10 Best Sunscreens for Athletes: Compare, Buy & Save

best sunscreen for endurance athletes

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From long distance running to cycling, swimming and other sports, you probably spend hours outside at a time. However, when you spend that much time in the sun, you’ll want the best sweat-resistant sunscreen that can deliver maximum protection without causing irritation or other skin issues. This is especially true in the height of summer, when the sun is strongest and you find yourself spending lots of time outdoors. Sunscreen should be reapplied after swimming or sweating heavily for best results. Even if your skin isn’t wet, you should apply sunscreen every two hours for complete protection.

For maximum protection, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 rating. SPF ratings refer to the amount of UVB rays that are blocked. An SPF 30 rating means 97 percent of UVB rays are blocked, while an SPF 100 rating means that 99 percent of UVB rays are blocked. The same organization notes that you’ll need to apply at least one ounce of sunscreen to fully protect your skin.


1. Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

This sunscreen provides full UVA and UVB protection. It also features a zinc oxide formula that helps reflect harmful rays before they can penetrate the skin. The sunscreen also has an SPF 30+ rating.  Fans of this sunscreen particularly like how the bottle turns blue when it’s exposed to harmful UV rays, which can act as a helpful reminder to continue applying the sunscreen when you’re outside for extended periods of time.

Most water resistant sunscreens last for at least 40 minutes, while others stay on the skin up to 80 minutes per application. This Blue Lizard sunscreen is built to last up to 80 minutes, making it a practical choice for water-based sports.

Price: $14.98

Buy the Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen here.


Pros:

  • Zinc oxide formula offers full UVA/UVB protection
  • Bottle turns blue when exposed to UV rays
  • Water resistant up to 80 minutes

Cons:

  • Formula is a bit thin
  • Some wish the formula wasn’t chemical-based
  • A bit pricey

Find more Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen information and reviews here.


2. Neutrogena Cooldry Sport Sunscreen

Neutrogena Cooldry Sport Sunscreen

Sunscreen with broad spectrum protection shields skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.  Every sunscreen protects against UVB rays, which tend to cause sunburns. However, UVA rays can prematurely age the skin, and may lead to skin cancer. As an athlete, you’ll need to shield your skin from exposure to both UVA and UVB rays. The Neutrogena Cooldry Sport Sunscreen delivers broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

This sunscreen also stands out for its lightweight formula, which goes on smoothly and doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy. Its smooth formula makes this product one of the best sport sunscreens for athletes who want to feel cool and comfortable, rather than weighed down by heavy lotion.

Athletes will appreciate the smooth and non-sticky feeling once this sunscreen is applied to the skin. It also won’t block pores when sweating, thanks to its oil-free formula. This sunscreen has an SPF 70 rating and is water resistant up to 80 minutes.

Price: $9.09 (23 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Neutrogena Cooldry Sport Sunscreen here.


Pros:

  • Broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • Water resistant up to 80 minutes
  • PABA and oil-free forumula

Cons:

  • Needs to be reapplied every 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Formula feels sticky
  • A few note the sunscreen has a light odor

Find more Neutrogena Cooldry Sport Sunscreen information and reviews here.


3. Banana Boat Sport Performance Lotion

banana boat sunscreen

Banana Boat

At just two ounces per bottle, the Banana Boat Sport Performance Lotion is an ideal solution if you’re looking for sunscreen to take on the go. It’s small enough to fit into a carry-on bag, or even your pockets. If you’re racing or competing, you might find that a smaller bottle is best for portability. You can also stash smaller bottles in your gear for easy access during training and races. 

The formula offers broad spectrum SPF 50+ coverage with UVA and UVB protection. Some sunscreens tend to migrate into the eyes during a workout, but this formula is designed to stay in place. It’s also sweat and water resistant up to 80 minutes, and isn’t greasy when applied to the skin.

Price: $8.52

Buy the Banana Boat Sport Performance Lotion here.


