Whether you plan to spend an entire day soaking in the sun or running errands, protecting your skin is CRUCIAL. We all know the benefits of sunscreen, but it is essential to know that not all sunscreen is made equally.
The last thing you want is to spend a ton of money on sunscreen that is thick, overly fragrant, and non-protective.
With tons of research, we've compiled a list of six of the best Costco sunscreen products so you can go about your daily activities, knowing your skin is safe from harmful UV rays.
Quick Answer :
#1 Best Overall - KINeSYS: Clear Spray & KIDS Fragrance-Free - Two Pack Saver Bundle!→
#2 Best For Daily Use - NEUTROGENA: Invisible Daily Defense, Antioxidant Complex→
#3 Best For Sustainability - BLUE LIZARD: Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide, Fragrance-Free→
#4 Best Non-Fragrant Sunscreen - SUN BUM: Original Vegan and Reef Friendly (Octinoxate & Oxybenzone Free)→
#5 Best Clear Spray Sunscreen - ALBA BOTANICA: Hawaiian Clear Spray, Nourishing Coconut→
#6 Best Value - BANANA BOAT: Sport Ultra, Reef Friendly, Broad Spectrum - Twin Pack!→
The 6 Best Costco Sunscreens
#1 KINeSYS: Clear Spray & KIDS Fragrance-Free - Two Pack Saver Bundle! - Best Overall
You're not always using sunscreen at the beach, so why should you have to deal with that over-the-top "beach-screen" smell every time you lather up.
KINeSYS Clear Spray is a proper performance sunscreen without the scent, perfect for daily use on all skin types.
The easy-spray application allows you to cover yourself from head to toe in a matter of seconds, while the lightweight design makes it easy to pack up and take on the go.
In our eyes, the thing that makes an actual performance sunscreen is sweat resistance.
We've used this sunscreen at the beach plenty of times, whether jogging on the sand or swimming and the water, and it stays on for HOURS after applying.
Plus, you don't have to deal with that slimy, coconut-scented lotion that stops most people from wanting to apply sunscreen in the first place.
#2 NEUTROGENA: Invisible Daily Defense, Antioxidant Complex - Best For Daily Use
Sunscreen should be part of your daily skincare routine.
With Neutrogena Invisible Daily Broad Spectrum SPF 60+, you can apply it to your face every day while staying hydrated and protected.
Invisible Daily Defense goes further than sun protection, however, as it helps produce bright, radiant skin by boosting the skin's natural barrier.
After applying it, you're not left with any white streaks either, allowing your natural skin tone to shine through.
If you're someone with oily skin or likes to wear makeup daily, this is the perfect formula for your needs!
Do note that this particular product is relatively fragrant, so it might not be the best choice if you want something completely invisible to the senses.
#3 BLUE LIZARD: Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide, Fragrance-Free - Best For Sustainability
We are all well aware of the negative environmental impact sunblock can have on the ocean, which is why it is so vital to buy environmentally friendly sunblock if you plan on surfing or swimming in the waves.
But, of course, you don't want environmentally friendly sunblock yet can't provide protection.
Luckily, Blue Lizard has developed a unique SPF 50+ Broad Spectrum UVA/UBB formula that can help protect the face from long-term sun exposure.
Blue Lizard sunblock uses zinc oxide, a prevalent chemical in sunscreens, thanks to its ultra-protective capabilities.
Note that it will make your face white, though if you're serious about protecting yourself, there isn't a better Broad Spectrum SPF sunscreen out there.
As with many zinc sunscreens, a little goes a long way!
#4 SUN BUM: Original Vegan and Reef Friendly (Octinoxate & Oxybenzone Free) - Best Non-Fragrant Sunscreen
Sun Bum has been at the forefront of beach sunblock for a long time now.
The branding is instantly recognizable, and the packaging is an absolute joy to look at.
If you spend every day in the sun, there is no better choice. Sun Bum is dermatologist-approved and provides more than 80 minutes of protection, whether sweating or in the water.
The formula is light and watery, perfect for those who want to apply it to their faces without anyone else knowing.
As a result, you don't get an unmistakable, greasy shine as you do with some sunblock.
