We can all agree sunburns are downright annoying. They are not only painful, but can easily ruin our otherwise great vacation. That’s why getting the best waterproof sunscreen that suits your skin is the safest bet, no matter what activity you are doing.
A waterproof sunscreen will not only prevent sunburn, but also protect your skin from ailments such as skin cancer and melanoma. It is also considered effective in warding off wrinkles, age spots and fine lines. It is therefore of utmost importance that you pick the right sunscreen that will fit your individual needs. If you don’t have the slightest clue where to start, don’t trouble your pretty little head, we are here to help.
While there are an exploding number of options out there, we will discuss what you should focus on when buying a waterproof sunscreen. For your convenience, we have also researched and compiled a list of some of the best options in the market that will totally be worth your while. Regardless of your skin type and lifestyle, you are bound to something that fits your needs right here!
Our Top Picks
|Product Name||Weight||SPF Value||Form||Price|
|Blue Lizard Sport||5 oz.||30||Lotion||Check price on Amazon|
|Banana Boat Sport||8 oz.||30||Lotion||Check price on Amazon|
|Coppertone Sport||3 oz.||30||Lotion||Check price on Amazon|
|Essy Beauty Facial||1.7 oz.||60||Cream||Check price on Amazon|
|Neutrogena Beach Defense||6.7 oz.||70||Lotion||Check price on Amazon|
|Badger Sport||2.9 oz.||35||Cream||Check price on Amazon|
|Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch||3 oz.||100||Lotion||Check price on Amazon|
|A’pieu Pure Block||1.7 oz.||50||Cream||Check price on Amazon|
Things to Consider Before Buying
There are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding which waterproof sunscreen is best for your needs. For many, a sunscreen that offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays ranks high on their list of priorities. Unfortunately, that’s not enough considering a product for people with skin allergies may not favor those with oily skins. A sunscreen is not one-size-fits-all.
So which waterproof sunscreen is right for you? We have created a guide below to help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs. Sadly, we are not going to single out the exact product to use (let’s leave that for the dermatologists to decide, especially if you have skin problems), but we’ll help you make a better-informed decision.
The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) Rating
This is one of the important aspects to consider before making a purchase. The SPF is calculated based on the effectiveness of a sunscreen against the UVB rays. So, the higher the SPF, the higher the protection against the harmful UVB rays.
A sunscreen that offers SPF 15 and above is considered a good rating, but if you have a skin condition or dry skin or simply want goof-proof protection, you should consider SPF 30 or higher. Also, if you spend most of your time outdoors/hiking, you might need a stronger waterproof sunscreen.
It’s also important to note that a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 doesn’t mean it protects your skin twice as much as SPF 15. An SPF 15 filters out 93% of UVB, while an SPF 30 filters out 97%. So that means, an SPF of 30 provides only 4% more protection than an SPF 15.
When choosing the right sunscreen that works for you in terms of SPF, you can as well look at it from this angle: a product with an SPF of 50 filters 98% of the UVB rays. So is it worth it to pay extra cash for an SPF higher than 50 with no real incremental sun protection?
There’s also one thing most manufacturers will not tell you. A sunscreen, regardless of the SPF strength may not stay effective beyond two hours without reapplication whether it’s meant for dry or water use. So, don’t be tricked by hyped up marketing ploys claiming otherwise.
You might find this confusing, but you may not be getting a complete sun protection with just a sunscreen with a higher SPF. A product with an SPF only protects your skin against UVB rays and not UVA.
So why is the broad spectrum important? Glad you asked. UVA rays can cause premature skin aging, wrinkles, and age spots. UVB rays, on the other hand, are the chief cause of sunburn. However, overexposure to both types of UV rays can cause skin cancer. But the great news is a broad spectrum sunscreen offers protection against these two types of UV rays.
So instead of only checking a sunscreen’s SPF, also look for the broad spectrum label to ensure you get protection from the harmful UV rays. But for a more intense sun exposure like during the summer, you should opt for a broad spectrum, waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and over.
If you are among those people who buy sunscreens based on the sneaky marketing claims or stylish designs and labels, it’s a high time to reconsider your decisions. You should always take a look at the ingredients and forget about the branding.
There are chemical based sunscreens that are extremely useful and safe to use, but also harsher ones that may not be so gentle on your skin. So what should you be looking out for? Sunscreens that contain oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate.
Oxybenzone is a hormone disruptor that can cause allergic skin reactions. So if you have eczema or other skin conditions, you might want to go for physical based sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients are less likely to cause reaction, but may leave a not so flattering white cast on the skin. Furthermore, products with these two contents are considered chidren friendly.
