11 Best Sunscreens For Runners (2022): Reviews & Buying Guide

Enjoy a carefree jog under the sun while staying protected from the UV rays.

By Shiboli Chakraborti, Certified Skin Care Coach
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Sunscreens help to protect your skin from harmful sun rays. If you are running or jogging regularly, the chances are high that your skin gets exposed to the Sun, resulting in premature aging. So, the best sunscreen for runners comes in handy to protect your skin. Choosing a broad-spectrum, high-quality, sweat- and water-resistant sunscreen is necessary to ensure that you get the best protection and that this protection does not get washed away with sweat. Look for a sunscreen that is long-lasting and protects you from sunburns. In this article, we have provided you with a list of the 11 best sunscreens for runners. Check them out below!

Our Top PicksCheck Price
Best Sweat-Resistant:EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50Price on Amazon
Best Long-Lasting:Australian Gold Extreme Sport Continuous Spray SunscreenPrice on Amazon
Best Water-Resistant:Supergoop! Play SPF 50 Everyday LotionPrice on Amazon
Best Non-Sticky:Blue Lizard Sport Mineral-Based SunscreenPrice on Amazon
Best Non-Greasy:Coola  SPF 50 Sunscreen SprayPrice on Amazon
Best For Daily Use:Aveeno Positively Mineral SunscreenPrice on Amazon
Best Lightweight:Banana Boat Sport Ultra Clear Sunscreen Spray
Price on Amazon
Best Kid-Friendly:Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50Price on Amazon
Best Quick-Absorbing:Coppertone Sport ClearPrice on Amazon
Best Cruelty-Free:Goddess Garden Sport Natural Mineral SunscreenPrice on Amazon

11 Best Sunscreens For Runners – Reviews

1. Best Sweat-Resistant:EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50

 

The EltaMD UV Sport Broad SPF 50 is suitable for runners, skiers, golfers, swimmers, and other athletes. It does not drip in your eyes, rinse off in water, or sting when you sweat. This sunscreen contains 9.0% zinc oxide, 5.0% octisalate, and 7.50% octinoxate.

Zinc oxide is a natural mineral compound that helps reflect both UVA and UVB rays. Tocopheryl acetate or vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps prevent free radical damage. This suncreen also works as an early anti-aging agent. You can apply it on both wet and dry skin. This product is non-comedogenic and free of fragrance, oil, and parabens. Here’s a personal review video to help you get a better understanding of the product.

Pros

  • Water-resistant for 80 minutes
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Absorbed easily
  • Non-dripping
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Paraben-free 

Cons

  • Expensive

2. Best Long-Lasting:Australian Gold Extreme Sport Continuous Spray Sunscreen

The Australian Gold Extreme Sport Continuous Spray Sunscreen dries quickly and is water- and sweat-resistant. The menthol gives a cooling sensation, and Kakadu plum protects the skin from radicals and increases collagen production. Tea tree essential oil is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight odor. This vegan sunscreen is cruelty-free and does not contain PABA, oxybenzone, phthalate, CFCs, and gluten.

Pros

  • Water and sweat-proof for 80 minutes
  • Contains SPF 50
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Long-lasting
  • Absorbed quickly
  • PABA-free
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • No CFCs
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free

Cons

  • Might cause a burning sensation.

3. Best Water-Resistant:Supergoop! Play SPF 50 Everyday Lotion

 

The Supergoop! Play SPF 50 Everyday Lotion protects your skin against UVA and UVB rays. It does not sting and is water and sweat-proof for 80 minutes. This sunscreen contains sunflower and rosemary leaf extracts.

Sunflower extract is rich in beta carotene that helps protect the skin from environmental aggressors. Rosemary leaf extract helps soothe the skin, and rice bran extract prevents UVR damage. The active ingredients are 8%homosalate, 3%avobenzone, 4% octisalate, and 2% octocrylene. This product is lightweight, non-sticky, and octinoxate-free. Click here to check out a detailed personal review of this product.

Pros

  • Water-resistant upto 80 minutes
  • Non-sticky
  • Sweat-proof
  • Lightweight
  • Octinoxate-free 

Cons

  • Not suitable for acne-prone skin.

