A snorkel sunscreen that is suitable requires different features than your average sunscreen. When you are floating on the water you get not only the rays of the hot sun beating down on your, but also the reflection. The sun bounces off the water to provide even more sun exposure. This leads to the dangers of you getting burnt double as fast. To combat this you need the best sunscreen for snorkeling.

As you are going into the ocean and swimming close up to many coral reefs and fish, it is important to get a chemical free, biodegradable sunscreen. Many snorkel sunscreens contain chemicals that are not only harmful to your skin but can be toxic to sea life. It is important to ensure that you are getting a high quality, safe sunscreen.

There are many features to look for when deciding the best choice for you as well as many options on the market. To help you navigate your way through, we have created a list of the best snorkeling sunscreens on today’s market.

Read to get started? Let’s go.


How To Choose A Snorkeling Sunscreen – Buying Guide


There are many aspects of snorkeling sunscreen that people take for granted. Understanding each feature can help you get the right sunscreen for you and your family.

SPF Strength

The whole reason you are using a snorkeling sunscreen is to keep from getting burnt. Having a sunscreen with a suitable SPF will do just that. The strength you choose largely depends on your skin type and your susceptibility to burns. Typically you will find snorkeling sunscreens around 30 SPF.

Using an SPF greater than 30 doesn’t block as much sun as you may think. In fact, SPF 50 (98%) only blocks 1% more rays than SPF 30 (97%). SPF 100 blocks up to 99% of rays making it one of the best options for those with incredibly fair skin.

It is important to keep in mind that SPF only blocks UVB rays. These are the ones that cause burns. It doesn’t, however, block UVA rays, the rays that cause invisible damage. Some broad spectrum sunscreens block against both so it is important to look for a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection.

Water Resistance

You may be thinking you need to go with a snorkeling sunscreen that is waterproof instead of water resistant. US companies are no longer aloud to claim any sunscreen to be waterproof. That is why it is important to look for a snorkeling sunscreen that is water resistant. You may not know that these products are only water resistant for a certain amount of time. The FDA only allows a company to claim water resistant for up to 80 minutes. This is the type of sunscreen you will want to look for.


When first applying your snorkel sunscreen it is important to let it dry for at least 15 minutes before hitting the water. Otherwise, you risk the sunscreen washing off the moment you hit the water. You will also have to reapply your snrokel sunscreen at least every two hours to maintain constant protection.

It is important to fully understand the proper application techniques when applying your sunscreen. Pay attention to what you do after you apply your sunscreen. Sitting on a seat can rub the sunscreen off you, laying on a towel does the same. It is often best to apply snorkel sunscreen to one side of you, wait the 10-15 minutes and then flip to the other and apply.

When snorkeling in the water, we recommend paying attention to any sunscreen you apply to your face. This can often lead to your mask not sealing properly and you having a far less enjoyable time snorkeling.

Reef Friendly

As you are going to be swimming with sensitive coral reefs and many fish and animals, it is important to take into account getting a natural reef safe snorkeling sunscreen. Lots of major brands use chemicals like Oxybenzone, a chemical that is known to be toxic to fish and coral.

Many snorkeling sunscreens now come in chemical free options that are approved to be gentle on the reef, and on your skin.

It is important to note that just because a sunscreen is biodegradable, does not mean it is chemical free. Many toxic chemicals, such as Oxybenzone, are biodegradable. In fact, some chemicals are fine for you until they biodegrade and are then toxic to marine life.

Globo Surf Overview

Choosing the best snorkeling sunscreen for your next snorkel trip can be overwhelming. With so many chemical sunscreens on the market, it can be difficult to find one that is safe for you and the sea life. When snorkeling, it is important to look for a sunscreen safe for coral reefs. All of the snorkeling sunscreens on our list provide the best sun protection while being safe for both you and the coral. These snorkel sunscreens are built to withstand the harsh sun conditions of snorkeling on the water. Being adequately water resistant while also providing a sufficient SPF, these snorkeling sunscreens work to ensure that you have the best day on the water that you can.

For even more protection from the sun’s harmful rays, it is worth investing in a quality beach umbrella for when you are out of the water. This will work to give your body a break from the sun when you aren’t snorkeling.


  1. UVA & UVB, Skin Cancer
  2. SPF, Time

Have you ever tried any of the snorkeling sunscreens on our list? How did they measure up for your summertime fun? Talk to us about it in the comment section below.

Globo Surf Snorkel Sunscreen Review

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Going on a snorkel tour next week and wanted to find some safe sunscreen for snorkeling that doesn't hurt coral reef. Glad you had such an in depth article.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!