Sunscreen that Saves Both Skin and Money

Sunshine. It makes everyone happy. Our cities become alive when the sun shines. Suddenly everyone starts wearing less clothing. We catch glimpses of fresh flesh that has been covered up with layers all winter long. Some lucky people have a natural bronze to flaunt without even trying. Others need to subject their pale skin to the harsh rays of the sun in order to obtain a “healthy” glow.

The problem here is that tanning is no longer considered healthy. Stronger UV rays can seriously damage your skin and are dangerous. Everyone, even people with darker skin, should wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 to 30 to protect their skin from burning. Regular use of this product may help to prevent cancer, wrinkles, and premature skin aging. Anything below SPF 15 does a very poor job of protection. Anything over SPF 30 really just adds extra chemicals to your skin and doesn’t really last much longer. Ideally, you should use SPF 30 and reapply every 2-3 hours.

The problem with all this recommended sunscreen use is that it costs a lot of money to purchase quality products. All this talk about sunscreen that is PABA free and Oxybenzone free is confusing and expensive. Here are a few types of sunscreen that are effective and won’t cost you an arm and a leg:

(The list goes from natural to more convention/commercial sunscreens.)


Soleo Organics All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 ($22)

  • Safe for humans and environment
  • Consumer friendly, safe alternative to synthetic products
  • Water Resistant
  • Natural Frangrance
  • Moisturizing


Trader Joe’s Face & Body Sunscreen – SPF 30 – Cruelty Free Cream ($18)

  • Lotion Lightweight, Zinc Oxide Formula
  • Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection
  • Non-Comedogenic (Does Not Clog Pores)
  • Fragrance Free,PABA Free ,Oil Free
  • Water Resistant

Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 ($20)

  • Recommended for daily use as a moisturizer
  • Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (less harmful than Oxybenzone)
  • Energizes skin with Vitimin C
  • Lightweight
  • Water Reistant

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 30 ($9.99)

  • Dermatologist-tested formula
  • Uses Avobenzone to provide advanced protection
  • Dry-Touch technology for an ultra-light, non-shiny finish.
  • Fast-absorbing and waterproof, this non-oily formula is enriched with anti-oxidants to help skin fight the harm caused by environmental damage.


Coppertone Ultra Sweatproof UVA/UVB Sunblock ($9.49)

  • PABA-free
  • Oil-free and non-greasy
  • Won’t clog pores
  • Waterproof and Sweat-proof 

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About the author

Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Originally from San Diego, Heidi migrated north to study journalism at SFSU and interned for the SF Bay Guardian writing music stuff. She later embarked on a study-abroad program in both Denmark and Holland, and basically never came home. For six long years, she froze her ass off in Oslo, Norway, pretending to be a viking princess, trying to figure out how to survive in the most expensive city in the world. The other two years were spent frolicking on the beach in Spain - sipping on sangria in between being tossed around Europe working as a stressed-out journalist. Heidi currently works at for a non-profit cultural exchange program, helping others experience life from a different perspective. She is thrilled to be back in SF, magnetizing the obscure, and scavenging the city for fun, free things to do.

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