Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Top-Rated Sunscreen for FREE

If you've been watching Coupon Katie's blog, she's had several codes for Medco that can allow you to get free sunscreen. I'm sure those are great, but I have another way to get a free tube locally of one of the top-rated sunscreens at CVS.

First of all, how do you decide which is the best sunscreen out there amongst a gagillion on the market? Our kids have Irish fair skin and a family history of skin cancer; trying to prevent sunburns is a challenge and a priority for me.

Two weeks ago Consumer Reports came out with a new list of "best sunscreens." The top four were all continuous sprays and the top ranker was an affordable option at Target: Up & Up Sport 30. Personally, I'm not a fan of the spray bottles that leave a sticky film on surfaces and can stain suits and life jackets. The bottles say "not to get on clothes." How are you supposed to accomplish that?! So, I rule those out.

This blog post a few days ago is pretty informative about what sunscreens NOT to use. Even one rated an SPF of 100 was on the bad list. I found this part particularly helpful:

"Top-rated sunscreens all contain the minerals zinc or titanium. They are the right choice for people who are looking for the best UVA protection without any sunscreen chemical considered to be a potential hormone disruptor. None of the products contain oxybenzone or vitamin A and none are sprayed or powdered. The best rated ones, according to the Environmental Working Group were by far, California Baby's range of sunscreen products, also Bullfrog, Badger and Jason Naturals."

I did notice California Baby's on the Medco list but they wanted $20 for not even 3 oz; ouch! So what's a budget-savvy, health-conscious, environmentally-aware mom to do? Well, last summer when my husband's father was diagnosed with skin cancer, he began researching options diligently. The minimum SPF we would consider was 30; anything 60 or above can get so thick it's a struggle with kids.

I was happy when he found on the lists CVS sunscreen with zinc oxide (not all CVS brands) with an SPF of 45. Here's a link that talks more about this brand. I've found it goes on clear if you don't use too much at once; ie: don't hand it to your 6-year-old and ask him to apply some--big mistake! I like that I've found a brand that I can easily get at a store where I find a lot of deals.

Now that I've found the product, I've been waiting for it to go on sale. No luck so far this summer and I was tired of waiting. I did receive a $1ECB for CVS sunscreen which I used my last trip to buy the 2oz version for the face ($3.99). That's also the trip when I received a $5 off $15 ECB; so I decided now was the time to get sunscreen for the summer. Since it expired within three days, I had to act fast. I was even more surprised to get another $2ECB off anything (no minimum required) the day I went to buy my deal. I have no idea if these are standard issue or if they're catered to my spending, but here's how I got one FREE tube of CVS sunscreen:

I bought two 4oz tubes for $6.49 each. I also bought 3 bottles of Dawn Hand Renewal dish soap on sale for $.97 each. Because I had all three kids in tow clamoring for something to eat, I also bought a Butterfinger bar for $.89.

My total before tax was $16.78.
I used the $5ECB for spending $15.
I used the $2ECB I got at the kiosk.
I used 3 $1/1 Dawn coupons from Home Made Simple mailers, but it deducted $2.91.
I used my free Butterfinger coupon I got from a Facebook promo.

Total I paid: $6.93
Total saved: $13.86 (and I got a $1ECB for my green tag.)

I was pretty excited to get two tubes of a top-rated sunscreen for the price of one without having a specific coupon or waiting for them to go on sale. Thanks, CVS! Note: I have no affiliation with CVS and was not compensated in any way for this post.

Update as of 6/11/10: I just received a $4 off $20 ECB in my email from CVS--good through Sunday. If you have not signed up for CVS emails, now would be a good time.

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