Let me offer a little "meta-analysis" that might explain how a product get so much love, but only a handful of reviews. This product is for a seriously underserved niche, when it comes to skin care needs. I have mild rosacea, with very dry, dehydrated skin. Besides the usual rosacea triggers (fragrance and heat), my triggers include inadequate sun protection and dryness. While purely mineral sunscreen works fine on my limbs, it is too drying on my face, which triggers my mild rosacea. Octinoxate is the one chemical sunscreen that does not irritate my skin. The octinoxate-zinc oxide combination for this product seems to be a perfect balance for me, no resulting dryness. With adequate sun protection issues, this works great for me in everyday, urban life. For that matter, I took it with me for a single reapplication during an extended outdoor event that can be "challenging" in terms of sun protection--a preschool field trip to the zoo in August--with very satisfactory results. Although creamy when squeezed out, it has an easy-to-spread, quick-to-absorb, smooth, natural finish that would serve well those who want to skip a primer for subsequent makeup. There is no heavy or greasy feeling for me, which even people with dry skin don't like, especially where I live in the Southern US. I want to point out that, in my late twenties, my skin was more combination sensitive and this might have felt like overkill. I would have preferred in my combination skin years something with more of a milky finish found in Japanese sunscreens, which are now too drying for me. So, if you're in teens or twenties with mild rosacea and this EltaMD product seems like overkill now, consider revisiting it at a later date if your skin gets drier. I wanted to mention packaging and availability issues. Get the tube version; the tub/jar option is silly packaging for facial sunscreen. The reason I took a single lippie off is that, unless you live in a huge, metropolitan area, you often have to buy this online. Given that you need sun protection year round, I take a sunscreen brand's accessibility for consumers very seriously. I always breath a sigh of relief when my new package arrives--fears of being unprotected allayed! Considering what they now charge for ds sunscreens, this being a bit "pricey" does not put me off as much as it would have in the past. Plus, sun protection is an area where I'm willing to invest more. With all this said, I freaking love, love, love this sunscreen; I have lost count of how many times I have reordered it.
I have so often complained that chemical sunscreens are irritating but mineral sunscreens make me break out -- and I can't tell you how many sunscreen reviews I have written and deleted when I decided they weren't so great after all. (My skin is sensitive, oily, and prone to rosacea as well as break outs.) But this combination of zinc oxide and octinoxate is actually the least problematic liquid sunscreen I have ever tried. Some might want more moisture, but I love that it doesn't feel greasy. It does not seem to cause breakouts -- was that the titanium dioxide all along? And I guess there are chemical sunscreens and chemical sunscreens. Octinoxate is not the stinky one! I actually experience less redness after a day of using this, which surprises me. No complaints.
EDIT: Mine is the SPF 30 Face and Body UV Lotion, in case I put this in the wrong spot.
I just got this (having already tried the UV daily SPF 40 and the tinted SPF 41) and I am really liking it! It has a really moisturizing base, without feeling heavy or greasy! I use it under makeup. The texture reminds me of La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 15 (which I love but not high enough SPF for me)! I use retinol treatment every other day, so that tends to dry out my skin, especially around my nose and mouth. And when I use regular moisturizer with SPF (such as Cerave) I still get dry, flaky skin mid-day. Not this. So far, my skin feels moist and hydrated all day, it must be the petroleum (when I first saw the ingredient I was wary, but now I am convinced it's what helps keep moisture in!). I just dislike the packaging, wish it was a pump instead of a jar!
I like the idea of a sunscreen that docs recommend post-procedure but this sample just left my face too shiny.
I have found this to be a very good product. Now that I've tried a few others since, my opinion is more objective. It provides a reasonable amount of moisturization and good broad spectrum sun protection. There is not a strong white tint left after applying like many products.
I think this will be a "go to" sunscreen for a long time to come. I've certainly not found anything better for my dry, sensitive, rosacea-afflicted skin.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Zinc Oxide 7.0%
Inactive Ingredients: Purified Water, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Octyl Stearate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Dimethicone, PEG-100 Stearate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyisobutene, PEG-7 Trimethylolpropane, Coconut Ether, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polyether-1, Citric Acid, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane.
This is a link to the Elta Gold review which is the same product, they just changed the name to Elta MD:
This one is gentle enough to wear whenever I need it. My skin is very dry so I use a little Cerave lotion under it for the perfect amount of moisture. It wears really nicely under makeup, I wear MAC Matchmaster or BB Cream over it. Comes off very easily with Clinique TTDO balm and doesn't sting like most sunscreens. This one isn't as drying as Skinceuticals Physical Fusion and isn't as shiny as Clinique City Block SPF 25. It's under $20 for a 3 oz. tube on Amazon. Highly recommended for rosacea/sensitive skin