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Best Sunscreen for Surfing in 2021

Choosing the best sunscreen for surfing is a balancing act. If you’re at the beach, you’re within proximity of the reef, which means you need reef-safe sunscreen free from chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. However, you also need to choose a sunscreen with a high UVA/UVB rating to protect yourself from the sun.

Balancing your needs with the needs of the reef can be tricky. But we can help. This article will review the best sunscreens for surfing.

Reef Repair Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Reef Repair’s Reef Safe Sunscreen is the best sunscreen for surfing. This SPF 50 sunscreen will protect you against both UVA and UVB rays for up to 80 minutes at a time. Reef Safe Sunscreen is made with a zinc-based formula and is 100% free from coral bleaching chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. It’s also paraben, silicone, titanium dioxide-free and biodegradable. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line reef-safe sunscreen, this is the sunscreen for you.

Pros:

  • SPF 50
  • Reef-safe formula
  • Free from paraben, silicone, and titanium dioxide
  • Biodegradable
  • Non-greasy
  • Cruelty-free

Cons:

  • Only sold in 4-ounce bottles
  • Leaves a slight white cast
  • Contains fragrance

TropicSport Mineral Sunscreen

TropicSport Mineral Sunscreen is a powerful yet reef-safe sunscreen that’s great for water-based sports. This SPF 50 protects users from UVA and UVB rays without leaving a white or greasy cast on skin. It’s also passed the US’s 80-minute and Australia’s 240-minute water-resistance test, meaning it lasts hours longer than other mineral sunscreens. TropicSport Mineral Sunscreen is also reef-safe and is free from oxybenzone, octinoxate, and avobenzone. If you’re looking for a strong (yet reef-friendly) sunscreen for intense surfing,

Pros:

  • SPF 50
  • Lasts several hours
  • Reef safe formula
  • Doesn’t leave a white cast

Cons:

  • Very thick formula
  • Not absorbent

Coppertone Mineral-Based Sunscreen

Coppertone Mineral-Based Sunscreen is a high-performance sunscreen designed for high-intensity and high-sweat activities in water. This sunscreen provides broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection for up to 80 minutes at a time. It’s also reef-safe and free from octinoxate, oxybenzone, PABA, and dyes. This sunscreen is also great value for money, as it’s sold in a combo pack. However, this combo pack includes a non-reef-safe spray that is not suitable for the ocean. If you are looking for an affordable sunscreen for land and water activities, this is a good option.

Pros:

  • SPF 50 protection
  • Includes Vitamin E
  • Lasts 80 minutes
  • Reef safe formula
  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • Contains avobenzone
  • Very thick mixture
  • Combo pack includes a non-reef-safe sunscreen (the spray)

Waxhead Zinc Sunscreen

Waxhead Zinc Sunscreen is a great choice for surfers with sensitive skin. This sunscreen lasts up to 80 minutes in water and provides SPF 30 protection from UVA and UVB rays. It also uses a non-irritating, reef-safe formula that is perfect for anyone whose skin doesn’t tolerate normal sunscreen. This sunscreen is safe for adults, young children, and babies. It is manufactured in the USA and comes in two options: tinted and non-tinted.

Pros:

  • Made from 25% non-nano zinc oxide
  • Reef safe formula
  • Comes in tinted and non-tinted
  • Safe for babies and young children
  • Made in the USA
  • Not tested on animals

Cons:

  • Slight white cast
  • Only SPF 30 protection

Stream2Sea Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Steam2Sea’s Reef Safe Sunscreen is reef-safe sunscreen that’s environmentally friendly. This sunscreen is made with a biodegradable formula free from parabens, gluten, oxybenzone, octinoxate, and sulfates. Stream2Sea also uses a sugarcane resin container instead of a plastic one. This sunscreen provides SPF 30, broad-spectrum protection for up to 80 minutes. It’s a great choice for eco-conscious surfers with sensitive skin.

Pros:

  • Biodegradable formula and packaging (USDA Certified Biobased Product)
  • Free from parabens, gluten, and sulfates
  • Reef-friendly formula

Cons:

  • Only SPF 30
  • Formula is slightly tinted
  • Slightly pricey

Coral Safe Sunscreen

Coral Safe Sunscreen is an affordable, eco-friendly sunscreen that is perfect for families. This sunscreen is broad spectrum and provides SPF 30 protection for up to 80 minutes in water. Coral Safe Sunscreen is hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and has a biodegradable, reef-friendly formula. It’s also thicker than other sunscreens, making it great for children who wash off their sunscreen easily while surfing. This product is suitable for children aged six months and older.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Reef safe formula
  • Biodegradable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cruelty-free

Cons:

  • Only SPF 30
  • Only sold in small 3.4 ounce bottles

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of sunscreen do surfers use?

As sunscreen can wash away in the ocean, surfers use waterproof sunscreens that do not dissolve easily. We believe that the best sunscreen for surfers is TropicSport Mineral Sunscreen, as it is water-resistant for up to four hours at a time.

What sunscreen is safe for the ocean?

Reef-safe sunscreens with no oxybenzone and octinoxate are safer for the ocean than conventional sunscreens, as they don’t bleach coral. While no sunscreen is perfect, we recommend Reef Safe Sunscreen, Stream2Sea Sunscreen, and Coral Safe SunScreen as ocean-friendly sunscreen options.

What is the best waterproof sunscreen?

The best waterproof sunscreen is TropicSport Mineral Sunscreen, as it’s made for high-intensity water activities like surfing. Alternatively, Reef Repair Reef Safe Sunscreen and Stream2Sea Reef Safe Sunscreen are also great waterproof sunscreens as they last up to 80 minutes in water.

Takeaway

When selecting the best sunscreen for surfing, there are two key things to keep in mind: ’is the sunscreen reef-safe’ and ’does it provide adequate coverage from UVA and UVB rays?’ Using those criteria as a guide, we recommend all six of the sunscreens reviewed in this article.

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