Beauty / Favourites

Ultra Violette cofounder Ava Chandler Matthews shares what she thinks people get wrong about sunscreen

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Ava Chandler-Matthews knew sunscreen was a non-negotiable. Even on cloudy or rainy days. What some people don't understand is that sun damage is cumulative. Those days that you forget, or you don't think you need it all add up in the long-term.

And yet, she felt that sunscreen was seen as something you bring to the beach. Not a mainstay, essential of the everyday beauty routine. This is how Ultra Violette was born. Through a desire to create a sunscreen that felt as natural to skincare regime as a serum or moisturiser.

Off the back of Ultra Violette's latest launch in 2021, Dream Screen, a tinted SPF product, we connected with Ava to find our more about her passion for sunscreen. Here, she reveals why launching a tinted product was the logical next step, exactly how much we should be applying and what so many of us are still getting wrong about our sunscreen habits.


Did you always know you wanted to start a beauty brand?

Yeah, I did. Wasn’t sure it would be SPF. Actually, that’s the last thing I’d think I’d launch to be honest.


What inspired you to make sunscreen specifically?

We felt it was a part of skincare that hadn’t historically had much attention – especially in Australia! And for something that was so important to overall skin health we felt it needed a bit more love and, well, a woman’s touch!


Is sunscreen something that you think is essential to a skincare routine?

Wearing is non negotiable - if you have ONE product to keep in your whole skincare routine, it should be SPF. It is the best anti ageing product you can buy but most importantly prevents skin cancer so really it is a no brainer. If you invest in your skin through products, treatments and injectables, you need to be wearing SPF daily.


How much should we be applying? And when?

We’ve measured out ¼ teaspoon (the amount needed for facial protection) with each of our products so apply five pumps of clean, lean and supreme and 3 pipettes of Queen Screen.

You should also reapply sunscreen through the day especially when in direct sun – this is something that can be difficult but Dream Screen, our new product, makes reapplying your SPF throughout the day so much easier!


Tell us about the latest product Dream Screen?

Dream Screen is our new tinted SPF 50 - it’s a sheer, flexible tinted sunscreen that leaves a gorgeous, dewy sheen to the skin. We’ve launched this in 11 shades and are working on building up the shade range with real time feedback from customers.

We have been asked since launch for a tinted SPF and also for a product that our customers can use to reapply - Dream Screen is both of those things. We are constantly thinking about ways to make it easier or more enjoyable for our customers to wear and reapply SPF.


Can I use a tinted SPF 30 or 50 such as Dream Screen on its own? If no why not?

Maybe yes, but probably not. What we mean by that is that you could wear it alone if you’re applying the equivalent of 3 pipettes of Queen Screen, but most of us don’t apply that much when it comes to a tinted base. You’re more than likely going to be tempted to wear less, which is totally fine, as long as you’re wearing a primary SPF underneath. Which actually means you can wear a little less Skinscreen, and it’s how I wear it. Your normal Skinscreen will act as a primer and Dream Screen can layer over the top for a fresh dewy just-got-a-facial glow.


What are the differences between your formulations? Are some chemical and some physical?

At this stage we have four facial SPFs – Queen Screen is glowy and lightweight and perfect for normal/dry skins.

Supreme is the perfect all-rounder, a light cream base and is great for combo/dry/normal skin – makes a beautiful primer and a great option for guys too.

Clean screen is like a gel-cream and works for oily or acne prone skin – it’s great for teens or anyone who doesn’t like the feel of a traditional SPF and Lean Screen is our zinc option for reactive, sensitive or inflamed skin.


What do you think people get wrong about sunscreen?

Most people still think of sunscreen as a summer product or something to use when on the beach or outdoors. Sunscreen should be used every single day as UVA rays are present all year round. It doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy, raining, or snowing, you can get skin damage at all times of the year. UVA damage is cumulative, so it absolutely adds up. Those days where you skip SPF or don’t reapply all add up and make a difference to your overall skin ageing.

You need to wear sunscreen every day, the correct amount and reapply when necessary.


And what do you think more people should know about sunscreen - especially here in Australia?

It is the most important thing you can put on your face every day, and also the cheapest anti-ager. If you're investing in cosmeceuticals and facials and other treatments but not applying SPF – you’re really wasting your money! Skin cancer rates in Australia are also amongst the highest in the world – we really are a displaced community for the most part and for most of us, our skin isn’t conditioned to being in this climate.


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Image: ultravioletteau