“ Brand: Uvisport / Suitable for: Lip / UV Protection Factor: SPF 50 „
When I was camping this time last year it was actually unseasonably warm and I found myself using sun lotion. I bought some in a camping goods shop on a 3 for 2 offer and as I didn't want to carry 3 bottles of lotion, I opted for a nice light lip sun screen as my free item. I liked the fact that the Uvisport SPF 50 Lipscreen also promised to offer year round protection as it can be used as a chap stick and general purpose lip balm too. It can also be used elsewhere on the face, with delicate areas such as the ears and nose being suggested. It comes with a lanyard and a UV indicator cap too, which is probably why it isn't the cheapest of products. I can't remember the ticket price in the shop I obtained mine from, but from looking online I see that they currently sell for around £6-7.50.
WHAT THE PRODUCT IS SUPPOSED TO DO
I have chiefly seen Uvisport products for sale in camping and sports type shops. According to Amazon, "Uvisport sun protection is made exclusively for the outdoor trade by Uvistat, the number one prescribed sun cream in the UK." The lipscreen offers a SPF of 50, plus 5 star UVA protection and it contains Vitamin E and tea tree oil. It is also said to help protect against cold sores and dry and chapped lips.
WATCH OUT THERE IS UV ABOUT
The lipscreen that I bought was rather over packaged as it came in card "blister" pack which obviously went straight in the bin. The lipscreen itself is in the form of a lip stick style tube with a UV indicator cap that "will go red as a warning against the presence of UV rays." At the other end is a loop for you to attach the lanyard, should you wish to wear the tube around your neck. I can understand this appealing to someone hiking for example who doesn't have a handy pocket to keep the lipscreen in, as having it around your neck does make it always within reach. However I just put mine in my trouser pocket as wearing anything around my neck tends to irritate me after a while. The stick is a neat 5g so it is easy enough to stash away. As for the UV indicator cap, I haven't ever noticed it change colour. As I keep it out of direct sunlight in my bag or pocket it probably doesn't get enough exposure to allow me to test this feature properly. I presume it is supposed to change colour once the UV levels are at a certain height, because there is always UV about and it would be in a permanent red state otherwise. As a simple tube, the packaging works fine. It is easy to wind up and down and the cap sits snugly on the end keeping it clean.
I remember using a lipscreen once that left my mouth looking oddly white.Thankfully the Uvisport version is completely clear when on. It feels lovely and smooth as it glides across the lips - like a more solid and less sticky version of Vaseline. It leaves the surface looking a little shiny as if a subtle gloss has been applied, but the finish doesn't look like lipstick, so don't worry gentlemen! Popping lipstick over the lipscreen doesn't pose a problem either as it doesn't alter the lip colour or make it slide off. The overall result is definitely less heavy and greasy feeling/look than some similar products give. It doesn't have an obvious taste to me which is an advantage considering flavoured balms often make me subconsciously lick my lips more which is most likely counter productive. It does have a scent though. This is a relatively mild tea tree aroma that is only really obvious as you put the lipscreen on. I don't particularly like tea tree scents in general but this one isn't strong or lingering enough to put me off.
I also tried using the product on my ears as recommended on the packaging, plus my nose, mostly as a result of being curious! It does apply easily, and with less dragging on the skin surface than other stick sun protection I have tried. It is also quicker to use than lotion around the nose as it doesn't need rubbing in. You do need to try and spread it out more when used on your ear tips, as they have too uneven a surface to suit the stick. It is worth the trouble though as it is agony to have sun-burnt ears, I can tell you!
DOES IT WORK?
I felt this kept my lips moist and in good condition during that brief warm spell, and I didn't suffer any sunburn on my face in the areas I used it. It didn't block my skin pores and I didn't feel the need to re-apply it every hour as I do with some. It kept my lips feeling hydrated for a good 2-3hours which impressed me. As the summer that followed wasn't exactly stunning, I put the stick away and I re-discovered it again a couple of months ago. I have used it over the last fortnight to test it's all season claims and yes, it works well to prevent the wind and cold drying my lips. I work outside part time so I do give these balms a tough test sometimes! I don't think that it softened my lips when they had already started feeling a bit chapped but it is sold as a preventative rather than a cure so I was happy that it just prevents that getting any worse.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THE LIPSCREEN?
Lips dried out by the sun feel awful and a lipscreen helps prevent that along with any damage that you can't see. It is easy to find lip balms with a lower SPF but few of them also have a UVA rating like the Uvisport one does. I think if you are going to be spending a lot of time outside when UVA/B levels are high then a product like this is likely to be useful. If I wasn't exposed to the sun as much, I would probably settle for a cheaper lower SPF product even if I had to apply it more often. If you don't need all the bells and whistles I would say try and find a cheaper product that is less specialised. I wouldn't buy it for the added features such as the colour changing lid or the lanyard, useful as they may be for some users. I like it as a lipscreen in it's own right as it is easy to use, feels genuinely pleasant on the lips and won't go to waste if we have another summer like the last. Once open it is recommended to use it up within a year, so I have bought a fresh tube. Here's hoping I will actually use it for it's SPF factor!
[This review is also on Ciao under the same user name.]