When it comes to sun protection on the court, turn to someone you trust. Whether you’re a professional athlete or weekend enthusiast, we’re here to give you the advantage. SimplySunSafe has researched the top five sunscreens for tennis players, so you can focus solely on your game.
Taking into account specific factors including long hours in the sun, heavy perspiration, and even having to weather the rain, these five have the competitive edge.
But after careful deliberation, the winner is clear. As the best sunscreen for tennis we choose EltaMD UV Sport Sunscreen Lotion, Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 .
And remember, when you’re under harsh UV rays, sunscreen alone is never enough. As recommended by the NCAA, make sure to invest in sun protective clothing, sunglasses and a hat. Now you’re ready to play!
Best Sunscreen for Tennis Comparison
|EltaMD UV Sport Sunscreen||thinksport Sunscreen||Badger Sport Sunscreen||BurnOut Ocean Tested||Alba Botanica Sport Mineral|
|Active ingredients||Zinc oxide (9.0%), Octinoxate (7.50%), Octisalate (5.0%)||Zinc Oxide (20%)||Zinc Oxide (22.5%)||Zinc Oxide (20%)||Zinc Oxide (9%) & Titanium Dioxide (7%)|
|Water resistance||80 minutes||80 minutes||80 minutes||80 minutes||80 minutes|
|Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
When you’re playing tennis, you won’t be focused on whether or not your sun protection is still working. To be sure that you’re sufficiently protected the whole time, there are a few must-have features that you should search for in your sunscreen:
Broad spectrum protection
To make all of your future searches for sunscreen simpler, just remember this one thing:
You always want a sunscreen that provides broad spectrum protection.
This means that you will receive balanced protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Why is this important? Because the two types of UV radiation that cause you damage work in different ways:
UVB rays damage the outer layer of your skin, causing burning and tanning, while UVA rays infiltrate the deepest layer of your skin (the dermis) and cause premature aging.
During a tennis match that may last for a long time, you want to be well protected from these effects. Not to mention that exposure to both types of UV radiaiton increases your risk of skin cancer!
No need to panic, however, as sunscreens with broad spectrum protection are abundant and simple to locate! Just take a look at the label and ingredients list of any potential sunscreens.
On the label, you will often find words like ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘UVA/B’ making it clear that you will be protected. Also take a moment to check the ingredients list for zinc oxide. This is the best ingredient for sun protection as it protects against the full range of UVA/B rays. Any sunscreen with zinc oxide is an ideal choice for your tennis matches!
Best SPF for Tennis
If you’re planning to play tennis in the sun, then you’re probably thinking that you should invest in a sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF), right?
The question is, do you really know how SPF works? Understanding its intricacies will aid you in your search. Here’s a simple explanation:
SPF tells you what fraction of the sun’s rays will reach your skin, if, that is, you have properly applied your 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.
I know that sounds like exactly the help you need while you play tennis, and don’t get me wrong, it is great, I just want you to be careful.
Wearing an SPF 30 sunscreen does not mean that you can spend 30 times longer in the sun than if you weren’t wearing any sunscreen. It is easy to get carried away, but while playing tennis under intense sun, you want to keep your wits about you!
There are many factors which influence the effectiveness of SPF including time of day, amount of sunscreen applied, and even reflections from surfaces like water or sand.
Here’s a table which will help you better understand the amount of protection you get with different SPF ratings:
|SPF Rating||UVB Protection|
Rethinking your urge to buy a sunscreen with a very high SPF rating? The truth is that there is very little difference between an SPF rating of 30 and one of 100.
SimplySunSafe recommends that you choose sunscreens with SPF ratings no lower than 30 and no higher than 50. Our recommendation is in line with suggestions by the skin experts, so you know it’s in your best interests!
Whatever SPF rating you choose to use, while playing tennis you must remain vigilant in reapplying your sunscreen at least every two hours!
Physical is better than chemical
One of the hottest topics of debate is whether to use physical or chemical sunscreens.
Let me assure you, there are actual and important differences between the two types, and they can be found in their active ingredients and in the ways they work to protect your skin.
Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays as they reach your skin, while physical sunscreens reflect the UV rays before they reach your skin.
Which option sounds safer to you?
Honestly, there are many reasons to choose physical sunscreens over chemical ones. Physical sunscreens:
- Work immediately upon application
- Last longer
- Are less likely to cause irritation
- Have a longer shelf life
Are you convinced yet? If not, listen to this:
Many chemical sunscreens contain ingredients which mess with your hormones. As an athlete, this is not something you want!
The worst of these ingredients is called oxybenzone and is still legal despite concerns expressed by the EWG. Keep your eyes out for oxybenzone on the ingredients list and avoid it to the best of your abilities!
Physical sunscreen is the best way to go when you’re a tennis player!
The number one obstacle to sun protection you will face when you are playing tennis is sweat. There is simply no way to avoid that, which is why you want to invest in a sunscreen which provides you with water resistance.