The generous broad spectrum SPF 50+ is more than enough for most skin types, though we still recommend re-applying every two hours to be safe.
Note that this product contains OCTISALATE, which is NOT reef-friendly, so we wouldn't recommend it for those out in the ocean for long periods.
#5 ALBA BOTANICA: Hawaiian Clear Spray, Nourishing Coconut - Best Clear Spray Sunscreen
Alba Botanica's Hawaiian Clear Spray is a healthy, transparent alternative to most sunblock products with a mixture of avocado oil and shea butter.
It was even recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, which says something!
You won't find any Octinoxate, gluten, or Oxybenzone, meaning it is safe to use in the ocean.
Plus, with a Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ rating, it will protect you for hours on end in the hot sun.
One of the things we love most about this product is that it sprays on totally clear without leaving that lingering layer of oil.
The nozzle sprays evenly, allowing you to cover yourself from head to toe in a matter of seconds.
It's even waterproof, letting you go for a swim without having to re-apply right away.
If you don't find yourself in the sun a lot, or you want some inexpensive Broad Spectrum SPF 50 sunblock you can bring with you on your annual beach trip, Banana Boat's Sport Ultra Sunscreen Dual Pack is a perfect choice.
You pretty much get a two-for-one with the low price, and the invisible clear spray lasts for up to 80 minutes or longer, meaning you don't have to keep re-applying every time you hit the water.
One bottle can easily last you for years if you don't use it often!
Note that Banana Boat Sport Ultra is NOT reef safe, as it uses tons of chemicals that are banned in Hawaii.
However, if you're someone who works outside all day and needs something simple to keep you protected, we recommend it.
You get a sheer appearance to keep away harmful UV rays without drawing attention to yourself.
Factors To Consider
Broad Spectrum SPF
UVA and UVB rays are both culprits for cancer, which is why it's essential to look for sunblock with Broad Spectrum SPF that can protect you from both. In addition, UVA rays speed up signs of aging, while UVB rays are the reason you come home after your beach vacation with a sunburn.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends going for SPF 30 at a minimum. However, if you have fair skin or burn early, you should go with Broad Spectrum SPF 50.
Keep in mind, improvements are minimal when it comes to SPF. For example, SPF 15 has 93% protectivity. SPF 30 doesn't provide DOUBLE protection, just slightly more.
However, it is also important to note that there is not any sunblock on the market that can block out 100% of the sun's rays. Therefore, avoid any brand claiming total sun blockage at all costs.
When it comes to protecting your skin, you should be very aware of the ingredients in your sunblock. For starters, you want to make sure that your chosen sunblock protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. Look for the term "broad spectrum" when you pick up the bottle.
There are two main types of sunblock out there, including:
If you're planning on using your sunblock in the ocean, it is best to avoid anything that uses Oxybenzone.
According to the Environmental Working Group, this chemical compound is not reef-friendly.
Fragrant or Fragrant-Free?
Many people like the smell of traditional "beach-screen." However, some don't.
If you're planning on lathering up to run errands around town, it might be a little to much to show up everywhere smelling like an open coconut. On the other hand, if you're planning on taking a trip to the beach, going with a fragrant sunblock is totally fine. The smell usually dissipates in the air after a while anyway.
However, for more casual, everyday use, you might consider going with sunblock free from any fragrances.
Sheer or Colored
We've all seen the quintessential lifeguard look with the dab of bright white zinc on the bridge of the nose. While many people out there don't mind sacrificing the cool look for added safety, others want to be a bit more discreet about their sunblock usage.
We don't blame you if you're one of those people!
If you want sunblock that is a bit more inconspicuous, we recommend looking for the term "sheer" on the label. But, of course, you should also read reviews to make sure the "sheer" label is accurate.
Plenty of sunblock brands claim to have sheer spray characteristics, though they often give skin that lavender hue when applied.
You'll often find sunblock in two forms: spray or lotion.
You can purchase these two types of sunblock in sheer or colored forms. If you want something faster to apply and great for full-body coverage, we recommend going with a spray. However, if you want to be more precise as you apply your sunblock, especially for facial sun treatment, lotions or creams are far better.
To see products specifically designed for surfers, see our surfer sunscreen guide.