Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30
Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30 is one of Drunk Elephant's most popular products, and fans of this sunscreen will be happy to know its reformulation is minimal, and in fact retains everything likeable about the original.
This moisturizing yet sheer cream feels pleasant on skin, and provides broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen protection from zinc oxide. The formula also includes a skin-benefitting array of antioxidants for additional environmental defense.
It's best for normal to slightly dry or classic dry skin, and the fragrance-free formula is also suitable for those with sensitivity concerns, including rosacea or eczema. As is the case with any moisturizing formula, this may be tricky for the acne-prone—if you have acne and dry skin the only way to know for sure is experiment and see what happens.
Packaged in an opaque plastic squeeze tube, it's easy to dispense the amount needed, and this type of packaging ably protects its more delicate ingredients from light and air exposure.
This has a white cast, which is unavoidable with any non-tinted mineral sunscreen. However, the white cast is surprisingly minimal given the amount of zinc oxide used, and it fades to a near-invisible finish after a few minutes. Bravo there!
In terms of emollients, that's the biggest change to the formula: Whereas the previous incarnation featured coconut oil, this does not. Still, the loss is pretty much a non-issue because the formula contains other non-fragrant plant oils, including marula and sunflower seed oils. Despite these oils, Umbra Sheer Physical Defense doesn't have a greasy finish.
If your skin is dry and you've had a challenge finding a daytime moisturizer with SPF that's suitably moisturizing, but doesn't cause your makeup to "slide off" by midday, give this a try!
- Provides broad-spectrum, mineral-based sun protection.
- Includes a great mix of antioxidants.
- Multiple non-fragrant plant oils soothe and moisturize.
- Minimal white cast despite high amount of zinc oxide.
- Non-greasy finish works well under makeup.
- Fragrance free.
Umbra is a daily, physical formulation loaded with potent antioxidants like astaxanthin, grape juice extract and sunflower shoot extract to help defend from free radicals and environmental aggressors. Infused with raspberry seed and marula oils, Umbra delivers essential moisture and helps minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving your skin looking healthy and youthful. This unique formulation is ideal for daily use and won't leave any ghost-like white residue or heavy greasiness. Our new and improved texture melts into skin, feels lightweight and is virtually invisible.
Drunk Elephant At-A-Glance
Drunk Elephant, based out of Los Angeles, California, was started in 2012 by former skincare executive Tiffany Masterson. As their website describes, Masterson developed the brand out of a desire to create natural-themed formulas that were truly effective. Beyond effectiveness, Masterson wanted to leave out what wasnt effective - primarily fragrance. We concur, because fragrance isn't skincare.
We were pleasantly surprised by this stance, as in our experience, the inclusion of an abundance of fragrance is where many natural-themed brands seem to go wrong, along with using too few beneficial ingredients or formulas. Fragrance, whether from essential oils or synthetic perfumes, is never helpful for skin because over the long term, it can cause damage that holds any skin type back from being its healthy best.
As for the brands unconventional name, Drunk Elephant is in reference to anecdotes that African wildlife, including elephants, partake on the fallen, fermented fruit of the marula tree, an indulgence that leads to intoxication.
Drunk Elephant avoids using ingredients like non-mineral sunscreen actives, silicones, and parabens, even though countless studies have indicated these ingredients are safe (Journal of the Academy of Dermatology, 2013 and Skin Therapy Letters, 2013). Regardless, were just happy that the line has made it a focal point to use what research has been shown improves skin concerns like sun damage, breakouts and signs of aging, and leave out everything else. They're also using some novel yet potentially exciting ingredients in many of their formulas.
Drunk Elephant line is a small line, but tends to make each product count, or at least puts an unconventional twist on the norm. Overall, we came away impressed with most of its products and (usually) smart packaging.
Many of the formulas include the ingredient marula oil, which is an ingredient the brand favors due to the fact it contains an array of beneficial fatty acids, calming agents, and antioxidants (Journal of Food Lipids, 2004 and Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2014). It's a good ingredient, but there are many excellent non-fragrant plant oils, including coconut, jojoba, sunflower, and more, of which have similar benefits, meaning marula oil isn't the best out there, just one good oil among many.
Though the price tags are absolutely on the higher end, if you decide to to splurge on some key items, this is a good line to do so!
For more information, visit the brand at www.drunkelephant.com.
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.