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Useful Beauty Tips & Tricks for Surfers

by Octavia Drughi

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Have you ever noticed how surfers look so damn hot with apparently no effort at all? Well, so did we, and we decided to get to the bottom of it. 

How can they spend hours on end in the water and not look all wrinkly like sea pickles and parched like sun-dried tomatoes? Not only that, but they rock their perfect summer bods and glowing skin even after multiple days of ongoing surfing sessions.

We cracked the mystery! You don’t need to carry an arsenal of creams and lotions with you to the beach or hit the spa afterward. All you have to do is stay true to your beauty rituals, resort to natural remedies, and address the cause within so that you can shine on the outside.

Here are some beach beauty tips and tricks that will help you build your own skincare routine:


Take sun protection seriously


Many beach-goers underestimate the importance of sunscreen, but sun exposure and UV rays are not to be joked around with. Even if you’re already tanned or you’re the type that does not get sunburnt easily, always carry a waterproof sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 with you to the beach and apply generously every few hours.

Opt for a sun protection product that contains zinc oxide as the UVA and UVB blocking agent. This is the most natural way to protect your skin from damage.


Also, it’s much better to have two sun protection products – one for your face and one for your body. For your face, make sure you use an organic and chemical-free moisturizer with a high SPF. Remember to use sun protection for your lips too.

Seek shade whenever possible. If you’re a surfer or practice water sports, there’s really no point in adding sunbathing to your schedule. You’re already spending enough time in the sun, so try to avoid any added exposure.


Nourish your skin and protect your face


Saltwater really dries your skin, which is why it’s important to use natural oils on your body and face before and after sun exposure.

Make sure you use organic and chemical-free products that are eco-safe and reef-safe. Don’t go for the cheap stuff. Not only is it not good for your health, but it will also spill into the ocean. Parabens, propylene glycol, oxybenzone, and other such ingredients with hair-raising names are harmful to corals and toxic to marine life.


Before hitting the beach


Coconut oil is a favorite among surfers, and its exotic fragrance is to die for! Moisturize your skin with coconut oil the night before going surfing or after taking a post-surf shower. You can also apply baobab oil right before hitting the beach and apply zinc-based sunscreen over it.


After hitting the beach – for your face


After a day at the beach, make sure you get that sunscreen off as soon as possible. Once it has served its purpose, you should remove it or it may clog your pores. Plus, you don’t want sweat, sand, saltwater, and other nasty residues lingering around on your face for too long, do you?

Sand and saltwater create a natural exfoliator. But too much of it can dehydrate your skin. Furthermore, the windy conditions you may encounter when kitesurfing or windsurfing means that sand particles in the air already exfoliated your skin. The last thing you need is another exfoliating product on your face. Instead, use a mild face cleanser.


Wash your face with micellar water or rose water. Then, moisturize your skin by applying natural oils such as coconut, almond, avocado, or argan. Even if you did apply a lip balm with proper SPF, your lips may still feel abused, irritated, and dry. You can apply simple Vaseline and let it soak in.

Once a week, exfoliate your face using a mix of brown sugar and olive oil or almond oil. After washing it off, apply honey onto your dry skin and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse off and unveil a glowing, healthy skin.


After hitting the beach – for your body


Take a shower or bath when you get home from the beach. Use a hydrating soap or shower gel/cream. Immediately after drying, apply a moisturizing body lotion, butter or oil on your entire body, which will seal in the moisture in your skin from the shower. Plain argan oil, avocado oil, and tea tree oil are recommended after a shower, and you can also opt for lotions that contain coconut oil, hyaluronic acid, or ceramides.


Don’t forget about your feet! I said it before and I’ll say it again – sand is an excellent exfoliator and, therefore, a natural foot scrub. It removes dead skin from your feet but, as soon as you get home, you must not forget to moisturize your feet.


Wavy hair is cool, but frizzy hair just makes you look old


Who doesn’t love beach hair? A little bit of saltwater can work wonders on your hairstyle, but too much of it can make it look like an overused straw broom. Hair may not appear damaged as quickly and as easily as your skin does, but it can suffer greatly in the long run.


