When Australian Ultra Violette founders Ava Matthews and Bec Jefferd looked at launching a business, they set out to reinvent a category that others had overlooked...
You know, sunscreen, only like the biggest anti-ager in the entire world, yet the one thing so many of us don’t apply daily? Yep, that one. It was, in their own words, a “lightbulb moment” and one that led to the launch of their company Ultra Violette.
The range is stocked in Sephora and now includes six “skinscreen” products. As for what skinscreen is, we asked the expert, Ava. “Skinscreen is basically a word we invented – but that doesn’t mean it’s not a thing! It’s a combination between sunscreen and skincare – which is how we’ve designed all of our products,” she says. All of their products are super easy to apply, feel nice, look nice and actually work. They also have that barely-there effect so you don’t feel caked in sunscreen, one of the reasons so many of us leave it out of our skincare regime.
Want to know more? So did we. Here, we catch up with Ava to find out more about the inspiration behind her colourful and highly covetable brand.
Go to ultraviolette.com.au
You've done the impossible and made sunscreen cool! What was the inspiration behind Ultra Violette?
We had a lightbulb moment and realised there’s nothing sexy about sunscreens; from the way they look and feel and smell to where they’re sold. And they’re the most important product in a skincare and beauty regime; the one thing all dermatologists will tell you that you need to wear every day. But nobody is making that a nice experience. We also felt that sunscreen was rarely considered in the context of what is layered before and after, and how women actually wear these in real life. To us, it felt like an afterthought for a lot of skincare brands, rather than the VIP that they should be. So from there came the seeds of Ultra Violette. We wanted to create a range of facial sunscreens that looked beautiful, spoke to you in a way you could understand, felt so nice to wear, contained some great ingredients, and really played well with the rest of your skincare and makeup products.
You coined the term skinscreen - tell us about that?
Skinscreen is basically a word we invented – but that doesn’t mean it’s not a thing! It’s a combination between sunscreen and skincare – which is how we’ve designed all of our products. It’s not just about providing the bare minimum of sun protection anymore. Sunscreens need to do more – they need to include other ingredients to keep your skin hydrated, to protect from the full solar spectrum, and contain other skin-saving antioxidants (Green Tea, Kakadu Plum). SPF is the one product you need to wear daily, so it’s important to think just beyond the realm of traditional sun filters and include other benefits to the skin too.
Can you explain the difference between mineral sunscreens and chemical? What are they best for?
Our range includes a wardrobe of SPF that caters to as many people’s individual skin needs as possible. And we will continue to develop our products with this in mind. At the moment we have 2 chemical skinscreens and 1 mineral and it’s really down to what kind of a finish you like as well as personal preference. In general, people with any sort of skin inflammation or sensitivity tend to be more suited to a mineral screen (our Clean) but having said that, Queen Screen is really gentle and we actually see lots of customers with rosacea who love Queen. If you’ve got acne or really oily skin, you may want a mineral as the finish tends to be more mattifying. Our Clean Screen is fragrance-free and more of a gel texture so does tend to be more calming for acne or eczema. Chemical screens tend to be lighter on the skin and higher in UVA protection so better for people wearing cosmeceuticals or pigmentation.
Where does sunscreen sit in our skincare routine - in what order should we be applying?
SPF should be the last step in skincare (so just after moisturiser) and before makeup. Our products are designed to sit perfectly under makeup and double as a moisturiser/primer so many people skip these steps.
Is Ultra Violette suitable for the whole family or adults only?
We designed it with women in mind, however, it can definitely be used for everyone! My partner is always stealing mine and always has one in his golf bag (which I put there!).
What's your number one beauty tip?
Daily SPF (obvi), a bit of blush can make a world of difference and invest in a solid skincare routine – including actives. It’s much easier to maintain rather than cover and you’ve only got one face!