TikTok Found a Supergoop Face Sunscreen Dupe at Trader Joe's — Here's What a Dermatologist Thinks

Users say it feels just like Supergoop's more expensive formula, but how similar are they really?

Trader Joe's Daily Facial Sunscreen
Photo: Trader Joe's

Keeping your skin protected from the sun's harmful rays is mission critical every single day — even when the weather is gloomy, when you're wearing makeup, and when you're not spending too much time outside. It's no secret sunscreen helps reduce the risk of painful burns and skin cancer, but finding SPF that's affordable, effective, and feels good on your skin is a surprisingly tall order for some. (See: SPF and Sun Protection Myths to Stop Believing, Stat)

Recently, TikTokers have found one that checks all the boxes and is even thought of as a dupe for the fan-favorite Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen. And it turns out, you can find it on the shelves of your local Trader Joe's for just $9, making it a budget-friendly pick at $27 less than its pricier counterpart.

When TJ's first released the Trader Joe's Daily Facial Sunscreen in stores last month, it didn't take long for the broad-spectrum SPF 40 to develop a fan base. Social media users quickly noticed that the lightweight, oil-free gel formula mimics the much pricier Supergoop face sunscreen. With close to seven million collective views on TikTok alone, the hashtag #traderjoessunscreen reveals videos of the sunscreen winning rave reviews due to its consistency and ingredient list that are similar to Supergoop's Unseen Sunscreen.

It has a "velvety consistency," making it a solid choice for a makeup primer too, according to one TikTok creator. Another user demonstrates how both formulas disappear into the skin without leaving a chalky, white cast in a TikTok posted earlier this month. Finally, the sweat-resistant, easily absorbable gel formula even gets the dermatologist seal of approval. TikTok's @dermdoctor, Dr. Muneeb Shah, compared the two sunscreens in a recent video, telling his 16 million followers to "run and go get this before it sells out."

Both buys contain four chemical UV blocking agents (avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, and octocrylene) in slightly different percentages. The chemical formulas found in both the Supergoop and Trader Joe's facial sunscreens likely accounts for their ability to seep into skin without feeling thick or looking greasy, as this type of sunscreen is less likely to leave behind a visible white cast, Shape previously reported. (Have sensitive skin? These formulas offer protection without potential irritation.)

So, what really sets the $36 Supergoop sunscreen apart from the $9 Trader Joe's sunscreen? "The small difference between the two formulas is that Supergoop has a few more beneficial ingredients," Geeta Yadav, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of FACET Dermatology, tells Shape. Those ingredients are meadowfoam (a plant-derived oil), mannitol (a sugar alcohol), lecithin (a group of fatty substances), and diatomaceous earth (a powder that comes from fossilized algae).

"Meadowfoam has a very high concentration of fatty acids — the most of any other plant oil," she says, adding that this helps nourish and soften the skin, fights collagen degradation, and protects against free radicals. Mannitol offers a boost of hydration, while lecithin, an ingredient rich in fatty acids, helps moisturize the skin, explains Dr. Yadav. Lastly, "diatomaceous earth is rich in minerals, provides antioxidant defense to help prevent signs of skin aging, and can help absorb excess oil," she says.

The TL:DR here: "For the price point, the Trader Joe's formula is excellent," says Dr. Yadav. "The formulas are similar enough that someone could expect comparable benefits," she notes, adding that "the most important" element when it comes to sunscreen is wearing it every day. With that in mind, "liking the product enough to apply it daily is key to compliance," according to Dr. Yadav.

Unfortunately, it's worth noting that viral fame means the Trader Joe's Daily Facial Sunscreen might be difficult to find on store shelves, so you'll want to stock up when you see it. (Next up: 8 Ways to Get Sun Protection — Besides Wearing Sunscreen)

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