Sunscreen rules: Tips for outdoor workouts

Outdoor workouts are a good way to stay in shape. The change in scenery helps keep boredom at bay and the varying terrain can up the intensity of your run or walk or ride. No matter how you choose to be active in the great outdoors, don’t forget the sunscreen. Rates of melanoma – a type of skin cancer – have been increasing annually. Here is what you can do to protect yourself.

Avoid the hottest part of the day – When possible, exercise outside before 10am or after 4pm. The sun is hottest between those hours.

Wear sunscreen – choose broad spectrum products that protect against both UVA and UVB rays. An SPF (sun protective factor) between 30 and 50 is best. Apply before you don your workout gear so you are less likely to miss any spots. Don’t forget your hat.

Apply liberally, too – dispense a golf ball size amount and apply with complete coverage. Researchers have attributed the rise in skin cancer to improper sunscreen use. Use a little extra on vulnerable spots, such as your nose. Read the ingredients. Products with Retinol are thought to increase your risk of sunburn so avoid these if possible. Opt for lotions or sticks rather than sprays, which may not provide enough protection because of loss to the air before contact with the skin. The fumes may also compromise lung health.

Re-apply – Especially when you are working up a sweat, you want to choose a sunscreen that is water resistant. Re-apply at least every two hours or sooner if you are sweating a lot.

Consider sun protective clothing – products like shorts, hats and shirts are available from a variety of retailers at reasonable prices. You may even want to wear light weight long sleeved shirts to reduce sun exposure. Be sure to stay hydrated. If you feel dizziness, nausea or as if a headache is coming on, stop immediately and rest.

Give yourself a break – outdoor workouts are great but are not without risk from sun damage. To reduce the risk, exercise indoors or in areas with a lot of shade at least some of the time.

Know that you can still burn – sunscreen will not protect you from tans or sunburn. Although tans look healthy they can cause the skin to age prematurely as well as increase the risk of skin cancer. The risk is greatly increased with sunburn. Limit sun exposure to reduce your risk.

If nothing else, remember this – the best ways to protect yourself when exercising outdoors are to: apply sunscreen with complete coverage every time. Use broad spectrum products with an SPF of at least 30. Avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day and limit extensive sun exposure. Observe sunscreen rules for your health. After all, why work to improve your health with exercise if you are going to put it at risk with overexposure to the sun?

How to Choose Sunscreen for Exercise

Summer’s here. Time for some fun in the sun. Well, maybe not so fast. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 14th Report on Carcinogens, the ultraviolet rays in sunlight are human carcinogens. Doom aside, you can still enjoy outdoor activities, such as cycling, running, swimming, softball, and beach volleyball, as long as you apply some sunscreen before heading out. Given the range of products available, selecting a sunscreen, particularly one for sports that won’t sweat or wash off, can be a daunting task. Price and brand don’t necessarily matter. Briefly, a sports sunscreen should be labeled broad spectrum, have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 40 to 50, and be rated as water resistant for 80 minutes.

The sun’s rays
The ultraviolet (UV) portion of the solar spectrum, with wavelengths of 400 to 290 nanometers (nm), is the most damaging for your skin. Ultraviolet light can be further separated into UVA (400 to 320 nm) and UVB (320 to 290 nm) rays. Exposure to both UVA and UVB can lead to skin cancer. UVA rays reach the middle layer of the skin, causing wrinkles and age spots. UVB rays cause sunburn. Most of our sun exposure comes from UVA rays, which are present all day long and can penetrate clouds and glass. Peak UVB exposure occurs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The active ingredients in sunscreens are chemical compounds that absorb UV rays, mineral compounds that reflect or scatter UV rays, or a combination of the two. Creams or lotions carry the active ingredients and allow you to apply them uniformly on your skin. Common chemical absorbers listed on sunscreen labels include avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate, and oxybenzone. These are absorbed in your skin. Avobenzone and oxybenzone protect for UVA and the others protect for UVB. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the mineral compounds. They sit on top of your skin and offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Oxybenzone, homosalate and octinoxate tend have higher rates of allergic skin reactions, and laboratory studies have shown oxybenzone to lower estrogen levels and have stronger anti-androgenic effects. Are mineral sun screens safer? Maybe, but maybe not. Some people have skin that is sensitive to chemical sunscreens and others have skin that is sensitive to titanium dioxide. If you are really concerned, ask your dermatologist. Zinc-oxide containing sunscreens now contain micronized particles, which won’t leave a white residue on your skin. The best of these go on looking pretty clear.

