Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant Sunscreen: What's the Difference and Why It Matters

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant Sunscreen: What's the Difference and Why It Matters

Christopher Schmidt, MD

Christopher Schmidt, MD

Co-Founder & Dermatologist


Sun protection is crucial for swimmers and water enthusiasts, but not all sunscreens are created equal. The terms "waterproof" and "water-resistant" often cause confusion, and it's vital to understand what they mean to make an informed choice.

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant Sunscreen

Water-Resistant Sunscreen: Water-resistant sunscreens are formulated to stay effective for a specific amount of time while in water or sweating, typically 40 or 80 minutes. After this period, reapplication is necessary to maintain protection.

Waterproof Sunscreen: Although some products used to be labeled as "waterproof," this term is now considered misleading. No sunscreen can truly be waterproof, as all sunscreens eventually wear off with exposure to water or sweat.

Why the FDA Doesn't Allow "Waterproof" or "Sweatproof" Claims

In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new regulations prohibiting the use of terms like "waterproof" and "sweatproof" on sunscreen packaging. The reason? Such claims overstate the product's effectiveness, leading to a false sense of security.

According to the FDA, no sunscreen can completely withstand water or sweat. By using these terms, consumers might not reapply the product as often as needed, risking sunburn and long-term skin damage.

Nowadays, sunscreen labels must indicate whether the product remains effective for 40 or 80 minutes when swimming or sweating. This change brings transparency, allowing consumers to make educated choices.

Best Sunscreen for Swimmers and Aquatic Athletes: Dermasport's SPF 50 Facial Sunscreen

Designed with swimmers and aquatic athletes in mind, this sunscreen offers the following benefits:

  1. Water-Resistant for 80 Minutes: Dermasport's sunscreen uses a proprietary reinforced hydrophobic barrier that blocks UV rays and harsh pool chemicals from damaging the skin. This ensures prolonged protection during extended water exposure and reduces the need for frequent reapplication.
  2. Reef-Safe: In line with Dermasport's commitment to the environment, the sunscreen is certified reef safe, protecting not only your skin but also aquatic ecosystems.
  3. Broad Spectrum Protection: It shields against both UVA and UVB rays, offering complete protection to reduce the risk of premature aging and skin cancer.
  4. Made in the USA: Proudly crafted in the USA, Dermasport's sunscreen adheres to rigorous quality standards.

The difference between waterproof and water-resistant sunscreen is more than just terminology; it's about understanding what each product offers and choosing wisely. With the FDA's regulations, consumers now have a clearer insight into what they are buying.

Dermasport's SPF 50 Facial Sunscreen rises above the rest, offering water-resistance, environmental consciousness, and broad-spectrum protection. For anyone spending time in the water, it's not just a sunscreen; it's a commitment to healthy skin and a healthier planet.

Experience the Dermasport difference today, and dive into a world where your skin's health is our priority.

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SPF 50 Facial Sunscreen

Regular price $18.00
Regular price Sale price $18.00
$15.30with subscription

Defend against sun damage with our water-resistant, reef-safe mineral lotion.