It was only a matter of days ago that I was mopping my brow and complaining that it was too hot - a practice that most of us Brits seem to do despite loving the warmer weather. As the rain threatens to wash away the next week of my holiday, I can't quite believe that I was slapping on the sunscreen mere hours ago; the temperamental English weather never fails to disappoint me.
I was lucky enough to find a bottle of Powdered Sunshine on eBay over a month ago, which means I have been able to test this out for quite a while before Lush made it available on their website. With it being the first powdered sunscreen that I have come across, I was really excited to try it out, and the results I obtained were very pleasing...
When trying any new sun-protection cosmetic, I am always really skeptical to begin with. I have very sensitive skin and burn easily - something which can be rather frustrating in the hotter months, but also something I revel in, knowing the good condition my skin must be in to react in this way. I am very wary that weak coverage can lead to all sorts of problems, so when it came to the powder, I was very careful to use it safely and track the progress on a regular basis.
Powdered Sunshine features an array of weird and wonderful sounding ingredients, most of which may seem a little off-putting for those who are used to the simplicity of most other Lush products. One of the key ingredients is Octylmethoxycinnamate - a compound that is used in many sun-protectors to absorb UV rays from the sun and protect the skin from damage. It is this, alongside the octocrylene, that make up the most important part of this product.
Octocrylene is thought to have skin moisturizing effects because of its emollient properties. What makes this chemical such a popular additive to sun block, is its ability to neutralize UV radiation dissipated by sunlight, and to minimize skin damage from prolonged sun exposure. Despite it's documented effectiveness, I would warn those with sensitive skin to be wary of this component as it can cause reactions for those with sensitive skin. With plenty of calamine powder – which is rich in the natural sunscreen zinc oxide, this sun protection sounds pretty sound-proof on paper.
Alongside the inclusion of all of the scientific ingredients, Lush have also included an array of different oils - lime, lemon, olibanum and patchouli - which not only make this powder soft and moisturising on the skin, but also give it a really lovely fragrance as well. These oils give Powdered Sunshine a light, uplifting and rather refreshing citrus scent - whilst the inclusion of calamine powder adds an almost clean, clinical element to the overall aroma.
This sunscreen should be used in the same way that you would a dusting powder - with perhaps a little more care to ensure that every exposed part of your body has been successfully covered. I found it easiest to shake the powder into my hand and then massage it into my skin. This way I didn't lose too much on the floor and I was able to target the areas I was keen on applying slightly more to.
A problem I did find with this product is that I would always have to apply extra, as I was never quite sure whether I had equal coverage all over my body. Whereas a liquid sunscreen would leave traces of the application behind, the powder didn't do this - leaving me feeling less confident about relying on this product under the sun's exposure.
For the first week of using this, I did find myself topping up on this every 15- 20 minutes - partly because I lacked confidence in it's ability to protect my skin and partly because I was dealing with Spanish temperatures of up to 35 degrees and I wasn't prepared to make myself ill on holiday. However, once I began to recognise how effective it was, I relaxed a little and wasn't so rigid with my application.
I found it really handy that I was able to carry this small bottle around and top up without getting that greasy feeling you get when using normal sunscreen. This was particularly helpful when I was sunbathing on the beach and didn't want to cover myself in sand - something that tends to happen with wetter sun screens. The only downside to this being a powder, is that once you've been in the water, you have to immediately reapply as it is not water-resistant like a lot of other brands are.
With an SPF factor of 15, this is quite a low sunscreen so people who have paler skin such as myself, may wish to use this alongside a stronger sunscreen or may just opt for stronger protection altogether. Despite it stopping me from burning, I didn't feel that it was strong enough to stop me from turning into a strawberry by the end of my holiday. For this reason, I went back to my Livesaver Sunscreen and began using Powdered Sunshine when I was back in the UK and not under such strong sunlight.
A 40g bottle will set you back a very reasonable £6.95, which despite reapplying every 30-40 minutes, didn't seem to dip very much in the bottle. Although my skin needs a higher SPF factor most of the time, I happen to really love this and only hope that Lush produce stronger variations for the consumers. I would be more than happy to use a factor 50 version of this as my main sun protection and feel it would be more than adequate enough to protect my skin.
Quantitative Ingredients: Calamine Powder, Cornflour, Octocrylene, Magnesium Carbonate, Octylmethoxycinnamate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate), Organic Sesame Oil, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Lemon Oil, Lime Oil, Patchouli Oil, Olibanum Oil, Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter, Titanium Dioxide, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Perfume, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Colour 77492, Colour 77491, Colour 77499, Colour 77718.