Mens Skin Care Healthy Skin Sunscreen Tips

You probably know you should protect yourself against the sun’s harmful rays–but do you know the right way to do it? Protecting your skin with sunscreen is not as simple as just throwing on some SPF before you leave the house. For true protection, you need to choose the proper sunscreen for your skin type, use the right level of SPF and reapply often.

Protecting your skin with sunblock can reduce your risk of skin cancer and the signs of premature aging.

Choosing a Sunblock

Sunscreens protect your skin from UV light emitted by the sun. When choosing the best sunscreen for your skin, consider the following:

  • Ingredients: Choose sunscreens that have titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which provide the best protection.
  • Protection against UVA and UVB rays: Wearing a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays will help protect your skin as much as possible.
  • Seal of recognition: The American Academy of Dermatology bestows their “SEAL OF RECOGNITION®” on sun-protection products that meet strict guidelines, including broad-spectrum protection, absence of phototoxicity and regulation with FDA guidelines. Look for this seal on the packaging of approved products.
  • SPF level: For best protection, choose an SPF of at least 15.
  • Water resistance: Sunscreens can’t be called waterproof anymore, because they do wash off in water. However, you can still look for products that are labeled as “water resistant,” if you’ll be sweating or swimming.

How to Wear Sunscreen

Once you’ve chosen a sunscreen, you’ll need to apply it properly and thoroughly. When wearing sunscreen:

  • Apply early: You should be applying sunscreen to dry skin 15 30 minutes before you go outside.
  • Reapply often: Lather on that sunscreen every two hours, or more if you’ve been sweating or in the water.
  • Use enough: The amount of sunscreen you use for your whole body should approximately fill a shot glass.
  • Cover your entire body: Men need to be especially aware of protecting a receding hairline or bald spot, as these areas will be particularly sensitive to burning.

Who Needs to Wear Sunscreen?

In short, everybody–fair skinned men aren’t the only ones who need to wear sunscreen. Even if you tan easily or have darker skin, the sun’s rays can still damage the DNA of your skin cells.

Men with very light skin or a history of skin cancer in the family, however, should be particularly cognizant of their sunscreen routine.

Resources

American Academy of Dermatology staff. (2010). Facts about sunscreens. Retrieved March 15, 2010, from the AAD Web site: http://www.aad.org/media/background/factsheets/fact_sunscreen.htm.

American Academy of Dermatology staff. (2010). AAD seal of recognition®. Retrieved March 15, 2010, from the AAD Web site: http://www.aad.org/Public/sun/seal/index.html.

Mayo Clinic staff. (2009). Sunburns. Retrieved January 8, 2009, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sunburn/DS00964.

Mayo Clinic staff. (2009). Sunscreen. Retrieved January 8, 2010, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sunscreen/SN00044.