The 9 Best Drugstore Sunscreens for Face and Body, Tested by Editors


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There’s one beauty product that’s a non-negotiable for any skin care routine, no matter the season: sunscreen. While luxury brands formulate rich creams and sensorial sprays, the drugstore aisles are home to equally amazing SPFs for under $20 — meaning you can reapply face sunscreen liberally without worrying about your wallet. Our editors test sunscreens 365 days a year, and this guide to the best drugstore sunscreens spotlights our favorite formulas for every skin type under the sun.

Rewind a couple decades ago, and the drugstore shelves were full of tropical-scented creams from Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat. Now a quick trip to CVS or Walgreens paints a different picture: On top of popular SPF brands like Neutrogena and Cerave, the drugstore is teeming with buzzy brands like Black Girl Sunscreen and E.l.f. Cosmetics. Beyond a mix of brands that cater to different skin tones and preferences for mineral versus chemical formulations, the best drugstore sunscreens also run the gamut from tinted SPFs to translucent gels that mimic a great makeup primer. Part of this is thanks to a craving for great affordable SPFs (on TikTok, the term has over 40 million views), while retailers like Target have teamed up with Ulta to expand the brands offered in store and online.

To create this list of top drugstore sunscreens, our editors swept local drugstores to see what’s new and what’s always selling out, looked into TikTok-famous formulas, and tested a total of 33 sunscreens. We wore these sunscreens to the beach, the office, on flights, and on casual days at home to whittle down this list of the nine best drugstore sunscreens that give you major bang for your buck.

Top Drugstore Sunscreens of 2024

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make up

La Roche-Posay SPF 30 Face Moisturizer Sunscreen

A great face moisturizer with a wallop of SPF is one of the easiest ways to ensure you’re getting accurate sun protection — rather than an extra step, this drugstore moisturizer with SPF delivers two-in-one benefits. La Roche-Posay’s SPF 30 Face Moisturizer goes on like your favorite daytime face lotion with a creamy texture that disappears on the skin while you smooth it on. This top drugstore sunscreen also contains ingredients like skin barrier-strengthening ceramides and niacinamide that hydrates and brightens skin with continued use.

Editor testing and review notes: “This is a great two-in-one product for those who don’t like the feeling of sunscreen on top of a face lotion. Oily skin types could easily forgo face serums when using this sunscreen, too, thanks to its brightening and soothing ingredients. Just wash your face, apply this moisturizer, and continue with your routine. It’s not scented or greasy, so it’s one of the drugstore sunscreens I’ll scoop up when I need SPF on a piping hot day.”

Price upon publication of this article: $24.99

9 Best Drugstore Sunscreens, Tested and Reviewed

Eucerin Age Defense Face Sunscreen

$12.79

$19

33% off

$16.99

$19

11% off

Drugstore sunscreens may be affordable, but they don’t short you on skin-loving ingredients. Just take Eucerin’s Age Defense Face Sunscreen that has hydrating hyaluronic acid and a slew of free radical-foraging antioxidants. The broad-spectrum SPF 50 protects your skin from sun’s damaging rays, while those antioxidants go above and beyond to shield your skin from environmental pollutants, also brightening your complexion with consistent use. It’s one of the best drugstore sunscreens for mature skin, according to our testers.

Editor testing and review notes: “This sunscreen felt more like a cooling cream on my skin than a true sunscreen. It has a rich texture that delivers major moisture and a dewy finish — ideal for filling out fine lines and making my skin look a little more plump after a bad night’s sleep. It stings my eyes a little if I’m sweating a lot, but otherwise it’s a dream drugstore sunscreen for everyday wear (particularly for dry skin types).

Price upon publish date of this article: $12.79

9 Best Drugstore Sunscreens, Tested and Reviewed

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 70 Sunscreen

A bestselling Amazon beauty product with over 20,000 five-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with Neutrogena Dry-Touch sunscreen. It’s suitable for use on your face and body, where it shields your skin with broad-spectrum SPF 70 coverage and a non-greasy finish. It also has a non-comedogenic formulation with a demi-matte finish that doesn’t exacerbate shine on oily skin types.

Editor testing and review notes: “This face and body sunscreen is a great go-to for active summer days when I know I’ll be swimming or sweating. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling slimy (like so many body sunscreens can when it’s humid out) nor does it stain my clothes. I’ve experienced some pilling when I layer it over other body lotions, however it’s hydrating enough that moisturizer is optional.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $7.99

9 Best Drugstore Sunscreens, Tested and Reviewed

E.l.f. Skin Suntouchable SPF 35 Invisible Sunscreen

Leave it to E.l.f. — the brand behind top drugstore mascaras and foundations — to make an excellent everyday sunscreen for under $20. The brand’s Suntouchable Invisible Sunscreen has a velvety gel texture that disappears on the skin once you apply it — no skin types will experience a white cast with this clear sunscreen. Not only does it dry down to a soft matte finish, but it also grips any makeup you apply on top. It’s our choice for the best drugstore sunscreen to wear under makeup.

