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Why runners should use sunscreen

The Vertra face stick goes on white for a visible protective barrier but can be blended in for a more natural look.

By Henry Howard


Even though most of my runs are done before dawn, summer ushers in a greater opportunity to run during daylight, especially for my long weekend runs. Instead of grabbing my waist light, I’ll be reaching for the sunscreen on those days.


It’s important for everyone to protect themselves against the sun’s harmful rays, especially during the peak midday hours. Without question those who participate in outdoor activities, especially runners should use sunscreen. After all, skin cancer is most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. That’s among the takeaways in this fact check.


The Coconut Vanilla Sunscreen Body Spray SPF 50, launched in 2023, is Vertra's newest product offering.

Generally, the experts recommend sunscreens with a higher SPF, more than 30 but ideally at 50 or higher. Here is a good explanation.


I recently had the opportunity to test samples from Vertra. According to the company, “Our products are designed, formulated, and manufactured to the highest sunscreen and cosmetic industry standards and rigorously tested to ensure efficacy, product claims, and product safety. You can rest easy knowing all Vertra products are cruelty free, made without parabens and provide Broad Spectrum protection to keep you and your skin safe, happy and healthy.” 


Vertra provided four samples to me for testing and in exchange for this review. While I don’t have data nor the scientific expertise to weigh in on the makeup of these products, I found that their application was easy and protected me from visual burns from the sun.


The body spray was easy to apply to the exposed skin on my arms and legs, as were the two different kinds of face stick. I was impressed by how much a little bit of the face stick would safely cover my grill. And the lip balm, also simple to apply, did a good job of protecting my lips while not drying them out.


I’ll keep using these products during my outdoor activities, including race and weekend long runs, and recommend each of them. Here are some more details on each:


Coconut Vanilla Sunscreen Body Spray SPF 50

  • Launched in 2023, newest product offering.

  • Tropically scented UVA/UVB broad spectrum sun protection. Chemical formula. 

  • Features soothing and hydrating ingredients.

  • Goes on clear.

  • Water resistant.

Vertra offers a variety of quality sunscreen products.

Invisible Face Stick SPF 45

  • Long lasting, water-resistant sun protection.

  • Mineral formula.

  • Goes on clear and ideal sport sunscreen.

  • Portable and can fit into a running vest.

Pearl White Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 50+

  • Long lasting, water-resistant sun protection.

  • Mineral/chemical hybrid formula.

  • Goes on white for a visible protective barrier but can be blended in for a more natural look.

  • Portable and can fit into a running vest.

Coconut Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 15

  • Coconut-infused, mineral-based formula.

  • Water resistant. 

  • Uses certified organic and ultra-hydrating ingredients (beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, sunflower oil).

Vertra just celebrated its 20th anniversary. They are offering a Vertra birthday box with a collection of their best gear for $80. Check them out and protect yourself against the harmful rays of the sun!





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