This water-soluble cleanser has a soft, lotion-like texture that produces mild foam and rinses without a residue. Best for normal to oily or combination skin, it removes makeup easily and shouldn't leave your skin feeling dry or tight.
Regarding the pH-balanced claim made for this product; it's accurate, but the truth is most facial cleansers are pH-balanced, so it's not exactly a unique selling point.
In terms of this getting deep into pores with its bromelain (an enzyme) and apple amino acid ingredients, neither of these ingredients have that capability. The apple amino acid is really just a detergent cleansing agent according to the company that sells the ingredient; the actual name is sodium cocoyl apple amino acid. Bromelain is an enzyme, but enzymes are rarely included in skin-care products because they are so unstable, especially so in a cleanser.
Oddly, this cleanser also includes an industrial-grade cleansing agent: methyl perfluoroisobutyl ether. It is known to be gentle, but that is not related to its use for daily skin care, so it's a bit of an unknown. Overall, this is an OK cleanser with some silly claims, as it cannot clean "deeper" than other surfactant-based cleansers.
- Water-soluble formula cleanses well and rinses easily.
- Removes makeup without leaving a residue.
- Minimal fragrance.
- Cannot deep-clean pores; this isn't any better than many other facial cleansers for getting your skin clean.
An oil-free, pH-balanced formula to gently cleanse without irritating or drying your skin. The deep-pore face wash contains bromelain and apple amino acids to remove makeup, excess oil and impurities. As a result, your skin is left smooth and soft, with your skin's natural moisture retained.
Purified Water, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids, Methyl Perfluoroisobutyl Ether, Magnesium Silicate, Methyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Bromelain, Dimethicone Copolyol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Isononyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Sodium Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Capryloyl Glycine, Undecylenoyl Glycine, Sodium Bisulfite, Fragrance
Texas-based EltaMD is a small line of skin-care products that specializes in sunscreens. If you're like most of the women who've asked us to review this line, you most likely came across it at your dermatologist's office. EltaMD is a "physician-dispensed" line, but despite that professional allure, their products are not "medical" in the least. In fact, they are widely available for purchase online, and nothing about their skin-care formulas requires a prescription or your doctor's sanction. In fact, we're fairly certain many doctors wouldn't know how to decipher the ingredient list on the label of these products
Without question, EltaMD takes the necessity of daily sun protection seriously. They offer several sunscreens and moisturizers with sunscreen, each providing broad-spectrum protection from either zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. In short, this line gets its sunscreens right, and the fact that all of them are fragrance-free is an added bonus for your skin.
Perhaps most exciting is that almost all of EltaMD's sunscreens with zinc oxide (often joined by the synthetic sunscreen active octinoxate) apply beautifully and do not leave a noticeable white cast, despite their mineral base.
The company maintains that they use micronized zinc oxide, and you can tell. These sunscreens are easy to apply and most have cosmetically elegant textures that feel more like moisturizers than traditional "beach" sunscreens. They also work great under makeup, although some may find the mineral finish not to their liking, just based on personal preference.
Of course, EltaMD isn't the only company to offer a good selection of sunscreens that provide broad-spectrum protection. Nor are they the only game in town when it comes to using micronized zinc oxide; lots of other companies, including SkinCeuticals, Peter Thomas Roth, and Paula's Choice, use it because it's effective and aesthetically pleasing. However, EltaMD's formulas are quite good and compete favorably with others, especially for women with normal to dry or combination skin that's not prone to breakouts.
Where EltaMD's sunscreens could improve is by providing a greater array of antioxidants. Some of their sunscreens contain none, while most have only one, typically vitamin E. That's not bad, but given the research proving how antioxidants boost the efficacy of sunscreens and offer additional protection for your skin, it's good medicine to include several antioxidants in effective amounts rather than just one.
EltaMD also offers a small range of facial-care products, most of which are fragrance-free, although if they are from a "physican's" line, as this one is, they should all be fragrance-free because fragrance is not skin care and is almost always damaging to skin. The facial-care products are decent options, but for the most part they are ordinary and not preferred over hundreds of others. Sun protection is where it's at for this brand.
For more information about EltaMD, call (800) 633-8872 or visit www.eltamd.com.
Note: The Paula's Choice Research Team wishes to extend a special thank you to EltaMD. When we contacted the company to request information and assistance (something we do for every brand reviewed on this site) they graciously sent us every product along with helpful information on each. It is not often a cosmetics company assists us at all, let alone so willingly, and we sincerely appreciate it.