When it comes to my body, I can pretty much grab any sunscreen and go. My face is a different story though. Being acne prone with combo skin— plus wearing makeup almost daily— heavily influences what face sunscreen I use. Luckily, there are a ton of great budget friendly drugstore face sunscreens for every skin type, to wear under makeup or alone.
Keep reading to discover my picks for the best drugstore face sunscreens, and what sets each one apart. Click the picture of the sunscreen to find it online.
1. Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer Sensitive Skin SPF 15 ($9.99 at Target)
If you have sensitive skin, this fragrance-free sunscreen is a fantastic option. However, since it’s only SPF 15, I would suggest layering a foundation on top that also contains sun protection, or using this on days where you won’t be exposed to the sun for long periods at a time. It’s a gentle and lightweight formula that contains aloe, vitamin E and is fragrance-free, dye-free, and sulfate-free. It’s a bit on the thicker side and would be great for normal to dry skin, but blends into the skin easily like your typical moisturizer to leave a fresh, slightly dewy (but not greasy) finish.
2. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion ($7.99 at Target)
If you absolutely hate the look and feel of traditional sunscreen, this classic go-to is for you. The finish is shine-free and feels barely there, absorbing instantly. It’s perfect for using under makeup without changing the appearance of your foundation, or wear it on its own without feeling greasy. If you have oily skin, this is a good pick– it’s also non-comedogenic and won’t clog your pores. It’s available in SPF 30, 45, 55, 100. Oxybenzone free.
3. Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Lotion ($12.99 on Amazon)
This pick performs similarly to the previous Neutrogena sunscreen, but with a few more skin care benefits while wearing. On top of offering flexible protection with SPF 30 and 60 options, this product helps fight against wrinkles, dark spots, fine lines and skin sagging due to sun exposure. Antioxidants in the formula help fight environmental aggressors like cold, ozone and pollution damage that can lead to early signs of aging. I absolutely love the lightweight, thin consistency as it sinks into the skin quickly and leaves no residue, cast or shine. It’s great for layering under makeup because it really does feel and look invisible with a natural finish— the brand actually claims it’s invisible on all skin tones (I have medium skin). There is a subtle fresh, citrus-like fragrance that’s not too strong in my opinion. The formula is non-comedogenic and water/sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes. Oxybenzone-free, paraben-free, and oil free.
4. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Mineral Lotion ($8.69 on Amazon)
If you prefer mineral sunscreens, the Australian Gold Botanical Suncreen line will probably have an option you love. There’s the standard mineral lotion: a slightly thicker, yet sheer formula with Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide that dries matte. It also contains Kakadu Plum for a potent dose of Vitamin C, and Eucalyptus & Red Algae to fight free radicals. No sticky feeling or white cast, it’s great to wear under makeup or alone. The sheer options are available in SPF 30, 50 and 70. However, the brand also offers tinted versions that act more like BB creams available in Fair-Light, Medium-Tan, and Rich-Deep. Both the sheer and tinted options are hypoallergenic, vegan and cruelty free, and reef friendly.
5. Derma E Sun Protection Mineral Powder SPF 30 ($21.95 at Ulta)
If you’re putting on face sunscreen in the morning and don’t reapply throughout the day, don’t get surprised if you end up with a burn in the late afternoon. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied to be effective. How do you do reapply SPF over makeup? SPF in powder form! This loose powder sunscreen from Derma E provides SPF 30, and comes in tube packaging with a built-in brush, making it super easy to touch up your protection on-the-go, over makeup. It doesn’t mess up your makeup, and will also help with mattifying. The powder formula also contains Green Tea and vitamin E for antioxidants, and chamomile flower extract for soothing properties. It’s 100% vegan and cruelty free.