Best sunscreens for the money

April 26, 2011 3:44:21 PM PDT
The hot sunny summer months are around the corner and sunscreen is a must for all of us. But are all sunscreens created equal? In today's 'Stretch Your Dollar,' Patricia Lopez went to get some of the best products that have been tried and tested so you don't waste your money. If you look at the shelf at the drugstore, there are rows and rows of options. There are sprays, creams, instant dryers -- but before you purchase anything gimmicky, an expert weighs in on some budget-friendly products that protect your skin.

Record heat has those who spend a lot of time outdoors protecting themselves from the sun. But before you check out the latest in sun block, beauty expert Rachel Gower and her team have tested products from all price ranges.

"We all test them. We test them for different things and we do not stop until we find the best product on there," said Gower.

There are products that are made just for the face. Gower says these double up as skin care products too just make sure it contains an antioxidant.

"In fact, they have shown now that antioxidants in sunscreen actually boost the advocacy of sunscreen so you are getting even more protection," Gower said.

Jan Marini's Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant with an SPF of 30 got rave reviews, but it retails for $52. A budget friendly alternative is Aveeno's Continuous Protection Sunblock also with SPF 30 for the face. The price is just $10.

For people with all skin types, including sensitive skin, for the face Gower's team prefers the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream with an SPF of 55, but it retails for $40. A better bargain that testers loved is Eucerin's Everyday Protection Face Lotion for $9.

"This product is great for all skin types and will give you all the protection that you need," said Gower.

For babies and kids, Gower said, "It's so difficult to get sunscreen on children and even more difficult to get them on their faces."

Parents loved Supergoop! SPF 30 Sunscreen Swipes, but the pack of 30 wipes retails for $30. A much cheaper alternative is Neutrogena's SPF 30 Sunblock Stick which retails for $8.

When it comes to all-over protection for kids, child testers loved a product from Ocean Potion for $8.

"It's sunblock 50 and it dries instantly so it's great for kids that want to hop right into the pool. The other wonderful feature is that it has a wonderful fruit scent so kids love it," said Gower.

For all-over protection for adults and kids, Gower says don't spend money on fancy products or name brand sunscreen.

"It's also OK to use a generic brand when it comes to sunscreen -- just be sure to read the label making sure that's it's UVA-UVB broad spectrum protection," said Gower.

She says with any sunscreen, it's important to follow to directions and keep re-applying the sunscreen as directed.

The recommended SPF by dermatologists is using a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater year round for all skin types.

Here is a list of the products discussed above:

  • Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant with an SPF of 30 -- $52
  • Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock with SPF 30 -- $10
  • Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream with an SPF of 55 -- $40
  • Eucerin's Everyday Protection Face Lotion -- $9
  • Supergoop! SPF 30 Sunscreen Swipes -- $30
  • Neutrogena's SPF 30 Sunblock stick -- $8
  • Ocean Potion for kids with an SPF of50 -- $8

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