EltaMD Sunscreen Review
Table of Contents
EltaMD makes sun and skincare products designed to combat harmful UV rays while staving off skin cancer and signs of premature aging. Their diverse line of sun protection is formulated without harsh chemicals, and safe for those with sensitive skin.
The brand has been featured in New York Post, Us Weekly, Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Allure, The New York Times, Healthline, People. InStyle, Elle, and many other publications. They have a following of 120K on Instagram, and 49K on Facebook.
This EltaMD sunscreen review will take an in-depth look at the brand and its bestsellers, customer reviews, discounts, and everything else under the sun, to help you decide if their products are worth the buy.
Overview of EltaMD
The story of EltaMD began in 1988 when the founders traveled to the US and started a line of healing skincare products specifically designed for use in hospitals and burn centers.
In 2007, the brand decided to expand its product line to include formulas that protected skin. Today, EltaMD is the no. 1 trusted, recommended, and personally used professional sunscreen brand by Dermatologists in the US.
They not only sell sun protection, but they also advocate for it, and partner with organizations who share their mission to provide “Sun protection for everybody, every day.”
The brand’s Sun Bus Mobile Skin Cancer Screening and Sun Safety Tour provides free skin cancer screenings and education in Colorado. The brand’s headquarters are located in Texas.
Up next in this EltaMD sunscreen review is a comprehensive list of the pros and cons.
- A range of sun/skincare products that are free of synthetic fragrances, parabens, and dyes
- All products are non-comedogenic, safe for sensitive skin, and medical grade
- All products are free from harsh chemicals and made with antioxidants
- Some formulas are vegan
- Lightweight, non-greasy formula
- The company is dedicated to educating the public about sun safety and skincare
- Customers say their sunblock is the only one they have tried that does not cause breakouts and that the sunscreen is light and does not block pores
- Free samples with each purchase
- Free ground shipping on orders over $75
- 90-day return policy
- Some customer reported allergic reactions or claimed that EltaMD’s sunscreens are not strong enough for summer
- No international shipping
EltaMD creates products that not only prevent sun damage but work to heal and rejuvenate your skin while building up its natural defenses.
This EltaMD sunscreen review will feature the brand’s best-selling products, including broad-spectrum sunscreens, tinted sunblock (that serve double and triple duty), as well as facial products that work to restore your skin to a healthy, balanced state.
EltaMD Sunscreen Review
Elta sunscreen keeps skin cancer and sun damage at bay with prolonged, proper use. Their best-selling sunscreens featured below, include fragrance-free formulas suitable for different activities, skin types, and environments.
EltaMD Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Review
Sunscreen is vital to protecting your skin’s health and appearance. But if there are multiple types of skin, why are there usually only one or two varieties of sunblock on the shelves?
EltaMD makes sunblocks that take into consideration all sorts of skin including combination, mature, and sensitive. The Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is oil-free and helps to prevent discoloration, breakouts, and rosacea.
Using a powerhouse blend of Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, and Lactic Acids that work together to hydrate and smooth skin, its silky texture glides on easily, absorbs quickly, and is light enough to be worn daily under makeup.
Physically protecting the skin with 9.0% Zinc oxide and 7.5% Octinoxate, the Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 safely reflects UVA and UVB rays. Protect your skin with 1.7oz of this broad-spectrum sunscreen for $36.
EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 Review
UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 activates hyaluronic acid to lock moisture in while smoothing and softening skin all in one go. Slather some on after a shower, or when you need some hydration before heading out.
Ideal for those who are post-procedure and require extra protection, this gentle sunscreen uses 9.0% Zinc oxide, and 7.5% Octinoxate to reflect and scatter UVA and UVB rays away from sensitive areas.
Antioxidants like Vitamin E also keep free radicals from wreaking havoc on your skin’s natural barrier. Enhance the appearance of your skin with a 1.7oz airless pump of the UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 for just $30.
EltaMD UV Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 Review
Different activities we do require different levels of protection. If you lead an active lifestyle, the Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 provides 80 minutes of sweat and water resistance. Smooth on the lightweight sunscreen before on a hot, humid vacation.
This EltaMD SPF 40 sunscreen not only provides UVA and UVB protection, but it uses Squalene and Sodium Hyaluronate to retain moisture, and Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate to fight off the factors that contribute to premature skin aging.
Made with 15% Zinc oxide and 10% Octocrylene, the Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 will give you a more youthful appearance for $30 (1.7oz size).
EltaMD Tinted Sunscreen Review
Elta MD Tinted Sunscreen gives wearers the best of both worlds: sun protection and an even complexion.
The best-selling tinted sunscreens featured in this EltaMD sunscreen review go a step further, harnessing powerful vitamins to boost skin’s natural appearance and texture.
EltaMD UV Clear Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Review
Those with sensitive skin struggle to find sunscreens that don’t cause breakouts, redness, or rashes. Many go without just to avoid all of those side effects.
Ideal for super sensitive skin, the UV Clear Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 helps to calm irritated skin while protecting it from the sun, discoloration, and flare-ups.
This sunscreen contains Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, and Lactic Acid, which work together to bring you more supple skin.
