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Review: Drunk Elephant Umbra™ Sheer Physical Defense

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense

I've been on quite the quest to find the right sunscreen to add to my morning skincare regime.

Something I should have started doing years ago. But, when you're young you know nothing. Literally! Plus, I was blessed with mixed heritage, olive skin that never burned. Something I took full advantage of by basking in the high sun whenever the opportunity arose.

Just the other day my sister and I were reminiscing about the days we would slather ourselves in Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil (SPF zero!). We would lay in the sun for hours turning a perfect shade of golden brown.

Can you say s-u-n w-o-r-s-h-i-p-p-e-r?

How the sun ages your skin

However, these days you'll find me in the shade wearing a wide-brimmed sun hat and factor 50!

Unfortunately, as we age the sun begins to have a detrimental effect on our skin. UVA rays (A is for aging!) cause the most damage in terms of premature aging. This is because they are longer than UVB rays, therefore penetrate deeper into the skin.

UVB rays wreak their own kinds of havoc like sunburn and skin cancer!

UVA rays travel through the three main layers of the skin - the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin), dermis (the 'scaffolding' layer), and the hypodermis (the fat layer).

Collagen and elastin are the structure (scaffolding) that holds the skin up. When UVA rays reach the dermis they create some pretty serious damage.

The dermis houses most of the collagen and elastin in your skin. Collagen and elastin are the structure (scaffolding) that holds the skin up. When the sun's UVA rays reach the dermis they damage collagen and elastin fibers leaving them misshapen and dysfunctional. This causes the skin's ‘scaffolding’ to collapse.

This damage can't be seen straight away, but over time the skin will wrinkle and sag. Sun exposure can also cause irregular pigmentation marks, sunspots, and freckles as we age.

Therefore, sunscreen is a necessary step in your morning skincare routine!

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Firstly, if you don't know the difference between 'mineral' and 'chemical' sunscreen —or that there were even different types of sunscreen go 👉here now.

Mineral sunscreen is my spf of choice. However, it can be tricky due to the dreaded white cast that some leave on the skin thanks to the active ingredient in this type of sunscreen —zinc oxide. Also, the consistency can be thick and greasy. Really thick and greasy!

Drunk Elephant Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense

Drunk Elephant Umbra™ Sheer Physical Defense has answered my 'non-greasy, anti-aging, alcohol-free, broad-spectrum sunscreen/day cream' prayers. I absolutely love this product. It ticks all the boxes for me.

Bravo Drunk Elephant! They have managed to create a formula that;

  • doesn't leave a white cast

  • is super light and non-greasy (for mineral sunscreen!)

  • has a clean ingredient list

  • contains some nourishing skincare ingredients

When it comes to buying sunscreen you need to look for the active ingredients on the label. These ingredients make up the broad-spectrum protection in sunscreen that protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

There are only two active ingredients in mineral sunscreen: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Note that zinc oxide is the only full broad-spectrum protection of all the active ingredients used in sunscreen.

The active ingredients in mineral sunscreen work by creating a physical shield between the sun and the skin. They sit on top of the skin and deflect and scatter the sun's harmful rays. This barrier begins working immediately. And for obvious reasons, this sunscreen is considered the safer, natural option.

It does contain some synthetic ingredients; Dicaprylyl carbonate, Pentylene glycol, Steareth-2, Propanediol, Steareth-21, Polyhydroxystearic acid, Chlorphensin (preservative), and Triethoxycaprylylsilane. Now, I'm not a pharmacist, but from what I can gather none of these ingredients are classed as toxic. Also, I don't wear this product every day. When working from my home office I just apply day cream.

Try this

Try combining Bare Mineral Complexion Rescue with Drunk Elephant Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense. It gives light to medium coverage which I find perfect.



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I make sense of skincare. Together we create better routines and lifestyle habits to empower you to feel more confident and in charge. I want everyone to be able to have a Skin Coach in their life, which is why I’ve designed 3 Skin Coaching Plans to fit any budget.


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Welcome to my little piece of cyberspace! I'm Gabrielle, and I show women how to cut through the marketing BS, understand skincare labels, find non-toxic beauty products —and achieve their skin glow goals!

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