Summer is fast approaching, which means that swimming competitions and beach parties will be the order of the day.
Whether you will be participating in those activities or not, at some point, you will be spending time outside where you will be exposed to the sun.
While the sun may feel great, especially after a cold season, too much of it can cause incredible damage to the skin or worse skin cancer.
- Top 5 Men’s Sunscreens (Summary)
- 21 Best Men’s Sunscreens Tested
- 1. EltaMD
- 2. Eucerin
- 3. Neutrogena Sport
- 4. Nivea Men Energy
- 5. Sun Bum
- 6. La Roche-Posay Anthelios
- 7. Banana Boat Dry Balance
- 8. Jack Black Sun Guard
- 9. Thrive Natural Care
- 10. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer
- 11. Art of Sport Skin Armor
- 12. Clinique
- 13. Jacket
- 14. Banana Boat
- 15. Magiclear
- 16. Cardon
- 17. SolRX
- 18. Profile Defend
- 19. Aritaum IOPE
- 20. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate
- 21. Beauty by Earth
- What Is Men’s Sunscreen
- Benefits of Using Men’s Sunscreen
- How Does a Men’s Sunscreen Work
- Types of Sunscreens
- Ingredients to Look for in Men’s Sunscreen
- Ingredients to Avoid in Men’s Sunscreen
- How to Choose the Best Men’s Sunscreen
- How to Apply Men’s Sunscreen
- Spray vs Cream
- Understanding Sunscreen Ratings
- Do’s and Don’ts With Men’s Sunscreen
- Does More Spending Mean More Quality
- FAQ About Men’s Sunscreen
- What is the difference between sunblock and sunscreen?
- Can sunscreen damage your skin?
- Can you put on too much sunscreen?
- How long can you be in the sun without sunscreen?
- Do you tan better with sunscreen?
- How long should I go before reapplying sunscreen?
- Can I use facial moisturizer/other lotion with my sunscreen?
- How much sunscreen should I apply?
- Where can I apply sunscreen safely?
- Should I shower after having been rubbing sunscreen all day?
- 21 Best Men’s Sunscreens Tested
Top 5 Men’s Sunscreens (Summary)
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For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.
Sunburns are the most common and while most men don’t take male grooming seriously, the summer is the time to re-think your decision.
A red skin that is peeling due to too much exposure in the sun will not be winning you any awards I can assure you.
As such, it is very important that you invest in sunscreen and the best conditioner for men. Sunscreen is meant to form a protective shield over the skin, which protects you from the harmful radiation that emanates from the sun so that you can enjoy its warmth and radiance.
Getting a good sunscreen goes beyond just picking something off the shelves of your local drug store. With so many brands, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, but that is why such guides exist.
21 Best Men’s Sunscreens Tested
EltaMD Sunscreen is formulated with properties that provide protection from UV rays and infrared radiation. It is also made to hydrate the skin and boost the retention of moisture.
It is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains hyaluronic acid and 9.0% transparent zinc oxide. These ingredients help to keep the skin smooth and soft.
It helps to reverse premature aging signs and also reduces the appearance of wrinkles. The product is easy to apply on the skin and gets absorbed easily without leaving a greasy residue.
It is suitable for use for all skin types, even sensitive skin. The sunscreen provides adequate protection from the negative effects of the sun on the skin.
- Keeps the skin hydrated
- Gets absorbed easily without leaving residue on the skin
- Helps to reverse signs of premature aging
- Liable to cause an adverse reaction on the sensitive skin
Eucerin is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides daily protection from UVA and UVB rays. It is an SPF 30 and lightweight lotion that has optimum sun-blocking properties.
It contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which protect the skin from sunburn and prevent sun damage in the long term. It is non-comedogenic as it does not clog up the pores.
It can keep the skin moisturized for a long while, gets absorbed quickly and does not leave an oily or greasy residue.
It is designed to work gently on sensitive skin. It does not contain any artificial fragrance and it is easy to use.
- Provides optimum sun protection
- Keeps the skin moisturized
- Does not clog up the pores
- Might leave a whitish residue on the skin
Neutrogena Sport Sunscreen is a broad-spectrum lotion with SPF 70+. It is designed to stay on during vigorous activity and can hold up to sweating and rubbing.
The product is sweatproof and waterproof, so you can carry out water-based activities without having to worry about reapplication. It can help to reduce the risk of skin cancer and other adverse effects of sun exposure, such as premature aging.
It contains Helioplex, which is a unique technology that provides sun protection. It also contains an electrolyte complex that provides nourishment and also helps to restore the pH balance of the skin.
It is an oil-free sunscreen that will not clog up the pores. It gets absorbed into the skin easily and is PABA-free.