SPF ratings
No sunscreen provides 100 percent sun protection. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent and SPF 50 blocks 98 percent of UV rays. There’s no advantage of purchasing a sunscreen above SPF 50. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB protection) sunscreen rated at SPF 30 or higher. You might want to consider using SPF 40 to SPF 50, however. In 2017, about a third of the sunscreens tested by Consumer Reports were found to contain half the SPF protection shown on the label. When Consumer Reports rates sunscreens, those that test within 70 to 84 percent of the labeled value are considered good. So a sunscreen labeled SPF 30 containing 70 percent protection would actually be SPF 21. Sunscreens may be labeled broad spectrum only if they provide comparable SPF protection for both UVA and UVB radiation. If the label doesn’t say broad spectrum, then the SPF rating is for UVB radiation only.

Water and sweat resistance
Sunscreens for sports should maintain their SPF protection while swimming or sweating for at least 40 minutes. Products claiming to be water resistant must be labeled either Water Resistant (40 min) or Water resistant (80 min).

Sunscreen application
Say you’ve purchased a broad-spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen labeled as being water resistant for 80 minutes, how much should you use? The most common recommendation is to use an ounce of sunscreen. But who knows how much that is? And an ounce isn’t necessarily going to cover all body types. The best practice is to apply a fairly generous coating to the exposed areas of your body about 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. Don’t be stingy. Reapply every two hours and maybe sooner if swimming or sweating heavily.

Guest Post by David Blumel, an SL Fitness Run Club Pacer
David, when not pacing the SL Fitness Run Club, works in publishing. He is currently training for the 5th Avenue Mile in the 60 years of age and older category and hopes to beat his PR of 5:16!
“I’ve been running since ’71 and I don’t know how to stop.”

This Health & Wellness post is brought to you by SL Fitness at Starrett-Lehigh. For more information on this building amenity and service, visit the Fitness Center information page.

Filed under: *Fitness & Health Events, *Fitness & Health News, *Fitness Center, *Tenant ScoopTenant Scoop

In general, outdoor exercise is a good thing. But did you know that if you exercise outdoors, you are at a higher risk for skin related cancers due to sun exposure? Increased amount of time in the sun, lack of protective clothing, and unavoidable excessive sweating can contribute to increasing your risk of skin cancer while exercising.

As an athlete or avid exerciser, there are many ways that you can protect yourself and still enjoy the outdoor activities you love. Here are a few of our tips!

  • If possible, avoid exercise between 10am and 4pm when the sun’s rays are most intense.
  • Aim to wear wraparound sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of UV radiation. This will protect your eyes, eyelids, and surrounding areas.
  • Always try to layer with a wide brimmed hat
  • When choosing a sunscreen, aim to use broad spectrum which includes UVA & UVB protection with a SPF of 30 or higher and is water resistant or sports specific.
  • Use caution when near water and sand as they reflect the rays of the sun.
  • Since up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation can penetrate clouds and harm your skin, remember to protect yourself on overcast days.
  • It’s a good idea to carry sunscreen with you, and reapply every two hours, especially when you are sweating heavily.
  • Don’t forget to add sunscreen evenly and in hard to reach places like the back of the neck, backs of your hands and feet, scalp, and behind your ears.
  • Always check the UV index. The UV index ranges from one to 11. The higher the UV index, the stronger the sun’s rays. Be extra careful outside when the UV index is high.

So next time you are headed outdoors for your exercise or sports events, remember the basics. By preparing for the day ahead you can protect yourself for years to come from the sun’s harmful rays. How do you protect yourself while outdoors? Share your comments for readers below!

With winter nearly behind us and the recent FDA announcements about sunscreen safety, there’s more talk (and confusion!) around SPF than ever before. But one thing is for sure: It’s extremely important to wear it regularly. At the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab, we tested the best sunscreens and SPFs and consulted top dermatologists to find the best sun protectant to keep your skin protected, healthy, and youthful all year long.

