Sunscreen Know-How

Above: What to know about sunscreen (Photo: Robert Kneschke)

Do you wear sunscreen on a daily basis? Be honest. Lots of men don’t. Whether it’s the golden Matthew McConaughey look you’re going for or simply laziness, know that you’re risking your health by going au naturel in the sun’s UV rays. The death rate for melanoma continues to rise in this country by 0.5 percent every year. Help stall and decrease that sad statistic by wearing SPF daily. Some updates in the world of sunscreen protection.

Play the field when it comes to sunscreen

Not all SPF products are the same so experiment with different ones until you find one you like and want to stick with. Most are no longer greasy (if that’s what’s kept you from wearing it, fear no more) and the telltale opaque white residue is less and less common (most brands micronize the particles so finely so that the sunscreen disappears into your skin). And nowadays, you have a wide variety of formats—from sprays and oils to lotion and gels—so you’re more likely to find one that you are comfortable putting on and wearing.

Wear at least SPF 30

It’s no longer SPF 15 that is recommended; talk to any dermatologist and they’re likely to recommend SPF 30. Even if your skin can tolerate SPF 15, remember that most people don’t apply enough sunscreen so they’re actually wearing a lower SPF than what’s on the bottle. Of course, though, if you’re fair skinned or have a history of skin cancer in the family, then you should opt for a higher SPF.

Be thorough when applying your SPF

Don’t forget spots that are often overlooked such as the part in your hair or your bald spot; the tops of your earlobes; and your back (get someone to apply your lotion for you, or this is a case when a spray format is advantageous as it’s easy to protect your back with a thorough spray yourself). There’s your lips, too—keep a lip balm featuring some SPF that you reapply regularly in your pocket at all times, or at your desk and in your car. If you have a beard, a light format of sunscreen, such as a gel, will manage to get through your hair and protect your skin.



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