The Best Sunscreen For Runners – 2017 Reviews & Top Picks

As part of our commitment to be your most trusted source for anything beauty-related, we’re rounding up the best sunscreen for runners on this list. After hours of testing, we’ve found that those products worked great for runners and athletes alike. We believe these are the best sunscreen for runners to support your beauty.

Running requires exposure to the sun for a period of time depending on how long is the distance.

Whatever the distance you may run, you could be a casualty of the damaging effects of the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

With this, you have to protect yourself from the burning rays of the sun that causes skin damages by using a sunscreen.

For a sports enthusiast such as a runner, it best to apply a sports sunscreen that offers a more broad spectrum protection onto your body.

With this, you could stay for long hours from the sun and do your energetic outdoor activity.

To keep you on the go with your outdoor activities under the sun, we have carefully selected the best sunscreens for runners.

These sunscreens are efficient in protecting you from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays while engaging long hours outdoor.

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Quick Overview: Our Top 5 Choices for Best Sunscreens for Runners

OUR TOP #1 PICK - EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 ranks first on our list of best sunscreens for runners. It is found to be proficient in protecting the runners and other sports enthusiasts from the damaging effects of the UVA and UVB rays of the sun. It could also make your skin healthy with its ingredient-- Vitamin E, which lessens the visible signs of aging.

OUR TOP #2 PICK - The next product on our list is the Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen Lotion. This sunscreen is formulated with PowerStay Technology in which it could increase the duration of the sunscreen for a period of time. Besides being water-resistant, it is also sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

OUR TOP #3 PICK - Our third choice for this roundup is the Thinksport SPF 50 + Sunscreen. This sunscreen is ranked “1” by the Environmental Working Group since 2010. It contains a high percentage of zinc oxide that absorbs UV rays of the sun.

OUR TOP #4 PICK - Zealios Sun Barrier SPF 45 is our fourth choice on our list of the best sunscreens for runners. It contains 8% of micronized zinc oxide that is effective in providing sun protection and dries clear and making your skin healthy.

OUR TOP #5 PICK - The last product in our list of this roundup is the Neutrogena Cooldry Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70. It is formulated with Micromesh Technology and Helioplex broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. It is best recommended for runners and other athletes.

What is a Sports Sunscreen?

Sports sunscreens are sunscreens that deliver more options for those who stay several hours of sun exposure.

These include the sports enthusiasts such as runners, swimmers, tennis and golf players, and other athletes.

The burning rays of the sun such as the UVA rays could cause damage to your skin by triggering age spots and wrinkling.

Meanwhile, the UVB rays could trigger sunburn. These rays could cause skin cancer.

If in case you are engaging too much exposure to the sun with your outdoor activities such as running, it is preferable to use the best sunscreens for runners.

These are often sports sunscreens that offer more broad-spectrum protection capabilities.

They have chief active ingredients that could protect you from the damaging effect of the rays and could let you stay for long hours from the sun.

What Can Sunscreens Do for the Runners?

According to Dr. Danila Kroshinsky, the director of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, sunburn could be dehydrating.

This triggers the blood vessels to expand and generates your body to send more blood to your skin resulting in losing more fluids into your body.

Another effect of too much exposure to the sun is a tendency to acquire skin cancer or other skin conditions.With these, you are advised to protect your skin from the burning rays of the sun by using a sunscreen.

For sports enthusiasts such as runners who stay long hours from the sun, it is recommended that you apply sunscreen all throughout your body.

This will shelter you from the damaging effects of the UVA and UVB rays of the sun. You will also maintain your skin and body healthy, making you more energetic for your outdoor activities.

How to Choose the Best Sunscreens for Runners?

One of the most important things to consider in choosing the best sunscreen for runners is the broad-spectrum protection.

You must choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is formulated to protect you against the UVA and UVB rays of the sun.

Runners that are exposed from the UV rays could experience premature aging of the skin, pigment fading, damage to the eyes, immune system suppression, and worst case scenario—skin cancer.

So, it is advisable to choose a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection.

Runners will surely sweat running for long distances. With this, your sunscreen must be sweat and water-resistant.

Try to find a sunscreen that undergone water immersion testing. You will know them how water-resistant the product is.

Runners are always on the go. With this, you must have a sunscreen that is not too long to apply. There are sunscreens that are easy to apply as well as could soothe your skin.

There are also sunscreens that contain vitamins. These could prevent your skin from aging and make it healthy too.

Some of the sunscreens have moisturizing agents that can smoothen and won’t dry your skin.

To help you choose the right sunscreen for you, we have carefully gathered and researched the best sunscreens for runners.

These are all efficient in protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun resulting in a better outdoor performance.

Product Reviews: Our Top 5 Choices for Best Sunscreens for Runners

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Our Rating


First on our list of best sunscreens for runners is the EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50.

This sport sunscreen is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as efficient broad spectrum sunscreen.

It is great for outdoor activities such as running, swimming, skiing, playing golf, and even gardening.

For reflecting and scattering the UVA and UVB rays of the sun, about 9.0% Zinc Oxide is supplemented onto this sunscreen.

It also contains 7.50% Octinoxate, which is an organic compound that helps in augmenting the UV protection. It absorbs UV rays, which has free radicals that destroy the healthy skin cells.

