But Seriously, Some of the Best Face Sunscreens Can Be Found at the Drugstore

Kaitlyn McLintock
·6 min read

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 that 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 we're here for. Keep scrolling to see the 15 best drugstore face sunscreens, according to editors and reviews.

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 ($8)

When it comes to sunscreen, senior beauty editor 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."

Black Girl Sunscreen Make It Matte Sunscreen SPF 45 ($18)

Beauty editor Courtney Higgs recommends this sunscreen, which is lauded for being nongreasy, demimatte, 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.

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Sunscreen SPF 50 ($17)

Sarah Yang, managing editor of THE/THIRTY, is also a fan of Neutrogena. Although, she prefers this 100% mineral formula. "Neutrogena’s sunscreens always get the job done and protect my skin so well," she says. "I like this particular one because it's a mineral option with 100% zinc oxide protection. It goes on smoothly, feels lightweight, and doesn't leave a greasy finish, which is key for me. It's a great everyday sunscreen, but I especially love bringing it with me to the beach or pool—I never get a sunburn!"

Versed Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 ($22)

This Versed sunscreen is a staple around the Who What Wear office. Thanks to SPF 35 and an antioxidant-rich formula, it protects against UVA and UVB rays as well as environmental and blue-light damage. Plus, thanks to a peachy tint, it never leaves a white cast.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Face and Body Sunscreen Melt-In Milk Lotion SPF 60 ($36)

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.

Pipette Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($10)

Fun fact: This is actually a sunscreen formulated for babies, but with a fragrance-free SPF 50 formula, it keeps grown-up skin protected from the sun, too. I use this whenever I want a no-makeup glow since it has a dewy finish (oily skin types beware).

Everyday Humans Resting Beach Face Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 ($24)

This brand has been on my radar for some time now, but I wasn't a loyal customer until I tried this unique sunscreen-serum hybrid. It's super silky and lightweight, and 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.

Coola Organic Classic Sunscreen Face & Body Stick SPF 30 ($18)

I'm also a big fan of this sunscreen stick, which I pack away in my bag on busy summer days. (Seriously though, reapplication is a breeze.) Aside from its convenient packaging, I like the fact 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.

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 ($13)

Okay, this is technically a face moisturizer, but it's worth noting because it includes SPF 30 and because it's 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.

Solimo Sheer Face Sunscreen SPF 30 ($5)

This sunscreen from the Amazon brand Solimo is a steal at only $5 a tube. We like the fact that it's sheer, water-resistant, and reef friendly. (It's octinoxate- and oxybenzone-free.) Reviewers say it doesn't leave a white cast, even if it's applied liberally.

Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Face Sunscreen Lotion With SPF 30 ($8)

This is one of Walmart's best-selling face sunscreens, and I'm not surprised since Aveeno is quite the classic when it comes to drugstore skincare brands. It's recommended by 97% of customers thanks to its lightweight, nongreasy, and hydrating formula.

Sukin Untinted Sunscreen SPF 30 ($19)

Speaking of highly recommended sunscreens, this one is near the top of the list at Target. The vegan formula, which contains zinc oxide and rosehip, is creamy and nongreasy. Although reviewers say that it sinks into the skin quite quickly, it does come in a tinted version if you want extra anti-white cast assurance.

Australian Gold Botanical Rich to Deep Tinted Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 ($9)

This mineral sunscreen is tinted to avoid any white cast whatsoever. It's also formulated with antioxidant-rich Kakadu plum, eucalyptus, and red algae to fight the effects of free radicals. Reviewers like the powder-matte finish, which keeps excess oil, and subsequent shine, at bay.

Sun Bum Face Lotion SPF 50 ($13)

If you're looking for a no-frills face sunscreen, this is it. I like that it's fairly lightweight and oil- and fragrance-free. I love that it doesn't slide or pill under my makeup, which means I can apply it daily without fear of excessive touch-ups.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Face Serum With Sunscreen SPF 50 ($43)

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 include. Like the previous one, this is expensive as far as drugstore sunscreens are concerned, but I can 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, featuring vitamins C and E to defend the skin against free radicals.

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This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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