The Best (& Worst!) Performing Sunscreens For Summer

Get the best sunscreens your money can buy!

best sunscreens - coppertone sport sunscreen

The best sunscreens won’t burn your summer fun budget. ☀️

You want a quality sunscreen, but don’t want to spend a fortune on skin protection – we hear ya! We’ve got you covered with the best sunscreens to buy (that are also affordable!), and ones to absolutely stay away from.

woman wearing pink skirt playing with pool float and two kids at pool

Important reminder:

Always use your sunscreens as directed to help prevent premature skin aging and risk of skin cancers. It’s also important to check the expiration date before using it. According to, you should apply sunscreen every day, apply 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every 2 hours.

Hip Tip: SPF Sunscreen is eligible for reimbursement with FSA, HSA, and HRA accounts. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF15+ protection (and above) is FSA and HSA eligible! And to make shopping for these products even easier, Amazon now has an FSA & HSA Store!

Here are the best sunscreens starting at just $6!

Hand holding a bright blue bottle of Trader Joe's sunscreen spray

As if we could love Trader Joe’s even more. Their sunscreen provides UVA & UVB protection, contains skin-nourishing ingredients like aloe, vitamin E, and coconut oil, and it’s water-resistant!

The best part?… It’s only $6 a can! 😱 All the more reason to love Trader Joe’s!

banana boat light as air sunscreen

This great aerosol option offers excellent UVA and UVB protection. True to its name, its formula has a light and natural feel. It leaves minimal residue so it won’t feel sticky or tacky (perfect for the beach)! Along with this spray’s water resistance, you’ll enjoy the nice coconut and tropical fruit aroma. 🏝

best sunscreens - coppertone sport sunscreen spray 50spf 4 in 1

This popular sunscreen spray is super easy to apply and can block up to 98% of harmful UV rays! It’s also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes so you can swim or sweat while wearing it.  We love that it barely has a scent and contains no oxybenzone, octinoxate, phthalates, PABA, or dyes. If you prefer a lotion-type sunscreen over a spray, Coppertone offers that too. This brand is tried and true for a reason!

“We really like the Coppertone sunscreen. Our entire family is Casper-white redheads and we need superior protection and this stuff works!” – Stacy, Hip2Save reader 

Hand holding a bottle of equate sunscreen with various brands and bottles on store shelf in background

Yep, that’s a generic brand ranking near the top of this list. Walmart’s Equate brand lotion offers excellent UVA/UVB protection sunscreen performing up to its 50 SPF claim. The scent is a classic, beachy fragrance of floral and citrus.

Hip Tip: Hoping to make it to the beach soon? You have to see these genius beach hacks we shared!

blue lizard sunscreen lotion

Year after year, Blue Lizard makes our list of the best sunscreen for kids. It’s great for adults too! This effective formula is free of parabens, fragrances, and active chemical ingredients. Instead, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide work together to protect you from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

This mineral sunscreen is safe to use when near reefs and stays water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Best of all, it comes with smart technology that makes the cap turn blue when you’re in the presence of harmful sun rays.

Hand holding a bottle of equate sunscreen spray with store shelf in background

Equate is not a force to be reckoned with (this is the SECOND time they’ve made the list)! This spray version of their sunscreen has solid UVA/UVB protection while also having a pleasant, beachy aroma and a wide spray application (helpful with antsy kids running for the sun and surf).

“I was so tired of paying for pricey sunscreen and decided to try the Equate Sport spray. Now it’s the only kind of spray we ever use! It works great for our whole family and we hardly ever have issues with sunburn when we use it correctly. Plus, you can’t beat the price! Full disclosure – we don’t use this on our faces. For that, we use Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 60+.” – Holly, Hip2Save reader 

Now here are some sunscreen products to avoid…

1. Banana Boat Kids Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+

Hand holding a yellow bottle of kids sport banana boat sunscreen with store shelf in background

Don’t let the advertised “SPF 50+” fool you. This children’s lotion has been known to lack in actual sun protection even with its 50+ claim. It can also leave a white cast and film on the skin.

2. Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50

Hand holding a bottle of babyganics sunscreen with store shelves in background

Even with some positive reviews on, this sunscreen formulated for babies fell wildly short of the 50 SPF claim as it once tested under SPF 10! It was also reported to have below-average protection against UVA rays and cast a white, greasy film on the skin. No, thank you!

Looking to splurge? This sunscreen is the best!

La Roche Posay Anthelios 60

la roche posay anthelios sunscreen with blue background and sunglasses on table

If the budget-friendly options we already shared don’t quite meet the criteria you’re looking for, this one’s rated the best of them all!

The La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk rings in around $25 bucks for a 3 oz. bottle ($36 for a 5 oz.), but is dermatologist tested, allergy tested, paraben-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and contains antioxidants to protect skin from free radicals.

Oh, and did we mention it has superior UV protection? The only thing this lotion can’t do is shake the beach sand from your towel.

Looking to get out of the summer? Head indoors and bowl free all summer long!

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