Here's a money saving secret for the summer: Spending time in the sun safely doesn’t mean you have to splurge on more expensive, brand-name sunscreen.
Generic, store-brand products are just as good as long as you make sure the right ingredients are on the label and it meets American Academy of Dermatology standards, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Sunscreen should be water resistant so it can’t be easily removed when you sweat or go swimming, and it should have an SPF of at least 15. SPF only applies to UVB rays however, so you should look for sunscreen that will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays, the AAD says.
To make sure you get that broad-spectrum UV coverage, look for ingredients like avobenzone, cinoxate, ecamsule, menthyl anthranilate, octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate, oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide, the AAD recommends.
The AAD Seal of Recognition on product labels, packaging and advertising will also help you identify which sunscreens, whether branded or generic, can provide the sun protection recommended by dermatologists.
And if you have some sunscreen left over from last summer, you don’t necessarily need to throw it out and get a new bottle. Unless there’s an expiration date, the FDA requires that all sunscreens retain their original strength for at least three years.
A bottle shouldn’t last you that long however, since sunscreen is recommended year-round, and about one ounce (a shot glass worth) is considered the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body properly, the AAD says.