4. Best Non-Sticky:Blue Lizard Sport Mineral-Based Sunscreen

 

The Blue Lizard Sport Mineral-Based Sunscreen is suitable for sensitive skin types. It contains SPF 30+ and is water-resistant for 80 minutes. This sunscreen is formulated with 5% titanium dioxide and 10% zinc oxide. It is non-greasy, non-sticky, and protects your skin from 97% of the sun’s rays. This product is free of octinoxate, parabens, fragrance, and oxybenzone.

Pros

  • Suitable for sensitive skin types
  • Contains SPF 30+
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Octinoxate-free
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Non-greasy
  • Non-sticky 

Cons

  • Might leave a chalky residue on the skin.

5. Best Non-Greasy:Coola  SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray

 

The Coola SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray is non-greasy, fragrance-free, and water-resistant. It contains 70% organic ingredients that are rich in antioxidants. This vegan sunscreen is formulated with 2.9% avobenzone, 4.9% octisalate, 4.0% homosalate, and 9.5% octocrylene. It is cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, and reef-friendly. This product is free of GMOs, gluten, and parabens.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Vegan
  • Absorbed quickly
  • Non-greasy
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Reef-friendly
  • GMO-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Unpleasant smell

6. Best For Daily Use:Aveeno Positively Mineral Sunscreen

This is face and body sunscreen contains 100% naturally sourced zinc oxide, SPF 50, and nourishing oats. It is sweat- and water resistant. The gentle formula is non-greasy and non-irritating. This sunscreen is free of fragrance, parabens, phthalates, and dyes. It is hypoallergenic and suitable for daily use.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Contains SPF 50
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Non-greasy
  • Non-irritating
  • Gentle formula
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Dye-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Suitable for daily use

Cons

  • Expensive

7. Best Lightweight:Banana Boat Sport Ultra Clear Sunscreen Spray

The Banana Boat Sport Ultra Clear Sunscreen Spray has a clinically proven formula that provides a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with SPF 50+.

The invisible clear spray stays water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, offering endurance against water and sweat. The lightweight spray goes gently onto the skin and offers a non-greasy finish without feeling sticky. It is free from octinoxate and oxybenzone and is also reef-friendly.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Reef-friendly
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Octinoxate-free
  • Value pack of 2

Cons

  • Smell might be bothersome

8. Best Kid-Friendly:Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

 

This sunscreen can be sprayed on wet and dry skin. It is lightweight and water-resistant for 80 minutes and contains 3% avobenzone, 10% homosalate, 5% octisalate, 5% oxybenzone, and 10% octocrylene. The no-drip formula does not leave any white residue on the skin. This product is free of PABA and oil, safe for kids, and suitable for all skin types.

Pros

  • Water-resistant for 80 minutes
  • Kid-friendly
  • Oil-free
  • PABA-free
  • Lightweight
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Sticky

9. Best Quick-Absorbing:Coppertone Sport Clear

 

The Coppertone Sport Clear is a hydrating sunscreen with SPF 30. It is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and absorbed quickly into the skin. This sunscreen contains active ingredients like avobenzone, octisalate, homosalate, and octocrylene. It is lightweight and free of PABA, dyes, and synthetic preservatives.

Pros

  • Non-sticky
  • Contains SPF 30
  • Water-resistant
  • Absorbed quickly
  • Lightweight
  • Dye-free
  • PABA-free
  • No synthetic preservatives

Cons

  • Unpleasant smell

10. Best Cruelty-Free:Goddess Garden Sport Natural Mineral Sunscreen

 

The Goddess Garden Sport Natural Mineral Sunscreen cruelty-free and comes with SPF 30 protection. This sunscreen contains active vitamin E, sunflower oil, and coconut oil that nourish the skin. It also contains titanium dioxide (6.4%) and zinc oxide (6%) and is water- and sweat-resistant for 80 minutes. This sunscreen is vegan, biodegradable, and reef-safe. It is free of synthetic fragrance, oxybenzone, and parabens.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Contains SPF 30
  • Vegan
  • Biodegradable
  • Reef-safe
  • No synthetic chemicals
  • Cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny certified)

Cons

  • Sticky

11. Best Non-Comedogenic:Zealios Sport Performance Sun Barrier

The Zealios Sport Performance Sun Barrier has the FDA’s highest rating for a waterproof sunscreen. It offers a broad spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays. It has an oil-free formula that applies smoothly and dries clearly, without leaving behind a white cast. The lightweight sunscreen is also non-greasy, non-comedogenic, and free from parabens. In addition, it stays water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Water-resistant
  • Non-greasy
  • Lightweight
  • Oil-free
  • Water-resistant upto 80 minutes
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • Not reef-friendly

Now that you know what the best sunscreens for runners are, here are a few points to consider before buying one.

