Whether you want to reinvent your look or simply refine it, sunscreen is a good first step for any man looking to formulate an effective skincare routine.
MadeMan believes that men with self-discipline can work hard, play hard, and still look fresh the next day. Your #1 asset in making a good first impression is your skin. This is why today, we have chosen to focus on sunscreen. This simple product, if used correctly, can help you to make the best impression every time.
The Value of Sunscreen
The main function of sunscreen is to protect your skin from sun damage. Repeated unprotected sun exposure to the sun can contribute to the process of photoaging.
Photoaging is when ultraviolet-b radiation causes the skin to age prematurely. Some of the most common effects of photoaging are dark spots, wrinkles, dryness, roughness, and redness.
Implementing sunscreen into your daily routine (after serums and moisturizer) will also save you time and money. Although purchasing the products necessary to protect your skin from damage may require a minor dip into your wallet, it is nothing short of an investment.
Making an effort to apply sunscreen now can save you from spending more on corrective treatments in the future. Just to give you an idea of how much you could be saving, a round of laser skin resurfacing that is used to treat the appearance of premature aging caused by sun damage costs on average $2,500.
Treating the effects of sun damage can also be time-consuming. Taking a few seconds each morning to apply your sunscreen will allow you to avoid this altogether, ensuring that you have more time for yourself, your career, and your social life.
How It Works
Regardless of where it is applied, sunscreen is intended to protect your skin from the sun. Generally speaking, sunscreen contains ultraviolet filters and active ingredients that help to block the UV rays responsible for photoaging.
There are two types of sunscreens to choose from. Both offer you protection but work differently.
The first is physical sunscreen, which is also referred to as mineral sunscreen. The ingredients of physical sunscreen include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. When light from the sun touches your face or body, these ingredients block and scatter the rays before they have the chance to penetrate your skin.
- The second is chemical sunscreen. The ingredients of chemical sunscreen include octisalate and avobenzone. When out in the sun, these ingredients absorb the UV rays before they are able to damage your skin.
Physical sunscreen is believed to be safest for sensitive skin between the two sunscreens, but both types have been tested and proven to be effective.
Treating Skin Damage
In case your interest in sunscreen stems from having already amassed sun damage, we are going to take a moment to discuss convenient treatment options for your skin before diving into the application process.
Brightening creams can be used to reduce skin discoloration caused by sun damage. There are over-the-counter and prescription products available to help even out your skin tone.
Prescription creams often contain hydroquinone.
Hydroquinone is a potent ingredient capable of lightening hyperpigmentation. Because the product is so strong, you will need a dermatologist’s approval to use it safely on your skin.
Chemical peels are facial treatments that use chemical solutions to exfoliate the skin’s surface, allowing for new skin growth and the gradual fading of dark spots.
While the safest option for this treatment is to leave it to the professionals, there are at-home alternatives available.
One of which is chemical exfoliants. You can trade-in your face scrubs for a chemical exfoliant containing glycolic or salicylic acids that are capable of treating redness, dark spots, and the skin’s texture.
Using the right cleanser every day can help with treating your skin back to health.
The Resetter is specifically designed to improve the feel of your skin. While other products are filled with ingredients mainly consisting of acids, The Resetter is water-based and uses all-natural ingredients.
And because MadeMan is committed to providing you with convenient methods that fit into the life of any busy man, this facial cleanser doubles as a shaving gel.
The Resetter can help to rectify the texture of your sun-damaged skin by leaving it — and your facial hair — feeling soft, smooth, and hydrated.
Dermabrasion is a skin-resurfacing procedure in which the outer layers of your skin are sanded to allow the skin to grow back smoother than before. This procedure does pose the potential for certain side effects and should be discussed with your dermatologist beforehand.
The physical benefits of dermabrasion include treating sun damage, removing discoloration, and reducing scarring. For a slightly less intensive treatment that can provide you with similar results, you may consider microdermabrasion.
