EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46


Sunscreen!  It’s one of those products that everyone knows they should wear on a daily basis to prevent signs of aging as well as skin cancer, but many of us don’t like it.  Common gripes against sunscreens are smell, greasy texture, causing breakouts, and leaving a white residue on the skin.  I’ve been wearing sunscreen everyday since I was about 13 years old.  I’ve gone through many different kinds over the years, but the UV Clear by EltaMD is the one I’ve stuck with since I found it.  Previously I had only ever used chemical sunscreens.  The “sunscreen” smell had always annoyed me and when I went through my skincare routine after working out the sunscreen started to sting my skin, so I wanted to try a physical sunscreen.

This one has 9% Zinc Oxide and 7.5% Octinoxate.  The zinc oxide provides primarily UVA protection and octinoxate provides UVB protection, which combined will give broad spectrum protection.  Octinoxate is a chemical sunscreen but I don’t find that it causes a chemical smell at all.  After a bit of research I’ve found that it’s one of the oldest sunscreen ingredients and has been shown to be safe in concentrations up to the 7.5% present in this product. (Sources here & here)

This sunscreen is excellent for everyday wear, but if I’m headed to the beach where I’ll be outside all day I’ll pick something else.  It isn’t designed to be water resistant and I’ve noticed it disappears more quickly with swimming or in sweaty situations.  The formula is lightweight, smooth and blends in easily when applied.  It dries down clear and I’ve never had issues with it looking white.  It works well under makeup.  This sunscreen is suitable for sensitive skin and contains no fragrance, oil, or parabens.  It also contains niacinamide (Vitamin B3) which has been shown to be beneficial for acne or hyperpigmentation prone skin.  I like that it comes in an airless pump and it has fairly simple packaging otherwise.


There are a couple of drawbacks however.  It doesn’t get along well with moisturizers containing squalane or oils, so an oil free moisturizer is necessary.  Because of that it’s better for combination to oily skin types.  If you put this over a heavier moisturizer it will start ball up and sort of pill off the skin.  I haven’t been able to figure out which ingredient causes this.  It’s rather odd.  Also, since it contains a mineral sunscreen it will cause a white cast in flash photos.  Skip this one for special events!

The Verdict

An excellent daily sunscreen and longtime favorite.  I’ve gone through more bottles of this than I can count.  Unfortunately my skin seems to becoming increasingly more dehydrated.  At the moment I’m trying out a new formula that’s supposed to be a bit more dry skin friendly, but I would 100% repurchase this if my skin ever decides to be oily again!  I would also recommend this to anyone looking for a lightweight daily sunscreen, especially anyone with sensitive skin.  This would not be suitable for flash photography, swimming, or any outdoor sports where you’ll be sweating a lot as it’s not formulated to be water resistant.

Animal Testing: No, per the EltaMD website

Availability: This is a product that’s a bit hard to get a hold of. I’ve frequently purchased from Amazon and drugstore.com, but it’s currently not in stock at the latter. This is commonly retailed at dermatology offices. On the EltaMD website you can search for retailers near you.

Price per UV Clear, $29.00
1 oz $17.06 USD
100g $60.18 USD

One thought on “EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46

  1. Pingback: Dry Skin Saviors | BellaRose Makeup

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