A blog by runners. For runners.

The best sunscreens for runners: 2015

Sunscreens for Runners: 2015 updated editionA few years back, we did a round-up of our favorite sunscreens. Since then, several new products have emerged on the market (and in our lives) so we thought it was time to re-share. Here are our new favorites:

The one that won’t sting your eyes:  The only thing more annoying than the heat on a summer run is when your sunscreen sweats into your eyes and stings so badly that you need to stop and wipe it off of your face. That aggravation is enough to make some runners skip sunscreen all together.

But don’t do that – sun safety is a must for runners.

Instead try Banana Boat® Ultra Defense® Stick Sunscreen SPF 50. This sunscreen stick is a favorite among water sport athletes and triathletes alike. Not only will it protect you from the sun’s harmful rays – it offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection – but it’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes. And, most importantly, testers said it didn’t run into their eyes and sting – even during double-digit runs.

What’s more, this stick is easily portable. Stash the 0.55 oz. stick in your pocket to reapply mid-run (re-application is key!) – or to share with a running buddy.

The easiest to apply: We often hear many runners skimp on sunscreen because they’re short on time. In an ever-busy world, who wants to spend an extra 5 minutes before a run rubbing on thick sunscreen that takes forever to be absorbed? But, once again, that’s not an excuse. (Seriously – we’re going to mention it again – sun safety is ultra important for runners.)

Bullfrog Water Armor Sport Instacool Continuous Spray SPF 50 is a great sunscreen spray that can protect your body from the sun in a minute flat. This sunscreen gets our nod of approval because there’s no rubbing required. It goes on clear and stays put, making it ideal for time-crunched runners. In addition, it’s light and not greasy – so much so you may forget that you’re wearing it. Bullfrog has long been a favorite of endurance athletes because it stays on through heavy sweating. It’s also water resistant for up to 80 minutes, and boasts broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.

All that said, it’s important for us to note the jury is still out on whether continuous sunscreen sprays are safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is analyzing the safety of sunscreen sprays, so just use them with caution. It’s easy to accidentally inhale chemicals from the sunscreen so you shouldn’t use the spray versions on young children. And never spray it directly to your face – spray your hands and then use your fingers to rub it into your face.

The most natural/safest: Ok, we cheated. This one is the same one we recommended two years ago, but you just can’t beat Badger Broad Spectrum SPF 35

Badger still earns the Environmental Working Group’s top mark for active sunscreens. It offers broad spectrum protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays using zinc oxide, a safe mineral alternative to harsher chemicals. It’s made with just five ingredients, has no added scent, and is BPA & phthalate-free.

This sunscreen takes some time to rub in, but once it’s on, it stays put even during the longest of runs.

What’s your favorite sunscreen for running? Because – did we mention? – sun safety is super important for runners.

Written by Jen Matz.

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