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Sunscreen - EltaMD - UV Clear SPF 46



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rated 3.9(101 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 3.9
  • 67% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.4
  • Price: $$$

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 2/21/2013 8:01:00 PM More reviews by hwnpunch

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Medium, Neutral Hair: Brown, Other, Medium Eyes: Brown

After my stash of HG and now dc'd Sheseido sunscreen ran out I was having a really tough time finding something comparable to replace it that wouldn't irritate my skin and eyes or cause breakouts. I actually ordered this for my daughter who plays sports, is acne prone and has similar issues with sunscreen. I gave it a try and love it. Its not cheap for sunscreen but how many of us have spent over $20 just for primer? This is a light lotion that has no sunscreen smell and dries to a matte finish. It doesn't irritate my eyes or skin but it provides some serious oil control so I sometimes add one drop of face oil to keep it from being too drying this also gives it a dewier finish. I get zero breakthrough shine when wearing this either alone or under makeup and my t-zone can get pretty oily. Because of this I don't use this with powder. That combination is way too drying and I haven't been able to skip powder since I was 15. This isnt for someone with dry skin issues but could be a big help for the oily and /or acne prone. Sun protection seems pretty good for day to day and this seems a bit easier to remove than some I've used. Glad I found it and even stocked up on a few bottles while it was on sale.

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 1/23/2013 9:00:00 AM More reviews by heathermrm

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

I was lucky enough to receive a sample of this in a swap (I did google the product to find out the $$ for my rating) and have used 3x on my face now.


I did not read any of the reviews prior to using. The title "Clear" threw me for a loop as this stuff comes out white, but it completely disappears on my NC 15 skin (I'm sure due to the micronized ZO). It dries to matte finish and does not dry out my skin.


Here is my problem w/ it and why I won't purchase = it has a low PPD = 4.8 - 5.8 PPD depending if ZO in oil or water phase. As I have melasma, this ridiculously low PPD is as definite deal breaker for me. Too bad too cause I like this stuff....

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 1/12/2013 1:19:00 PM More reviews by heather

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium Eyes: Hazel

After two weeks of daily use, I can definitely say I adore this sunscreen. It works wonderfully under makeup, leaves no white cast, doesn't smell like sunscreen, contains a significant percentage of skin-brightening niacinamide, does not irritate my eyes, does not ball up or streak, does not make my skin oily, and has a really impressive level of broad spectrum sun protection (9% transparent zinc oxide, 7.5% octinoxate, SPF 46). The airless pump is great, but it's hard to tell how much is left so I'll have to keep an extra on hand. I use it over an antioxidant serum (Paula's Choice Skin Balancing) for extra protection, and follow with whatever foundation strikes my fancy. So far, it has worked very well with liquid, cream, cream-to-powder, and powdered mineral foundations. I have been using (and really like) the Devita Solar Protection facial sunscreen, but the added niacinamide in the EltaMD is a really significant plus. I am very, very pleased with this sunscreen and will continue to purchase it.

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/4/2012 8:32:00 AM More reviews by jenniferluvsmakeup

Age: 25-29 Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

This is my HG sunscreen for my face. I have never liked wearing sunscreen on my face because of my oily skin, but this one is amazing. It absorbs quickly and leaves my skin feeling normal, maybe even somewhat matte. It works great on its own and holds up nicely under makeup. My only complaint is the bottle! It's too small (I guess it's nice if you want to carry it in your purse) and it's hard to gauge how much product is left. My solution is to just have an extra one on hand at all times, that way if I run out unexpectedly I won't have to wait for another bottle to come in the mail. One full pump is enough to cover my face liberally, plus some left over to cover the front of my neck. Overall, a great product.

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rated 5 of 5 on 11/10/2012 10:52:00 PM More reviews by socalboyrocks

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Black

In my opinion, Elta MD UV Clear is a high quality sunscreen/sunblock. In 2009 my dermatologist recommended I try this and I've been using it ever since. Those who dislike typical "sunscreens" will be pleasantly surprised as It absorbs quickly, no lingering sunscreen odor, and no tackiness or greasy feel. I appreciate the airless pump. It is expensive considering how much product you get. At the dermatologist, I can purchase this for $25 and I've seen it online for up to $35! Again, the benefits outweigh the price. Elta MD makes other products.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 10/12/2012 4:34:00 PM More reviews by Tindra78

Age: 30-35 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

I have only used this for one day, but ill update during the time.
Right now I want to give my first impression. I was looking for something that 1) does not break me out, 2) feels extremely light and fresh in the face, 3) gives me a matte/non-greasy look, 4) works well with makeup and is NOT waterproof.

I already know that some silicones and heavier ingredients break me out. Most of the sunscreens I've tried also broke me out! But cause I have a lot of hyperpigmentation (and acne) I have to find a daily sunscreen. Dermatologists have told me that products that are waterproof easier clog pores! So let's try this!

First impression:

- extremely lightweight, melts into the skin and disappears within seconds from your hands....

- you can see traces of the white cast, you can se that it contains Zink....but it disappears more and more after a few minutes..

- leaves a little shine, but NOT a greasy feeling. So I had to powder a little more... Yet haven't found out if thé makeup goes away faster with this, but ill update...

- the feeling is little tight/dry in the face, this is not too moisturizing... But I could solve that if this does not break me out....

I'll update again ....

UPDATE 18th October, 2012:

I got a small breakout the first four days, maybe cause of the niacinamide...maybe 5-7 more pimples than normally. But since then I haven't developed new ones in the same way...
No new breakouts caused by this, at least, seems like...

I think that this can become a little too shiny/sheer to be able to wear it without powder though...but I can live with that as long as it doesn't break me out, and I can use it daily....

