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9 Top Rated Sunscreens To Buy – All Under $9!

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What are the best sunscreens under the sun? ☀

With summer just around the corner, sunscreen is HOT on our minds, especially as more people than ever protect their skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Thanks to the helpful research conducted by Consumer Reports, we’ve rounded up the 9 top rated sunscreens to buy, and they’re all UNDER $9!

1. Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50+

trader joe's sunscreen spray spf 50 hip2save

Trader Joe’s: $5.99

As if we could love Trader Joe’s even more. Their sunscreen spray has been given the highest ranking for spray sunscreen application by Consumer Reports, and for good reason! It provides UVA & UVB protection, contains skin nourishing ingredients like aloe, vitamin E, and coconut oil, and it’s water resistant! The best part? It’s only $6 a can!

“Trader Joe’s for the spray – best ever.” – Addiana via Facebook


2. Equate Sport Lotion SPF 50

equate sport spf 50 sunscreen at walmart hip2save

Walmart: $4.98

You probably already recognize Equate as the Walmart generic brand, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s lower quality. This lotion has been rated “Excellent” for blocking UVA and UVB rays and has an enjoyable floral, citrusy aroma.


3. Banana Boat SunComfort Clear UltraMist Spray SPF 50+

banana boat suncomfort spf 50 sunscreen spray at walmart hip2save

Walmart: $7.92

This great aerosol option offers excellent UVA and UVB protection. Its formula leaves very little residue so it won’t feel sticky or tacky – perfect for the beach! Along with this spray’s water resistance, you’ll enjoy the nice coconut and tropical fruit aroma. 🏝

“The only one I use is Banana Boat 50.” – Sharon via Facebook


4. Coppertone Water Babies Lotion SPF 50

coppertone water babies spf 50 sunscreen at walmart hip2save

Walmart: $7.97

Not only is this a top-recommended brand by pediatricians, it scored a 95 rating by Consumer Reports thanks to it excellent UVA/UVB coverage. Its slight baby powder and rose scent is also a nice change from common sunscreen fragrances.


5. Coppertone Ultra Guard Lotion SPF 70

coppertone ultra guard spf 70 sunscreen at walmart

Walmart: $8.97

Another great offering by Coppertone! This lotion slathers on the protection and is water resistant. And, unlike the lotions above, testers reported this sunscreen has a barely noticeable aroma.

Hip Tip: When looking for this in store, you might see a couple variations of the packaging since Coppertone has recently updated the look of the bottle. Both Coppertone Ultra Guard packages have the same formulation inside.


6. Equate Ultra Protection Lotion SPF 50

equate ultra protection spf50 sunscreen at walmart hip2save

Walmart: $7.48

With an overall score of 93 by Consumer Reports, the Walmart generic brand offers great UVA/UVB protection sunscreen at a wallet-friendly price!

Hip Tip: Planning a summer vacation? Check out these ways to save big on travel!


7. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion SPF 30

aveeno protect and hydrate spf 30 sunscreen hip2save

Walmart: $7.97

I’m a BIG fan of Aveeno face scrubs, body wash, and lotions, so I’m thrilled this brand made the top rated list! This sunscreen has an overall Excellent rating, and in the specific category of UVB Protection, it was rated “Very Good”. This water and sweat-resistant formula is non-comedogenic and oil-free so it won’t cause blocked pores!


8. Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30

equate sport sunscreen spray at walmart hip2save

Walmart: $4.98

Equate is not a force to be reckoned with (this is the THIRD time they’ve made the list)! This spray version of their sunscreen receives its high rank from solid UVA/UVB protection (though it was rated slightly lower for UVA protection than other sprays previously listed). It also has a pleasant, beachy aroma and a wide spray application (important for antsy kids running for the sun).


9. Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Protection Spray SPF 70

neutrogena beach defense sunscreen spray spf 70 hip2save

Walmart: $8.97

The dermatologist-recommended suncare brand Neutrogena, developed this formula with beach-goers in mind. This lightweight, oil-free, and fast-absorbing spray is great for active families, and it’s perfect for easy application in sandy areas. It scored Excellent overall, with a UVA protection of “Very Good”.


Honorable Mention:

No-Ad Sun Care

no-ad suncare sunscreen at walmart hip2save

Walmart: $8.97

Hip2Save readers LOVE the SPF 30 and the SPF 60 variations of No-Ad Sun Care because of it’s UVA/UVB protection and no-residue formula. This sunscreen wasn’t on Consumer Reports’ most recent sunscreen recommendations list but they’ve given it great reviews in the past. It’s worth giving a shot based on all of the positive reviews on Facebook!

