When I explored physical sunscreens and found that Elta MD UV Physical SPF 41 ($27) works perfectly for most everyday sun coverage. As an aside, if you have any dark scars or spotting on the skin, you should be extra careful about sun exposure. I’ve noticed that physical sunscreens seem to do the best for me to keep flaws from becoming more pronounced from sun exposure. UV Physical 41 has a slight tint that nearly matches my pale MAC NC15/Chanel Cameo-Ivoire skintone, so it gives slight coverage when it sinks in without leaving a white cast. If you don’t like the tinted aspect, Elta MD makes several sunscreens, including a physical sunscreen with SPF 46 that goes on clear.
I find that this is a perfect grab-and-go when I am headed out the door to do errands, and works extremely well in giving me effective sun coverage. There is zero greasy feel–this one goes on matte and stays that way. It works well for extended exposure in strong sun. I have had zero breakouts from this product–and I am quite breakout-prone and sometimes my skin is quite sensitive. Very non-irritating. It gives a mattifying effect and can be drying–this works really well for those with combo/oily skin, but those with dry skin should be careful. My liquid foundations certainly look slight better without it (if you read this blog, you know that I have very high standards for makeup textures). Elta MD’s clear SPF 46 is on my next-to-try list, hopefully that may be another good solution.
Elta MD Physical is widely available, including from the Dermstore online, where it has 90 reviews giving the product an average of five stars (not a paid link). It’s also stocked in many dermatologist’s offices. For $27, this is an extremely effective sunscreen that can protect against the harsh summer sun.
Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 9.0%, Titanium Dioxide 7.0%.
Inactive Ingredients: Alpha Tocopheryl, Aluminum Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Dimethicone/Methicone Copolymer, Hydrated Silica, Iodopropynl Butylcarbamate, Iron Oxide, Isopropyl Palmitate, Lecithin, Linoleic Acid, Octyl Stearate, Octyl Neopentanoate, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Perfluorononyl Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylate-13/Polyisobutene/Polysorbate 20, Purified Water, Quercitin, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Selenite, Thioctic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane.