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What SPF Sunscreen Should You Use to Exercise Outside?

Are you an outdoor lover searching for an SPF sunscreen to use when exercising outside? We have the answers here for you.

You need at least an SPF 50 when looking to exercise outdoors during the summer months. The Sun is scorching, and UV levels are higher during this time. However, when you enter cooler months, you can use an SPF of 30 or even 20 because the Sun’s intensity is lesser. In some cases, an SPF 15 would do just fine.

If you would love to keep exercising outdoors, you need to use the right SPF sunscreen to protect yourself. Here, we explore all about which SPF sunscreen you should choose when exercising outside.

Which Sunscreens Are Best Overall?

Although your question is what SPF sunscreen to use when exercising outside, it’s essential to know what sunscreen to use generally. In other words, you should understand what SPF sunscreen to use even when you’re simply having an outdoor time with friends. 

First, you should know that these protectors come with ratings. This might be one of the most confusing things to grasp, but it’s one of the most important.

As you already know, the Sun emits different waves, one of them being the Ultraviolet rays. UVA and UVB, the forms of ultraviolet light that fall under this group, are hazardous to the skin. As a result, you should use sunscreen with a good SPF value to protect your skin from the Sun’s harmful rays.

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Generally, you need to wear sunscreen whenever you’re exposed to the Sun. However, you wear an SPF sunscreen with a higher rating during the hot months – at least 50. Cooler months have less sunshine, so you need one of a lower rating – between 20 and 30.

If the sunshine isn’t harsh, an SPF of 15 will do just fine. 

How Do You Know the Best SPF Value?

The SPF value stipulated indicates how effective the sunscreen is at protecting your skin against harmful UVB rays. This value is calculated using specific testing procedures, but it says nothing about UVA, which is just as dangerous. 

But you won’t need the same SPF value for every occasion. That said, people tend not to make informed choices when selecting the correct SPF to use. Using an unsuitable sunscreen ends up doing more harm than good. As a result, it’s always essential to wear the right sunscreen for the weather. 

What SPF Sunscreen Should You Use to Exercise Outside?

Certain things are different when exercising outside than they would be if you were, for instance, going for a picnic. Exercising is purposefully highly active, and it frequently results in significant perspiration! Just as you need to wear different garments for exercising, you need to apply a different sunscreen.

It’s best to go for an SPF of at least 30 when selecting a sunscreen to use before exercising outside. Despite this, avoid working out at midday when the sun is at its most intense. Aside from this, there are several factors to consider.

An excellent starting point is to check for waterproof or sweat-resistant sunscreen. These are better designed for outdoor activities and would last for a while. 

However, it’s important to remember that these sunscreens are only resistant to moisture for an hour and twenty minutes. You have to reapply if you’re working out longer and sweating profusely. The longer you work out, the more times you have to reapply sunscreen.

Should you be worried about your skin, opt for a non-comedogenic option. These sunscreens don’t block your pores as you might fear. Another good option is an oil-free sunscreen – this is one of the best for your face. 

Important Things to Remember

While you’re searching for what SPF sunscreen to use when exercising outside, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Avoid Workouts at the Hottest Time of the Day

While you can go for a run any time of the day, there are some hours you should avoid. Avoid exercising after 10 pm or before 4 pm as this is when the sun is at its best. Indeed, there’s always an SPF sunscreen designed for more intense conditions. But it’s still advisable to avoid these hours.

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The best period to go for a run or any outdoor workout is first think in the morning or during the late afternoon to evening. During this time, the Sun’s rays have less impact on your skin.

Reapply Sunscreen

You need to reapply even if you’re using a water-resistant SPF sunscreen when exercising outside. As you work out, you begin to get all sweaty, which might affect the effectiveness of the sunscreen. Reapply your sunscreen after 80 minutes of starting your routine.

Take a Break 

While outdoor exercising is great, it’s advisable to lay back for one or two days. During this time, you can work out indoors and reduce your exposure to sunlight.


Outdoor workouts are one of the best ways to keep in shape. The change of environment and the scenes keeps you entertained regardless of what workout plan you’re on. Nonetheless, there’s nothing like the sun rays doing some damage to your skin.

To avoid this, you have sunscreen at your disposal. Use an SPF sunscreen of at least 30 to protect your skin from sun’s harmful rays. 

When selecting your sunscreen, there are several elements you should consider apart from its SPF. The first is to look for one that’s sweat resistant. Aside from this, some non-comedogenic sunscreens don’t clog your pores during exercise.

Furthermore, if you have oily skin, search for oil-free sunscreens. Thankfully, there are plenty of options on the market to suit all skin types.

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