It’s the question on the lips of a lot of new divers, ‘how can I protect my hair and skin from the sea?’. Warm sun feels glorious on our skin. Floating in the ocean soothes our busy minds. Scuba diving invigorates our every cell and wiggling one’s toes in the soft, warm sand is simply divine. These elemental joys, however, play havoc with a girl’s (or guy’s!) beauty regime and, if you’re not careful, you could start looking like a rather crispy critter in no time.
So, here’s how I protect my hair and skin from the sea…
Turns out that it’s pretty easy when you’ve got these tricks up your wetsuit sleeve.
Short, long, blonde, brunette or redhead; the sea sucks all the life out of your locks pretty quickly. Salt is a natural abrasive. Excessive exposure dehydrates our hair by stripping away our natural oils and taking off the outer keratin coating – leaving our hair dry, brittle and dull.
My answer is simple. Coconut oil. Raw, simple and natural coconut oil. It’s the nectar of the Gods believe me! Simply coat your hair in the stuff, I mean really lather it on and pay special attention to the ends. I have long hair and my diving hairstyle of two thick braids makes me resemble Pocahontas! By using coconut oil, smelling like a bounty bar is my fragrance for the summer. I simply stick a couple of handfuls of coconut oil through my hair, braid it up and jump in! I can do three dives a day and still feel it in the braid when I finally get under the shower in the evening.
The best thing? Tangle free. Completely tangle free. You can even give up your conditioner!
Sun exposure causes irreversible damage, and to quote the Australians, “There is nothing beautiful about a tan”.
Sun cream is good, it is your friend and a nice high factor is your best bet. My favorite sun protection is “P20” for my body and dry powder sunscreen from Jane Iredale for my face.
The p20 is a once a day sun filter that has crazy staying power and doesn’t contain any reef damaging substances. Best applied after a morning shower and before you get dressed, this sun filter will stay on all day and won’t rub off with each donning of a wetsuit. The only drawback is that the oily product can stain clothes, so wait for it to dry and do your best “John Wayne” impression around the house in your birthday suit for around 15 minutes – you’ll be gold.
Jane Iredale dry sunscreen is a dream. Not only a sunscreen, this product is a mineral foundation powder that makes your skin look like it’s been photoshopped in real life. It has SPF 30 PA+++ too – the highest rated protection from the most damaging of all the sun’s rays; those pesky UVA’s. Be sparing though, a little goes a long way.
Other products I love:
Anything from LUSH. (My fridge is full of the stuff). My favorite products are:
- Karma Kreme: an all-over moisturizer that is crazy rich. Your skin will drink it up and leave you smelling amazing all day with skin as soft as a baby’s behind.
- Pink Peppermint foot lotion. Divers feet look pretty battered by the end of a season and this stuff is a godsend. Keep it in the fridge for a super cool treat!
- Refresher shower jelly. This stuff is really weird but I love it. It’s wobbly washing power turns a quick shower into a spa treatment, and it’s so much fun to use. Top tip = keep it in the freezer to make it easier to hold on to, it’s a slippery little sucker!
- “Gorgeous” facial moisturizer. A little on the expensive side, but worth it. Made with the best organic stuff on the planet; It’s absorbed quickly, hydrates instantly and leaves your skin with a matt look, not a shiny one like most other moisturizers on the market.
- Tea tree nail oil, for your toe nails. Wetsuit boots staying on too long can lead to gross fungus on your nails. Use this oil daily as a preventative measure, your feet will thank you.
What scuba beauty tricks do you have? Share if you care ’cause I’m all ears!
If you’re interested in finding out more about sunscreen whilst diving check out this blog post: Scuba Diving and Sunscreen – Updated