I’ve had the pleasure to chat with many brand founders over the past five years. Among my questions is one that asks them to describe which product was the most challenging to formulate. The reply more often than not is the same: sunscreen. The subject is almost touchy because the guidelines set by various regulatory bodies vary from market to market. As do the fees, which can be prohibitive. Globally, smaller brands are often locked out from this particular category badge.
With that said, I want to share my excitement over the very recent launch of Velo. Part of this month’s Beauty Heroes discovery, the brand new formula from eco-luxe brand Ayuna is named, appropriately 6-in-1 Suprastratum Protection. What can’t it be called? You guessed it. Sunscreen. There is a good chance you’re pretty confused right now, which is not a bad thing. Please, keep reading.
Ayuna was co-founded by a passionate and talented duo of beauty industry veterans from Barcelona, Spain, know to some beauty junkies as the land of Natura Bisse. That’s where this talented duo have spent much of their careers. Begoña Sanjuán has an impressive background in global education. Her business partner, Isabel Ramos, is a cosmetic chemist.
Now, for a quick vocabulary lesson that will explain the clever company name, Ayuna, which goes by Less is Beauty on Instagram. If you’ve taken Spanish 101 in college or traveled south of the border, you know that desayuño is the most important meal of the day — breakfast. The verb ayunar means to fast. Ayuna promotes simplicity without cutting corners. Their approach to anti-aging is very straightforward – choose to age well and be mindful of your body as well as the environment. This unique philosophy brought to life a tightly edited range of products that are non-toxic and luxurious.
The May Beauty Discovery featuring Ayuna, highlights Velo as the hero product with The Facial (low strength) as the sidekick. Let’s focus on Velo first.
Velo is veil en español. Legally, they can’t call it sunscreen in the U.S. Yet. If I were to be extremely proper and very by-the-book, I’d only be able to tell you that Velo offers protection against environmental aggressors and blue and infrared light.
If you look at Velo’s ingredient deck, you’ll spot Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide 4th and 7th on the list respectively. Sounds like mineral protection against the harmful effects of the sun to me… Because Velo is still under review to obtain FDA’s OTC claim to be labeled as sunscreen, the brand isn’t allowed to make any SPF claims Stateside. Keep in mind that Ayuna is able to refer to Velo as sunscreen in Europe. In other news: the formula Beauty Heroes is featuring in the May discovery is the exact same.
Velo’s protection metrics as evaluated in Europe are as follows:
- UVB SPF 30
- UVA Performs according to EU regulation (the strictest system, performs pre-radiation of sample to simulate possible photo-instability in real life)
- PA +++ (highest rating under Japan’s system, based on in-vivo PPD or Persistent Pigment Darkening) USA Broad Spectrum IR & Blue Light Broad Spectrum Protection
Now that all the technicalities are out of the way, let’s focus on the actual performance and user-friendliness of this latest launch.
- Velo is a creamy, medium-weight treatment moisturizer with a subtle tint.
- It has a dry finish that hovers between dewy and matte — satin seems to be the right fit. I like it.
- The coverage is very sheer but the formula requires careful blending to appear seamless. Since I have facial hair now, I am particularly careful around my beard line as pigment tends to settle and cling to the hair. I’ve also learned to wipe my brows clean after applying anything tinted for the same reason.
- Personally, I apply Velo over a hyaluronic acid-based serum during the day. There can be some pilling when I put it on after a richer moisturizer. This isn’t unusual on my combination skin. When using natural sunscreens, I do best with keeping things simple and minimize the layering.
- There is no zinc-like white cast, ghastly sheen or weird chalkiness. Don’t rub a heaping tablespoon onto your face though. I’m not saying ‘less is more’ because we want the amount of product to ensure a viable level of protection. Start out with the industry-touted pea size. You can always add more.
- There is a scent. If you’ve used Ayuna before, you will notice the sweet aroma to be a constant with the brand. It’s very pleasant, slightly sweet, and all natural. I’m into it.
- Shake the bottle before each use. I found that some clean formulas may separate.
Ayuna remains among my most treasured indie beauty discoveries of last year. I fell head over heels for their Cream II (a seriously fabulous night moisturizer) and I am very happy with this daytime addition. Velo should be topping your skincare wishlist if you are seeking a clean formula that offers broad-spectrum protection without any chemical agents
Let’s briefly talk about the sidekick.
The Facial debuted on Beauty Heroes last year in a discovery that featured both the low and high strength formulas. Ideally, you’d start out low and graduate to high within a few weeks. Those who prefer a gentle approach to acid toning will find the low version a great entryway into liquid resurfacing.
The Facial exfoliates, mattifies, and balances your skin’s pH level with a blend of vinegar, glutamic acid, probiotic strains and fruit extracts. Real talk: there is a slight vinegar scent and I personally can almost ‘taste’ it for a while after application. Saturate a cotton pad and swipe over cleansed skin and avoid the eye and lip areas. This powder-in-lotion solution is suitable for AM or PM use but be sure to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day (Hello, Velo!) since acid resurfacing can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. It is also gentle enough to be used daily.
Are you still contemplating whether you need or want to try Beauty Heroes? If you’ve found the price of Ayuna beyond what you are willing to spend, this month’s discovery is a ridiculously good deal. The duo is valued at $252 which is slightly more than a 6-month Beauty Heroes subscription. A fantastic Mother’s Day gift. Just saying. This one will sell out fast.
Available at beauty-heroes.com.