As gratifying as it may be to shop for sunscreens online, inspecting the ingredient list and reading review after review before settling on one that checks all your boxes isn't always possible. (If you do have the time to order one in advance, this Coola Sunscreen Stick earned a top rating from EWG.) Life has a tendency to get in the way of plans, and sometimes a pre-beach-day drugstore stop is inevitable. That's where the Environmental Working Group's "in a pinch" sunscreen list comes in.
The watchdog organization's annual sunscreen guide ranks thousands of products on the market based on their ingredients and ability to deliver on sun-protection promises. This year, they've further funneled this list down to the sunscreens that are also widely available on the cheap.
The eight products they recommend all sell for $10 to $20 at chains like Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS. They've also earned EWG's stamp of approval for their ingredients lists, which feature good-for-you (and the planet) additions like zinc and titanium dioxide while avoiding the nasties like hormone-disrupting oxybenzone.
"All of the products listed get a green, or highest rating, by EWG—which means that they are free of hormone disruptors and irritating or allergenic ingredients. These eight sunscreens have a similarly good safety profile and UV filtering according to our analysis," explains EWG senior analyst Sonya Lunder. "We wanted to provide consumers with a handy list of green-rated and affordable sunscreens they could pick up at a store on their way to the beach or a pool party or BBQ."
Keep the list bookmarked for those frantic summer days. Your skin—and wallet—will thank you.
- Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 50
- Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50+
- Bare Republic Clearscreen Sunscreen Gel, Sport, SPF 30
- Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Baby, SPF 50
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 30+
- CeraVe Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 45
- Goddess Garden Organics Facial Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 50
Get more information about the EWG's criteria for safe sunscreen here.