With bikini season nearly in full swing, let's talk skin: unprotected sun exposure is the culprit behind 90% of visible skin aging, not to mention the most common form of cancer. So suffice it to say that sunscreen is your single most important beauty staple this summer. Meant for year-round use, rain or shine, dermatologists recommend applying a shot glass worth to your face and body, and reapplying a minimum of every 80 minutes (not to mention after sweating or swimming). Unfortunately, a product this in-demand can really set you back more than a few pretty pennies-- many formulas these days are in the $30 range. Just in time for the season then: we’ve rounded up some of the most budget-friendly and innovative formulas, so you can stay protected year-round!
1. Kiss My Face Face Factor Sunscreen for Face + Neck, SPF 30
While many facial moisturizers boast SPF and anti-aging abilities, most require more than the recommended amount to actually protect skin from harmful rays. Kiss My Face’s paraben, gluten, and cruelty-free face and neck sunscreen ($8.99; target.com), however, includes UVA/UVB protection, and is full of antioxidants for two of the areas most prone to aging.
2. Kinesys SPF 30 Performance Spray Sunscreen-Travel Size
Jetting off to a summer getaway? Pack this travel size variety ($6.99; dermstore.com) as a carry-on for in-flight protection, where the increased elevation leaves skin more susceptible to ultraviolet radiation.
3. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 55
A sticky-to-the touch feeling may be one of the downsides of traditional sunscreen, but Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer line ($9.59; drugstore.com) has provided a quick-drying, sheer formula that leaves skin with a matte finish.
4. Sun Bum SPF 30 Face Stick
Sick of slathering on lotion? Sun Bum’s line includes this conveniently packaged Face Stick ($10; nordstrom.com), which keeps you covered with a quick swipe, and is a sure solution to sunscreen-averse kids.
5. Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian Sunscreen, SPF 30
Unlike most cloyingly sticky all-natural sunscreens, Alba Botanica’s ($7.47; vitacost.com) is light and creamy, but also void of potentially harmful chemicals found in many of those currently on the market.
6. L'Oreal Paris Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer BB Face Lotion, SPF 30
L’Oreal’s newest formula ($8.79; walgreens.com) combines the benefits of a BB cream with the full-fledged power of a broad spectrum sunscreen. Add to that the anti-aging effects of vitamin E and white grape seed, and you’ve got a solid year-round moisturizer.
7. Hampton Sun SPF 35 Continuous Mist Sunscreen
For easy application, try Hampton Sun’s spray sunscreen ($10; sephora.com), a hypoallergenic, non-greasy formula with heavy duty UVA ray-blocking powers.
8. Coppertone Clearly Sheer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ for Beach & Pool
Rather than broadcasting the tell-tale scent of sunscreen, Coppertone’s Clearly Sheer formula ($6.97; walmart.com) has a subtle (yet pleasant) tropical fragrance. Good news for acne sufferers: this lotion won’t cause breakouts, and is also noncomedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores.
9. Aveeno Protect and Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 30
In addition to its sun-warding abilities, the Collodial Oatmeal in Aveeno’s lotion ($9.99; aveeno.com) acts as an antidote to dry or eczema-prone skin, leaving skin smoother than before application.
10. Banana Boat Ultra Defense Sheer Protect Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
Banana Boat’s sport and waterproof formula ($9.99; vitacost.com), is infused with aloe and Vitamin E, allowing it both hydrating and antioxidant properties.