Your golfing experience starts the moment you pick up your club. But if you don’t protect yourself from the sun, it a great round of golf can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Golfer sunscreen is essential for any golfer who wants to avoid painful burns, skin cancer, or additional fine lines and wrinkles as they age. We’ll review some of the best sunscreens available, while also discussing which features are must-haves for any sunscreen for golfers!
What to Consider When Choosing a Sunscreen for Golfers
When choosing a golf sunscreen, there are some features to consider.
- SPF Factor. You should be looking for at least an SPF 30-rating. Anything below that level could potentially leave you vulnerable to sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging.
- Broad Spectrum Protection. Another important element to consider is broad spectrum protection. Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against UVB rays (the type that cause sunburns), as well as UVA rays (the types that contribute to skin cancer, wrinkles, and other signs of aging). Look for the term “broad spectrum” on the label to ensure complete protection.
- Mineral vs Chemical Ingredients. Most sunscreens contain either chemical or mineral ingredients (and some even have both). However, they provide different benefits and have different drawbacks. Chemical-based sunscreens use ingredients like oxybenzone or avobenzone to absorb UV light, while the mineral sunscreens use natural ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to sit on top of the skin to reflect UV rays. Traditionally, chemical sunscreens absorb better and are easier to apply, but some users are concerned about the risk of absorption into the bloodstream. Mineral sunscreens are generally considered safer (since they don’t absorb into the skin), but they are known for leaving a white caste on the skin. Newer mineral sunscreens have managed to curtail these issues, not leaving any noticeable white cast while also being easy to rub on and apply.
- Ease of Application. You won’t want to interrupt your game to spend several minutes re-applying sunscreen, so having a sunscreen that’s easy to apply is essential. Sprays and glide sticks are the most popular options for golfers, but easy-to-rub-in lotion can work too. Look for sunscreens that are fast-drying protection and that don’t noticeable residue on the skin or clothing.
- Skin Sensitivity. Golfers with sensitive skin will want to make sure they are seeking out a formula that’s hypoallergenic, non-irritating and non-comedogenic. Make sure you do a skin patch test on the inside of your arm to be safe before applying it to more sensitive areas.
- Sweatproof. Another feature you’ll want to consider is sweat-proof ability. It’s hard enough to keep your grip on the club without having slippery hands; a sweatproof sunscreen will hold up even on a hot summer day out on the green!
- Fragrance. Many golfers prefer an unscented option, which provides the best protection without distracting from your game! However, if you’re not sensitive to scents and fragrances, this may not be important for you.
Sunscreens are not one-sized-fits-all, so if you have any questions about which is best for you, check with your dermatologist or general doctor before purchasing!
Best Sunscreens for Golfers
1. Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen SPF 70+
Neutrogena has been a favorite of suncare experts for more than 50 years, and this formula is no exception! Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen SPF 70+ is an oil-free, PABA-free, sweat-resistant and water resistant sunscreen formulated with an electrolyte complex to nourish your skin as it protects from the sun’s harmful rays.
With avobezone instead of oxybenzone in its updated formula, this sporty face sunscreen resists wear off from water, rubbing or wiping making it great for outdoor athletes, golfers, and other athletic individuals.
2. Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Stick
Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Stick is perfect for golfers on-the-go who want to apply their sunscreen as quickly and easily as possible. This sunscreen is specifically designed for athletes, and since this sunscreen comes in stick form (like a deodorant), it’s easy to apply without leaving you with that goopy feeling most sunscreens do.
This makes it a great option for golfers, as well as for other activity enthusiasts like runners.
This sunscreen’s unique micromesh technology allows sweat to pass through the barrier instead of holding in heat (which can cause your body temperature to increase over time). Instead, sweat can pass through the barrier and evaporate, keeping you dry and comfortable.
If you are looking for an excellent sport stick sunscreen without irritating chemicals like PABA or oil, this product may be right up your alley.
3. Oars + Alps Hydrating Antioxidant Sunscreen and Sunblock Spray
Oars + Alps Hydrated Sunscreen and Sunblock Spray is one of the best gentle sunscreen sprays for golfers because it has high SPF, and has natural ingredients that are reef safe (making it a great sunscreen for surfers as well). Plus, it’s free of harsh chemicals like octinoxate and oxybenzone.
Oh – did we mention it smells amazing too?
This sunblock spray boasts reliable 50 SPF broad spectrum protection while also being combined with hydrating ingredients like olive leaf extract and moisturizing vitamin C.
It relies on a lightweight texture that makes it easy to apply over your face and body. It’s sweat and water resistant too, making it tough enough to protect you no matter what par you’re on.
It also has less alcohol than most traditional SPF sprays, resulting in a formula that’s less drying.
Plus, this spray is free of many harmful chemicals, and is vegan and cruelty-free. It comes in a recyclable, non-aerosol can too!
4. Banana Boat Sport Ultra Sunscreen Spray
Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen Spray is an ultra easy-to-apply budget-friendly sunscreen spray that’s sweat and water resistant, making it perfect for golfers and other outdoor sport enthusiasts.
With SPF 100, this sport spray blocks 99% of UV rays with broad spectrum protection that keeps out both UVA and UVB rays. This product is lightweight and absorbs quickly with a non-greasy feel, getting you back to the golf action faster.
5. Coppertone SPORT SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion
Coppertone’s SPORT SPF 30 Sunscreen is an SPF 30 lotion formula that provides broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays while moisturizing the skin with vitamin E, an ingredient typically reserved for make-up products.
This SPORT sunscreen also features a water-resistant and sweat-resistant formula that is quickly absorbed into the skin, making it a solid option for any golfer who works up a sweat.
This chemical-based sunscreen will work on any part of your body and absorbs quickly and easily into the skin.
6. Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen Lotion
If you’re looking for an off-the-shelf sunscreen to use on the golf course. Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen Lotion is a great option with its SPF 50+ rating.
This water and sweat resistant formula offers broad spectrum coverage while still managing to stay breathable and lightweight. This formula is also free of oxybenzone or octinoxate, which can be a plus for areas where those chemical ingredients are not allowed.
With its coconut scent, the fragrance may be overwhelming for some while serving as a major plus for others. We also love that this formula has no animal testing!
7. BLUE LIZARD Sport Mineral Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide, SPF 30+
Blue Lizard Sport Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 30+ protects golfers from sun-induced skin damage with their unique zinc oxide-based mineral sunscreen that’s both nonirritating and free of unnecessary chemicals.
Blue Lizard Sport Mineral Sunscreen is one of the few sport mineral sunscreens we’ve come across. It managed to be sweat-proof while still being safe for marine life as an eco-friendly option that has no oxybenzone or octinoxate.
Best of all, it has a recommended by dermatologists, is highly rated by fans, and is paraben and fragrance free on top of all that!
8. Alba Botanica Sunscreen Lotion
Alba Botanica’s Emollient Sport is a lightweight sunscreen made with natural and safe botanical ingredients. The broad spectrum protection it provides blocks UVB and UVA rays, with a solid SPF rating of 50+.
If you’re looking for a great sunscreen that’s made ethically with earth-friendly ingredients, then Alba Botanique is a great choice. In addition to being reef-friendly, with no oxybenzone or octinoxate, it also contains no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or artificial colors.
When it comes to buying sunscreen for golfing, there are many factors you should consider including SPF rating, sweat-proof, ease of application, and how ingredients will interact with your skin (especially if you have sensitive skin). We hope that this guide will help you find your perfect summertime solution!
Best of luck on the course with your new favorite sunscreen in tow!