This EltaMD sunscreen is similar to many others they offer. It provides broad-spectrum sun protection with an in-part zinc oxide sunscreen, is formulated in a moisturizing base best for normal to dry skin not prone to breakouts, and contains a small amount of vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate) for an antioxidant boost, although a really small boost.
The company recommends this formula for oily skin, but its moist finish and texture aren't likely to make those with oily skin happy (EltaMD's UV Clear SPF 46 is a better bet). That's not to say that this doesn't have a great, smooth texture, because it absolutely does. It's just not an ideal texture or finish for oily, breakout-prone skin.
In some ways this is among EltaMD's most basic sunscreen formulations. You get reliable broad-spectrum protection and the zinc oxide doesn't leave a white cast, but its missing some of the essential beneficial ingredients that all skin types need to look and feel their best. This would earn a better rating if it contained a range of antioxidants and proven skin-repairing ingredients plus a cell-communicating ingredient or two. A few other EltaMD sunscreens contain these types of ingredients, and those are the products to check out first.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Does not leave a noticeable white cast.
- Lightly moisturizing formula feels silky, not thick or pasty.
- Texture and finish are not suitable for oily skin as claimed.
- Would be better if it also included a range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.
Long-lasting protection and hydration with an oil-free, SPF 45 formula designed for daily protection against the sun's harmful effects. Formulated with a unique concentration of micronized zinc oxide, this gentle lotion shields skin from UVA and UVB sun rays without depositing excess oil. This silky lotion is absorbed quickly and can even be used under makeup for protection anywhere. Suitable for all skin types, but especially ideal for oily skin.
Active: Zinc Oxide (9%), Octinoxate (7.5%) Other: Purified Water, Isopropyl Palmitate, Octyl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyisobutene, Polyether-1. Butylene Glycol, PEG-7 Trimethylolpropane Coconut Ether, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, 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.