Whether you’re a Florida local or traveling there for business or pleasure, you know that you’ll be spending a lot of time in the sun! Days full of bright, warm sun sound very appealing, and they are to be enjoyed. But not at the expense of your skin!
Because Florida is so consistently sunny, you need to be sure that you are taking all the necessary sun protection precautions. You should wear UV protective clothing, hats and sunglasses, and seek shade, as recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
But all that isn’t enough! You need to be sure that you are always wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen, as well!
Because the Florida sun is radiant and blazing you need to take your time to research sunscreens to be prepared. Or you could let me help you!
Whether you’re a local looking for a daily sunscreen or a traveler searching for the best sunscreen for your beach-filled Florida vacation, SimplySunSafe has recommendations that you can choose from!
After thoroughly researching sun protection needs for the Florida sun, SimplySunSafe recommends Badger Sport Sunscreen SPF 35 as the best sunscreen for Florida. Keep reading for a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth reviews of the top 5 sunscreens for Florida.
You want to be sure that your skin is always sufficiently protected in the Florida sun. Here are a few must-have features that you should search for in your sunscreen:
Broad spectrum protection
You always need to use a sunscreen that provides broad spectrum protection. This means that it protects you against both the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. You need protection against both because each type works differently.
- UVB rays damage the outermost layer of your skin and leave you with sunburn
- UVA rays penetrate the deepest layer of your skin (the dermis) and cause premature aging, like wrinkles by altering skin DNA
Exposure to both types of rays greatly increases your chance of skin cancer so it is imperative that you’re protected against them. The Florida sun does not discriminate and both types of rays will reach your skin!
Luckily, it is very simple to ensure that you are buying a sunscreen which provides broad spectrum protection. Just check the sunscreen’s label and ingredients list.
Look for words like ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘UVA/B’ on the label: clear indicators of the protection you need. You can also search the ingredients list for zinc oxide. Sunscreens with zinc oxide are an excellent and safe choice because they protect against the full range of UVA/B rays!
Best SPF for Florida
Wondering what SPF really means? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is one of those things that everyone just assumes they understand correctly. It is an important part of choosing the right sunscreen, though, and so knowing what it means and how it works will really help you make more informed choices in your sunscreen search!
The SPF rating of a sunscreen indicates what fraction of the sun’s rays will reach your skin if you have properly applied the formula. That means, if you’re wearing a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 50, then only 1/50th of the sun’s rays will reach your skin. Yes, that means you can spend more time in the sun than if you’re not wearing sunscreen, but don’t get overexcited!
Wearing a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 50 does not mean that you can spend 50 times longer in the sun than you would without sunscreen. Be careful not to get confused and end up burned by the Florida sun!
This table below will help you better understand different SPF ratings and they protection they provide:
|SPF Rating||UVB Protection|
So tell me: are you surprised?
The reality is that there very little difference between a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 and one with 100. So which should you use?
SimplySunSafe agrees with the experts and suggests that you choose sunscreens that have SPF ratings no lower than 30 and no greater than 50.
And always remember to reapply at least every two hours no matter what SPF rating your sunscreen has. Better safe than sorry!
Physical is better than chemical
Did you know that sunscreens can be separated into two groups: chemical and physical? The differences lie in the active ingredients and in the way they work to protect your skin against the sun’s UV rays.
- Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays as they reach your skin
- Physical sunscreens reflect the UV rays before they reach your skin
Physical sunscreens are a better choice than chemical ones for many reasons. They stop more radiation, work immediately upon application, last longer, are less likely to cause irritation, and have a longer shelf life. Pretty good, right?
If those reasons still don’t convince you, consider this. Chemical sunscreens often contain ingredients that mess with your hormones. A bit shocking, I know.
The worst of these chemicals is called oxybenzone, and is still legal despite concerns expressed by the FDA. I suggest that you check the ingredients list of any sunscreen you’re considering for this chemical, and if you see it, choose a different product!
Stick with physical sun protection when in the Florida sun!
Suitable for daily use
The majority of your days spent in Florida will be sunny, or at least have sunny moments. That is why you need to find a sunscreen that you will be able to wear every day. Even one day in the sun without proper protection is potentially harmful to your skin. You’re better off being prepared with a go-to everyday sunscreen.
When you’re searching for a sunscreen that you will use everyday, there are a few things you should take into consideration:
- Do you want a sunscreen that you can use on both your face and body everyday?
- Is your skin sensitive, or do you have any skin conditions to keep in mind?
- Will you be wearing makeup over the sunscreen?
If you go into your search prepared with the knowledge of what you need and want, you will find much more success and discover the best products for your skin.
