How to choose a sweat resistant sunscreen

woman with sweaty face

Photo Jacob Lund Shutterstock

Sunscreen is essential for outdoor summer workouts, but there are few rougher feelings in life than when your sweat turns your forehead into a slip’n’slide and a layer of goopy sunscreen comes off down.

Fortunately, some sunscreens are better than others. Technically, none of them are “sweat resistant” as something will eventually wear out. (In a similar vein, the FDA doesn’t allow sunscreens to advertise themselves as’ waterproof ‘or call themselves’ sunblock.)resistant and so sweat resistant sunscreens exist, and a look at the label can help you tell the difference.

Look for “40 minutes” or “80 minutes” on the label

Sunscreens that are resistant to sweating or swimming will be labeled ‘water resistant’ and you will see those words on the front of the package. Most sunscreens with ‘sport’ in the name are water resistant, but pay attention to the fine print.

According to FDA labeling guidelines, a sunscreen that declares itself water-resistant must also indicate whether it passed a 40-minute or 80-minute test. Look for the words “water resistant (80 minutes)” for the sunscreens that are most resistant to sweating.

Even sweat-resistant sunscreens need to be reapplied

If you’re about to hit the road for a few hours, you can’t just sneak through sunshade and then forget it. Add up the amount of time you expect to be away and compare it to what your sunscreen says it can do.

All sunscreens should be reapplied after two hours, even if you haven’t been sweating. During that time, you probably touched your face, your sleeves rubbed your arms, and so on. There is no guarantee that you will have enough sunscreen left to protect yourself, so go ahead and reapply; aand IIf you do dry off at any point, make sure to reapply it afterward.

If you’re sweating (or swimming, or otherwise exposed to water), pay attention to that water resistance rating. If you’re running for 90 minutes, wearing an 80-minute sunscreen won’t get you all the way to the finish line. Chances are you’ll stop for water or snacks at some point, so pack sunscreen and reapply if you have the time.

Balance all factors

As with any skin product, you need to experiment to find out which one is best for you. (And last but not least, the best sunscreen is the one you actually wearYou’ll also want to see the rest of the stats on the label. Look for an SPF of at least 30 and include the words “broad spectrum” that it blocks UVA rays in addition to UVB

So even though I prefer an 80 minute sunscreen, the one I wear when I run is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face Mist. It’s SPF 55, broad spectrum, and most importantly, it doesn’t feel sticky or slimy like others i have tried. It’s water resistant for 40 minutes so I reapply or choose a different sunscreen when I know I’m going to workt longer than that. (I’ll be using an 80 minute sunscreen on my arms in those cases, but still, I prefer my favorite for my face.)When you have found your own favorite sweat resistant sunscreen, let us know.