UV Lotion SPF 30+
8 fl. oz. for $28
Last Updated:03.12.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

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. 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 a pleasant surprise. 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).

Note: 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.

  • Fragrance-free.
  • 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 for the cost.

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.

Brand Overview

EltaMD At-a-Glance

Strengths: Most products are fragrance-free; all sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection with zinc oxide; cosmetically elegant sunscreens that are easy to apply and do not leave a telltale white cast; good eye gel.

Weaknesses: Some of the sunscreens are pricey, which may discourage the liberal application necessary to achieve the level of sun protection stated on the label; all of the sunscreens would be better if they contained a greater range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients; the post-procedure products and body lotion are stunningly basic and would not be a "best" option for post-wound care.

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.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Great for face and body, I have sensitive skin with eczema

I have extremely sensitive skin with occasional outbreaks of eczema. This EltaMD 30+ (7 oz) is the least irritating sunscreen I have ever used on my face and body. I would give it ten stars if I could.

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One of the best out there!!

I have been wearing sunscreen every day for almost 20 years and I have tried a lot of stuff cheap and expensive. This one is truly one of the best. It is slightly moisturizing but for the most part it gets absorbed entirely without any cast. I use it on my arms, chest and neck and love it. The price is crazy good for the huge size and packaging is first class. Paula please make a larger product like this for the body packaged with a pump!

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