- Can stay on during vigorous activities as it is sweatproof and waterproof
- Helps to keep the skin nourished
- Oil-free and non-comedogenic
- Might cause a burning sensation when the face gets sweaty
Nivea Men Energy is formulated with properties that help to nourish and moisturize the skin. It helps to revitalize the skin, giving it a younger and smoother look.
It has ingredients that help to replenish coenzyme Q10 in the skin. Therefore, it helps to maintain youthfulness and elasticity.
The broad-spectrum sunscreen helps to protect the skin from UV rays that can have harmful effects on the skin. It also helps to prevent sunburn.
The item has a fragrance that is light and non-overpowering. It is a fast-absorbing lotion that has moisturizing properties.
- Helps to revitalize the skin
- Provides effective sun protection
- Has moisturizing properties
- Might leave an oily residue on the skin
Sun Bum Sunscreen is an SPF 30 broad-spectrum product that helps to block a fair amount of UV rays. It is an oil-free and water-resistant sunscreen that provides adequate protection from skin damage and sunburn.
It contains vitamin E, which is an antioxidant and helps to prevent premature aging. It also acts as a moisturizer, thereby keeping the skin hydrated.
The sunscreen can be used on sensitive skin. It does not contain allergy-causing agents and works gently on the skin.
It does not contain harmful chemicals and it is cruelty-free. It penetrates into the skin easily without leaving residue.
- Can help to prevent premature aging
- Does not contain harmful chemicals
- Might cause excess oil production in hot weather conditions
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen is SPF 60 product that is designed for oily skin. It is water-resistant and suitable for sensitive skin.
It is formulated with a unique Cell-OX Shield technology that uses a combination of physical sun filters and an antioxidant complex to provide protection from UV rays.
The product helps to reduce shine and oil production significantly, even during warm weather and extreme humidity. It contains an anti-shine complex that helps to absorb oil, thereby keeping the pores unclogged.
It is a dry-touch lotion that has minimal risk of causing breakouts. The sunscreen is oil-free and designed for optimal skin tolerance.
- Helps to reduce shine and oil production
- Contains ingredients that can absorb oil
- Might leave a white film on the skin after application
Banana Boat Dry Balance Sunscreen is a product that was formulated to stay on the skin under extreme weather conditions. It is a safe product that provides broad-spectrum of UVA and UVB protection.
The SPF 50+ product helps to absorb excess moisture, thereby leaving a matte finish. It has water-resistant properties that can last for up to 80 minutes.
It gets absorbed without leaving a greasy or sticky feel on the skin. It keeps the skin dry and allows the pores to breathe.
It is suitable for all skin types and doesn’t cause harmful reactions or breakouts on the skin.
- Helps to absorb excess moisture
- Adheres to the skin during strenuous activities
- Might contain ingredients that cause allergies
Jack Black Sun Guard Sunscreen is a product that serves as a barrier against damage from UVA and UVB rays. It forms a barrier of SPF 45 and stays in place during vigorous physical activities.
It contains vitamins and other ingredients that help to nourish the skin. The product is water-resistant and sweatproof.
It is an oil-free product that does not run off the skin. The sunscreen can provide protection for up to 60 minutes.
It gets absorbed into the skin easily without leaving a heavy or sticky feel. It does not have irritating or inflammatory effects on the skin.
- Has a thick consistency which might clog the pores
Thrive Natural Care Sunscreen has moisturizing properties and keeps the skin well hydrated. The broad-spectrum product revitalizes and nourishes the skin, giving a clearer and smoother look.
The formula is infused with antioxidants that help to repair skin damage. The product does not leave a white residue and is fast-absorbing. It is non-greasy, non-sticky and oil-free.
It is mostly composed of natural ingredients which help to reduce inflammation and irritation of the skin. It does not contain synthetic fragrances and ingredients.
It has anti-bacterial and antifungal properties that provide adequate protection for the skin. It helps to improve skin balance and reduce the negative effects of environmental conditions.
- Contains ingredients that help to repair skin damage
- Anti-bacterial and antifungal properties
- Does not contain synthetic ingredients
- Might look flaky on the skin after application
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen lotion provides strong sun protection without leaving a heavy feel. It can be used on the face and body as it is suitable for all types of skin.
The broad spectrum lotion is infused with Dry-Touch technology that allows the product to get absorbed quickly for a light and clean finish. It also contains Helioplex technology that protects the skin from UV rays.
The SPF 85 product can stay on in water-based activities for up to 80 minutes. It is a non-greasy formula that is non-comedogenic and PABA-free.
It helps to reduce the risk of skin cancer and skin damage. It works gently on the skin without adverse effects.
- Infused with unique formulations that offer optimum protection
- Can be used on sensitive skin
- Non-greasy and non-comedogenic
- Might have a very strong fragrance
Art of Sport Skin Armor Sunscreen hydrates the skin and protects it from sun rays and prevents skin dryness due to sweat.
It rubs into the skin easily and gets absorbed without leaving excess moisture. A non-slip formula does not have a greasy feel.
