Las Vegas may be the city of sin, but what about the city of sun?
Travelers researching their trip to Vegas may be wondering if what they say about the dry heat is true, and locals know it is! You might not sweat as much as you’d think in Vegas, but you will feel the hot sun beating down on you and will need a lot of water!
You also need sufficient sun protection if you live in Vegas, or if you’re visiting for a bit. Stick with the recommendations of the Skin Cancer Foundation and use UV protective clothing, hats and sunglasses, and seek shade if you plan to be out in the sun for long periods of time.
But in order to ensure that your skin is protected at all times from the strong Vegas sun, you need to be protected by a broad spectrum sunscreen!
Whether you’re a visitor walking from casino to casino or a local running errands, making sure your skin is properly protected from the sun will save you a lot of pain and skin damage!
After extensive research into what your skin needs for proper sun protection in Las Vegas, SimplySunSafe recommends thinksport Sunscreen SPF 50+ as the best sunscreen for Las Vegas. Please keep reading for a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth reviews of the top 5 sunscreens for Las Vegas.
You want to be sure that your skin is properly protected in the desert sun of Las Vegas. To do that, there are a few must-have features that you should search for in your sunscreen:
Broad spectrum protection
Perhaps the most important feature you need to look for when searching for sunscreen is broad spectrum protection. This means that you are receiving balanced protection from both UVA and UVB rays. This is essential because each type of radiation works differently.
- UVB rays are the commonly noticed rays which damage the outer layer of your skin, leaving you tanned or burned
- UVA rays are perhaps less thought about, but are more dangerous, penetrating the deepest layer of your skin (the dermis) and causing premature aging, like wrinkles, by damaging skin DNA
Exposure to both types of rays increases your risk of skin cancer so you really want to make sure you are protecting yourself properly.
Though the dry heat in Las Vegas won’t cause you to sweat, the sun’s rays will be reaching your skin!
Luckily, you’ll easily be able to ensure that you are using broad spectrum sunscreen. Just check the sunscreen’s label and ingredients list. A sunscreen’s label will often have words such as ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘UVA/B’ indicating the protection you need!
You can also search the ingredients list for zinc oxide. Sunscreens with zinc oxide protect against the full range of UVA/B rays and are a great choice for Las Vegas!
Best SPF for Las Vegas
Do you just assume that a higher Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating means that you’re getting better coverage? This is true, but the numbers aren’t exactly as they seem.
SPF is one of those things that most people have a vague understanding of but don’t fully understand. I’m going to fix this for you as it’s important in helping you choose the right sunscreen.
A sunscreen’s SPF tells you what fraction of the sun’s rays will reach your skin if you have properly applied the sunscreen. For example, if you are wearing a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30, then only 1/30th of the sun’s rays will reach your skin. This explains why you can stay longer in the sun when you’re wearing sunscreen. But don’t overdo it!
Wearing a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 does not mean that you can stay in the sun 30 times longer than if you weren’t wearing sunscreen. There are many factors that influence the effectiveness of SPF including the time of day, the amount of properly applied sunscreen, and even reflections from surfaces like sand and water.
Check out this table below. It will help you to better understand how SPF works and the amount of protection you get from different ratings.
|SPF Rating||UVB Protection|
It’s really a bit surprising, isn’t it?
There is very little difference between a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 and on with 100. So which SPF rating should you choose?
SimplySunSafe agrees with the FDA’s guidelines, and suggests that you choose sunscreens with SPF ratings now lower than 30 and no higher than 50.
No matter what SPF rating you’re wearing, remember to reapply at least every two hours!
Physical is better than chemical
Sunscreens can be divided into two groups – chemical and physical. The differences are more important than you may think. They lie in the active ingredients and in the way that the sunscreens work to protect your skin.
- Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays as they reach your skin
- Physical sunscreens reflect UV rays before they reach your skin
Physical sunscreens give you a lot of reasons to choose them over chemical ones. Most importantly, they stop more light reaching your skin, which obviously means they just work better.
On top of this, physical sunscreens:
- work immediately upon application
- last longer
- are less likely to cause irritation
- have a longer shelf life
But maybe the most important reason to choose physical sunscreens over chemical ones has to do with the contents of chemical sunscreens. They often contain ingredients that mess with your hormones. You don’t want that!
The worst of these ingredients is called oxybenzone. Despite concerns from the FDA it is still legal, but I suggest that avoid any products containing this ingredient.
