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Best Cheap, Safe Sunscreens for 2015

Did you hear about Neutrogena’s sunscreen catastrophe? This isn’t actually new news—it’s something SkinDeep has known for a while. Talk about serious PR spinning this week for Neutrogena.

I’m about to head back to Massachusetts for a week’s vacation and have plans to hit the beach at least a few times while I’m visiting my family. I thought to share with you some better sunscreens that are safe—but also don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Finding the Perfect Cheap and Safe Sunscreen

I’ve been a Neutrogena sunscreen user since living with my boyfriend because his family are dedicated Neutrogena Ultra Sheer fans. Before that, I lived with a No-Ad family who seriously slathered it on religiously because of a sunburn prone mother. I know I should be buying something better than Neutrogena’s sunscreen. It’s not great for you. But better sunscreens are so expensive!

With the current campaign, I’m finally getting around to doing some research into good sunscreens available at a decent price. I shop for my sunscreen at Target or Walmart rather than online because, inevitably, I’m buying it when I’m headed to the pool or the beach.

Don’t think that this matters? One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their life so wearing sunscreen is a must. But slathering yourself with dangerous chemical sunscreens? Not so much either.

My Sunscreen Test Criteria:

  1. Must be well-rated on SkinDeep.com as safe, preferably a 3 or under, with no individual ingredients over 6. (SD rating)
  2. Must cost around the same as “conventional” sunscreens instead of $30+ per 2 oz.
  3. Must be available at either Walmart or Target for quick buys when needed.
  4. Must not aggravate my super-sensitive skin.
  5. Must be a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

On to the ‘screens! I’ll be testing out some of these and will let you know my thoughts on how they work.

Best Safe & Cheap Sunscreens

I’ve ordered these by Skin Deep rating and then price as options based on cold, hard data. Scroll down to see my personal picks.

Sunology Body Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50 – $14.99 for 2 oz ($7.50 per oz), SD 1

This one received 68% 5-Stars on Amazon and reviewers say it can be greasy and the tube makes it difficult to apply. Others say it’s too white for them. However, many say it’s a great sunscreen and worth a try.

Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50 – $9.99 for 6oz ($1.67 per oz), SD 2

Supposedly available at Target, this sunscreen is broad spectrum, unscented, and water resistant for 80 minutes. It’s the first one I’ll be trying in my search for a perfect new sunscreen! The tube is generously sized too so it should get you through much of the summer. 65% 5-Stars on Amazon but reviewers noted that this isn’t a fully mineral-only sunscreen and does involve the less-risky chemical sunscreen ingredients to give better protection.

Safe Harbor Natural Suncare Sensitive Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30 – $7.98 for 4 oz ( $2.00 per oz), SD 2

Available at Walmart, this sunscreen isn’t rated b very many reviewers at all. So I’ll be marching myself over to my local Wally-World to give this one a try and see if it’s up to the task. Apparently the few reviews out there said it didn’t provide enough protection, couldn’t be rubbed in, and was really difficult to wash off.

Alba Botanica Very Emollient Mineral Sunscreen – $8.99 for 4 oz ($2.24 per oz), SD 2

This broad-spectrum sunscreen from Alba is a real contender. It’s easily available at my local Target and is priced really well. Reviews on Amazon seem to like this, although there are the common sunscreen complaints about whiteness an thickness. Other reviewers say they can’t imagine someone complaining about these features, however, as they’re like all other sunscreens of similar type. It comes in 30 and 45 sport that’s water resistant.

Aveeno Active Naturals Natural Protection SPF 50 – $7.91 for 3 oz ($2.64 per oz), SD 3
Aveeno Baby Natural Protection SPF 50 – $9.97 for 3 oz ($3.32 per oz), SD 3

I’ve never seen either of these sunscreens around but they’re both well-liked. Note that these are different from the Continuous Protection line—which didn’t fare as well with Skin Deep. Same complaints as all the others about rubbing in but no complaints about greasiness or difficulty to remove. Let me know if you can find these in store!

Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen – $9.99 for 3 oz ($3.33 per oz), SD 3

If you want to stick with Neutrogena, the Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen line is you safest bet. It contains BHT, which is rated at a 6 on SkinDeep, so be aware this might not be the “safest” according to SkinDeep but fits into the list.

Yes to Cucumbers Natural Sunscreen – $11.99 for 3 oz ($3.99 per oz), SD 3

While this one is a serious contender, my skin is reactive to the Yes to Cucumbers line and it’s likely because of the fragrance included in the products. Their natural sunscreen is no different with fragrance included so this is a no go for me—but could be awesome for you!

Bare Republic Natural Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 – $14.99 for 1.7 oz ($8.82 per oz), SD 3

This is on the tail end of what I’m willing to pay for a sunscreen. This is available at Target only and there aren’t any reviews worthwhile about it. I’ll report back.

My Picks for Sunscreen

I’m most interested in giving these a go:

  • Sunology
  • Babyganics
  • Alba Botantica

Let me know your picks.

 

 

Must-Do-In-New-Orleans
Travel

Must See New Orleans

It’s hard to make a short list of things you absolutely must do and see in New Orleans. My boyfriend and I drove down from Arkansas to New Orleans, stopping for the night and a quick tour in Vicksburg, before picking my parents up at the airport and heading into the city. We only had a few days for our trip and spent most of our time in the French Quarter so we tried to focus on the things we wanted to see the most.

I should mention that traveling with a severe asthmatic, my dad, does have its considerations. New Orleans is a bit challenging for obvious reasons, with humidity and water damage causing mold and mildew that can really set him off. Instead of risking it by staying at a small, quaint hotel or apartment like many who visit New Orleans do, we stayed in the Hilton Riverside. The CBD is a great area to call home base, since it’s centrally located and close to the French Quarter.

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