The 5 best Sunscreens for Outdoor Sports (2022) | Blog
10May 2022
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The 5 best Sunscreens for Outdoor Sports (2022)

Ah, summer. The time to take some time off work or school, wear nothing but a layer of clothing, and soak up vitamin D. Summer is the time to get out, enjoy outdoor sports, and get our share of fresh air. All of that means one thing: It is time to get yourself sunscreen and start layering it on your skin. 

To that end, we will go over the five best products on the market that work well and protect your body's largest organ - the skin.

But first: A few things to consider

To those unfamiliar, it might seem that just any sunscreen would do. After all, they are all designed to protect your skin from the harmful UV sun rays, right? Well, it is a bit more complicated than that - but also not too complicated.

For one, the face and lip regions might need a special type of cream. That often applies to people with more sensitive skin. Second, going in the water would mean having to use water-resistant sunscreen for adequate protection. Note, go for SPF of 30 or higher if you plan on doing an outdoor exercise activity.

Third, are you going for a cream or spray? It appears that lotions offer better protection in most cases. Plus, a spray might not provide enough material to cover your skin thoroughly. You also run the risk of spraying your (or someone else's) face or mouth. When in doubt, pick a cream or lotion.

Fourth, what about a reef-friendly label? If your sunscreen does not have the Hawaiian Label, you could get fined in countries and regions such as Hawaii. Of course, not all countries require them yet, but you may also want to think ahead and be environmentally friendly. Don't you?

And finally, though sunscreens are beneficial, you should always consider additional protection, including wearing a hat and shirt or rashguard when exposed to the sun for longer. We recommend this even more for those planning to be active at the beach or in the water, like kite surfing or playing beach volleyball.

In this blog post, we are having a closer look at these five sunscreens being ideal for outdoor sports:

The top 5 Sunscreens for Outdoor Sports

Skinnies CONQUER Sunscreen


Skinnies is the new rockstar under the sunscreens. It dries in just two minutes and forms a thin, barely-there layer of protection. The New Zealand brand made a sunscreen that is not water-based. It is more concentrated, so you need less. A pea-size amount covers your face, neck & ears. 

It will not sweat off, sting eyes, and is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes. Skinnies also comply with Hawaii Sunscreen Bill 2021 (coral reef safe) and have not been tested on animals. No wonder this sunscreen got various awards from running magazines. 

If SPF 30 is not enough protection, Skinnies Conquer SPF 50 gives you protection for four (4) hours. Skinnies gets a 91 percent top allergen-free rating on

Anthelios Sunscreen Lotion by La Roche-Posay


The The facial area often requires a different kind of sunscreen, especially for folks with more sensitive skin. The face sunscreen by La Roche-Posay is a fantastic option because it offers maximum protection, preserves the skin from free radicals, and absorbs well. 

Their sweat-proof can prevent real pain, should sweat run into your eyes. The formula is also resistant to water for up to 80 minutes. La Roche-Posay Anthelios gets a 91 percent top allergen-free rating on

Mineral Body Sunscreen Lotion by Bare Republic


The mineral SPF 50 body sunscreen lotion by Bare Republic is another fantastic option, especially for people with lighter or more sensitive skin. The product offers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB coverage and stays on the skin for at least 80 minutes. 

Just make sure to re-apply it at least once every two hours and after drying yourself with a towel. Bare Republic gets a 91 percent top allergen-free rating on

Coppertone SPORT CLEAR Sunscreen


Coppertone is well known for its affordable sports sunscreen. The cream has to stay on if we want it to work. The problem is that sweat and water activities wash out most creams instantly, but not Coppertone. It comes with one simple promise: It stays on your skin and protects it for 80 minutes.

