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Top waterproof sunscreens that are making a splash this season

Sweaty, sticky, stifling — summers call for a little extra care. Your usual sunscreen is not enough if you love swimming or lazing by the beach. In such scenarios, only a good waterproof sunscreen can give you sufficient protection.

Even though most skincare aficionados religiously follow the CTM routine — cleansing, toning and moisturising — many often tend to miss out on applying good sunscreen in summer. Unfortunately, no matter how regularly you follow the other skincare steps, if you miss out on a good waterproof sunscreen, your dream of perfect skin will remain incomplete.

Sunscreens not only protect you from the sun’s harmful rays but also delay premature ageing, fine lines and wrinkles. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, regular application of sunblock can even reduce the instances of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.

How to select your sunscreen

Image: Courtesy Armin Rimoldi/Pexels

Normal or waterproof, the efficacy of your sunscreen depends on its sun protection factor or SPF. It indicates how much protection the product offers against ultraviolet radiation. The higher the SPF, the more protection your sunscreen gives. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreens with a minimum of SPF 30.

Forms and types of sunscreen

Waterproof sunscreen
Image: Courtesy Moose Photos/Pexels

Sunscreens are commonly sold in the form of lotions, sprays, bars and powders. You can choose from these depending on your skin type and needs. For example, if you have oily skin, a gel-based lotion sunscreen will be apt for you. If you are travelling, you can use a spray sunscreen that will be handy.

That’s not all. You can get sunscreens in different types — chemical, mineral or physical, and hybrid. Chemical sunscreens work by getting absorbed into your skin. It then captures the sun’s ultraviolet rays and converts them into heat and releases it from the body. Meanwhile, mineral sunscreens contain ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which act like a barrier on your skin and reflect the UV rays away. Hybrid sunscreens work as a combination of both chemical and mineral sunscreens.


Sun rays
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Sunlight includes ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. While UVA has a longer wavelength and is responsible for ageing, UVB has a shorter wavelength and causes sunburns. It is important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Your sunscreen should also contain the ability to protect your skin from UVA rays, also known as the protection grade of UVA or PA factor. The more the PA factor, the better the sun protection.

How to apply sunscreen

waterproof sunscreen
Image: Courtesy Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

According to The New York Times, sunscreen should be applied at least 20 minutes before stepping out in the sun. If you are using a chemical sunscreen, you can apply sunscreen first to let your skin absorb the product. Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, should be applied as the last step of your skincare routine since it acts like a protective shield.

Healthline recommends reapplying sunscreen every two hours, especially if you are out in the sun. Make sure to take an adequate amount of the product and apply it on your face, neck and other parts that are sun-exposed.

The best waterproof sunscreens for you to try this summer

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SGD 17.15

The Bioré sunscreen is a water-based, non-greasy product that offers SPF 50 and PA++++ protection. It spreads easily and leaves no white cast. The product has a micro defence formulation, wherein the aqua micro capsules in the sunscreen release moisture upon application to keep the skin hydrated. The formula’s waterproof feature confirmed by an 80-minute water resistance test makes it an ideal waterproof sunscreen for swimming and water sports.

Image credit: Amazon

SGD 13.96

The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock is a waterproof sunscreen with SPF 50+ and PA+++ protection. It features Helioplex technology, which offers powerful protection against the sun’s harmful rays. A clean and light formula, this sunscreen gets absorbed easily on your skin and feels weightless. It is waterproof, sweat proof and resists rub-off. 

This sunscreen is ideal for people with oily skin as it is non-comedogenic and won’t clog pores. It is also free from harmful ingredients like para-aminobenzoic acid.

Image credit: Amazon

SGD 51.9

The Anthelios invisible fluid sunscreen suits normal to combination skin. It is non-greasy and non-comedogenic and thus, protects your skin without clogging your pores. It offers broad spectrum protection and has an SPF of 50.

Image credit: Amazon

SGD 23.90

The Laneige sunscreen has a lightweight watery texture. With an SPF of 50 and PA++++, the formula has birch sap extracts that help lock in moisture while also protecting your skin barrier all day. It is also waterproof and sweatproof. 

Image credit: Amazon

SGD 19.51

The Innisfree sunscreen comes with a strong waterproof formula that also gives your skin a 24-hour toned-up look. Its unique sebum fix formula ensures sebum control and is hypoallergenic, as per clinical study findings. It has an SPF of 50+ and offers PA+++ protection.

