Last Updated on August 17, 2022

It goes without saying that when hiking in the desert, it is imperative to wear sunscreen to protect your skin against dangerous UV rays. Sunburn is responsible for damage that can contribute to the future development of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.

But in extreme conditions, such as a vacation in the desert or at very high altitudes, what precautions should be taken to protect oneself from the sun?

Below, a carefully selected list of strongest sunscreens for protection against hot dry weather and desert climates.

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Sun Protection Under the Desert Heat
Hiking in the Desert. It’s best to cover up as much as possible to avoid a sun burn.

Best Sunscreen for Desert

Depending on your exact location, you may want a strong or very strong sunscreen. SPF 50 should be the absolute minimum level of UV protection you go for in a desert climate, and that’s only if you live in a rocky desert that gets some shade.

If you are planning a trip to a hot desert like the Sahara, then aim for at least SPF 70, or SPF 100. This is because you are gonna be surrounded almost entirely by sand dunes, which reflect the dangerous sun rays all over the place and on your skin. Not only you need to apply the strongest sun protection you can find, but if you are hiking for several hours, you will need to re-apply it regularly as you sweat in the desert heat.


SPF 100 Banana Boat Sport Ultra

SPF 100 Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch

SPF 100 La Roche-Posay Anthelios

SPF 110 Neutrogena Age Shield
Selected SPF 100+ sunscreen lotions for the hot desert.
SPF100 Sunscreen for Desert: Banana Boat

Banana Boat Sport Ultra Sunscreen Spray

Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100, 6oz.

SPF: 100

Description

Banana Boat Sport Ultra Clear Spray Sunscreen provides powerful, reef friendly protection that absorbs quickly, is non-greasy and won’t run into your eyes. These lightweight, clear sprays protect against 99% of burning rays and are designed especially for sport enthusiasts and other active individuals who need sport-strength sun protection that doesn’t play around!

Banana Boat Sport Ultra Clear Spray Sunscreen has superior endurance versus sweat and water and will last as long as the fun does! Reapply this safe and effective broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection as directed on the product label. Protect the fun on earth with Banana Boat.


SPF100 Sunscreen for Desert: Neutrogena

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen

Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 100+

SPF: 100

Description

Get powerful sun protection without the heavy finish with Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen. This lightweight Broad Spectrum SPF 100 sunscreen lotion with Dry-Touch technology absorbs fast for a clean, ultra-light feel and non-shiny finish. This sunscreen is formulated with Helioplex Technology, which offers superior broad spectrum protection from aging UVA rays and burning UVB rays.

Fast-absorbing, lightweight and water-resistant, this non-greasy sunscreen lotion formula is non-comedogenic and PABA-free. Protect yourself as you get your daily dose of sunshine.


SPF100 Sunscreen for Desert: La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen

Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 100, Oxybenzone & Octinoxate Free, Sunscreen for Kids, Adults & Sun Sensitive Skin, Unscented, 3 Fl oz

SPF: 100

Description

Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk is a velvety & fast-absorbing sunscreen lotion leaves skin hydrated & smooth. This award winning sunscreen provides broad spectrum SPF 100 protection. Water resistant (80 minutes).


SPF110 Sunscreen for Desert: Neutrogena

Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen

Broad Spectrum SPF 110, Oil-Free & Non-Comedogenic Moisturizing Sunscreen to Prevent Signs of Aging, 3 fl. oz

SPF: 110

Description

Help keep your skin protected from damaging UV rays with Neutrogena Age Shield Oil-Free Face Lotion Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 110. Formulated with Helioplex, a sunscreen technology with Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection, the facial sunscreen shields skin six-layers deep from the sun’s damaging rays. Our sunscreen blocks UVB burning rays and helps stop UVA aging rays from penetrating surface layers for deep cellular protection. This dermatologist-tested moisturizing sunscreen also contains skin conditioners to hydrate and replenish skin.

When used as directed with other sun protection measures, our SPF 110 face sunscreen can help decrease the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun. From the #1 dermatologist-recommended suncare brand, its unique formula is PABA- and oil-free as well as non-comedogenic so it won’t clog pores.

Plus, it’s great to protect skin during outdoor activities like gardening, biking, hiking, boating or taking a walk.


Preventing Sun Burn in the Desert

Apply sun screen to your face, forehead, ears and hands, trying to cover any patch of skin that is exposed to the sun. Re-apply every four hours or so, or more often during summer and peak hours.

When you are hiking in the desert, wear long shirts and trousers, as well as closed-toe shoes and merino socks. For extra protection you can wear a desert scarf on your head or a desert sun hat.

Don’t forget to protect your skin from the inside as well: drink plenty of water regularly and replenish your fluids as you sweat. Apply lotion regularly if you have extra sensitive, dry skin.


Desert Camping Essentials Checklist

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