The procedure itself is nearly identical to dermabrasion but is labeled as minimally abrasive.
How To Apply Sunscreen
Sunscreen is essential for maintaining your health and appearance. Here are tips for ensuring that you are applying this product correctly to render the most benefits every time.
What To Apply
One of the most important parts of applying your sunscreen is making sure the product that you are using is up to par. Whether you opt for a physical or chemical sunscreen, there are two must-have features for you to look out for.
The first is to make sure your sunscreen has a high enough sun protection factor. The SPF indicates how effective the product will be at protecting your skin from UV radiation. We recommend using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
The second is to ensure that you have a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Labels that say ‘broad spectrum’ on them protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
- UVA Rays have higher wavelengths and are more penetrating than UVB rays which means they affect cells deeper.
- UVB Rays have higher energy levels and tend to damage the outermost layers of the skin. Therefore, it is essential to protect against both.
When To Apply
Sunscreen should be applied every morning. In terms of where it goes in your skincare routine, it should be put on at the very end so that it can properly perform as a protective layer for your skin. This typically means going on after your moisturizer.
It is important to spray sunscreen on daily, even when it is overcast and even when you plan on staying indoors. UV rays are capable of passing through both cloudy skies and windows. Ensure your skin’s protection by developing the good habit of applying your sunscreen every morning and reapplying throughout the day if needed.
Where To Apply
Though we are focusing specifically on the skin on your face, we also want to mention the importance of shielding your scalp and lips from the sun’s rays.
Even without a shaved head, your scalp may require some extra protection. Though your hair does somewhat protect your head from the sun’s rays, 10% of melanomas occur on the scalp, making it all the more important to use SPF products tailored for your head.
As for your lips, this area of your face is highly exposed to sunlight every day. Lips have fragile skin that is low in melanin which equates to minimal protection from sun damage so don’t skimp on lip balm with quality formulas and sunscreen ingredients.
To defend against UV rays, wear sunglasses, sun-protective clothing, and use a water-resistant sunscreen stick with an SPF of at least 15 throughout the day, even in the winter.
How Much To Apply
The daily amount of sunscreen to apply may vary, but we generally recommend using a nickel-sized dollop on your face every morning. Mathematically speaking, this is about ⅓ of a teaspoon or .04 ounces.
If necessary, remember to reapply throughout the day, especially if your day involves a dip in the pool or a mid-day shower.
Additional Sun Protection Tips
In case you desire additional tips for handling the health of your skin type to prevent premature skin aging, here are some other simple and effective ideas:
Increased water intake not only contributes to a person’s overall wellness but can positively impact the hydration of one’s skin. Drinking a sufficient amount of water every day will support healthier-looking skin that can better resist sun damage.
Limit UV Exposure
Taking care of your skin should not inhibit you from enjoying time in the sun, but if you notice sunburns on your skin, then it is negatively affected by the heat and rays. This might be signaled by redness, tingling, and other harmful effects.
Use Vitamin A
Vitamin A supports firmer, more supple-looking skin, which is believed to help protect against UV damage. Easy ways to increase your intake include using a dry vitamin, applying a retinol cream or gel, and consuming foods rich in Vitamin A.
Vitamin A-rich foods include:
- Sweet potato
- Beef liver
In conclusion, protecting your skin should be one of your top priorities. The application of sunscreen makes this easy. Double-check that the sunscreen you apply is broad-spectrum and has a high SPF.
Then remember to be consistent about your application. Doing this will allow you to maintain your active lifestyle without having the time to worry about damage from UV rays, because who has the time for that?
It is okay if, like most men, you were never taught about skincare. But that changes today. The ball is in your court. At MadeMan, we believe that, with a little investment, you can become the best and healthiest version of yourself.
Sun-damaged skin (photoaging): what is new? | PubMed
Laser Skin Resurfacing Cost | ASPS
Sunscreens | PubMed
Dermabrasion | PubMed