Whether you are looking for the best sunscreen for your favorite sport, such as swimming, the features of an effective sunscreen always remains the same:
Broad spectrum UVA and UVB blocking ability. This will ensure that you are protected against both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays lead to tanning and sunburns; UVA rays are problematic because they penetrate deeper leading to more longer term skin damage such as age spots, wrinkles and leathery skin. Both types of rays can cause skin cancer. Choose a minimum of SPF 30 protection.
Photostability. Photostability ensures that your sunscreen will not degrade upon exposure to sunlight and maximizes its effectiveness.
Pleasant texture. Sunscreens that are thick, greasy and occlusive will block pores, leaving a white, oily cast to your skin and cause discomfort. Sure, they might afford protection, but you will be uncomfortable and less likely to use it when you most need it. Never mind, trying to get it on a child the second time around!
Practice Sun Safety First
Most experts will agree that using sunscreen is important, after you do everything you can to minimize exposure to the sun. Practice these sun smart habits while swimming to avoid sunburn and long term damage:
Swim either early in the morning or late in the evening; the sun causes the most damage to your skin between the hours of 10am and 4pm
Protect your scalp; wear a swim cap to protect your scalp from the sun
Wear eyeglasses or UV goggles to protect eyes.
How to Apply Best Sunscreens For Swimming
Effective sunscreens may be either one of two types – chemical or physical. Physical sunscreens include ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and sit on top of the skin deflecting UV rays away from your body. Chemical sun filters interact with your skin’s top layer absorbing UV rays and rendering them harmless. Both types of sunscreens are effective, but whichever you choose, ensure that you are maximizing its effectiveness by applying correctly:
Apply sunscreen to your entire body, not forgetting lips and hands, which are also prone to sun burn and sun damage.
Apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before sun exposure.
Reapply water resistant sunscreens every 80 minutes or so, after being in the water or perspiring heavily.
Lighter skinned individuals burn faster so if you are lighter skinned you may want to opt for a product offering a higher SPF.
The Best Sunscreens for Swimming are Water Resistant
Though some sunscreens market themselves as being waterproof, there really is no such thing as a water proof formula. The best you can hope for is one that is water resistant or highly water resistant. These sunscreens will deliver effective protection for up to 80 minutes in the water or after heavy perspiration.
By choosing the best sunscreen for swimming you can enjoy your time in the water knowing that you’re protected not only against sunburns but also from the more serious consequences of UV exposure such a skin cancer.
The best sunscreens for swimming include brands like Anthelios, which provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB, photostable protection in pleasant to use formulations:
Anthelios W SPF 40 Gel - a highly water resistant formulation that is especially suited to water sports and activity
Anthelios Lip Stick SPF 50+ - don’t forget lips with this highly effective and convenient lip balm