EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 is a facial sunscreen that is distributed by dermatologists -- although it can be found online at Drugstore.com. It relies on 9 percent zinc oxide -- a physical UV blocker -- to provide broad-spectrum sun protection that won't let the fairest of skin down. The formula goes on smoothly without leaving a greasy residue, but it's not waterproof. If you prefer a water-resistant formula, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (Est. $11 for 3 oz.) is an excellent option that can also be used on the face.
Reliable protection. Reviewers say that EltaMD UV Clear provides excellent sun protection -- even for those with the fairest skin. Beauty expert Paula Begoun says it's not the best option for sensitive skin; that's because it contains octinoxate, a chemical sunscreen that can be sensitizing. The sunscreen also contains a small amount of antioxidants and niacinamide, an anti-aging ingredient that helps to improve skin elasticity and can lighten skin discolorations. One common complaint is that the formula has a tendency to run, especially in hot and humid weather.
Users say the formula goes on mostly clear with only a faint white cast, many concluding that it actually helps to brighten the complexion. Others say the white tint and shine is easily covered with a little facial powder.
Silky, light texture. Reviewers love EltaMD's luxurious and silky texture. Begoun says that it is "surprisingly" lightweight -- especially for a zinc oxide formula. Users agree. One explains, "This product is incredibly light -- it does not have any of the icky, thick, greasy feeling of every other sunscreen out there..." Many agree that the formula is ideal for acne-prone and oily skin types since the formula isn't thick and pasty and it doesn't clog pores. Furthermore, reviewers say the fragrance-free sunscreen absorbs quickly and is very easy to spread and rub into skin. A few reviewers say that it can be a bit drying, however, but that can be remedied by using a good facial moisturizer.
Paula Begoun tests hundreds of beauty products and rates them based on the safety and efficacy of their ingredients. She gives EltaMD UV Clear a positive rating because it is highly effective and has an texture that is "silky, not pasty." She says it would be better, however, if it contained more antioxidants.
Review: UV Clear SPF 46, Paula Begoun, March 12, 2013
InStyle magazine editors conduct some product testing (though testing methodology isn't clear) for their annual beauty awards. EltaMD UV Clear makes the list as Best Oil-Free Facial Sunscreen. Editors praise the zinc oxide formula for going on clear and leaving skin "baby-smooth".
Review: Best Beauty Buys: Body, Editors of InStyle magazine, Not dated
More than 300 users at Amazon.com rate and review EltaMD UV Clear, giving it a high overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Most say that the formula does an excellent job of protecting the fairest skin and it has a nice lightweight finish.
Review: EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46. 48-Gram 1.7 oz., Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2013
More than 80 users at MakeupAlley.com give EltaMD UV Clear an overall rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars. Most say it has a nice texture and rubs in easily. Many say that the sunscreen goes on clear but several say that it leaves a faint white cast. Sixty-nine percent of users say they would buy this sunscreen again.
Review: EltaMD - UV Clear SPF 46, Contributors to MakeupAlley.com, As of July 2013