STORE BRAND SUNSCREEN GUIDE: 10 Best & Worst Private Label Copycats
We've all been disappointed by an occasional store brand, and we are especially nervous about trusting our skin to the mysterious no-name manufacturers behind these products. "Will it make me break out? Does it smell like bug spray?" are both legitimate questions when it comes to the generic. On the other hand, there is a lot of cash to be saved with a good generic.
That's where this guide comes in: we've done ingredient analysis and consumer testing on the majority of store brand sunscreens on the market, to come up with top 5 BEST & 5 WORST Sunscreen dupes.
5 WORST STORE BRAND SUNSCREENS
# 1 - up & up's version of Banana Boat Sport Performance SPF 30
SIMILARITY SCORE: 20%: The main drivers of this extremely low score are smell and thickness. Consumers said "Up&up smells more sunscreeny and is super watery."
# 2 - CVS's version of Coppertone Sport High Performance SPF 30
SIMILARITY SCORE: 27%: This dupe was dinged for consistency issues as Coppertone is much thicker. In addition, active and inactive ingredients were dissimilar.
# 3 - Walmart's Equate version of Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen SPF 50
SIMILARITY SCORE: 28%: This dupe ended up in the worst category because of very different active ingredients, smell, and the fact is was more watery. While the name brand, Banana Boat uses Zinc Oxide, which is a physical block, Equate uses chemical blocks. NOT THE SAME.
# 4 - CVS's version of Neutrogena Clear Face Breakout Free Liquid Lotion Sunscreen
SIMILARITY SCORE: 38%: Don't be fooled by the similar packaging - Consumers say that the CVS version leaves you feeling greasy.
# 5 - CVS's version of Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Sun Lotion SPF 30
SIMILARITY SCORE: 46%: While the best of the worst, this sunscreen makes the top five because consumers say it smells significantly different from the Hawaiian Tropic.
5 BEST STORE BRAND SUNSCREENS
# 1 - CVS's version of CeraVe Invisible Zinc Sunscreen Face Lotion
SIMILARITY SCORE: 96%: This dupe is the best of the best. In addition to almost identical ingredient panels, consumers said the CVS feels and smells the same. Switch to save about $6 per purchase.
# 2 CVS's version of Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion
SIMILARITY SCORE: 94%: An exact ingredient panel match and good marks in consumer testing puts this copycat with the best of them. We recommend switching to save.
# 3 - Walmart's Equate version of Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen
SIMILARITY SCORE: 89%: Equate has nearly identical ingredient panels and got high averages in our consumer testing, putting it among the best of the best. Which is great, because it's more than $2 less expensive than the brand.
# 4 - CVS's version of Aveeno Protect and Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen
SIMILARITY SCORE: 88%: This is a case where the pretty packaging is reflective of what's inside. Consumers say this copycat is very similar to Aveeno, but it got some points off for different inactive ingredients.
# 5 - CVS's version of Coppertone Sport Continuous Spray
SIMILARITY SCORE: 83%: Finally a spray dupe that is decent. Note that consumers docked points because the spray radius is larger, which some consumers said made it a little harder to use. Ingredient similarity and the similar feel to Coppertone put this in the top batch.
Brandefy is an independent startup that reviews store brands relative to thier name brands counterparts. We appreciate all feedback, and more information can be found on our site.