For a lot of us, running is one of the most liberating forms of movement. This activity is not only an easy outlet for exercise, but it can provide immediate freedom from every overthinking minds.
And while a good run outdoors can be a freeing experience, it can easily expose you to harsh elements.
So as a runner, I’m sure you are very careful and makes sure your feet and body are well protected from any elements by choosing the right shoes and gear. But you should not forget that your skin is just as important.
This is why sunscreen is as essential as a good pair of shoes for every run, no matter what the season or weather is. With that said, it is particularly crucial during summer, when the sun’s strong UV rays and gaining strength and increasing your risk of sunburn. After all, you don’t want to undo all the hard work you are putting in to improve your overall health only to face the treats of premature aging as well as skin cancer.
So to help you look for the best sunscreen for runners, I have rounded five sunscreen that could provide your needs as a runner; so please keep on reading below.
Top Choices of Sunscreen For Runners
BADGER SPF 35 Sport Sunscreen
This physical sunscreen that delivers the best broad-spectrum protection comes in a simple formula. It actually only has five ingredients that are certified as 98% organic and even 100% natural, these are sunflower vitamin E, sunflower oil, beeswax, jojoba oil, and of course, 22.5% zinc oxide for a maximum protection. This short list of ingredients only means that you can easily determine what you are exactly applying in your skin. This is such a good news to those with sensitive skin who are prone to skin irritation caused by other similar products.
Moreover, this sunscreen is also water resistant that will last for up to 80 minutes; this means it will not budge even if you are heavily sweating. This is a very important feature since running comes with a lot of sweating.
This sunscreen is also fragrance-free, but since it uses antioxidant-rich sunflower oil as its base, you might notice its mild scent that has similar scent to oatmeal though it is not bothersome at all. Its formula is also non-nano and biodegradable so it won’t cause any damage to your health and it safe for coral reefs too so this will not be harmful to the environment either.
Since it is using a highly concentrated zinc oxide, you will get great and well-balanced UV protection, however, it might take some time to spread and rub in the product. It will also likely leave you with white cast. Well, this is expected since this is a physical sunscreen; it will not be absorbed into the skin just like chemical sunscreens, instead, it will serve as a physical barrier. This what makes this product effective, but just be careful after you will apply the product as it can transfer to other surfaces when you touch them.
There are some users too who complained that the sunscreen made them feel greasy and they are difficult to remove the hand after application. But I guess this is good news since we can really be sure that this thing will not just come off by sweat or in water. You really know that it is there to give you good protection while you are trying to make it to the finish line.
Thinksport Sunscreen SPF 50+
Here’s another physical sunscreen which is also using non-nano zinc oxide (20%) as its active ingredient. It has the most sought after SPF at 50+ and delivers remarkable, well-balanced protection against the UVA and UVB radiation.
What I like about this product is that it comes from a brand that does a lot to make sure their products are safe for consumption. In fact, they are not making any spray sunscreens just to avoid all the active chemical ingredients that are known to be biologically harmful such as the oxybenzone. thinksport also strictly follows FDA directives.
This is the reason why thinksport’s products are so highly regarded, in fact, their sunscreen was the first one to qualify the premium care requirements of Whole Foods. No wonder why this product is highly recommended by most dermatologists and is widely used by athletes;
Anyway, this sunscreen is also very easy to apply and it doesn’t feel oily on the skin at all. Though it has a mild scent, there’s nothing to worry about it. This is just because of all the natural ingredients it comes with such as sunflower oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, cranberry seed oil, raspberry seed oil, and papaya. All these natural ingredients work really well with those who have sensitive skin.
It also has an 80-minute water resistance which is the maximum marketable period, making it more ideal for runners who constantly sweat while running.
BurnOut Ocean Tested Physical SPF 30+
As its name suggests, this is a water-resistant physical sunscreen that delivers broad spectrum protection by using zinc oxide (20%) as its active ingredient.
BurnOut is one of the companies that focus on using ingredients that are safe not only for its users but also to the environment. So this sunscreen is free from any harmful chemicals, no parabens, PABA, and petroleum; but instead, it has been enriched with aloe vera, hemp seed oil and antioxidant vitamins that will rejuvenate and soothe damaged skin. In addition to this, this sunscreen is also cruelty-free, ocean-safe, biodegradable and vegan. I highly appreciate this especially now that is difficult to look for a cleaner sunscreen that is safe for the environment.