Formulated with materials that will enrich the skin and restore the vitality of the ski, this item does not contain oil and synthetic fragrance.
It is free from parabens, alcohol and dioxane and provides up to 80 minutes of water resistance.
- Prevents the skin from getting excessively dry
- Does not leave a greasy finish on the skin
- Might not be reef safe
Clinique Sunscreen is designed to provide powerful protection from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB on the skin. It can be safely adapted as part of the sun protection regimen for men with different types of skin.
The SPF 21 lotion can be applied on the face and neck to provide an adequate barrier. The product is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has optimum moisturizing properties.
It is suitable for daily use as it works consistently while keeping the skin hydrated. It helps to improve the condition of the skin and reverse the effects of sun exposure.
The lightweight formula does not feel heavy on the skin. It gets absorbed quickly without causing excess oil production.
- Sunblocking and moisturizing effects
- Helps to improve the skin condition
- Gets absorbed quickly
- Might leave a stain on clothing after use
Jacket Sunscreen is a water-resistant SPF 50+ product that effectively blocks UV rays. It stays on the face and body during strenuous physical activities that produce sweat.
The formula is composed mostly of natural ingredients such as cucumber extract, green tea and sunflower oil, among others. It also contains vitamin C and E that help to reduce wrinkles and soothe the skin.
Antioxidants protect the skin from free radicals that can cause damage. It also helps to lighten the age spots, which are mostly caused by sunlight.
It can help to reduce puffiness around the eyes and soothes irritated skin. The skin absorbs it without leaving white or flaky residue.
- Contains various natural ingredients that provide optimum skin protection
- Helps to soothe inflamed skin
- Helps to lighten sun damage spots on the skin
- Might cause eye irritation
Banana Boat Sunscreen is formulated to provide triple benefits and improve men’s skincare routine. It is an SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen that works excellently on all skin types.
It contains various ingredients, one of which is an odor neutralizer. This eliminates bad odor and keeps you smelling fresh all day long. It is infused with a manly scent that lingers on the skin for a long time.
It is formulated with active protect technology, which ensures adequate protection even as the sun rays increase in intensity.
This item keeps the skin smooth and free from sunburn and other damages that can be caused by excessive sun exposure.
- Helps to eliminate bad odor for long term freshness
- Protects the skin from adverse effects of sun exposure
- Keeps the skin dry with a clean smell
- Smell might be unpleasant
Magiclear Sunscreen is a luxury product that serves as a sufficient barrier between the skin and the sun. With SPF 50+, it can block a high majority of UVA and UVB rays.
It is a lightweight sunscreen that can be used for oily, dry and combination skin. This sunscreen can be used by both young and old without resulting in adverse reactions.
It helps to prevent premature aging due to sunlight and hyperpigmentation of the skin and helps to slow the aging process by reducing wrinkles and lines.
The product can be used as a base for normal skincare and beauty regimen. It contains organic ingredients that help to improve the health of the skin.
- Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and lines
- Can be used as part of a skincare regimen
- Suitable for children and adults
- Might roll up or cause flakes after application
Cardon Sunscreen is a 2-in-1 product that is designed to make the skin as healthy as possible. It is a broad-spectrum lotion with SPF 30 and suitable for everyday use.
It provides a combination of powerful sun protection and intense hydration for supple skin. The formula is water-based and light on the skin. It gets absorbed easily without clogging the pores.
The sunscreen contains cactus extract, which helps to soothe and nourish the skin. It is a reef-friendly product that does not contain silicone or sulfate. It is cruelty-free and can be used on all skin types, even on skin that is prone to acne.
It helps to prevent sun damage and reduce the risk of skin cancer. With the use of this item, your skin will remain cool and refreshed without leaving a greasy feel.
- Provides adequate hydration
- Can be used daily
- Reef-safe and free from paraben, silicone and sulfate
- Might cause peeling or flaking of the skin
SolRX Sunscreen is made specifically for athletes and people who carry out highly intensive physical activities outdoors. It is infused with properties that lock moisture in the skin and prevent it from drying out.
It contains naturally derived grain alcohol that helps to keep the skin hydrated while protecting it from the harsh sun rays. It is also an anti-aging formula that helps to lighten spots of sun damage.
There are no artificial fragrances and it does not include paraben. The oil-free product does not leave grease on the skin, thereby having minimal risk of running off the face and into the eyes during excessive sweating.
The SPF 50 dry spray product can withstand sweat and water for up to 2 hours. It contains reef-friendly products and is easy to apply.
- Offers optimum protection and hydration
- Oil-free and paraben-free
- Has anti-aging properties
- Might not get absorbed into the skin quickly
Profile Defend Sunscreen is formulated to provide optimum protection for men’s skin. The product can be used by men of any age, any skin type.