One of the most important things you want in a sunscreen that you will wear every day is gentleness. You need to find a product that will be effective in protection without causing any irritation to your skin.
SimplySunSafe has recommended products that are gentle on your skin but tough on the sun.
Chances are, when in Florida, some of your time will be spent in or least near the water on one (or many) of the beautiful beaches. Not to mention that it can get really humid in Florida, and you’ll definitely find yourself sweating at one time or another!
Sweating or water activity does not need to interfere with your sun protection. There are plenty of quality sunscreens that provide water resistance. Ignore dishonest advertising: ‘waterproof’ and ‘sweatproof’ sunscreens do not exist.
Water resistance is available for 40 or 80 minutes so search for that specification on the labels of the sunscreens you are considering.
The benefits of using a water resistant sunscreen in Florida are that sweating will not hamper your day’s plans, and that you can engage in water activity while still being properly protected against the sun’s dangerous UV rays.
Water resistance is a key feature to consider in your Florida sunscreen!
Rub on lotion not spray
When you need to wear sunscreen everyday, it can start to feel a bit burdensome to go through the whole ritual of applying the sunscreen because it often takes time and effort to rub it in well.
That’s why spray sunscreens can be so tempting. They seem like a really convenient choice and they’re marketed as having the same quality as rub on lotions.
However, I do not suggest that you use spray sunscreens. This is because they are not as safe or effective as rub on lotions.
The reason that their safety is compromised is because of what you can inhale when you are applying spray sunscreens. The chemicals in sunscreens are meant to be tolerated by your skin, but they are harmful to your internal lung tissue. It’s not a safety risk worth taking for a small convenience.
In terms of effectiveness, it’s logical, just think about it. In order for sunscreen to provide you with the maximum amount of protection, you need to have applied it evenly and in a thick enough layer.
With spray sunscreens, this is not likely to happen. You just don’t have as much control of the sufficient and even distribution of product as you do with rub on lotions. It is very likely that some areas of your skin will be left vulnerable if you use spray sunscreens.
For the sunny days in Florida, choose safety and effectiveness, and go with rub on lotions rather than spray sunscreens!
Best Sunscreen for Florida Comparison
|Badger Sport Sunscreen||EltaMD UV Pure||Vanicream Sunscreen||thinksport Sunscreen||California Baby Super Sensitive|
|Active ingredients||Zinc Oxide (22.5%)||Zinc Oxide (10%) & Titanium Dioxide (5.5%)||Zinc Oxide (6%) & Titanium Dioxide (3.4%)||Zinc Oxide (20%)||Titanium Dioxide (12%)|
|Water resistance||80 Minutes||80 Minutes||80 Minutes||80 Minutes||80 Minutes|
5 Best Sunscreens for Florida
After a lot of careful research about the necessities for proper sun protection in Florida which included discussing issues with customers, reviewing customer feedback, examining manufacturer specifications, and participating in skincare forums, SimplySunSafe has determined the 5 best sunscreens for Florida.
Each of the recommend products will provide you with physical, broad spectrum protection with an SPF rating of 30 or greater. They are all available in rub on lotions and gentle enough for daily use!
SimplySunSafe’s first choice for the best sunscreen for the Florida sun is Badger Sport Sunscreen. This is a gentle formula which is unmatched in reliability. Broad spectrum protection is provided to you with a high concentration of its active ingredient zinc oxide (22.5%).
Badger Sport has an extremely simple formula, with a total of only 5 ingredients, making it an excellent choice for daily use on your face and body. The combination of a small number of natural ingredients creates a formula which will not cause any irritation to your skin.
Badger Sport Sunscreen has a high concentration of zinc oxide, which is amazing for sun protection, but may leave your skin with a slight white cast. The formula is thick and does require effort to rub in. The white cast is something that can be covered up with makeup, if it bothers you. Otherwise, you can just use it as a reminder that you’re wearing sunscreen and will need to reapply every couple of hours!
Just in case you do a lot of water activities, or simply want to be protected through any occurrences of sweating, the formula is durably water resistant for 80 minutes.
Badger is also a great option for locals or travelers to Florida who have children, as well. The company has a kids formula and a baby formula. They are both of the highest quality just like their Sport counterpart.
Badger Sport is a great product that you should definitely test for your Florida sun needs! It’s so good in tropical conditions it’s also been selected as the best sunscreen for Hawaiian sun and the best humid weather sunscreen.
- Great for everyday use
- Durable 80 minute water resistance
- Available for kids and babies
- Thick formula
Another great sunscreen choice for the Florida weather is EltaMD UV Pure.
