Waterproof Sunscreen

Need a sunscreen that can withstand sweat and swimming? We'll break down the basics of waterproof sunscreen and how to find the right one for you.

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Waterproof Sunscreen


Whether you’re an athlete, avid beach-goer, or simply want to make sure all your bases are covered, waterproof sunscreen has likely piqued your interest. Waterproof sunscreen is a term for sunblock that can provide consistent SPF protection, even when you’ve been submerged in water or sweating. It’s more or less an essential for anyone who’s active or spends a lot of time outside. 

Even if you’re not out hiking, playing sports, or otherwise working up a major sweat, waterproof sunscreen can provide benefits and optimal protection wherever the day takes you. With waterproof sunscreen, you won’t have to worry whether breaking into a sweat has broken down your SPF barrier; instead, you can feel confident that you’re protected from the worst of the sun’s harsh rays. 



What is waterproof sunscreen?

A: Waterproof sunscreen might sound too good to be true, and in the most literal sense, it kind of is. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, the FDA no longer allows sunscreen to be labeled as “waterproof” because it’s an inaccurate claim. Waterproof sunscreen actually means water resistant.

In order to be considered water resistant, the FDA requires that sunscreens:

  • Must be able to pass the water-resistant test
  • Are able to provide SPF protection to wet skin for 40 to 80 minutes

Waterproof sunscreen is sunscreen that has been designed to resist wetness that may occur while wearing. From swimming to sweating, waterproof sunscreen retains its ability to provide SPF protection. When wearing waterproof sunscreen, you want to make sure you reapply as advised for uninterrupted protection.

Colorescience sunscreen is water resistant for up to 80 minutes—which is considered “very water resistant” by the FDA—providing you lasting protection while you swim, run, and enjoy the outdoors. Our selection of SPF solutions includes sunscreen sticks, brush-on powders, and classic liquid formulas, so you can find the right option for your lifestyle. 


Is waterproof sunscreen bad?

A: No, waterproof sunscreen is a great way to protect your skin, as long as you’re not using a formula with harmful ingredients. This is where the difference between chemical and physical, or mineral, sunscreens becomes important knowledge. 

Waterproof chemical sunscreens contain harmful ingredients. And, what makes it worse, is that chemical sunscreen absorbs into the skin in order to provide sun protection. What happens when those chemicals absorb into your skin? They could potentially irritate your skin or even make their way into your bloodstream—neither of which are good for your health. 

When choosing your waterproof sunscreen for your face or body, you want to avoid harsh chemicals and opt for a zinc oxide sunscreen, which is mineral-based. Mineral sunscreen is made from natural ingredients which are safe and gentle on skin. Additionally, mineral sunscreen sits on top of your skin, reflecting away the UV rays without absorbing into your skin—this quality also makes it a pregnancy-safe sunscreen.

Not only can Colorescience mineral-based waterproof sunscreen protect you from UVA and UVB rays, but it also guards against other environmental factors, such as blue light and pollution.


What ingredients make sunscreen waterproof?

Sunscreen ingredients vary from brand to brand. However, there are many ingredients that are naturally waterproof that can be incorporated into sunscreen formulas, such as:

  • Beeswax
  • Alcohol
  • Plant oils

While these ingredients help create water-resistant sunscreen formulas, some of them can be harsh on skin. Which is why an all-mineral-based sunscreen is offered as an alternative.

What gives Colorescience sunscreen it’s water resistant qualities? Colorescience sunscreen is made using all-natural, mineral ingredients, including titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Our sunscreen ingredients create a film on the skin, which makes  it water resistant up to 80 minutes and a safe sunscreen for sensitive skin


What are things to consider when buying waterproof sunscreen?

Not all waterproof sunscreen is created equal. You want to take the time to research the difference between waterproof sunscreens before making your purchase decision. After all, using a high-quality, protective sunscreen is one of the keys to keeping your skin healthy and youthful-looking.

