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Beauty Reviews

This “Holy Grail” Facial Sunscreen is Dermatologist-Approved

Janeca Racho
Writer and expert21 days ago
View Janeca Racho's profile
EltaMD UV Clear Review 2

As with most things in life, there are few guarantees that what we do today will lead to our desired results down the road. There is, however, one thing that we know for sure your future self will thank you for: using sunscreen every day, no matter the season. Especially when that sunscreen is the best-selling EltaMD UV Clear facial sunscreen. 

To say that this always-flying-out-the-shelves EltaMD sunscreen has revolutionized the sun care game wouldn’t be a reach. After all, it single-handedly turned SPF application into one of our favorite parts of our daily skincare routines. Not to mention, beauty editors, dermatologists, and legions of fans are obsessed with this stuff. White cast, grease, and residue? We don’t know her. But what exactly makes EltaMD’s OG sunscreen work so perfectly, and why can’t the skincare world get enough of it? Allow us to break down all the reasons, below.

What Is EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen? 

Sunscreens generally fall under two camps, depending on the active ingredients and the way they go about protecting your skin from UV damage. Chemical sunscreens use ingredients that absorb ultraviolet rays and convert them into heat, while mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to create a physical layer of protection on top of the skin.  

EltaMD UV Clear facial sunscreen is a mix of both, delivering complete UVA and UVB protection with nine percent zinc oxide and 7.5 percent octinoxate. However, it’s important to note that although the formula’s octinoxate content is within the allowable amount in sunscreens, the ingredient itself is one of the chemical SPF ingredients that have raised concerns in recent years. Studies on the extent of octinoxate's effect on the body are still inconclusive, but if you’re particular about the substances in your skincare, this may be something you’ll want to consider. Luckily, that doesn't mean you'll have to miss out on the brand's stellar sun care formulas—EltaMD offers an all-mineral alternative, featuring zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. 

That said, because of its unique formulation, EltaMD UV Clear facial sunscreen doesn’t come with the usual trappings that make most people shy away from traditional SPFs. Many users liken the product’s texture to that of a moisturizer than an actual sunscreen.  

Thanks to the zinc oxide and octinoxate combo, the lightweight cream quickly becomes transparent once applied evenly and sinks into the skin seamlessly. That means no white cast, and it leaves you with a bare-faced feeling. It sits well under makeup, making it the undisputed holy-grail sunscreen for everyday use and all-day reapplication. 

As the number one recommended sunscreen of dermatologists and skincare pros, EltaMD UV Clear facial sunscreen is non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and formulated with all skin types in mind, including those with oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin. 

Related Article: How to Pick the Right EltaMD Sunscreen for You

What Are the Benefits of Using EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen? 

While EltaMD’s UV Clear facial sunscreen is, first and foremost, a UV filter, this tube of skincare wonder can do it all. For one, its star ingredient zinc oxide is known not only for being naturally broad spectrum but also for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties. 

The water-based cream is also packed with all the nourishing and rejuvenating active ingredients you could want in a product. This includes five percent niacinamide to improve tone, texture, and discoloration and hydration powerhouse hyaluronic acid. But that's not all. It also features vitamin E, a heavy-hitting antioxidant that protects against free radicals and enhances the skin’s defenses against photodamage.  

And if you’re worried this award-winning SPF might trigger skin conditions like acne, rosacea, and eczema—fret not. In fact, it does the contrary. Its soothing formula calms the common symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions while delivering gentle exfoliation with lactic acid to unclog pores and renew dull skin. 

How Do You Apply EltaMD Sunscreen? 

All EltaMD sunscreens come with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher, meeting the recommended SPF value of the American Academy of Dermatology and earning the approval of the Skin Cancer Foundation. To apply, use a liberal amount of the product and spread evenly on the face, neck, and chest before doing your makeup. Do this 15 minutes prior to sun exposure to allow the product to fully sink in, and reapply every two hours. If swimming or engaging in outdoor activities, switch to an EltaMD water- and sweat-resistant face and body SPF for maximum protection.  

8 Reasons Dermstore Shoppers Buy EltaMD On Repeat  

Need more convincing? Here are nine reasons our shoppers never miss a chance to stock up on this skincare MVP. 

1. It’s recommended by dermatologists and estheticians.

According to EltaMD, not only is the UV Clear facial screen the number one recommended sunscreen by dermatologists, it’s also the most used sun care brand by skincare professionals. It’s no surprise that most EltaMD fans found out about this sunscreen through their dermatologists and estheticians. 

“This is the only sunscreen I use and will ever use! It was recommended to me by my dermatologist many years ago, and I have been loving it ever since,” wrote one Dermstore shopper. “It's lightweight and non-greasy. It looks great under makeup [and] with no white cast in flash photography. Does not cause breakouts or irritation (I have sensitive, acne-prone skin). It's all around amazing! 

