CAMPING & HIKING

Best Waterproof Sunscreen: Water-Resistant Products for Your Summer Adventures

Best Waterproof Sunscreen
Jessica Bayne
Written by Jessica Bayne

Being aware of the many risks sun exposure brings, you are probably worried as much as we are about finding a good sunscreen that you can rely on. To endure the “wear and tear” of the everyday beach-going, we need the best waterproof sunscreen available on the market.

Getting into contact with water or getting sweaty does not have to ruin your protection from the dangerous rays of the sun. With the best waterproof sunscreen, you do not have to worry about a thing. All you will have to do is plan your activities and let the water and sun soak you.

Sunscreen

When setting out to buy a sunscreen to wear, there are certain attributes that it should possess. Do not just buy for the sake of it. In this article, we are going to discuss some of these features and give a review of some of the finest products currently in the market.

Our Top Picks

ProductSPF FactorWeight Effect DurationPrice
Vanicream Sunscreen304 ounces80 minutesCheck price on Amazon
Badger Sunscreen Cream352.9 ounces80 minutesCheck price on Amazon
Babo Botanicals Sport Stick300.6 ounces80 minutesCheck price on Amazon
Goddess Garden Natural Sunscreen303.4 ounces80 minutesCheck price on Amazon
Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen706.7 ounces80 minutesCheck price on Amazon
Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen308 ounces80 minutesCheck price on Amazon
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen1003 ounces80 minutesCheck price on Amazon
Coppertone Sport Sunscreen303 ounces80 minutesCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

In this era of modern marketing, producers try to outdo each other by marketing their products as always, the best. This is bound to leave most of us a little confused. You, therefore, need to be very keen when selecting a sunscreen that will serve you well. Not all that claim to be waterproof will be so on the application and so on. Here are some of the features you need to consider first.

Sunscreen Protection Factor (SPF)

This is one of the most crucial factors you need to consider before you buy any sunscreen. The purpose is to protect you from all of the sun’s rays, right? Then this rating should be high to ensure you are shielded from any damaging spectrum from the sun.

Sunscreen SPF

Terms such as Broad Spectrum, UVA or UVB Protection should be used extensively on the sunscreen protection package. All these offer protection from a broad spectrum of the sun’s rays. Exposure to UV radiation causes sunburn or reddening of the tender skin.

SPF ratings of between 30 and 50 are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. From the 30-point mark, all the ratings above it would give probably the same level of protection against UV rays.

Physical or Chemical?

Not all sunscreens use the same principles to offer you the protection you crave for. The principles are broadly grouped into two: Physical and Chemical. The physical sunscreens act as a barrier between your skin and the sun’s rays. It is applied on your skin, and the rays are reflected back as soon as they hit the layer.

Physical or Chemical Sunscreen

The chemical sunscreens absorb into your skin and soak up the sun’s rays as they reach your skin. This prevents any attacks on your skin cells. Their repeated use is known to cause allergies though. They can also cause serious health issues when the ingredients get into your system.

You should, therefore, use physical sunscreens most of the time, unless when it is impossible to get one. They are the most effective although they result in a whitish appearance on your skin.

Waterproof

Yes! These exist. The amount of time the sunscreen stays water resistant should be indicated on the label in terms of minutes. Finding one that will stay resistant for the whole day is impossible though. Most of the sunscreens will shield you for up to 80 minutes without losing their resistance.

Waterproof Sunscreen

So, you should choose a product that has the longest duration of water resistance and remember to reapply after the said period has expired.

Lotion, Spray or Sticks?

These are the three most likely varieties of sunscreens that you will find. The question however is, which is the most appropriate? The sprays are mostly chemical in nature, and that rules them out due to the above-stated reasons. Imagine having to spray it on your face, gross, right?

Spray Sunscreen

Lotions and sticks are therefore the best alternatives. They are convenient to apply and provide a thick layer of shielding. You can easily apply them on your face, ears and neck.

Application Method

Some of the most important things about sunscreens are the application method and guidelines. When it comes to applying sunscreens, most people don’t put them on correctly.

Sunscreen Application

In this regard, you can consider the application method and guidelines when choosing your sunscreen. Have in mind that, in general, most sunscreens are applied 15 minutes before sun exposure.

Best Products on Today’s Market

To give a hint of what to expect when you set out to buy a sunscreen of your choice, here are reviews of some of the best products currently on the market. Some may conform to your needs while others may not, but they will give you a pretty good idea of how the market is.

