Whether you’re an athlete spending long hours training in the sun or you’re simply enjoying long days at the lake and poolside afternoons, sunscreen is a must! And when there’s water or sweat involved, sport sunscreen is the way to go.

But what exactly makes sport sunscreen different from regular sunscreen? That’s exactly what we’ll go over in this article.

We’ll start with the difference between sport sunscreen and regular sunscreen, give you a few things to look for to choose the right sunscreen, and, finally, wrap up with a couple of recommendations.

Your sports sunscreen questions answered in three… two… one.

The Difference Between Sport Sunscreen And Regular Sunscreen

Girl on a hike with her dog wearing sport sunscreen

The big difference between sport sunscreen and regular sunscreen is simply that the “sport” option offers more water-resistant protection.

Regular sunscreen is for days you’re out and about and spending time in the sun but not splashing in the water, sweating it out, or soaking up the sun’s rays for hours upon hours.

Meanwhile, sport sunscreen is, in general, water and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes. That means it’s not going to wash right off of your skin when you break a sweat or hop in the pool.

And that’s good news because a sunscreen that stays on your skin is a sunscreen that has a better chance of protecting you from the damaging rays of the sun.

So, sport sunscreen comes in clutch for any activities — not just sports — when there’s a chance that water or sweat will wash your sunscreen off. Think pool parties, swimming, relaxing at the beach, hiking, long runs, waterskiing, outdoor workouts… you get the idea.

That said, before you grab the nearest sunscreen and head out the door, let’s go over a few things to look for in sport sunscreen to keep your skin, your body, and the earth all happy and healthy.

What To Look For In Sport Sunscreen

Water- And Sweat-Resistance

Woman in pool holding a bottle of sport sunscreen

If you’re looking specifically for sport sunscreen, it’s probably because you want sun protection while you’re wet or sweaty. That means one of the first things you’ll want to look for when choosing a sunblock is one that is water- and sweat-resistant.

Check for one that offers you at least 80 minutes of water and sweat resistance.

Broad-Spectrum Protection

If you’ve heard the term “broad-spectrum” thrown around but aren’t sure exactly what it means, we’ve got you covered. The sun shines down on us with three different types of rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC.

The UVC rays don’t make it to the earth, so you can forget about them. What you need protection from are the other two. And broad-spectrum sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Perfect!

After all, a sunscreen that stays on for an hour and a half but only protects you from some of the sun’s rays…let’s just say we’re not fans.


SPF is another sunscreen term that you’ve probably heard but may leave you scratching your head. It stands for Sun Protection Factor, but it only tells you how much your sunscreen will protect you from UVB rays, not UVA rays.

Yet, this little number is still important! According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “The SPF has to do with what percentage of UVB rays make their way through the sunscreen to your skin — the higher the SPF, the lower the percentage of rays that will hit your skin.”

Just keep in mind that even a high SPF doesn’t provide all the sun protection that your skin needs! It’s still important to be careful in the sun by finding shade when you can, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding peak hours (check the UV Index in your area).


two young girls at the pool wearing sport sunscreen

Water resistance, broad-spectrum protection, and sufficient SPF are all important in keeping your skin protected from sunburn and sun damage. But the key is to choose a sunscreen that offers effective protection but is also safe for your skin and the rest of your body.

Think about it: The sunscreen you lather onto your skin doesn’t just disappear. It can soak into your skin and your bloodstream. This is why a skin-safe sunscreen is essential.

Opt for ingredients that won’t irritate your skin and are safe for the rest of your body when they are absorbed. Chemical sunscreens are made with active ingredients that are, in general, quite questionable.

For example, when oxybenzone (a common chemical sunscreen ingredient) is absorbed into your body, it can cause hormonal disruption in addition to passing through the placental barrier and finding its way into breastmilk. And that’s just one example and one ingredient.

So, if chemical sunscreen is not the greatest, what’s the other option? Mineral sunscreen.

Read more about the differences between chemical and mineral sunscreen here, but for now, we’ll say this: Non-nano zinc oxide is a safe, hypoallergenic active ingredient that will protect you from the sun without irritating your skin or messing with your body.

Titanium dioxide is another good option that is often used together with zinc oxide. They make a great couple.


The ingredients in your sunscreen matter for your health, but here’s something you might not have thought of — the ingredients in your sunscreen can also affect the earth.

That’s right. When you spend a day snorkeling or basking at the beach, in addition to soaking into your skin, some of your sunscreen may also wash off into the ocean.

And remember oxybenzone, the chemical sunscreen ingredient that can cause issues in your body? Well, when it makes its way into the ocean, it can bleach the coral reefs. Bad news for our sea-dwelling friends.

For an earth-friendly sport sunscreen, turn to mineral sunscreens made with zinc oxide. The ocean will thank you.

guy snorkeling near coral reefs

Now that you know a bit more about sport sunscreen and how to choose one that will protect your skin and keep you and the earth safe and happy, we’ll leave you with four of our favorite mineral sunscreens that offer 80 minutes of sweat and water resistance.

4 Sunscreens You’ll Love

Super Shield Sport Stick

Let Babo Botanicals high-performing and convenient Super Shield Sport Stick come to the rescue! This 100% non-nano zinc sunblock provides broad-spectrum, SPF 50 protection, but it doesn’t stop there.

It also moisturizes your skin at the same time with organic shea butter, avocado oil, and jojoba oil. Plus, it’s fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, making it great for sensitive skin and the little ones in your family, too.

This sport sunscreen comes in stick form with a glide-on application that rubs in easily.

Clear Zinc Sunscreen Stick

daughter putting sport sunscreen on dads face

Another sunscreen in stick form, Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Stick is small and great for the face, lips, nose, ears. Count on it to go on clear and rub in well.

This formula is rated a number one in safety on EWG and, like Super Shield Sport Stick, is hypoallergenic and made with skin-safe ingredients and soothing organic oils.

Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Spray

 Babo Botanicals Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Spray floating in a pool

If you prefer sunscreen in spray form, here’s one for you: Babo Botanicals Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Spray. This is an SPF 50 sunscreen that’s safe for the entire family and oh-so-easy to apply!

Simply shake well and apply liberally 15 minutes before you head out into the sun. Just remember not to spray it directly on your or your child’s face. For more info about spray sunscreen and babies, click here.

Sunscreen Lotion

 Woman holding her dog outside while wearing sport sunscreen

And to wrap up, we’d like to introduce you to two of our lotion sunscreens. Depending on the SPF that your skin needs, choose between Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Lotion with an SPF of 50 and Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion with an SPF of 30.

Both contain zinc oxide to protect your skin from the sun and natural ingredients, like our exclusive Nutri-Soothe™ Complex, rich in vitamins and antioxidants to nourish your skin. Win-win.

Sport Sunscreen For Every Body

Sport sunscreen isn’t just for athletes and your super-active friends. It’s also for anyone enjoying time in the sun and getting wet and sweaty while doing so! Sport sunscreen offers water- and sweat-resistant protection to ward off the rays of the sun.

In addition to water and sweat resistance, choose a sport sunscreen that provides you with broad-spectrum protection, the appropriate SPF, and is safe for your skin as well as the earth.

Whether you prefer sticks, sprays, or lotions, lather up with Babo Botanicals Super Shield Sport Stick, Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Spray, or Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Lotion. Sun-safe, active adventure begins in three… two… one.