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Shield Your Skin With The Right Sunscreen

  • By Bethany Mavis
  • Published Jul 9, 2012
  • Updated Dec 17, 2012 at 4:09 PM UTC
Photo: Nils Nilsen

When it comes to finding the right sunscreen, Triathlete’s got you “covered” (get it?).

Did you know that one in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime? Skincare should be a top priority for triathletes, says Dr. Mitchel P. Goldman, a clinical professor of dermatology at University of California, San Diego. He recommends sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (higher is better when working out) with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Remember to reapply every two hours outdoors. And use it even on cloudy days (70 percent of damaging rays still pass through the clouds). Here are six sunscreens that fit the bill.

Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40, $17
Best for: Dry skin

Thinner than other sunscreens tested, this new natural sunscreen blends into skin quickly. It contains a moisturizer from safflower oil and it’s chemical-free, so it’s excellent for sensitive and dry skin. It’s water resistant (it will last for 40 minutes of swimming and sweating versus “very water resistant,” which lasts for 80 minutes) so it’s better for days out of the water. Kissmyface.com

Watermans Applied Science Sun Cream SPF 55, $20
Best for: Fair skin

This long-lasting cream has a “zero migration” formula, meaning it won’t drip into your eyes or wear off prematurely. The cream isn’t greasy, but it does feel a little sticky and takes longer to rub in. It’s very water- and sweat-resistant and contains 10 percent zinc oxide (one of the most powerful UVA and UVB-blocking ingredients). Watermansappliedscience.com

Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Sunblock Spray 100+, $11.49
Best for: Speedy application

This spray-on sunblock is perfect for quick, full coverage—making it ideal for races. It only leaves a light residue on the skin and is oil-free and ultra-sweatproof. Neutrogena.com

Endurance Shield SPF 45 High Performance Sunblock, $24
Best for: Daily use

This brand-new sunblock was created by two pro triathletes, so it’s been tested to withstand sweating and swimming. It feels just like a lotion (it contains aloe vera), it has a fresh cucumber scent, and it won’t clog pores. Enduranceshield.com

Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen SPF 30 Lotion, $8
Best for: High activity

Banana Boat’s lotion provides long-lasting, broad-spectrum protection without leaving a greasy feel. Its “active dry formula” absorbs into the skin quickly, and it’s very water- and sweat-resistant. It stays on well without running into your eyes. Bananaboat.com

Mission SPF 30+ No Sting Sunscreen Facestick, $8
Best for: Face protection

It’s especially important to apply sunscreen liberally to the face, says Dr. Goldman, as the skin is thin and highly exposed. With the waxy consistency of ChapStick (it can even be used on your lips), this developed-by-athletes product is  waterproof, won’t clog pores and won’t sting your eyes when you sweat. Missionathletecare.com

RELATED – In Your Skin: The Importance Of Sun Protection

FILED UNDER: Gear & Tech / Run TAGS: /

Bethany Mavis

Bethany Mavis

Bethany Mavis is the associate editor for Triathlete and Inside Triathlon magazines. She received her B.A. in journalism from Point Loma Nazarene University and is a multiple half-marathon finisher.

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