Pros:

  • Travel size
  • Broad spectrum SPF 50+ coverage
  • Sweat and water resistant up to 80 minutes

Cons:

  • Bottle isn’t marked with an expiration date
  • Not the most eco-friendly ingredients
  • Some say it feels sticky

Find more Banana Boat Sport Performance Lotion information and reviews here.


4. Thinksport SPF 50+ Sunscreen

Thinksport SPF 50+ Sunscreen

Thinksport

If you’re looking for the best sport sunscreen for athletes without chemicals, consider this product, which has a natural formula. You won’t find chemicals such as parabens, phthalates or oxybenzones on the label. The sunscreen has an SPF 50+ rating and is water resistant up to 80 minutes. It also offers broad UVA/UVB protection. The formula is designed for smooth application without feeling oily.

Its main ingredient, zinc oxide, helps deflect sun rays before they hit the skin. Some sunscreens may combine zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Both ingredients act as a shield, helping to deflect harmful sun rays before they have a chance to penetrate the skin.

Price: $10.99

Buy the Thinksport SPF 50+ Sunscreen here.


Pros:

  • Natural formula
  • Doesn’t feel oily on the skin
  • Water resistant up to 80 minutes

Cons:

  • Some say it leaves a white residue
  • A bit pricey
  • Relatively thick formula

Find more Thinksport SPF 50+ Sunscreen information and reviews here.


5. Zealios Sun Barrier Sunscreen

Zealios Sun Barrier Sunscreen

Zealios

This athlete-oriented sunscreen features an SPF 45 rating along with a zinc base for complete UVA/UVB protection. The formula goes on smooth and dries as fast as possible, making it a popular choice for athletes seeking the best sport sunscreen for outdoor activities such as biking, running and playing volleyball. As a bonus, the formula is water resistant and can be used for swimming and various water sports. This sunscreen lasts up to 80 minutes in the water. The sunscreen won’t migrate into the eyes once it’s applied.

It’s not uncommon to find water resistant sunscreen, but no sunscreen is sweatproof or waterproof. As a result, you’ll need to apply the sunscreen at least every two hours, or even more frequently if you’re spending lots of time in the water.

Price: $14.95

Buy the Zealios Sun Barrier Sunscreen here.


Pros:

  • Zinc base
  • Water resistant formula
  • Dries quickly

Cons:

  • Rather thick forumla
  • Some say it stings a bit when it gets into the eyes
  • A bit pricey

Find more Zealios Sun Barrier Sunscreen information and reviews here.



6. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Body and Face Sunscreen

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Body and Face Sunscreen

La Roche-Posay

This sunscreen features broad spectrum protection along with a formula that absorbs sweat for longer-lasting protection. For best results, you should still reapply after 80 minutes of sweating or being in the water. If your skin is sensitive, you’ll appreciate that this sunscreen is made without parabens or fragrance. It also has an SPF 60 rating and can be used on the body and face. The formula is lightweight and rubs in easily, although it remains visible until thoroughly rubbed into the skin to prevent gaps in coverage.

This chemical sunscreen is comprised of active ingredients such as oxybenzone, octisalate and avobenzone. Unlike zinc oxide-based formulas, which deflect sun rays before they penetrate the skin, a chemical-based formula allows the sunscreen to sink into the skin. Chemical-based formulas tend to be easier to rub into the skin, and typically don’t leave a white residue.

Price: $29.99

Buy the La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Body and Face Sunscreen here.



Pros:

  • Fragrance free formula for sensitive skin
  • Can be used on the face and body
  • Stays on even when sweating

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • May leave a bit of residue on the face
  • Relatively small bottle

Find more La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Body and Face Sunscreen information and reviews here.


