The Best Performing Sunscreen Brands For Summer Start UNDER $6!

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Get the best sunscreen your money can buy!

hand holding trader joes sunscreen above blue mat and beach bag

These sunscreen brands won’t burn your summer budget. ☀️

You want quality sunscreen, but don’t want to spend a fortune on something that doesn’t end up working – we hear ya! We’ve got you covered with the top performing sunscreens to buy (that are also affordable!), and ones to absolutely stay away from.

Here are the top sunscreens to buy – starting at just $5!

  1. Best sunscreen for faceElta MD Clear Broad-Spectrum
  2. Best mineral sunscreenLa Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra-Light Fluid Broad Spectrum
  3. Best tinted sunscreenBareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer
  4. Best sunscreen for kidsPipette Mineral Sunscreen
  5. Best sunscreen for sensitive skin – CeraVe Hydrating Sheer Sunscreen
  6. Best body sunscreenEquate Sport Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
  7. Best spray sunscreen – Trader Joes spray sunscreen
  8. Best sunscreen for acne-prone skin – Neutrogena Clear Face sunscreen
  9. Best Korean sunscreen – CosRx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream
  10. Best sunscreen for oily skin – Eucerin Oil Control sunscreen
  11. Best reef-safe sunscreen – Blue Lizard MIneral sunscreen

woman wearing pink skirt playing with pool float and two kids at pool

What is the BEST sunscreen?

Not all sunscreen is created equal. The EWG reports that only 1 in 4 products meets their strict sunscreen standards, so you may consider being a little bit more picky about yours.

According to the National Foundation for Cancer Research, a quality sunscreen should achieve the following:

  • Offer broad-spectrum protection. The sun contains both UVA and UVB rays and both can cause skin damage. A broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both.
  • Contain at least SPF 30 – this amount will block up to 97% of the sun’s rays.
  • Should NOT be past their expiration date. Sunscreen typically retains its original strength for up to 3 years.
  • Consider chemical vs. mineral sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens are typically more lightweight, but absorb the sun’s rays and change their chemical structure to decrease sun damage. Mineral sunscreens have a thicker texture, but reflect the sun rays, so they provide a physical separation between your skin and the sun.

Keep in mind that the only sun protectant you need is the one that works best for you!

hand putting sunscreen on girls face

Important reminder:

Always use your sunscreens as directed to help prevent premature skin aging and risk of skin cancers. According to, you should apply sunscreen every day, apply 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every 2 hours.

Hip Tip: SPF Sunscreen is eligible for reimbursement with FSA, HSA, and HRA accounts. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF15+ protection (and above) is FSA and HSA eligible! And to make shopping for these products even easier, Amazon now has an FSA & HSA Store!

Without further ado, choose the sunscreen that works for you!

1. Elta MD Clear Broad-Spectrum Facial Sunscreen is packed with skin-loving ingredients. 

hand wearing mitten holding up sunscreen to sky

Elta MD UV Daily Face Sunscreen w/ Zinc Oxide SPF 40 Facial Sunscreen $36
Opt to Subscribe & Save (5-15% off + free shipping for Prime members)
Final cost $34.20 shipped (5% off)  OR $30.60 shipped (15% off)!

This facial sunscreen is fragrance-free, paraben-free, and noncomedogenic so it won’t clog your pores! Plus, it’s infused with hyaluronic acid and zinc oxide that hydrate your skin while protecting it from both UVA and UVB rays. It rubs in easily and leaves no white cast so it can easily be worn under makeup too!

And, bonus, this size is TSA-approved so you can throw it in your travel bag as-is!

Looking for a less-expensive option? Try Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Moisturizer!

cetaphil facial sunscreen

Cetaphil Daily Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer w/ SPF 35 $11.66 (regularly $15.99)
Opt to Subscribe & Save (5-15% off + free shipping for Prime members)
Final cost $11.08 shipped (5% off) OR $9.92 shipped (15% off)!

2. La Roche-Posay Anthelios tops everyone’s lists!

One of the most well-known and top-performing sunscreens, La Roche Posay boasts a 100% mineral filter that’s non-greasy and leaves no white cast, plus it leaves a soft finish on the skin and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

3.  This 3-in-1 bareMinerals tinted moisturizer does more for your skin than just protect from the sun. 

3 sunscreen tubes in water reflection

Made with ginger, hyaluronic acid, and squalene, this clean, vegan formula boosts hydration all day long and gives a healthy-looking glow, all while protecting your skin with SPF 30! It feels light and refreshing, plus it’s non-comedogenic so it’s easy to wear alone or under your favorite foundation.

4. Pipette sunscreen is reef-friendly, baby-friendly, and EFFECTIVE – just ask our team members! 

girl holding a tube of scunscreen

Pipette MIneral Sunscreen this sunscreen is SO GOOD it’s sold out on both Pipette & Amazon!

You may be able to grab a travel-sze for just $4 on when you opt for pickup!

This team-favorite broad-spectrum sunscreen is also fragrance-free and made with REAL ingredients like wild gooseberry extract, so you can feel good about using it around the kids.

Looking for sunscreen for baby? This post has our top picks for babies and kids!