Here are the best sunscreens according to the GH Beauty Lab experts and dermatologists:

Top Lab Pick: Kiehl’s Activated Sun Protector Water-Light Lotion
Best Value: Australian Gold X-treme Sport Spray Gel Sunscreen
Tester Favorite: Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen
Sport Formula: Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Lotion
Hydrating Formula: Banana Boat SunComfort Sunscreen
Sensitive Skin Formula: Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion
Fast-Absorbing Formula: Bull Frog Sunscreen Lotion Water Sport
Mineral Formula: MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense
Zinc Oxide Formula: CeraVe Sunscreen Invisible Zinc
Eczema-Friendly Formula: Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Sunscreen Lotion
Before we explain just why these are the best sunscreens on the market, let’s answer some of your most burning questions about SPF:

What SPF do dermatologists recommend?

“We recommend SPF 30 and up to all of our patients,” says Dr. David Lortscher, board-certified dermatologist and CEO of Curology. “But remember, sunscreen isn’t a complete block — no matter what the SPF is!” Dermatologists also recommend taking advantage of clothing, hats, sunglasses, and shady spots (especially between peak UV exposure hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Make sure to look for a water-resistant, broad spectrum formula, along with an SPF of 30 or higher: The term “broad spectrum” means the sunscreen protects against both harmful UVA/UVB rays.

How do I apply sunscreen, and how much sunscreen should I use?

For the best protection, apply sunscreen liberally on all exposed areas 30 minutes before going outdoors. “Liberally” here means a shot glass-full for the body, a nickel-size dollop for the face, says GH Beauty Lab Director Birnur Aral, Ph.D. Don’t stop there: Layer on a second coat “to help cover spots you missed the first time,” suggests Steven Q. Wang, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Another hack? Slather SPF all over before you dress to ensure full coverage and avoid those painful slivers of sunburns that always seem to crop up along the edges of your swimsuit.

What sunscreen SPF is the strongest?

While you may have heard that boosted SPF numbers are just marketing jargon and that the FDA is considering capping SPF at 60, you really should not rely only on a low SPF 15. “SPF 30 filters 96.7% of UV rays, meaning it allows 3.3% to reach skin, while SPF 60 filters 98.3%, allowing 1.7% through,” explains Dr. Wang. “So SPF 30 actually lets twice as much UV reach skin as SPF 60.”

More reason to go high: “Our tests have shown that people apply about one-third the amount of sunscreen necessary to achieve the SPF listed on the label,” Aral says. “We recommend using at least broad-spectrum SPF 50 to compensate.” But high SPF numbers can give a false sense of security, so remember to reapply at least every two hours.

How long does SPF last?

SPF can stand up to water and sweat, but only for a certain amount of time. While the FDA previously allowed sunscreens to be labeled water- and sweat-proof, regulations now mandate they can be labeled only water- and sweat-resistant for up to 40 or 80 minutes. That’s because no sunscreen is completely impervious to water and sweat, just as no sunscreen can totally “block” the sun’s rays. “Sweat-resistant” labeling means the formula maintained its SPF level on testers’ skin in a water bath for the indicated time, Dr. Wang says; beyond that timeframe, it should be reapplied

Do I really need to wear sunscreen in the shade?

Yes, and you should wear sunscreen every single day of the year, too. One study found that 78% of people who used only an umbrella on a sunny beach day burned, versus 25% of those who used only SPF, likely because shade doesn’t block UV light from all angles. Your best bet is tripling up, says Aral: “Apply sunscreen, stay in the shade, and wear sun-protective clothing and sunglasses.”

Should I use a natural sunscreen?

“There’s no such thing as a truly ‘natural’ sunscreen,” says Dr. Wang, “because the ingredients need to be treated in chemical processes when added to formulas to prevent harmful reactions.” Since there’s really no clear definition of the word “natural” for personal care products, you’re likely thinking of the chemical versus physical sunscreens.

Sunscreens in both the chemical and physical families have been proven safe and effective. Chemical formulas absorb UV light so it can’t penetrate your skin, while physical sunblocks contain only the mineral actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which immediately act as a barrier for your skin, reflecting or “bouncing” sunlight away. But be aware that these physical sunscreens are also the types that can leave a white cast on your skin.

Do I need a different sunscreen for my face?

According to our Beauty Lab pros, SPF is SPF, so from a protection perspective, one product can do it all. But sunscreen for your body can feel too greasy or heavy on the face, so if you have oily skin, you might want to consider products that are specially formulated for your face. These face moisturizers with SPF contain other goodies like antioxidants that address specific facial skincare concerns like hydration, age spots, and fine lines and wrinkles.