Retinyl palmitate, on the contrary, is a controversial ingredient that has been debated for years. Some researchers claim it can accelerate the growth of tumors in rats, based on a 10 year study. However, there is no definitive scientific evidence that indicates retinyl palmitate causes cancer in humans. So where does this leave you? It’s up to you to decide.
Since we are talking about diving in and swimming away, this aspect is a no brainer. When your outdoor activities involve mountain climbing, trekking, hiking, swimming or anything strenuous, water resistant sunscreen comes in handy.
For products to be considered water resistant, they must have a label that indicates 40 or 80 water resistance. The rating shows how long the sunscreen stays active before reapplication. So after 40 or 80 minutes in the water or while sweating, it’s a good idea to reapply the sunscreen. Furthermore, you better reapply the product immediately after swimming and every time you wipe sweat, to be on the safe side.
When it comes to various forms of sunscreens, it boils down to personal preference and skin type. All sunscreen products, whether in lotion, cream, spray or stick form are equally effective at protecting your skin from the sun.
If you have a dry skin, however, you might prefer a cream or a lotion. These two tend to be more hydrating than the rest. Moreover, if you don’t like filling your cupped palm up with lotion, you should go with the spray product. It’s super easy to apply. Sticks, on the other hand, might work wonders under your eyes.
It’s very difficult to keep abreast of thousands of waterproof sunscreen products flooding onto the market. But we hope these factors will help set your mind in the right direction and allow you to find the right fit for your needs. We also recognize there are a lot of great products out there, but let’s look at our picks for the best sunscreens on the market.
Best Products on Today’s Market
Below is a list of what we consider the best products in the market, based on their merit and not market share.
Weight: 5 oz.
Dimensions: 1 × 3 × 6 in
Specific features: Broad spectrum protection, SPF 30+, contains zinc oxide, water resistant for 80 minutes, bottle changes color in UV rays
Best use: Hiking, swimming, any sweaty activity
Description: The Blue Lizard Sport Sunscreen contains 6% of zinc oxide which is a physical blocker of UV sunlight. This means it reflects the harmful UV rays away from your skin. In fact, it protects your skin as soon as you put it on. What’s more, it doesn’t have a heavy feel, nor it leaves any white residue when applied.
The zinc oxide is combined with additional chemical blockers to provide broad spectrum of protection. This of course protects your skin against the UVB and UVA rays. To top it off, the Australian product provides 30 times protection before sunburn, hence the SPF 30 label.
Further, the product uses an interesting and innovative Smart Bottle technology. The bottle changes color to blue if it detects any harmful UVA rays. This serves as a reminder to apply the sunscreen even if you’re just stepping out for a while. This product is also water resistant, hence you don’t have to lounge by the water, but you can get in the water and still stay protected for up to 80 minutes.
- Water resistant
- Bottle changes color when exposed to dangerous sun rays
- No white, chalky appearance after application
- Reliable sun protection
- Not sticky
- Water resistance only lasts for 80 minutes
- The price might be a bit high
Related: You might find the Blue Lizard Baby Sunscreen a great option for your baby. The product is not only chemical free, but also fragrance free which is ideal for kids. It provides broad protection and it’s easy to apply. It also changes color to pink when exposed to UV rays which helps in educating kids the need of protecting themselves from the sun.
Price: Approx. $7
Weight: 8 oz.
Dimension: 1.5 × 2.3 × 7.5 in
Specific features: Broad spectrum, SPF 30, lightweight, water and sweat resistant, PowerStay Technology
Best use: Any outdoor activity
Description: The Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen contains chemical filters that offer a powerful sunscreen protection that will work great for active lovers of the sun and sports enthusiasts.
The sunscreen comes with a PowerStay Technology which locks all the active ingredients, enhancing the effectiveness of the product. This means the product will stay active for longer. It’s also equipped with broad spectrum formula which keeps you safe from the sun’s harmful UVB and UVA rays.
The sweat and water resistant formula will enable you to enjoy protection from sweat during intense outdoor activities and swimming for 80 straight minutes. Besides this, it’s lightweight and doesn’t leave white marks on your skin.
If that’s not all, the sunscreen’s quick absorbing formula ensures it won’t run into your eyes when sweat starts to drip. Whether you’re the sweaty type or the weather is too hot and humid, the SPF 30 would ensure that you stay protected 30 times longer before you start to burn.
- Water and sweat resistant
- Absorbs quickly
- Effective in preventing sunburns
- It’s thick and a bit greasy
- Hard to apply
Related: The Banana Boat Sunscreen Lip Balm seems like a worthy product to buy along with the Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen. It contains aloe vera and vitamin E that softens and moisturizes your lips. It’s also formulated with broad spectrum SPF 45 to protect those lips from the harmful effects of the sun.
