Review: Drunk Elephant Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF30


Note: I am not affiliated with any of the links I’ve included in this article. I do not receive any monetary or other benefits by including these links in my article. I’ve inserted them for your convenience and as a guide to where these products can be obtained. All photos are taken by me unless otherwise noted. Please do not use unless you’ve received permission.


  • What I loved: lightweight; smooth, creamy application; does not leave face chalky white despite percentage (20%!) of zinc oxide; face is not oilier by end of day
  • What I didn’t love: scent when initially applying product reminds me of glue (which eventually fades)
  • Ingredients:

    Active Ingredients:

    -Zinc Oxide 20%: An invisible physical sunscreen that provides powerful UV protection from harmful rays; ideal for all skin types including sensitive.
    -Astaxanthin-rich Algae Extract: A cartenoid with potent antioxidant properties that provides defense from oxidative damage.
    -Sunflower Sprout Extract: A powerful ingredient that helps neutralize free radicals and exhibits strong anti-glycation properties.
    -Grape Juice Extract: Soothes and calms redness; has natural anti-microbial and antioxidant properties and acts as a natural free radical scavenger.

    Inactive ingredients:

    Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin,
 Pentylene Glycol, Steareth-2, 
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, 
 Sea Water,
 Acetyl Glucosamine,
 Cetearyl Glucoside,
 Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, 
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate,
 Xanthan Gum, 
Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, 
Caprylhydroxamic Acid, 
Caprylyl Glycol,
 Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491).

  • Perfect for: everyone!
  • Rating: 5 / 5

I am in love and I think I may have found my daily go-to sunscreen.

I’m going to be honest: as much as I love Drunk Elephant products and see the many “Best of Allure” beauty awards this brand has received, I was hesitant about trying this sunscreen. Before even trying it, I had imagined it looking super white on my skin because truth be told, the sunscreens I’ve had most issues with either leaving a chalky white look on my skin or make my skin look oilier than before are usually American brands. I also really didn’t want my one bad experience with one Drunk Elephant product to ruin my perception of this brand. But like all other Drunk Elephant products I’ve tried, this sunscreen exceeded my expectations.

Let’s talk about this sunscreen’s consistency first. It’s thin, but not as thin as Josie Maran’s. It goes on my face super smooth, absorbs fast, and is lightweight. I do not feel like I am wearing anything on my skin. While it does go on white, it requires little work to make it disappear, unlike my experience with Mad Hippie’s sunscreen. After applying this sunscreen on my face, my skin looks like it’s glowing. A little greasy, but my face looked smooth and radiant.

Since it looked a bit shiny on my face after initially applying, I was expecting my face to produce even more oil and looking greasy by the end of the day. To my surprise, it did not. At the end of the day, my face did not look as greasy as it did when I first applied the sunscreen in the morning. If anything, the original glow and radiance stayed without the excess oil produced. This was consistent throughout the many other days I’ve used this, and as I am writing this post right now, I am fully in love without complaint.

If I really wanted to be picky, though, there is one thing I thought was weird about this product: its initial scent. It had a subtle resemblance of the scent of glue, which made me frown. But the scent does go away by the time I am finished applying the sunscreen. I can’t tell whether the scent fades away after a little while, or because my nose got used to it lol

This sunscreen also did well under make-up for me. Since it did not produce excess oil throughout the day, my make-up stayed put. If you plan on wearing make-up over this sunscreen and might need to use blotting papers at any point, you will need to re-apply SPF as doing that will remove the initial sun protection you applied. If that is the case, I highly recommend that you also carry a sunscreen setting mist or SPF powder to apply SPF without the mess of applying sunscreen lotion over makeup.

I have to say, overall, I love this sunscreen. It checks all my boxes for a quality sunscreen that works for my skin. It does not leave a white cast on my face despite the high percentage of zinc oxide — which is great because it will catch more UV rays to bounce off my skin. It also means I can wear this sunscreen alone with confidence, whereas other sunscreens that leave a chalky white color will make me feel self-conscious and leave me wanting to wear make-up. It goes on smooth, absorbs quickly into my skin, and feels like nothing! A sunscreen feeling like nothing is huge for me because I really hate when my skin feels like it’s suffocating from layers of heavy products. Lastly, it does not make my skin look greasier by the end of the day — another huge plus for us oily skin people. Although I do have to say, since I live in Utah now, I wonder if the dryness in the air helps with products not feeling super greasy. Me being in Utah definitely did not prevent Josie Maran’s sunscreen from making my face look super greasy, though. I will be in Chicago (super humid place) in a month and will be bringing this with me to test there. I will update this review with thoughts on how it works in a more humid location. For now, though, I have to say this is the one for me.

Have you tried this sunscreen yet? What is your skin type and what type of environment (dry, humid, etc) are you in? What’s your experience with this sunscreen?

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