Vanicream SunscreenVanicream Sunscreen

Price: Approx. $ 17

Weight: 4 ounces

Specific features: Non-comedogenic, SPF of 30, broad spectrum, no sensitizing chemical sunscreen, 80-minute water resistance

Best use: Sunbathing, rock climbing, swimming

The Vanicream Sunscreen for sensitive skin provides you with improved protection from the sun. This product has a Sunscreen SPF of 30. This sunscreen is chemical free and offers a broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB for your sensitive skin.

This product contains antioxidants that prevent skin damages using a non-clogging formula and a lightweight barrier. The antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that are produced when your skin is exposed to the sun. This sunscreen does not contain comedogenic agents and contains no chemical irritants, preservatives and PABA.

If you are sensitive to fragrances, then this product is suitable for you. It has no masking agents as well as fragrance. This would suit you well. With an SPF of 30, this waterproof sunscreen has zinc oxide, which reinforces the protection from UVA rays. Without this, you would experience premature skin aging and skin damages.

This product gives you an 80-minute protection against sunburn. Simply rub it in thoroughly into your skin before exposing yourself to the sun. Reapply it after this duration of time elapses, after excessive perspiration or after drying yourself with a towel. This ensures continued protection against UV rays. This product should not be used on children below 6 months without the consent of a physician.

PROS:

  • Non-irritant
  • Gentle on sensitive skin
  • High SPF factor
  • Fit for severe eczema people
 CONS:

  • Quite pricey

Related: If you love sports, you are more likely to spend lots of time in the intense heat from the sun. You, therefore, need a sunscreen with a higher SPF rating factor. The Vanicream Sunscreen Sport provides you with exactly that. With an SPF of 35, you get more protection from UVA and UVB rays. This sunscreen contains vitamin E as well as Zinc Oxide.

Check the price on Amazon

Badger Sport Sunscreen CreamBadger Sport Sunscreen Cream

Price: $14 – $60

Weight: 2.9 ounces

Specific features: Biodegradable, water and sweat resistant, 5 ingredients, unscented, antioxidant-rich, sunflower oil base, UVA and UVB protection, 100% natural, 94% organic

Best use: Swimming, sunbathing, rock climbing, snowboarding, surfing, hiking and biking

The Badger Sports Sunscreen is a 35 SPF unscented sunscreen to offer you the best protection from the sun as you go about your outdoor activities. This cream based and water-resistant sunscreen will offer you protection from both the UVA and UVB sunlight rays. Besides the rays, it can also withstand wind and cold as it nourishes your skin.

The base is made from certified organic oils, preventing it from freezing. This maintains the protective barrier on top of your skin which stays as long as it takes. Extra zinc is provided for more protection ability. Better still, this sunscreen is compliant with FDA guidelines on the production of sunscreens.

It, therefore, gives 80-minutes of water resistance to continue soaking up the sun in comfort. This product is not scented and is therefore suitable for both genders. It adapts well even when you are going through very strenuous exercises.

A word of precaution though, this product is meant for external use only and should not be applied on the broken or damaged skins. Stop using it if it causes the appearance of rashes on your skin. You are encouraged to apply it about 15 minutes before being exposed to the sun. Reapply the cream after an 80-minute swim.

PROS:

  • Natural ingredients
  • Gentle on sensitive skin
  • Certified ingredients
  • Lightweight
  • Works well
 CONS:

  • Too thick
  • Small and expensive

Related: The adult sunscreens are not recommended to be used on kids hence you need something specifically for the kids. The Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream is formulated to be easy on kid’s tender skin. It stays water resistant for about 40 minutes and is made from certified organic and natural ingredients.

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Babo Botanicals Sport StickBabo Botanicals Sport Stick

Price: Approx. $10

Weight: 0.6 ounces

Specific features: Sweat and water resistant, non-greasy, moisturizer, lightweight, gluten-free, fragrance-free, glide-on application, SPF 30, organic oils and hypoallergenic

Best use: Swimming, surfing, hiking, snowboarding

The Babo Botanicals Sports Stick is a fragrance-free sunscreen stick for babies, kids, and grown-ups as well. It is made for those with extra sensitive skin in mind. It is power backed with zinc to protect you from UVA and UVB. The whitish residue is also eliminated from the formulation.

This sunscreen stick is meant to be applied on faces, noses, lips and ears. These are normally hard to reach when using creams and sprays. To soothe your skin, certified oils (organic), avocado, jojoba and coconut are included in the ingredients list. Moisturizing beeswax and Shea butter help in the relief and prevention of chapped faces, ears, noses and lips.

This chemical free sunscreen is safe on playgrounds. Better still, it is sweat proof; it is quickly absorbed into the body, does not clog pores and does not have that annoying greasy feeling. The zinc oxide component gives protection against all rays when applied as a barrier on the skin.

