The Complete Guide To EltaMD Sunscreens: Which One Is Right For You?

by Gio
eltamd sunscreen guide

Are you confused by EltaMD sunscreens?

The brand has a dozen formulas and they’re all so similar! For starters, all of them use zinc oxide, a mineral filter that provide gentle, broad spectrum protection from ALL UV rays – ON ITS OWN.

The catch? It’s thick and leaves a white cast behind. That’s why EltaMD never uses it alone. It pairs it with other UV filters so you can still get excellent protection without the unpleasant texture.

Question is, which combination is right for you? Here’s the complete guide to EltaMD sunscreens to help you pick the best formula for your skin type and needs:

Best For Acne Prone: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 ($35.00)

UV Filters: Part mineral, part synthetic, it has 9.0% Zinc oxide and 7.5% Octinoxate. Octinoxate helps to increase the SPF of the sunscreen without leaving a white cast behind.

Other ingredients: Niacinamide + hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic Acid deeply hydrates skin, while niacinamide does everything else: it shrinks pores, soothes irritations, strengthens the skin’s protective barrier and helps treat acne.

Texture: Oil-free, the lightweight texture dries to a slightly matte finish. It’s available in both a tinted and non-tinted version. The non-tinted version leaves a subtle white cast on the skin.

Water-resistant: No.

Best For: Oily and acne-prone skin.

Available at: Dermstore and Walmart

Related: What Are The Best Sunscreens For Oily Skin?

Best For Sensitive Oily Skin: EltaMD UV Elements Broad Spectrum SPF 44 ($34.00)

UV Filters: An all mineral sunscreen, it has 10.0% Zinc oxide and 5.5% Titanium dioxide.

Other Ingredients: Silicone-based, this sunscreen has Hyaluronic Acid, a moisture magnet that attracts and binds to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water.

Texture: Oily-free, the lightweight texture dries to a slightly matte finish and leaves no white cast behind.

Water-resistant: Up to 40 minutes.

Best For: Sensitive oily skin that needs a basic, irritants-free formula.

Available at: Dermstore and Walmart

Related: 9 Ways To Soothe Sensitive Skin

Best For Light Daily Exercise: EltaMD UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 ($32.00)

UV Filters: An all-mineral sunscreen, it has 10.0% Zinc oxide and 5.5% Titanium dioxide.

Other Ingredients: Silicone-based, this sunscreen has Hyaluronic Acid, a moisture magnet that attracts and binds to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water.

Texture: Oil-free, the lightweight texture leaves a white cast on the skin.

Water-resistant: Up to 40 minutes.

Best For: Light daily exercise, all skin types.

Available at: Dermstore and Walmart

Related: Why Does My Skin Look White In Photos?

Best For Rosacea: EltaMD UV Physical Broad Spectrum SPF 41 ($31.00)

UV Filters: An all mineral sunscreen, it has 9.0% Zinc oxide and 7.0% Titanium dioxide.

Other Ingredients: Linoleic acid, an omega-6 essential fatty acid with moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Texture: Oil-free, tinted and fairly thick.

Water-resistant: Up to 40 minutes.

Best For: Sensitive and rosacea-prone skin.

Available at: Dermstore and Walmart

Related: How To Deal With Rosacea

Best For Dry Skin: EltaMD UV Daily Broad Spectrum SPF 40 ($28.50)

UV Filters: 9.0% Zinc oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate. This hybrid sunscreen uses both synthetic and mineral UV filters to provide maximum protection without the grease factor.

Other Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid adds moisture to the skin, while petrolatum seals it in and strengthens the skin’s protective barrier.

Texture: Rich and emollient. Available in tinted and non-tinted version. The non-tinted version leaves a white cast behind.

Water-resistant: No.

Best For: Dry skin.

Available at: Dermstore and Walmart

Related: The Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin

Best For Sports (Dry Skin): EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 ($24.50)

UV Ingredients: A hybrid sunscreen with both mineral and synthetic UV filters, it has 9.0% Zinc oxide, 7.50% Octinoxate and 5.0% Octisalate to provide broad-spectrum sunscreen in a water-resistant, long-lasting texture.

