06.15.2017
1565
Drunk ElephantUmbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30
3 fl. oz. for $34
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Community Reviews
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ingredients
Brand Overview
Expert Reviews

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!

Pros:
  • 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.
Cons:
  • None.
Last Updated:06.15.2017
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Community Reviews
Claims

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.

Ingredients

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20%. Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin,?Pentylene Glycol, Steareth-2, Propanediol, Steareth-21, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Sprout Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil/Tocopheryl Succinate Aminopropanediol Esters, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Sea Water, Acetyl Glucosamine,?Cetearyl Glucoside, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate,?Glycine, Sucrose, Lecithin, Triethoxycaprylylsilane,?Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Mica, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol,? Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491).

Brand Overview

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 leave out what wasn’t 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 brand’s 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. We don’t know how true that is, and it's not really related to skincare, but the brand’s name is certainly different.

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, we’re 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.

Strengths: A solid, though limited array of well-crafted skincare formulas; commitment to fragrance-free products.

Weaknesses:Their products are on the pricey side; limited options for those struggling with acne and discolorations.

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The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.


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