What Runners Should Look for In A Sunscreen – Buyer’s Guide

  • Broad Spectrum Protection

UV radiation is of two types – UVA and UVB. Most sunscreens offer protection from UVB rays, which cause sunburns. But you also need protection from UVA rays as they can cause DNA damage, leading to melanoma. UVA rays also increase the signs of premature aging like sagginess, fine lines, and wrinkles. Hence, choose a product that offers both UVA and UVB or broad-spectrum protection.

  • SPF

The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) indicates how long the product can protect your skin from the sun. A sunscreen with SPF 15 protects 15 times longer than the time it takes your skin to burn without sunscreen. It protects the skin from 93% of the sun rays, while SPF 30 from 97%, and SPF 50 from 98% of the rays. No sunscreen can protect the skin from 100% UV rays.

  • Physical Vs. Chemical

Sunscreens are of two types – physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens reflect the radiation away from the skin with their active ingredients, while chemical sunscreens absorb the radiation, preventing it from reaching the skin. Chemical sunscreens contain endocrine disruptors like oxybenzone that affect hormones. Physical or mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are long-lasting and non-irritating, and have a long shelf life. 

  • Water-Resistant

Sunscreens that are not water-resistant rub off and may get into the eyes while sweating. Water-resistant products are effective for a particular duration. This time tells you when to reapply the product – it can be between 40 or 80 minutes. Go for water- or sweat-resistant product and reapply when required.

  • Lotion Vs. Spray

Spray sunscreens are easy to apply, especially when you are on the go. But sprays increase the chances of accidental inhalation, leading to lung injury. Besides, it is difficult to create a uniform layer on the skin with a spray. Hence, a lotion would be a safer option.

  • Should Be Safe On The Skin

Ensure that the ingredients are safe for daily use. The Environmental Working Group or EWG rating gives scores to all types of sunscreens. Rank 1 means it is top-rated, and anything between 1 to 3 means it is safe. Hence, check these ratings to make the right decision.

Sunscreens protect the skin from harmful sun rays that cause several skin issues like sunburns and skin cancer. Runners have a high chance of getting exposed to the sun resulting in early signs of aging. Therefore, they need sunscreens that are long-lasting, sweat-proof, and water-resistant to protect the skin from free radical damage. Some of these sunscreens have lightweight, non-sticky, and vegan formulas. However, some products may not be suitable for all skin types. Read the buying guide and product reviews before choosing the right product to avoid skin damage.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Shiboli Chakraborti, is a certified skin care coach with a penchant for discovering new products that improve your skin. She understands how important it is to protect your skin from daily damage caused by sun exposure, especially if you run regularly. That is why she spent hours browsing through numerous products and their reviews to curate this list of the best sunscreens for runners. These sunscreens get absorbed into the skin easily, are water- and sweat-proof, and offer additional benefits like non-comedogenic properties.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sunscreen alone enough for my skin?

No. Sunscreen alone is not enough for the skin. Wear full sleeved tops and a hat during day time to protect yourself from the sun.

Spray, powder, or lotion – which is better?

Sunscreen lotions are most effective for the skin, while sprays are easy to use but least recommended.

How do I remove waterproof sunscreen?

Use oil-based makeup remover for wiping waterproof sunscreen.

Which is the right sunscreen for damaged and sensitive skin?

Sunscreens with organic ingredients are suitable for sensitive and damaged skin.

Should I wear sunscreen while running?

Yes, wear waterproof or sweat-proof sunscreen while running.

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Shiboli has a master’s degree in English literature from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, and is a certified... more

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