Any suggestions for snorkeling with a mustache? Are there special masks for this or ways to get a good seal without cutting it off?
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Galen & Nicole – Apr 18, 2011 – How to Snorkel With a Mustache?
Good question. The traditional advice has been to apply Vaseline (petroleum based), silicone grease, or a wax like chap-stick to help create a waterproof seal. And this is known to work OK, but will tend to leak. Just make sure not to use any petroleum based products on a silicone mask skirt because they will ruin it.
Another method is to shave about 1/8″ away from the nose, and get a good fitting mask that is snug to your nose. But if you like your mustache, you are probably not going to like shaving a bit of it off.
Well, here is what we suggest. Don’t use a mask that covers your nose at all if you want to keep your mustache. Instead use a pair of high quality swimming goggles and a swimmers nose clip. This removes all the problems with getting a mask to seal over your lip.
Keep in mind though that you cannot use this method if you are a diver or a freediver. When you freedive beyond about 10 feet you need to exhale a little into your mask to equalize the pressure, or you will start to feel the mask squeeze onto your face. You could come up with two black eyes.
If you try this, get good quality swim goggles with the best strap you can, like the ones linked to above. Remember the strap needs to support the snorkel tube. We would recommend goggles that are really more like a mask, without the nose cover, but still having a good skirt.
Any other suggestions?
Susan – Apr 18, 2011 – Mustache and Beard
My husband has a mustache and beard and he does exactly what Galen & Nicole suggested. He has good goggles and a nose clip. He’s not a diver. In the past he got so frustrated with getting a seal on the mask that I don’t really think he cared if he snorkeled or not. However, since he started using the goggles, it’s made a lot of difference. Good luck.
Anonymous – Jan 16, 2013 – Round or Oval Mask Works for Me
I’ve used a round or what some call an oval mask for years and have no problems whatsoever. There are limited masks of this style out on the market. I feel like James Bond with one on.
Jeff M – Nov 21, 2014 – Another Method
I am brand new to snorkeling. Our guide told me to exhale through my nose. After a few minutes, this became second nature and worked well. I want to try the goggles as well but if that’s not an option, do this method.
Anonymous – Mar 6, 2015 – Nose Clip
I have a goatee. I’ve tried everything… the trimming of the mustache, Vaseline (comes right off in the water), silicone grease, etc. What I found that works best for me is putting a piece of waterproof tape on my nose then a nose clip. The tape makes it so the nose clip doesn’t slip off. Then I put on the mask. It’s still not 100 percent but it’s very close and makes all the difference from a bad snorkeling trip to a tolerable one.
Nicole & Galen – Mar 24, 2016 – Another Option
There is another option out there for mustache wearers. It is a full face snorkel mask. We have a page here with a discussion about the product and its pros and cons. It is not for freedivers, just like the goggles option, but you get to snorkel with a mustache!
Anonymous – Jul 23, 2018 – “Dude, Yer Screwed.”
That was the answer I got when I asked if the term “mustache mask” was equipment or a condition.
I was visiting my sister in Hawaii, and we went on an afternoon snorkel charter boat. I had a kinda bushy 20-some year old mustache at the time, and it was causing MUCH leakage that day. When I asked my question, and got that answer… I shaved the ‘stache off and have been bare-lipped since!
Jon – Sep 3, 2018 – Not Shaving the Stache
I have been diving and snorkeling for 30 years, and I have had a handlebar mustache for the entire time. I found a really great beeswax stache wax many years ago and while I still clear my mask regularly, I find it is not a distraction and I can live with it. Just a minor inconvenience.
Dave – Nov 7, 2018 – Try the High Quality Full-sized Goggle Mentioned Above
I have had a full beard and mustache for years and snorkel all the time using the full-sized goggle that is mentioned and linked to above. It seals on the bridge of my nose instead of on my lip. Just like they say, the disadvantages are that you cannot blow into the mask through your nose to equalize pressure while diving and you have to learn not to take on water through your nose or use a plug. But for snorkeling to a depth of 10 feet or so it is awesome.
My favorite and best fit for my face is the Aqua Sphere Seal 2.0 Adult Swim Goggle linked to above. I have the Cressi “Planet” goggles but they do not fit the shape of my face quite as well, allowing for a very slow leak, so it is my back-up. There are several other manufacturers of these types of goggles.