Hopefully by now you’ve adopted a strict policy of always applying sunscreen and lip balm when your skin is exposed to the sun for 15 minutes or more. It should be obvious, and sometimes painfully obvious, that without protection, the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can do serious damage to your skin. Some golfers have even lost their lives as a result of prolonged exposure. That being said, not all sunscreens and lip balms are the same. There are those that contain mineral-based active ingredients that physically block the sun’s rays, and there are those that contain chemical ingredients that absorb the sun’s rays.
Golf Digest endorses only mineral-based physical blockers. The ingredients to look for are zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. If you see active ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate or octisalate, you should avoid those products, because they are thought to be more harmful to your health.
There’s no reason to buy anything with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) higher than 50. The blocking ingredients will work for only a few hours, max, before you need to reapply, so SPF higher than 50 is overkill. To pick the right products, we also considered ease of application and user-friendliness. The last thing any golfer wants while standing over a crucial shot is a slippery grip or burning eyes.
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-touch SPF 30, $12 for 3 ounces
Thinksport Suncreen SPF 50+, $11 for 3 ounces
Beyond Coastal Citrus Grove SPF 15, $3
Z Blok with Clear Zinc SPF 30, $4