What is the Best Sunscreen for Boaters and Sailing?

November 20 2021

Here’s something I’ll bet we could all use a reminder about: sunscreens can be harmful to lakes, rivers, oceans, marine life, and the environment as a whole.  Chemical additives disrupt fish development, damage the larvae of coral, and can even bleach the coral. As people who enjoy our time out on the water and in the sun, we are constantly applying sunscreen and then swimming. And if enough of us aren’t using the right kinds of sunscreen, we could be doing some serious damage as a group. So, what is the best sunscreen for boaters?

Ultraviolet Light

Before we get into the environmental impact, let’s start with the most important part of sunscreen: UV protection. The more time you spend in the sun, the more at-risk your skin becomes to damage due to the sun’s UV rays. About 95 percent of Ultraviolet rays that reach Earth are UVA rays.  The other five percent are UVB.  

UVB rays are known to have higher energy levels. These rays are what typically cause sunburn.  UVA rays, on the other hand, can deeply penetrate the layers of your skin and can cause longer-lasting skin damage. One outcome being: your skin’s cells age faster.  

You should remember that, when out on the water, UV rays can still get through cloud cover or fog, even when it’s raining. It’s not just when the sun is out that you need to be careful and always watchful – it’s anytime you are out on the water. Ok, now let’s talk about kinds of sunscreen, specifically the best sunscreen for boaters.

Think Environmentally Friendly

If you are looking for the best sunscreen for boaters, you really should try to think environmentally friendly when looking for the best protection against the sun’s rays. Why? Well, if you like to fish, you’re helping keep the fish healthy and plentiful. If you like to swim, you’re keeping the water quality high. As boaters, we love being out on the water, so let’s try to keep the water the way we like it. 

When you’re out on the water, too much exposure to your skin from the sun’s rays can cause wrinkles, sunspots, sunburn, or, in some cases, even skin cancer.  The sun’s rays can also reflect back onto your skin from the gleaming surface of the water.  You want to have a good time; you want to protect your skin, but you also have a responsibility to make sure the environment isn’t getting damaged in the process. The best environmentally friendly sunscreen, in our opinion, is Suntegrity Unscented Natural Mineral Sunscreen.

Organic Sunscreen

The best sunscreens for boaters are going to be those with natural ingredients. There are toxic chemicals in some sunscreens that can be harmful not only to your skin but to the surrounding environment as well. When that sunscreen washes off, it has impacts on the water and those creatures living in the water.  

Organic sunscreens do a better job of protecting your skin as well as the nature surrounding you.  Another one of the best sunscreens for boaters is EQ Sun Care, which uses safflower oil, beeswax, apricot seed oil, and olive oil instead of harmful chemical ingredients that can cause damage to a marine environment when you are in the water.  

Once you put sunscreen on and go in for a swim, naturally some of the sunscreen is going to wash off in the water. You also want to check for the SPF (sun protection factor). The lighter your skin tone, the higher the SPF number you’ll want to have for the greatest protection.

Avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone and other chemical additives. Another marine-friendly sunscreen is Aethic Sôvée, which contains three organic moisturizers and is packaged using a biodegradable bottle that is also 100 percent safe for coral. The manufacturers of Aethic Sôvée are also the founders of Going Blue, a charity for marine conservation. It is also the first Marine Positive sun cream in the world that is certified as such.

Another pro-environment sunscreen that is free from chemicals is made by Green People. It contains avocado, rosemary extract, organic olive oil, and green tea. Our final two honorable mentions for organic options are Odylique and The Organic Pharmacy.

Whichever product you select, choose the best sunscreen for boaters that fits your unique needs and also protects the water, animals, and environment around you so you can enjoy your time outdoors to the fullest. Whether it is while boating or just hanging out on the dock, you should have sunscreen protecting you. And if you’re looking for a new dock for your property or boat, check out our different options at Accudock!

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