So my first question is: will you take me with you to Jamaica?
Just kidding… kind of. Seriously, though, you are in for a real treat! The colors alone will leave you amazed. And the sun will keep you happy and warm. Just be sure to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays.
Wearing UV protective clothing, hat and sunglasses, and seeking shade are all important measures of protection, as the Skin Cancer Foundation tells us, but you can’t forget your sunscreen, either!
I suggest that you do your sunscreen research, choose, and purchase your sunscreen at home before heading to Jamaica. Not only will you pay less if you buy it at home, but you’ll free up extra time in Jamaica to use for say an extra diving excursion or serving of saltfish!
Let me help you find your ideal sunscreen so that you can check one thing off of your list of responsibilities and move one step closer to all-out fun in the strong Jamaican sun!
After extensive research about what your skin will need in the Jamaican sun, SimplySunSafe recommends BADGER Sport Sunscreen SPF 35 as the best sunscreen for Jamaica. Please keep reading for a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth reviews of the top 5 sunscreens for Jamaica.
In the Jamaican sun, you need to be sure that your skin is fully protected. You can make sure of that by searching for a few must-have features in your sunscreen:
Broad spectrum protection
Any time you search for sunscreen you need to make sure it provides broad spectrum protection. The Jamaican sun is no exception! What does broad protection mean? With broad spectrum protection, you know you are covered against both UVA and UVB rays.
This is important because each radiation type works differently:
- UVB rays damage the outer layer of your skin and cause you to burn or tan
- UVA rays penetrate the deepest layer of your skin (the dermis) causing your skin to age prematurely by altering skin DNA (scary!)
Broad spectrum protection is essential because exposure to both types of rays increases your risk of skin cancer. And you know that the rays of the Jamaican sun will be strong!
It is really easy to be sure that your sunscreen provides broad spectrum protection. Just take a look at the sunscreen’s label and ingredients list. The label may have words like ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘UVA/B’ indicating that it provides broad spectrum protection.
If you don’t notice these words, or just want to be extra safe, check the ingredients list for zinc oxide. Sunscreens with zinc oxide protect against the full range of UVA/B rays and are always an effective and safe choice!
Best SPF for Jamaica
So let me ask you, do you really understand SPF and what it means? Don’t worry, neither did I!
the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is one of those things that is talked about all the time, but never really expanded upon. It is an important factor when deciding which sunscreen to choose so understanding what it means and how it works will enhance your sunscreen search!
To put it simply, the SPF rating tells you what fraction of the sun’s rays will reach your skin if you have properly applied the sunscreen. So for example, if you’re wearing a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30, then only 1/30th of the sun’s rays will reach your skin. Hold on, don’t get too excited.
Wearing a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 does not mean you can spend 30 times longer in the sun than if you were not wearing sunscreen. You definitely don’t want to make that mistake in the Jamaican sun. The effectiveness of SPF is affected by many factors like the time of day, amount of properly applied sunscreen, and reflections from surfaces like water or sand.
Check out this table below. It will help you better understand what protection different SPF ratings give you:
|SPF Rating||UVB Protection|
Feels like you’ve been living a lie, right? There really is not much of a difference between an SPF rating of 30 and one of 100. SimplySunSafe agrees with the FDA and suggests that you choose a sunscreen with an SPF rating no lower than 30 and no higher than 50.
And remember, no matter what SPF rating your sunscreen has, you need to reapply at least every two hours.
Physical is better than chemical
Sunscreen can be separated into two distinct groups – chemical and physical. The important difference between the two groups lie in the active ingredients and the way they work to protect your skin.
- Chemical sunscreen absorbs UV rays as they reach your skin
- Physical sunscreen reflects UV rays before they reach your skin
Physical sunscreens are preferred to their chemical counterparts as, on average, they stop more radiation reaching your skin (read: they’re just better sunscreens). On top of this they:
- work immediately upon application
- last longer
- are less likely to cause irritation
- have a longer shelf life
Another really important reason to avoid chemical sunscreens is that they contain ingredients that mess with your hormones. The worst of these ingredients is called oxybenzone, and although the FDA has expressed its concerns, it is still legal. Be sure to check all your potential sunscreens for this ingredient and avoid it at all costs!
