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Is My Sunscreen Sweatproof?

Is My Sunscreen Sweatproof?

Dr. Beth Goldstein
2 minute read

We know sunscreen is important, particularly when partaking in physical activity or going to the pool or beach in the beating sun. However, everyone should also know that sunscreen wears off and that it does so particularly when in water or when sweating.

So, can you find sweatproof sunscreen? With the many types of sunscreens out there, you can find two types with regard to this issue, and the labels are quite self-explanatory.

Can something be sweat or water "proof"?

No sunscreen will truly be waterproof nor sweatproof, at least not yet. Products do not yet have the proper cross between adhesion, thickness and nonsticky or greasy feel that people will desire and feel comfortable in. Additionally, the FDA ruled that sales of sunscreens labeled water or sweat resistant or proof must be halted as it was misleading information. No current sunscreen will be effective on you for more than around 2 hours. This means reapplication is highly advised when spending extended periods outside whether it be mowing the lawn, jogging or swimming in the ocean.

Since the labeling ban, the FDA has only allowed sales of two types: Water-resistant - 40 minutes, and Water resistant - 80 minutes.

Water-resistant - 40 minutes

Sunscreens with this label will last you around 40 minutes of protection during high activity sweating or swimming, meaning you need to apply quite frequently.

Water-resistant - 80 minutes

Sunscreens with this label will last you around 80 minutes of protection during exercise or swimming. We recommend going for these, as you will have to apply less frequently.

Moving forward

Labels on sunscreen can be confusing and as stated before, sometimes misleading. Keeping this in mind, make sure you read your labels to keep an eye out for what will provide you the best protection in whatever activities apply to you. Though these SPF ratings do not seem too different, they do make a difference in the long run.

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