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Are any sunscreens really waterproof?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology
There's no such thing as a totally waterproof sunscreen -- which is why you'll no longer see that term on labels. To learn more about getting the best sun protection when you're around water, watch this video featuring dermatologist Dr. Ellen Marmur.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Some sunscreens stay on in the water better than others, but no sunscreen is truly waterproof, so it's important to get out of the water and reapply if you are swimming for long periods no matter which sunscreen you use.

In 2011 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was banning the use of the term “waterproof” by sunscreen manufacturers. According to the FDA, the terms "waterproof" and "sweat proof" are misleading because sunscreens resist the water only for a limited period of time. Eventually, they all wash off. Sunscreen labels must indicate how long (usually 40 or 80 minutes) the product remains effective in water as confirmed by standardized lab tests.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.