You will find the best sun protection for Las Vegas in a physical sunscreen!
Suitable for daily use
While you may not sweat in Las Vegas as you would in other places, that does not mean that the sun isn’t reaching your skin! You will feel the strong heat, and let that be a reminder that the sun’s UV rays are also strong.
That is why you will need to be sure to wear sunscreen everyday and at all times when you are in the sun in Las Vegas.
Finding a sunscreen to incorporate into your daily skincare routine can feel challenging. There are a few questions you should answer for yourself before beginning your search:
- Do you want to use one sunscreen for both your face and body?
- What are the skin conditions or sensitivities that you need to accommodate?
- Will you wear makeup on top of the sunscreen?
By answering these questions, you will prepare yourself for a focused and smooth search. Any sunscreen that you choose to use everyday will need to be effective but gentle enough for consecutive days of use and frequent reapplication.
SimplySunSafe has provided you with sunscreen options which are excellent for daily use on your face and body!
Rub on lotion not spray
Adding another step to your daily skincare routine can feel tedious, and it’s understandable to search for a quick and easy option. Spray sunscreen appears to provide quick and convenient sun protection, and they’re marketed as working just as well as rub on lotions.
However, I advise you to choose rub on lotions rather than spray sunscreens. The truth is that spray sunscreens present issues in terms of safety and effectiveness.
Something that you may not be thinking about is what happens when you apply spray sunscreen to your face and body. You are very likely inhaling some of the spray formula, without realizing it. Your skin is meant to handle the chemicals in sunscreen, but your inner lung tissue is not!
In terms of effectiveness, think about it logically. When you’re applying spray sunscreen you do not have the same amount of control over spreading the adequate amount of formula evenly all over your skin.
You would need to spend much more time applying a spray sunscreen to ensure sufficiency, and quicker application is probably one of the reasons you would buy it in the first place!
So while it may seem counterintuitive, using a rub on lotion instead of spray sunscreen will actually save you time in proper application and it is much safer.
So choose a rub on sunscreen for Las Vegas!
Best Sunscreen for Las Vegas Comparison
|thinksport Sunscreen||EltaMD UV Pure||Vanicream Sunscreen||BADGER Sport Sunscreen||Tropical Sands All Natural|
|Active ingredients||Zinc Oxide (20%)||Zinc Oxide (10%) & Titanium Dioxide (5.5%)||Zinc Oxide (6%) & Titanium Dioxide (3.4%)||Zinc Oxide (22.5%)||Zinc Oxide (22.5%) & Titanium Dioxide (6%)|
|Water resistance||80 Minutes||80 Minutes||80 Minutes||80 Minutes||40 Minutes|
5 Best Sunscreens for Las Vegas
After thorough research into what is needed for sun protection in Las Vegas which included discussing issues with customers, reviewing customer feedback, examining manufacturer specifications, and participating in skincare forums, SimplySunSafe has compiled the 5 best sunscreens for Las Vegas.
Each sunscreen provides physical, broad spectrum protection with an SPF rating of 30 or greater. These products are effective yet gentle enough for daily use!
SimplySunSafe’s first choice for the best sunscreen for Vegas is thinksport Sunscreen SPF 50+. This high SPF formula provides broad spectrum protection with its active ingredient zinc oxide (20%).
Thinksport in unmatched in safety and was the first sunscreen to pass the Whole Foods premium care requirements. It is extremely gentle on skin and won’t cause any irritation even when used daily.
Whether you’re a visitor or a local, the gentle, high SPF protection will serve you well in the dry, but scorching Vegas sun.
Something to keep in mind about thinksport when considering it as your Vegas sunscreen, is that it has a thick formula. This makes it a bit hard to rub in and it tends to leave a slight white cast on skin. Just think of it as a sign that you’re protected! You can use some makeup to cover it up, if you’d like.
As locals know and visitors will quickly learn, the Vegas climate is dry, not humid, so you won’t find yourself sweating more than usual. Thinksport Sunscreen does give you 80 minutes of water resistance which may be useful to you if you sweat regularly anyway, or if you plan to spend some time by the pool.
- High SPF
- Gentle enough for daily use
- Available in kids and baby formulas
- Thick formula
Another great choice for travelers and Vegas locals is EltaMD UV Pure. Your broad spectrum protection is covered with a combination of active ingredients – zinc oxide (10%) and titanium dioxide (5.5%).
