5 Derm-Approved Drugstore Sunscreens You Need This Summer
Have a conversation with any dermatologist, and in the first five minutes they’ll find a way to mention the importance of wearing sunscreen – yes, it’s that important. The reality is; without sunscreen, you’re exposing your skin to harmful UVA and UVB rays that can lead to a myriad of skin issues like hyperpigmentation, fine lines, inflammation, not to mention, skin cancer.
NY-based dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss puts it bluntly: “The sun is NOT your friend!” Adding, “If I could go back in time it would be to tell my younger self to embrace the ghost-like qualities of my skin to skip trying to tan.” She says, “If you’re going to do anything for your skin, wear sunscreen daily!”
The only thing is if you’re using sunscreen daily (as the derms recommend), you’ll probably need to replenish your stash every two to three months, so finding affordable sunscreens is another essential factor (no pun intended). Of course, we got the derms on board for their top recommendations that provide great protection without breaking the bank.
1. For Sensitive Skin: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen, $25
“I really like this sunscreen for my patients with sensitive skin because it helps calm and protect sensitive skin types that are prone to acne, rosacea, and discoloration,” says Dr. Pooja Sodha, a board-certified dermatologist for FaceMD+. “It’s mineral-based, lightweight, and keeps your face looking and feeling smooth.”
2. For the Body: Coppertone Sport Sunscreen SPF 50, $9
If you’re hitting the beach this summer an easy-to-apply, water-resistant sunscreen is essential. Dr. Howard Sobel, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of NYC’s Sobel Skin recommends the Coppertone Sport Sunscreen SPF 50, $9. He explains, “This water-resistant sunscreen spray stays put even when you sweat, meaning it won’t run into the eyes and sting. Plus, it offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection with active ingredients that absorb damaging UV radiation before it reaches the skin. It’s moderately priced, which is great.” Just remember to top up every two hours when you’re spending the day in the sun.
3. To Wear Under Makeup: La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios 60 Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid, $30
Dr. Sobel also insists that wearing a foundation that contains SPF will not provide adequate sun protection. He explains, “Unless you’re really caking on the coverage, the sunscreen in your makeup isn’t enough to protect your skin from the sun. It would require seven times the normal amount of foundation to provide enough coverage, so it’s important to wear a separate moisturizer that offers SPF protection.” We love how well this formula wears underneath makeup. Plus, it’s non-comedogenic and oil-free so it won’t block your pores or make your skin look greasy.
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4. For the Beach: Sun Bum Clear Zinc SPF 50, $10
NY-based dermatologist Dr. Nussbaum told Women’s Health, “Sun Bum’s original Clear Zinc SPF 50 is a mineral-based, physical sunscreen that uses zinc oxide and contains aloe and vitamin E, which provides a protective barrier between your face and the sun. I like that the formula is hypoallergenic, oil-free and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.” In short: it ticks every box! This is a great heavy-duty SPF for when you know you’ll be spending time in the sun.
5. For Sensitive Skin: Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 30, $15
The Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 30, $15, is a great SPF formula to use daily whether you have sensitive skin or not; it’s hydrating, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free so it protects your skin without irritation. Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital agrees, adding the “Feverfew extract and colloidal oatmeal [helps] protect and calm the skin.”
For more SPF products, check out our fave SPF-lip balms that’ll keep your lips protected.