Oil-free and lightweight, the UV Clear Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 uses 9.0% Zinc oxide, and 7.5% Octinoxate to protect against UVA and UVB rays so you can continue your day in the sun without anxiety about a burn.
For a glowing complexion, try out the 1.7oz Elta MD SPF 46 tinted sunscreen for $30.
EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 Review
Tinted formulas are a happy medium between applying a heavy coverage of foundation and going completely barefaced.
Providing sun protection and adding a hint of color, the UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 blends out blemishes while providing just the right amount of protection.
This cream provides 40 minutes of water resistance, great for a relaxing lunch on the boardwalk, or a quick round of tennis. The UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 also takes care of the skin by infusing it with antioxidants.
Look out for the long-term health of your skin with this sunscreen for $33 (3oz tube). For days where you don’t want color, try the EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer.
EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 Review
The average woman uses plenty of products on her face each day. Face scrub, cleanser, serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, foundation. Wouldn’t it be nice to combine a few of those things to cut out some steps?
The UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 is a 3-in-1 product combining a serum, sunscreen, and foundation!
It uses Hyaluronic Acid to provide a plumping effect and banishing fine lines on your face, Vitamin E fights free radicals, and Zinc Oxide shields your face from the sun’s rays, even on cloudy days.
This multi-purpose UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 comes in a 1.7oz pump, for $32.
EltaMD Facial Sunscreen Review
Below in this EltaMD sunscreen review are some of the brand’s best-selling facial sunscreen and skincare products.
The list includes an everyday moisturizing sunscreen, a non-stripping cleanser, and a fast-acting recovery serum, which all work to repair, hydrate, and preserve the nutrients in your skin’s natural barrier.
EltaMD UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Review
The skin on your face requires more attention than anywhere else on your body. Since it’s thinner it takes on more damage, resulting in wrinkles and discoloration.
The UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ has a fluffy texture that melts into your pores, feels unnoticeable when applied, and won’t feel sticky under makeup.
Made specifically for dry skin, this facial sunscreen is made with Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid to prevent painful sunburns. The Elta MD facial sunscreen is available in:
- 3 oz: $27
- 4 oz: $30
EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser Review
Our faces absorb dirt and pollution from the world around us and don’t forget about the excess oil that is produced under the surface on a daily basis.
The Foaming Facial Cleanser does more than just make it look healthy, with helpful enzymes from Bromelain, this cleanser encourages healthy cell renewal while sloughing off dead skin and washing away dirt and grime.
EltaMD’s Foaming Facial Cleanser purifies your pores for a clean reset. Follow with an EltaMD moisturizer for a winning combination! Ideal for all skin types, this Elta MD cleanser is pH balanced and comes in:
- 2.7 oz: $11
- 7 oz: $28
EltaMD Skin Recovery Serum Review
Just like our guts, our skin has a microbiome that is made up of good bacteria. It sounds weird, we know, but those bacteria are responsible for keeping skin from looking too weathered.
So in reality, those bacteria are your best friend. Stress, pollution, diet, and sun damage all contribute to the breakdown of your microbiome, leading to dull, thirsty, and sagging skin.
The Skin Recovery Serum uses AAComplex Technology to replenish and repair the skin’s barrier. Formulated for sensitive skin, this serum is enriched with antioxidants to protect and ward off free radicals.
This pH-balanced Skin Recovery Serum is $56 for a 1oz bottle. If you’d prefer a lotion, try the Elta MD Barrier Renewal Complex.
EltaMD Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
This EltaMD sunscreen review searched the web to find out what customers are saying about the brand. Below, you’ll find customer reviews sourced from EltaMD.com, Beautypedia, MakeupAlley, and LovelySkin that discuss some of the bestsellers.
Firstly, Beautypedia (a beauty products review site) reviewed a wide selection of the brand’s inventory with many products scoring 5/5 star reviews overall.
For example, the AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer received a 5/5 star review overall with many customers loving its features and effects. All in all, the product scored:
- Absorbs Quickly: 4/5
- Goes on Smoothly: 4/5
- Moisturizes Well: 4/5
One reviewer even commented that “[i]t calms my skin, minimizes redness and irritation and works! No breakouts.”
The Derm Review also took a look at Elta products and determined that 5 are definitely worth buying if you are looking for quality suncare or skincare:
- The UV Clear Sunscreen
- The UV Clear Tinted Sunscreen
- The UV Elements
- The Elta MD Moisturizer
- The Foaming Facial Cleanser
Each of the products was praised on this site for their unique abilities including protection from discoloration, defending against breakouts, and moisturizing the skin. But, the icing on the cake was their claim that:
“Overall, we think that Elta MD sunscreen products are a good choice for protecting your skin from UV damage and, therefore, preventing signs of aging.”
Next, the Foaming Facial Cleanser is rated 4.6/5 stars by 421 customers on EltaMD.com. One customer who loves the cleanser and how it makes her skin feel wrote:
“I have struggled for over 22 years to find a cleanser that doesn’t “strip” the oils off my combo skin. This cleanser was recommended to me by my medspa and I couldn’t love it anymore!”
