Elta MD UV Clear Sunscreen SPF46

A reader of Rosacea News sent me an interesting looking tip for a sunscreen that could be a good option for rosacea sufferers. This zinc oxide and octinoxate based sunscreen is available in a tinted and untinted formulation. The sunscreen is promoted as a product that “helps calm and protect sensitive skin types prone to breakouts, rosacea and discoloration”. The sunscreen contains “5% high purity” niacinamide and hyaluronic acid.

By combining zinc oxide and a chemical sunscreen the product is able to claim broad spectrum sun protection. Note that those who are sensitive to chemical sunscreens such as octinoxate might find this product a problem.

Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 Ingredients

Actives: 9.0% Zinc oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate

Inactives: 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.

The tinted version also includes iron oxides.

Paula Begoin’s Review

UV Clear SPF 46

This is a very good, surprisingly light, fragrance-free daytime moisturizer with sunscreen. Critical UVA (think anti-aging) protection is supplied by an in-part zinc oxide sunscreen, and this has a cosmetically elegant texture that feels silky rather than thick or pasty.

User Reviews

aroostook says:

Yes, I have used Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 for almost 2 years now. I have redness and occasional pimples. I like the sunscreen because it is the only one I have ever used in my entire life that does not cause breakouts. Additionally it is light. I use it daily (even in winter) under makeup. The first bottle lasted approx. 9 months used daily so don’t be put off by the price, it’s worth it. I had never heard of it until I went to a new dermatologist. He gave me samples so I could try it first. Good luck.

seachange says:

I stuck with the Elta MD, and my skin seemed to adjust fairly well. However, I only use it if I plan on doing outdoor activities like hiking or hanging out at the beach.

If you use it and like it, or hate it, please let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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16 Reader Comments

  1. Linda says:

    I have been using Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 for several weeks now. I like it. Usually chemical sunscreens irritate my face and cause the rosacea to flare into fire-engine-red cheeks, but I am tolerating the octinoxate in this quite well. I will keep using this sunscreen. I will say that I’ve had better success putting powder foundation over it than the “cushion” foundations. You do have to let it fully dry before putting any makeup on over it, so plan your morning accordingly. 🙂 This is hands-down best for me, and beats the all-mineral products I’ve tried.

  2. I use dermaolgica super sensitive shield from their ultra calming range daily (there is also a tinted one which I havent yet tried) and find it has helped settle my skin.

  3. Comment via email from Lisa.

    “I bought this 2 months ago and it really does calm my Rosacea burn & itchiness.

    My derm applied this on my face right after VBEAM Laser to protect from Sun exposure as I drove home. I was so impressed how calming it was and toned the redness down that I ordered some from Amazon. VBEAM always leaves my face fiery red but took the burning sensation and redness down to almost none.

    Thank you for the newsletter. I read all of your articles and find them so helpful.”

  4. Roberta says:

    I use the elta MD SPF 40 broad spectrum in the tinted variety daily-in place of a foundation. It acts as a moisturizer as well. It is the only one I have found that does not break me out or irritate the skin. But, after I found this, stopped trying different things-so I am sure there are others equally good available. I buy mine from Amazon at $20-22 for 1.7 oz and consider it a bargain-it comes packaged with a pump that is the amount for one application. Put it on thicker than you think you need and wait – it settles in. If you are still looking for a SPF product-definitely try this one.

  5. Fredda says:

    I have been using Elta MD tinted as a makeup . The doctor recommended it as I just developed rosacea. He also said only use physical sunscreens. I am distressed to learn the tinted Elta had some chemical sunscreen in it according to Paula.
    Is there a makeup anyone likes in a cream with only physical sunscreen?

  6. Rachel Gregory says:

    I have been using this brand almost everyday for 4 years. It’s a great non oily option and works well for me. I’ve never had any issues with breakouts. Um, on the calming side… I would say it hasn’t done anything in that realm for my skin but it definitely doesn’t aggravate it. It can be spendy so I check amazon for sales.

  7. aprisas says:

    I’m sorry to say EltaMD non tinted gives me outbreaks. I’ve been trying to wear it for over four months (bought two) to no avail. Soon after I apply it, my skin starts itching and gets pretty bad.

  8. Fredda Korber says:

    Love the Elta Md I wear it as makeup base and then use Bare minerals tinted sunscreen over the areas I wish more coverage on.

  9. Comments via facebook post.

    I LOVE this stuff

    This stuff is great, recommended by my dermatologist.

    This caused one of the worst rosacea flares I ever had and I tried it twice. Never again.

  10. “I use the tinted version and love it”

    “I have rosacea and allergies. This is the BEST sunscreen ever! It is calming and moisturizing. I’ll never go without it!”

  11. “I use this and love it. Do any of you have recommendations for moisturizers? My face gets pretty dry even while using this product.”

    “I’m really liking this product and the way it feels on my skin compared to other sunscreens.”

  12. “Elta MD was recommended to me by a derm i use to work with. Great products”

    “I want to try, thanks for the suggestion. I also recommend “Paula’s choice super wrinkle defense spf30.” It’s only zinc oxide, tinted.hasn’t caused any irritation and works wonderful under makeup ”

    “Buyer beware this made my rosacea flare and gave me a terrible outbreak ”

    “Can I get it on any drugstore or just online?”

    “I use it and I love it!! ♥️”

    ” I love it too…I would love it more if I didn’t have to reapply it every two hours.”

    • Paloma says:

      After trying so many different brands of sunscreens, Elta MD is the best. As a rosacea sufferer with very oily skin finding the right sunscreen was a major challenge. I also use tinted sunscreen recommended by my dermatologist from Skinceuticals. I use it when I don’t feel like wearing makeup. I highly recommend IPL’s and hydrafacials on a monthly basis. I started those treatments about a year ago and and it has really cleared my skin, people don’t believe me when I tell them I have rosacea. It’s worth the money.

  13. Thomas77 says:

    I use the tinted version, too. On my opinion it’s the best sunscreen for rosacea suffers: easy to apply, not glossy on the skin and it has a strong UVA/UVB protection. I applied it last summer. Results: I was almost whiter after last summer than after last winter.

  14. “I use this. Its expensive . But doesn’t flare me.”

    “Great stuff.”

  15. “How much does this cost??”

    “On amazon it is about 35 dollars, but I think I had a discount from my dermatologist last time and it was a little cheaper. It is the only sunscreen that I can use”

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