“I love the sunscreen called “NO-AD” it works great, rubs in easily and it’s very budget friendly.” – Shannon

“The no-ad stuff is actually really good and very reasonable.” – Tonya

“No-ad… cheap but it works.” – Tara


Curious about Consumer Reports’ top sunscreen recommendation?

la roche posay anthelios 60 sunscreen hip2save

It’s La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk. And while it comes in at a whopping $36 for a 5 oz bottle, it’s rated 100/100 by the CR research team. It’s dermatologist tested, allergy tested, paraben-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and contains antioxidants to protect skin from free radicals. Oh, and did we mention it has superior UV protection? The only thing this lotion CAN’T do is shake the beach sand from your towel.

Note that these prices may vary by location. They are meant to be used just as a base comparison price.


Among the 9 top rated sunscreens to buy under $9 is Walmart's banana boat brand hip2save

What’s your favorite sunscreen?

Let me know in the comments!


Written by Emily for Hip2Save. Emily lives in Buffalo, NY where she spends her time drinking lots of coffee, scouring the internet for deals, and tackling DIY projects. She’s a big believer of self-care and living the fullest life possible, all while saving money of course.

Join The Discussion

Comments 79

  1. Laura L

    Have bought coppertone water babies since my daughter was a baby she will only use that sunscreen because it reminds her of summer

    • Libby

      Love water babies! My youngest is 13 and I still buy it, love the scent, no burns, and reminds me of when they were little!

      • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        Glad to hear it works well for your family, Libby!

  2. Beverly

    Unfortunately all these sunscreens are chemical based and the active ingredients are endocrine disrupters, which basically means these chemicals are are acting like hormones when they get into your system. Since your skin is your biggest organ, you really need to protect yourself and your kids from this. Look for sunscreens with mineral based active ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, because they don’t get absorbed thru your skin.

    • Shari

      You sound very knowledgeable, but what can we all look for???

      • Shari

        Forgot to say share which sunscreen products you have seen with these ingredients….thanks

    • Julie

      Do you have any recommendations in mind?

      • Jennifer Welton

        We use babyganics and we love it! It’s messy and doesn’t soak in but it does the job on my fair skinned sun loving kids.

      • Alex

        Stay away from oxybenzone. It’s a known endocrine disrupter. If you can find it, mexoryl is a great ingredient but hard to find in the US.

        • Heather Condon

          I wondered if anyone would mention Mexoryl. I actually have a sun allergy, and at both my first and second opinion for this condition I was recommend a Mexoryl based sunscreen. It’s just a simple google to find the best price shipped from Canada. I don’t understand the issue with having it available here, but it’s been a literal skin saver for me!

      • Jaci

        We LOVE TruKid Everyday sunscreen. It is rated well by the EWG, is not chemical based, smells amazing, rubs in well, and works great. My kids have never gotten burnt using this and I’m not awesome about reapplying. I have tried several others (ThinkSport, Blue Lizard, etc) and some of those I can’t scrub off in the shower. They leave a film. TruKid does not do this so it is our winner!

        • Jaci

          I don’t use that on my face though. For my face I love Elta MD. It’s pricey but lasts a long time.

    • Denise

      I second Beverly’s message and would like to add, you should never use spray sunscreen. Regardless of how well it may or may not protect your skin, that stuff gets into your lungs. Not good!

      • Shari

        I SO AGREE!!

      • holly

        Didn’t know this. Thanks for taking time to post!

    • MRidinger

      I was told this same thing by our pediatrician. The only one I’ve found is Banana Boat Kids lotion. It’s the yellow bottle.

      • Ann

        I am hoping that banana boat kids is a good one. 50 is the only one we use because it does not have oxybenzone in it. That is the ingredient that burns our eyes so we stay away from it.

    • Lo

      Blue lizard sunscreen
      My sil uses it and she’s always scanning items in an app to see how cancerous it is.

      • Sheila

        We use blue lizard as well and really like how it works. I’ve been through many sunscreens and found blue lizard to be the best.

        Frankly I’m shocked that so many recommended sunscreens are spray. Those are never good. And that so many are chemical based. This is really a deceiving post.

    • riss

      Chemical sunscreens make me break out. So I use mineral sunscreen- Aveeno baby for my face and neck. For my arms and legs, Banana boat kids, (cheaper) also mineral-based.