For your fun in the Jamaican sun, stick with a physical sunscreen to ensure you’re getting the ultimate sun protection!
If you’re not going to Jamaica to enjoy its beautiful beaches, then why are you going?
You are sure to spend a lot of time outside in the Jamaican heat, which means you will be sweating. And on top of that, you are probably going to be swimming, or at least sitting close enough to the water to get splashed a few times.
That’s why you want to find a water resistant sunscreen to take with you to Jamaica.
A water resistant sunscreen will give you added peace of mind throughout your days in Jamaica. You will be protected from the sun and even sweating or a little water activity won’t damper your protection!
Don’t get duped! ‘Waterproof’ or ‘sweatproof’ sunscreens do not exist. Sunscreens are available with water resistance for 40 or 80 minutes.
For the sizzling, Jamaican sun, I recommend that you choose a sunscreen with 80 minutes of water resistance to give yourself as much protection as possible!
Suitable for daily use
Before you leave, get comfortable with the fact that you will need to wear sunscreen and reapply it every day while you’re in Jamaica. There is no way around it!
Don’t be worried, though. There are plenty of sunscreens that fold right into daily skincare routines with no problems.
When you’re searching for the sunscreen you will use daily in Jamaica, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you want a sunscreen that you can use on both your face and body everyday?
- Are there any skin sensitivities or conditions that you need to take into consideration?
- Will you wear makeup over the sunscreen?
Knowing the answers to these questions will make your search process much smoother. A sunscreen that you will use every day should be gentle but also effective.
SimplySunSafe has recommended sunscreens that will provide you with sufficient protection in Jamaica, without negatively affecting your skin.
Best Sunscreen for Jamaica Comparison
|BADGER Sport Sunscreen||BurnOut Ocean Tested||thinksport Sunscreen||Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral||EltaMD UV Pure|
|Active ingredients||Zinc Oxide (22.5)||Zinc Oxide (20%)||Zinc Oxide (20%)||Zinc Oxide (14.5%) & Titanium Dioxide (2%)||Zinc Oxide (10%) & Titanium Dioxide (5.5%)|
|Water resistance||80 Minutes||80 Minutes||80 Minutes||80 Minutes||80 Minutes|
5 Best Sunscreens for Jamaica
After extensive research into sunscreen needs for the Jamaican sun 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 Jamaica.
Each recommended product will provide you with physical, broad spectrum protection with an SPF rating of 30 or higher. You will also receive maximum water resistance with each recommendation!
Always a favorite here at SimplySunSafe, BADGER Sport provides effective and reliable protection with its deceivingly simple formula. Broad spectrum protection is facilitated through the high concentration of zinc oxide (22.5%), one of the most desirable sunscreen ingredients, and there are only four other ingredients in the formula.
BADGER Sport’s formula is so simple that it can be nothing but gentle, and will not cause any kind of irritation to your skin. You will not even remember that you’re wearing it each day!
Don’t be frightened that the high concentration of zinc oxide will leave you looking like a ghost. BADGER Sport does require effort to rub all the way in, but once you do, its white cast will be essentially unnoticeable, and adding makeup will be as easy as pie.
You will receive 80 minutes of durable water resistance with BADGER Sport, that will not be affected by sweating or some water activity. Ideal for your long days in the Jamaican sun, with swim breaks built in!
BADGER Sport is a great option for the whole family, as well. If you’re taking your kids along to Jamaica, check out BADGER Baby and BADGER Kids. Everyone in the family deserves the high quality and convenient protection that BADGER provides!
- Simple and gentle formula
- Durable 80 minute water resistance
- Available in Baby and Kids formulas
- Thick formula
BurnOut is another stellar option for sun protection in Jamaica. It also provides broad spectrum protection with a high concentration of active ingredient zinc oxide (20%).
Despite its rough sounding name, BurnOut is a very gentle formula. Your skin will not be irritated at all even with daily use on your face and body. In addition, BurnOut contains aloe vera, which will actually condition your skin as it is being protected. What a bonus!
