5 Reasons Why Runners Forget Their Sunscreen

Your water bottle is filled to the brim with ice cold water.

Running shoes are laced up and ready to go.

The playlist that always pushes you through that last mile is updated and waiting to be played

Your watch is charged and strapped onto your wrist, ready to track the run you’re about to embark on.

Stepping outside you put one foot in front of the other, and completely crush your run.

Except you don’t because you’re forgetting something.

Let’s rewind and find the missing piece of this equation.



The “you” in this scenario is 100% me. I decided to write this post because I typically fall short when it comes to protecting my skin during my runs. Now that I’ve moved back to Florida I really need to be more diligent about this, and I know I’m not the only one!

Jeez, even typing that makes me cringe a little!

Since it’s officially summer and more runners will be hopping off the treadmill to enjoy the warm weather, I thought there was no better opportunity than right now to start this conversation!

Skin cancer prevention is incredibly important and maybe just like me, you have to be more conscious about it as well. The Skin Cancer Foundation has a ton of crazy stats that will make you want to take action. The one stating that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over their lifetime is what startled me into realizing that I need to take every precaution to protect my skin while I’m out on my runs.

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a few excuses up your sleeves to avoid putting sunscreen on before a run. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), I’m here to call your (and my own) bluff!

  1. “I’m only outside running for half an hour, that’s not long enough to need sunscreen”


Sorry friend but just like me, you’re wrong. Three half hour runs a week add up! That’s an hour and a half in the sun, not including any other time you spend outdoors throughout the week. And if you run more than three times a week like me, you’re adding up even more time spent in the sun. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and if all it takes to lower our chances of getting it is consistently putting a layer or two of sunscreen on before running out the door what excuse do we really have?

2. “I don’t burn easily, or at all, so I don’t need to worry”

Survey says…you’re still wrong! Even if you don’t burn, your skin still gets damaged by the sun’s UV rays. You won’t see the damage immediately, but who wants their skin to age prematurely and look like an old leathery couch in 10 years?  The temporary sun-kissed glow isn’t worth it!


3. “Putting sunscreen on before a run makes the run even hotter and I sweat even more”


Same. But I’ve figured out through experience that if that’s what’s happening, you’re probably doing something wrong. You can’t just slap some sunscreen on yourself and start running. You should put it on 30 minutes before your run so your skin has time to absorb it and the sunscreen has time to activate. Doing this will protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays from the second you step outside. I’ve also discovered choosing a sports sunscreen that sprays on will eliminate that thick and sticky sunscreen/sweat mixture. Problem solved!

4. “I want to protect my skin more but I always forget to put sunscreen on before my run”

This one in particular is my weakness. I often get ready and start running without even using my brain. To combat forgetting my sunscreen I leave it somewhere I know I’ll see it. Leaving it next to my toothbrush or next to my watch usually does the trick. Leave it in your purse, in front of the door or even in one of your running shoes! Get creative and do whatever it takes to be sure you’re protecting your skin.

5. “Wearing sunscreen makes my skin breakout”

This is my favorite excuse that I’ve been using since the beginning of time. I would avoid putting sunscreen on my face when possible because my skin would break out. But the truth is that there are too many sunscreens out there now made specifically for acne-prone skin for this excuse to hold truth anymore.


So… now that I’ve debunked all of the reasons why you and I have been passing on the sunscreen, will you join me in being more diligent about protecting our skin on our runs?

See you on Twitter and Instagram!


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