It contains aquaxyland peptides, which help to reduce the depth of wrinkles and smooth the expression lines. The hyaluronic acid binds moisture to the skin, thereby making it healthy and supple.
This fast-absorbing product provides balanced hydration. It is an oil-free product that leaves a matte finish after application.
The SPF 15 sunscreen contains vitamins and nutrients that help to lighten dark spots and other effects of sun rays. It does not leave a sticky or white residue on the skin.
- Helps to reduce wrinkles, dark spots and lines
- Fast-absorbing product with a matte finish
- Helps to nourish and hydrate the skin
- Might cause slight irritation when applied on sensitive skin
Aritaum IOPEis designed to be compatible with men’s skin. It serves as a shield from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.
The SPF 50+ adheres firmly to the skin and stays on during strenuous and water-based activities. It has a non-sticky consistency and leaves the skin feeling refreshed at all times.
The product helps to revitalize the skin and repair damage caused by sunlight. It boosts and improves the state of the skin, making it look fresh and healthy.
It helps to lock moisture into the pores and keeps the skin sufficiently hydrated. It does not contain oil or harmful chemicals.
- Keeps the skin refreshed and hydrated
- Helps to improve the health of the skin
- Does not feel sticky on the skin
- Might cause the skin to peel after use
Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen provides protection and hydration throughout the day. It keeps the skin soft, smooth and healthy, regardless of the amount of time spent in the sun.
With a combination of Enviroguard technology and active naturals colloidal oatmeal, the product keeps the skin moisturized and helps to relieve dry and irritated skin. It attracts moisture to the skin and keeps it sealed in for adequate hydration.
It is made to be sweatproof and water-resistant for more than one hour. The item protects the skin from sunburn and the harmful effects of the sun, such as premature aging.
The sunscreen is oil-free and non-comedogenic, ensuring that your pores remain unclogged. It is a fast-absorbing SPF 70 product that provides broad-spectrum protection.
- Protects and hydrates the skin
- Stays resistant to sweat and water for a long time
- Helps to relieve dry or itchy skin
- Might separate on the skin and form lumps
Beauty by Earth Sunscreen is a non-toxic product that forms a barrier against the harmful effects of the sun. The broad-spectrum SPF 20 product acts as a line of defense against skin damage and skin cancer.
It works with gentle action and contains no harmful chemicals. This makes it suitable for children and adults. The sunscreen sits on the skin to form a barrier instead of penetrating into the body system.
It contains zinc oxide, vitamin E, green tea extract and other organic supplements that help to nourish the skin. It also provides sufficient moisture to the skin to reduce dryness.
It is easy to apply and does not leave white or chalky streaks on the skin. It does not clog the pores, thereby minimizing the risk of acne and skin breakouts.
- Acts as a barrier against harmful sun rays
- Contains organic ingredients that help to boost the health of the skin
- Draws adequate moisture to the skin to prevent dryness
- Has a thick consistency that might feel uncomfortable on the skin
What Is Men’s Sunscreen
Whether you are packing up to spend a day at the beach or are just heading out on a sunny day, a good sunscreen is important to keep your skin not only safe but healthy.
While you probably hate the idea of going out looking like you are all lathered up, you don’t want to experience sunburns at all because they are no laughing matter.
If you are spending a lot of time outdoors this summer, you need to get a lightweight and moisturizing sunscreen that will not leave greasy streaks all over your face and body. Sunscreen, in this case, exists as a lotion, gel, spray, foam or stick and it is used to block the sun’s UV radiation so as to protect your skin against sunburn.
Diligent use of sunscreen has also been shown to slow down aging by preventing the development of wrinkles, sagging skin and dark spots, but you could also use anti-aging cream to rejuvenate your skin.
Depending on the action mode, sunscreen can be classified in different categories from physical sunscreen that stays on the skin’s surface and deflects the sunlight to chemical sunscreens that are used to absorb the UV light.
Benefits of Using Men’s Sunscreen
Just like quality hand cream can make your hands very soft, there are a few benefits of men’s sunscreen that you cannot afford to ignore.
Helps Maintain an Even Complexion
One of the main reasons why you should use sunscreen is that it keeps your complexion even. Sun damage is the main cause of uneven tones and a premium face moisturizer can help prevent those effects.
One of the notable benefits of using sunscreen is that it helps protect your skin against the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Sunscreens work by minimizing the penetration of UV rays that can trigger a number of skin conditions.
Without even realizing it, mild sunburns can have damaging effects, which is why you need to wear sunscreen whenever you are spending a considerable amount of time outside.
Protects Against Premature Aging
Everybody wants to have that youthful and radiant skin, but overexposure to the sun can ruin all that. This exposure ends up increasing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the skin, which can make you look old.
Sunscreen helps protect against these harmful effects of premature skin aging. When you are applying sunscreen, always address the fine lines and wrinkles with an eye cream, ensuring that you wash your face every morning.
