I`m sure that there are some of you who think about buying a sunblock lotion only when planing their vacation. Don`t feel bad about it, I was just like that up until few years ago when I started researching the devastating effect long-term sun exposure can have on your skin.
In the following text we are going to discuss some of these effects, talk more about why you should wear sunblock and suggest some of the best sunscreen for men currently available on the market.
Why You Should Use Sunblock?
Believe it or not, some researchers suggest that up to 90% of damage done to the skin can be attributed to sun damage! Not only that, it is estimated that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in men over 50 years of age! It is also the most common type of cancer in the US.
I don`t mean to scare you, but I feel obligated to point out some of these sobering facts so that you should take this matter seriously.
So, how can sunscreen help?
UVA and UVB Radiation
Sunscreen is proven to decrease the risk of skin cancer by protecting the skin from UVA and UVB radiation.
What is UV(ultra violet) radiation anyways? Well, it is a part of the light spectrum which travels from the Sun to us but is not visible to the naked eye. By penetrating the skin cells, it can damage the cellular DNA. These changes lead to cell mutations and eventually to skin cancer.
The best way to protect yourself from these rays is to avoid exposing yourself to direct sunlight, use proper clothing and, of course, apply appropriate sunscreen (source: skincancer.org)
Sunscreen will help protect your skin from discoloration and dark/brown spots. It will also help you get an even tone and avoid sunburn.
You might think that sunburn is not such a big deal, but if you develop more severe burns (when blisters appear on your skin), you are increasing your risk of developing melanoma.
It may seem odd that sunscreen can prevent premature aging of the skin but there is actual scientific data to back up these claims.
Few years ago a group of researchers set out to determine if regular use of sunscreen is beneficial in preventing skin aging, compared to placebo (Placebo is medically inefficient treatment aimed to deceive the patient).
After 4.5 years the sunscreen group showed no detectable increase in skin aging. Conclusion – regular sunblock cream slows down skin aging in healthy middle-aged men and women (source:Annals Of Internal Medicine).
How To Choose The Best Sunscreen For Men
There is more to it than just grabbing a sunscreen with the highest SPF (sun protection factor), because high SPF will only protect you from UVB rays. You need a cream which will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.
- Pick a cream with SPF of 15 and higher. Now, many people are mistaken about SPF value and don`t know what it means exactly. What it does is indicating the amount of time you will delay sunburn. For example, if you normally burn in 10 minutes, a SPF 15 cream will delay sunburn for 10min X 15 = 150min, so you will be protected for 150 minutes. These creams and lotions are usually quite sufficient for healthy individuals with no skin problems
- Look for ingredients which will protect you from UVA rays. There is no specific way to determine how well a cream will protect you from UVA rays, but you should pick one which contains at least one of the following ingredients:
- Titanium dioxide
- Sulisobenzone or
- Zinc oxide
- Pick a cream which is water resistant. If you plan on going for a swim, you should definitely buy a cream which is water resistant. Keep in mind that they are not water proof, meaning you will have to reapply them after you are out of water
- If you have problematic, sensitive or already damaged skin, you should buy kid`s cream, since it does not contain chemicals that would normally irritate the skin
Best Sunscreen Reviews
Finally! I hope I did not bore you to death up until this point but I felt like I needed to give you a bit of context, some facts and information which will help you pick the best sunscreen for men.
Now, using the criteria I outlined above, I am going to suggest some of the top sunscreen creams and lotions you can buy:
1. Neutrogena Men Sensitive Skin Oil Free Moisture
Nutrogena is an authority when it comes to skincare products and it comes as a no surprise it is out top recommendation.
This particular sunblock cream is specially designed for sensitive skin as it is oil and dye free. It has an SPF value of 30, which is awesome and if we look at the list of ingredients we will see that it contains titanium dioxide, so it offers solid protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
It is also one of the cheapest creams out there –
2. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Spray Sunscreen
Chances are you haven`t even heard of this product, but it is actually recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
It has an SPF value of 15, less than Neutrogena but as you read earlier (I hope) SPF 15 is quite sufficient for healthy individuals. It also contains Avobenzone, for full protection against harmful UV rays.
Keep in mind that this cream can be harder to find, since the manufacturer is not so well-known so your local supplier might charge more, compared to buying it from Amazon.com.
3. 3 In 1 Natural And Organic Sunscreen
This is a kid`s cream, but if you recall, I mentioned earlier that men with sensitive skin should use sunblock for kids since it contains the least amount of chemicals.
This is an organic sunscreen, paraben-free, without mineral oil or propylene glycol.
It offers sun protection equivalent to SPF value of 30 and contains both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide so it will ensure superb UV protection.
Also, I feel the need to point out two potential problems with this product:
- It`s more expansive than the previous two. Organic ingredients do require higher price
- It is advertised to repel insects but people had mixed results. Some were satisfied and mosquito bites free, while others say that it does not repel insects at all.
So it is up to you whether you want to give it a shot or not.