Surfing: exposure to salt, sun, and sand can easily stress a surfer skin | Photo: Creative Commons

The frequent exposure to salt, sun, and sand can easily stress your skin. Even if you're using a good sunscreen to prevent skin damage, it's important to hydrate your skin after each surf session to keep it supple and healthy.

The beach is a rough environment for the skin and, as a surfer, you are spending more time there than an average person.

The extended contact with sunlight, the wind, the seams and materials of your wetsuit, the roughness of the sand and even the frequent use of thick sunscreens may clog, dry and irritate your skin.

The first and most important step in your skincare routine is to apply sunscreen before hitting the beach, but caring for your skin afterward is also vital.

Gently cleaning and moisturizing your body and your face after surfing will make your skin more resistant and healthy. 

Once you're home, the first step is to remove the wetsuit, as leaving it on the body, damp and sandy, for a long period of time may irritate the skin.

Next, take a shower with a gentle cleanser to remove the salt, sand and any residues of sunscreen. Once the skin is clean, it is time to replenish it.

Surfing: defend your skin from the elements | Photo: Pentinio/Creative Commons

There are plenty good reasons to start keeping a good body and face cream at hand, even if you tend to be lazy or simply don't care. Here are five good reasons to hydrate your skin after surfing:

1. It restores the skin's natural oils

The harsh conditions of the ocean, when combined with a long surf session, strip the skin from its natural oils. This is particularly worrisome if you have sensitive or dry skin. A good moisturizer, appropriate for your skin type, will replenish and soothe the epidermis, restoring the hydration lost during the surf session. 

2. It calms the skin

The same elements who strip the skin from its natural moisture may also irritate and damage it. Gently cleaning and hydrating your body after surfing, with an appropriate cream for your skin type and needs, will calm it and help it recover its natural balance, preventing further damage.

If you have sensitive skin, look for products that specifically target this issue, with ingredients like aloe vera, for example, avoiding harsh formulas that contain parabens or perfumes.

3. It protects the skin

A properly hydrated skin is also a more resistant and protected surface. Once you start caring for your skin after every surf session, it becomes more resilient and prepared to endure the challenging conditions of your next day at the beach.

4. It prevents early aging 

Sun damage is one of the main causes of skin aging, but even if you use a sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun rays, it may not be enough. A good skincare routine keeps your skin healthier and stronger, preventing early aging and other signs of distress.

5. It's easier than you think

Nowadays, there are no excuses for not moisturizing your skin. From eco-friendly, vegan or even DIY moisturizers, to lush, high-end formulas with divine scents or super practical spray packagings, there are options suited for every need and taste. Experiment to see what suits you best, and stick to it. Your skin will thank you.


Words by Ana Brito