Reduces Cancer Risk
Overexposure to the sun can cause all manner of skin problems, including skin cancer in the long run. Sunscreen helps reduce the risks of a number of skin cancers, including melanoma.
This type of cancer is very aggressive and can be life-threatening, especially to young women in their 20s. If you want to prevent this, you need to apply sunscreen daily for increased protection.
Promotes a Healthy Skin
All skincare products should be gentle and overall, the skin will always be healthy when you use sunscreen appropriately. At the end of the day, you would rather not need that sunscreen than be out and realize that you need it.
Proteins like keratin that are essential to the body are protected when you use sunscreen. Such proteins are what keeps the skin smooth and healthy both in terms of functionality and appearance.
How Does a Men’s Sunscreen Work
Normally, UV radiation tends to have a shorter wavelength than visible light and as it happens, most of the energy that the sun emits is in the form of UV. However, the ozone layer does a good job of filtering out most of this radiation before it reaches us.
Without the ozone layer, UV is usually a hazard to astronauts. If their skin were to be exposed to this type of radiation, they would burn in a matter of seconds.
Down here, it is also important that you take every precaution to protect yourself from UV radiation that may not be filtered out by the ozone layer since this is what ends up causing sunburns and other permanent damage to your eyes and skin.
How much UV radiation you are exposed to when you are outside depends on a variety of factors that include your proximity to the equator, time of day, season, altitude and how cloudy the sky is.
The UV radiation can be divided into different categories according to the wavelengths. UV-B is what is responsible for sunburns and UVAs are responsible for more long term skin damage. Fortunately, sunscreen exists for this reason.
Sunscreen works by filtering out the radiation using a combination of two active ingredients. Inorganic particles like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide usually form a barrier that reflects UV waves.
Organic particles, on the other hand, absorb UV rays releasing their energy in the form of heat. In the past, light-reflecting compounds meant that sunscreens were not easily distinguished from white paint.
Today, however, thanks to nanotechnology, it is possible to produce clear sunscreens that still fend off UV rays as effectively.
They contain the same ingredients as the traditional ones, but the inorganic particles are usually too small to see.
Types of Sunscreens
There are two different types of sunscreen; body and face sunscreen and the debate has always been whether the two can be used interchangeably and the answer is no.
As a man, the chances are that you like using one lotion bottle for a full body moisturizing, but the face and body sunscreens are designed for specific needs.
Face sunscreen, just like beard oil, is formulated such that it is lightweight, non-comedogenic, which means that it doesn’t clog pores and is easily absorbed.
This sunscreen offers the same protection as the body versions. Manufacturers make them, however, with the intention of decreasing sensitivity and not triggering any kind of breakouts, especially because facial skin is more sensitive.
Most experts recommend not using body sunscreen on the face, especially the dry-touch spays since these are loaded with alcohol and can dry out the face quickly.
Body sunscreens, unlike the facial ones, are thicker, solid in terms of bigger volume and most of them are comedogenic, which means that they allow pollutants and dust to clog on the skin until you wash them off.
But what about sunscreen that is marketed safe for use on both the face and the body? Most of the ingredients that are used in such sunscreens are found in both categories, which is a good sign.
Ingredients to Look for in Men’s Sunscreen
One of the most important things that you should consider when you are buying sunscreen, whether for the body or face, is the ingredients that are used.
The active ingredients found in any sunscreen can affect its defensive capability and not to mention the texture of the product.
Benzophenones usually have broad-spectrum protection. What this means is that sunscreens that have these ingredients do a good job of blocking a majority of the sun’s rays.
Naturally, sunscreen that can protect your skin from most of the radiation is the perfect example of an excellent formula.
There is one type of benzophenone that you need to avoid, however, and its oxybenzone. This is because it has been known to damage reefs as well as other ocean life if you are an environmental protection enthusiast.
This is also classified as a broad spectrum protective ingredient in sunscreen. A combination of these and benzophenones is what prevents sunburns as well as skin cancer due to exposure to UVB rays.
This is an important ingredient that you should look for when you are buying sunscreen. Zinc oxide reflects the sun rays away from the skin rather than absorbing them and harming the skin.
If you have sensitive skin; therefore, it means that sunscreen with zinc oxide will work perfectly for you.
Ecamsule is a recently approved compound that has been shown to block UVA rays. UVA is what was responsible for the wrinkled and leathery look that most people would have after years of sunbathing.
Ecamsule has been available in Europe for more than two decades but only recently got FDA approved in the US.
Ingredients to Avoid in Men’s Sunscreen
Obviously, not every sunscreen on the market is formulated with all the ingredients mentioned above, but you are likely to find those that have two or more ingredients.
Such creams and lotions, when combined, give your skin the nourishment and protection you need to not only beat premature aging but skin conditions that may cause real problems in the future.