Before the beach and during your surf sessions


Apply a spray-in hair conditioner before hitting the beach. It will keep your hair tangle-free while offering some protection from the elements too. There are certain natural oils that work as hair sunscreen.

Use coconut oil, grape seed oil, or red raspberry seed oil to protect your hair from sun exposure and saltwater. All you have to do is apply a little bit of oil onto your hands and rub in on your hair, avoiding the roots. Don’t add too much, as you wouldn’t want your hair to look too greasy.

I bet you’ve seen how many female surfers wear their hair down while surfing. It’s not just for show; they leave it like this to prevent breakage.


After the beach


Here’s a trick for a cool beach hair after a surf sesh: let your hair air dry and then tie it in a bun and leave it so for a few hours. When you let it down again, you’ll have nice wavy beach hair. You can enjoy this salty beach hair look for a few hours, but you’ll have to wash it down eventually.

Use an organic and chemical-free moisturizing shampoo. If you did not apply any products to your hair, you can wash with only water, using your fingertips as a mild exfoliator to loosen any residues. This way, you won’t rob your hair of its natural oils.

Stay away from hot styling tools and use a comb with wide teeth. Rub natural oil like olive, avocado, almond, jojoba or coconut oil onto your hair ends and comb through. It will moisturize and repair your hair. If your hair still feels brittle, then you probably need to apply a hair mask to treat and repair.


For sunburns…


Forgot your sunscreen? Please make sure that doesn’t happen again. Missed a spot? It can happen to anyone. Just treat those sunburns immediately!

First of all, you need to wash all that salt and sand off, and the best way to do that is by using plain water without soap, which may irritate your skin even more. Then, get creative with some items that you will find around the house: 

  • Apple cider vinegar. You can add a bit of apple cider vinegar to balance the pH and speed up recovery
  • Baking soda. You can add a handful of baking soda into your bath water to treat sunburn.
  • Tea. Brew four cups of black or green tea and let it cool down to room temperature. Soak in a soft washcloth or some cotton and apply to your skin. You can also add the tea to a spray bottle and sprinkle it. It will soothe your skin, relieving the burning sensation and protecting your cells from damage, all thanks to the powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in tea. You can also soak tea bags in cold water and apply on your eyelids to reduce the inflammation.
  • Milk is a readily available natural remedy for sunburns, as it can be used straight from the carton. After having a shower, dip a cotton pad in milk (preferably at room temperature) and apply on the affected areas. Let it dry on your skin. Wash the milk away after a few hours and repeat the process.
  • Yogurt. Just like milk, the fats and proteins in yogurt relieve irritation, pain, and inflammation. Apply cold yogurt onto the affected areas and leave it on for the body to absorb its nutrients. Then, simply rinse off with plain water.
  • Aloe Vera moisturizes the skin and speeds the healing process. Opt for actual aloe Vera leaves, not creams. Cut down an aloe Vera leaf and rub the sap directly onto the affected area.
  • Honey has powerful antibacterial properties and can reduce pain and inflammation associated with sunburn.
  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that repairs damaged skin and relieve the inflammation caused by sunburns. You can rub vitamin E oil directly onto peeling skin, use a lotion containing vitamin E on your body, or take vitamin E supplements.
  • Cornstarch, mixed with cold water, turns into a paste that can soothe sunburns when applied on the skin.


Stock up on water!


Drink lots of water before, during, and after hitting the beach. The main reason why your skin looks damaged is dehydration, so always make sure you treat the root of the cause before anything else. Replacing body fluids is the best remedy and beauty routine after a day at the beach. When your skin is properly hydrated, it maintains its elasticity and is less likely to become flaky, chapped or scaly.

Fruits are good too. Watermelon and berries contain large amounts of water as well as antioxidants that will keep you hydrated on the beach and protected from free radicals.


Remember that your daily diet has a tremendous impact on your look. What you eat and drink will show on your skin. Lead a healthy lifestyle and your skin will glow and you’ll look fresh every day. In the end, it’s the attitude that counts!


Look and feel your best each time to hit the beach, and build confidence to join an intermediate surf camp where you will take your skills to the next level!

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