But Seriously, Some of the Best Face Sunscreens Can Be Found at the Drugstore
When it comes to sunscreen, there are two universal truths. The first is that it's intrinsic to any skincare routine. (Please, please, please practice safe sun, people!) The second is that you don't have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to get a quality formula. After all, effective doesn't mean expensive.
That goes for face sunscreen too. Just because it comes from the drugstore doesn't mean it will clog your pores, leave a white cast on your complexion, or do any of the other dreaded things we often associate with bad sunscreen. In fact, for some drugstore sunscreen formulas, quite the opposite is true. There are sheer formulas, noncomedogenic formulas, two-in-one moisturizing formulas, and more. You just have to know which ones rise above the rest, and that's exactly what I'm here for. Keep scrolling to see the 15 best drugstore face sunscreens, according to editors and reviews.
When it comes to sunscreen, Who What Wear Beauty Director Erin Jahns opts for a drugstore classic: Neutrogena. "I love Neutrogena in general," she says. "Since I'm breakout prone, I need something oil-free and light to keep me congestion-free."
This sunscreen-primer hybrid is so worth the money. It's lightweight, offers SPF 30, has a sheer peach tint to avoid leaving a white cast, and treats the skin to hydrating ingredients like aloe, hyaluronic acid, and squalane.
Former Who What Wear beauty editor Courtney Higgs recommends this sunscreen, which is lauded for being nongreasy, demi-matte, and water-resistant. The real draw, though, has to be its completely sheer formula. The reviews say it all. "A matte, non-cast sunscreen! Enough said," one reviewer writes.
Another Neutrogena pick. This one is a mineral formula that goes on smooth, feels lightweight, and doesn't leave a slick oily residue like some other face sunscreens do. That's impressive, especially considering it is a 100% zinc oxide formula.
Here it is—one of my all-time favorite drugstore sunscreens. Sure, it's more expensive than others, but it's still technically a drugstore sunscreen if it's sold at Target, right? Plus, you get a lot of bang for your buck. You can use it on the face and body, and a little goes a long way, so it lasts, even with regular application. It's perfect for everyday use, but I make a point to keep it in my beach bag since it keeps me from getting burned no matter how long I stay out in the sun.
Fun fact: This is actually a sunscreen formulated for babies. But with a fragrance-free SPF 50 formula, it also protects grown-up skin from the sun. I use this whenever I want a no-makeup glow since it has a dewy finish. (Oily skin types, beware.)
This brand has been on my radar for some time, but I wasn't a loyal customer until I tried this unique sunscreen-serum hybrid. It's super silky and lightweight. Plus, it sinks into my skin like a serum should, yet it offers the sun protection I need. Ingredients like spinach, green tea, and hyaluronic acid keep my skin plump and hydrated.
I'm also a big fan of this sunscreen stick, which I pack in my bag on busy summer days. (Seriously though, reapplication is a breeze.) Aside from its convenient packaging, I like that it's formulated with antioxidant-rich red raspberry-seed oil, buriti oil, meadowfoam-seed oil, and prickly pear extract to fight damaging free radicals.
Okay, although this is technically a face moisturizer, it's worth noting because it includes SPF 30 and is an Amazon best seller (so you know it's good). The fragrance-free formula includes hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides, so it's as moisturizing as it is protective.
If you have only one criterion for your face sunscreen, and it is that it "has to be lightweight," then this is the one for you. Its milky texture melts into the skin while vitamin E helps protects against free radicals and moisturizing agents keep dryness at bay.
A no-frills face sunscreen. This oil-free, fragrance-free formula is fairly lightweight. I love that it doesn't slide or pill under my foundation, which means I can apply it daily without fear of a makeup meltdown.
I know what you're thinking: Didn't you already include a La Roche-Posay product? I did, but to my credit, this sunscreen-serum hybrid is too good not to be included. Like the previous one, this is expensive for a drugstore sunscreen, but I justify it because it's a two-in-one product. It's one part sunscreen (SPF 50, to be exact) and one part anti-aging serum. It uses vitamins C and E to help defend against free radicals.
This sunscreen serum was quite literally made for breakout-prone skin, meaning if you struggle with clogged pores, this one won't make them worse. It's a chemical-mineral hybrid that melts into the skin like a serum and leaves behind a dewy finish.
Offering SPF 50, this sunscreen will surely protect the skin from UV rays. However, what really makes this special is the combination of five potent antioxidants, including vitamin E and C. There's even hyaluronic acid to keep skin looking plump and smooth.
5 Sunscreens Worth Spending a Few Extra Dollars on
This SPF is expensive. But if you like its silky texture and the addition of hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, it might be worth it.
We would trust SkinCeuticals with anything, including sun protection.
This oil-free formula is so good.
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.
Next, These Are the Best Body Sunscreens Money Can Buy