Is Your Sunscreen Really Waterproof?

Karen McNew McGuire's picture
By Karen McNew McGuire on April 7, 2017

Fact Check: All sunscreens are water resistant.


According to Mariana Phillips, M.D., the section chief of Dermatology and Mohs Surgery at Carilion Clinic, that is false.

“Not all sunscreens are water resistant,” she explained. “It is important to read the product’s label carefully.”

In addition, Dr. Phillips recommends choosing a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher and says “broad spectrum” on the label, which means that it will protect your skin from both harmful UVA and UVB rays. 

Once you have purchased the right sunscreen, don’t forget to reapply it at least every two hours while you are outside. According to the American Cancer Society, sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, but sunscreen is just one part of sun protection.

Sun protection also includes:

  • Shade
  • Clothing
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses

Test your sun safety savvy with this American Cancer Society quiz.