You will not be able to stop the sweat dripping all over you while you exert yourself during a game of tennis, but you will be able to rest assured that you are still properly protected against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Sunscreens are available with 40 or 80 minutes of water resistance.
I highly suggest that you invest in sunscreens with 80 minutes of water resistance to protect your skin during your intense tennis training and matches!
Designed for sports use
Not all sunscreens are designed equally. They are made with different purposes in mind. As an athlete, you know that when you get warmed up you work up a sweat and your skincare products start to run.
There are sunscreen options which will combat this issue because they are specifically designed to be used in sports or during high levels of activity (e.g. hiking).
They are, therefore, more durable and reliable, no matter your level of intensity. These are the types of sunscreens that you should be searching for to protect you while you play tennis.
5 Best Sunscreens for Tennis
After comprehensive research into what is needed for quality protection of your skin while playing tennis which included discussing issues with customers, reviewing customer feedback, examining manufacturer specifications, and participating in skincare forums, SimplySunSafe has compiled a great list of the 5 best sunscreens for tennis.
Each product provides physical, broad spectrum protection with an SPF rating of 30 or higher. They are all water resistant and designed for use in sports and during intense physical activity!
- SPF 50 sport sunscreen protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays and is specially formulated for active lifestyles and outdoor activities
- This water resistant sunscreen lotion is water resistant up to 80 minutes and won’t sting when you sweat or rinse off in the water
- EltaMD sports sunscreen lotion is a sweatproof sunscreen that works as hard as you do in the sun without stinging your eyes when you sweat
- Promote healthy skin while staying active outdoors with EltaMD UV Sport Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide
- EltaMD body sunscreen is made for active lifestyles, easily apply this broad spectrum full body sunscreen on wet or dry skin
Last update on 2022-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
If you’re looking for a high-quality sunscreen for tennis that can go the distance, UV Sport is your best bet. Not only does it offer SPF protection of up to 50+, but this full-body lotion also absorbs quickly.
In addition, it won’t leave behind an unsightly white residue on skin or clothing. This mineral-based sunscreen is a must for anyone who likes to be active outdoors like tennis. It won’t come off even when you’re sweating!
This full-body zinc oxide sunscreen with broad-spectrum coverage protects against UVA and UVB rays from the sun.
Plus, the sunscreen is formulated to go on smoothly over the skin and is weightless with a luxurious feel.
Also, the lotion keeps you protected for 80 minutes before you need to reapply.
- Weightless Texture
- Great for high-intensity activities
- Full body lotion
- May cause acne
- SAFE, NATURAL PROTECTION: Thinksport sunscreen provides effective sun protection for athletes, sports and active use. The broad spectrum UVA & UVB sun cream is suitable for daily use on even sensitive skin, offering gentle defense against the sun’s rays.
- EASY APPLICATION: The hydrating body and face sun cream is quick and easy to apply, and protection from the sun begins instantly. The fast absorbing SPF 50+ sun lotion won’t leave your skin feeling oily or sticky, and has no unpleasant chemical scent.
- CLEAN MINERAL FORMULA: The first sunscreen to pass Whole Foods Premium Care requirements, Thinksport vegan, Leaping Bunny certified sun creams contain no PABA, parabens, phthalates, BPA, oxybenzone, avobenzone, petroleum, gluten, dairy, or toxic chemicals.
- WATER RESISTANT: Ideal sunscreen for sport and other activities that make you sweat. Our sun cream provides the highest water resistance per the FDA, offering continuous protection for up to 80 minutes in the pool or sea before the sunscreen should be re-applied.
- REEF FRIENDLY: Safe for you, and safe for the earth. Produced in the USA, our sunscreen’s active ingredient is non-nano Zinc Oxide, and the formula is highly biodegradable, non toxic and does not contain any known chemicals harmful to coral reefs.
Last update on 2022-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising APISimplySunSafe’s the next best sunscreen for tennis players is thinksport Sunscreen SPF 50+. You will receive your broad spectrum protection with thinksport through a high concentration (20%) of its active ingredient zinc oxide.
Just as its name suggests, thinksport is designed specifically for use in sports, making it the perfect option for your tennis matches. Don’t be fooled though, thinksport is extremely gentle on skin, and was the first sunscreen to pass the Whole Foods premium care requirements.
Thinksport has a thick formula that is likely to leave a white cast, but I doubt that’s something you’ll be paying much attention to as you play tennis. If you prefer, you can cover it up with some makeup which it works well under!
Thinksport provides the 80 minutes of water resistance you want for your tennis matches and also has a high SPF rating. This is great for tennis matches during the warmer months and also if you have paler or especially photosensitive skin.
Thinksport covers all the bases (well… lines) for your tennis needs!
If you’re into other sports that have you in the sun for hours, this is likely the sunscreen for you. It’s also featured as the best cricket sunscreen by SimplySunSafe.
