The Real Reason You Shouldn't Buy Sunscreen At Dollar General

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Summer, sun, and fun all seem to go hand in hand. When beach and pool weather arrives, people the world over look forward to the outdoors and fresh air, but also know how important sunscreen is. You may be tempted to stock up on inexpensive sunscreen by making a Dollar General run, but experts agree the dollar store is not the best place to buy this all-important product.


Sunscreen is one of the most important items you can have when you're out in the sun, as it protects your skin from harmful UV rays. It helps lower your risk of skin cancer, with exposure to the sun being the biggest factor for this type of malignancy, according to Dermstore. Sunscreen also helps prevent dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation and also helps your skin not age prematurely. Further, sunscreen protects against skin inflammation.

With an item that can be so important to your quality of life and overall long-term health, you want to be careful where you make this purchase.

Dollar General is often not the place for essential health items

Dollar General and other dollar store chains came under fire in 2019 when they were found to be selling expired items, according to CNBC. Dollar Tree was fined by the state of New York for selling expired pharmaceutical products, while Dollar General was fined for selling obsolete motor oil. The possibility that what you're buying at Dollar General could be expired is the main reason experts list for opting out of sunscreen when shopping there.


The Sun Protection Factor, more commonly known as SPF, will degrade over time, making sunscreen less effective, and you don't want to risk your health by buying expired products. Reader's Digest notes that it's hard to know how long something has been sitting on the shelf at Dollar General. The Bob Vila site notes that SPF is another factor in why you shouldn't buy sunscreen at a dollar store. Sometimes the bottles could be mislabeled, and one that says SPF 50 might really be a much less potent and less effective SPF 15.

You don't want to risk your skin's health by paying a little bit less for sunscreen. Buying from a non-bargain-basement retail store for this purchase is probably your best bet.