Sun Tanning Questions

Does Sunscreen Make You Sweat More? (Explained)

Written by: Anastasija

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Sunscreen and sunny days go hand in hand, and you’ll need to be creamed up if you’re going to go out into the sunlight, but does your sunscreen have anything to do with excess sweating? It’s hard to tell when you’re already hot thanks to the weather, so here’s what you need to know!

Does sunscreen make you sweat more?

So, you’re at the beach and all’s going well. You’ve just applied your sunscreen prior to getting back out for some rays when, all of a sudden, your skin’s feeling really greasy and sweaty. Sound familiar? In this situation, it’s difficult to tell what’s actually going on – you’re stepping back out into the Sun’s light so maybe that brings on the excessive sweats, or perhaps it’s got something to do with your cream.

Sunscreen in winter by Anastasija Thirsty for tan

There are lots of reasons why you may sweat in similar circumstances, some which are due to the fact that you’re wearing sunscreen, and other for different reasons. One of the first reasons is to do with the way you’re applying your sunscreen.

Sunscreens, unlike serums and moisturisers, are made to just be simply spread across your face and your skin will do the rest for you, without the need for any extra rubbing or massaging. If you have oily skin, in particular, and you massage the sunscreen into your face, or anywhere else on the body, it’s likely that you may triggering excess oils to be produced by your skin.

Although it may sound like an unfamiliar concept, it basically happens as you rub the sunscreen into your pores and your skin works hard to produce more oils as a result of it detecting ‘clogged’ pores. The same applies if you add a little too much product to your face, as this will trigger the same reaction. Consequently, you’re actually experiencing excess oil production in this case, rather than sweat.

This isn’t the only reason, though, and what you’re seeing could still be sweating. One explanation for this situation is that applying any sort of cream or lotion when you’re already hot and sweaty can make this seem worse, as the product is greasy and simply sits on top of the surface of the skin for a while. And, sometimes the application of one of these products can crowd the skin even more, so it will produce more sweat.

suncreen by Anastasija Thirsty for tan

The idea above applies for any type of lotion or cream, but sunscreen is generally the only product that’s applied to the skin when it’s hot outside and you’re sweating, as it’s the only thing usually needed. Of course, another obvious explanation is that, if you’ve applied the sunscreen straight after going out into the sunlight, the abrupt change of temperature and humidity can make you sweat instantly. Thus, it may seem like the sunscreen is making you sweat, when it’s actually just a coincidence that you’ve gone outside and gotten very warm at that moment.

The other reason why your skin can feel much sweatier when you’re wearing a sunscreen is to do with the lack of evaporation taking place. Normally, without a sunscreen or other lotion, the skin has a rougher, more uneven surface, even on a microscopic scale, as it’s dry so the water droplets from your sweat can be easily evaporated as they’re smaller. However, with a cream or sunscreen on your face, the water droplets are larger and stick together which makes them harder to evaporate than the smaller ones on your dry skin.

Also read:
Does Sunscreen Work Under Makeup? (Best Application Method)
Sunscreen Lotion or Spray – Which One is Better?

How can you stop sunscreen from making you sweat?

Of course, you can probably tell from the scenarios above that the problems and issues that arise which cause you to sweat when wearing sunscreen are very minor, and there are some very easy, simple things you can do to get rid of these sweat outbreaks and prevent them in the future!

One of the first things you can do is remember to apply your sunscreen properly. Lots of these problems arise due to the incorrect application, so it’s worth thinking about this and being mindful when ‘slapping’ that sunscreen on. It’s also very valuable information to know anyway, as knowing how to properly apply your sunscreen can also prevent other problems and make sure that your skin is completely protected, just like you’d expect, so here’s a recap:

  1. Start by putting some sunscreen into your hand. The equivalent to the volume of a whole shot glass should be enough to coat your entire body, and face included, so you should distribute this evenly across yourself.
  2. When rubbing in the sunscreen, you just need to gently spread it around in a coat thin enough to cover your entire body and face, remembering areas such as the tops of your feet and your ears.
  3. Avoid too much massaging or deep rubbing in of the sunscreen as this is unnecessary and will likely cause you to encourage that excess oil production we discussed earlier.
  4. Give the sunscreen some time to settle in, especially if you’re using a chemical sunscreen formula. If you’re using a chemical sunscreen, wait at least 20 minutes before going back into the direct sunlight as this will give the product some time to be absorbed by your skin, so it can work. It will also give your sunscreen time to soak into your skin a little more, so it doesn’t feel so greasy before you start sweating again.
  5. Remember to keep applying the sunscreen at regular intervals throughout the day, and at any time after you come out of the water or you’ve sweated the product off of your skin.
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In addition, you can choose a sunscreen which is labelled as non-comedogenic and consider finding one which also has reviews to support this claim. The word non-comedogenic means that the product won’t clog your pores and therefore it’s less likely to make you sweat, however a lot of products out there can promise to fulfil this requirement when, unfortunately, they don’t, so be sure to check reviews. You could also look for something oil-free if you’re really looking to make a difference.

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Does Sunscreen Make You Sweat More pin by thirstyfortan

Final thoughts

There are lots of things that can contribute to your increase in sweat when wearing a sunscreen, and above are some of the main, most common reasons for this. Luckily, there are some things you can do to improve the situation and reduce the sweating, even just by applying your sunscreen correctly!

About Anastasija

Welcome to my website! I'm Anastasija, and as a redhead with a sensitivity to the sun, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect sunless tanner six years ago.

After extensive research and four years of personal experience, I'm here to share my wealth of tips and tricks for achieving a beautiful, sun-kissed glow.

Whether you're interested in self-tanners, spray tans, or safe sun exposure, this website covers it all.

Join me as I provide valuable insights and guidance for various methods of getting that desired tan.

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