09.09.2015
1172
Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30
3.3 fl. oz. for $38
Expert Rating
Community Rating (33)
Expert Reviews
Last Updated:09.09.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No

Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30 has aesthetics and a formula that succeeds where many fail. This moisturizing yet sheer cream feels pleasant on skin, provides broad-spectrum protection from zinc oxide, and includes a skin-benefitting array of antioxidants, all at a more-than-reasonable price for a daytime moisturizer with SPF (see More Info for how we categorize such products).

Best for normal to dry skin (or even slightly dry skin), the fragrance-free formula is also suitable for those with sensitivity concerns, including rosacea or eczema. As is the case with any moisturizing formula, this may be tricky for the acne-prone.

Packaged in a foil-style squeeze tube, it's easy to dispense the amount needed, and this type of packaging ably protects its more delicate ingredients from light and air exposure.

This has some degree of white cast, which is unavoidable with any non-tinted mineral sunscreen. However, the white cast is surprisingly minimal given the amount of zinc oxide used, and it fades to a near-invisible finish after a few minutes. We tried this on very fair and deeper skin tones, and Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30 worked well in every instance. Any residual that remained vanished completely when worn under tinted moisturizer, or foundation.

Drunk Elephant loaded this with antioxidants, including vitamin C (as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate), grape extract, acetyl glucosamine and, notably, astaxanthin. Astaxanthin has impressive research demonstrating its ability to work as an antioxidant, but especially so for its sunscreen-boosting, UV- protective effects (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2013 and Journal of Dermatological Science, 2010).

In terms of emollients, you'll find a series of non-fragrant plant oils such as coconut, jojoba, and marula. Despite this mix, the product doesn't have a greasy finish. If your skin is dry and you've had a challenge finding a daytime moisturizer with SPF that is suitably moisturizing— but doesn't cause your makeup to "slide off" by midday—give this a try!

Not only is Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30 priced affordably, it's also an excellent daytime moisturizer with SPF. We found its mix of beneficial antioxidants and moisturizing agents impressive, as well as its finish on skin—which is why it happily earned our highest recommendation.

Pros:
  • Provides broad-spectrum, mineral-based sun protection.
  • Includes a comprehensive array of antioxidants.
  • Multiple non-fragrant plant oils soothe and moisturize normal to dry skin.
  • Minimal white cast despite high amount of zinc oxide.
  • Large size and affordable price.
  • Fragrance free.
Cons:
  • None.
More Info:

How We Rate Daytime Moisturizers with SPF: "Daytime Moisturizers with Sunscreen" are differentiated from ordinary sunscreens as formulas that make direct anti-aging or other cosmetic claims by the brand, such as "deep moisture" or "redness-relieving." Claims like "combats free radical damage," "protects and firms," "improves skin texture" or others that insinuate benefits beyond what a standard sunscreen formula provides.

Daytime Moisturizers with SPF are judged based upon whether they provide broad-spectrum sun protection, their SPF rating, potential for irritation, packaging and aesthetics. They must also meet the same standards as an anti-aging moisturizer—the inclusion of beneficial antioxidants or other ingredients to back up the claims of improvements in signs of aging on skin beyond what sun protection alone provides. For more detail on how we rate this category of products, see the Best Daytime Moisturizers with Sunscreen section of Beautypedia.

Community Reviews
Claims
A broad-spectrum suncreen that is loaded with potent antioxidants to fight free radicals, while delivering powerful UV protection and antiaging benefits.
Ingredients
Active Ingredients: 20% Zinc Oxide. Inactive Ingredients: Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Steareth-2, Cetearyl Alcohol, Steareth-21, Sea Water, Algae Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Haematococcus Pluvialis Algal (Astaxanthin) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Sprout Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Acetyl Glucosamine, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Raspberry Seed Oil/Tocopheryl Succinate Aminopropanediol Esters, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Glycine, Sucrose, Lecithin, Silica, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Propanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Mica Carmine (CI 75470), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Water.
Brand Overview

Drunk Elephant At-A-Glance

Drunk Elephant, based out of Los Angeles, California, was started in 2012 by former skincare executive Tiffany Masterson. As their website describes, Masterson developed the brand out of a desire to create natural-themed formulas that were truly effective. Beyond effectiveness, Masterson was emphatic that they leave out what wasn’t effective—primarily fragrance. That’s a point that we strongly agree with!

We were pleasantly surprised by this stance, as in our experience, the inclusion of an abundance of fragrance is where many natural-themed brands seem to go wrong—along with using too few beneficial ingredients or formulas. Fragrance, whether from essential oils or synthetic perfumes, is never helpful for skin because over the long term, it can cause damage that holds any skin type back from being its healthy best. Happily, Drunk Elephant breaks from the “herd” with their innovative, fragrance-free products.

