This sunscreen is marketed for use on the body (from the neck down), but its formula and aesthetics are very similar to EltaMD's UV Facial SPF 30+ sunscreen, which the company maintains is for the face. Either of these sunscreens works great on the face or on the body, especially for those with normal to dry skin not prone to breakouts.
Due to the similarities mentioned above, the same basic comments apply: This is a very good, fragrance-free sunscreen with a creamy, cosmetically elegant texture that feels silky and hydrating rather than thick or pasty. If you've disliked how many body sunscreens make your skin feel "coated," this may change your mind (as it protects your skin)!
Although zinc oxide is known to leave a telltale white cast on skin, this formula exhibits only a trace, which is great. Those with dark skin may object, but this blends in quite well for a softer look.
In addition to sun protection, the formula provides some good emollients and skin-repairing ingredients for dry skin. This would earn our top rating if it contained a cell-communicating ingredient and an array of antioxidants rather than just a small amount of vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate).
Although zinc oxide is a great sunscreen for those with sensitive or rosacea-affected skin, EltaMD chose to combine it with another sunscreen, the synthetic octinoxate. This sunscreen ingredient (like any synthetic sunscreen ingredient) has the potential to be sensitizing, so this isn't a good choice for sensitive skin.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Does not leave a discernible white cast.
- Cosmetically elegant formula feels silky, not thick or pasty.
- A bit pricey, but not terribly so.
- Could use a broader range of antioxidants.
- Can be a problem for sensitive skin because it contains a synthetic sunscreen ingredient.
Provides the ultimate sun protection for the body with EltaMD UV Lotion. This moisturizing formula protects the skin against both UVA and UVB sun rays. Daily use leaves the skin feeling silky smoothed and well protected. Fragrance-free and sensitivity tested formula is ideal for all skin types.
Active: Octinoxate (7.5%), Zinc Oxide (7%) Other: Purified Water, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Octyl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Dimethicone, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyisobutene, PEG-7 Trimethylolpropane Coconut Ether, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polyether-1, Citric Acid, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane.
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.