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Importance of Sports Sunscreens - The complete guide

by Mandar Marathe 22 Sep 2023 0 Comments
Importance of Sports Sunscreens - The complete guide


Sports sunscreen forms an integral part of the kit bag of any athlete. While the players carry their sporting accessories in their kit bags, sports sunscreen also finds a place in them. Why do athletes have sports sunscreen? A sports sunscreen, a vital cog in the skin-care routine, protects against the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the scorching sun. Athletes, especially those involved in outdoor sports like cricket, lawn tennis, football, hockey, etc. (even swimming), apply a sports sunscreen to the exposed parts of the body to protect themselves from the damaging UV rays. Though you may not find sunscreens sold as sports sunscreen in the market, their features make a case for them to qualify as one and differentiate them from regular sunscreen. What are the prominent features of a sports sunscreen?

 Table of Contents

Features of a sports sunscreen

While there are many features of sports sunscreen, in this article, we highlight only some of the key characteristics:

Water and sweat resistant

Sports sunscreens are water and sweat-resistant. Given this, the sports sunscreen stays on the skin for a longer duration (40 – 80 minutes) irrespective of whether the athlete perspires or is involved in any water sport. The sports sunscreen does not get washed off because of sweat and water.

Offers broad spectrum protection

Sports sunscreen offers protection against dangerous UV rays. Typically, the sun emits three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. While the UVA rays can lead to tanning, skin ageing, wrinkles, and sunburn, thereby causing damage to the skin, the UVB rays can be more dangerous, leading to skin cancer. Fortunately for us, UVC rays do not reach the earth. To fight against these UV rays, sports sunscreen must be applied.

Good for skin

Since athletes must be out in the sun for a more extended period, wearing sports sunscreen is paramount. Therefore, sports sunscreen must be made from natural ingredients that do not cause any damage or side-effects to the skin. Usually, sports sunscreens are made from natural materials like zinc, lemon, coconut oil, aloe vera, etc. Such sports sunscreens are suitable for the skin, unlike chemical, -based sunscreens.

High SPF ratings

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) indicates the effectiveness of sunscreen. Sports sunscreens have high SPF numbers, which offers more protection against harmful UV rays. For instance, a sports sunscreen with an SPF of 30 protects 97 percent from UV rays, and a sports sunscreen with an SPF of 50 protects against 98 percent of UV rays.

Now that we know the difference between sports sunscreen and regular sunscreen let us understand how to use sports sunscreen.

Using a sports sunscreen

Sports sunscreens are for external use only. They must be applied to the skin or exposed parts of the body, including the face, arms, and legs, in case of some sports, etc. When applying sports sunscreen to your face, be careful to ensure that the sunscreen does not go into your eyes, nose, or mouth. Every sports sunscreen tube or bottle comes with a set of instructions for use. The application of sports sunscreen must follow these instructions carefully. Violation of these instructions could have other adverse effects. Even after reading the instructions, you can always reach out to your dermatologist or pharmacist if you have specific questions or queries.

Further, many wearers of sunscreen are often confused about the quantity of sports sunscreen to be applied. Sports sunscreen must be adequately applied to all exposed parts of the body. Approximately 30g or 1 ounce should suffice your sunscreen requirements. Once the sunscreen starts going 40 to 80 minutes after its application, the wearer needs to reapply the sunscreen. Usually, sunscreen is applied 30 minutes before being exposed to the sun.

Once we know how to use sports sunscreen, certain precautions should be kept in mind before applying it.

Precautions for using a sports sunscreen

If you are allergic to any ingredients, you need to inform your dermatologist or pharmacist about the same. They can then prescribe you the required sports sunscreen, which can be used for a more extended period without causing any damage or side-effects.

Besides this, if the sports sunscreen that you are using is causing irritation or itchiness, it is advisable to wash it off. Some ingredients used in making sports sunscreen can also make your skin sensitive. With key features, ways to use, and precautions of sports sunscreen are quite clear in this article.

Finally, we will discuss how to effectively remove sports sunscreen after its use.

Removing sports sunscreen after use

We know that sunscreen is essential for protecting our skin from the harsh UV rays emitted by the sun. However, it is equally important to understand how to wash off sunscreen once it is used effectively.

Here are some of the ways to remove sunscreen from the skin:

  • Use a face wash and water to clean your face. After this, use a clean towel to wipe your face.

  • If you are using an oil-based sports sunscreen, use a cleansing oil to remove the sunscreen

  • If you use a water-based sports sunscreen, you can use your regular makeup cleanser and water to wash off the sunscreen.

Concluding remarks

Sports sunscreen is one of the essential accompaniments for any athlete. In addition to athletes' sports accessories, sports sunscreen forms a must in their kit bags. A sports sunscreen is used to protect the wearer from the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun. The sports sunscreens have broad-spectrum protection and high SPF ratings, which help the wearer avoid the majority of the UVA and UVB rays. Sports sunscreens are typically made from natural ingredients which do not cause any side-effects or skin damage.

If you are allergic to certain ingredients or have sensitive skin, consult your dermatologist or pharmacist before using sports sunscreen.

Thus, correctly applying sports sunscreen, knowing the precautions to be taken care of before the use, and finally effectively removing the sports sunscreen after use is of the utmost essence.

Do you know anyone who needs to know about Sports sunscreen? Share this article with them and comment down below any tips that we may have missed.


  1. What are the benefits of sports sunscreen?
    A. Sports sunscreen offers several benefits, especially for outdoor activities like cricket as Cricket is typically played outdoors in the sun, and prolonged exposure can lead to skin damage. Sports sunscreen with SPF 50 provides high-level protection against harmful UV rays, reducing the risk of sunburn and skin cancer. Sports sunscreen is formulated to be water-resistant, ensuring it stays effective during the game, even if you perspire or come into contact with water.
  2. What is a sport sunscreen?
    A. Sport sunscreen, such as Elemnt sunscreen with SPF 50, is a specially formulated sunblock product tailored to the needs of individuals involved in outdoor sports like cricket and trekking. This type of sunscreen offers several unique features and benefits to cater to the demands of active individuals and ensure optimal protection in challenging outdoor environments. These sunscreens are sweat-proof, preventing them from running into the eyes, which can be especially important for cricket players. They are also long-lasting, reducing the need for frequent reapplication during extended matches or trekking expeditions. Sport sunscreens offer broad-spectrum protection, safeguarding the skin against both UVA and UVB rays.
  3. How do you use sports sunscreen?
    A. Using sports sunscreen, such as Elemnt SPF 50 sunscreen, for activities like cricket and trekking is essential to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Choose the Right Sunscreen by selecting a sports sunscreen with a high SPF rating, such as SPF 50. Apply the sunscreen generously to all exposed skin areas at least 15-30 minutes before you head out for your cricket match or trekking adventure. Pay special attention to your face, neck, ears, arms, legs, and any other exposed body parts. Don't forget areas like the back of your neck, which can be vulnerable during activities like trekking.  During extended cricket matches or treks, reapply sunscreen every two hours.
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