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View Full Version : Best sunscreen for your face when diving?



diesmardi68
11-17-2008, 09:16
I got a great recommendation for suncreen for your face once, only problem is I can't remember if it's Baby Face or Waterbabies, and I'm guessing at those names?

I had the unfortunate experience of using suncreen on a dive that made my eyes sting from the fumes being caputured in the mask. I will not make that mistake again and will ensure I have the right sunscreen before my next trip.

Any recommendations?

DevilDiver
11-17-2008, 11:40
Wear a hat.

If you use sunscreen purchase one that does not adversely affect coral. There are environmentally friendly alternatives available now.

diesmardi68
11-17-2008, 13:09
Wearing a hat is helpful, but the rays still bounce off the water and surface of the boat.

mike_s
11-17-2008, 14:03
i wear the Baby sunscreen that comes in the pink bottle on my face.

Since it's made for babies, it won't burn (as much) in your eyes and is very lotion like to put on and is 50spf. rubs in very easy.

for my face, I like the 50spf protection if possible, especially on my nose.

one of these.

http://www.viewpoints.com/images/review/2007/182/6/1183291194-7027_full.jpg

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HETSN159L._SL500_AA280_.jpg

diesmardi68
11-17-2008, 14:14
Thanks for the reply. I believe Water Babies is probably the one, so I'm going to go with that.

SynCitizen
11-17-2008, 14:18
Wear a hat.

If you use sunscreen purchase one that does not adversely affect coral. There are environmentally friendly alternatives available now.
Is there a list of enviro friendly products or certain chemicals or ingredients to avoid?

shawnwill36
11-17-2008, 17:13
i wear a hat. seems like my nose will peel everytime i dont

James1010
11-17-2008, 17:30
I would also check with the dive shop you are at because sometimes there are regulations to sunscreen. Scientist have said that sunscreen is one of the cause that coral dies off. Is it true I don't know but I don't take the chance. I do a lot of diving in Cancun in a National Park where you cannot where sunscreen or gloves.

DevilDiver
11-17-2008, 18:18
I could not get the article to copy right but it is all there.

Swimmers' Sunscreen Killing Off Coral

Ker Than
for National Geographic News (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/)

January 29, 2008



The sunscreen you dutifully put on before a dive or
snorkel may prevent sunburn, but its chemicals are killing
coral reefs worldwide. A study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives states that four common sunscreen
ingredients can awaken viruses in an algae called
Zooxanthellae that lives inside reef-building coral species.


The chemicals cause the viruses to replicate until their
algae hosts explode, spilling viruses into the surrounding



seawater, where they can infect neighboring coral communities.Zooxanthellae provides coral with food energy


through photosynthesis and contributes to corals’ vibrant

color. Without it, the coral bleaches white and dies.




The study’s researchers looked at the effects of sunscreen
exposure on coral samples from reefs in the Pacific,



Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. Seawater surrounding the


coral exposed to sunscreen contained up to 15 times
more viruses than unexposed samples. Researchers found
that even low levels of sunscreen, at or below the typical
amount used by swimmers, could activate the algae
viruses and completely bleach coral in just four days. They
estimate that 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen wash
off swimmers, snorkelers and divers annually in oceans
worldwide, and that up to 10 percent of coral reefs are

threatened by sunscreen-induced bleaching.




Several brands of popular sunscreens were tested and
all had four ingredients in common: paraben, cinnamate,



benzophenone, and a camphor derivative. Banning sunscreen isn’t necessary. To reduce their impact on coral,


divers and snorkelers can use sunscreens with titanium
dioxide and zinc oxide, which reflect instead of absorb
ultraviolet radiation.

James1010
11-17-2008, 19:24
Do you know of any name brands that fits that profile?

SynCitizen
11-17-2008, 19:53
Thanks for the info DD. I'll avoid buying/using the bad stuff in Cozumel next month.

DevilDiver
11-17-2008, 20:04
Thanks for the info DD. I'll avoid buying/using the bad stuff in Cozumel next month.

No problem. I am not trying to tell people what to do just pass on the information. You could make an argument saying this is not an issue but with a little effort and the freedom of your purchasing choice you could make sure it isn't.

SynCitizen
11-17-2008, 23:05
Thanks for the info DD. I'll avoid buying/using the bad stuff in Cozumel next month.

No problem. I am not trying to tell people what to do just pass on the information. You could make an argument saying this is not an issue but with a little effort and the freedom of your purchasing choice you could make sure it isn't.
Personally I have no problem with this kind of information or advice, in fact I look for it. So even if there is nothing I can do myself to save the reefs I can at the very least not contribute to damaging them further.

RMur
11-18-2008, 06:06
Expanding the sunscreen question just a bit - can sunscreens do damage to the latex seals of my drysuit as I doff and don? I have had a of of skin cancer problems so I am always wearing sunscreen.

diesmardi68
11-18-2008, 08:47
Thanks for the info DD. I'll avoid buying/using the bad stuff in Cozumel next month.

No problem. I am not trying to tell people what to do just pass on the information. You could make an argument saying this is not an issue but with a little effort and the freedom of your purchasing choice you could make sure it isn't.

The info is welcome. I'm certainly not interested in damaging the coral reefs.

I did some research on this and I did find this from a person who did the study.

