The Best Sun Protection for Cycling

It’s June already and British summertime has well and truly arrived. Given the glorious sunshine, now seems like a good time to ditch sitting in traffic and get out and about on your bike.

Many will be tempted to head straight to the bathroom cupboard and grab whatever’s left over from last year’s holiday. This is a really bad idea; sun cream has a shelf life of 12 months and formulas vary, so it’s unlikely to be as effective for a long bike ride as it was when you were lounging by the pool.

Here’s what to look for in a sun cream for cycling:

Water-resistance is key

Most cyclists will sweat a lot throughout their ride. Sweat will wash away the effective barrier against the sun, so a water-resistant formula is the key to ensuring that sun protection doesn’t rub off during the ride.

Lighter formulas are best

Thicker ingredients are likely to sit on the skin, clog pores and stall the body’s natural cooling process of sweating. Lighter formulas will let your skin breathe and aid the natural process of sweating, helping your body to stay cool during your ride.

Long-lasting sun protection

You don’t want to be stopping and reapplying your suncream throughout the day. Choose a long-lasting formula that doesn’t need reapplying as often, so your cycling won’t be interrupted, and you won’t forget to reapply. You can also avoid carrying a bottle of sun cream around with you on your ride, making your load lighter, so it’s a win-win.

Recommended brands

Riemann P20 sun protection

P20 is a classic formula that is very water resistant, meaning you can sweat as much as you like and it won’t come off. After applying it lasts 10 hours so you don’t need to reapply or lug a bottle around with you on your ride. The fragrance-free and non-greasy formula absorbs quickly into the skin, making it a comfortable choice for a ride.

Ultrasun SPF30 Sports Gel

Like Riemann, Ultrasun’s Sports Gel is fantastic as it doesn’t block pores, allowing the skin to breathe and the body to stay cool for the duration of the ride. Specifically created with sports in mind, it’s the perfect choice of sun cream for those who are likely to break a sweat.

Garnier Ombre Solaire UV Sport

Created by one of the best-known skincare brands around, this long-lasting sweat-proof formula is another great choice for protecting your skin whilst riding. The formula has been specifically tailored by Garnier for those with an active lifestyle, offering multi-resistance to sun, sweat and water in a quick-absorbing formula that feels dry on the skin.


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