The 8 Best Water-Resistant Sunscreens That Stand Up to Sweat and Swimming

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The best water-resistant sunscreens are effective for about 40 to 80 minutes after application.
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Whether you're going for a long run outdoors or spending time in the pool, it's essential to protect your skin against harmful UV rays. But to do that, you'll need a water-resistant sunscreen.

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Unlike regular sunscreen, water-resistant ones are less likely to wash off when in water or when performing sweat-inducing activities.

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"Although there is technically no such thing as waterproof sunscreen, there are formulas that are water-resistant, and this will be indicated on the label, along with the amount of time users should expect that it will remain effective when exposed to water," says Rebecca Marcus, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Maei MD.

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The Best Water-Resistant Sunscreens

How We Chose

We reached out to a dermatologist, who offered recommendations and broke down what to look for when shopping for water-resistant sunscreens. We selected the following products based on criteria including:

  • Duration of water-resistance
  • Ingredients
  • SPF

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Find more information about how we choose and cover products here.

1. Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

Best Overall

Pros

  • Absorbs well into skin
  • Paraben- and fragrance-free
  • Mineral-based

Cons

  • Can leave a white cast on skin

This sunscreen comes highly recommended by Dr. Marcus for its mineral-based formula. Mineral sunscreens use active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which serve as a physical barrier to block UV rays. (By contrast, chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin.)

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This one has 8 percent titanium dioxide and 10 percent zinc oxide to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Not only is it easily spreadable, it "absorbs well into the skin," Dr. Marcus says.

It also offers 80 minutes of sweat- and water-resistance, and it's free of parabens and fragrance, making it ideal for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

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2. EltaMD Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen

Best for Face

EltaMD Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen

This formula is easy to apply and made with natural ingredients.

Pros

  • Sweat- and water-resistant
  • Hydrating
  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • Some reviewers say it's greasy
  • Pricey

Whether you're going for a run or taking a dip in the pool, Dr. Marcus recommends Elta MD's SPF 50 sunscreen for your face because it's sweat- and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

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Formulated with beeswax and castor oil, the sunscreen is super-hydrating and smooth to apply.

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For best use, it's recommended to apply 30 minutes before sun exposure and then every 80 minutes to maintain protection while you're sweating or in the water.

3. Supergoop Play SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

Best for Swimming

Supergoop Play SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

This fast-absorbing product makes it great for pool days.

Pros

  • Fast-absorbing
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Light and moisturizing

Cons

  • Some reviewers say it can be greasy

Despite launching in 2007, Supergoop has risen in popularity in recent years, becoming a favorite among beauty fanatics, influencers and sun-tanners.

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If you're looking for sunscreen for swimming, look no further than Supergoop Play SPF 50. It's ideal for swimming because it has "a hydrating formula that is water-resistant for 80 minutes, allowing for plenty of time between reapplications," says Dr. Marcus.

It also comes in a large container, which encourages liberal use, she adds.

4. Sun Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray

Best for Surfing

Sun Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray

If you're looking for a spray sunscreen, this product is a great option.

Pros

  • Easy application
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
  • Contains vitamin E
  • Coral reef-friendly

Cons

  • Some reviewers say it runs out quickly

We recommend Sun Bum's SPF 50 sunscreen for surfing because it's resistant to water for up to 80 minutes and comes in a spray can, making for easy application between rides.

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Enriched with vitamin E, the sunscreen works to prevent free radicals from damaging and aging your skin. Additionally, it's free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are ingredients that can harm coral reefs, making this product "reef-friendly."

5. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen

Best for Sensitive Skin

Pros

  • Oil-, paraben-, fragrance- and oxybenzone-free
  • Light formula
  • Dries matte
  • Great for aging skin

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Can leave a white cast (unless you opt for the tinted version)
  • Needs to be reapplied more frequently than some other water-resistant sunscreens

Sunscreens can be formulated with chemicals that irritate the skin, but this 100 percent mineral sunscreen is free of oil, parabens, chemical sunscreen filters, fragrance, oxybenzone and octinoxate, making a skin breakout unlikely.

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The formula is weightless, fast-absorbing and leaves a matte finish. Plus, it received the seal of approval from the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Beyond these attributes, it offers protection for up to 40 minutes when you're in the water and is infused with senna alata extract, a tropical plant leaf that prevents skin aging.

6. Best Stick: Shiseido SPF 50 Clear Sunscreen Stick

Best Stick

Shiseido SPF 50 Clear Sunscreen Stick

You can start swimming shortly after applying this convenient stick sunscreen.

Pros

  • Offers 80 minutes of protection
  • Easy to apply
  • Good for normal, dry or oily skin
  • Water- and heat-resistant

Cons

  • Some reviewers say the scent is strong

Shiseido's SPF 50 water-resistant sunscreen offers up to 80 minutes of protection. It's formulated with the brand's signature technology, which creates an invisible, protective layer in water and heat.

You can easily apply this sunscreen thanks to the stick applicator. Simply twist the knob and apply generously over your face and neck. It works on normal, combination, dry, and oily skin types and glides over makeup smoothly.

7. Black Girl Sunscreen Make It Matte Sunscreen Gel

Best for Melanin-Rich Skin

Black Girl Sunscreen Make It Matte Sunscreen Gel

This gel blends in smoothly with darker skin tones, helping protect your skin without a chalky cast.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Great for wearing under makeup
  • Infused with coconut oil and shea butter

Cons

  • May not be best for oily skin

Often, mineral sunscreen can leave a white cast on your skin, but this one by Black Girl Sunscreen is specifically formulated for melanin-rich skin, so it absorbs quickly and well. You can wear it under makeup or for a trip to the beach or pool (it's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes).

Plus, it's infused with shea and coconut oil for extra hydration and softness.

8. Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen

Best Sweat-Resistant

Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen

This oil-free option is great for outdoor workouts.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Dermatologist-recommended

Cons

  • Can leave a white cast on skin, according to reviewers

If you're planning to go outdoors for a hike, run or workout, you're bound to sweat. This sweat-resistant sunscreen from Neutrogena is specifically designed for those hot, humid sessions.

Stay protected for up to 80 minutes with this easy-to-apply, non-comedogenic formula.

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What to Look for in Waterproof Sunscreens

Here are some features to keep in mind when shopping for water-resistant sunscreens.

1. Ingredients

Not all water-resistant sunscreens are made the same, so you'll want to choose ones with active ingredients that block UV rays, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Watch out for ingredients that can irritate the skin like fragrance, parabens and chemical fillers.

Additionally, it's best to look for a formula that states it is non-comedogenic, so it will not clog pores and potentially contribute to acne breakouts, Dr. Marcus says.

2. SPF

SPF, also known as the sun protection factor, is an indicator of how well your sunscreen protects against UVB rays.

According to Dr. Marcus, sunscreens should be SPF 30 or higher.

It's important to note that a higher SPF does not mean more protection. For best protection, it's best to reapply several times throughout the day and follow the product's instructions.

3. Duration of Water-Resistance

Water-resistant sunscreens will have a water-resistance duration printed on the label, usually ranging between 40 and 80 minutes.

If a product is water-resistant for 80 minutes, you should reapply a little before the 80-minute window ends for the best protection.

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