Yes, even if you only go outside for a few minutes a day, and yeah, even through the winter. Some dermatologists even recommend wearing SPF indoors, so make sure you slather it on in the morning, no matter what you have planned.

But buying a sun cream can be very expensive, especially if you have to use it on a daily basis for the rest of your life. We’ve found that a lot of the dermatologist-beloved sunscreens are a little pricey, but if you don’t want to spend a day’s wage every time you need a new bottle, there are cheaper alternatives that are just as good.

So we have put together a list of the best low-cost sun creams that have been tested and recommended by skin-care professionals. Have a look at our low-cost sun creams list and choose the cream that will make you save some money and will follow you throughout this summer and – possibly – your life!

Don’t be afraid to buy low-cost sun creams – here are the top ones!

low-cost sun creams

The best low-cost sun creams these days aren’t the sticky, white and paint-like creams that most people remember from their childhoods.

Although they do still exist, the best low-cost sun creams in 2021 have reached new heights of sophistication and many are now colourless, odourless, easy to apply and waterproof. There’s no constant applications, no chance of sand sticking to your skin as soon as you step onto the beach, and no compromises on high SPF protection.

#1 on the low-cost sun creams list: CeraVe facial moisturizing lotion SPF 30

The dermatologists we spoke with recommend Cerave’s line of sunscreens. This specific product, which doubles as a moisturizer, is a great daily-use sunscreen option for most skin types. It contains the ultra-hydrating ingredient hyaluronic acid, which is often included in higher-end sunscreens. This low-cost sun creams includes both chemical ingredients (like octinoxate) that help sunscreen sink into the skin more easily and mineral ones (like zinc oxide) that naturally offer a broader spectrum of protection.

In case you’re looking for something even more moisturizing, CeraVe also offers the “Hydrating Sunscreen” with a SPF of 50. This formula contains skin-repairing ceramides to maintain a healthy skin barrier and enhance hydration, along with hyaluronic acid and skin-brightening niacinamide. It’s a really good deal for a moisturizing and effective sun screen.

#2 on the low-cost sun creams list: Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF50+

Korean cosmetics brands reign in the sunscreen category. While the formulas are certainly impressive, one place K-beauty sun creams really stand out is their relative affordability—and you can always count on Etude House for wallet-friendly products with brilliant textures.

Sunprise offers long-lasting SPF 50 mineral protection and a smooth finish that’s never sticky. The milky lotion contains soothing aloe vera and hydrating hyaluronic acid, plus a handful of other plant-derived, skin-enhancing ingredients.

#3 on the low-cost sun creams list: Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Mist Sun Cream Spray

This spray manages to pull off the trick of being highly protective against both UVA and UVB rays without being sticky or greasy. The fine mist makes it easy to cover your body from all angles and it’s rapidly absorbed by your skin so you’ll be protected quicker. It provides high protection against sun induced skin damage and sunburn. It is suitable for all skin types, including very fair skin.

This protection mist has an ultra-light texture that absorbs quickly, without leaving white marks, and gives a bare skin feeling that is non-greasy and non-sticky. The spray format allows you to protect all parts of the body quickly and easily. The formula conforms 100% to European recommendations for protection against the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.

#4 on the low-cost sun creams list: Hawaiian Tropic AntiOxidant+ Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

The Hawaiian Tropic excelled across the board in our Lab evaluations, earning perfect scores for not drying or irritating skin. One tester said it even stayed put during a run and didn’t burn her eyes. Testers also liked that it didn’t feel tacky or greasy on their skin and absorbed well with no white residue. Its beachy scent was also total crowd-pleaser, even with testers who tend to be especially critical about scent.

#5 on the best low-cost sun creams list: Lidl Cien Sun Sport

Off for a spot of surfing? You need a sun cream with serious staying power, and one of the very best comes from none other but Lidl. This thick cream is formulated to withstand moderate water contact, so you’ll need to reapply less often. Lidl doesn’t do the online shopping thing, so you’ll need to head in-store, for this one.