Mens Skin Care Biology Environment

While one of the purposes of your skin is to protect you from the outside world, it is still very sensitive to environmental factors, such as sun and wind. Your personalized skin care regime should take this into consideration. Learn about melanin in skin, how wrinkles and other signs of aging can be signs of exposure to a harsh environment, and what you can do to protect your skin from these factors.

What is Melanin?

Melanin is a skin pigment that gives skin its color and protects it from the sun’s effects. Melanin in skin of a darker color provides a higher sun protection factor than in lighter skin. Higher melanin levels, however, won’t completely protect you from the effects of the sun. Regardless of your skin type and/or color, it’s very important to wear sunscreen.

How Skin Reacts to the Environment

When your skin is exposed to the environment, it responds to these outside influences by stimulating cells to react. Some of the most common environmental factors are the following:

  • Cold: During the cold winter months, the air contains less moisture, which can make skin extremely dry.
  • Pollution: Pollution can increase the appearance of blemishes and acne, as bacteria from pollution can clog pores.
  • Sunlight: Exposure to sunlight can cause wrinkles, sagging and sun spots. It can also be life threatening, as its rays can cause skin cancer.
  • Wind exposure: Exposure to the wind can dry the skin, and may even burn it in harsh conditions.

Skin Care and the Sun

If your skin care routine doesn’t already include sunscreen, it isn’t too late. For best protection, look for a sunscreen that:

  • Contains moisturizer if you have dry skin
  • Is fragrance-free if you skin is sensitive
  • Offers protection of at least SPF 15
  • Protects from both UVA and UVB rays (often with zinc oxide and titanium oxide).

Zinc oxide and titanium oxide reflect the sun’s UVA and UVB rays away from your skin. UVA rays mainly cause the appearance of aging, while UVB rays cause sunburn and skin cancer.

Men’s Skin Care and the Sun

It’s very important to use sunscreen even if your clothing is covering your skin: Not all clothing protects from the sun’s rays. Following are some important statistics regarding men and sun damage, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation:

  • Melanoma (a serious type of skin cancer) has an increasing mortality rate in men.
  • Men are less likely than women to conduct monthly self skin exams.
  • Men spend more time outdoors than women, increasing their exposure to sunlight.
  • Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in men over the age of 50.

Resources

Ask Men Staff. (n.d.) Get better skin in 5 steps. Retrieved December 19, 2009, from the Ask Men Web site: http://www.askmen.com/grooming/appearance/2_get-better-skin-in-5-steps.html.

Dohney, K. (2008). 8 burning questions about sunscreen. Retrieved December 19, 2009, from the Environmental Working Group Web site: http://www.ewg.org/node/26834.

The Skin Cancer Foundation Staff. (2009). Skin cancer statistics for men. Retrieved December 19, 2009, from the Skincancer.org Web site: http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-stats-for-men.html.

The Skin Cancer Foundation Staff. (2009). Skin cancer facts. Retrieved December 19, 2009, from the Skincancer.org Web site: http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-facts/.