8 Tips for Avoiding Sunburn When Running Outdoors


Run Early or Late

stretching in the morning
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Try to avoid running between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's intensity is at its greatest. If you must train during those hours, try to stick to shady roads or trails.


Choose the Right Sunscreen

Use a waterproof sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15 and offers broad spectrum protection, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Stick formulations are good for runners' faces because the sunscreen won't run into your eyes when you start sweating.


Wear a Visor or Hat With a Brim

A visor or hat will give your face extra protection. (Although you'll still need sunscreen on your face.) It will also help absorb sweat, so the sunscreen doesn't run into your eyes. Visors, in particular, are good for hot weather running because they protect your face without trapping the heat on your head.


Put on Your Sunscreen Ahead of Time

Slather on your sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you head out for your run. Your skin needs time to absorb the lotion.


Don't Skip Sunscreen for Short Runs

You can get a sunburn in as little as 15 minutes, so don't think doing a short run means you don't need sunscreen. And don't assume that you don't need sunscreen if it's cloudy. As runners know, the weather can change very quickly and the sun may come out in the middle of your run.


Reapply After Two Hours

Sunscreen starts to lose effectiveness at about the two-hour mark, or even sooner if you're sweating heavily, so you'll need to reapply if you're doing a long run or race. Carry a small tube of sunscreen or a one-use, sunscreen wipe in your pocket or in a running belt, so that you can reapply it to your face, neck, and arms as you run.


Put on Sunscreen Before Getting Dressed

A good pair of UV-blocking running sunglasses give your face more protection and also help protect your eyes from the sun's damaging rays.


Wear Shades

Make sure you cover areas of your body that you assume may be protected. Some summer running clothes are made of mesh or very thin fabric, so they might not provide protection from the sun's rays. Also, your clothes move when you run (or, if you get hot, you may choose to take off some clothes, like your shirt). So it's best to make sure you're fully covered with sunscreen.​

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