Is Ultra Violette Lean Screen the Best Mineral Sunscreen, Ever? Here's What Our Editor Thinks

Ultra Violette Lean Screen reviewUltra Violette Lean Screen review

Whenever cult Aussie sunscreen brand Ultra Violette releases a new product, I pee myself a bit.

Don't pretend you don't either.

I'm a long-time fan of Ultra Violette's sunscreens - Ultra Violette Supreme Screen SPF 50+ Hydrating Facial Sunscreen is my favourite - because they make wearing SPF every single day genuinely enjoyable.

They feel and act like skincare products, and it doesn't hurt they're ridiculously good-looking, too.

So when the brand launched their latest SPF baby Ultra Violette Lean Screen SPF50+ Sunscreen, I slathered it on my face immediately.

Lean Screen promises to be all killer with no filler, providing zinc-only SPF 50+ sun protection with a mattifying, non-sticky formula. But does it live up to the hype?

The best sunscreen is the one you'll wear every day, so if you haven't yet found the one, keep scrolling for my full Ultra Violette Lean Screen review below.

You can also hear about why sunscreen is actually the number one anti-ageing product you can use in this YouTube video below.

Recap: What Is a Mineral Sunscreen/Physical Sunscreen?

You might have heard chat about sunscreens being either 'chemical', 'physical', 'mineral' or 'organic'. It's confusing, but here's what you need to know.

Chemical sunscreens contain chemical/organic filters that absorb UV radiation, which prevents it from reaching the skin. They also tend to feel silkier to apply - if you've ever bought a sunscreen from the supermarket, it was probably a chemical one.

Mineral or physical sunscreens, like Lean Screen, contain physical/mineral/inorganic filters (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) that also absorb UV radiation. The difference? They scatter or reflect a small percentage of UV, too. (It's a common myth that physical sunscreens reflect all UV rays, this is not true.)

What Is Ultra Violette Lean Screen?

Ultra Violette Lean Screen SPF50+ Sunscreen is a mineral sunscreen with SPF 50+ broad spectrum protection - this is a big deal because zinc-based sunscreens are notoriously hard to formulate without them being sticky, thick or leaving a white cast.

Lean Screen uses 22.75 per cent zinc to protect your skin from UVA rays (the ones that age you) and UVB rays (the ones that burn you), and contains hydrating ingredient Pentavitin and native Kakadu Plum to provide potent antioxidant protection against free-radical damage from pollution, UIV light and infrared.

It also promises to be a mattifying sunscreen suitable for all skin types that won’t leave you shinier than a glazed donut (mmmm, donuts).

My Ultra Violette Lean Screen Review.

Ultra Violette Lean ScreenUltra Violette Lean Screen

Cute purple packaging aside, there's a lot to get through here.

To make things super simple, I've broken down my review by answering the most common questions I've been asked about Lean Screen since posting about it on Instagram.

How To Apply Ultra Violette Lean Screen.

First thing's first: you need to apply sunscreen every gosh-darn day. Even more so if you use retinol or acid skincare products in your routine.

To get the full SPF50+ protection, apply five pumps of Lean Screen over your face, neck and ears as the last step of your routine - after cleansing, serums and moisturiser. More is more.

If you like the idea of using a zinc-based sunscreen but still want a dewy finish, do what I do and pop a few drops of your favourite face oil over the top. See? Glow city.

Ultra Violette Lean Screen reviewUltra Violette Lean Screen review

How Does Lean Screen Feel? Is It Sticky?

Lean Screen is a zinc-based sunscreen, so the texture isn't as silky as chemical or organic sunscreens that are formulated to feel that way.

That said, Ultra Violette Lean Screen isn't sticky, heavy or tacky. The formula has a soft cream texture with a bit of grip that sinks into the skin in a minute or two and dries down completely matte.

I wash my hands after applying Lean Screen, otherwise I find I'm left with a sticky feeling - but that's just part of using a zinc sunscreen.

Is Ultra Violette Lean Screen Actually Mattifying?

Heck yes.

Compared to the brand's more hydrating, dewy sunscreens Queen Screen and Supreme Screen, Lean Screen dries with a matte effect.

As you can see in the comparison photos below, rather than making your face look like a piece of paper, the formula gives a diffused, slightly blurred finish, which I'm not mad about, at all.

Ultra Violette Lean Screen reviewUltra Violette Lean Screen review

Is Ultra Violette Lean Screen Tinted?

Ultra Violette Lean Screen is not a tinted sunscreen, even though it looks like one.

The formula has a slight sand or beige tint when you pump it out of the tube that disappears as you rub the product into the skin.

Is Ultra Violette Lean Screen Suitable for Dark Skin (Does It Have A White Cast)?

I'm going to defer to two women who can speak to whether or not Lean Screen has a white cast and is suitable for PoC (people of colour), and if you'll get flashback if photographed wearing it.

Adore Beauty's Head of Campaign & Strategy Shanthi Murugan reviewed Lean Screen on her Instagram account (comparing it to Rihanna's Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor SPF 15+). Here's what she thought:

"PSA for my dark-skinned beauties: If you're an Aussie, I recommend the Ultra Violette Lean Screen for combination/oily skin. No white cast. Thick consistency with a tint. Fragrance-free and mattifying."

(Ultra Violette Supreme Screen and Queen Screen are still Shanthi's sunscreen picks for PoC with normal/dry skin.)

As for whether you'll get flashback wearing Lean Screen when having your photo taken with a flash, beauty content creator Hannah English (@ms_hannah_e ) tested it out and found the product photographs well under makeup, with or without flash. You can read her full review below:

Ultra Violette Lean Screen vs. Ultra Violette Clean Screen.

OK cool, but how is Lean Screen different to the brand's other mineral sunscreen, Clean Screen? Here's the short version:

  • Ultra Violette Lean Screen = 100 per cent zinc-only mineral (physical) sunscreen, SPF 50+, cream texture, matte finish.

  • Ultra Violette Clean Screen = partial mineral (physical) sunscreen, does contain some chemical filters, SPF 30+, lightweight gel-cream texture, natural skin finish.

  • Both products protect from UVA and UBA, infrared, blue and visible light, and pollution.

  • Both are fragrance and alcohol-free.

  • Both are non-greasy.

  • Both are great for sensitive, reactive, eczema-prone, acne-prone skin.

Ultra Violette Lean Screen vs Clean ScreenUltra Violette Lean Screen vs Clean Screen

My verdict: Will I personally keep using Ultra Violette's Lean Screen as my daily sunscreen?

No, and only because my dry skin already loves how the Ultra Violette Supreme Screen SPF 50+ Hydrating Facial Sunscreen delivers on hydration and glow.

But is Lean Screen just about the best mineral sunscreen I've ever tried? 100 per cent.