Review of Surfmud: the best sunscreen for surfers

Last updated:

There are more sun protection options available to surfers than ever before. We’ve tested a range of creams, lotions, sprays and sticks to find which options offer maximum protection with minimal damage to skin and environment.

The winner in 2019 is: Surfmud.

In this review, we’ll explore why Surfmud is effective, healthy and easy to use. Check out our video review below.

What is Surfmud?

Surfmud is an Australian-made zinc-based covering cream that offers sun protection by forming a physical barrier between skin and the elements. It is made from natural ingredients including 30% Zinc Oxide, which is non-irritating, non-allergenic and non-comedogenic.

The formula is waterproof and lasts all day long. You can tell when you have protection because your complexion will be beautifully bronzed. Some might think of this as “man-dation” – foundation for men – but it is a whole lot better than a face of white zinc or potentially toxic invisible sunscreen.

Key features of Surfmud

While some natural sunscreens offer less than ideal protection, Surfmud is both powerful and safe – for you and the environment.

  • The all-natural ingredients are reef safe
  • The product is free of preservatives
  • Australian-made
  • Recyclable tin and plastic
  • Not tested on animals, besides some big wave surfers
  • Contains no nanoparticles

What is Surfmud made from?

The ingredients are simple and effective. Some of them are good enough to eat. As mentioned in my video review, if you can’t pronounce ingredients they’re probably not going to be great for you.

  • 30% Zinc Oxide
  • Coco Caprylate/ Caprate
  • Organic beeswax
  • Natural lanolin
  • Australia clay and iron oxides for natural colour

How to use Surfmud

Simply unscrew the metal lid, dig your finger into the cream, rub it in your hands to soften and then apply. The more you apply, the darker your complexion will be. In the tropics you’ll want maximum protection, so apply a couple of layers.

There is no need to apply 20 minutes before sun exposure – simply rub it on and go surfing. You can safely rub cream around your eyes without worrying that it will run or cause irritation.

Surfmud does rub off onto clothing, rash vests and anything else you touch so go carefully. However, removing it from the skin is relatively easy. Use a biodegradable wipe or face cloth along with a mild face wash. If it does get on your favourite t-shirt… good luck!

Reef safety

The toxic effects of sunscreen on coral reefs have been well documented. In particular, it is important to avoid using products that contain oxybenzone or nanoparticles, which can damage sensitive corals. Surfmud is completely reef safe.


Surfmud is the answer. From the packaging to the natural ingredients, the texture to the real protection offered we unanimously voted this product as the best sunscreen of 2019.

Also available in the range are Surfmud lotion and Surf Baby for kids. I’ve used all of them with great results. The lotions are perfect for legs, arms and necks.

You can buy Surfmud online or ask your local surf shop to get stock.

Check out the Surfmud website to discover their athlete ambassadors, photographers and links to their social channels.

Surfmud Zinc Covering Cream
Best features
Reef safe
All natural
Easy to apply and remove
Needs improvement
Editor's Choice