As for the brand’s unconventional name, “Drunk Elephant” is in reference to the anecdotes that African wildlife, including elephants, partake on the fallen, fermented fruit of the marula tree—an indulgence that leads to intoxication. We don’t know how true that is, but the idea of tipsy animals is cute. Though not really related to skincare, the brand’s name definitely inspires curiosity.

Drunk Elephant, as is the case with many natural-themed lines, avoids using ingredients like non-mineral sunscreen actives and parabens, even though countless studies have indicated these ingredients are safe (Journal of the Academy of Dermatology, 2013 and Skin Therapy Letters, 2013). Regardless, we’re just happy that the line has made it a focal point to use what research has been shown improves skin concerns like sun damage, breakouts and signs of aging, and leave out everything else. They’re also using some novel yet potentially exciting ingredients; this isn’t a cookie cutter line!

On that note, let’s peek at what they have to offer! The Drunk Elephant line is a small one, but it makes each product count. At the time of this review, we were highly impressed with its array of formulas, inclusion of multiple beneficial ingredients, and use of packaging that keeps them protected.

Many of the formulas include the ingredient marula oil, which is an ingredient the brand favors due to the fact it contains an array of beneficial fatty acids, anti-inflammatory agents, and antioxidants (Journal of Food Lipids, 2004 and Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2014). It is a good ingredient, but there are many excellent non-fragrant plant oils, including coconut, jojoba, sunflower, and more, of which have similar benefits.

Though the price tags are on the higher end, if you decide to try something from their line, you’re not to be disappointed. Check our reviews to see which formulas may be the answers for your skincare concerns!

To contact a Drunk Elephant, hang out by some Marula trees. Alternatively, you may visit them selected Sephora locations, www.drunkelephant.com or email at info@drunkelephant.com.

Strengths: A solid, though limited array of well-crafted skincare formulas; commitment to fragrance-free products.

Weaknesses: Depending on your perspective, some of their products are on the pricey side.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.


Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!

See all reviews for this brand

Drunk Elephant At-A-Glance

Drunk Elephant, based out of Los Angeles, California, was started in 2012 by former skincare executive Tiffany Masterson. As their website describes, Masterson developed the brand out of a desire to create natural-themed formulas that were truly effective. Beyond effectiveness, Masterson was emphatic that they leave out what wasn’t effective—primarily fragrance. That’s a point that we strongly agree with!

We were pleasantly surprised by this stance, as in our experience, the inclusion of an abundance of fragrance is where many natural-themed brands seem to go wrong—along with using too few beneficial ingredients or formulas. Fragrance, whether from essential oils or synthetic perfumes, is never helpful for skin because over the long term, it can cause damage that holds any skin type back from being its healthy best. Happily, Drunk Elephant breaks from the “herd” with their innovative, fragrance-free products.

As for the brand’s unconventional name, “Drunk Elephant” is in reference to the anecdotes that African wildlife, including elephants, partake on the fallen, fermented fruit of the marula tree—an indulgence that leads to intoxication. We don’t know how true that is, but the idea of tipsy animals is cute. Though not really related to skincare, the brand’s name definitely inspires curiosity.

Drunk Elephant, as is the case with many natural-themed lines, avoids using ingredients like non-mineral sunscreen actives and parabens, even though countless studies have indicated these ingredients are safe (Journal of the Academy of Dermatology, 2013 and Skin Therapy Letters, 2013). Regardless, we’re just happy that the line has made it a focal point to use what research has been shown improves skin concerns like sun damage, breakouts and signs of aging, and leave out everything else. They’re also using some novel yet potentially exciting ingredients; this isn’t a cookie cutter line!

On that note, let’s peek at what they have to offer! The Drunk Elephant line is a small one, but it makes each product count. At the time of this review, we were highly impressed with its array of formulas, inclusion of multiple beneficial ingredients, and use of packaging that keeps them protected.

Many of the formulas include the ingredient marula oil, which is an ingredient the brand favors due to the fact it contains an array of beneficial fatty acids, anti-inflammatory agents, and antioxidants (Journal of Food Lipids, 2004 and Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2014). It is a good ingredient, but there are many excellent non-fragrant plant oils, including coconut, jojoba, sunflower, and more, of which have similar benefits.

Though the price tags are on the higher end, if you decide to try something from their line, you’re not to be disappointed. Check our reviews to see which formulas may be the answers for your skincare concerns!

To contact a Drunk Elephant, hang out by some Marula trees. Alternatively, you may visit them selected Sephora locations, www.drunkelephant.com or email at info@drunkelephant.com.

Strengths: A solid, though limited array of well-crafted skincare formulas; commitment to fragrance-free products.

Weaknesses: Depending on your perspective, some of their products are on the pricey side.