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 the period 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 factors (SPF) 15 or higher and UVA and UVB protection.
These are called broad-spectrum sunscreens.
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 more extended periods, reapply sunscreen every two hours because the contact with the water is continuously deteriorating your sun care protection.
Surfers wearing full wetsuits should apply a thick layer of sunscreen to 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 costs.
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
The Kōkua Sun Care Hawaiian Natural Zinc Sunscreen is broad-spectrum protection that provides a natural physical barrier to the sun's UVA and UVB rays.
It does not contain oxybenzone or any other chemical sunscreens. Instead, its light, coconut-vanilla scent derives from plant extracts.
Thinksport Safe Sunscreen
The Thinksport Safe Sunscreen is a mineral-based formula with the highest water resistance allowed by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
It absorbs quickly, doesn't leave you feeling sticky, and is free from biologically harmful chemicals, including avobenzone, oxybenzone, paraben, phthalates, PABA, 1,4 dioxane, and UV chemical absorbers.
All Good Sport Mineral Sunscreen
The All Good Sport Mineral Face & Body Sunscreen is a non-greasy lightweight formula that includes organic green tea, rosehip, and buriti oil for repairing damaged skin.
It is oxybenzone-free, water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and made with only reef-friendly ingredients.
Manda Organic Sun Paste
The Manda Organic Sun Paste is a sun protection formula for outdoor enthusiasts featuring high-quality, food-grade, all-natural, and organic ingredients, including coconut oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, thanaka, cacao powder, shea butter, and cinnamon oil.
It has anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and moisturizing properties and was not tested on animals.
Art of Sport Skin Armor
The Art of Sport Skin Armor Sunscreen is a weightless, oil and fragrance-free formula that hydrates the athlete's skin in harsh conditions.
It rubs in quickly, doesn't feel greasy, and has been dermatologist tested to provide superior sun protection.
Raw Love All Natural Mineral Sunscreen
The Raw Love All Natural Mineral Sunscreen is an eco-conscious, baby and reef-safe, plastic-free sun protection.
Its high-concentrated formula is free of parabens, PABA, preservatives, or synthetic fragrances.
Badger Sport Sunscreen
The Badger Sport Sunscreen is a simple formula that features just five ingredients - clear zinc oxide, organic sunflower oil, organic beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and sunflower vitamin E.
It is biodegradable, reef safe, broad-spectrum, and water-resistant for at least 80 minutes - A good pick for sensitive skins.
Suntegrity Natural Mineral Body Sunscreen
The Suntegrity Natural Mineral Body Sunscreen is an easy-to-apply sun protective formula free of parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic dyes, sulfates, nanoparticles, and chemical UV absorbers.
It is loaded with antioxidants and has a light, uplifting citrus scent.
Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen
The Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen is full-body UVA-UVB sun protection featuring biologically active antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and extracts.
It is perfect for children, biodegradable, soy, gluten, and nut-free, and never runs or stings eyes.
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen
The Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen was designed with dermatologists to provide head-to-toe sun protection without oxybenzone or octinoxate.
This non-skin-irritating formula protects your skin by acting like thousands of tiny mirrors that reflect UV rays away before they enter your body.
The Tropicsport Sunscreen is a reef-friendly formula that stays on and protects your skin for up to four hours in the water.
Its ingredients include tucuma seed butter, baobab oil, and macadamia nut oil, all inside an eco-friendly aluminum tube.
The Stream2Sea Sunscreen has been tested and proven safe for baitfish, saltwater fish, freshwater fish, and coral larvae and doesn't affect their natural behavior.
The formula includes green tea, tulsi, wakame, and olive leaf. It's non-greasy and won't burn your eyes.
Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen
The Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen is an effective and safe sunblock formula that doesn't leave any white residue.
It rubs in well, absorbs quickly, and contains rich, skin-soothing certified organic jojoba, coconut, and avocado. It also contains shea butter and beeswax to prevent and relieve chapped face, nose, lips, and ears.
Mama Kuleana Reef Safe Sunscreen
The Mama Kuleana Reef Safe Sunscreen is a mineral-based UVA/UVB protection that smells great and features a 100 percent microplastic-free, fully biodegradable, and compostable screw-top jar.
It is handmade in small batches in Hawaii. The list of ingredients includes organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, beeswax, organic safflower oil, non-nano zinc powder, raspberry oil, rosehip seed oil, and vitamin and oil.
The sunscreens for surfers review has been updated on November 26, 2021.