The best sunscreens for surfers

Surfing
Sunscreen: protect your surfing skin from UV rays

Reef-safe sunscreen lotion products are a crucial part of surfer's lives. The use of sunscreen protects you from the ultraviolet (UV) radiation sent by the sun.

Surfers are very much exposed to skin cancer. UV rays, sand, and water reflection are responsible for severe skin damages. Irreversible problems may appear in as little as 15 minutes of sunlight exposure.

Spring and summer, as well as hours between 10 am and 4 pm, are the most dangerous periods for UV exposure. Also, UV rays travel through clouds on less sunny days.

Tanning looks good and can be addictive, but skin cancer may put an end to your surfing days.

Ultraviolet radiation destroys the skin's cellular DNA and produces mutations that lead to skin cancer. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and kills more than 8,000 Americans each year.

The best sunscreen creams, lotions, and sprays offer sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection. These are called broad-spectrum sunscreens.

Sunscreens: always choose an eco-friendly, reef-safe sunscreen | Photo: Shutterstock

Protect Your Face, Hands, and Feet

If you're a surfer, apply two tablespoons of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before hitting the waves.

If you're enjoying the surf for longer periods, reapply sunscreen every two hours because the contact with the water is always deteriorating your sun care protection.

Surfers wearing full wetsuits should apply a thick layer of sunscreen in the face, hands and even feet. If you're surfing with your boardshorts only, make sure to protect all of your body. And avoid sunburns at all cost.

So, what is sunscreen? High-quality sunscreen labels include chemicals that ensure sunblock, i.e., compounds that absorb ultraviolet light, inorganic ingredients that reflect scatter and absorb UV light, and a stabilizer that slows breakdown.

Kokua, Thinksport, All Good, Suntegrity, Art of Sport, Manda, Raw Love, Badger, Raw Elements, Blue Lizard, Stream2Sea, Mama Kuleana and Babo Botanicals are the best sunscreen labels for surfing and surfers. Please make sure you use them all the time.

Discover the best eco-friendly, reef-safe sunscreen brands and check the sun protective factor (SPF) that suits your skin type:

 

Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian Natural Zinc Sunscreen

Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian Natural Zinc Sunscreen

SPF: 50

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Thinksport Safe Sunscreen

Thinksport Safe Sunscreen

SPF: 50

Buy: Amazon.com

 

All Good Sport Sunscreen

All Good Sport Sunscreen

SPF: 50

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen

Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen

SPF: 50

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Art of Sport Skin Armor

Art of Sport Skin Armor

SPF: 50

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Manda Organic Sun Paste

Manda Organic Sun Paste

SPF: 50

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Raw Love All Natural Mineral Sunscreen

Raw Love All Natural Mineral Sunscreen

SPF: 35

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Badger Sport Sunscreen

Badger Sport Sunscreen

SPF: 35

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen

Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen

SPF: 30

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

SPF: 30

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Stream2Sea Sunscreen

Stream2Sea Sunscreen

SPF: 30

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Mama Kuleana Reef Safe Sunscreen

Mama Kuleana Reef Safe Sunscreen

SPF: 30

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen

SPF: 30

Buy: Amazon.com


The sunscreens for surfers review has been updated on June 11, 2019.

The Summer Surf Gear Guide 2019