Anyway, this sunscreen has been specifically designed for athletes’ use, so BurnOut made sure that it has great water resistance; this means that the product will not budge on your skin. It will very unlikely for the product to get in your eyes while you get all sweaty for your long run.
Also, I highly appreciate the remarkable texture of this mineral sunscreen, making it very easy to apply. It has this subtle scent that is similar to most natural sunscreens, but this should not bother you at all unless you are particularly sensitive.
Goddess Garden Sport SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen
This physical sunscreen promise to deliver broad-spectrum of protection through zinc oxide (6%) as well as titanium dioxide (6.4%) as its active ingredients. Goddess Garden is a woman-owned company that is environmentally-friendly and focuses on practicing sustainability. They are keeping a low carbon footprint and at the same time support family-friendly organizations, organic farmers, and local schools. Isn’t that impressive?
So there’s no doubt to the sunscreen claims of being biodegradable, cruelty-free, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, non-nano and reef safe. To make things even more interesting, it comes in a recyclable container too. In addition to this, it contains nothing but ingredients that are certified organic such as sunflower seed oil and aloe vera; it does not contain any harmful chemicals and it is fragrance-free, which makes it ideal for those with sensitive skin.
It also features the highest water-resistance level at 80 minutes, we can be sure it will not budge on your skin while you are sweating and running. However, just like the sunscreens mentioned above, this will also leave you with a white cast even if it is being marketed to go on sheer, so make sure you apply it properly.
This sunscreen comes both in a rub on lotion and sprays version, but I suggest you opt for rub on lotion since there has been plenty of negative reviews with its spray version, others said that there are also faults with the packaging.
All Terrain TerraSport SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen
This physical sunscreen also uses zinc oxide (16%) as an active ingredient to provide broad-spectrum protection. Since I really love safe products that are using natural ingredients, this sunscreen has been made from biodegradable ingredients and is packed in recycled and biodegradable materials. Of course, it is also fragrance-free, cruelty-free, non-nano, PABA, paraben and petroleum free sunscreen.
It only uses natural ingredients such as sunflower oil, sea kelp extract, vitamin C, jojoba oil, vitamin E, cucumber extract and aloe vera so it is soothing and nourishing to the skin. It also has 80-minute water resistance, plus it won’t sting your eyes so I highly recommend this for sweaty runners.
However, users still complain about the white cast it leaves to the skin even if the zinc oxide used for this sunscreen is non-whitening and transparent. Well, this is the price you have to pay for high-quality sunscreen. There are also complains about the zinc and oil separating inside the container, so make sure you thoroughly knead the tube before using it, especially when the sunscreen gets closer to its expiration date.
How To Choose A Sunscreen That Will Suit Your Needs As A Runner
Make sure that it is sweatproof. Whether you are someone who aims for a long distance runs or just someone who randomly runs for 30 minutes during weekends, it doesn’t matter. Whenever you are outdoors and doing things that makes you heavily sweat, the sun’s harmful rays can be magnified. This is why a waterproof sunscreen is important, you have to make sure that its SPF will be retained while you heavily sweat or when you are splashing water on your skin to cool down yourself.
It should deliver broad-spectrum defense. While there are sunscreens that can block all the UVB rays, sunscreens with broad-spectrum protection are designed to keep you protected against the UVA and UVB rays. You have to remember that the effects of UV exposure can seriously ham those runners who are out in the sun for long periods of time.Some of the most prevalent risks of UV exposure are premature aging of the skin, skin pigment fading, skin cancer and even damage to the eyes as well as immune system suppression.
So the next time you grab your headphones and start warming up for a run, make sure you do not overlook one essential that would complete your fitness arsenal: a sunscreen! The best sunscreen is the best way to keep you free from burns and protect you against the harmful and damaging UV rays as you race for the finish line.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this article. If you have any recommendation or you have your own go-to sunscreen every time you are running, let me know at the comment section below. I would check on it, let you know my thoughts about it and who knows, I might add it to this list.
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