When you are used to staying for hours in the water, protecting your skin is essential all year long. Indeed, surfers are more exposed than almost anyone else, because of the reflection of UVs off the water that can intensify solar radiance by up to 25%, along with its negative effects.
So what are the most important criteria to take into account when choosing which sunscreen to use while surfing?
1. It needs to be effective on application
Most sunscreens, with chemical sunscreen filters, are only effective 30 minutes after applying. This is because it needs time to penetrate into the skin in order to be effective. The surf is not waiting around, and chances are you will be in the water before those 30 minutes are up. It is possible to get burned because the sunscreen has not had the time to fully soak in! The best in this case is to use mineral screens that do not need to soak in to be effective, absorbing, scattering and reflecting UV from the get go.
2. From the ‘Well, duh’ department: it needs to be water resistant
Do not be mistaken, not every sunscreen is equal when it comes to water resistance! To stay well protected for the whole session, you need sunscreen with the highest water resistance. It is highly recommended to reapply every two hours.
3. You need something that is quick and easy to apply
No one wants to spend an hour putting on sunscreen while the waves are pumping, often enough that is why we do not use adequate protection ! For your face, stick-type sunscreen is the best, both quick and effective.
4. Protect your skin, but also the ocean
It has been proven that the ingredients and UV filters used in most mainstream sunscreens are detrimental to coral reefs and the marine environment… To avoid polluting, use organic sunscreens, with mineral UV filters, that are inoffensive for marine life.
We ourselves are surfers, and the above criteria were very important for us when we created Laboratoire de Biarritz’s sunscreens. Try them out for yourself here.
Shaka! Your skin can now get in the water as ‘stoked’ as you are!