An important note on sunscreen safety: The FDA is currently proposing big changes to sunscreen regulations, and only physical sunscreens with the active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are recognized as generally safe right now. “Until they reach a more robust conclusion in late 2019, we’re including a range of formulas (both mineral and chemical) that we’ve found to be effective against sunburn during our testing,” explains Aral. “These picks also earned positive feedback with consumer testers, so you won’t mind reapplying every 2 hours.”

Now that you’ve got the lowdown, check out some top-tested formulas from our Beauty Lab:

Best Sport Sunscreen: Why Athletes Choose SolRX

Consider your search for the best sports sunscreen over. Rigorously tested and used by some of the world’s top athletes, SolRX has developed a complete spectrum of advanced sport sunscreen products that suit all walks of life.

From swimmers, cyclists, and golfers, to professional surfers, runners, and beach volleyball players, SolRX has become the sport sunscreen of choice for many different athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. Using a patented WATERBLOCK® formula, SolRX offers high-performance, water-resistant sunscreens that are broad spectrum, eco-friendly, and will not burn your eyes if you sweat.

And unlike other sports sunscreens that claim to be “the best,” SolRX is paraben-free and oil-free, providing a comfortable dry finish for hours of dependable sun protection. But what else makes SolRX the best sports sunscreen on the market? Learn the facts behind SolRX sport sunscreen and why so many athletes make SolRX their sunblock of choice.

8-Hour Immersion Tested Formula

SolRX worked with AMA Testing Labs to develop a test that would measure the performance of our WaterBlock® sport sunscreen for athletes. This test would need measure how water resistant the formula is before its Sun Protection Factor (SPF) would start to diminish.

Further, SolRX specified that the test must be “tougher than that of the FDA or any other governmental agency in the world,” and was intended to measure the product’s SPF rating after 8 hours in the water.

After testing the WaterBlock® technology, AMA Labs confirmed SolRX sports sunscreen as being water resistant for an 8-hour period of time, making it one of the best sports sunscreen for water exposure.

Broad-Spectrum Sports Sunscreen for UVA/UVB Defense

There’s a reason why SolRX products are the best sunscreens for athletes seeking maximum protection from UVA/UVB rays. We have developed a full line of broad spectrum sunscreen with UVA/UVB defense including our Spray Dry, Dry Zinc, and Original WATERBLOCk Formula.

The chronic effects of UV exposure can have serious (even life threatening) implications for athletes who are exposed to sun for long periods of time. Some of the most pronounced risks of UVA/UVB exposure include premature aging of the skin, immune system suppression, damage to the eyes, skin pigment fading, and skin cancer.

So when you’re competing out on the court, course, road, or water, be sure to protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays with the broad spectrum defense that comes with SolRX sports sunscreens.

Eco-friendly & Reef Safe Sport Sunscreen

Protect yourself, or protect nature? A recently released report claims that sunscreen is damaging the ocean’s coral reefs, and reducing their ability to cope with fluctuating climate change and other environmental issues.

With SolRX, you don’t have to choose between between being exposed to dangerous UV rays or keeping the reefs healthy. We are committed to offering the best reef-friendly sunscreen, so that you aren’t doing harm to the vulnerable oceanic environment when you use them.

To further reinforce SolRX as the best sport sunscreen for both athletes and the environment, our products have been tested by the industry’s leading provider of SPF waterproof testing. The science-based results show that it is impossible for SolRX sunscreen to deposit on the reef if it is on the skin. And evidence that the formula remains on the skin is borne out by the SPF rating remaining constant throughout the testing.

Conclusion: our sports sunscreen for athletes remains on the wearer for 8 hours and provides 97% or more of its SPF protection that entire time. This translates to no deleterious effect to the our ocean’s reefs and the environment as a whole.

Get the Best Sports Sunscreen for Your Athletic Lifestyle

Are you ready to experience what makes SolRX the best sports sunscreen on the market? Below we feature some of the most preferred SolRX sunscreen products for athletes and sports enthusiasts.

SolRX SPF 50 Zinc Sports Sunscreen

SolRX WATERBLOCK SPF 50 Zinc Sunscreen is the trusted choice of athletes and lifeguards for protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Originally designed for triathletes, swimmers and surfers, our SPF 50 Zinc Sports Sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection and it will not burn your eyes if you sweat.

Differing from normal sports sunscreens, SolRX’s SPF 50 Zinc Oxide Sunscreen blocks the sun’s harmful rays, instead of reflecting them. Regular sport sunscreens absorb into the skin in order to start working. Dry Zinc Sunscreen physically blocks the sun by sitting directly on your skin, which is why most labels say to apply the zinc sunscreen about 20 minutes before entering the sun.

