeup. As SPF, I found it worked well for milling around London as well as staycation days by the beach my skin did not burn and I didn’t get prickly heat. It’s good stuff.
Overnight Summer Skin Recovery Mask
Ultrasun’s first mask is a souped up version of after sun. The light gel mask has been formulated to use after sun exposure and contains hyluronic acid to hydrate the skin and kelp to cool the skin. it is housed in an airless pump so application is quick and easy. The first time I used it, I didn’t get on with it. I found it absorbed into my skin very quickly and I woke up in the morning with my skin feeling a bit tight. Later after subsequent uses, I worked out what the issue was. I had applied this like a serum rather then a mask. Due to the texture and the fact that my skin is always dehydrated – especially in the summer, this is a product that for me needs to be applied in a thick layer to the skin. When applied this way, I way up in the morning with plumped up hydrated skin. This has been my preferred way to apply the mask on humid nights. On lazy nights this mask is a quick and easy option. I also like to use it as a hydrating boost including a layer of this mask between my serum and moisturiser. My top tip for this mask however is to use it after acid toning. If your acid product is a bit more tingly on the skin then you would like – this is the perfect way to soothe it.
Ultrasun in available from John Lewis and other authorised stockists. The Anti Ageing and Anti Pigmentation formula retails for £32 and the Summer Skin recovery mask retails for £39.00