Why Does Sunscreen Make Me Sweat?

Some people turn into a sweaty mess when they put on sunscreen. It’s kinda gross. So how do we stop this?

Sunscreen is an important part of protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. But did you know that it can also make you sweat more? (or, it can at least make you feel like you’re sweating more).

We’ll explain how it all works below, plus suggest a few sunscreen that might make you feel less sticky.

So Why Exactly Does Sunscreen Make Me Feel Sweaty?

1. Sweat Takes Longer to Evaporate

On top of that, sunscreen smooths out your skin’s surface, which in turn makes your sweat droplets clump together and form larger droplets. These larger sweat droplets take longer to evaporate than the smaller droplets that are dispersed more evenly across your skin when it’s normal and without sunscreen.

This is also why we tend to sweat more in areas with a higher humidity – the rate of evaporation is much slower, resulting in more sweat built-up!

2. You’re Likely in the Sun and Hot in General

When you put sunscreen on, it’s likely because you’re planning to spend some time in the sun. And being in the sun makes you hot, which also contributes to increased sweating.

So if you find yourself sweating more after applying sunscreen, don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal! Just make sure to stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade to cool down.

3. You May Have Applied Too Much Sunscreen

If you already have oily skin, adding an excess amount of sunscreen and rubbing it into your skin can actually trigger your body to produce even more oil!

What happens in your body recognizes that something is being rubbed into your pores, and produces more oil in an effort to clear out those pores and prevent them from getting clogged up.

In this case, you’re not actually sweating more – you’re producing more oil!

Which Sunscreens Wont Make Me Sweat?

There’s no denying that some types of sunscreen are more likely to make you feel sweatier than others.

Physical mineral sunscreen can definitely make you feel sweaty since it’s designed to sit on top of your skin and reflect the sun’s rays away. This more substantial, physical layer of protection sitting on your skin can feel pretty sticky at times.

sweaty skin

Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, are designed to be absorbed into your skin. However, if you’re already hot in the sun or if you’ve over-applied, chemical sunscreen can still make you feel sweaty too.

So, if you’re looking for a sunscreen that won’t make you feel sweaty, we recommend trying a lightweight, breathable sunscreen. We’ve found that Korean sunscreens tend to be great for avoiding the sweats since they often contain alcohol, which dries and absorbs remarkably quickly.

Of course there are downside to using a sunscreen with alcohol (such as drying out one’s skin), so you’ll have to decide for yourself if the pros outweigh the cons. But many people who struggle with sunscreen sweats find that alcohol sunscreens feel much cooler and more comfortable.

Other Tips to Prevent the Sunscreen Sweats

Let’s quickly talk about other strategies you can use to prevent sunscreen from making you feel super sweaty.

  • Let the sunscreen settle. After you’ve applied sunscreen to your body, give 20 minutes or so to absorb or settle before going into the hot sun. Also try to apply your sunscreen indoors or in shade where you’ll feel cooler.
  • Use sun protective clothing. Sun protective clothing may make it un-necessary to apply sunscreen on certain areas of your body, therefore keeping you cooler and more comfortable.
  • Don’t over-rub or over massage the sunscreen. If you rub and massage the sunscreen into the pores of your skin too much, your body will produce more oils in an effort to clear your pores.
  • Don’t over apply. You always want to apply the appropriate amount of sunscreen to keep your skin safe, but try not to go overboard and use an overabundance.
  • Choose the right sunscreen. Some sunscreens are more likely to cause sweating than others. If you’re looking for a sweat-free option, try a gel-based, lightweight sunscreen or one that contains alcohol.
  • Apply sunscreen before you get sweaty. If you try to apply sunscreen when you’re already hot and sweaty, even the best sunscreens for sweating with all the water-resistant and sweat-resistance available will just sit on top of your skin for a while and make you feel even hotter, potentially resulting in more sweat and discomfort.

FAQ About Sweating With Sunscreen

How do I keep from sweating after applying sunscreen?

There are a few things you can do to stop from sweating after applying sunscreen. We suggest applying sunscreen before you get sweaty, avoid massaging or rubbing the sunscreen into your skin, and don’t apply an excess of sunscreen. You can also try a lightweight sunscreen or a sunscreen with alcohol, as they tend to absorb and dry out faster.

Does sunscreen make you feel hotter?

Sunscreen can sometimes make you feel hotter if the formula has ingredients that are irritating your skin. If it feels like your skin is getting hotter when you apply sunscreen, or if you feel a burning sensation, remove the sunscreen from your skin and try a different formula of sunscreen that is made for people with sensitive skin. These gentle formulas will be less likely to cause irritation.

Sunscreen is important to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but it can sometimes make us feel sweaty. Use the tips we’ve outline here to keep cool and comfortable with sunscreen. And remember, even if sunscreen can make you feel sweatier at times, it’s always important to apply it in order to protect your precious skin!

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