SolRX WaterBlock SPF 50 Water Resistant Sunscreen

As SolRX’s flagship sport sunscreen, WATERBLOCK SPF 50 Water Resistant Sunscreen is the choice in SPF 50 sunscreens for athletes around the world because of the ultimate protection it provides. WaterBlock SPF 50 sunscreen protects athletes from 98% of sunburn-causing UVB rays as well as the UVA rays that age and wrinkle skin.

Like all of our sunscreens, SolRX WATERBLOCK SPF 50 sunscreen is water resistant, oil free and paraben free, making it the best SPF 50 sunscreen for athletes with sensitive skin. In AMA Labs 8 Hour Immersion testing, our SPF 50 broad spectrum sunscreen was proven to protect skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays for 480 minutes.

Get the WATERBLOCK SPF 50 Water Resistant Sunscreen with quantity discounts available.

SolRX SPF 70 Spray Sunscreen

Our SPF 70 Spray sunscreen provides perfectly balanced UVA/UVB protection for athletes who need the ultimate skin protection while they compete outdoors.

SolRX’s new SPF 70 Spray Sunscreen is engineered with a naturally derived grain alcohol instead of normal SD-40 petroleum based alcohols to keep your skin from drying out.

Like all of our WATERBLOCK sports sunscreens, SolRX Spray SPF 70 is paraben free, non-sticky, and has been proven to provide 480 minutes of protection in and out of the water, making it one of the best sports sunscreen for athletes.

Shop the SPF 70 Spray Sunscreen with quantity discounts available.

Now is the time to stock up on editor-tested sunscreens to keep your skin protected on summer runs.

Photo by Oliver Baker.

Soak Up The Sun

Now is the time to stock up on sunscreens to keep your skin protected on summer runs. We tried out sticks, sprays, powders and lotions to find our favorite sunscreens for running.

Thinksport Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+, 13 For 3 Oz.

This mineral-based sunscreen formula earns high marks from WR testers for its light, fruity scent and clean ingredient list. The lotion applies well without leaving a greasy residue, stays in place decently well while sweating and turns your skin slightly white, thanks to the zinc oxide.

Brush On Block SPF 30, $32 For 0.12-Oz Tube

We loved the versatility of this self-dispensing powdered sunscreen, which uses titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as active ingredients. The hypoallergenic powder can be applied right over makeup (almost like a setting powder) for sun protection, or just works as a lightweight sunscreen you can leave in your purse or gym bag to apply before a run. The price is steep, but the brush can be refilled.

All Good SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen Spray, $22 For 6 Oz.

This mineral zinc oxide–containing sunscreen has a thin and lotion-like consistency, applies easily (though you’ll have to blend it with your hands) and a mild, aloe-like scent (the first ingredient is aloe leaf juice). It leaves a slightly noticeable residue after runs but didn’t seem to drip easily when sweating, thanks to its water resistance.

Best Double Duty

This deodorant-sized tube provides not only sun protection but also anti-chafing protection, which we found especially useful around sports bra seams. The stick glides on smoothly and feels similar to a traditional Body Glide or anti-chafing agent. It uses multiple active ingredients, including avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone.

Sol Sunguard Multisport SPF 32, $16 For 3.4 Oz.

Designed specifically for aerobic sports, this sunscreen is non–water soluble, meaning sweat won’t cause it to drip or wear off after 80 minutes, plus it doesn’t sting your eyes—seriously! For sun protection, it uses a pharmaceutical-grade zinc oxide plus octinoxate and ensulizole.

Raw Elements Tinted Face Stick 30+, $16 For 0.6 Oz

This compact stick is made with certified organic ingredients that are safe for both you and the environment. Made with zinc oxide, the beeswax-textured stick feels somewhat thick when applying, but also stays in place well when sweating. The natural tinting keeps your face from looking pasty, and the natural ingredients moisturize and protect your face from the elements.


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8 Best Face Sunscreens to Beat the Elements

We all know how important it is to protect your skin from the sun—no need to lecture. But for those of us who love to play hard outside, not any old run-of-the-mill lotion will do.

We sweat, we swim, we have become intimate with the earth’s harsh elements, which can do a number on our skin–and our sunscreen applications. Of course, clothing and hats provide the best protection of all but we tend to expose our faces the most, so that’s the most important part of us to proctect.

