How to snorkel if you have a mustache or beard?

A good-fitting snorkeling mask should form a tight seal around the edge to keep water out, but those who have facial hair might experience that their mustache or beard prevents the seal from forming and water will leak in. This results in an uncomfortable, possibly dangerous situation since the snorkeler won’t have a clear vision underwater and needs to deal continuously with clearing the mask. Should you shave your facial hair off or is there any other solution to solve this issue? Here in this article, our experts tell you what to do if you want to go snorkeling with a mustache or beard!

Shave before snorkeling

Having a mustache or beard does not restrict you from exploring the underwater world, but not even the best snorkeling mask can seal completely if you have brushy facial hair that pushes the edge of the mask away from your face creating gaps where water will leak in.

A beard is not a problem in most cases, because it starts on the cheeks under the mask line, but you will probably have issues with your mustache. To prevent situations when the leaking water slowly fills your mask restricting your view, the simplest solution is if you shave your face before snorkeling so the silicone skirt of your mask can form a proper seal.

Clean shaven man snorkeling

With a clean-shaven face, you will eliminate the problem completely, but we understand that this might be a bit drastic if wearing a mustache is part of your image and you don’t want to get rid of it. We suggest taking just a little hair off first and test the seal. Maybe shortening your mustache will already solve the problem. If not, keep reading for more tips that might stop your mask from leaking before shaving your face clean!

Use silicone to create a seal

If you don’t have thick facial hair or your beard and mustache is trimmed tight, it is worth trying to create a greater seal between your face and mask with silicone grease. Put it on your mask edge before getting into the water; it will help to fill the gaps where your facial hair contacts your snorkeling mask’s edge.

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Make sure that the silicone is food-grade so it won’t cause any problem if it gets into your mouth. If you have, you can try first with your usual mustache and beard wax too, but the best is if you get the Trident Mask Seal Stick. Don’t use any petroleum-based products such as Vaseline because it can damage the silicone skirt of the mask.

Get a full face snorkeling mask

Men who’d like to go snorkeling with a mustache find full face snorkeling masks pretty comfortable. It covers the whole face, provides a great field of view, allows an easy breathing experience through both the mouth and nose, and most importantly, it seals in different places than a traditional mask so your mustache won’t affect the seal.

The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you cannot dive down in such masks since you can’t equalize the pressure when you descend. Also, before making a purchase, read the possible dangers of using a full-face snorkeling mask so you will be able to choose one that is safe to use.

Do full face snorkel masks work with a beard

Snorkeling masks that cover the whole face work well with a mustache, but with a beard too? Well, it depends on the size and shape of your beard.
The silicone skirt on full face masks runs around the jawline where your beard grows, therefore it can prevent a seal from forming if you have strong facial hair. If you have a wispy beard, it can work, so you might give it a try!

Use swimming goggles with a nose clip

Snorkeling with a mustache can be made easy if you use swimming goggles instead of a classic mask. This is a perfect solution if you have a thick beard and/or mustache since it won’t create seal problems because it contacts around your eyes. You don’t need to shave off any facial hair nor applying silicone.

Man with beard wearing swim goggles

However, there are some factors you need to pay attention to when choosing swimming googles. First, most are not comfortable over long periods. There are only a few models that have a good skirt and are like a typical snorkel mask just without the nose pocket, one of them is the Aqua Sphere Seal Goggle . Second, since swim googles won’t cover your nose, you will need a Swimming Nose Clip  too.

Finally, swimming goggles are not good for snorkeling if you’d like to dive down (freedive). With a traditional snorkel mask, you can equalize the pressure that starts to create a few feet down by blowing a little air through your nose. It is not possible with a swim goggle and you can cause serious injury to the eyes. There are special fluid googles, but they are expensive are used mainly by freedivers.

Conclusion

To answer the frequently asked question of if you can snorkel with a beard or mustache shortly is absolutely yes. However, since everyone’s facial hair is different, you might need to try different methods to find the most comfortable solution.

If you don’t mind, the simplest way to promote the best seal between your mask skirt and face if you shave off at least your mustache, but using silicone grease or trying different types of masks including full-face versions and swim goggles can also work.

Even though snorkeling with a beard and mustache can be tricky, there is always a way for everyone to enjoy marine life!

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Anett Szaszi

Anett is a certified scuba diver, freediver and an expert in snorkeling with more than 10 years experience. She fell in love with the ocean when she put her head underwater in the Red Sea in 2008. Since then , she is traveling all over the world to discover our waters. Wherever she goes, she takes her mask, fins and underwater camera with her. Visiting mega-cities is not her style but getting lost in tiny coastal villages, capturing the beauty of the sea while snorkeling. She is interested in sustainable traveling and marine conservation. She is hoping to inspire people to protect our oceans by sharing her underwater stories. Find her photos on @anett.szaszi Instagram too!