Top Daily Sunscreens for Winter

Wearing sunscreen is the number one skin care regimen requirement—even in winter. Ask any dermatologist and they’ll enthusiastically share the importance of wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen daily to protect your skin. 

While it’s easy to understand why wearing sunscreen is important in the spring and summer months, it can be more confusing why it’s also important to wear it in the winter months. 

That’s why in today’s post we’re sharing why it’s so important to wear sunscreen year round, including in winter, and sharing our favorite budget-friendly sunscreens. Check it out! 

Woman in winter coat walking outside during light snow

Do you need sunscreen in the winter?

Let’s start with the most pressing question: do you need to wear sunscreen in the winter? And why? The answer is clear: yes! Even though the sun isn’t as prominent in the winter as it is in the summer, your skin is still vulnerable to damage-causing UVA and UVB rays through activities like your daily commute driving in your car, going for a walk (even on an overcast day), or enjoying winter activities on a sunny bluebird day.

In fact, new reports show that blue light exposure from your computer or phone screen can have damaging effects to the skin as well. As we spend more and more time in front of our computers, it’s vital that we protect our skin. Now you know why it’s extremely important to wear broad spectrum sunscreen in the winter too. 

When should you apply sunscreen?

The next question we hear a lot is when the best time to apply sunscreen is? Between serums, moisturizers, and makeup, it can be confusing knowing the best time to apply sunscreen to make sure it’s the most effective in fighting skin cancer and skin damage like sun spots, skin sagging, wrinkles, and so on. According to the New York Times, one important way to ensure that you're truly protected from harmful UV rays is to apply your sunscreen as the last step in your morning skin care routine, but before you begin applying any makeup.”  

In summary, mineral sunscreens should be applied in this order:

  1. Face wash
  2. Any serums or moisturizers
  3. Sunscreen
  4. Makeup

Additionally, experts recommend letting your sunscreen fully dry before applying any makeup on top of it. In fact the same New York Times article says, “adding makeup too soon could dilute your sunscreen or interact with the ingredients, rendering them ineffective.”

Woman washing face looking in a mirror


What to look for in sunscreens?

Now, what should you look for in a sunscreen and how do you know which one is right for your skin? We break down what to look for in four different buckets:

    • Protection: First, know what level of sun protection you need. As a general rule, SPF 30 guards against 97% of UVB rays and is therefore the recommended minimum level of protection for daily use.

    • Texture and finish: Consider the texture and finish you need from your sunscreen. Most mineral sunscreens will leave a white cast finish. For darker skin tones, consider a chemical-based sunscreen that will leave a clear finish.

    • Price: Like all skincare products there are a wide selection of products available ranging from uber expensive to drug-store affordable. Understand that while not all sunscreens are created equal, that doesn’t mean you have to spend an arm and a leg on one either. In fact, we found a series of affordable sunscreens below.

    • Size: Consider the size and amount of sunscreen you need. Most experts recommend using ¼ teaspoon of sunscreen daily on your face. A viral TikTok trend says you can use two fingers worth of sunscreen to generally equate to this amount.
Caucasian woman applying sunscreen against a dark blue backdrop

Five budget sunscreens we love

Without further adieu, below are the top five budget sunscreens that we love. These are tried and tested sunscreens from our HAPARI team over years and years of being in the swimsuit industry. You could say we’re just a little sun-obsessed and love these budget-friendly and effective sunscreens. Check them out and give them a try!

  1. Trader Joe’s Daily Facial Sunscreen SPF 40 - $8.99 Trader Joe’s has a lowkey cult following for their affordably-priced skincare line—and to no one’s surprise, their sunscreen is just as good. Priced under 10 bucks, this broad spectrum sunscreen has a translucent, oil-free finish that makes it slide on smooth and stay put for hours. RUN to your nearest TJ’s and snag this incredible deal.

  2. Super Goop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 - $38 Arguably the most popular sunscreen on the market is the Super Goop Unseen Sunscreen. While it’s a little more pricey than the Trader Joe’s brand, this option is still under $40. The sunscreen is totally clear, weightless and scentless with a velvety finish while providing broad spectrum SPF 40 protection against UV and infrared radiation and helping to filter blue light—all with major skincare benefits in the mix!

  3. Image Sunscreen Daily Matte Moisturizer - $30 If you’re looking for a sunscreen that has a matte finish, this one's for you! The Image Sunscreen Daily Matte Moisturizer helps to prime and protect the skin while minimizing shine and leaving a soft matte finish. The formula is also free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, artificial fragrances, synthetic dyes or animal testing.

  4. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen SPF 50 - $12.49 A drugstore favorite brand, Neutrogena is at it again with a water gel sunscreen for under $15. This water-resistant sunscreen lotion with SPF 50 leaves skin looking healthy and moisturized for up to eight hours without any greasy residue or white cast finishes. The non-greasy sunscreen has a light, clean feel and layers invisibly under makeup.

  5. CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 - $13.99 Last but not least, we love the CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen. For under $15 you can score an award-winning screen—it’s been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance and the Skin Cancer Foundation Daily Use Seal of Approval. The formula has three essential ceramides to help restore the skin’s barrier and provide long-lasting hydration, as well as niacinamide to help calm your skin.
Image of skincare products on a clean sink and nice bathroom

Shop now—and Buy One, Get One Free!

Now that you know all about wearing sunscreen in the winter and our top budget favorites, don’t forget about our limited time Buy One, Get One Free sale to stock up on your favorite swimsuits too! Score a BOGO when you use code B1G1 at check out. Better hurry though, this deal won’t last long!

Ready for more lifestyle articles, product features and healthy living tips? Check out the other articles in our HAPARI blog. We feature special product spotlights, healthy eating and fitness advice, and exclusive insider deals on our swimwear. 

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