Another chief active ingredient of this sunscreen is Octisalate, which also reflects ultraviolet rays.

In addition, this sunscreen also has Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), which is an antioxidant that lessens free radicals. With this, it helps reduce the visible signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.

The EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 is water-resistant, fragrance-free, and paraben-free.

We have tried this sunscreen and found that it didn’t irritate our eyes and could protect you from sun damage for hours.

What We Like

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    Great for outdoor activities
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    Provides broad spectrum protection from UVA/UVB rays
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    Water-resistant

What We Don't Like

  • Quite greasy

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Our Rating


Another sunscreen that is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation is the Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50.

This sunscreen is formulated for sports enthusiasts and those who engage mostly in the sun.

It is water and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Your family may be well protected from the burning UVA and UVB rays using this sunscreen.

Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 has key active ingredients such as Octisalate, Avobenzone, Octocrylene, Homosalate, and Oxybenzone.

There is about 6% of Oxybenzone added onto this sunscreen lotion.

This is a chemical filter that absorbs UV light. It is also absorbed by the skin and stays in the bodies for a period of time.

It is fragrance-free and will not run into your eyes.

This sunscreen is formulated with PowerStay Technology that increases the staying power of the sunscreen by uniting and tightening the active ingredients in place.

We selected this sunscreen because it really protects your skin from sunburn. It is good for all those sun lovers.

What We Like

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    High Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
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    Water-resistant
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    Sweat-resistant

What We Don't Like

  • The formula is thick

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Our Rating


Our third choice on our list of the best sunscreens for runners is the Thinksport SPF 50 + Sunscreen. This is the first sunscreen to pass the Whole Foods Premium Care Requirements.

It is ranked “1” by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) since 2010.

This sunscreen contains about 20% Zinc Oxide. It has a non-nano formulation, which has an average size greater than 100 microns.

Zinc Oxide is known to protect the skin from sunburn and damage.

It also helps in treating acne, rashes, and irritation. In addition, it enhances healing of tissue damage and prevents bacterial infections.

The inactive ingredients of this sunscreen include Purified Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Sorbitan Stearate, Caprylic Triglycerides, Olive Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, and Vitamin C, among others.

Thinksport is best used for runners, swimmers and for those who stay in the sun for long period.

It has the highest level of water resistance which lasts for up to 80 minutes.

We have tested this product and found that it was easy to apply and did not leave a white cast on our faces.

What We Like

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    Provides highest level of broad spectrum protection
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    Free of biologically harmful chemicals
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    Best for runners and swimmers

What We Don't Like

  • It is quite greasy

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Our Rating


Zealios Sun Barrier SPF 45 is the next product on this roundup. This sunscreen received the highest rating for water resistance from FDA.

It contains 8% micronized Zinc Oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate, and 3% Octisalate. These ingredients protect your skin from the burning rays of the sun.

And the micronized zinc oxide also dries clear and makes your skin healthy. It is also oil-free and will not leave greasy or chalky components onto your skin.

With the highest rating for water resistance, this sunscreen is best for running, swimming, and biking.

Other inactive ingredients are Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ethyl Hexyl, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Purified Water and Sodium Chloride, among others.

We have tried this sunscreen and it did not run into our eyes. It also did not leave any greasy residue and did not have any scent. It is good for long distance running.

You have to apply this to areas of your body 15 minutes before the sun exposure. And retouch to dry skin if needed or at least every two hours.

If you are sweating or swimming, you must reapply more often.

What We Like

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    Provides broad spectrum protection from UVA/UVB rays
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    Highest rating for water resistance
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    Does not run into eyes

What We Don't Like

  • It is quite watery

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Our Rating


Finally, we have on our list of the best sunscreens for runners is the Neutrogena Cooldry Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70.

It is formulated with Micromesh technology that allows the sweat to pass through the sunscreen and disperse. This will cool your skin as you sweat.

With this, it is best recommended for people who are engaged in sports such as running.

It is good for athletes, in which they will feel comfortable as they dive into their energetic activities.

The sunscreen is clinically proven that also has Helioplex broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.

It is a powerful sunscreen that will make your skin stay protected while engaging under the sun.

Its active ingredients are 15% Homosalate, 6% Oxybenzone, 5% Octisalate, 3% Octocrylene and 3% Avobenzone.

Homosalate is an organic compound that inhibits direct skin exposure to the damaging rays of the sun by absorbing ultraviolet (UV) light, particularly the short-wave UVB rays.

With this, your skin is protected from skin cancer and DNA damage.

What We Like

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    Provides Micromesh Technology
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    Protects skin from skin cancer
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    Does not irritate eyes

What We Don't Like

  • It wears off easily

The Bottom Line

For this roundup of the best sunscreens for runners, we have chosen EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 as the best sunscreen for runners.

It is an effective broad spectrum with its ingredients such as Zinc Oxide.

It is also the only sunscreen among other products that contain Vitamin E, which lessens free radicals.

With this, your skin will not only protected from the sun damage but also makes your skin healthy.

We have carefully selected this sunscreen together with the other items as the best sunscreens for runners. They have been tried and found to be proficient in protecting your skin from the sun for long hours.

They are all good for sports enthusiasts such as runners, golfers, and swimmers, among others.