Price: Approx. $5
Weight: 3 oz.
Dimensions: 2.3 × 1.5 × 5 in
Specific features: Broad spectrum, SPF 30, 80-minute water resistance
Best use: Swimming, cycling, hiking, intense outdoor activity
Description: Being a product of the one of the biggest brands in the field of skin care, the Coppertone Sport Sunscreen delivers a highly satisfactory result. Coppertone is a respected brand that has culled more than 60 years experience in the field, hence it’s almost a certainty you’ll get the very best at a very reasonable price.
With an SPF of 30, the product is powerful enough to keep the dreaded UVB rays at bay. What’s more, the sunscreen offers a broad spectrum protection that should ensure both UVA and UVB rays don’t reach your skin. This product works by absorbing the sun rays through a chemical reaction.
The 80-minute water resistance is an interesting feature that might be great for individuals who fancy outdoor activities. You can now enjoy your surfing or running for a whole 80 minutes without reapplication (which can sometimes be annoying and laborious).
When it comes to the scent, some will love the rich, refreshing aroma while others will find it unappealing. The product is also considered a good size for travel as it can fit the smallest of bags.
- Water resistant
- Great price and size
- Stays effective for long without reapplication
- Reliable sun protection
- Not too greasy
- The smell might not work for everyone
- Might sting your eyes
Related: Hikers, joggers and beach lovers might find Crenova 100% Waterproof Pouch extremely helpful. The pouch is not only waterproof, but also super light to carry just about anywhere. It also has a bigger space to tuck in your sunscreen and other small necessities like phone, sunglasses. The Touch Screen Responsive feature allows you to check mail, catch up with friends on Facebook without opening the pouch.
Price: $47 – $60
Weight: 1.7 oz.
Specific features: SPF 60, enriched with vitamins C and E, instant sun protection, water resistant
Best use: Surfing, swimming, outdoor activities
Description: Essy Beauty Facial Sunscreen is a product of AsaVea which is well-known for its quality products. It’s the same high quality standards that are incorporated into their Essy Beauty Facial Sunscreen.
If you are looking for an easily spreadable sunscreen that’s suitable for daily use, this product might be for you. If you are as well planning to spend lots of time directly in the sun like hiking or sunbathing, this sunscreen effectively protects your skin from the damaging rays courtesy of the strong SPF 60.
Further, the product is enriched with vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant. Along with vitamin C, it battles skin inflammation after you’re exposed to UV rays from the sunlight. Vitamin E also acts as an anti-aging nutrient. So, the sunscreen not only protects you from UV rays, but also helps your skin maintain a healthy, youthful look.
Manufacturers also say the product is ‘very water resistant’. Meaning, it provides a long-lasting protection even when you swim or sweat. Its lightweight feel also works amazingly under makeup.
- Spreads easily
- Maintains healthy, youthful skin
- A little bit expensive
- It’s not white in color
Related: Sunscreen plus a hat goes a long way in protecting yourself against the sun damage while enjoying your outdoor activities or during summer. You will find Camo Coll Outdoor Hat very useful. This is not your typical hat – it has a UPF of 50+ which blocks 98% of the UV rays ensuring maximum sun protection.
Price: $7 – $95
Weight: 6.7 oz
Dimension: 1.3 × 2.4 × 6.7 in
Specific features: SPF 70, water resistant, Helioplex broad spectrum protection, PABA free
Best use: Trekking, hiking, swimming, sunbathing
Description: The Neutrogena brand is making strides in the skin care industry and the Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen sets a great example.
This product comes with an impressive Helioplex technology which keeps the active ingredients from breaking down, hence it can provide you with a longer-lasting sun protection.
The product is also formulated with SPF 70 broad spectrum that provides a powerful sun protection against harmful UVB/UVA rays which can prevent sunburns and premature skin aging.
If you like spending your time in the pool or you’re just active, the water resistant formulation can add an extra layer of protection. However, that doesn’t mean you are covered for the day as the protection lasts for 80 minutes.
This product is also considered PABA free, so if you have a sensitive skin, this might work for you. In addition; it absorbs quickly, its light and non-greasy and it doesn’t leave a white cast on your skin.
- Water resistant
- Easy to apply
- Non-greasy feel
- Great and reliable sun protection
- Lightly scented
- Lightly scented
- Might be a bit expensive
Related: The MERRY’S Unisex Polarized Sunglasses is a worthy product to buy along with the Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen. The polarized lens can help reduce the dangerous effects of UV light; anything to protect yourself, right?
Price: $13 – $43
Weight: 2.9 oz.
