Future-proof your skin with co-founder Ava Chandler-Matthews’ guide to finding your dream SPF.
Before Ultra Violette co-founders Ava Chandler-Matthews and Bec Jefferd reimagined SPF in 2019, the skincare necessity didn’t exactly have a fabulous reputation.
“At the time, Bec and I were working in beauty and, being beauty consumers ourselves, we knew there wasn’t an SPF that we loved to wear,” explains Chandler-Matthews. Historically, sun protection has come hand-in-hand with thick, greasy sunscreens and a dreaded ‘white cast’. And as Chandler-Matthews puts it, “There were no aspirational brands. Sunscreen just didn’t spark joy. But we knew how critical SPF was to our routines, so we thought, ‘Why isn’t anyone doing this?'”
After more than two years in research and development, the Australian brand pioneered skincare-inspired, makeup-friendly formulas. Now boasting an array of products for face, body and lips, Ultra Violette is setting SPF on a bright new course.
So in celebration of Ultra Violette’s launch at David Jones, we asked Chandler-Matthews to answer your SPF FAQs.
Q: Why is wearing SPF important to you?
A: “In Australia, we’re exposed to UV damage every day. Our skin was not built for this environment,” says Chandler-Matthews. Aside from the dangers of ultra-violet radiation, “sun damage accelerates the ageing process and skin concerns like pigmentation, wrinkles and density loss”. And this damage is cumulative – hence the need for consistent SPF application. “All those little trips to the shops and coffee breaks add up,” says Chandler-Matthews. “If I don’t wear sunscreen every day, I know it’s going to impact my skin over time, and undo all of the good that skincare products like antioxidants and retinol do.”
This is why it’s so important to find a formula that’s not a chore – or a bore – to apply every morning. “To be a part of your routine, SPF needs to layer nicely with your skincare and wear well under makeup,” says Chandler-Matthews. And with formulas for every skin type, that’s exactly what each of Ultra Violette’s SPFs achieves.
Q: What’s the difference between a physical SPF and chemical SPF?
A: When It comes to sunscreen formulas, there are two camps: chemical sunscreens, which absorb UV rays and convert them to heat, and physical (or mineral) sunscreens, which reflect UV rays, explains Chandler-Matthews. But instead of picking between a physical or chemical sunscreen, her advice is to find the formula that works for you and your skin.
Q: How do I find the right sunscreen for my skin type?
A: Here’s a general guide: if your skin is dry and dehydrated, try Ultra Violette Supreme Screen SPF 50+ Hydrating Skinscreen or Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Serum Skinscreen. If your skin is sensitive, the mineral Lean Screen SPF 50+ Mattifying Zinc Skinscreen is calming and fragrance-free. Or if you’re prone to breakouts and excess oil, the Clean Screen SPF 30 Fragrance Free Weightless Gel Skinscreen has a light, gel-like formula and semi-matte finish.
If your skin changes like – or with – the weather, “I also buy into the concept of having an SPF wardrobe,” says Chandler-Matthews. “It’s definitely important to have a few formulations on rotation, because your skin is not the same every day.”
Q: How much SPF do you apply?
A: “I apply all our products exactly as the label directs, which is at least five pumps to cover your face and ears,” says Chandler-Matthews.
Just remember to use as directed, always read the label and avoid prolonged UV exposure. Frequent use and re-application in accordance with directions is required for effective sun protection, and always wear protective clothing, hat and eyewear when exposed to the sun.
Q: How does sunscreen work in my skincare routine?
A: “All of our formulas have a really nice benefit on the skin, whether that’s blurring, adding luminosity or boosting hydration,” says Chandler-Matthews. For skincare lovers and multi-taskers alike, “we also add actives like Kakadu plum into our products to make them more robust as an overall skincare product. They can even be used as a ‘one and done’ if that’s what you like.”
If you’re experiencing skin concerns such as pigmentation, redness or breakouts, Chandler-Matthews says daily SPF application could help boost your routine. “You can spend heaps of money on lasers and skincare, but if you’re not wearing SPF every day, the impacts of the sun are going to show a lot faster,” she says.
Q: How can I wear SPF under makeup?
A: “We design all of our products to feel really nice under makeup and to enhance its appearance, so they almost act as primers,” says Chandler-Matthews. “We’ve also created our products to feel like moisturisers and serums, so you don’t even realise you’re wearing sunscreen.”
To create her signature radiance, Chandler-Matthews says, “I like a glowy, luminising product, so I’ll always go for something with a dewy finish.” She names Ultra Violette Supreme Screen SPF 50+ Hydrating Skinscreen and Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Serum Skinscreen as her favourites.
Keep reading to discover the Ultra Violette range and shop the beloved sunscreens at David Jones.
For hydrated, glowing skin
Supreme Screen SPF 50+ Hydrating Skinscreen
A three-in-one for dry and dehydrated skin, this SPF, moisturiser and makeup primer boosts hydration and plumps with plant-derived active, pentavitin. This multitasker is even Ultra Violette’s bestseller.
For a dewy, make-up ready complexion
Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Serum Skinscreen
A revolutionary sunscreen-slash-serum, this SPF is formulated with Kakadu plum – which has 50 times more vitamin C than an orange – and an anti-ageing peptide to keep skin bouncy in the face of infrared, visible and blue light. Plus, it’s skin-smoothing consistency makes Queen Screen the perfect base for makeup.
For balancing breakouts
Clean Screen SPF 30 Fragrance Free Weightless Gel Skinscreen
Light and refreshing, this semi-matte gel is a gentle choice for acne-prone and oily skin. The gel’s titanium dioxide and pentavitin also give the sunscreen lightweight hydration and redness-diffusing properties to soothe stressed skin.
For soothing sensitive skin
Lean Screen SPF 50+ Mattifying Zinc Skinscreen
This mineral, zinc-based sunscreen works alongside pentavitin and Kakadu plum to calm irritated, reactive and flushed complexions.
For a luxe body sunscreen
Extreme Screen SPF 50+ Hydrating Body & Hand Skinscreen
For top to toe, this beach-bag essential hydrates skin with pentavitin, aloe vera and vitamin E – and without feeling heavy or sticky .
For soft and supple lips
Sheen Screen SPF 50 Hydrating Lip Balm
Give dry lips a little TLC with this lanolin, shea butter and cacao seed butter (and SPF-boosted) lip gloss. In three shimmering shades, there’s a playful colour for every pout.
Use as directed. Always read the label. Avoid prolonged UV exposure and always wear protective clothing, hat and eyewear when exposed to the sun. Frequent use and re-application in accordance with directions is required for effective sun protection.