Water-resistant sunscreen for running
April 22, 2016 6:16 AM   Subscribe

What sunscreen/sunblock do you wear while running or doing something similarly sweaty outdoors? Is it great, and something you'd like to recommend? Ideally available in Ireland or the UK.

I'm not having great success with finding a good sunblock for outdoor activities, and I am dreading another summer of this, especially as I'm training for my first half-marathon. 'Water-resistant' cream I'd wear to the beach is a disaster for running or hiking, just turning into stinging eyes and milky rivulets.

Can you recommend what you have tried and tested?

- I'm in Ireland, so the easier to buy the better, but I'm not opposed to ordering online if there's nothing better. If it's available in the UK, I can get it easily.
- I need to cover my arms, legs, chest, shoulders, and face, and I would like SPF 30+ to keep my tattoos protected and my skin on.
- I am white and pale.
- I don't mind needing to use a different one for my face
- In an ideal world, this is a cream or lotion rather than a spray
- I don't really care if it's shiny, smells weird, or has 'babies' written on the bottle
- Mostly this is me sweating a lot, but rain on a previously warm day happens too, so assume I'm basically taking a long shower

Just to preclude a few alternatives:
- I don't want to wear long sleeves or a hat, they drive my eczema crazy when working out
- I know about using vaseline etc above my eyes but prefer not to
- I'm not going to carry a bottle and reapply on any normal run

I did read this thread and would really like more on water-resistance and being available in the UK or Ireland.

posted by carbide to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I use this on my face (no residue, doesn't look greasy, doesn't sting my eyes), and this on my body (very very waterproof). I do a lot of running, cycling and swimming, and am very pale with red hair. They seem to work - I spent a week swimming in turkey (in the water for five hours a day) and didn't burn.

They come in either lotion or spray formulas, dig around on the website. I think the spray absorbs better personally.
posted by tinkletown at 6:50 AM on April 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm a devoted fan of Blue Lizard sunscreens. They have zinc oxide so they provide a mechanical barrier, in addition to the normal chemical stuff in sunscreens. They are a little bit pricey, but I've found them to be the only ones that stay on, don't run in my eyes, and don't break out my skin--so totally worth the investment. I've used them hiking, backpacking, running, and swimming. I've used the general body one on my face, but they do have a face-only, baby, sensitive, etc. variations, too. Available on Amazon UK.
posted by stillmoving at 6:54 AM on April 22, 2016

One more thought - are you applying your sunblock early enough? I put mine on as soon as I get up, so it has an hour or so to sink in, or maybe just for the excess to get rubbed off. It seems to reduce melting.
posted by tinkletown at 7:12 AM on April 22, 2016

I love, love, love Coppertone Sport. Goes on easy, isn't greasy (actually a bit dry feeling), doesn't run into my eyes even after hours of sun/rain/sweat. Kept my skin and tattoos nicely protected when I was working an outdoor 3-week festival every July; as long as I applied once or twice a day (on a 14-hour shift), I was fine. Available as a spray or a cream. Looks like both are on Amazon UK.
posted by okayokayigive at 7:47 AM on April 22, 2016

Response by poster: One more thought - are you applying your sunblock early enough?

Probably not! I'll try this too.

Thanks for the answers so far - I'm going to pick up some Soltan Once on my way home since it's the cheapest and easiest (I don't know why I overlooked it...) but will definitely try more when I'm making my next Amazon order.
posted by carbide at 8:06 AM on April 22, 2016

Riemann P20 is the absolute best. Most of them are now spray bottles, but you can still get pouring versions (and honestly, you could just decant it into a different bottle). I'm ginger and have sunburned through every single other suncream I have ever used, but never with this. You have to put on a generous amount a good fifteen minutes before going out, and leave it to dry - but once it's on, it stays on, and keeps working.
posted by Vortisaur at 10:02 AM on April 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Very white, more than a bit sweaty runner here. The only thing I've found for the face that works is a hat with a brim.
posted by zippy at 12:32 PM on April 22, 2016

I buy the water sports / swimming stuff marked for kids that is generally SPF 50 (yes yes I know that the number is meaningless at this point). But it is a very high SPF, and made for kids who will be intentionally getting wet. Works for me.
posted by caution live frogs at 1:07 PM on April 22, 2016

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