This is a heavy and very basic moisturizer that consists of petrolatum (Vaseline), wax (paraffin), and a film-forming agent. We suspect the simplicity of this fragrance-free formula is why EltaMD recommends it for use after cosmetic procedures, such as chemical peels, laser treatments, or microdermabrasion. However, it's hard to imagine why you couldn’t just use the Vaseline, and forget about the wax and film-forming agent, which can be a skin irritant.
Although the ingredients in Moisturizer will help skin heal and protect it from moisture loss, the texture and bare-bones nature of this formula isn't something you want to apply daily. Not only is the finish greasy, but your skin also needs a lot more than what this product provides.
EltaMD could have made this better by adding soothing agents and perhaps some antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients, such as glycerin or ceramides, or any mix of ingredients known for their healing properties and anti-inflammation benefits, all of which are fine for use on delicate, post-procedure skin. As is, this formula has benefits, but for the money, you may want to consider plain Vaseline or Aquaphor Healing Ointment, although we don’t imagine your doctor will be selling those.
- Fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin after cosmetic procedures.
- Thick, emollient texture protects against dryness as skin heals.
- Simplistic formula is little more than plain Vaseline or Aquaphor ointment.
- Should contain a broad range of healing ingredients to reduce inflammation and encourage healthy barrier repair so the skin's surface recovers faster.
- Contains PVP eicosene copolymer, which can be a skin irritant.
This fragrance- and preservative-free formula provides lasting moisture to keep the skin comfortable, hydrated and radiant. Ideal for even the most sensitive of skin, Elta MD's Moisturizer is suitable for use after microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser treatments to promote healing and comfort. It may also be used by Retin-A users, those with eczema or atopic dermatitis, on sunburns, or simply as a daily, irritation-free moisturizer.
Strengths: Most products are fragrance-free; all sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection with zinc oxide; cosmetically elegant sunscreens that are easy to apply and do not leave a telltale white cast; good eye gel.
Weaknesses: Some of the sunscreens are pricey, which may discourage the liberal application necessary to achieve the level of sun protection stated on the label; all of the sunscreens would be better if they contained a greater range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients; the post-procedure products and body lotion are stunningly basic and would not be a "best" option for post-wound care.
Texas-based EltaMD is a small line of skin-care products that specializes in sunscreens. If you're like most of the women who've asked us to review this line, you most likely came across it at your dermatologist's office. EltaMD is a "physician-dispensed" line, but despite that professional allure, their products are not "medical" in the least. In fact, they are widely available for purchase online, and nothing about their skin-care formulas requires a prescription or your doctor's sanction. In fact, we're fairly certain manydoctors wouldn't know how to decipher the ingredient list on the label of these products
Without question, EltaMD takes the necessity of daily sun protection seriously. They offer several sunscreens and moisturizers with sunscreen, each providing broad-spectrum protection from either zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. In short, this line gets its sunscreens right, and the fact that all of them are fragrance-free is an added bonus for your skin.
Perhaps most exciting is that almost all of EltaMD's sunscreens with zinc oxide (often joined by the synthetic sunscreen active octinoxate) apply beautifully and do not leave a noticeable white cast, despite their mineral base.
The company maintains that they use micronized zinc oxide, and you can tell. These sunscreens are easy to apply and most have cosmetically elegant textures that feel more like moisturizers than traditional "beach" sunscreens. They also work great under makeup, although some may find the mineral finish not to their liking, just based on personal preference.
Of course, EltaMD isn't the only company to offer a good selection of sunscreens that provide broad-spectrum protection. Nor are they the only game in town when it comes to using micronized zinc oxide; lots of other companies use it because it's effective and aesthetically pleasing. However, EltaMD's formulas are quite good and compete favorably with others, especially for women with normal to dry or combination skin that's not prone to breakouts.
Where EltaMD's sunscreens could improve is by providing a greater array of antioxidants. Some of their sunscreens contain none, while most have only one, typically vitamin E. That's not bad, but given the research proving how antioxidants boost the efficacy of sunscreens and offer additional protection for your skin, it's good medicine to include several antioxidants in effective amounts rather than just one.
EltaMD also offers a small range of facial-care products, most of which are fragrance-free, although if they are from a "physican's" line, as this one is, they should all be fragrance-free because fragrance is not skin care and is almost always damaging to skin. The facial-care products are decent options, but for the most part they are ordinary and not preferred over hundreds of others. Sun protection is where it's at for this brand.
For more information about EltaMD, call (800) 633-8872 or visit www.eltamd.com.
Note: The Beautypedia Research Team wishes to extend a special thank you to EltaMD. When we contacted the company to request information and assistance (something we do for every brand reviewed on this site) they graciously sent us every product along with helpful information on each. It is not often a cosmetics company assists us at all, let alone so willingly, and we sincerely appreciate it.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.