Face Sunscreen For Snorkeling?

by Fran Pope
(St Kitts)

I am having a difficult time finding a face sunscreen that does not burn my eyes after I put on my mask for snorkeling. So my nose burns often and is always peeling. I live on St. Kitts and snorkel about 3 or 4 times a week. (Lucky me!)

I looked on your webpage for suggestions, but did not see anything in your reviews about the eye burning problem. Any suggestions?


Comments for Face Sunscreen For Snorkeling?

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Apr 16, 2016
Face Sunscreen For Snorkeling
by: Nicole & Galen

Good question Fran. The sunscreen we put on our faces for snorkeling is limited to certain areas that are not under our masks.

Galen puts it on his forehead above where the mask sits and on his chin and lower cheeks below where the mask sits. He uses Tropical Sands Coral Safe and puts it on 20 minutes before putting on his mask. He usually doesn't get any in his eyes.

Nicole wears a lycra swim cap that covers her forehead and ears, so she puts sunscreen just on her lower face. The Rubber Ducky she uses is oilier in consistency and definitely causes problems with the mask sealing if the sunscreen is under the mask.

(Update Sept 22, 2016: We no longer use either Coral Safe or Rubber Ducky sunscreens. See our sunscreen page for currently recommended ones.)

We have both found that the silicone in our masks seems to block UV rays, so we don't get burnt noses.

We wear hats on the way to the beach to protect our faces and noses from sun before getting in the water.

This is a tricky one. Maybe you could try one of those really solid white sunscreens just on your nose. Maybe that won't run as much?

Hopefully other folks have found things that work and will share!

Apr 18, 2016
Face Sunscreen
by: Florence

Hi, I agree with folks above. It is always recommended to apply the sunscreen at least 20 minutes before the exposing to the sun to let the product go in the skin.

Also, personally, I use face sunscreen that is in stick form, which is thicker than usual sunscreens and apply it on my cheeks and nose. Then, when my snorkeling is done, I go into the shade and apply my regular sunscreen.

Don't forget that when we snorkel, we have our face down in the water, so probably, you have to use more caution before and after your snorkeling adventure!

Good luck and say hello to our friends... the beautiful fishes!

Jun 26, 2016
by: Sally

The only sunscreen we have used that doesn't (usually) burn our eyes is Beaver, which I found in a dive shop. Unfortunately, it has the chemicals not recommended for people or reefs. Since I have a hood that covers most of my face, I don't use anything nowadays except lip sunblock.

When we were in the Maldives, we were in the water for hours and I didn't get burned at all except for a small place on my ankle where the leggings came up and exposed a bit of leg one day. I am suspecting your nose burning is happening during other activities besides snorkeling.

Sep 22, 2016
Tried One On Our Faces
by: Nicole & Galen

Hi all, we tried a new face sunscreen under our masks. It was recommended that it worked well for this purpose. Unfortunately, we did not find that it did.

While we like the Stream2Sea sunscreen for snorkeling, under our masks it interfered with the seal of the mask to our faces causing leaks. It also dripped in Galen's eyes and stung.

So, we don't yet have any other suggestions.

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