      • vanessa

        I always check ewg for skin products (well many products). Love that site

    • Brie

      Blue lizard is supposed to the best I believe. We use babyganics which isn’t terrible either 🙂

    • arnold semmons

      I agree with this. I recommend Coppertone for Sensitive Skin SPF 50. You can find it in big box stores & the pharmacy chains. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t have oxybenzone (which by the way, causes some fabrics to yellow). It is 14.5% zinc oxide which is good for sensitive skin. These products with zinc or titanium oxide will cause your skin to look white because they work by reflecting the sun’s rays, but isn’t your health worth it? No fragrance either. My eczema would act up with other types of sunscreens but I don’t have problems with this one.

    • Foggogs

      I agree, I use the skin deep database to choose a more natural sunscreen. I really like Badger brand for the body and raw elements tinted sticks for the face. I also have some beauty counter but it is more expensive.

    • Mary

      Ewg.org puts a report out each spring. I haven’t looked for it yet this year. I also sell pure haven products which rate positively. Purehaven.com/mary to shop. We only offer one sunscreen.

    • Sue

      Don’t you need to watch that some of the minerals might be too small and get absorbed? I was told that you want large mineral molecules. I also heard that the good stuff is the stuff that turns your skin white. I believe that I read that eating leafy green veggies can help with sun exposure?

    • Kathleen Ganiel

      I agree. You must have a sunscreen with zinc at the top of ingredients. It’s the best protection and zinc is natural without artificial chemicals.

  3. Ellen

    With 6-12” of snow in the forecast today I can’t even think about sunscreen !

    • danielle

      I feel ya, sister!

      • Markiesuv

        Kiddos have endocrine issues so first choice is homemade. 2nd is Badger. 3rd is c Green Goddess

        • Lo

          Can you share your recipe or a link? Thanks

        • Cherie

          I’d LOVE a recipe!

  4. Yar

    We have used equate for many years now and we will continue using it. My poor family skin burns easily, equate really protects their skin. Texas summers are brutal, but equate protects my husband skin really good. I can beat the price either.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s great, Yar! I love when the inexpensive options end up having awesome quality!

    • Rochelle

      Same here. We live in Florida, and I’ll risk “endocrine disrupters” (which looks to be based on some pretty sketchy science, to say the least 🙄) to avoid skin cancer. Also, mineral sunscreens simply have nowhere near the waterproofing that chemical sunscreens have – I’ll use mineral based when snorkeling reefs to be kind to the immediate environment, but I’ve ended up crispier than when using Equate or some other chemical based sunscreen when swimming in my pool or at the beach.

  5. Aleshia Jones

    The aveeno sunblock has bad reviews. I actually researched it all today. I have been searching for a sunblock just for my face. Something that soaks in and matte’s. Everything I try is greasy, oily, shiney, sits on top of the skin, not to mention clogs the pores. I normally use coppertone for my body, but not my face. I researched a lot and I came to 2 from Target. I am sure there are others, but I was researching while I was at Target. Sun bum face 50 spf which i believe is under 12$ (amazing reviews and supposedly all natural) and the last one you posted, LaRoche posay. They have several different ones for your face and some had negative reviews and some had nothing but positive. I decided to go with the oil free 19.99 bottle. It is small, but it will only be used for my face. Most people raved about how matte it is, how it doesn’t grease up. I needed something like this for every day use under make up. Not just for beach or lake days. LaRoche has a large bottle that is 30, but it has a small bottle for 20. It also has different versions like oil free, mineral zinc, and more. I do not mind the 20$ price tag if I can wear it without looking like my face is melting off!

    • Aleshia Jones

      I encourage you to do a high end one oneday from ultra, Sephora, and natural grocery stores that carry all natural chemical free brands. Some of these are good for basic use on the body, but I wouldn’t use any of these on my face. I absolutely hate buying sunblock because I still have yet to find something that doesn’t break me up or grease me out. Hopefully LaRoche will work!

      • ana

        try shiseido it’s spendy but it’s really good.

    • Gisette

      Agree on the Aveeno. My whole family burned using it. 👎🏻

      • Aleshia Jones

        I used it a few years ago in San Antonio. I reapplied it on myself and 3 small children every single hour. We burned so bad we blistered. I will never use their products again.

  6. liz

    Blue lizard is best and its non chemical blockers. Im not sure what the test standards were for this but most of these dont hold up well in water or break down quickly in the son. Badger is also good. Safe Harbor. Alba botanica nonchemical works well too. Or hoarde the real stuff when you are in the EU.

