EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 Review

EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 Review

My SPF usage has been through the roof since I decided to actively pursue clear skin. I got on retinoic acid and have become quite serious about sunscreen. I now use sunscreen religiously. It used to take me about 3 months to get through a tube of 50ml sunscreen but that doesn’t last me 1 month these days. Unfortunately, there’s not been much to show for it. Most sunscreens keep me from burning but don’t do much to keep my skin from tanning. I’ve used just about every chemical sunscreen under the sun and still didn’t see much improvements. So I decided to do something I’d never done before – Use a mineral sunscreen.

EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 Review


Oil-free EltaMD UV Clear helps calm and protect sensitive skin types prone to discoloration and breakouts associated to acne and rosacea. It contains niacinamide (vitamin B3), hyaluronic acid and lactic acid, ingredients that promote the appearance of healthy-looking skin. Very lightweight and silky, it may be worn with makeup or alone. Choose from tinted and untinted formulas for use every day.

  • 9.0% transparent zinc oxide
  • Antioxidant protection combats skin-aging free radicals associated with ultraviolet (UV) and infrared radiation (IR).
  • Calms and protects acne-prone skin
  • Leaves no residue
  • UVA/UVB sun protection
  • Fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and noncomedogenic


Zinc oxide: Natural mineral compound that works as a sunscreen agent by reflecting and scattering UVA and UVB rays

Niacinamide (vitamin B3): Anti-inflammatory that reduces redness and minimizes the appearance of dry or damaged skin and restores suppleness

Sodium hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid): Humectant that attracts and retains moisture, improving skin feel and restores suppleness

Tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E): Antioxidant that reduces free radicals to help diminish the visible signs of aging

EltaMD UV Clear Inactive Ingredients: Purified Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Niacinamide, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium
Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyisobutene, PEG-7 Trimethylolpropane Coconut Ether, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lactic Acid, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane


Whew. Where to start? Alright. Alright.

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I bought this sunscreen because I’ve heard a lot of great word of mouth reviews. People also rave about it online and that includes black people too. So I was very surprised to find that it didn’t match my expectations. So I ordered a second one from another source because I felt the first one had to be a fake certainly. But the first wasn’t a fake. They were both the same.

This sunscreen is elite. Okay? Zinc Oxide, Niacinamide, Sodium Hyaluronate (salt form of hyaluronic acid), Lactic Acid, Vitamin E. This sunscreen happens to be water resistant and it dries down matte. The lactic acid is supposed to very lightly hydrate and exfoliate while niacinamide is for brightening. That ingredient list alone makes it holy grail. I mean, you’d be hard pressed to find a sunscreen with a more impressive ingredients list.

Feel free to disregard that “transparent zinc oxide” label because it’s anything but. This sunscreen left the most ghostly white cast on my face. When I say ghostly I mean it. I worked this bad boy into my skin for 5 minutes and the white cast went nowhere. I relegated it to home sunscreen so I wouldnt habe to look like Casper in public. But i still had to deal with the pilling. It pills horribly which makes reapplication a nightmare.


Would I recommend this? Absolutely. I still have hyperpigmentation and if there’s a sunscreen that will help with hyperpigmentation it should be this one, right? And of course I use other actives like BHAs and retinoic acid which makes skin more sensitive to the sun. This broad spectrum sunscreen is as better than most when it comes to UVA/UVB protection.

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So yeah, I’d recommend this to anyone who doesn’t mind the white cast and anyone who’s looking to wear it under makeup. It’s hydrating, non-oily, and does not irritate. It also has a host of antioxidants to help neutralize the effects of free radicals. And although this wasn’t for me, I still look forward to trying the tinted formula.

Update: I came across an article that claims this sunscreen is not all that when it comes to UVA protection. The famous EltaMDUV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 has a PPD of ~5.8 making it PA++. This means there’s little to zero chance of your hyperpigmentation fading if you use this.

Available at Walmart, Skinstore and Dermstore.

EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 Review

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