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Designed for sports
- High SPF
- Thick formula
- White cast
- One 87 ml. Tube of spf 35 sport unscented sunscreen cream
Last update on 2022-11-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising APIBadger Sport Sunscreen is another genre specific product that will cover your tennis needs. It provides stellar broad spectrum protection with a very high concentration of zinc oxide (22.5%).
Although Badger Sport is a durable sunscreen targeted towards use in sports, its formula is extremely basic with a total of only 5 natural ingredients. You won’t have to worry about experiencing irritation no matter how many times you need to reapply throughout the day.
Badger Sport is another sunscreen which will leave a white cast on your skin due to its high concentration of zinc oxide, but it does work well under makeup, if you’d like to cover it up!
The SPF rating is lower than thinksport, but you do will receive your 80 minutes of necessary water resistance.
No matter the conditions, Badger Sport will provide super sun protection for any tennis match!
SimplySunSafe loves Badger Sport so much we’ve chosen it as our favorite sports sunscreen but also, and more specifically, as the best golf sunscreen because it’s got you covered with awesome and long-lasting protection.
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Simple, gentle formula
- Sport-specific formula
- White cast
- Thick formula
- UVA / UVB broad-spectrum protection.
- Very water resistant.
- 18.6% Zinc Oxide.
- Chemical-free, biodegradeable, ocean-safe, eco-sensitive.
- Paraben-free, petroleum-free, paba-free.
Last update on 2022-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising APIAnother sunscreen which provides broad spectrum protection with a high concentration (20%) of zinc oxide is BurnOut Ocean Tested Physical SPF 30.
The name suggests that it is very durable, and it lives up to that reputation. With 80 minutes of water resistance, your sun protection will not falter during your tennis match even if you drip with sweat!
Its high concentration of zinc oxide makes BurnOut another sunscreen that has a thick formula which will leave you with a slight white cast on your skin.
It seems this is the tradeoff for the best possible sun protection while you play tennis!
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Designed for high activity
- High concentration of zinc oxide
- Thick formula
- White cast
- One 4 oz. tube of Alba Botanica Sport Fragrance Free SPF 45 Sunscreen
- Provides broad spectrum protection, is water resistant for up to 80 minutes and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation
- Made with a lightweight, plant-based blend of botanical ingredients
- 100% vegetarian formula made without harsh ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate or synthetic fragrances
- Always cruelty-free, never tested on animals; recognized by the Leaping Bunny Program
Last update on 2022-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising APIAlba Botanica is a brand supported and often recommended here at SimplySunSafe and their Sport Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45 is another great choice for your sun protection during tennis.
Broad spectrum protection is provided through its active ingredients zinc oxide (9%) and titanium dioxide (7%).
Alba Botanica’s formula is designed especially for sports, but is safe and gentle enough to use on all types of skin. This formula has even been recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation!
Your 80 minutes of water resistance is taken care of with Alba Botanica Sport Mineral and you will even notice that your skin is moisturized by the formula as you play tennis!
Keep in mind that the formula is thick. If you have paler or more sensitive skin, then Alba Botanica’s higher SPF rating could provide you with the extra coverage you need.
Give Alba Botanica Sport Mineral a try!
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Designed for use in sports
- Higher SPF rating
- Thick formula
This guide was written for those seeking the best sunscreen for tennis. I hope that by reading this guide you gained a deeper understanding of how to properly protect your skin while playing tennis, and found a product that fits your specific needs.
SimplySunSafe recommends EltaMD UV Sport Sunscreen Lotion, Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 but all 5 listed products will provide you with sufficient protection under the hot sun during your tennis games.
The next step in your process of finding the right sunscreen for you is to test different products. By doing trial runs, you will gain insight into how your skin reacts to different formulas, and be able to make the most informed decision possible!
I love to learn about different things and hear about new products from others so if you use or know of another product that is great for tennis, share it in the comments below! I’ll be happy to check it out and maybe even add it to this list!
Q: What kind of clothing is best for playing tennis?
A: Good tennis clothing should be lightweight, breathable, and flexible. It will have some stretch in both the width of the sleeves and in the waistband. This will allow you to move more freely for more extended periods of time without any discomfort or restriction.
Choose quick-drying fabrics made out of polyester blended with other fibers such as cotton, silk, wool, etc. Also, look for UV protective clothes designed for athletes with a UPF that shields your skin and also blocks out harmful rays. Tennis caps and visors can be helpful in blocking sunlight while covering your face at the same time!
Q: What SPF is good for tennis players?
A: SPF 30 offers an optimal amount of sun protection. It’s enough to block 98% of the UVB rays from reaching your skin and therefore keep you from getting a burn. Also, SPF 30 is not excessive enough to wreck your skin and make it unable to produce Vitamin D.
A: Sun related skin damages are common in tennis players because they are outdoors for hours on end, often without applying sunscreen.
The sun emits UVA and UVB rays. These rays cause harm to cells and lead to aging of the skin, freckles, or lentigines on prolonged exposure. For this reason, playing on a sunny tennis court can be a recipe for sunburn.