Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time to stock up on your favorite sunscreen for the hot, sunny months ahead. Not that you shouldn’t already be applying sunscreen every day, sunny or not, but having a well-rounded collection of fragrance-free tubes and bottles to choose from makes it that much easier to apply SPF, no matter the season and occasion.
My summer vacation is often spent back at home, on the coast of California, laying out on the sandy beaches and dipping my toes in the big, blue Pacific Ocean. Needless to say, sunscreen application—and reapplication—is an extremely important process I don’t take (or apply) lightly. Thankfully, growing up on the coastline, I was introduced to EltaMD and the brand’s range of sun protectors, for every skin type and concern at a young age.
While my skin type is sensitive-to-dry, it’s my olive-toned complexion that craves a lightweight, creamy sunscreen that can absorb within seconds of application, without leaving any signs of a white cast. At first, this seemed like a hard-to-impossible ask. But EltaMD exceeded my expectations and needs, making the sunscreen purchase and application enjoyable and easy. These are some of my personal favorite EltaMD facial sunscreens that get me through the hot summer months, along with New York City’s cold, dry winter.
If I were to describe my everyday makeup look, it would be dewy and natural, with a hint of bronze. Reaching for EltaMD UV Restore Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 to protect my skin from sun damage for days I’m running errands, I don’t need much more than a touch of bronzer to add some extra dimension to my cheekbones before walking out the door. What I enjoy most about this slightly-tinted, mineral sunscreen is that it subtlety camouflages my imperfections, blending out those small (but noticeable) areas of discoloration around my jawline, while toning down my extremely sensitive, red-toned laugh lines and cheeks.
For those humid days in New York City, I reach for EltaMD UV Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+ if only because of how lightweight it feels as I apply a generous coat across my skin. “When properly applied, this sunscreen blocks 98% of UVB Rays,” says Shah. This means I’m both worry- and breakout-free, the latter of which is due to its noncomedogenic formula—meaning it won’t clog my pores.
The application process for the entire EltaMD line is always two finger-lengthed lines of product for me, but for this sheer, glossy texture, the risk of going overboard simply doesn’t exist. It’s as if the sunscreen melts into my complexion, fully absorbing after application. I’ll sometimes add an extra quarter-sized dollop onto the high points of my face and hairline when I’m at the beach for extra-sun-protected coverage.
Did I also mention it’s water and sweat-resistant? It won’t come off after a dip in the ocean or a beach-trail run, which makes my sunshine-adjacent activities even more enjoyable, knowing I’m protected both on land and water. Even after the recommended reapplication time of 80 minutes, I can confidently apply a generous coat all over again, without any hesitancy. The lightweight, silky formula never feels sticky, and you get an added layer of sun protection—no white-cast included.
Now, there’s no denying this past year has taken a toll on all of our bodies. Readjusting to new norms and safety protocols, I’ve witnessed a drastic shift in my skin’s ability to hold and retain moisture, even indoors. This can be blamed on my apartment’s air conditioning, set on full blast, or simply the abundant time spent inside this year. Whatever the causes may be, EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 saved my skin in more ways than one.
Shah explains why someone like me — someone with dry irritated skin — may benefit from wearing this sun-protector, even without leaving the house: Applying this sunscreen, daily, can result in visibly plumper, hydrated skin. “UV Elements contains hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate), which is a humectant, meaning it can hold 1,000-times its weight in water.” Shah also highlights an additional moisturizing ingredient, dimethicone, which holds moisture in the skin and in turn “further protects and moisturizes.” UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 has brought a whole new meaning (and standard) to my now-supple skin. I couldn’t be more impressed with the results, seen with each application.