Educational Review: Facial Sunscreen [Elta MD & Trader Joe’s enrich]



Hello Everyone!

Today I wanted to talk to you about something that is very important: Sun Protection! If you haven’t jumped on the daily UVA/UVB protection bandwagon, then what are you waiting for?! The reviews of the two facial protections that I use will be towards the bottom of this post!

According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Melanoma is more dangerous than the other two, and it causes the most deaths. Basal/squamous cell carcinoma can cause a fair amount of damaging though (and can be disfiguring!!).

UV light is what causes skin cancer. UV light damages cell’s DNA. The DNA can be repaired to a certain extent, but if there is too much UV exposure the DNA in the damaged cell is unrepairable. There are three types of UV light: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC does not get past the ozone layer, which is awesome because it can be VERY damaging. UVB is what help produce vitamin D in your skin, but can still be damaging after exposed for too long. UVA is what effects the skin the most, and it can penetrate past the top layer of your skin!!

So, what can we do to reduce the risk?

  1. Use Sunscreen! The CDC Suggests a UVA/UVB protection of at least 15 SPF.
  2. Stay in the Shade. Find an adorable umbrella! 😀
  3. Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  4. Wear a hat! Sun hats are adorable.
  5. Wear sunglasses. They need to block UVA/UVB rays.
  6. Avoid indoor tanning.





Let me tell you about my skin type:

I have very dry skin. The only area of my face that can get oily is my nose. I have pale skin, freckles, and I am very prone to getting sunburned.


Elta MD Skincare UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

This facial sunscreen claims that it is:

  • Sheer and lightweight
  • Contains Hyaluronic Acid (to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles)
  • Transparent Zinc Oxide- 9.0% (UVA Protection)
  • SPF 40- 7.5% Oxtinoxate (UVB Protection)
  • For normal, combination, and post-procedure skin
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sensitivity-free
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
  • NOT water resistant
  • Made in the USA

Overall, I really enjoy this sunscreen. I use it on days that I know I will be outside with makeup on for more than an hour. If I don’t wear makeup (when I go cycling, for example), then I just put my normal sunscreen on my face and body. This is a great sunscreen/moisturizer duo to use under my makeup. I typically don’t wear a lot of face makeup, but I have used this under bb cream. It doesn’t make my face oily or irritated, and it doesn’t leave a noticeable white film on my face.

I am very prone to getting burned, so a higher SPF is a must for me if I am going to be outside! SPF 40+ if great for my sun-sensitive skin! If I am going to the beach, I prefer SPF 70+, but I have never gotten burned at the beach with this sunscreen on my face (I didn’t get my face wet by the way).

My skin looks nice with this on, and it feels light. The scent is quite faint as well. The list price is $24 on Amazon (It’s on sale for $19.55 right now). You receive 1.7 oz (That’s about $14.12/oz). It is a bit on the pricey side, but I would repurchase. I may end up trying some drug store products once this runs out, but that’s only because I am broke right now :D.


Trader Joe’s enrich Broad Spectrum SPF 15

This facial sunscreen claims to be:

  • Fragrance free
  • For all skin types
  • Broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • Enriched with vitamins A, C, and E
  • PABA free
  • Non comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
  • Octinoxate- 6.0%
  • Zinc Oxide- 3.0%
  • NOT water resistant
  • Cruelty Free

I use this as a daily sunscreen/moisturizer when I know that I won’t be outside very much. If I exercise I use a higher SPF and shower afterwards, so this is nice for very minimal days. When I am at school I am usually in the library, so I don’t need a high SPF when I am just walking to classes.

This does feel more greasy than the Elta MD, so I wouldn’t suggest it to people with oily skin. I don’t really have a problem with my dry skin wearing it. It doesn’t really leave a white film on my face. I don’t really know about flash back because I don’t use flash when I take photos of myself! (I am really not a fan of flash)

I bought this for $5 at Trader Joe’s. You receive 4 fl oz, so that is $1.25/fl oz. This is probably one of the cheapest facial sunscreens that I have ever seen! I think it is worth the $5 if you have dry skin.

The Verdict:

I prefer the Elta MD over this one because it is a higher SPF and it doesn’t leave my face feeling slightly greasy. I like owning both because I don’t feel the need to use the Elta everyday because of the price! I will review my next sunscreen haul. I am in the market for a new full body, so I want to pick up a facial one too. I don’t think that you can have too much sunscreen! It is probably the most important skin care products out there.

Where I apply:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Tattoo (Upper back)
  • Back of hands


A healthy body is a happy body! What products do you use? Do you have any good recommendations for a full body sunscreen? Mine is only SPF 30, so I need something higher, pronto!



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