There are, however, other ingredients that you should stay away from, especially those found in lower-tier sunscreens, because such ingredients may end up harming the skin rather than protecting it.
Avobenzone is an ingredient that is found in sunscreens that are meant to offer protection from not only UVA but UVB rays as well.
Of all the ingredients found in sunscreens, avobenzone is the least offender, so what makes it bad for you?
For one, avobenzone breaks down quickly when one is exposed to the sun and will usually just offer about 30 minutes of protection and since UV rays do the damage deep within the skin layers, the chances are that you won’t notice this damage until years later.
Since most companies have to use avobenzone in their sunscreens, they have to combine it with other ingredients so that it can last for more than 30 minutes.
Sunscreens containing avobenzone have also been shown to cause skin allergies and irritations that include acne and rashes.
The ingredient also causes hormonal disruption and is even more toxic when it’s exposed to chlorine.
In a majority of countries, avobenzone is combined with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, but this combination is restricted in the US. The FDA, however, deems the ingredient safe in concentrations not exceeding three percent.
Cinoxate is usually a slightly yellow liquid that is used in the formulation of sun protection products.
When applied to the skin, cinoxate absorbs UV radiation that is responsible for sunburns, premature skin aging and development of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.
It can also be used in skincare products to prevent them from deteriorating by absorbing UV rays.
While sunscreens are usually meant to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays, cinoxate has been shown to cause skin sensitivity over time.
Dioxybenzone, also known as benzophenone-8, is usually an organic compound that is derived from Benzophenone and is used as an ingredient in sunscreens.
It works by absorbing UV-B and UV-AII rays and has been approved for use in sunscreens in concentrations of up to three percent.
Over time, this compound has been shown to cause skin toxicity, hence why you need to avoid sunscreens that have this product.
Homosalate is another common ingredient in sunscreens that are limited to less than 10 percent per formulation for health reasons by the FDA.
It is meant to be a UV absorber that helps the other ingredients to penetrate the skin. However, it accumulates in the body much faster than it is eliminated and hence can disrupt hormones.
Oxybenzone and Octinoxate
This is a commonly used UV filter that has been approved for use in sunscreens. It is usually absorbed through the skin and over time has been found in blood, urine as well as breast milk proving that it is systemically absorbed.
The problem with oxybenzone and octinoxate is that they are endocrine disruptors that mimic hormones.
They are also listed as direct causes of coral bleaching; hence there is a strong cause to avoid sunscreens that have these ingredients.
This is an ingredient that is commonly used as a dye so as to absorb UVB rays. Over time it has been linked to allergic reactions as well as staining of clothes.
Parabens, which include benzyl paraben, propylparaben, methylparaben as well as butylparaben, are used to prevent bacteria, yeast and mold growth in cosmetic products like lotions, sunscreens and shampoos.
These ingredients, however, mimic estrogen, which is a known cause of breast cancer and not to mention, can mimic other hormones in the body.
The good news is that a lot of brands have recognized these concerns and will usually label products as “paraben-free.”
How to Choose the Best Men’s Sunscreen
When you are buying sunscreen, you will have so many options to choose from that you may feel overwhelmed.
Luckily that won’t be a problem when you understand the factors that you need to consider in a sunscreen.
Ingredients are a very integral part of any sunscreen since they affect the defensive capability of the product and the overall texture.
For maximum protection against UV rays, the sunscreen you buy should contain certain key ingredients.
The first ingredient is ecamsule, which is a recently approved ingredient that is used to block UV rays responsible for premature skin aging.
Another ingredient that you need to look out for is avobenzone, which is also a UV blocker and finally titanium dioxide.
Titanium dioxide has been used in sunscreen products for decades and is meant to block the harmful UV rays.
Your skin type determines how vulnerable you are to sunburn and skin cancer. For instance, people with pale skin are at higher risk of their skin being damaged or developing skin cancer from daily exposure.
If you have dry skin also, the last thing you want to buy is a sunscreen that dries your skin further since this can cause additional damage that may not be related to sun exposure.
Dry sin is common in a lot of people, especially as we get older. If you have such a skin, you need to get a sunscreen that has moisturizing qualities and components like antioxidants and hyaluronic acid to counteract the drying effects that sunscreen may cause.
You could also go for a sunscreen that doesn’t have any drying components on the bottle.
A majority of sunscreens are marked for sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, go for a sunscreen that has zinc oxide and titanium oxide since these tend to reflect the rays of the sun rather than absorbing them.
They help protect the skin from the harmful UV rays without causing any irritation.
Oil skin is much more common in young people and those who are prone to acne breakouts. Different sunscreens have ingredients that are meant to reduce oil on the skin so as to prevent acne breakout.
You could also buy non-comedogenic sunscreens as these are particularly meant to prevent acne breakouts and oily skin.
Additionally, sunscreens that are thinner are better for those with oily skin since lightweight compounds have fewer chances of clogging the pores, which is the major cause of oily skin.
