I'm a prime candidate for sunscreen. I have fair skin that burns and freckles and I spend a ton of time outside or driving where my skin is exposed to the sun. Unfortunately, I really dislike sunscreen. I don't like the feeling and look of it on my skin, and I find that options that satisfy me in terms of their ingredients are fiscally unsustainable, due to the amount of product I go through. I get excited whenever I get to try a new sunscreen, hoping it will be the one that finally turns me into an exuberant addict.
Drunk Elephant's Blok Sheer Physical Defense ($42) is an easy product to get behind on paper. Although the ingredient list contained a host of chemical-sounding names I didn't recognize, along with many welcome old friends like aloe barbadensis leaf extract, and some exciting newer ones like marula oil, a search of EWG did not reveal anything of concern. Thorough sun protection is provided by 20% zinc oxide, astaxanthin (from algae extract), and the new (at least to me) sunflower sprout extract, which Drunk Elephant claims "neutralizes oxidative damage and exhibits strong anti-glycation properties. Preserves the energy of the cells and inhibits production of MMPs."
Unfortunately, things are a little less rosy in practice. On the positive side, those who don't care for that sunscreen smell will enjoy that Blok is fragrance-free, which in this case actually does mean that the product has no discernible scent. On the less positive, I had many problems with this sunscreen I commonly experience with others. It exhibited my pet peeve and would stick to my hands when I attempted to rub it in. It left a white cast on even my extremely fair skin. It felt heavy on application and just generally made my skin feel dirty. In an unexpected twist, the sunscreen also shimmers, which isn't too bad in indirect light but was very noticeable out in the sun, especially on the palms of my hands after application.
When I found out that Drunk Elephant sells this product at $42 for 3.3 oz., that put the nail in the coffin on my negative recommendation. I need a product I can use liberally and often without feeling guilty about how much each application is costing me. Sunscreen isn't one of those products you can benefit from using sparingly. I think there are a lot of good things contained in this formula but I didn't enjoy using it, and just don't see how it could be worth that price tag.
Ingredients in Drunk Elephant's Blok Sheer Physical Defense: Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Steareth-2, Ceteryl Alcohol, Steareth-21, Sea Water, Algae Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Haematococcus Pluvialis Algal (Astaxanthin) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Sprout Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Acetyl Glucosamine, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Raspberry Seed Oil/Tocopheryl Succinate Aminopropanediol Esters, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Glycine, Sucrose, Lecithin, Silica, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Propanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Mica Carmine (CI 75470), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Water (Aqua)