Trader Joe's Has Released A $9 Dupe For A Cult-Favorite "Invisible" Sunscreen, So I Tested Both And Here Are My Honest Opinions

·4 min read

Hi! I'm Jen, and I love trying skincare products. For the longest time, I was on the hunt to find the perfect sunscreen. Considering that I have oily, sensitive skin, this was no easy task.

Last summer, I discovered Supergoop's Unseen Sunscreen, and it's been my go-to ever since. (It's been around for years now, I know. I was just late to the game.)

The writer holding a bottle of Unseen Sunscreen

In case you aren't familiar with the product, Supergoop's Unseen Sunscreen has become pretty popular and widely loved for being an unscented SPF product that doesn't leave behind a white cast, unlike most sunscreens. It can also double as a makeup primer. Overall, I've really loved the sunscreen — my only complaint is that it is $36 for a 1.7-ounce tube.

Jen Adams

About a week ago, I saw a TikTok saying that Trader Joe's came out with a dupe for the sunscreen that only costs $9 — well, $8.99 if we're being specific. Let's just say I was at my nearest TJ's less than 24 hours later to pick up a tube of this stuff.

The writer holding a bottle of the Trader Joe's dupe
Jen Adams

Leave it to Trader Joe's to dupe the hell out of something — both products are SPF 40, "invisible" and fragrance free, and both are 1.7 ounces. The ingredients are also exactly the same — the only difference is that the TJ's dupe has 2% more Octocrylene and 4% more Homosalate than Supergoop's.

The writer holding both bottles side-by-side to show the ingredients list on the back

According to the National Library of Medicine, Octocrylene is a common ingredient found in sunscreens and is thought to help with moisturizing the skin. Homosalate is an ingredient that helps "prevent direct skin exposure to the sun’s harmful rays by absorbing ultraviolet (UV) light."

Jen Adams

First, I wanted to see how the products would look side by side:

As you can see, Supergoop's sunscreen was more of a yellow, mucus-y color than the TJ's dupe. If you've ever used a silicone makeup primer, that's pretty much how both sunscreens feel on the skin. However, I do think the TJ's dupe was a bit thicker than the Supergoop product.

As you can see, Supergoop's sunscreen was more of a yellow, mucus-y color than the TJ's dupe. If you've ever used a silicone makeup primer, that's pretty much how both sunscreens feel on the skin. However, I do think the TJ's dupe was a bit thicker than the Supergoop product.

Jen Adams

Now, I decided I would wear each sunscreen on separate days and document my experience with each. I have very oily skin, so my main point of curiosity was how well the dupe would do once my sweat started to kick in. Here's how each of the products worked on my skin:

(Disclaimer: BuzzFeed was neither sent these products for review nor was under any obligation to give a positive review.)

Every day, I put on sunscreen after I wash and moisturize my face. Here's what my face looks like BEFORE I put either of the sunscreens on, just for reference:

The writer taking a selfie with a fresh face and holding the Trader Joe's sunscreen
Jen Adams

A picture of both products, with Trader Joe's on the left and Supergoop on the right:

The writer holding a clump of the Trader Joe's sunscreen in her hand; it's a thick, white blob
Jen Adams

Now, here's my face after I applied the sunscreen. (TJ's on the left, Supergoop on the right.)

The writer taking a selfie after applying the Trader Joe's sunscreen; there is no notable trace of the sunscreen

Like I mentioned earlier, the TJ's dupe felt a bit thicker than the Supergoop sunscreen. However, I would say that once rubbed in, they had the same light feel on the skin. The Supergoop one I noticed does feel a bit oily to the touch, but once the product is soaked into your face, it doesn't feel like there is anything there. Neither of the sunscreens left a white cast or smelled like anything, so they're tied in those aspects.

Jen Adams

I normally apply a translucent setting powder over the top of the sunscreen to mattify my oily face, so that's what I did for both of the days as well:

Both sunscreens acted as a great base for translucent powder and created a smooth surface on the skin to help my powder brush glide right on my face.

Both sunscreens acted as a great base for translucent powder and created a smooth surface on the skin to help my powder brush glide right on my face.

Jen Adams

For both of the days, I didn't do any strenuous physical activity or anything that would be particularly sweat-inducing. (I just went into the office and sat at my desk.) At the end of the workday, I took a photo of my face (no other products applied after the powder earlier that morning), and this is how my face looked at 5 p.m. on both days — around 8 hours after I had applied the sunscreen on my face:

Selfie at the end of the day with the Trader Joe's sunscreen; the writer's face appears to have gotten more oily as the day has gone on

Both sunscreens left me with a bit of oil on the forehead and T-zone area — which I would say happens to me with other makeup products, not just these products. However, I do think the Trader Joe's sunscreen left me with slightly more oil. I could even feel that my face was a bit oily with the Trader Joe's one, whereas I didn't feel that way with the Supergoop one.

Jen Adams

So, verdict?

The Supergoop! sunscreen with a circle around it

While I very badly wanted to love the Trader Joe's dupe (would save me so much money), I do think I like the Supergoop one just a bit more and would be willing to pay the extra $27. However, that's not to say that the Trader Joe's sunscreen was bad. I think if you have dry skin, this could be worth trying out, because $9 for a 40 SPF sunscreen is a STEAL!

Jen Adams

Have you tried either of these sunscreens? Let me know in the comments.