For those unaware, the FDA recently making changes to the requirements of sunscreen labels, banning the unrealistic words “waterproof” and “sweatproof” (sunscreens can only label themselves “water resistant”), restricting SPF levels to lie only between 15 and 50 and requiring that a brand must block UVA and UVB equally in order to call itself “broad spectrum,” choosing the right sunscreen can get confusing.

Here are some athlete-friendly sunscreen picks, in no particular order. Whether you frequent the mountains, the oceans, the rivers or just plain love to work up a good sweat under that bright blue sky, these recommendations are for you.

Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation and Sun Protection Stick Foundation

SPF: 35 and 42
Drip Factor: Very low, especially in the stick.

About a decade or so back, a few smart surfers (both men and women) discovered the beauty of wearing water resistant foundation—yes, makeup—to protect their faces from the sun. Obviously, no matter how effective the sunscreen, it’s always important to reapply. Shiseido is very popular among the ocean crew, paddlers and surfers especially, and at about $35 per stick, you can find it in department stores, malls and duty-free at international airports.

Ella Bache Sunguard Foundation

SPF: 30
Drip Factor: Low—it’s very thick and feels very water resistant. But even though you feel protected, make sure you reapply every 80 minutes or so; it seems to rub off slightly. Not the best for applying to already wet and sweaty skin, though.

While both genders use Shiseido, this one’s mostly for the ladies. And at $46 for one 30 ml tube—in Australian dollars—you’d better believe this high-end product is effective. These 100 percent mineral tinted sunscreens (foundations, actually), with key ingredients of Lanolin and Titanium Dioxide, are available in five natural (and very pretty) shades. For those who care, it does look great on. Order online, or you can find it in Australian department stores.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock

SPF: 30 and 55
Drip Factor: Like its name would suggest, this sunscreen, which goes on clear, feels dry on your skin right away—and its claim to feel “weightless and clean” is all true. It stings eyes, though, so make sure you apply a good half hour before you plan on sweating or getting in the water. But as its name wouldn’t suggest, it’s not a block; it absorbs into your skin. So reapply, reapply, reapply.

Neutrogena has patented a sunscreen technology called “Helioplex.” It may or may not sound like a bunch of jargon, but the product itself definitely works, so long as you reapply. At $9.49 per bottle, it’s worth at least a try. This is also a good sunscreen to use as a base, underneath your thicker, tinted sticks or nosecoats.

We tried it: The best sweat-resistant sunscreens

When it comes to beauty products, nothing trumps the skin-saving powers of a good broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. It’s certainly not the flashiest segment of your skincare routine, but it’s a high performer, delaying the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots and other signs of aging while also preventing you from developing skin cancer. With all the good it does, it should be a no brainer to wear the stuff. Except a lot of us don’t.

According to a 2019 survey from market research company Leger, sponsored by Banana Boat, one in two Canadians aren’t applying enough sunscreen to protect themselves from harmful rays, and nearly a quarter say they don’t wear any sunscreen at all. As a former beauty editor and devoted sun safety advocate, these numbers make me break out in a cold sweat. If you’re not going to wear sunscreen for vanity’s sake, then at least slather it on for your health!

What’s more, be sure you’re doing it right. The biggest roadblock to effective sun protection is poor compliance (are you using the product as directed? Are you applying it as frequently as recommended?). And one segment of the population that tends to be extra resistant to following these guidelines are folks who enjoy clocking in their workouts outdoors. I get it; I’m a runner, and I’ve hit a few snags when I’ve slathered on the appropriate amount of sunscreen — a nickel-sized dollop for your face, neck and ears, and roughly a shot glass for your body — before working out in the heat. Combining exercise, sun and SPF can result in feeling like an oil slick, or the stuff can wear off, flaking, pilling and streaking down your face, even finding its way into your eyes.

But the risks of sun exposure are real. So this summer, I’ve done the leg work and tested over 20 different brands of sunscreen on my morning runs (real talk: some did leave me with stinging eyes and major streaks) and narrowed it down to the best performers in their categories. Here are my top picks of sweat-resistant sunscreens.

The best sunscreen to bring on a long run or bike ride

Standard guidelines say to reapply sunscreen every two hours, but if you’re training for a triathlon or marathon, chances are some of your workouts are stretching longer than two hours — and you’re doing some serious sweating. This small-sized mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide from Canadian beauty brand LaSpa is small enough to fit into most pockets — or, in my case, a running belt — and is perfect for on-the-go touch-ups. Although this wee stick isn’t specifically formulated and marketed as a sunscreen for the sweaty set, it performed remarkably well with no streaking or white residue.

