The Best (& Worst!) Performing Sunscreens Under $9
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Sun protection doesn’t have to burn your summer fun budget. ☀️
You want a quality sunscreen, but don’t want to spend a fortune on skin protection – we hear ya! Thanks to Consumer Reports, we’ve got you covered with the best sunscreens to buy (that are also affordable!), and ones to absolutely stay away from.
Always use your sunscreens as directed to help prevent premature skin aging and risk of skin cancers. It’s also important to check the expiration date before using it. According to SkinCancer.org, 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!
Best sunscreens under $9!
- Buy it at 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! 😱 All the more reason to love Trader Joe’s!
- Buy it on Amazon | $7.97
This great aerosol option offers excellent UVA and UVB protection. Its formula leaves minimal 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. 🏝
Hip Tip: The packaging has recently been updated to a light blue bottle, so keep an eye out for the branding change when shopping for this sunscreen.
- Buy it on Amazon | $7.97
This lotion slathers on the protection with excellent protection performance along with being water-resistant. Testers also reported this sunscreen has a barely noticeable aroma.
“We really like the Coppertone sunscreen. Our entire family is Casper-white redheads and we need superior protection and this stuff works!” – Stacy, Hip2Save reader
- Buy it at Walmart | $6.98
Yep, that’s a generic brand ranking near the top of this list. Walmart’s Equate brand lotion offers excellent UVA/UVB protection sunscreen performing up to its 50 SPF claim. The scent is a classic, beachy fragrance of floral and citrus.
Hip Tip: Hoping to make it to the beach once the stay at home orders are lifted? You have to see these genius beach hacks we shared!
- Buy it at Target | $7.69
This tiny stick scores “Very Good” for UVA and UVB protection. The only downfall: the Consumer Reports panel did mention a very slight plastic aroma (which can occur with the fragrance-free product), and it leaves behind a slightly waxy film.
- Buy it at Walmart – $6.98 (2-ct pack)
Equate is not a force to be reckoned with (this is the SECOND time they’ve made the list)! This spray version of their sunscreen receives its high rank from solid UVA/UVB protection. It also has a pleasant, beachy aroma and a wide spray application (helpful with antsy kids running for the sun and surf).
“I was so tired of paying for pricey sunscreen and decided to try the Equate Sport spray. Now it’s the only kind of spray we ever use! It works great for our whole family and we hardly ever have issues with sunburn when we use it correctly. Plus, you can’t beat the price! Full disclosure – we don’t use this on our faces. For that, we use Neutrogena Sensitive Skin sunscreen SPF 60+.” – Holly, Hip2Save reader
- Buy it on Amazon | $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”.
Worst sunscreens tested by Consumer Reports!
Don’t let the advertised “SPF 50+” fool you. This children’s sunscreen lotion ranked “Poor” in sun protection and deviated more than 50% from its 50+ claim. Testers also found it left a white cast and film on the skin.
This is probably the most shocking of them all! With positive reviews on Walmart.com, this sunscreen formulated for babies fell wildly short of the 50 SPF claim – it 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!
Consumer Reports’ top sunscreen recommendation:
- Buy it at Walmart | $34.95
If the budget-friendly sunscreens we already shared don’t quite meet the criteria you’re looking for, this one’s rated the best of them all! Although, your wallet will surely pay for it…
The La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk rings in at over 30 bucks for a 5 oz. bottle, however, it’s rated highest by the Consumer Reports 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.
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