"The only thing demonstrated by this research is that at very high levels, much higher than any thus far recorded or likely to occur in nature, suncreen can cause bleaching. Many stresses will cause corals to bleach. However, there is strong and irrefutable evidence that most, if not all of the bleaching we are seeing these days, is due to elevated sea surface temperatures, resulting in part from global warming. Such bleaching and its impacts are greatly exacerbated by the very real problems of over-fishing and pollution (especially nutrients and sediments).
To give an idea of the level of suncreen tested in this research, were testing: My initial calculation, based on their numbers, suggest it would require stuffing 2500 people fully-lathered with suncreen into a shallow (two meter deep) and closed olympic sized swimming pool, to reach the levels they tested. Put another way, it would require having a person in every cubic meter of water surrounding a reef and not letting that water circulate or mix with water further away.
The research may warrant a further examination of the impact of sunscreen on corals. Unfortunately, the way the research was presented, some of the unsupported conclusions made in the work, and the way its been portrayed in the media, it will likely help perpetuate an unsubstantiated assertion that there is scientific evidence to support the claim that suncreen is a major contributor to reef decline. This could distract and divert attention from very real, well-documented and priority threats to reef health including Global Change, Fishing, Nutrient Pollution, and Sedimentation that must be dealt with immediately, if we are to reverse the global decline in coral reefs.
Jack Sobel, The Ocean Conservancy."


This is also from the same forum.


"SPF Consulting Labs is an independent sunscreen research lab in Pompano Beach, Florida. Here are some important facts to help you choose the best sunscreen for use around living coral.
1. Water-resistant claims for major sunscreen bands are performed in fresh water, not-salt water. Look for “Salt-water Tested” products. We have found that salt water will wash off(dissolve) some products which qualify as “waterproof” or “Water-resistant” in fresh water.
2. New Technology which prevents the wash-off of sunscreen agents(UV absorbers) are already available and being used by some small brands-larger brands usually take several years to get new technology on the market.)
3. Products formulated with 100% Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide are generally safe for use near coral.
Some Sunscreens produced under the Hawiian Tropic, Luzern Laboratories, Sun Safari(available from John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park) and Mexitan brands are 100% Titanium or Zinc Oxide, or have been tested for Salt-Water-durability and could support “Reef-Friendly” product claims.
Moreover products with high levels of Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide have the highest UVA protection available to help prevent Melanoma (Skin Cancer) and premature aging and wrinkling.
Of course, ocean temperature rise appears to be a much larger threat, and has already been shown to cause coral bleaching. So, trade-in your Hummer for a motorcycle and you can afford a vacation now to see our coral reefs before they are gone. Our reefs are expected to be the first victims of Global Warming.
I have been a certified scuba diver for 50 years! and I am one of the top sunscreen researchers in the world. —-
Submitted by Chris Vaughan, President-SPF Consulting Labs, Inc.
— Posted by Chris Vaughan,FSCC"

sea princess
11-18-2008, 22:55
wow thanks so much for all the research and info. I am very pale and burn easily so i live in sunscreen. my friends call me the cream of the oreo since when i am in the middle of them they look tan! I had no idea it could damage coral reefs. I will be more careful for now on. I appricate the info and love to learn.

kroorda
12-05-2008, 15:36
I second the concerns the DevilDiver offers. Sunscreen underwater isn't necessary as long as you do your dive BELOW 2 feet of water as the UV rays don't penetrate the water any deeper than 2'. Many/most sunscreens DO damage the reefs. As divers, we should be custodians of the reefs, and not cause damage to them; be it directly or indirectly. If you have sunscreen on before you dive, please try to shower and remove it. Believe me, you won't get a sunburn at 40 feet - or even at 5 feet!

cummings66
12-07-2008, 16:07
Nope, but you can sure turn a rosy pink on the boat. My advice is to wear a hat and cover up instead of using sunscreen. I seriously doubt you will ever damage a reef by using it, but I do think you'll damage your wetsuit or latex seals by using it. That I base on seeing the rubber items that swimmers use.

kroorda
12-07-2008, 16:56
Cummings, You are correct about using sun protection while out of the water and on the boat. However, your assumption that sunscreen will not damage the reef is incorrect. The polyps in coral are extremely sensitive. Even dust, blowing over the Atlantic and into the Carribbean causes Coral bleaching (death). Likewise, if everyone wore sunscreen in the water, it would definately be damaging. Thus, the rule MUST go for everyone. Your assumption would say that it is okay for one person to pee in a pool, but not for everyone to do it. Believe it or not, sunscreen is more damaging to coral that urine would ever be. The worlds' coral reefs are in EXTREMELY serious condition - because of polution we've put into both the water and the air. Inasmuch, every one of us must do what we can to minimize the impact on the reefs as we dive and enjoy them. At the rate things are going, most of the major reefs we have now will not be around for our children to see 10 or 15 years from now. Please remove any sunscreen before you get into the water, and please, don't use a shower that drains right into the water!

mrm777
12-07-2008, 18:48
I don't use sunscreen...it's greasy and makes my mask fog.

kroorda
12-07-2008, 20:14
It also hurts like heck if it gets in your eyes.

DarinMartell
12-07-2008, 20:31
I have a really hard time believing that sun screen could be a factor in coral bleaching. So far this thread has had "evidence" go both ways. As far as the dust from Africa, you are correct. However the dust itself does not hurt the coral. It is the huge dust storms that are so big that they block the sun and contribute to lowering of the water temp. In fact there has even been speculation that the lowering of the water temp by dust storms has a corolation with the lesser number of hurricanes then expected. I have no idea if this is correct but it does make for some interesting reading.

I enjoy reading speculation on any side of an issue. What I don't enjoy reading is blanket statments without any supporting facts. Or info that is put forward as evidence when it is just speculation.