LASPA SPF50 Ultra Sun Protection Stick, $18, LASPA Naturals Co.

The best sunscreen for hard-to-reach spots

Neutrogena has been slaying the SPF game for a few decades. This year, the company updated its Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreens with a new bottle design that’s got your back — literally. The longer handle and one-touch continuous spray function allowed me to cover all the areas of my body that are harder to reach. I also found the formula worked well when applied around the hairline and scalp; this is an area that shouldn’t be overlooked, because your scalp, like any other skin on the body, is susceptible to skin cancer, too.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Spray SPF 45, $13.37, Walmart

The best sunscreen deal

For years, this Coppertone sunscreen was my go-to for any and all fitness-related activities. I took a hiatus, but for this piece, I wanted to revisit it, and I’m happy to report that it still holds up. It’s lightweight, breathable and both sweat- and water-resistant. Once it dries down, I find it doesn’t wear off, and never runs into my eyes and stings.

Coppertone Sport SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion, $8.97, Walmart

The best sunscreen for sensitive eyes

If you have eczema around or on your eyelids, or just have sensitive skin in general, it might be worth cocktailing a combo of different sunscreens for your body, face and eye area. Initially, I was hesitant to try SkinCeuticals’ Physical Eye UV Defense because the thought of adding yet another product to my jammed routine seemed overwhelming. But I’ve since changed my tune. After one particularly sweaty run, I was won over by its performance. The ophthalmologist-tested sunscreen didn’t migrate into or irritate my eyes and actually left them looking smoother, thanks to ceramides added into its formulation. Plus, it has a slight tint, so I didn’t have to tug at my eye area to blend out the typical chalky colour associated with mineral sunscreen.

SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50, $39, SkinCeuticals

The best mineral sunscreen mist

A mineral sunscreen in a continuous mist is a rare bird, so I was eager to try this product from clean beauty brand Beautycounter. I’m pleased to say that my expectations were more than met. The sunscreen’s main filter is non-nano zinc oxide, meaning that it sprays on white, which I actually prefer because I can see the areas I’ve covered. It then blends in and dries quickly, leaving no white streaks behind. Some mineral sunscreens can flake off on my face post run, but this one stayed put on body and face — and felt breathable to boot.

Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 – 6 oz., $46, Beautycounter

The best sunscreen for face and body

This Vichy sunscreen was tested on few grueling trail runs and a recent four-day canoe trip in Ontario’s Algonquin Park, and it performed like a champ. The texture was amazing, and I liked the way it felt on my face; it left my skin feeling dry (as dry as a liquid can be) and non-greasy. It also had a slight cooling effect when applied, and absorbed quickly and effectively, not moving around after the sweat started to trickle down. The only thing that could have made it better is if it also protected me from the brutal mosquitoes and deer flies that Algonquin is notorious for in the month of June.

Vichy Idéal Soleil Sport SPF 60 Ultra-Light Refreshing Lotion, $29.99,

The best sunscreen to stamp out a shiny face

The struggle is real for those of us with oily and combination skin come summer, especially if our plans include working out outside. This formula is my favourite kind, gel-cream, which means it’s lightweight and blends into skin quickly with no white marks. It didn’t feel sticky at all and was completely undetectable in both feel and scent. A major highlight is the mattifying ingredients, which helped to soak up sebum and sweat, leaving my face shine-free both pre- and post-run.

La Roche Posay Anthelios Dry Touch Gel Cream SPF 60, $29.50,

The best sporty sunscreen with a tint

You may be wondering, why the heck would anyone want to wear a tinted sunscreen when they sweat? I thought that. But then I tried Shiseido’s Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce, and I quickly bought into the hype. It’s not for everyone — it’s only available in a limited shade range — but if your skin tone is on the fair to medium side, you have some blemishes and you generally don’t like to leave the house without a little bit of coverage, then this is the sunscreen for you. One thing I love about all of Shiseido’s chemical-filter sunscreens is its WetForce technology, which takes sunscreen’s mortal enemies — water and sweat — and uses them to boost UV protection.

Shiseido Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce, $48, Sephora

Julia McEwen is a Toronto-based writer, editor and stylist. Follow her at @juliapjmcewen

Best sunscreen for sweating

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