This post contains affiliate links.
Sunscreen is an important component to any outdoor activity. It’s not only helpful for cosmetic reasons such as reducing wrinkles and early aging, but it’s also a key to reducing skin cancer risk.
I typically pick up sunscreen from Aldi while I’m doing my weekly grocery run, since the discount grocery store sells both lotion and spray sunscreens with various SPF levels under its Lacura private label that encompasses skincare products. I also use Neutrogena face sunscreen specifically designed to reduce breakouts and acne, and I like how it has a lighter feel on my face and doesn’t have a sunscreen smell, which makes me more likely to use sunscreen on my face when I’m going about my daily routine.
Trader Joe’s — which is a cousin to Aldi — also sells its own line of sunscreen products. I missed out on buying a popular facial sunscreen people on a TJ’s Facebook fan page were chatting about earlier in the summer, but toward the end of the season I picked up a sunscreen lotion that is advertised as suitable for both face and body use from Trader Joe’s.
Trader Joe’s Face & Body Sunscreen Lotion cost $5.99 for a 6-fluid-ounce tube at the time of publication, or about $1 per ounce. That’s more than what other generic sunscreens or Aldi sunscreen lotions cost, and it’s also higher than some other name-brand sunscreens such as Banana Boat that cost about 83 cents per ounce at Walmart, but it’s cheaper than a lot of Coppertone sunscreens, some of which cost $1.14 per ounce at Walmart.
Here’s more information about this Trader Joe’s sunscreen, according to the label:
- Offers UVA/UVB protection
- Water resistant (80 minutes)
- Enriched with Vitamins C and E
- Lightweight formula
- Oxybenzone and octinoxate free (both can disrupt hormones, and oxybenzone is especially toxic to ocean life)
- Non-comedogenic (doesn’t block pores)
- PABA free and oil free
- Not tested on animals
- Tube and cap are recyclable (separate tube and cap to recycle)
The back of the tube states this helps prevent sunburn. If used as directed with other sun protection measures, it decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun.
To use, apply liberally to face and body 15 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating, or immediately after towel drying, or at least every two hours. Ask a doctor before using on children younger than six months.
The directions also recommend regularly using a sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF of at least 15 along with other sun protection measures, including limiting time in the sun especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses.
This sunscreen should not be used on damaged or broken skin and should be kept out of the eyes (rinse with water if it gets in the eyes). Stop use and ask a doctor if a rash occurs, and as always keep it out of reach of children. This sunscreen should be stored away from excessive heat or direct sun. The label warns it may stain surfaces and fabrics.
The active ingredients are:
- Avobenzene: 3%
- Homosalate: 10%
- Octisalate: 5%
- Octocrylene: 7%
These are common active ingredients in most sunscreens on the market. For instance, Coppertone Sport Sunscreen lotion with an SPF of 70 contains 3% avobenzone, 13% homosalate, 5% octisalate, and 10% octocrylene, along with 6% oxybenzone. Walmart-brand Equate Sport Sunscreen with an SPF of 50 contains 3% avobenzone, 15% homosalate, 5% octisalate, and 7% octocrylene 7.0%. So what you’re getting with this Trader Joe’s sunscreen is pretty similar to other sunscreen lotions in other stores.
As for how well this sunscreen works, my family likes its. Even though fall was practically on our doorstep by the time I purchased this Trader Joe’s sunscreen, we have had several opportunities to put it through the paces. Most notably, when we spent a couple of hours at a mid-day sports event with no shade and the sun was blazing down on us and reflecting off of metal bleachers, those of us who wore this sunscreen did not burn, while one person in our group who did not apply sunscreen ended up with a red face. We’ve also worn this with good results at a swimming pool, at a parade, and at an all-day marching band competition.
While I probably still prefer using my Neutrogena sunscreen that is specifically made for faces, this Trader Joe’s sunscreen is fine on my face. It doesn’t have a strong sunscreen scent, and it feels a little lighter going onto my skin compared to traditional sunscreen. I’d be fine with buying this again if I happen to be at Trader Joe’s and need sunscreen.
Trader Joe’s Face & Body Sunscreen Lotion offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with an SPF of 30. It’s water resistant up to 80 minutes, oxybenzone and octinoxate free, non-comedogenic (doesn’t block pores), is PABA free and oil free, and was not tested on animals. Its active ingredients are similar to other sunscreen brands on the market, including Coppertone, Walmart’s Equate, or the Aldi Lacura line of sunscreens. In terms of price, this is mid-range compared to other brands. As for sun protection, it works as expected and has helped to prevent a few sunburns in our family.