2. It’s great for those with oily and acne-prone skin.

You’ll never have to worry about your sunscreen triggering a breakout, thanks to its acne-fighting ingredients niacinamide and lactic acid and zinc oxide’s calming and non-irritating properties. 

This Dermstore shopper shares that EltaMD UV Clear facial sunscreen is her gold standard: “My skin is acne-prone yet sensitive and will get dry and red and flaky to some products. I have a bit of an oily T-zone, and this product works well for all those concerns! It's moisturizing for the dry patches without making my skin oily. It's not irritating, doesn't make me break out, and works well under makeup. This is the product I compare all other sunscreen moisturizers to.” 

3. It works for those with rosacea too.

When you’re coping with skin conditions like rosacea, finding products that won’t inflame your skin can sometimes feel like an impossible task. The good news? This sunscreen is designed with you in mind. 

Need proof? Check out what one reviewer has to say: “I have been using this product for years after my dermatologist recommended it. Having fair, rosacea-prone skin, this product keeps sensitivity at bay and also actively treats any inflammation and hyperpigmentation with the high percentage of niacinamide. I use this everyday whether I’m indoors or outside. 

4. It doesn’t irritate sensitized skin.

Even without a skin condition, some skin types just can’t tolerate certain ingredients and aggressive formulas. It’s great knowing that this sunscreen won’t have you choosing between sunburn or irritation. 

"As someone with sensitized and reactive skin, this is THE sunscreen! I will never try another," shares one shopper. "The sheer nature of the zinc is bar none the best I've ever seen. It's neither a matte finish nor dewy, it's like that beautiful, sweet spot. Your skin looks radiant, but not greasy. It feels smooth but with no residue. Although it is a combo sunscreen, the chemical filter in there does not bother my skin at all. It's the best sunscreen from what I consider one of the top skincare lines on the market!" 

5. It helps lighten acne marks and other dark spots.

While this sunscreen doesn’t claim to be a treatment for hyperpigmentation and blemishes, its top-notch formula does contain ingredients that help fade dark spots and discoloration. 

One Dermstore shopper attests to it, saying: “My Fitzpatrick skin type is V, and any time my skin gets damaged, it over-produces a lot of melanocytes. As a result, hyperpigmentation. This is the only sunscreen that works amazingly on my dark skin. It makes my products more effective. My acne is non-existent. Hyperpigmentation has been severely reduced in a quarter of the time it takes for normal pigmentation to occur, incredible!” 

6. It works well alone or under makeup.

Another thing that many fans of this sunscreen all agree on is how well it sits under makeup, barely leaving any trace on the skin. “This is such a nice, lightweight sunscreen. It goes on easily and blends into the skin without leaving a white cast or leaving your face sticky. I wear it under my makeup, and it does not alter how the overall look comes out. For a zinc-based product, it is the best I have tried,” explains one reviewer. 

7. It doesn’t leave a ghastly white cast.

This sunscreen provides complete sun defense without the white cast and residue typically left behind by other mineral sunscreens. “I love how well the sunscreen applies to my skin—the creaminess without leaving a whitecast. My skin looks like it's glowing after applying this sunscreen. I've never had an adverse reaction to this sunscreen, and I've used it for about 5 years,” writes one Dermstore shopper. 

8. It’s great for everyday use.

As far as being a daily SPF goes, there’s really nothing else you could want from this sunscreen. From the non-negotiable broad-spectrum protection it provides to the amazing skincare benefits, this sunscreen is pretty tough to beat. 

One Dermstore shopper says: “This is my absolute favorite daily facial sunscreen. I use it every day—rain or shine. I love the consistency, the coverage, and the feel. I never feel sticky after applying, and it feels weightless on your skin.” 

Shop Dermstore’s EltaMD Sunscreen Favorites

Whether you’re looking for a lightweight SPF cream to wear under makeup, a tinted UV filter for a bare-faced look, or a high-SPF, water-resistant formula, EltaMD has you covered. Below are our top sunscreen picks from the leading brand in sun safety.


The Bottom Line

It’s safe to say that EltaMD UV Clear facial sunscreen is not your typical SPF. A multitasking and well-rounded skincare product, it provides your skin with comprehensive sun protection while delivering a host of good-to-have skincare benefits that help stem photodamage and transform even the most sensitive skin over time. Regardless of which formula you choose—sheer, tinted, all-mineral, or water-resistant—each product reflects the brand’s commitment to the highest standards in providing the best sun care solutions. 







Janeca Racho
Writer and expert
View Janeca Racho's profile

With over 10 years of writing and editing experience, Janeca Racho has worked with clients in the fashion, entertainment, food, health and travel industries. An adventurer at heart, she will gladly trade her heels for a good pair of hiking shoes and skip hotels to camp under the stars. She loves horror movies, googling ingredients in her beauty products and backpacking trips with her toddler. Her newfound obsession: nude lipstick.