EltaMD UV Pure will provide you with reliable protection from the strong sun in Vegas, while remaining gentle on your skin during daily use.
It is a non-comedogenic, lightweight, and oil-free formula so it will not leave your skin feeling greasy. The formula can start to leave a white cast after a couple of reapplications or if you start to sweat, which won’t be so much of a problem in Vegas.
If you find the white cast bothersome, you can wear some makeup on top as the sunscreen’s lightweight formula makes it really easy to apply on top.
EltaMD UV Pure also provides you with the option of 80 minutes of water resistance if you find yourself in need.
Compared to other products with zinc oxide as the active ingredient, EltaMD UV Pure’s formula is very lightweight which makes it very popular.
It a great option for visitors and Vegas locals alike!
- Lightweight, non-greasy formula
- Ideal for use with makeup
- 80 minute water resistance
- May leave a slight white cast after reapplication
Vanicream is another reliable option for use in Vegas by locals and visitors alike.
It is dermatologist recommended, making it ideal as a product for Vegas locals, as it will be gentle and safe enough to incorporate fully into your lifestyle.
Broad spectrum protection is given through the active ingredients zinc oxide (6%) and titanium dioxide (3.4%). The high SPF gives you extra protection against the strong UVB rays, as well!
Irritation on your face or body will never cross your mind with Vanicream as it is formulated especially for sensitive skin and is non-comedogenic.
The formula is thick so you will need to be sure to rub it in well. Vanicream does not leave a white cast on skin like some other sunscreens, but can leave your skin feeling a bit heavy if you apply makeup on top of it.
Again, with Vanicream, you have the bonus of 80 minutes of water resistance if you find yourself cooling down in an outside pool in Vegas! The thick formula also hydrates dry skin, which might be useful in the very dry heat in Las Vegas.
Definitely a product worth testing out for Las Vegas!
- Formulated for sensitive skin
- No white cast
- High SPF
- Can feel heavy when used with makeup
BADGER Sport is a go to product here at SimplySunSafe and it will protect you well in Vegas!
It provides broad spectrum protection with a high concentration of zinc oxide (22.5%) and has a deceptively simple formula.
With a total of only five ingredients, BADGER is gentle on the face and body and is ideal for daily use without irritation.
The formula is thick and requires effort to properly rub in, and as is with many sunscreens with zinc oxide, BADGER will leave a white cast on your skin. It is something that you can cover up with makeup without your skin feeling too suffocated.
BADGER also provides 80 minutes of water resistance, if you need it.
The SPF rating is not as high as the other recommendations, but BADGER is still an option worth testing out for Las Vegas!
- High concentration of zinc oxide
- Simple and gentle formula
- Available for kids and babies
- Thick formula
- Slight white cast
SimplySunSafe’s last recommendation for sunscreen for Vegas is Tropical Sands Sunscreen Cream. This formula is made for very intense sun exposure, like the dry, strong heat of Vegas.
It provides broad spectrum protection through a high concentration combination of active ingredients zinc oxide (22.5%) and titanium dioxide (6%).
The formula is all natural and very gentle for your skin during daily use. It even has green tea which will condition your skin while protecting it!
The formula is thick and requires effort to rub in. It will leave a white cast, but you can lessen the effect if you add a bit of lotion or water while you’re applying the sunscreen.
Tropical Sands is a very strong option with a high SPF rating for sun protection in the blazing Vegas sun. It is up to you to decide whether or not the white cast will bother you too much.
Give it a try to see if you might like it!
- Very high concentration of active ingredients
- Gentle enough for daily use
- High SPF
- Thick formula
- White cast
This guide was written for people, locals and travelers alike, who are searching for the best sunscreen for Las Vegas. I hope that by reading this guide you learned more about what your skin will need while in Vegas, and that you found a product that fits your unique needs!
SimplySunSafe’s first recommendation is thinksport Sunscreen SPF 50+ but all 5 products listed will prove to be reliable and effective for sun protection in Las Vegas.
Now that you’ve read this guide, you should start testing out different sunscreens. By running trials of different products, you’ll learn how your skin reacts and what you need in a sunscreen. That way you’ll be able to make the most informed decision about which sunscreen to wear in Las Vegas.
I love sharing knowledge and gaining it from others! So if you use or know of another good sunscreen for Las Vegas, I’d be grateful if you would share it in the comments. I’ll check it out and maybe even add it to the list!