What testers say: “As someone with sensitive skin, finding a sunscreen that doesn’t cause breakouts or irritation can be challenging, but this product is a game-changer. The texture of the sunscreen is lightweight and easily blends into my skin, leaving behind no greasy residue or white cast. I love that it is invisible on the skin, making it perfect for wearing under makeup or on its own.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $14

make up

Cerave SPF 30 Facial Moisturizing Lotion

Cerave is known for including skin barrier-supporting ingredients in all of its face washes, face serums, and moisturizers, and this top drugstore sunscreen gets the same treatment. Beyond its chemical and mineral blockers, the lightweight lotion includes skin-softening ingredients such as ceramides, plus hyaluronic acid and niacinamide that keep your complexion supple. Its hydration-focused formula is best suited for normal to dry skin types, though it’s oil-free and non-comedogenic, giving it the green light for those with acne.

Editor testing and review notes: “Few sunscreens feel like nothing on my skin — many err on the greasy side, some are scented, and others impart a subtle white cast that makes me hesitate before I reapply. Cerave’s face sunscreen, on the other hand, goes on featherweight without fragrance. I love that it never breaks me out but also doesn’t leave my skin feeling thirsty: It’s a true two-in-one moisturizer and sunscreen. Because it’s so lightweight and breathable, it’s easy for me to massage on another coat if I’m at the beach; it doesn’t pill, sting, or feel slick.”

Price upon publication of this article: $15.89

9 Best Drugstore Sunscreens, Tested and Reviewed

Black Girl Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen

$12

$15.99

25% off

$15.99

Although dark skin types may burn less frequently, daily sunscreen is still a necessity. But finding a drugstore sunscreen for dark skin tones that doesn’t leave behind a white cast on dark skin can be a tall order — that’s where Black Girl Sunscreen’s Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion comes into play. This SPF brand is a cult-favorite, specially developed with melanated skin in mind to ensure no residue or streaks after application.

What testers say: “It leaves my skin with the right amount of hydration and moisture and I like how my skin looks when I wear it. At times I don’t makeup because of the glow and appropriate amount of shine on my skin. It doesn’t irritate my skin which I like cause my skin is sensitive. I just love this. It’s great on black skin, I promise.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $15.99

9 Best Drugstore Sunscreens, Tested and Reviewed

Differin Oil-Absorbing SPF 30 Moisturizer

$8.79

$15.99

45% off

$15.99

Differin is one of the most trusted skin care brands for acne, primarily known for its breakout-busting retinol product. So suffice to say that they know a thing or two about creating great products for hormonal acne and everyday pimples. This drugstore sunscreen ticks all the boxes for a great SPF for acne-prone skin: It’s oil-free, unscented, non-comedogenic, and dries down to a matte finish. Better yet, it packs micropearl technology to absorb excess oil on the surface of your skin while you’re wearing it, so you don’t have to keep blotting papers around on hot, humid days.

Editor testing and review notes: “This drugstore sunscreen is proof that you don’t have to choose between breakouts and broad-spectrum SPF. I rely on it when I’m dealing with active pimples that can flare up from sunscreen (particularly scented sunscreens). It has a gel-like consistency and a featherweight texture that’s breathable on the most humid, muggy days. Because it’s designed for oily skin types, those with dry skin will want to team it with a hydrating serum.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $8.79

9 Best Drugstore Sunscreens, Tested and Reviewed

Cerave Hydrating Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen for Face

This Cerave SPF is the best drugstore mineral sunscreen our editors evaluated, wowing us with its lack of flashback in photos and its non-greasy finish. Like all Cerave products, it contains ceramides to help strengthen the skin barrier, plus hyaluronic acid to moisturize the skin. Because it’s a mineral formula without a tint, those with medium to deep skin tones will need to spend a few extra moments massaging it on to eliminate white cast.

Editor testing and review notes: “This mineral sunscreen takes some time to rub in to eliminate white cast, but once you get there, you’re set for sun-soaked frolics. My pro tip: Mix it with a few drops of lightweight foundation, a skin tint, or bronzing drops to eliminate the white cast, then enjoy.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $13.99

9 Best Drugstore Sunscreens, Tested and Reviewed

Sun Bum Original Sunscreen SPF 50 Lotion

A great everyday body sunscreen for any occasion, Sun Bum’s Original Sunscreen Lotion goes on like a body lotion that just so happens to have broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection. The vitamin E in the formula works to soothe skin irritation from sun exposure. It’s also one of very few sunscreens to be compliant with Hawaii’s strict protocols around reef-safe sunscreen.

Editor testing and review notes: “Sun Bum’s sunscreen has a luxurious texture to it that you’ll love to apply — it rivals the feel of my favorite body lotion. I love this SPF 50 option when I’m on vacation or spending a day at the park; it has a warm, summery scent and doesn’t pill with other products or when I reapply.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $16.49

Before you go, check out our list of the best drugstore foundations:

Best Drugstore Foundations Gallery

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Meet the Author

Claire Sullivan is the Senior Beauty and Lifestyle Commerce Editor for Footwear News and WWD, where she writes and edits beauty, fashion and lifestyle stories. She has over eight years of experience as a writer and editor for national media outlets including Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle, and Byrdie. She keeps her finger on the pulse of all things related to beauty and wellness, as well as the latest shopping trends and clothing brands. Sullivan personally tested 33 affordable sunscreens to create this list of the best drugstore SPFs.





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