Those who have pale skin should be more concerned about the sunscreen they get. If you have pale skin, it means you are at a higher risk of the sun burning and developing other serious conditions like skin cancer.
Your main area of concern, therefore, should be SPF, in which case you need to get a sunscreen that has an SPF rating of around 20 or higher.
If you have normal skin or a combination of the above factors, you should be able to use any good sunscreen with a broad spectrum of SPF rating of above 15.
Not all sunscreens in the market are broad-spectrum, which is why it’s important that you look for it on the label.
Broad-spectrum sunscreen usually provides more protection against UV rays. There are two types of UV radiation that you need to protect yourself from – UVA and UVB.
Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both kinds of radiation by providing a barrier that either absorbs or reflects the radiation before it can cause any damage to the skin.
Sunscreens that are not broad-spectrum or those that lack SPF of at least 15 need to have a warning on the label.
Facial skin requires constant hydration and as such, you need to buy sunscreen that has healthy oils, lanolin and hyaluronic acid so as to boost the skin’s moisture.
SPF rating is known as the Sun Protection Factor and it denotes just how effective the sunscreen is in preventing any sunburn. There are some people that suggest that to know how long a sunscreen will be effective that you should take the rating and multiply it by ten.
As such, for a sunscreen that has SPF 15, then that should allow you to be exposed to the sun for 150 minutes without experiencing any sunburn.
This is, however, a dangerous fallacy due to the nature of the SPF rating. For example, SPF 30 doesn’t necessarily mean that it is stronger than SPF 15. Instead, SPF 15 is likely to block out about 94 percent of UV rays, while SPF 30 blocks about 97 percent.
The reason why the calculation should be taken with healthy skepticism is that it means that with SPF 50, you should be able to sit in the sun for more than 8 hours without being burned.
Well, this is neither the case. Factors that determine how fast you will burn to include the time of the day, your proximity to the equator, hydration levels and your skin type.
This is a crucial factor to consider when you are buying sunscreen. If you live near the equator or a place that tends to get a lot of sun, you are likely to apply sunscreen more often.
In such a case, find a product that has more sunscreen in the bottle and a higher SPF rating. If you live far south or north and don’t get as much sun, you can get less sunscreen or one that has a lower SPF rating.
Even so, it is not recommended to go below SPF 15 since this is considered the minimum rating for adequate protection.
Water and Sweat Resistance
When it comes to sunscreen, there are some that hold up better than others. If you are planning on spending the day on the beach or swimming pool, then you need a sunscreen that is water-resistant.
FDA classification system for waterproof sunscreen suggests that sunscreen is only water-resistant if it can retain effectiveness for up to 40 minutes when you are in the water.
If it remains effective for more than 80 minutes, then it is classified as ‘very water-resistant.’ The fact of the matter, however, is that, regardless of how effective your sunscreen is when you are in the water, you still need to re-apply it when you come out of the water.
Today more than ever, the coral reefs are under assault from climate change, rising acidity levels in the oceans, erosion and plastic refuse.
As it turns out, however, they are also subjected to unexpected assault from chemicals that are found in sunscreens.
It is estimated that over 6,000 tons of sunscreen wash off the bodies of swimmers and divers every year, which end up on the coral reefs.
Much of this sunscreen contains chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which contribute to coral bleaching leaving the sensitive coral open to infections.
These chemicals also cause DNA damage to coral, leading to growth abnormalities. Most sunscreen manufacturers have started eliminating these chemicals from their products and some beach-oriented locales have banned the sale of sunscreens that contain these chemicals.
The amount of sunscreen in the bottle contributes to the value for money of the product. If you live in an area that gets lots of sun and will be using a lot of sunscreens, you need to buy more.
Pay attention to the ounces that are advertised so as to find your optimal sunscreen to avoid the case where you end up paying so much for a small bottle when you could buy a bigger one and spend less.
A majority of sunscreens have strong scents. While most people are used to the standard smell of sunscreen, you can still look for a sunscreen that is not as pungent.
There are varieties that exist as long as you know where to look. If you can’t stand the smell of sunscreen or want to wear other scented products, then you can go with a non-scented sunscreen.
Non-comedogenic means that the sunscreen will not clog your pores. Clogged pores are the cause of acne breakouts as well as oily skin. As such, if you suffer from any of the conditions, you need to find a sunscreen that is rated as non-comedogenic.
Thinner sunscreens also tend to be non-comedogenic. Additionally, go for water-based products rather than oil-based ones.
Humidity, heat and sunlight all undermine the chemical makeup of any sunscreen. As such, if your sunscreen is to retain effectiveness, you need to store it properly.
Store your sunblock in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight like in a closet or dresser drawer.
With this in mind, if you go to a store and find sunscreen on a rack that is receiving direct sunlight, you might want to find another shop.