To help you make your decision, here are a few key considerations for waterproof-sunscreen shopping:

  • SPF 30 or higher: According to the American Cancer Society, you should wear SPF 30 or higher to ensure adequate protection. SPF 30 filters out about 97% of UVB rays. Colorescience offers a variety of water resistant sunscreen options with SPF 30 and SPF 50. 
  • Broad-spectrum: According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you should use a sunscreen that will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. This is because they each contribute to different skin concerns: UVA rays can cause sun damage and aging, while UVB contributes to sunburns and skin cancer.
  • Protection from environmental factors: In addition to UVA and UVB rays, there are other environmental factors you should be concerned about when it comes to the health of your skin. Environmental factors such as pollution, blue (HEV light), and infrared radiation can all have negative effects on your skin, which is why we’ve incorporated our proprietary EnviroScreen® technology into our sunscreens.
  • “Very water resistant”: The FDA distinguishes between “water resistant” and “very water resistant”, which respectively remain effective for 40 and 80 minutes. Selecting a “very water resistant” sunscreen like those offered by Colorescience, means that you only have to reapply every 80 minutes, which is much more convenient.  
  • Safe ingredients: As we discussed earlier, some sunscreen ingredients can be harmful to your health. Avoid sunscreen with chemical ingredients, and opt for a mineral-based sunscreen instead. 

Colorescience makes finding the perfect water-resistant sunscreen solution easy with a variety of sunscreen formulas that all meet the recommendations above. Shop our UV protectors and find your new favorite waterproof sunscreen.


When should you wear waterproof sunscreen?

Because of the name, it might seem like you’re only supposed to wear waterproof sunscreen while swimming, surfing, or playing water sports, but that isn’t the case at all. Waterproof sunscreen also helps provide optimal SPF protection whenever you might work up a sweat. Whether you’re eating breakfast on an outdoor patio or walking around your neighborhood, you’ll be grateful for the peace of mind that waterproof sunscreen can provide.

Anytime you’re potentially going to be exposed to the sun, it’s important to wear sunscreen—waterproof or otherwise—to protect your skin from health risks like skin cancer and the negative effects of aging. Wearing a water resistant sunscreen like Colorescience covers all your bases easily without having to carry around multiple products.


How do you apply waterproof sunscreen?

  • Apply your waterproof sunscreen before you head out for the day and every 80 minutes in the sun thereafter.
  • Apply a liberal amount of sunscreen to ensure full coverage and protection. Pay special attention to highly sensitive areas like under your eyes, around your ears, and other easy-to-miss spots. 
  • Depending on the type of Colorescience waterproof sunscreen you’re using, you can apply your SPF protection with our convenient sport stick that slides on, brush-on our powder sunscreen, or use your hands for our hydrating liquid formula.

Our formulas are designed to provide weightless, invisible coverage. So, whichever Colorescience waterproof sunscreen you use, you can wear it comfortably all day long.


How do you take waterproof sunscreen off?

A: The term waterproof might make it sound like these sunscreens would be difficult to take off. After all, waterproof mascara is notoriously difficult to remove. But don’t worry, regardless of whether you use a waterproof powder sunscreen or waterproof sunscreen cream, they should be easy to remove.

For waterproof face sunscreen, you can use your usual facial cleanser. And for your body, you can use your usual body wash. Whatever you use to take off your waterproof face sunscreen, make sure you do it gently. Rubbing the skin roughly can cause premature aging and irritate your skin. Our hydrating cleansing cloths are made to gently remove mineral makeup and sunscreen, while also hydrating and calming your skin.


Key takeaways for shopping for the best waterproof sunscreen

When shopping for waterproof sunscreen, remember the FDA’s requirements for water resistance. For optimal SPF protection, look for a sunscreen that’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes, is made using mineral ingredients, and is easy to apply.

Finding a protective, water-resistant sunscreen solution is the key to being able to enjoy carefree days in the sun doing what you love. Colorescience sunscreen is designed to be safe for the whole family, with up to 80 minutes of water resistance, all-natural mineral ingredients, and diverse application options that make it easy to take on the go.

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