This is the Only Sunscreen That Doesn’t Irritate My Skin (Or Make Me Look Like a Ghost)

eltamd uv clear broad spectrum spf 46 review
  • Value: 16/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Feel: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 93/100

When it comes to skincare, sunscreen is a big deal. Like, kind of the biggest. Along with your favorite face wash and moisturizer, it should be part of your daily skincare routine in order to prevent premature aging and protect against skin cancer. But if you have sensitive skin like I do, trying to find an SPF that won’t irritate your complexion is no small challenge.

Too many times have I slathered myself in a top-rated (and not particularly cheap) sunscreen only to find my skin puffy and itchy minutes later. Conversely, last summer I finally found a sunscreen that didn’t cause a reaction but it left me looking like Casper the ghost.

Since the solution is clearly not to forgo sunscreen, I have persisted in trying out different formulas that will give me the protection I need—minus any nasty side effects. After much trial-and-error, I have finally found the perfect sunscreen for us sensitive skin types. Presenting the dermatologist-approved EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46.

It’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen (meaning it protects against UVA rays that trigger premature aging and UVB rays that cause sunburn) that is also non-comedogenic (so it won’t clog pores). And because it’s a mineral formula, it’s less likely to cause irritation or breakouts because it doesn’t actually absorb into the skin but rather sits on top of it.

But here’s the really cool part: It also contains niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid to calm and hydrate your skin. So not only is it offering protection against the sun’s harmful rays but it’s also nourishing your skin at the same time. This is a definite perk for someone like me who has both dry and sensitive skin. Per the brand (and many dermatologists and fervent Redditors), this SPF is also ideal for those who are prone to acne, rosacea and dark spots.

OK, we’ve established that the ingredients are great but what does this sunscreen actually feel like—and how does it wear? This silky cream blends seamlessly into the skin (sort of like a lightweight moisturizer) and doesn’t leave any streaks or a greasy film behind. There is no white cast and no scent, which makes it ideal for wearing under makeup since it blends in so quickly and easily. And, as an extra bonus for a messy applicator like myself, it also doesn’t sting if a little gets in your eyes.

The compact size makes it ideal for packing in your bag for on-the-go applications (because you’re reapplying every two hours, right?), although the downside to relying on this as your primary source of protection can get a little pricey in the long run (which is why I’d recommend using it as a facial sunscreen only). The only other downside to this miracle worker is that it isn’t water-resistant so if you’re planning on spending the day at the beach, you’ll want to opt for something waterproof.

But for all the other non-beach days this summer (and the rest of the year), this is my number one go-to. Happy slathering. 


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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...