Sunscreen is a popular element in the skin-care routine. It offers protection to the wearer against the ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun. The sunscreen is applied to the exposed parts of the body. There are different types of sunscreens, including sports sunscreen and regular sunscreen, to name a few.

While there are seldom any sunscreens which mention being a sports sunscreen or a regular sunscreen, there are several points of difference to distinguish between the two. Here are the five significant differences between sports sunscreen and regular sunscreen:


Sports sunscreens are water resistant. So, applying sports sunscreen rather than regular sunscreen is advisable if you plan to do water sports. Besides this, sports sunscreen can be your ally if you are a professional swimmer and must remain in the water for longer. In the activities mentioned above, a sports sunscreen, which is water-resistant, will protect you from the harmful UV rays emitted by the burning sun.


One of the primary reasons people opt for sports sunscreen over regular sunscreen is it is sweat resistant. Sweat plays an inevitable part in any sport. Whether cricket, lawn tennis, football, or any other sport, the players are bound to sweat profusely. Though these players may apply sunscreen to protect themselves from the harsh UV rays emitted by the sun, sweat can wash off the sunscreen. Therefore, wearing sweat-resistant sunscreen is the key.

Protection against UVA and UVB rays

There are three main types of UV rays emitted by the scorching sun: UVA, UVB, and UVC. What is the difference between these rays? UVA rays can lead to tanning, skin ageing, wrinkles, and sunburn, thereby causing damage to the skin. Compared to UVA rays, UVB rays are more dangerous as they can cause sunburn and lead to skin cancer. Therefore, protection against the UVA and UVB rays is paramount. Unlike the UVA and UVB rays, the UVC rays do not reach the earth’s surface, so you can ignore them. A sports sunscreen can offer optimum protection against UVA and UVB rays. In other words, it is a broad-spectrum protection-providing sunscreen, unlike its regular counterpart.

Natural ingredients

A sports sunscreen is often applied for a more extended period to protect the wearer from the harsh UV rays emitted by the sun. Since the sunscreen is expected to stay on the skin for a prolonged duration, it is preferable to use one made from natural ingredients. Zinc, lemon, etc., are some of the ingredients used in sunscreen. Unlike chemical-based sunscreen, which can cause hurting side effects, a sports sunscreen made from natural materials is advisable.

SPF (Sun Protection Factor)

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The SPF number indicates the effectiveness of the sunscreen. Typically, a sports sunscreen has a higher SPF. What is the difference between the different SPF ratings? SPF 15 protects you against 93 percent of UV rays, SPF30 offers protection against 97 percent of UV rays, and SPF 50 protects 98 percent of UV rays.

Based on these differences, using a sports sunscreen is better than a regular sunscreen.