7. SolRX WaterBlock Sport Sunscreen

SolRX WaterBlock Sport Sunscreen

SolRX WaterBlock Sport Sunscreen caters to athletes and active individuals. This formula has an SPF 50 rating and is water resistant for at least 80 minutes. It’s also free from oils and parabens. The formula provides broad spectrum protection against almost all UVA and UVB rays. Whether you’re an athlete or not, you’ll appreciate that this sunscreen doesn’t feel greasy once applied. It’s also safe for use in reefs.

While it’s a solid choice for athletes, you don’t need to be an athlete at all to benefit from this sunscreen. You can use the sunscreen to protect your skin if you’re spending hours at a time outside. As with any other formula, this sunscreen should be applied at regular intervals to ensure maximum protection, even if you’re not sweating heavily or spending time in the water.

Price: $10.48 (19 percent off MSRP)

Buy the SolRX WaterBlock Sport Sunscreen here.


Pros:

  • Ideal for athletes
  • Formula is free from oils and parabens
  • Broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection

Cons:

  • Some say it leaves a sticky residue
  • Can take awhile to absorb into skin
  • Small bottle

Find more SolRX WaterBlock Sport Sunscreen information and reviews here.


8. Aloe Up Sun & Skin Care Products Pro Series SPF 50 Sunscreen

Aloe Up Sun & Skin Care Products Pro Series SPF 50 Sunscreen

Aloe Up Sun & Skin Care Products

This aloe-based sunscreen helps soothe the skin and makes it easier for the formula to soak into the skin for maximum protection. However, it’s still light enough to allow the skin to breathe. The athlete-oriented formula features SPF 50 protection and blocks nearly all harmful UVA and UVB rays. It’s also made without ingredients such as alcohol, paraben and oxybenzone. This non-greasy formula stays on up to 80 minutes even when sweating or in the water, and dries up quickly once it’s applied.

Price: $12.99

Buy the Aloe Up Sun & Skin Care Products Pro Series SPF 50 Sunscreen here.


Pros:

  • Aloe-based formula
  • Non-greasy
  • Water resistant up to 80 minutes

Cons:

  • A bit thick
  • Some say it has a slight odor
  • A few mention it feels sticky

Find more Aloe Up Sun & Skin Care Products Pro Series SPF 50 Sunscreen information and reviews here.


9. EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50

EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50

EltaMD

Unlike many other sunscreens on the market, this formula can be applied to wet or dry skin, making it a top choice if you’re looking for the best sunscreen for watersports. It’s also suitable for every skin type, including sensitive skin. The athlete-oriented formula has an SPF 50 rating and features broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. It’s also water resistant and can be used in and out of the water, whether your sport is swimming, running, skiing or something else. As an added bonus, the formula won’t run into the eyes when you sweat.

Price: $23.50

Buy the EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 here.



Pros:

  • Can be applied to wet or dry skin
  • Won’t run into eyes
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • A bit thick
  • Some find the formula sticky

Find more EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 information and reviews here.


10. Jack Black Sun Guard Sunscreen

Jack Black Sun Guard Sunscreen

Jack Black

Jack Black Sun Guard Sunscreen absorbs quickly, offers SPF 45 and provides broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. The formula is also lightweight and won’t feel greasy when it’s applied. This sunscreen is specifically designed to stay on during even the most intense outdoor activities, both in and out of the water. The oil-free formula is water resistant up to 80 minutes.

As with any other sunscreen, this product should be reapplied at least every two hours. If you’re sweating heavily or spending most of your time in the water, you might need to apply it more frequently. Some athletes may find that they need even more protection. If this is the case, you can also wear a long-sleeve shirt with SPF protection to fully guard against harmful sun rays.

Price: $21.00

Buy the Jack Black Sun Guard Sunscreen here.



Pros:

  • Oil-free formula
  • Water resistant up to 80 minutes
  • Ideal for intense outdoor activities

Cons:

  • May leave a white residue
  • Has a mild odor
  • A bit heavy to use on the face

Find more Jack Black Sun Guard Sunscreen information and reviews here.


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