This is the review of the best sunscreen for skiing in the year of 2022.
I am Aspen, an NZSIA certified ski instructor, and APSI snowboard instructor. I have been teaching skiing for over 10 seasons. I have also developed a ski length calculator and size guide to help skiers choose suitable gears.
A high-quality sunscreen is essential to protect us against the lobster look and goggle tan.
- Neutragena Ultra Sheer SPF 70 (Best Overall)
- EltaMD Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen (Best Physical Sunscreen)
- La Roche-Posay Oil Free Sunscreen (Best for Oil-free)
3 Best Sunscreens for Skiing Reviewed
In this section, I will go over my top picks for the best sunscreens for skiing, together with a detailed review for each option.
Neutragena Ultra Sheer SPF 70
- Key features: Water-Resistant
- SPF: 70
- Volume: 109 grams
- Best for: Overall
Neutrogena’s latest sunscreen offering is a doozy.
Ultra sheer, fast-absorbing, non-greasy, water-resistant and the highest SPF on this list!
Neutragena is the number 1 recommended sunscreen by dermatologists, and taking that into consideration, it is no surprise that this sunscreen is recommended for pretty much every skin type.
This sunscreen does not make your face or skin look greasy at all. It gives your skin matte protection.
It also gets to work a mere 15 minutes after application – half the time of other sunscreens!
The one downside of this sunscreen is that although your skin looks matte, the minute you touch anything, you’ll leave a white residue on it.
My centre console in my car looked like it had been touched by ghosts…but if you can live with that, then this is a great all-around sunscreen that is suitable for almost every skin type.
EltaMD Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen
- Key features: Dermatologist-Recommended Mineral-Based Zinc Oxide Formula
- SPF: 46
- Volume: 45 grams
- Best for: Physical Sunscreen
EltaMD has presented the market with a zinc oxide sunscreen that reflects harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun.
The lightweight formula is specifically designed for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. It has been created with transparent zinc oxide, and is fragrance-free, paraben-free and does not clog pores. Because of all of these features, this sunscreen will not irritate your sensitive skin or exasperate acne if your skin is that way inclined.
If you apply a good amount, there will be a very slight white tint to your face for about half an hour to 45 minutes. It is only a slight white tint, and it does mean that your skin is adequately protected.
Although this is targeted at those with sensitive skin, this product has been known to make some people’s skin break out.
Always patch test to see how your skin reacts before committing to a full day on the slopes with any product.
La Roche-Posay Oil Free Sunscreen
- Key features: Oil-free
- SPF: 60
- Volume: 50 ml
- Best for: Oil-free
La Roche-Porsay Clear Skin sunscreen features an oil-free recipe that doesn’t exacerbate acne-prone skin. It stops your skin from looking oily and greasy on the slopes while still providing impeccable sun protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
As well as being allergy tested, this sunscreen is also paraben-free, fragrance-free, oxybenzone and octinoxate free and has been dermatologist tested for safety.
Allure Magazine also awarded this sun protection “Best Chemical Sunscreen of 2020”.
If you are socially conscious, you will also be delighted to know that La Roche-Porsay does not test any of its products on animals, nor do they delegate that task to anyone else. They are quite vocal on their stance against animal cruelty, too.
The one downfall with this sunscreen is, the darker your skin, the more noticeable the white cast on your skin will be. Out of all the products tested, this one left the whitest residue afterwards.
Why Applying Sunscreen When We Go Skiing?
The sun can be harmful to your skin no matter where you are, but it’s especially significant to wear sunscreen when skiing because you’re exposed to more UV radiation than you are at the beach.
Because of the cold temperatures and the stimulation of exercise, you are less likely to notice your skin burning until it is quite bad. This makes it even more imperative to have the right sun protection in place.
According to my experience, 30 mins on a sunny ski day or around an hour on a cloudy day and our cheeks will be burning, well, and don’t ask me how I know it, I don’t want to remember those days at all…
Make sure you apply sunscreen to all the skin that’s not covered under your gears and clothes (Including the back of your neck and hands). And keep re-applying them every one to two hours to make sure your skins are under protection.
Best Sunscreen for Skiing – What to Consider?
Take into consideration these features when you choose sunscreen for skiing?
Water Resistant Sunscreen
Being on the ski slopes, you are also more likely to burn just due to the surroundings. Even though you aren’t in the water, a water-resistant sunblock is advised because snow is… you guessed it – water.
Sweat, wet snow, coupled with damp clothing and gloves effectively render regular sunscreen useless. So when you’re looking for sunscreen, try to grab “extra-waterproof”.
Cannot find a sunscreen with more than SPF 20+? Then apply them more often!
Chemical vs Physical Sunscreens
The most common sunscreens in the current market can be divided into chemical and physical sunscreens, both are fine for skiing.
Chemical sunscreen absorbs into the skin then converts UV rays into heat for protecting your skin. To maximize the protection, apply sunscreen at home just after your moisturizer. This 30-minute period before hitting the slopes allows the active ingredients in sunscreen to start protecting your skin.
Physical sunscreen creates a barrier on the skin to reflect harmful UV lights. It works immediately and the texture is usually thicker than chemical sunscreen.
Many sun protection products claim that they offer 8+ hours of protection after one application. The main drawback with once-a-day sun lotions is that they don’t take into account sparse application and unintentional removal (thanks helmets, facemasks, gloves, goggles and general exercising).
So make sure you bring over your sunscreen even if it’s a once-a-day sunblock, and keep applying them.
People frequently apply sunscreen too thinly or not at all, resulting in missed areas, particularly around the ears and hairline.
When you apply less sunscreen, you’re not getting the full protection against the UV ray that the product promises. Most people use far too little sunscreen. This is a concern because the sun protection is factored on the best possible distribution and sufficient product usage.
To be fully protected while skiing, apply at least one tablespoon of sunscreen per region.
The Neutragena Ultra Sheer SPF 70 is my favourite on the list as it absorbs so well and leaves the least residue behind. It also has the highest SPF and I felt like it didn’t slide around on my face, but was rather well absorbed.
Do you have a favourite sunscreen you can’t live without when hitting the slopes?
Let me know in the comments below!