Let’s Get Physical with Dermalogica UltraCalming Super Sensitive Shield SPF30

If you’ve been following me on my blogging journey for a while now, you’ll notice that of all the sunscreens I’ve reviewed, I have yet to mention any physical sunscreens. In the beginning of 2012, I’ve decided that I wanted to give physical sunscreens a go this year. I’ve been using chemical sunscreens for over a decade, and I figured it was time to move on to physical sunscreens.

Just because you didn’t see any reviews of physical sunscreens on the blog doesn’t mean I’ve not tried any of them out. In fact, I’ve tried at least three different brands of physical sunscreens. I never reviewed them because all of them gave me the same conclusion – they were very rich, greasy and looked absolutely ghastly on my skin. It was such a disappointment.

I’ve pretty much given up hope on finding a physical sunscreen that would even vaguely interest me. This was up till about a month ago when I attended a press event on the launch of several new sun protection products by Dermalogica. At the end of the event, we were kindly given goodie bags of a couple of products mentioned in the launch. We were even allowed to swap products if we wanted to try any of the other mentioned products. I was originally given a matte sunscreen. It’s funny because given my combination skin, I should have stuck with that. Instead, I requested to try the new UltraCalming physical sunscreen instead. Was I asking for trouble requesting for something that may not even work on my skin yet again?

Dermalogica UltraCalming Super Sensitive Shield SPF30

Well, someone play me a sweet melody, because it looks like I have fallen in love with the impossible.

Description:
Chemical-free Broad Spectrum sunscreen ideal for sensitised, reactive and recently resurfaced skin. Natural mineral sunscreens help shield against photodamage and UV exposure. Contains our exclusive UltraCalming Complex(TM) with Oat and botanical actives to help minimise discomfort, burning and itching triggered by inflammation. Sheer formula provides optimal hydration and helps protect and reinforce barrier lipids, which are often compromised in sensitised skin conditions. Free of artificial fragrances and colours.

Dermalogica UltraCalming Super Sensitive Shield SPF30 Ingredients

The Super Sensitive Shield SPF30 replaced the Super Sensitive Faceblock SPF30 and is now packaged as part of the UltraCalming system (with purple packaging. Previously it had an orange cap), which contains the UltraCalming complex to help reduce sensitivity, redness, irritation and inflammation.

Dermalogica UltraCalming Super Sensitive Shield SPF30

After that long introduction, let me tell you why I’ve fallen in love with this sunscreen. But first of all, let me describe what it’s like. Unlike the number of physical sunscreens I’ve used, this isn’t thick at all. In fact, it’s a watery, milky substance, very much like the usual chemical sunscreens I’m used to.

Secondly, it smells pretty darn good. There’s no yucky chemical scent that usually accompanies sunscreens. The Super Sensitive Shield smells just like every other product in the UltraCalming range – lavender. I adore the scent of lavender, and this is just lovely.

Dermalogica UltraCalming Super Sensitive Shield SPF30 Active Ingredients

Now with physical sunscreens, there’s a high tendency for them to cast a grey/white mask on the skin due to the percentage of zinc oxide in the product. In comparison to a number of popular physical sunscreens in the market, this one does not have a very high percentage of zinc oxide (9%). I think that’s probably why it didn’t give me a grey/white cast on the skin at all. There are mixed reviews especially with the white cast issue, but thankfully, I didn’t experience any change in colour on my skin.

In terms of texture, it doesn’t leave a greasy residue on the skin after application. I do find that I get the oilies fairly quickly, especially on the T-zone. It’s not that bad and nothing I cannot handle.

Finally, a physical sunscreen that I actually like and can use without any problems. If you’re tired of using chemical sunscreens and want to venture into physical ones, I’d recommend you begin with this one. It’s not thick and greasy that it might scare you off sunscreens. It also smells good and wouldn’t turn you off any chemical scent.

Dermalogica UltraCalming Super Sensitive Shield SPF30 Swatch

The Super Sensitive Shield SPF30 is meant for use on sensitive skin. This is something you might want to try out if you do have sensitive skin. Personally, I like products meant for sensitive skin, because more often than not, they don’t go wrong on my skin.

Dermalogica UltraCalming Super Sensitive Shield SPF30 retails at AU$68.50 for 50ml and is available at David Jones stores and selected beauty salons nationwide.

What I like about it: Smells like lavender, light in texture, does not cast a grey/white mask on my skin as most physical sunscreens do

What I do not like about it: Gave me the oilies on the T-zone after an hour or so.

