The American Academy of Dermatology suggests applying the amount equivalent to one shot glass (1 oz.) to exposed skin every day. Thatâ€™s a lot of sunscreen, and you can end up spending a hefty chunk of change if youâ€™re using high-end brands.
If youâ€™re living on a budget then buying a 3 oz tube of $40 Skinceuticals sunscreen may not be a cost effective way to get your sun protection. So whatâ€™s a girl to do? Hit the drug store, of course!
Iâ€™ve tried many drug store sunscreens and found three that work well: Oil of Olay Complete for Sensitive Skin, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock and Alba Botanica Sea Moss Moisturizer. Hereâ€™s the skinny on each of these fab sun blockers.
Oil of Olay Complete for Sensitive Skin SPF 15
Price: $8.99 for 6 fl oz.
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A-
A dermatologist recommended this sunscreen to me and Iâ€™ve been using it for over ten years.
Pros: Subtle light scent, sinks into your skin easily (but youâ€™ll still want to let it sit for about 10 minutes before putting on your makeup), provides great every day skin protection.
Cons: When I tan and get darker, I notice that this lotion casts a slight white sheen on my skin. During the coldest and windiest winter days it doesnâ€™t provide enough moisture. I canâ€™t wear it when I work out, because when sweat runs down my face this lotion goes into my eyes and makes them hurt. Ouch!
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 30
Price: $9.00 for 3 fl oz.
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A
I donâ€™t like having a sticky neck, so I use this sunblock on my neck, shoulders and arms.
Pros: Light scent, leaves your skin feeling dry, absorbs easily. This has excellent sun protection. I went through two bottles of this a week before before my wedding day last July (I didnâ€™t want to be too tan for the pictures) and I didnâ€™t get too dark, even after days of surfing and swimming. I also always wear it when I run, bike or hike outside because doesnâ€™t hurt when it runs into my yes.
Cons: Not very moisturizing, and can leave a slight greasy (yet not sticky) film on your skin after you apply it.
Alba Botanica Sea Moss Moisturizer SPF 15
Price: $14.99 for 2 fl oz
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B
This sunscreen has a strong smell â€“ youâ€™ll either love it or hate it. I like it, and I think the bottle is cute, too.
Pros: Smells good, non-greasy, very moisturizing.
Cons: Ample sun protection, but not as effective as Oil of Olay and Neutrogena sunscreens.
When youâ€™re searching for your drug store sunscreens, look for ingredients which provide broad-spectrum protection like benzophenones (oxybenzone), cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate), sulisobenzone, salicylates, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and avobenzone (Parsol 1789.)
And always remember to apply your sunscreens 15-30 minutes BEFORE going outdoors.
I go through sunscreen quickly because I slather a lot of it on – while Iâ€™m rubbing what seems like a ridiculous amount on I just think of all the wrinkles Iâ€™m preventing. Iâ€™ve been using sunscreen since my teens and Iâ€™m starting to now really appreciate what it can do for your skin. Iâ€™m 31 and I still get carded. =)