Is One’s Wudu Valid after Applying Suncream?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel

Question

Because of my Vitiligo, I wear sunscreen every day. So, should I wash my face with a cleanser before every wudu? This would wreak havoc on my skin.

Or is water sufficient, and the wudu is valid? Because I’ve heard that wudu isn’t valid with sunscreen because the majority of sunscreens are water-resistant (I only use chemical sunscreen). Is that correct? If wudu isn’t valid with sunscreen, are my prayers, which I’ve been praying for years, in vain?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I commend you for trying to ask about the validity of your wudu.

Sunscreen, sunblock, suntan lotion, and sun lotion are used interchangeably when talking about sun cream. It is rubbed into the skin, making it no longer traceable, and does not block the water from reaching the skin. Thus, one’s wudu will be valid.

Validity of Wudu

One of the conditions of the validity of wudu is:

The removal of anything that blocks water from reaching the surface of the skin. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Sa’adat]

What If One Has Doubts?

One can make wudu before applying the suncream, then apply it again when it minimizes later.

Is Suncream Waterproof?

The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) said people could find the term “water resistant” confusing as it does not mean sunscreen is waterproof.

Please see this link for details:
Water resistant sunscreen not as protective as people think

Sunscreen is not waterproof. The FDA does not allow sunscreens to label their products as waterproof or sweatproof. Please see this link:
Is Sunscreen Waterproof: What Makes Sunscreen Water Resistant?

I hope this helps.
Wassalam,
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete hifz of Quran in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.