This sunscreen’s active ingredients zinc oxide (10%) and titanium dioxide (5.5%) provide you with the broad spectrum protection you need. It is a great product you can use to protect your face and body!
EltaMD UV Pure’s formula is lightweight and will not leave your skin irritated or feeling greasy, even with daily use. It can leave your skin looking a bit white after a couple of reapplications or if you start to sweat. This just means that it’s protecting your skin well! If the white cast bothers you, some makeup will do the job of covering it up.
You’re covered with 80 minutes of water resistance with EltaMD UV Pure, as well, to provide continued protection through sweating or water activity.
This rub on lotion is lighter than other products with zinc oxide, and that is one of the reasons it is so well-liked! It will fit in seamlessly to your daily skincare routine, and you won’t be left feeling heaviness or tightness in your skin.
EltaMD UV Pure is an affordable and effective option for Florida!
- Lightweight formula
- 80 minute water resistance
- Affordable and effective
- Formula can leave white cast
Vanicream is a dermatologist recommended sunscreen that is a fantastic option for sun protection in Florida.
You will receive broad spectrum protection with active ingredients zinc oxide (6%) and titanium dioxide (3.4%). It is also available in a lip balm for protection of this often neglected part of your face.
Vanicream is formulated specifically for sensitive skin and is non-comedogenic, which means that you will not experience any irritation on your face and body.
The formula is thick and will need to be rubbed in well. Its thickness may create a heavy feeling if you add makeup on top of it, but it will not leave a white cast on your skin, so you could skip the makeup if you choose!
Vanicream’s thickness makes it a good product for drier skin and also enhances the durability of its 80 minutes of water resistance.
Give it a try to see if it is the sunscreen you need in Florida!
- Sensitive enough for daily use
- 80 minute water resistance
- Also available in lip balm
- Formula’s thickness may affect makeup
Thinksport is always a good option for sun protection, and it remains true for your needs in Florida!
This sunscreen provides broad spectrum protection with a high concentration of the the best physical active ingredient zinc oxide (20%). It is extremely safe and was the first sunscreen to pass the Whole Foods premium care requirements.
The higher SPF rating of thinksport’s formula makes it an ideal option if you have paler skin. And don’t be fooled by its sport focus. Thinksport is extremely gentle on both the face and body. Even daily use and frequent reapplication will not cause irritation to your skin.
A sturdy 80 minutes of water resistance is given to you with thinksport so you can enjoy your day without worrying too much about sweating or your water activities.
The formula’s thickness, which helps strengthen its water resistance, causes a white cast to be left on your skin. If you rub the product in well, it is not so noticeable, and you can cover it up with makeup. But this is something to keep in mind during your search.
Thinksport is also available in other formulas for the whole family. Check out thinksport Kids and thinkbaby to be fully protected on a family holiday. All of these products are safe, gentle, and effective options for sun protection in Florida!
- Gentle for daily use
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Available in kid’s and baby formulas
- Thick formula
- Slight white cast
A good option if you have any skin conditions, or simply have very sensitive skin, is California Baby Super Sensitive. This sunscreen provides you with broad spectrum protection through its active ingredient titanium dioxide (12%).
California Baby Super Sensitive is formulated to be gentle enough for daily use on the face and body of those with even the most sensitive and vulnerable skin. You can rest assured that if you use this product, you will not experience any irritation.
You will even get 80 minutes of water resistant protection for sweating or fun in the water!
California Baby Super Sensitive is a thick formula that you will need to rub in well. It will leave a slight white cast on your skin, and can stain your clothes so take care during application!
For easier application, especially on your face, you can also buy this sunscreen as a stick.
Consider giving California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen a try. Despite the white cast and thickness, it provides effective protection and is ideal if you have skin sensitivities.
- Ideal for super sensitive skin
- 80 minute water resistance
- Available as a stick
- Thick formula
- Slight white cast
This guide was written for locals and travelers looking for the best sunscreen for Florida. I hope that by reading this guide you gained more insight into what things you look for in a sunscreen for Florida and found a product that fits your specific needs!
SimplySunSafe recommends Badger Sport Sunscreen SPF 35 but all 5 products are great options that will provide you with sufficient sun protection in Florida.
It’s a good idea to invest some time in testing out different products to learn how your skin responds to different formulas, and figure out what exactly it needs in sun protection. After you’ve tested a few different products, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about which sunscreen to use in Florida.
Sharing ideas is my favorite way to learn new things. So if you use or know of another good sunscreen for Florida, let me know in the comments. I’ll take some time to check it out and maybe even add it to the list!