UV Sport SPF 50
3 fl. oz. for $20
Last Updated:03.12.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This is the sunscreen EltaMD recommends for athletes and children, though this this beeswax-based formula is quite heavy. You get great broad-spectrum protection in a water-resistant formula, but the tradeoff is a less than pleasant, greasy finish on skin, which makes it best for normal to dry skin not prone to breakouts.

The waxes and silicones in this sunscreen help ensure it stays in place, while zinc oxide is fairly tenacious on its own. Considering that this formula is marketed to those most likely to spend a lot of time outdoors, it is disappointing that the only antioxidant is a tiny amount of vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate). The research is clear that multiple antioxidants added to sunscreens help boost their effectiveness, while also protecting skin from environmental damage. Forgivable in a lesser expensive formula, for the cost of this, you should expect better. Overall, if you are in search of a water-resistant sunscreen, there are lesser expensive formulas that have nicer aesthetics, and are equally performing or better in comparison to this one (many of which you can find at the drugstore).

  • Fragrance-free.
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection and is water-resistant.
  • Does not leave a noticeable white cast.
  • Feels heavier than EltaMD's other sunscreens.
  • Two of the three active ingredients make it not the best option for use on children.

More Info:

The list of inactive ("other") ingredients in this sunscreen are listed in alphabetical order rather than descending order of content. This is permissible by U.S. regulations because sunscreens are classified by the FDA as over-the-counter drugs, not cosmetics. We're not sure why EltaMD used this approach for some sunscreen ingredient lists and lists others in descending order, because the latter makes it easier for consumers to differentiate a worthwhile product from a less exciting formula.


A high-powered SPF 50 sun block ideal for outdoor athletes, EltaMD's UV Sport is durable, waterproof formula that won't wear off or run. This incredible formula brings you long-lasting UVA and UVB protection with a unique blend of effective, active ingredients including Z-Cote, a form of micronized zinc oxide. The moisturizing lotion formula leaves the skin feeling soft with no greasy residue. Great for athletes and children.


Active: Zinc Oxide (9%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%) Other: Beeswax, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Purified Water, Sodium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, 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.

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