I started using Graydon Elements Sun Cream (the full name is actually Graydon Clinical Luxury by Nature Elements Sun Cream Complex…a bit of a mouthful) a few months ago when I was looking for a new mineral-based sunscreen that wasn’t going to be super heavy and shiny. So far, it has met my criteria. Despite the cream’s thick and pasty texture, it blends well and doesn’t leave any white cast (although this requires a fair bit of careful blending, I will admit). Graydon Elements Sun Cream has a very nice matte finish that you will love if you tend to be oily (as you can see in the photos below). It doesn’t feel heavy on your face; once it’s blended, it’s like it isn’t even there at all. I have found that it also works really well under makeup, but is matte enough to wear on its own if you want. I have experienced no breakouts at all from this sunscreen.
The only drawback is that it isn’t very hydrating. Since I’ve been using it during the winter, I’ve been layering it over hydrating serums. This has worked out pretty well for me. However, zinc oxide is strongly mattifying and can be a bit drying, so this sun cream can accentuate dry areas if skin isn’t well hydrated before application.
Oily skin will definitely like this. But if you’re dry, then you will need moisturizer underneath for sure. This is a great option for sensitive skin as well. It’s fragrance free, oil free, silicone free, non pore clogging, and the zinc oxide is not going to cause irritation. It’s also natural, cruelty free, and vegan.
Ingredients: purified water (aqua), un-coated non nano zinc oxide (zinc oxide), shea (butyrospernum parkii) butter, vegetable wax: (caprylic/capric triglyceride, glyceryl stearate, coco-caprylate/caprate, dicaprylyl ether, sodium olivoyl glutamate, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol), vegetable emulsifier: (lauryl glucoside, polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate, glycerin), vegetable glycerine, cherry (prunus avium) kernel oil, aloe vera (aloe barbadensis) juice, buriti (mauritia flexuosa) oil, rice bran (oryza sativa) oil, pumpkin (cucurbita maxima) seed oil, raspberry (rubus idaeus) seed oil, seabuckthorn (hippophae rhamnoides) oil, spirulina (spirulina maxima), vegetable derived preservative: (glyceryl caprylate, glyceryl undecylenate), matcha (camellia sinensis) green tea, rosemary co2 extract (rosmarinus officinalis l), xantham gum, citric acid
You may notice that the bottle for this sun cream doesn’t have an SPF rating. But the formula contains 12.5% zinc oxide, which Graydon says works out to around SPF 25 or so. I would guess it’s probably more like 18-20 since 1% zinc oxide is approximately equivalent to 1.5 SPF. But SPF ratings can also be boosted by the addition of antioxidants and such, so I’m not really sure how they calculated it.
I don’t really mind that it doesn’t state the SPF since it says how much zinc oxide it contains. Plus, many sunscreens don’t actually provide the SPF number they claim on the bottle anyway. Find a study by Environmental Working Group HERE if you’re interested in reading about it.
I feel like it contains enough sun protection to sit under my makeup for a day in the office. Then I generally apply a powder foundation with SPF on top (these days I’m using Jane Iredale). I wouldn’t rely on it for a day on the beach or hiking up a mountain or anything though.
Overall, this is a really good SPF product for everyday use throughout the year for most skin types. Just layer any extra hydration you require underneath. This sunscreen seems to layer well with other products.