PROS:

  • Biodegradable formulas
  • Fragrance free
  • Suitable for all age groups
  • Clear and smooth
  • Easy to apply
 CONS:

  • Very small

Related: The stick version of this product can be of inconvenience to some people. Applying it on your body could be a complex maneuver too. However, the Babo Botanicals Mineral Sunscreen could be a welcome alternative. It comes in a cream form that you can apply on your sensitive skin, while still having the same protection of the stick version.

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Goddess Garden Natural SunscreenGoddess Garden Natural Sunscreen

Price: Approx. $12

Weight: 3.4 ounces

Specific features: Natural product, organic ingredients, water resistant, 100% biodegradable, cruelty-free, alcohol-free and synthetic fragrance-free

Best use: Swimming, surfing, hiking, snowboarding, biking

The Goddess Garden Natural Sunscreen is a sports sunscreen that provides you with a powerful protection from the sun. It is not only you who benefit from it, but this product is also easy to the environment as well. The container is recyclable for environmental sustainability. The formulas are 100% biodegradable. It is filled with nourishing organic ingredients such as Aloe Vera and sunflower.

This product gives you 80 minutes of sunscreen water resistance. This allows you to enjoy yourself for extended periods of time without it being washed by water. This scent-free product is safe for those of you who are sensitive to scents.

The 30 SPF protection guarantees you a shield form broad spectrum UVA or UVB sunrays. This protects you from the sun no matter where you are. This sunscreen is free from those irritating chemicals, making it easy on your skin, more so if you have sensitive skin.

The constituting ingredients are biodegradable, safe on the reefs, contains no gluten, cruelty-free, non-GMO and non-NANO. When you buy this product, you embody the excellence commitment and the maintenance to a low carbon footprint.

PROS:

  • Gluten free
  • Biodegradable ingredients
  • 80-minute water resistance.
  • Cruelty free
 CONS:

  • Leaves a bluish glow on the skin

Related: Not everybody is a fan of lotion or cream sunscreens. There are those who fancy the spray type of sunscreens. These types also contain the same ingredients as their solid counterparts. The only difference is their mode of application. If you would like to try out these sprays, then you should check out the Goddess Continuous Spray. It has an SPF 30 hence guaranteeing adequate sunlight protection.

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Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen

Price: Approx. $10

Weight: 6.7 ounces

Specific features: Water and sweat resistant, UVA/UVB protection, SPF 70, lightweight, oil free, PABA free, fast absorbing and Helioplex Technology

Best use: Snowboarding, hiking, surfing, swimming, biking and rock climbing

The Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen is clinically formulated to help in the defense against sunburn and resulting skin damages. It provides superior protection from the harmful summer sun elements when you need to enjoy the sun as much as possible. With the SPF 70, UVA/UVB sunrays would be the least of your troubles.

This sunscreen is lightweight, non-greasy, fast absorbing, and packed in a lightweight package so that you can have it around as you travel. The intense beach radiation and outdoor sunlight exposure would always find you prepared.

Besides being able to resist UV radiation, this sunscreen is also photo-stable. This means that the UV radiation will also not break it down upon exposure for long periods. It achieves this by the use of the Helioplex and pure screen technologies.

Should be applied generously 15 minutes before sun exposure, reapplied after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating, immediately after towel drying, and at least every 2 hours.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Oil-free
  • Photo stable
  • High quality
  • Easy on sensitive skin
 CONS:

  • The scent can sometimes be strong

Related: Does your skin feel dry after spending some time in the sun or swimming? Well, worry not. The Neutrogena Body Lotion For Dry Skin provides you with a solution. It absorbs readily into the body to moisturize it and feel smooth like you were never in the sun. It leaves your skin feeling smooth, silky and luxurious.

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Banana Boat Sport SunscreenBanana Boat Sport Sunscreen

Price: Approx. $28

Weight: 8 ounces

Specific features: Non-greasy, water, and sweat resistant, keeps off eyes, Powerstay Technology, lightweight, splash, fragrance-free, fast absorbing

Best use: Surfing, hiking, swimming, sunbathing, snowboarding and rock climbing

The Banana Boat Sports Sunscreen lotion is designed to make sports enthusiasts and those of you who love the sun very comfortable in their activities. These types of people do not like being slowed by the inconvenience of a scorching sun due to the risk of sunburns. When you want to combine the fun of both water and sun, this sunscreen remains water resistant for almost 80 minutes.

This product uses advanced technologies to help prevent skin cancer and sunburns from ever occurring in you. Its active dry protect formula quickly absorbs into the skin, leaving you without the annoying greasy feel thereafter. For the sporty you, this is a teammate who you can count on.