Your 80 minutes of water resistance comes easy with BurnOut’s thick formula. You will have to make an effort to rub the product into your skin, but it is worth it!
Your skin will not be left looking greasy and makeup will lie easily on top of this sunscreen. Give this product a test run!
- Gentle and nourishing formula
- 80 minute water resistance
- High concentration of zinc oxide
- Thick formula
Thinksport sunscreens are excellent products in terms of safety and effectiveness. In fact, it was the first sunscreen to pass the Whole Foods premium care requirements.
Its safety is unmatched and it provides broad spectrum protection with a high concentration of active ingredient zinc oxide (20%).
Irritation is not even something you need to think about with this product, and its formula is surprisingly gentle, even on the face, despite its sport orientation. If you have paler skin, this may be an ideal option for you in Jamaica since it has a higher SPF rating.
Thinksport’s formula is very thick and is known to leave a slight white cast, if not rubbed in very thoroughly. Keep this in mind if you choose this product, and perhaps prepare to wear some makeup on top.
Its thickness lends itself to providing extremely durable water resistance for 80 minutes. Even dancing and sweating in the Jamaican sun will not diminish your protection!
- High SPF
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Available in Kids and Baby formulas
- Thick formula
- Slight white cast
Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen is a good product that will serve you well in Jamaica. Its two active ingredients zinc oxide (14.5%) and titanium dioxide (2%) provide you with your necessary broad spectrum protection.
Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral is designed purposely for use on the face and body, and will not cause any irritation to your skin, even with daily use and consistent reapplication. In fact, the formula will actually nourish your skin while protecting it!
One of the most important features you need in a sunscreen for Jamaica, water resistance, is provided by Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral for 80 minutes. So you can check that off your list while researching this product!
The one thing that you need to be aware of and prepared for if you choose to bring Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral sunscreen with you to Jamaica, is that you will need to plan for an extra half-hour in your skincare routine.
In order to properly dry on your skin, Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral needs some time before applying any makeup on top of it or going out into the sun.
Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral is a great, effective sunscreen. In Jamaica, you’ll be relaxing on a different clock, so give this sunscreen a try!
- No white cast
- Water resistance for 80 minutes
- Skin nourishing ingredients
- Needs time to dry
SimplySunSafe’s last suggestion for sunscreen for Jamaica is EltaMD UV Pure. This formula provides broad spectrum protection with active ingredients zinc oxide (10%) and titanium dioxide (5.5%). It is effective, yet gentle enough for daily use.
The formula is lightweight, non-comedogenic, and oil-free so your skin won’t be left feeling clogged or looking shiny. It will leave you with an invisible finish, as long as you rub it in properly, and you’ll be able to wear any makeup you’d like on top of it without issue.
EltaMD provides you with 80 minutes of water resistance, which should stand up pretty well. Compared to its counterparts recommended here, the water resistance may not be as strong in situations of excessive sweating or water activity, and it is only that which has put it in the last spot on this list.
Overall, EltaMD is a reliable sunscreen, and you should give a test to see if you might want to bring it with you to Jamaica!
- Good for daily use
- Lightweight formula
- Formula must be rubbed in well
- Less water resistant
This guide was written specifically for those searching for the best sunscreen for Jamaica. Hopefully by reading this guide, you’ve gained further insight into what you need for your trip, and have found a sunscreen that fits your specific needs!
SimplySunSafe recommends BADGER Sport Sunscreen SPF 35, but all 5 of the listed products are excellent choices for effective and gentle sun protection in the Jamaican sun.
Be sure to spend some time testing out a few products before settling on one. Your skin is unique and you want to be aware of how it will react to the product you will use every day in Jamaica. Once you have tried a few products, you will be able to make a more informed decision about which one will fit into your daily routine and will best protect you during your Jamaican excursion.
I am always looking to learn new things and hear about new products from other people! So if you have used or know of another great sunscreen for Jamaica, please share it with me in the comments. I’ll spend some time checking it out, and maybe it will even be added to this list!