Other Ingredients: Beeswax + silicones to allow the sunscreen to better adhere to the skin and provide sun protection that lasts.

Texture: Heavy, feels greasy on the skin.

Water-resistant: Up to 80 minutes.

Best For: Girls with dry skin not prone to breakouts who spend a long time exercising outdoors.

Available at: Dermstore and Walmart

Related: Is Octinoxate In Sunscreen Dangerous?

Best For Active Outdoor Days (Normal & Oily Skin): Elta MD Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47 ($25.00)

UV Ingredients: An all mineral sunscreen with 10.0% Zinc oxide and 5.5% Titanium dioxide.

Other Ingredients: Silicone-based, it has a couple of antioxidants (Vitamin C and E) to help fight wrinkles.

Texture: Silky with a dry finish. Leaves a subtle white cast behind.

Water-resistant: Up to 80 minutes.

Best For: Girls with normal and oily skin who spend a lot of time exercising outdoors.

Available at: Dermstore and Walmart

Related: 6 Things To Look For When Buying Sunscreen

Best For Touch-Ups (Normal & Oily Skin): EltaMD UV Spray Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 ($31.50)

UV Ingredients: Part mineral, part synthetic, it has 9.3% Zinc oxide and 7.5% Octinoxate. Octinoxate helps to increase the SPF of the sunscreen without leaving a white cast behind.

Other Ingredients: Silicones to give the texture a silky feeling and a matte finish.

Texture: Oily free, silky and lightweight. It doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin.

Water-resistant: Up to 80 minutes.

Best For: Girls with normal and oily skin who want to touch up their sunscreen during the day without ruining their makeup.

Available at: Dermstore and Walmart

Related: How To Reapply Sunscreen Without Ruining Your Makeup

Best For Normal To Dry: EltaMD UV Shield Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 ($26.00)

UV Ingredients: Part mineral, part synthetic, it has 9.0% Zinc oxide and 7.5% Octinoxate. Octinoxate helps to increase the SPF of the sunscreen without leaving a white cast behind.

Other Ingredients: Isopropyl Palmitate and Cetearyl Alcohol, two moiturizing ingredients that make skin softer and smoother.

Texture: Oil-free and smooth, with a dewy finish.

Water-resistant: No.

Best For: Normal to dry skin.

Available at: Dermstore and Walmart

Related: How To Care For Normal Skin

Best For Touch-Ups (Combination Skin): EltaMD UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 ($32.50)

UV Filters: Part mineral, part synthetic, it has 9.3% Zinc oxide and 7.5% Octinoxate. Octinoxate helps to increase the SPF of the sunscreen without leaving a white cast behind.

Other Ingredients: Silicones to give the texture a silky feeling and a matte finish.

Texture: Oil-free, matte, leaves a subtle white cast behind (I personally think the Spray version is better).

Water-resistant: Up to 80 minutes.

Best For: Girls with combination skin who want to touch up their sunscreen during the day without ruining their makeup.

Available at: Dermstore and Walmart

Related: How To Care For Combination Skin

Best For Dry Body Skin: EltaMD UV Lotion Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ ($35.00)

UV Filters: Part mineral, part physical, it has 7.5% Octinoxate and 7.0% Zinc oxide to provide broad-spectrum protection without leaving a white cast behind.

Other Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid adds moisture to the skin, while petrolatum seals it in and strengthens the skin’s protective barrier.

Texture: Creamy and silky, it leaves a very subtle white cast on the skin.

Water-resistant: No.

Best For: Dry body skin.

Available at: Dermstore and Walmart

Related: Is Zinc Oxide The Best UV Filter Ever?

What do you think is the best EltaMD sunscreen for you? Share your pick in the comments below.

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2 comments

Natalia Pessoa Dajczer July 18, 2019 - 9:42 pm

Could you look into Supergoop’s spfs?

Reply
Gio August 8, 2019 - 2:58 pm

Natalia, I will. They make great sunscreens, too. 🙂

Reply

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