PS: Do forgive the corny title. I was having an Olivia Newton-John moment :P

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15 comments… add one

  1. LeGeeque

    I ADORE the calming range from Dermalogica. Thanks for the headsup, think I might give this a go :) If it’s got the coveted SPF30 rating in Australia, I’m quite happy to pick this up :)
    LeGeeque recently posted..It’s My Cake Day!My Profile

    1. Tine

      LeGeeque: I think the newly repackaged sunscreen should be out now. They no longer have the orange cap, so just head to the UltraCalming range. It smells of lavender too, which I’m sure you’ll like :)

      PS: Australia is getting SPF50 soon, so do stay tuned for that ;)

  2. Su

    Oh.. how do you differentiate between a chemical and physical sunscreen? I’ve always relied on the “built-in” sunscreen protection in moisturisers but I have to say I’m getting more and more sun conscious now :P

    1. Tine

      Su: Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays. Physical sunscreens deflect/block the UV rays. Chemical sunscreens contain active ingredients like Octylcrylene, Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, Oxybenzone, etc. Physical sunscreens contain only two active ingredients – zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Some chemical sunscreens irritate the skin, whereas physical sunscreens are suitable even for sensitive skin. There’s a lot of debate of which one is better for the skin, especially with some studies on the stability of chemical sunscreen’s active ingredients (at this point, there’s no concrete evidence yet that chemical sunscreens are detrimental to the skin).
      At the end of the day, I say go for what you’re comfortable with. Chemical sunscreen is better than no sunscreen on the skin at all.
      I don’t recommend just using built-in sun protection in moisturisers because the SPF is not enough. Do try a separate sunscreen as well :)

  3. Charlotte

    Can I know what is the difference between physical and normal sunscreens?

    1. Tine

      Charlotte: Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays. Physical sunscreens deflect/block the UV rays. Chemical sunscreens contain active ingredients like Octylcrylene, Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, Oxybenzone, etc. Physical sunscreens contain only two active ingredients – zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Some chemical sunscreens irritate the skin, whereas physical sunscreens are suitable even for sensitive skin. There’s a lot of debate of which one is better for the skin, especially with some studies on the stability of chemical sunscreen’s active ingredients (at this point, there’s no concrete evidence yet that chemical sunscreens are detrimental to the skin).
      At the end of the day, I say go for what you’re comfortable with. Chemical sunscreen is better than no sunscreen on the skin at all.

      1. Charlotte

        Thanks Tine! That was really helpful :)

  4. Stephanie/Yukaeshi

    Oooh nice! I’ve used a few sunscreens from Dermalogica before (Ultra Sensitive Faceblock, Super Sensitive Faceblock) but I found them too oily on me even for my dry skin. That and the new Ultracalming range completely did not work for me >_< Then I used Clarins and later Chanel… and now I've found my HG in form of Marie Veronique Organices Moisturising Face Screen! You might like Neal's Yard Wild Rose Daily Moisture SPF30 though (Have been trying that myself)- it's one that once applied, actually goes on quite matte and stays that way! My boyfriend likes it for that reason as he's got oily skin :P
    Stephanie/Yukaeshi recently posted..Sunday Tip #14My Profile

    1. Tine

      Stephanie: The Marie Veronique sunscreen is a very popular one. I’ve been wanting to try that out after reading a lot of positive reviews on it, but as it’s not available in Australia, I’ll have to order it online and the fees aren’t cheap. Well, that and I’m lazy to buy :P
      I’ll check out Neal’s Yard as you suggested. Did you get yours online or were you able to buy that in Malaysia?

      1. Stephanie/Yukaeshi

        Yes the Marie Veronique sunscreen is very popular and pricey! :P But it’s a good one, I’ll give you that. Might be a little bit oily for some people as well, though, because it’s quite moisturising too. I got the Neal’s Yard sunscreen from ASOS even though we have Neal’s Yard counters here, but they were OOS when I wanted to try it so I ordered it instead haha!
        Stephanie/Yukaeshi recently posted..Sunday Tip #15My Profile

        1. Tine

          Stephanie: What a coincidence; an email came in from feelunique.com with 20% off Neal’s Yard products (today only)! Might be a good time for me to try something out from the brand, eh? :)

  5. Kimberley

    I’ve never tried a physical sunscreen before but I really want to give this one a go. Thanks for reviewing it!

    1. Tine

      Kimberley: You’re welcome! If it helps, this smells good :P :P

  6. Swati

    does it prevent tanning???
    Swati recently posted..How many times do you avoid sun at noon? {Your Opinion}My Profile

    1. Tine

      Swati: It does, but that will mean you will have to religiously reapply after every couple of hours. All high-SPF sunscreens can prevent a certain level of tanning, but then again, one must religiously reapply after 2 hours or else they won’t work.

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