Best Sunscreens, Water-Resistant
All of the water-resistant sunscreens on this list were chosen because they provide broad-spectrum sun protection that maintains itself for a certain period of time when/if skin becomes wet (think swimming or perspiring). In addition, these best sunscreens provide:
- Critical UVA protection to defend your skin from the sun's aging rays
- When possible, antioxidants to boost your skin's defenses and repair damage
- Smooth textures that feel more like skin care than heavy, thick sunscreens from years past
- The ability to hold up well during outdoor activity (but you still need to reapply at routine intervals)
When it comes to water-resistant sunscreens, there are two classifications to keep in mind:
- Sunscreens labeled "water-resistant" are capable of maintaining their SPF rating for 40 minutes of prolonged water exposure.
- Sunscreens labeled "very water-resistant" are capable of maintaining their SPF rating for 80 minutes of prolonged water exposure.
ANY water-resistant sunscreen, even those labeled waterproof (a claim the FDA states is misleading because all sunscreens eventually break down on wet skin), must be reapplied at regular intervals to maintain the level of sun protection stated on the label. Even if you're not swimming or perspiring for long, once you towel off, you need to reapply the water-resistant sunscreen if you plan to remain outdoors. The same is true for anyone engaging in vigrous outdoor activities during daylight hours.
Do not believe any sunscreen that claims to be completely sweat- or rub-resistant. Even if they contain ingredients that give them tenacious staying power on your skin, the active ingredients can and do break down with ongoing sun exposure. That's simply part of how sunscreen active ingredients work to protect our skin, and one more reason why reapplication during long days outdoors is so important.