Find the Best Sunscreen for Surfing (That Doesn’t Sting)

Unless you want to be cooped up inside nursing some radiation poisoning and missing out on surf, you’re going to want to get yourself some good suncreen.

The best sunscreen for surfing is going to be something that is:

  • Water resistant for at least an hour or so.
  • At least 30 SPF.
  • Environment, ocean, and reef friendly.
  • Something that won’t run into your eyes and sting.
  • Something that doesn’t feel gross or greasy on your skin.

If you’re wearing a wetsuit, your options are pretty simple – find something good for your face, neck, and ears.

If you’re surfing somewhere with warm water, you’ll want to make sure the rest of your skin is protected too.

Sun Bum has some excellent surf sunscreen and sunblock options that tick all the boxes above.

When you click a link and make a purchase, Wave Arcade may earn an affiliate commission. This comes at no extra cost to you and helps us to continue bringing you great content. Thanks for your support!

Top Picks for Sunscreen for Surfing

Our top picks for the best surfing sunscreens are:

  1. Sun Bum Mineral Face Stick
  2. Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion
  3. Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray
  4. Sun Bum Original SPF 70 Sunscreen Lotion
  5. Bare Republic SPF 50 Mineral Face Stick
  6. Bare Republic SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
  7. Bare Republic SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Spray

Sun Bum Mineral Face Stick SPF 50 Sunscreen Ingredients

This is a reef friendly sunblock made from natural ingredients.

Active ingredients in Sun Bum Mineral Face Stick Sunscreen:

  • Zinc Oxide.

Other/inactive ingredients include:

  • Coconut Oil.
  • Avocado oil.
  • Meadowfoam seed oil.
  • Linseed oil.
  • Rice bran wax.
  • Candelilla wax.
  • Butyloctyl salicylate.
  • Carnauba wax.
  • Ozokerite.
  • Shea butter.
  • Oryzanol.
  • Fragrance.
  • Cocoa seed butter.
  • Safflower seed oil.
  • Jojoba esters.
  • Tocopherol.
  • Bisabolol.

Sun Bum sunscreen is also indicated as vegan – increasing its environmentally friendly factor.

Is Sun Bum Reef Safe?

“Reef safe” or “reef friendly” sunscreens are those that do not contain Oxybenzone or Octinoxate in their ingredients.

Oxybenzone and Octinoxate have found to be attributed to coral bleaching and are harmful to the environment.

Sun Bum creates a variety of reef friendly sunscreens that do not contain either of these ingredients.

In the state of Hawaii and the city of Key West, Florida, sunscreen or sunblock containing either of these ingredients will be banned. These two bans go into effect on January 1, 2021.

Surf Suncreen Application Tips

To get the most protection from your sunscreen, most manufacturers recommend:

  • Applying at least 15 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Apply liberally to all skin that will be exposed to the sun.
  • Reapply after about 80 minutes of surfing, after using a towel, and about every 2 hours.

To help avoid being exposed to higher levels of UV, experts recommend:

  • Wearing hats and long-sleeved clothes.
  • Limiting your time in the sun overall and especially between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm.

Sunscreen vs. Sunblock

Sunscreens can be classified broadly as sunscreen or sunblock.

Sunblock, like many mineral-based sunscreens, protects your skin by forming a physical barrier that blocks UVB rays.

Sunscreen is designed to absorb into your skin and uses chemicals to absorb UVA radiation that hits you.

It’s a good idea to find a sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF that will help protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.

Sunblocks and most mineral sunscreens will often leave a visible layer on your skin. Sunscreen will often go on clear.

Best Sun Bum Surf Sunblock: More Good Choices

Sun Bum’s got a variety of great choices of sunscreens that are all reef friendly and protect against both UVA and UVB radiation.

In addition to Sun Bum Mineral Face Stick, some other great choices for the best surf sunscreen include:

All of these sunscreens are reef-friendly, vegan, broad spectrum SPF for UVA and UVB protection, water resistant, and won’t run into your eyes and sting while you surf.

Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

Available in 3 packs in TSA-friendly sizes, this lotion sunscreen is another good choice for surfing.

Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray

Just like the lotion, but in a spray form.

Spary sunscreen can be useful for when you’re wearing a spring suit or trunks/bikini to cover your arms and body.

Also available in packs of 3.

Sun Bum Original SPF 70 Sunscreen Lotion

An effective sunscreen lotion with a higher SPF for some serious protection.

Available in 2 packs.

Surf Sunscreen: Good Choices from Other Brands

Bare Republic is another great sunscreen brand to check out for a good sunscreen for surfing.

Their products are mineral based, smell good, water resistant, won’t sting your eyes, provide a broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays, and don’t feel greasy on your skin.

Some great choices for surfing sunscreen from Bare Republic include:

Bare Republic SPF 50 Mineral Face Stick

Good choice to protect your face and ears if you’ll be wearing a fullsuit.

Bare Republic SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

A lotion form of the face stick is another good choice for your face or arms.

Bare Republic SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Spray

A mineral-based spray sunscreen that’s a good choice for your arms and body.

Get Classic with some ZINKA Nosecoat!

You can never go wrong with a little extra protection.

These classic neon-colored Zinka nosecoat sunblocks are designed to go over the sunscreen you’ve already applied to provide some extra protection to area that can get burned easily like your nose and cheeks.

It’s also hard not to be stoked and spread some stoke with a bright pink nose.

Stay safe!

Do you have experiences with any of the surf sunscreen and sunblock described above? Maybe you’re a fan of something we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Shopping Cart