  7. Trish

    Love blue lizard!! It’s really great!
    Our dermatologist recommends it. 😎

  8. Georgiana

    What’s a good facial sunscreen for oily skin??

    • Aleshia Jones

      I haven’t tried it yet but the le Roche posay oil free 60 spf seems to have pretty amazing reviews. That is what I am going to try. Says it goes on matte. 19.99 at target. Be wary of amazon….

  9. Rockfort

    I used alba botanical sunscreen from Costco, Amazon ..Whole Foods very good reviews .. very nice product line !

  10. Olesia

    Neutrogena spray – is my favourite sunscreen for me and for my kid (their kids version). We have used it for 2 years living in Florida sunshine burn state and I highly reccomend it. Its soft, oil-free, weightless and not sticky with pleasant aroma.

  11. Adriaddiemom

    Blue Lizard is our favorite!

  12. Nicole

    I work for a group of Dermatologists and Dermatopathologists and they all highly recommend Elta MD sunscreen. It’s a little pricey but definitely worth it!

    • Mhambrick25

      I love Elta MD sunscreens! My fav is the tinted one for my face, just enough tint that I can skip foundation.

    • Stephanie P

      Where do you find is the best place to buy Ella MD?

  13. Ivy’s mom

    Supergoop mineral sunscreen can’t be beat .

  14. nin

    I started making my own when my kids were under 6 months and couldn’t wear sunscreen but we were out in the sun.
    There are many recipes online but the EASIEST thing to do is to take whatever moisturizer you are comfortable using and mixing it with powdered zinc oxide. Livestrong has this recipe on their website and will tell you what zinc to buy. I used this for 4 years before starting to make my own with a few more ingredients (beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil)

    This has saved us so much money and I also feel so much better about what I am putting on their skin.

    The moisturizer and zinc oxide recipe does leave a white residue on their skin but they don’t mind and then I know exactly where I have put it. They are older now and I really want my husband to use the natural sunscreen as well so experimented with the more ingredient one that still uses zinc as the active ingredient but doesn’t leave the white residue

  15. Jamie

    On top of the amazing suggestions above to read ingredients and check ewg, invest in long sleeve rash guards and sun hats. This eliminates burns, reapplication of sun screen, and we don’t use much to begin with (feet, lower legs, back of hands and neck, sometimes face). A more expensive bottle of “good” sunscreen lasts a long time!

    • mary

      Exactly what I was thinking! The chlorine will wear out the rash guard each year, but a sun hat will last years!

  16. Kathryn

    We love ThinkBaby. Agree with others-check ewg.com for the safety of your sunscreen

  17. I❤Cats

    My favorite brand is Shiseido – it ain’t cheap, but a little goes a loooong way. It protects and doesn’t sting my extremely sensitive skin. I tried MANY for ‘sensitive face’ prior to researching & discovering this one. You can request samples to try out at Sephora. I even wear it under my makeup, because I easily get sunspots.

    • ana

      extremely good stuff. I heard that the us ski team uses it. I use it and I can go for a run and then shower and it is still somewhat white on my arms the following day. It stays on! and it smells soooo good!

  18. Jess

    I really enjoy my Korean sunscreens. My current favorite is Innisfree sun milk spf50+ with pa 4+,

  19. Aly

    I second ewg.org, I think I posted a link on a previous post regarding sunscreens and Customer Reviews, but for some reason my comment was deleted. Also, many of the sunscreens on the market are not safe for beach use in Hawaii (or any tropical beach), as oxybenzone distrupt the coral reefs. Do some research, and be willing to splurge a bit on coral-friendly screening on if you go on vacation to a tropical beach.

  20. SM

    Are there any zinc sunscreens that don’t make your skin white? Our specialist doctor recommends using it but I hate having white everywhere.

  21. Gigi

    A lot of dermatologists recommend Elta but is that because they sell it in their offices? What about Australian Gold tinted for face? I saw a youtuber recommend it but haven’t tried it.

  22. *Angela-Miles*

    I use Ocean Potion on my face, it comes in a small round tube and is actually says Face on it. One of the few sunscreens I’ve found that hasn’t caused my face to breakout or anything. So I will continue to use it. (Sidenote, the green op smells Amazing 🙂 )

  23. 50ShadesofLipstick

    Chemical sunscreens aren’t questionable b/c they contain chemicals…literally everything is made up of chemicals, many of which protect our health or keep us safe (sunscreen being one of them). “Natural” is a meaningless term used to market products and not an indication that something is harmless or beneficial (cyanide, anyone?). That being said, chemical sunscreens are notorious for not being photostable, i.e. they break down when exposed to the sun, which renders them ineffective. Physical (mineral-based) sunscreens are generally very photostable though, so your best bet is to stick w/ those (look for zinc oxide/titanium oxide as the primary ingredients).

