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The Best Face and Body Drugstore Sunscreens for All Skin Types

Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is nonnegotiable (just ask any dermatologist). Here are eight cost-effective sunscreens that'll do the job well.

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Drugstore Sunscreen Hero

Every season is sunscreen season, but once the weather warms up and we spend more time outdoors, daily application is even more important. Making sunscreen a part of your skin-care routine will protect you from UVA and UVB rays, which can cause skin cancer and premature signs of aging. “UV damage causes the breakdown of collagen and dysfunction of skin cells,” says Geeta Yadav, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of FACET Dermatology in Toronto. “When collagen breaks down, it makes skin less resilient and more lax, leading to fine lines and wrinkles.”

There are two types of sunscreens—chemical and mineral. Both work well, just differently. “When UV rays hit skin that has been treated with a chemical SPF, the rays are absorbed by the body and transform into heat before being released by the body without incurring damage,” says Yadav. “Mineral sunscreens work by creating a shield between the sun and skin. They physically block and deflect UV rays.”

Mineral sunscreens can sometimes leave a white cast on darker skin tones, but the technology is evolving and many brands now have formulas that work for everyone—and at a price point that pleases. “The cost doesn’t matter, what matters is the sun protection factor [Health Canada recommends an SPF of 30 or higher], being consistent with your application and applying enough to get adequate protection,” says Yadav.

Here are eight of the best drugstore sunscreens available at Canadian drugstores.

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