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Redheads: What’s the Deal with Waterproof and Water-Resistant Sunscreen?

Know Your Sunscreen Facts

In the world of sunscreen, there are a million different types and each one comes with its own claims. When you’re shopping for summer sunscreens, you’ve probably seen the words “waterproof” and “water-resistant” before, but what does that really mean? And can sunscreen really be waterproof? Here’s what you need to know:

The truth about “waterproof”

Let’s get the facts straight first. According to the FDA, there’s no such thing as a truly waterproof sunscreen. All sunscreens will come off your body with some level of water. Some sunscreens just take longer or only come off with hot or warm water. Now that we know that, let’s dive into what these terms really mean.

“Waterproof” is actually an old and outdated term that was deemed “misleading” by the FDA in 2011. Unfortunately, not all brands have strayed from the “waterproof” language. They may no longer use it on their packaging, but it seems to slip by in many internet searches and is found in marketing language. 

Look for water-resistant sunscreen instead

Redheads, you should be looking for “water-resistant” sunscreen. This is the proper language when referring to sunscreens that will stand up against water longer than others. Most regular sunscreens become less effective when exposed to water, but a sunscreen that is water resistant will be effective for a period of time. 

We all know sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours, but water-resistant sunscreens usually need to be reapplied more frequently. Some may need to be reapplied as frequently as every 40 minutes. It’s best to check the packaging for your sunscreen to get the exact time. 

When do you use water-resistant sunscreen? 

Using a water-resistant sunscreen is advised when you plan to spend time in the water — such as a pool, ocean, or lake, and also when you plan on sweating a lot. Many water-resistant sunscreens are also sweat-resistant, to help you stay safe while exercising or being out in the heat. 

Keep staying protected, redheads.

Rock it like a Redhead! 


READ: Face vs. Body Sunscreen: Is There Really a Difference?

READ: The 411: Should Redheads Layer or Mix Sunscreen?