When it comes to sunscreen, I’m pretty picky. I always want to have the best on me so there’s a lesser chance of me getting some sort of skin disease down the road and I want to keep all my tattoos looking new and fresh for as long as I can. I know I can get them touched up and all, but that takes time and healing which means a minimum of two weeks of no surfing for this guy. That being said, I’d much rather invest in a quality sunscreen.
It wasn’t until a few years ago when I was still a surf instructor at a surf camp in New Smryna Beach, FL that another instructor pointed out to me that there’s alcohol in most sunscreens. That makes no sense to me because sunscreen is supposed to protect your skin, not dry it out, and what baffles me is that most sunscreens claim to “moisten” and “revitalize” your skin. Since then, I’ve started looking at labels more closely to see what’s in my sunscreen and started doing the same with my after-sun lotion. I found out that’s it’s really hard to find sunscreens and lotions without alcohol in them…crazy.
Needless to say that I was elated when SKINourishment, Inc. agreed to partner with me on my surf trip to El Salvador. They hooked me up with their ClimbOn! Mineral Sunscreen and the ClimbOn! Creme to help combat the suns ultraviolet rays and as I was with their ClimbOn! Bar, I was a bit skeptical on how both products would perform.
Let’s talk about the ClimbOn! Mineral Sunscreen first. At first glance it looks like ordinary sunscreen; however, it’s not an extreme shade of white like most sunscreens are. It has some sort of yellowish, gold tint to it. That’s solely because it’s synthetic free with real food grade ingredients in it. The strong smell of sunscreen wasn’t there either, this time it was a smell of wheat. Honestly I had a hard time relating the smell to anything and I thought of a loaf of wheat bread, but to each his/her own I guess.
Application is the same, squirt some lotion on your finger and started massaging it into your skin. There are two notable differences though: 1.) apply sparingly because a lot goes a long way and 2.) it’s a lot thicker than ordinary sunscreen, again thanks to it being synthetic free. It’s super easy to know where you’ve put sunscreen on and the spots you’ve missed because even though it’s a little yellowish and golden in color, you end up looking like Casper The Friendly Ghost. No joke, you turn ghostly white when you put this stuff on and can be quite comical at times. Don’t worry, as it absorbs you’ll go back to looking like your normal self.
It also sticks to everything, so be sure to be careful what you touch when it’s absorbing. Since it sticks to anything and everything, be careful when you touch your board so you don’t get any of this stuff on your wax and make sure you’re not itching your face. I noticed that I’d rub my face randomly and I’d look at my hands and they were white as can be from the sunscreen. Even though it stuck to everything, it was extremely waterproof and wouldn’t run in my eyes when I was in the water. In fact, my buddy made it a point to tell me that most sunscreens end up getting in his eyes and making them feel like they caught on fire; however, that wasn’t the case at all with ClimbOn! Mineral Sunscreen. Being that this is a food grade product, it seemed like it attracted flies. More specifically it felt like fruit flies were hanging around me and anyone else that was wearing this sunscreen rather than someone else who was wearing a synthetically made sunscreen.
Overall it performed very well since I didn’t get a sun burn at all and only came back with a nice tan. I think it might also be worth noting that every surf trip I’ve been on (I’ve been on 7 surf trips altogether) I’ve gotten burned, except for this surf trip. Would I keep using this sunscreen? You betcha! Sure it’s different than the synthetic stuff most folks are accustomed to, but I found that it felt, smelled, and did its job better than any other sunscreen I’ve tried.
Like the sunscreen, the ClimbOn! Creme smelled very different from other lotions. To me, it smells citrusy rather than well, fake. Again, apply sparingly and don’t freak out when the creme comes out a yellowish golden color. That’s from the beeswax that’s actually beeswax and not synthetically made beeswax. Apply sparingly and unlike most cremes, it absorbed into my skin very quickly. I felt it on my skin, but I didn’t see it on my skin which was a HUGE plus.
Again,, I noticed that it seemed to attract unwanted bugs like the sunscreen did. Specifically it seemed to attract fruit flies which don’t bite, but are annoying as all get up as they’re buzzing by your face.
Being that my skin absorbed it really fast, I didn’t think it was very greasy like a lot of synthetically made lotions that you’re probably used to. Since it absorbs into my skin so fast I even put it to the test on my feet which got messed up by the hot sand and jagged rocks found hiding underneath the murky water. I get some cuts on my feet one day while I was surfing and rubbed some of this stuff on at night and by the morning they looked completely different. It looked like my skin was regenerating and healing faster than what I’m used to seeing and is really helpful in preventing infections.
I was really impressed by the ClimbOn! Creme and Mineral Sunscreen in El Salvador. The biggest cons that I found with these two products was that fruit flies were attracted to this stuff. Unfortunately it seems like that’s what you get when you use food grade products, but I think the effect on my skin trumps the cons I found. If given the choice between and synthetic sunscreen and lotion or the ClimbOn! Mineral Sunscreen and Creme, I’d pick the ClimbOn! products every time.
*I was given these products complimentary, but the views expressed are my own, as always