surf woemn

Anyone who's perfect summer is spent surfing and living on the beach, will know the pain of surfer skin.

Ultraviolet light causes sunburns and sun damage; wind dries out your skin and chaps your lips; the salt and sand exfoliate your skin to the point of being raw; and even surf wax and wetsuits can cause skin irritations.

It's an on-going mystery to us that the world's top surfers spend their lives in the sun and the saltwater, yet have perfectly bronzed and moisturised faces, without a peely nose in sight!

Surfing After A Drink Could Be More Dangerous Than You Think...

While we don't really mind the odd red nose every now and again, we do care about keeping our skin protecting from harmful rays so we can spend as much time as possible catching waves!

Here's our top tips to protecting your skin when you're spending everyday in the sun...

Get int0 the habit of applying sunscreen everyday, even when its cloudy.

One of the easiest ways to get burnt is by staying out on a cloudier day and not realising the UV damage your doing to your skin!

When picking out a sunscreen, look for ones that have a four or five star rating and that have a ‘broad spectrum' filter.

A five star spf15 will be better than a one star spf50, and the broad spectrum filter will protect you from UVA, UVB and even UVC light in some cases.

As well as choosing a good sunscreen, on the hottest and sunniest days, don't be embarrassed to pull out the zinc stick. It's the sign of a legit surfer!


Mineral sunscreens sit on the outer layer of the skin and reflect the damaging UV rays away.

Chemical sunscreens however, work by sinking into the skin and providing protection on a deeper level.

Invest in a decent chemical sunscreen and apply it first thing when you get up in the morning, before you leave the house.

This way, you'll give it chance to sink in properly and give yourself a base level of protection to add to all day when you're out on the beach!

surf woemn

It's a mistake we always make.

We cover ourselves in sunscreen and pull on our suit, thinking we're totally protected.

At the end of the day however, we'll be sat in the pub with our mates looking at our sore hands, while berating ourselves and wincing every time we touch our burnt ears.

When surfing, your hands are constantly facing up towards the sun, yet they always get forgotten when the sun screen comes out.

Remember your hands, remember your ears!


You can do your best to protect your skin in the summer, but some days are just too damn hot.

Have a look at the surf forecast and figure out if you really need to be out there at the hottest part of the day.

There are many positives to surfing first thing in the morning and later on in the day.

As well as less chance of sun damage because the sun’s rays are weaker and cause less harm, there'll also be less people in the water and less kooks in the line up.

If you can catch some later waves, it really is the way to go.


If you have managed to catch a little too much sun one day, be careful with your suit on the next.

Make sure that when you're out of the water, you're taking your suit off straight away.

Leaving a damp wetsuit on for hours can irritate your skin. Also the salt and sand on your skin will act like sandpaper when you move around with your suit on.

Once you have a burn, you really don't want it getting irritated by your suit as that can lead to you not being able to put it back on for a good while!


It's only when you get home after a day in the water, that you realise just how covered in muck your are.

Salt water, sand, seaweed and all manner of things make your skin feel super sticky, especially when mixed in with your sunscreen and a normal body wash just doesn't do the trick.

Sprinkle baby powder all over before you head to the shower, to soak up all the sticky gunk from your skin and then wash and moisturise as normal.

You'll feel much fresher and by safe in the knowledge than you're moisturising only good things into your pores when you step out the shower.


Wetsuits are great for UV protection, but you really don't want to be wearing a hood in the summer...

Taking a cap down to the beach with you is a good shout for if the top of your head and face feels a little hot.

A good alternative to a full wetsuit for those sunny days are a good protective rash vest, along with some surf leggings.Nowhere near as hot and just as protective.

Making sure your sunnies are UV protected also is a good shout for when you're hanging out on the sand!


So you've taken all the precautions and you've still ended up feeling woozy from sunburn, what to do?

Once you've lathered yourself in after sun and drank a few glasses of water, make sure you make yourself a good sunburn healing meal.

Green tea has antioxidants that will protect your skin! Try and find an iced version as the coolness will reduce swelling.

Also, it's been proven that tomato paste and cooked tomatoes help reduce the risk of sunburn and even help to heal it once its happened.

It's worth a try!