Getting sunburnt surfing? What sunscreen do you use?

photo montage of different sun screens

We’ve had a pretty sunny summer here in the UK.

I can recall summers past when it felt like I surfed most days and never got sun burnt, and I put this down to a/ crap weather and b/ my trusty factor SPF70 panama jack ‘surf and sport’ sunscreen. It did the job for years and at about £8 a tube, it was worth it. However now I have been informed the EU have banned the SPF 70 sunscreen and its no longer allowed to be sold in the UK.

Apparently there are downsides to this old school super-strength sun protection – well according to this site anyway

I can’t comment on this from a scientific point of view and I would only assume the EU aren’t out to increase people’s chances of developing sun damage to their skin and skin cancer, but here’s the thing….

I have now had to start using  SPF 50, and after 2 hours in the water guess what?

Yup..I am getting totally burnt all the time.

If someone wants to explain to me why getting massively sun burnt each time I go surfing is less of a health risk than slapping on the old SPF70 sunscreen I am all ears, though those ears are now slightly more blistered as a result of this change.

With my old sunburn protection program now going tits up, it clearly needs a re-think.

I can only find pretty expensive alternatives. This Neutrogena spf 70 looks the biz and its waterproof ,  but at £26.00 a go, its pricey and prob not going to be your average surfers product of choice. Zinc is OK for a few areas of the face, but are you going to totally cover your whole head and face in zine? Never tried it myself, but you may end up looking like an off-duty martian, and it’ll be a nightmare to wash off.

The Aussies may have some good experience on this one… and folks who surf in sunny SoCal or Hawaii will have had to be ontop of the skin protection game for many years, but what are folks using in the water in the UK? If you are a UK surfer what sun protection is working for you?

If your olive skinned and blessed with a huge mane of hair like Rob Machado’s flowing locks, then perhaps some cheap factor 10 from Boots might be Ok…but for me I’m all shaven headed and exposed, so need the best SPF that is most super waterproof.

How is the average British surfer protecting their skin this summer safely?

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