How to Apply Men’s Sunscreen
Step 1 – Shake Well
Shake well before so as to mix the particles that might be clumped up in the bottle.
Step 2 – Apply Enough
Always ensure that you apply enough sunscreen. To be on the safe side, apply a handful so as to cover the entire body.
Step 3 – Use on All Exposed Areas
Apply sunscreen on all exposed areas include the ears, shoulders, back and back of knees and legs.
Step 4 – Apply Thickly
Apply sunscreen thickly and thoroughly and be very careful when applying around the eyes. You could also hydrate your skin with a facial mask.
Spray vs Cream
When it comes to sunscreen, the debate has always been whether to buy the cream or spray one.
There is no difference in protection you will get from both sunscreens as long as you apply correctly just like you would keep natural hair look with cream or how sea salt spray can have an amazing hold on the hair.
The fact, however, is that spray sunscreens are much harder to apply since wind and other factors can get in the way.
When applying, you might miss out on some spots leaving your skin vulnerable to sunburn since it’s hard to know how much you should use.
With cream sunscreen, however, it is very easy to measure how much you should apply and to judge whether you are applying everywhere.
As such, while there are people who love spray sunscreens in which case, they certainly do the job when applied correctly, to be absolutely sure, you are better off sticking to cream sunscreen.
Understanding Sunscreen Ratings
When you are buying sunscreen, the chances are that you have seen things like SPF 30 or SPF 15. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and it’s the rating that is used to determine just how much protection you will be getting from the sunscreen you are going to buy.
SPF 15, for instance, blocks 94 percent of harmful UVB rays while SPF 30 blocks around 97 percent.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is that even if the sunscreen you have is rated with a higher SPF, you still need to reapply sunscreen every few hours.
Sweat, clothing, water and poor application will cause sunscreen to wear off after some time; hence the reason why you need to re-apply it.
Do’s and Don’ts With Men’s Sunscreen
- Do always reapply sunscreen since it can wear off after some time.
- Do consider your skin type when you are buying sunscreen.
- Don’t go below SPF 15 since this is the minimum rating that should offer you adequate protection.
- Don’t store sunscreen where there is direct sunlight.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
When you are buying sunscreen, to some extent, more spending does mean more quality. This is because cheap sunscreens have been shown to contain ingredients that may cause irritation, damage coral reefs and mimic hormones in the body.
In as much as you want to spend as little as possible, your health should come first. The work of sunscreen lotion or spray is to protect your skin against harmful radiation from the sun that could cause sunburns and other serious health issues like skin cancer.
To be on the safe side, consider factors like ingredients, SPF rating, non-comedogenic, water resistance, climate, broad-spectrum and type of skin.
FAQ About Men’s Sunscreen
What is the difference between sunblock and sunscreen?
The main difference between the two lies in how they protect the skin. Sunblock, just as the name suggests, blocks UV rays by forming a protective shield on the skin while sunscreen has chemicals that absorbs the sun’s rays before they can damage the skin.
Can sunscreen damage your skin?
The answer is yes. When applied correctly, sunscreen can prevent skin damage, but if it is not applied correctly and often, it can actually enhance skin damage.
Can you put on too much sunscreen?
There is nothing like putting on too much sunscreen. The only mistake you would be making would be not using sunscreen at all. However, you can apply just enough to avoid wastage and having to buy more within a short time.
How long can you be in the sun without sunscreen?
You can be in the sun without sunscreen for about 20 minutes in the morning and evening in order to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Do you tan better with sunscreen?
Sunscreen is meant to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, but it is possible to also tan when you are wearing sunscreen.
How long should I go before reapplying sunscreen?
You can go for about 2 hours without reapplying sunscreen, but you should reapply it immediately after swimming and sweating.
Can I use facial moisturizer/other lotion with my sunscreen?
If you are going to use a cream or lotion sunscreen, you need to put it on after the moisturizer; otherwise, you risk diluting the sunscreen if you mix it with the moisturizer.
How much sunscreen should I apply?
Most people normally apply 25 to 50 percent of the recommended amount. Just ensure that you apply enough to cover every exposed area.
Where can I apply sunscreen safely?
You can apply sunscreen everywhere you feel the skin will be exposed when you are out in the sun.
Should I shower after having been rubbing sunscreen all day?
Yes, you can comfortably shower after a day of rubbing sunscreen on our body. Sunscreen is meant to protect you from harmful UV rays when you are outside rather than inside.
Summer will be here soon, which means that you will be spending more time outdoors than inside the house. As such, you need to ensure that you protect yourself from the harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen not only protects against UVA and UVB radiation, but it can help prevent premature aging of the skin when applied correctly. It can also prevent skin cancers. When you are buying sunscreen, ensure that it has the recommended and approved ingredients, has an SPF rating of above 15, is non-comedogenic, water-resistant, and has a broad spectrum range.
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