If someone had told me I’d need extreme sun protection in London, I’d have burst out laughing.
This is the city of rain and smoke. If I didn’t know UV rays can get through clouds, I wouldn’t even bother with sunscreen most days…
The first summer here, we were lucky to have a couple of torrid days before fall set in. This year? We had a proper summer for a whole MONTH. Hard to believe, I know.
For days, the temperatures went above 30ºC. You could get a sunburn just by walking around in the city – especially if you’re a pale princess like me.
I burn so easily, I have to be really careful with sun protection on the hottest summer days. I know my usual SPF 30 would’t cut it. I had to go extreme.
Literally. The sunscreen that saved my skin in the torrid London summer (that’s a sentence I thought I’d NEVER type) is Ultrasun Extreme SPF 50+.
Key Ingredients In Ultrasun Extreme SPF 50+
Ultrasun Extreme SPF 50+ uses a mix of trusted old mineral filters and innovative chemical filters (the same ones used in Korean sunscreens) to provide high broad spectrum protection:
- Tinosorb M: A.k.a. Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol, an hybrid filter that absorbs, reflects and scatters both UVA and UVB rays. It’s stable and helps protects other UV filters from degradation, too.
- Tinosorb S: A.k.a. Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, it offers excellent protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
- Titanium Dioxide: A white mineral that absorbs and reflects all UVB and most UVA rays. It’s so gentle, even babies can use it.
- Octisalate: A.k.a Ethylhexyl Salicylicate, an UVB filter with a slightly oily consistency and a mild floral scent.
- Uvinul A Plus: A.k.a. Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, a stable filter that protects from UVA rays.
- Uvinul T 150: A.k.a. Ethylhexyl Triazone, it’s the most stable UVB filter available today.
These UV filters don’t leave a white cast behind, don’t irritate sensitive skin and make the sunscreen water-resistant for up to 40 min.
The catch? Unfortunately, Tinosorb and Uvinul are still banned in the USA. If you ever visit Europe, stock up!
Related: What Are The Best UV Filters?
ANTIOXIDANTS TO PREVENT PREMATURE AGING… OR NOT?
Ultrasun Extreme SPF 50+ proudly boasts it has antioxidants to up your sun protection. It’s sort of true.
This sunscreen does have antioxidants, including Vitamins C and E. In theory, they can destroy the free radicals the few UV rays that hit your skin generate.
FUN Fact: SPF 50 still lets 2% of UV rays through. Add antioxidants to the mix and you neutralise those, too.
The catch? There are so few antioxidants here, you can’t rely on them to do much for your skin. *sighs*
Related: Common Antioxidants In Skincare Products: Which Ones Are Best For You?
Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use & Opinion
There’s a reason I rarely use SPF 50. The higher the SPF, the thicker and greasier the texture tends to be.
Ultrasun Extreme SPF 50+ is the exception to the rule. It still feels a little creamy and thick when you pour it out of the bottle, but once you spread it out onto your skin, it sets in quickly without leaving a sticky residue, a greasy feel or a white look.
It feels like you’re not wearing anything. But you are. The proof is in the lack of sunburns.
I tend to get sunburns in the back of my neck. Partly because it’s hard for me to reach it and apply sunscreen properly there. Partly because I don’t see the damage being done until it’s too late.
I used this sunscreen on the hottest days of the year when you’re sweating buckets just by sitting down in the shade. I was afraid that after a couple of hours at the park, my neck would start to burn.
By the end of the day – and yes, I did reapply it a few times – there was not the tiniest hint of redness on my skin. This stuff WORKS.
If it works on 38ºC days (yes, it was that hot in London!), it works anywhere. I can just slather it on and feel confident my skin is gonna stay soft and protected for hours. No sunburn. No tan. No breakouts. It doesn’t even irritate skin.
Ultrasun Extreme SPF 50+ is the closest thing to a Korean sunscreen I’ve found in Europe. Ok, a little thicker. I guess you can’t have everything, huh?
Available at: £22.00 at Escentual, Feel Unique, Look Fantastic and SpaceNK
Have you tried Ultrasun Extreme SPF 50+? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Ingredients: Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Pentylene Glycol, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol (Nano), Titanium Dioxide (Nano), Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Glycerin, Squalane, Cocoglycerides, Hydrogenated Phosphatidylcholine, C8-22 Alkyl Acrylates/Methacrylic Acid Crosspolymer, Decyl Glucoside, Silica, Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Propyl Alcohol, Cetyl Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Lecithin, T-Butyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tocopherol, Diisopropyl Adipate, Ubiquinone.