Image credit: Amazon

SGD 23

The Aqualogica sunscreen is a must-try for those with oily skin. The sunscreen contains a blend of papaya, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid that helps give a radiant glow to your face. In addition, it stimulates the aquaporin channels that push moisture from beneath the skin to the surface layer to make your skin glow from within. It offers SPF 50+ and PA+++ protection. 

A very lightweight non-sticky formula that gets easily absorbed on the skin, the waterproof sunscreen doesn’t leave a white cast. It is also fragrance-free and colour-free.

Image credit: Amazon

SGD 79

The Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen is a water-resistant sunscreen that suits all skin types. It offers protection from UVA and UVB and features SPF 40 and PA+++ protection. It contains red algae that help increase the moisture content of your skin and offer protection against visible light and blue light. It also contains a complex derived from meadowfoam oil that hydrates the skin for an even texture and frankincense that soothes the skin.

Image credit: Sephora

SDG 32.29

This sunscreen stick gives you ample protection from UV rays and blue light. It is water-resistant and has an SPF value of 50+ and PA++++, which makes it ideal for water activities or when you sweat a lot. It is also infused with centella asiatica, calamine, Asiatic acid, and madecassic acid, which helps soothe your skin and revitalises the skin barrier.

Packaged in an easy-to-use form, this sunscreen can be your saviour when you are out in the sun and want to reapply the product frequently.

Image credit: Nykaa


SGD 32.14

This photostable product by Avene is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. It is best suited for people with dry and sensitive skin. It contains pre-tocopheryl, a photostable vitamin E precursor which provides additional cell protection. 

It also comes with Avene Thermal Spring Water, which has natural soothing and anti-irritating properties. With SPF 50, this sunscreen does not leave a white cast and is also water-resistant.

Image credit: Amazon

SGD 29.75

If you have extremely sensitive skin, you should try this water-resistant sunscreen from Bioderma. This product gives you a dry-touch finish with an anti-shine effect. It features an oil-free formula with a lightweight texture and is fragrance-free.

A non-comedogenic product, this broad-spectrum sunscreen features internal biological protection, developed with the Cellular Bioprotection™patent. It aims to prevent premature ageing of the skin.

Image credit: Amazon

SGD 42.39

The Eucerin sunscreen offers SPF 50 and protects from UVA and UVB rays. It is best suited for sensitive and dry skin. It is also ideal for atopic skin. With a light creamy texture, this sunscreen also features advanced spectral technology that offers very high protection from sunlight.

Image credit: Amazon

(Prices of the products mentioned in the story are subject to change)

(Hero & Featured Image: Courtesy Mikhail Nilov/Pexels)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What is a waterproof sunscreen?

Answer: Waterproof sunscreens are a type of sun protection products that don't get wiped off by water. You should use a waterproof sunscreen when you are near any water body such as the beach or a swimming pool. Waterproof sunscreens are also ideal when you are engaging in any kind of physical activities or hitting the gym where you sweat a lot.

Question: How does waterproof sunscreen work?

Answer: Waterproof sunscreens work by creating a barrier on your skin which water can’t penetrate. So, the product stays on longer, giving you adequate protection.

Question: Is waterproof sunscreen safe for sensitive skin?

Answer: Waterproof sunscreens are generally safe for sensitive skin. However, one should only get hypoallergenic sunscreens from reputed brands. Before buying one, make sure to check the list of ingredients along with the SPF and PA factor. You should also consult a dermatologist before buying sunscreen.

Question: How often should I reapply waterproof sunscreen?

Answer: You should reapply waterproof sunscreen every two hours. You should also follow the reapplication instructions on the product packaging.

Question: How do I remove waterproof sunscreen?

Answer: You can remove waterproof sunscreen using a mild face wash. If your sunscreen is water-based, you can remove it using a cleanser. If your sunscreen is oil-based, you may need an oil-based cleanser to remove the product completely.

Question: Does waterproof sunscreen have a higher SPF than regular sunscreen?

Answer: Most waterproof sunscreens have an SPF of 50 or above. While selecting your waterproof sunscreen, make sure to pick a broad spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF and PA value.

Top waterproof sunscreens that are making a splash this season

A journalist with a penchant for lifestyle stories, Amrutha particularly loves writing about fashion, beauty, and wellness. She has worked as a Digital Content Producer with Onmanorama, Malayala Manorama, and as a Content Writer with Tata Consultancy Services. A Geminian, Amrutha loves juggling a variety of passions. A trained Carnatic singer, she loves dwelling in the world of music. When not working, she loves painting, cooking, travel, and cinema. A diehard pluviophile, Amrutha loves everything about the monsoon.

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