The Washington, DC area consistently ranks as one of the “fittest” cities in the country. Everywhere you look people are jogging, biking, and taking yoga classes outside. But what is great for your body can mean trouble for your skin if the proper precautions aren’t taken. It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Regular sunscreen use not only reduces the risk of developing cancer, but also helps to prevent premature aging of the skin. Cumulative damage to the skin from sun exposure, while exercising outside can be significant. The best way to protect the skin is with clothing and a hat.
However, for the exposed areas, here are a few of my favorite products for active people to get the protection they need with formulations that don’t interfere with their workout. Keep in mind all sunscreens work best with frequent application if sweating profusely.
EltaMD UV Sport SPF 50
This is one of the best all-around sunscreens for active people during a workout because it has excellent broad-spectrum coverage of both UVA and UVB in a lightweight formula that doesn’t sting the eyes. EltaMD UV Sport SPF 50, $23.50 on Amazon.
Neutrogena Face Oil-Free Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70
A light oil-free lotion for the face at a great price-point. It’s easy to find at any local pharmacy or convenience store. The SPF 70 is excellent coverage. Neutrogena Face Oil-Free Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70, $8.54 on Amazon.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid
This is a great one for sensitive skin because it is a purely physical sunscreen. It is a very light formulation and comes with a tint (if desired) so the face doesn’t look white after application. La Roche Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid, $32.99 on Amazon.
Neutrogena Sheer Face & Body Stick Sunscreen SPF 70
The stick sunscreens are very good for cyclists and anyone playing a sport outdoors that requires their hands stay clean and not greasy or sticky from sunscreen (tennis anyone?). A bonus: no accidental spills or leaks in the workout bag. Neutrogena Sheer Face & Body Stick Sunscreen SPF 70, $8.99 on Amazon.
Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral SPF 50 or 30 Sunscreen Brush
The original powder mineral sunscreen. It’s a very light formulation that actually absorbs some oil, so it cuts down on the shiny face, and provides excellent coverage. This is the “sunscreen-haters” sunscreen. If you peak into the bag of most female dermatologists…you’ll likely find a powder sunscreen because of the convenience and excellent coverage they provide. Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Brush, $64 on Amazon.
Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi is Founder and Director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the George Washington Medical Center.