This clear gel lotion feels cool when applied and rubs on easily. Do not use this one for your face, though. It could run into your eyes and cause some stinging for the next hour. Coppertone gets a 73 percent top allergen-free rating on

Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Lotion


The Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen Spray is one of our favorites. This sunscreen will protect you from the sun with its expert-approved, broad-spectrum formulation. It is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. It is made without the chemical ingredients that the FDA and other studies have warned us to avoid. Hawaiian Tropical Sunscreen gets a 91 percent top allergen-free rating on

Unfortunately, despite the reference to Hawaii, this sunscreen is not necessarily reef-safe. But at least you will avoid two of the chemicals with the most evidence of their potential environmental damage.

What happened to Netrogena CoolDry?

Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol spray had previously been on our list of recommended sunscreens. But we had to remove it due to the recall by its manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson. Also, Bana Boat is affected, but it was not clear to CNN if these products got recalled. However, to clarify, we added an indicator from, providing better insights on the ingredients used.

What Happened to Netrogena CoolDry?

Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol spray had previously been on our list of recommended sunscreens. But we had to remove it due to the recall by its manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson. Also, Bana Boat is affected, but it was not clear to CNN if these products got recalled. However, to clarify, we added an indicator from, providing better insights on the ingredients used.

Tips and tricks for using a Sunscreen for Outdoor Sports

1. Don't be afraid of a higher Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

Many people, especially those with darker skin, choose products with a lower SPF, reasoning that's all they need. The problem is that playing sports outside inevitably leads to losing the protective layer from sweat and water. Plus, many sports activities have you spend a lot of time in the sun, often forgetting to re-apply the sunscreen. As a result, you might find yourself with a nasty sunburn.

An excellent way to manage the risk, at least to some degree, is to use sunscreen with a higher SPF. Most brands offer a product with SPF of 50 or more, providing more protection and keeping your skin healthy.

2. Don't forget to re-apply the Sunscreen

As briefly mentioned in the previous point, sports activities can cause you to lose track of time, which can be problematic if you're under direct sunlight. As a result, you might find yourself with a nasty sunburn that has you sleeping upright to avoid pain.

The good news is that all you need to do is re-apply your sunscreen every 80 to 120 minutes. One option is to set a timer on your phone, assuming you have it with you. Then, each time it rings, take a short break to coat your skin with a protective layer and return to the fun.

3. Track your UV Exposure

You might not know it, but each second you spend under direct sunlight causes you to absorb ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The two most common types of UV radiation are UVA and UVB. UVA makes up the majority of radiation we soak up, with UVB making up less than ten percent. But, despite making up a smaller percentage of the rays that touch our skin, UVB radiation is primarily responsible for sunburns. It also accelerates skin aging and might contribute to skin cancer.

UVA is also harmful to our skin and leads to wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and accelerated aging. Plus, given that UVA rays are much more prevalent than UVB, the smaller risk compounds.

Luckily for us, there are ways in which we can track our UV exposure to make healthier decisions for ourselves. The easiest way to determine the risk is to look at the daily UV index scale, which shows up in the Weather app of the iPhone. A low rating means it's safer to spend time under direct sunlight, whereas a rating of 6+ would mean you should limit the time you spend in the sun.

Another way to track UV exposure is with the apple watch, which comes equipped with a sensor. The device gives you neat information, including how much UV radiation you're soaking up and practical tips on limiting exposure.

Which SPF rating should I choose?

Ever wondered what these SPF ratings stand for? The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a sunscreen label that goes as high as 100. The number is a relative measurement for the amount of time the sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet (UV) rays. In other words, it refers to the product's ability to screen or block out the sun's harmful rays.

As often with labels/ratings, the higher, the better, but there is also a limit. With an SPF 10 product, you can be in the sun 10-times longer without burning your skin as you would without any sunscreen. Depending on your skin, the intensity of the sun, and other factors, you might need different protection. You might want to check a sunbathing calculator to get some indicators.

plan. travel. workout.

Every skin is different, so you might want to test various products to find the one that works best for you. The platform provides great insights and helps you to discover products that are unique to your needs. 

Just remember, whatever you buy, it is recommended to re-apply sunscreen every two hours for optimal protection.

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