Specific features: SPF 35, broad spectrum, water & sweat resistant for 80 minutes, safe for coral reefs, unscented, natural
Best use: Surfing, swimming, hiking, skiing, running
Description: Badger is not among the big players in the skin care market, but the Badger Sport Sunscreen provides an impressive sun protection.
If you are looking for a natural sunscreen, this might be for you. This moisturizing sport sunscreen contains 22.5% of non-nano uncoated zinc oxide, which provides broad spectrum sun protection that prevents sunburns and any damage to the skin.
The zinc oxide basically sits on top of the skin and reflects the harmful UV rays away from the skin. Since it’s not absorbed into the skin, the product is non-irritating hence suitable even for kids. Zinc is great and safe, however, it might be too chalky and opaque.
According to the manufacturers, the cream-based product is water and sweat resistant. Hence, it protects your skin from the sun, water and cold burn for at least 80 minutes. The sunscreen is also considered safe for coral reefs and aquatic life as it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredient.
- Water and sweat resistant
- Natural and unscented
- Prevents sunburn
- Too thick
- Leaves a white residue
Related: If you are looking for a sunscreen that’s safe and soothing for your babies and kids, you can consider Badger Balm Zinc Oxide Sunscreen. This baby sunscreen is also considered hypoallergenic which is safe for sensitive skins.
Price: $7 – $43
Weight: 3 oz.
Dimension: 2.3 × 1.4 × 5.9 in
Specific features: Helioplex broad spectrum protection, water resistant, light weight, SPF 100, Dry-Touch technology, non-comedogenic
Best use: Intense sun exposure or physical activity
Description: Neutrogena products continue to impress and the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen is no exception. The advanced Helioplex and Dry-Touch technology are the big stars, but there are other incredible features to look forward to.
The Helioplex sunscreen technology prevents UV induced skin damage by providing a superior sun protection. To top it off, the sunscreen has a strong SPF 100 as well as a broad spectrum for a greater UVB and UVA protection. If you live in the humid sub-tropical climate or planning to visit, this product will surely come in handy.
But that’s not all; the product is formulated with Dry-Touch technology, which quickly absorbs the excess sunscreen oils without leaving a greasy feeling on the skin. In fact, the formula leaves your skin feeling light.
This sunscreen is not only water resistant, but also non-comedogenic hence, it won’t block your pores. It’s also a perfect size to throw in a handbag, backpack or luggage and if you’re into light scents, then this sunscreen might be a perfect fit.
- Water resistant
- Great size
- Prevents sunburns and wrinkling
- Lightly scented
- Light scents is not for everyone
- A bit thick
Related: If you tend to sweat a lot or you’re very active in outdoor activities or it’s one of those summer sweaty days, you might not only need this product, but also quality towelettes to wipe up sweat and the sunscreen for reapplication. The Dickinsons Original Witch Hazel Oil Towelettes comes in travel friendly packets and cleans very quickly and effectively.
Price: Approx. $9
Weight: 1.7 oz.
Specific features: SPF 50, PA +++, sweat and water resistant, natural
Best use: Hiking, swimming or any outdoor activity
Description: The A’pieu Pure Block Sun Cream is an impressive Korean product that can fit into almost anyone’s skin care routine. In fact, it’s an everyday type of sunscreen.
Considering the product is natural, it might be suitable for individuals with sensitive skin. It also contains natural aloe vera leaf extracts which provides a protective layer to the skin that can help to keep it hydrated to prevent sunburns.
This moisturizing soothing sunscreen also provides strong protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The powerful PA +++ rating can protect your skin from the harmful UVA rays responsible for premature skin aging and wrinkling.
The product also has an SPF of 50 which is great because it keeps the UVB rays at bay, hence you can enjoy your hike or run without worrying about sunburns. Besides, the sun cream is water resistant; all the more reason for you to get out and enjoy that swim, run or hike.
- Absorbs into the skin quickly
- Sweat and water resistant
- Strong sun protection
- Doesn’t leave white residue
- A bit oily
- It’s not fragrance free
Related: The Sunland Microfiber Ultra Compact Towel might be useful in your backpacking, camping or hiking quest. It’s compact, lightweight and dries really fast. It can also be used as a neck towel to cool off when the temperature rises.
The world of skin care is captivating, but can also be tricky. We hope you’ve updated your list on the things you should look out for when buying a waterproof sunscreen as we believe we have provided you with a sense of awareness to find the right product for your skin needs. Don’t let the sun take away the beauty of your skin, be insistent with sun protection.
Please let us know if you think we’ve left something out that should be included in the post. The coment section is down below. We appreciate hearing your thoughts!