The UV Clear SPF 46 is also rated with 3.6/5 stars by 200 customers on MakeupAlley. A longtime user of this sunblock wrote:“I, with acne-prone skin, can use this on a daily basis [and I] have now been wearing SPF daily for years. … It’s light and does not clog.”
The UV Clear SPF 46 is also rated highly with 4.8/5 stars from 3,873 customers on LovelySkin. A customer that speaks of this product’s effectiveness and its ability to work well on sensitive skin:
“I have hyper-pigmented Japanese skin that has always been sensitive to sunscreens…But no more! Elta MD absorbs so quickly into the skin and is silky smooth, unlike traditional sunscreens.”
Going back to the Beautypedia review, the AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer was reported by reviewers to be a 2/5 on the Long Lasting criteria and a 3/5 on the Not Greasy scale. So, some of the products may be a little greasy and short-lived for some.
Other reviews on Beautypedia reported that the products didn’t absorb well or caused reactions, as one reviewer claimed about Elta’s Moisturizer: “Had bad allergic reaction. Swelling around eyes and all over face.”
A few customers have also complained that the formula has changed since the last time it was ordered. One reviewer commented, “It does not form any foam. I replaced it with another one but still the same issue. Is there any reason why it doesn’t create foam anymore?”
Is EltaMD Worth It?
EltaMD makes non-comedogenic, medical-grade sunscreen that leaves out harsh ingredients and chemicals while being safe for sensitive skin.
A brand that initially produced balms exclusively for hospitals and Burn Units took the same dedication and applied it to their consumer-targeted line of products, so simply put, you can trust the quality.
Is EltaMD a good brand? Considering that most of their products are rated above 4/5 stars, this EltaMD sunscreen review believes it’s safe to say their products are appreciated by many customers who even repeat or subscription buyers.
Their products are also effective, high-quality, and although more expensive than some drugstore brands, are still in the reasonable realm of price points.
Lastly, free samples tucked into each order allow you to experiment with new items. This is great for those that have posted some negative reviews about bad reactions.
For those that react easily to new products, the samples are a great way to check if you’re allergic to any ingredients before making a purchase.
Plus, for those that didn’t love the texture or believe the formula has changed, the brand also has a 90-day return policy to fall back on.
Through all of the good and the bad reviews, this EltaMD sunscreen review believes this is a reliable brand and that their products are worth the buy.
EltaMD Promotions & Discounts
This EltaMD sunscreen review has not found any promo codes at this time, but shipping is free for US orders over $75. You also get free samples with each purchase.
Where to Buy EltaMD
You can buy the brand’s products directly from EltaMD.com, or any of the following retailers:
- Look Fantastic
- Exclusive Beauty Club
- Beautified You
- Beauty Store Depot
Is EltaMD medical grade?
EltaMD’s sunscreens are medical grade. They provide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
Is EltaMD safe?
EltaMD products are made without harsh chemicals, using safe broad sun-blocking ingredients like zinc and titanium. They are fragrance-free, safe for sensitive skin, and many are also paraben-free.
Is EltaMD water resistant?
Yes, EltaMD sunscreens are water resistant. They are no longer able to put “waterproof” on their packaging due to a new FDA law.
Is EltaMD a physical or chemical sunscreen?
EltaMD is a physical sunscreen. It sits on top of the skin and acts as a barrier between the sun’s rays and your skin.
Does EltaMD sunscreen cause breakouts?
Many with sensitive skin say EltaMD sunscreen is the only one they can wear that does not cause breakouts. With that said, everyone’s skin is different and it’s important to discontinue use right away if you notice any allergic reactions.
Does EltaMD protect against bluelight?
Like many sunscreens on the market, EltaMD uses zinc in its products. Paired with other ingredients, zinc protects wearers against blue light.
How long does EltaMD last?
EltaMD sunscreen lasts for 3 years. According to FDA rules, products that last this long don’t need the expiry date printed on them.
What is EltaMD’s Shipping Policy?
EltaMD currently only ships within the 48 contiguous states. They only offer standard ground shipping. Shipping is free on orders over $75.
Standard ground shipping is $8 for orders up to $35, and $6 for orders between $35–$75. Orders generally take 2 business days to be processed and are sent out between Monday to Friday, excluding holidays.
What is EltaMD’s Return Policy?
This EltaMD sunscreen review did not come across the number of days the brand’s return policy is valid for.
Guidelines for returns are listed below:
- You will need to contact consumer affairs to get your Return Authorization Number
- Be sure to include all of the product’s components in your return package
- Your order will not be eligible for a refund if you have used more than 50% of the product
- If you bought an item from another retailer, you cannot return it through EltaMD
- Shipping and handling charges aren’t refundable
- You are responsible for all return costs
Defective or leaking products can be replaced within 90 days, after an inspection by EltaMD.
How to Contact EltaMD
If you need any other information that this EltaMD sunscreen review did not include, you can get in touch with the brand by using any of the following methods:
- Phone: (800) 588-5561
- The Contact Form on their website
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My go-to sunscreen brand. The UV sheer is perfect for wearing under makeup.