It's also too dry to use around the eyes, ill need to find something else for that area. It's also too drying to be used alone around the mouth... I think ill try the Elta Daily spf 40 on those areas....ill try to order it.....

So far: highly recommend for us with acne!!! Five lippies!!

UPDATE 9th november, 2012:

STILL NO BUMPS!!!!! No clogged pores, no breakouts!! Completely amazing, this is the FIRST sunscreen that hasn't given me acne!! Instead my face almost looks clearer with this than before (or feels better - it's at least not worse with the acne). This is completely adorable, and I'd give it 500 lippies if I could!! At last I have found something that is lightweight, water-soluable, high spf, does not clog pores and comfortable enough to wear daily under makeup!!!

Try it!!!!! :D

Update 6th of April 2013:


During the last 3 years I've been studying, and I started working again now in the middle of mars. The office is hot and there is a lit to do, and I usually work 8-9 hours a day.... I need my makeup to STAY where I put it, at least for a few hours! Unfortunately my makeup really "melts away", slides off, with the elta sunscreen. I just can't touch up every hour, I have no time!! SO right now I'm on the hunt of a "drier" /more matte daily sunscreen that doesn't break me out. That will be hard cause I easily break out by some silicones.... So I have no idea right now....

This is of course still a 5 lippies product, but only a little too shiny for me during really long, hot days at the office. Either I'll try to mix it with something or to find another product for the work.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 3 of 5 on 8/30/2012 1:04:00 AM More reviews by ShineeBee

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

My skin doesn't like this very much. upon application it stinks my skin and after a while it make them red and irritated. I didn't give this several tries but it doesn't seems to be working out for me. I suppose my skin just doesn't like the ingredient. If you are find using chemical suncreen, then this might be for you. but if you find that your skin goes red and irritated from other chemical sunscreen, this might not help.

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rated 3 of 5 on 8/28/2012 12:16:00 PM More reviews by Madwilso

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

I'm a retin-a user (about 5 months), so I have combination/acne-prone skin that can get excessively dry. I have been very happy with Glycolix Elite spf 30 sunscreen, but it's 17% ZnO and gives me ghost face, which isn't a problem if wearing makeup. But since my skin has been clearing up I went on the search for a sunscreen that I could wear that would not leave a white tint and would be fine without make up. I read about EltaMd UV clear on drbaileyskincare.com and ordered it from dermstore.com (if you add an item to your favorites list and then to your basket, you get 10% off). I started using the product when my skin was clear and I hadn't varied up my skincare routine in at least a month.
The product does go on clear, which is nice, but can be expected from most sunscreens with a 9% ZnO content. It spreads very easily and I found one full pump to be plenty enough to cover the whole face, neck and top of my chest. I find that it "absorbs" fairly quickly but leaves my skin feeling kind of tacky and very shiny. I absolutely hate the way it feels on my palms and I have to wash it off right away. The shine can be minimized with powder or Paula's choice anti-shine gel, but since I purchased it to wear without make up, that kind of bothers me. I started getting very small (very tiny) inflamed pustules for about a week and a half. I think this is my skins reaction to the niacinamide because I got a similar reaction to CeraVe pm. But they have gone away after continued use.
After 5 weeks I feel like this sunscreen is too drying for my skin, even with a layer of CeraVe lotion underneath. I have a hard time getting concealer to spread easily (benefit erase paste and bobbi brown creamy concealer) under my eyes. For research purposes, I applied liquid foundation on top of the sunscreen. I used MAC Studio Sculpt (I think that's what it's called? It's in the tube) and it spread easily and then my concealer was fine over that. Powder works pretty well over it (MAC MSF) but will accentuate dry spots. I have started mixing in 1 pump of my Glycolix Elite sunscreen with half a pump of the EltaMD UV Clear and it's more moisturizing for my skin. I think this sunscreen is nice, but not HG for me, but I would possibly repurchase next summer if my skin is less dry. I would recommend for oily types without any dry spots, it does not seem to aggravate my acne.
I think I will try the EltaMD daily sunscreen next and update with a comparison.

Update 9/20/12: I've been using the EltaMD daily 40 and I much prefer it. It is more moisturizing, but still light in formula. It gave me no breakouts or irritation. If you try the UV Clear and it doesn't work for you in a similar way that it didn't work for me, then give this one a try.

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rated 4 of 5 on 8/27/2012 11:56:00 AM More reviews by Mommyandmore

Age: 30-35 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral Hair: Black, Wavy, Coarse Eyes: Brown

My dermatologist recommended this product to me. I was not happy when I saw little pimples (millia?) in reaction to it, but I figured my skin needed to learn how to react to the niacinamide. After about a week, the little pimples cleared up and I haven't had any reaction to this since. It provides great protection and, in comparison to every single other sunscreen I've tried, it has been fantastic. I've repurchased about 4 times.
UPDATE: I've since tried two different sunscreens and I have to say that Shiseido's Anessa Perfect UV sunscreen provides a superior texture for my skin and works better as a base under makeup! The EltaMd has a drier texture than the Anessa sunscreen, so the Anessa keeps my skin more supple and less prone to flaking. The oil control of the Anessa is at least as good as the EltaMD, if not better, and my skin seems more even.

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/19/2012 3:33:00 PM More reviews by amillionbucks

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This sunscreen is fantastic. I apply it every day after my moisturizer and it does not dry my out or break me out, which is what has happened with suncreens of the past. I love that the SPF is so high - the spf in my moisturizer or makeup products just isn't enough for me most days. I don't burn, but I do use retinol and AHAs frequently so my face really needs the extra protection.


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