5. This CeraVe sunscreen is so sheer it won’t irritate sensitive skin.

sunscreen bottle in pool floatie

CeraVe Hydrating Sheer Mineral Sunscreen for Face & Body SPF 30 $13.97 (regularly $17.99)
Opt to Subscribe & Save (5-15% off + free shipping for Prime members)
Final cost $13.27 shipped (5% off) OR $11.88 shipped (15% off)!

If you’re avoiding sunscreen because it does more pain than good, try this CeraVe sunscreen tested by dermatologists and ophthalmologists to ensure it’s suitable for all skin types! It’s both fragrance-free and paraben-free so there’s nothing to irritate your skin on the surface, plus it’s non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores either.

On top of that, it’s packed with ceramides that most sunscreens don’t offer, to help support your skin’s natural barrier.

6. We can’t believe how good this generic brand Equate Sport Sunscreen is!

equate sport spf 50 sunscreen at walmart hip2save

This cream formula is easy to apply and is sweat and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. It also offers broad-spectrum protection from both UVA/ UVB rays!

And it gets excellent reviews too…

at all, it spreads easily after applying it. The tube is a nice size, the fact that it is SPF 100 is my favorite part because it protects my skin better against the sun and heat and basically every kind of weather. The tube is easy to squeeze and a good amount of sunscreen lotion comes out of the tube once squeezed. Nice colors on the tube, directions on how to use the lotion on the back of the tube.

7. Trader Joes spray sunscreen is so popular, you can find it on Amazon!

Trader Joe’s Nourish Spray Braod Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 2-Pack
Only $27.85 shipped – just $13.92 each!

OR you may be able to find it in-store at your local Trader Joe’s for as low as $5.99 per can! 😱

As if we could love Trader Joe’s even more. 😍 Their sunscreen provides UVA & UVB protection, contains skin-nourishing ingredients like aloe, vitamin E, and coconut oil, and it’s water-resistant!

8. Don’t let breakouts stop you from the proper sun protection!

sunscreen on towel next to notebook and hat

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen SPF 30 $9.92
Opt to Subscribe & Save (5-15% off + free shipping for Prime members)
Clip the 20% off your first S&S order digital coupon
Final cost $7.44 shipped (5% off) OR $6.45 shipped (15% off)!

What’s the secret? This sunscreen contains NO oxybenzone (the stuff that usually aggravates breakouts). Instead, it is stabilized helioplex technology as well as broad spectrum SPF 30 to protect against harmful UVA/ UVB rays. It is also non-comedogenic and has a water-light texture with a weightless matte finish so you barely know it’s there… and neither will your acne 🤫

9. It’s no surprise team-favorite brand CosRx tops our list! 

hand holding sunscreen tube outside

CosRx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF 50
Only $16 (regularly $18)!

This sun cream crosses off both sun protection and hydration from your list! It boasts powerful aloe that maintains optimal moisture balance in your skin plus, it’s suitable for all skin types too. This formula absorbs quickly and is lightweight without a heavy or greasy residue.

There may not be many reviews on Amazon, but this sun cream has. a 4.7-star rating overall from 4,240 reviews!

screenshot of cosrx review and rating

10. Oily skin + sun don’t mix! 👎🏼 Use this oil-control sunscreen instead!

hand holding box of unopened sunscreen

Eucerin Oil Control SPF 50 Face Sunscreen Lotion $14.49
Opt to Subscribe & Save (up to 10% + free shipping for Prime members)
Clip the 20% off your first S&S order digital coupon
Final cost $11.59 shipped OR $10.15 shipped (10% off)!

*Note that unlike typical Subscribe & Save orders, no additional discount will be given unless you have five or more subscriptions. However, you will still receive free shipping!

Made with FIVE oil-absorbing superheroes this sunscreen is lightweight and provides an immediate, long-lasting matte finish. Plus, it is dermatologist-developed and non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores!

11. Blue Lizard sunscreen is good for the planet and always tops our list! 

Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion 50+SPF 5oz

This effective formula is free of parabens, fragrances, and active chemical ingredients. Instead, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide work together to protect you from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

This mineral sunscreen is safe to use when near reefs and stays water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Even sweeter, it comes with smart technology that makes the cap turn blue when you’re in the presence of harmful sun rays. 💙

Now here are a few sunscreens to avoid:

1. Banana Boat Kids Sport Sunscreen SPF 50

banana boat kids sunscreen lotion in spf 50

Don’t let the advertised “SPF 50+” fool you. This children’s lotion has been known to lack in actual sun protection even with its 50+ claim. It can also leave a white cast and film on the skin.

2.  Babyganics Mineral Based Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

babyganics baby sunscreen lotion

Even with some positive reviews on, this sunscreen formulated for babies fell wildly short of the 50 SPF claim as it once tested under SPF 10! It was also reported to have below-average protection against UVA rays and cast a white, greasy film on the skin. No, thank you!

What’s your favorite sunscreen brand to use? We love learning about new ones!

Pack these clever beach hacks along with your sunscreen!

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About the writer:

Chelsey is a writer & photographer with both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from Arizona State University. She holds 3+ years blogging experience not only for Hip2Save, but various other publications in the health, lifestyle, and education field.

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Comments 2

  1. orie4reel

    THANK YOU for Always posting these❣️❣️❣️🤗

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re SO very welcome! Glad this is helpful! 💖

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