    Please do the research yourself, but rely on evidence-based scientific studies and not fear-mongering sources like EWG or wellness mama blogs that advise you to make homemade sunscreen. There is no way to tell what the SPF is for DIY sunscreen, so if you’re worried about “toxic chemicals” then use a physical sunscreen and you’ll know exactly what kind of protection you are getting. Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 is cosmetically elegant on the face and does not leave a white tint (available at Dermstore and Amazon). Blue Lizard is great for the body, where a white tint wouldn’t be as noticeable or bothersome.

    Sunscreen should be re-applied every 2 hours regardless and after you have been in the water- no matter what kind you use. And using protective hats and clothing is obviously important, especially for those w/ pale skin that burn very easily. It’s not just skin cancer and sunburn that you want to avoid, but photoaging and hyperpigmentation that comes from sun exposure.

    • Sasha

      It’s good to look at alternatives, but when you are exposed to the sun, please protect yourself! We wear Neutrogena 100 spray ONLY & 60 sun stick for the face. The key is to REAPPLY! Invest in sunscreen long sleeve shirts & wear wide brim hats (we’ve got neck protection too) & gloves when driving.

      • 50ShadesofLipstick

        Yes, that’s what I said.

  24. 50ShadesofLipstick

    The Shiseido and La Roche Posay sunscreens have a lot of alcohol in them, which can irritate or dry the skin out so you have to decide if that is something that you want in a sun protection product. Also many reviewers found that it made their skin oily, so another thing to keep in mind.

    • Meh

      La Roche seems to work well. However, I used it on my face and it burned my eyes! So, I’d say it’s not sweatproof and definitely contains something that stings!

      • 50ShadesofLipstick

        Yeah….that’s the alcohol, as I mentioned.

  25. ClairesMom

    We use Coppertone Oil Free, which doesn’t make my daughter’s eczema break out. Is this chemical or mineral based?

  26. Michelle

    Blue Lizard is the best! It’s pricey…around $25 for 8oz bottle, so I invested in the gallon size which cost $99. It’s lasted forever and I live in Florida and have a pool!

  27. Jen

    Can anyone recommend a good SPRAY sunscreen without Homoslate or Oxybenzone?

  28. Lovin Him

    Ditto what many said about putting the chemicals on your skin where they’re absorbed into your bloodstream and upset your endocrine system. I love Shield from JadeBloom

    https://jadebloom.com/all-natural-shield-sunscreen-blend.html

    Shield
    All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30+
    Formulated with Zinc Oxide & 100% Pure Essential Oils of Myrrh, Lavender, and Eucalyptus
    Plant Based – Paraben Free – Gluten Free – SLS Free
    ** For darker skin types choose our new tinted version with all-natural bronze mica.

    100% All Natural & It Works!

    Blocks harmful UVA & UVB rays with an SPF of 30+
    Water resistant & easy to apply
    Nourishes & moisturizes — your skin will thank you
    Made from natural ingredients that don’t compromise quality

  29. Denise

    I put Banana Boat Dry Balance 50+ in the blue bottle to exposed areas to wear during the daytime. It’s matte and has a subtle scent. Doesn’t leave you greasy or oily.
    For the beach my favorite is Banana Boat Sun Comfort 50+ in the yellow bottle. It smells sooo good! The sand doesn’t stick, it brushes off well. It’s not too greasy and oily either like other sunscreens. My husband likes to wear the Banana Boat Sport in the orange bottle. They are all water resistant. I highly recommend Banana Boat!

  30. scooge25

    My dermatologist said not to use anything less than 70 in your face and recommended Neutogena. Also, my flex spending account reimburses for sunscreens over 50, so maybe others do as well. Worth looking into.

  31. Denise

    This was meant for the “packing tips” section. Not for here! Oops! You can delete. Lol

  32. Mary

    As a person with very sensitive skin, I would say I have never had a problem with Neotrogena’s and Coopertone’s sport version of sunscreen. Those are the only brands I use. This past summer I tried Neutrogena’s Beach Defense and now it is my favorite.

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