For the most reliable results, it is recommended that you apply about 1 ounce of the lotion in every application, after every 2 hours of activity. Whether you are going to have fun in the sun, ocean water, wind, pool water, sand, sweat or extreme arid heat, this is a product that you can rely on. It would protect you from the broad-spectrum UVA/UVB radiation.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Sweat resistant
  • Does not run into eyes.
  • Highly visible
 CONS:

  • The cream is not great for people with acne

Related: Do you feel the SPF 30 is not protective enough; well the Neutrogena Ultra Dry-Touch Sunscreen is another option worth looking at. It has an SPF 40 and comes in a pack of 2 for continued use. It uses the Helioplex technology to prevent your skin from experiencing sunburn.

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Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SunscreenNeutrogena Dry-Touch Sunscreen

Price: Approx. $9

Weight: 3 ounces

Specific features: SPF 100, Dry-Touch Technology, UVA/UVB protection, water and sweat resistant, non-oily, non-comedogenic, PABA-free and fast absorbing

Best use: Snowboarding, swimming, hiking, surfing, biking etc

The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen offers you powerful protection from intense radiation from the sun. It is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective broad spectrum sunscreen. This SPF 100 lotion is formulated with the Dry-Touch Technology that enables it to absorb all the excess sunscreen on your body. The result is a shine-free and ultra-light feel after use.

Do you like scented sunscreens? Well, here is something for you. It has an infusion of a light, fresh scent that quickly absorbs into the body to provide you with superior sunlight protection from UVA and UVB (these are skin aging and skin burning rays respectively).

This sunscreen, unlike many many others, is fast-absorbing, non-whitening, water resistant, and lightweight, provides an ultra-light, non-shiny finish and leaves skin soft and smooth.

Apply this product daily to provide you with an 80-minute water resistant sunscreen protection as you enjoy yourself in the sun/water combination. As a precaution, use this product externally only.

PROS:

  • Wearable under makeup
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Effective
  • Non-greasy
  • Broad spectrum
  • Easy to rub in
 CONS:

  • Stings the eyes

Related: Applying sunscreen on your face can be a very tricky affair. Some of the products out there are stingy to the eyes. So, besides your body sunscreen, you can get one for your face as well. It is specifically formulated to be applied on the face to extend the same protection to your face too. The Neutrogena Age Shield Face Oil Sunscreen provides you an SPF 110 for unrivaled sun protection.

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Coppertone Sport SunscreenCoppertone Sport Sunscreen

Price: Approx. $5

Weight: 3 ounces

Specific features: Water and sweat resistant, light, breathable feel, no run into eyes

Best use: Swimming, surfing, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, running etc

The Coppertone Sport Sunscreen has an SPF 30 which guarantees you adequate protection from UVA and UVB rays from your skin. It gives total peace of the mind as you enjoy yourself at the beach or while going through any outdoor sports. Sunburns would likely be your number one enemy as you have fun.

It contains moisturizers and Vitamin E to refuel your skin’s antioxidant defense. Compared to the few products we mentioned earlier, 30 SPF might look like little, but have in mind that it is just enough to give solid protection. What is more important is for the sunscreen to be waterproof and stay on you for longer, making this one a great choice of product for the money.

This water-resistant sunscreen stays on strong on your body after application and will not run into your eyes as you sweat. It can resist water for up to 80 minutes, beyond which you will have to reapply the sunscreen.

PROS:

  • Works great
  • Less oily
  • Easy to apply
  • Lightweight
 CONS:

  • Strongly scented

Related: Having to buy this small sized waterproof sunscreen could inconvenience you at times. The last thing you want is your lotion running out when there is nowhere to replenish the supplies. So instead of buying the 3 Ounce sunscreen, you can try the larger 8 oz. package. The Coppertone Sport Lotion with SPF 30 gives you a longer lasting sunscreen life.

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Wrap Up

Finding the best waterproof sunscreen for your summer needs requires more than just walking into a store and picking one. You need to make well-informed decisions and be wary of counterfeits out there. You need to prepare a detailed checklist of the features you need from your sunscreen.

The first step in preventing skin cancer and skin damage is finding the most appropriate sunscreen that will not wear out when you dip yourself into the water. So have you used waterproof sunscreens before? Is there a particular product that you like using? Let us know in the comments!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Bayne

Jessica Bayne

Jessica believes that the only things you need to explore the world are a good backpack and a bit of courage to make the first steps. She also loves the beauty of a sunset seen from the mountaintop and the delicious flavor of a meal prepped over the camping fire. Ready to start a new adventure at any given time, Jessica knows how to be prepared for any situation and understands how important is to find the right gear. She also knows a lot about the type of gear to have and how to choose the products you actually need.