“Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.” -Earnest Hemmingway, The Old Man and the Sea
Yes, tough guy, you need skincare! Nobody wants to be the leather-faced “old man and the sea.” That look died alongside the Marlboro Man a good thirty years ago.
#1 skin cancer
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, over 161,000 people will get diagnosed with skin cancer in 2017 alone. Ever thought about how much sun you get out on the water? The answer is a lot. Additionally, the water acts as a giant reflective surface, magnifying the damaging effects of the sun. I get it. You don’t want to wear sunscreen. It gets all over everything. Your flies, the line, the reel, and literally everything else, but have you ever tried dry sunscreen? Seriously. It will solve your problems. A company called Colorescience came out with dry, brush-on sunscreen. Take a look for yourself (click here). It’s SPF 50, can be used while swimming, lasts 80 minutes and takes about 10-15 seconds to apply. Best thing? No more oil all over everything.
#2 pre-mature aging
While we referenced Hemmingway at the beginning of this article, I really doubt you want to look like the old, weathered guy. Have you ever wondered what UV rays do to your skin? Ultra-violet rays are in the 100-400 nm range, which means they have short wavelengths and are largely absorbed in your skin. These rays or photons hit your skin cells at the speed of light and cause what are known as free radicals. These free radicals are unstable atoms that cause a chain reaction and ultimately destroy the cell they are part of. I know you are saying “who cares? I have billions of cells?” but, if this is happening over and over those cells have to be replaced. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun.
#3 dry skin
Nearly every time I’ve been in the boat or wading in the river my hands and lips get dry, which I’m sure has happened to you. It’s not the end of the world, but, when they start to crack and bleed, it’s just not fun. A simple fix is to use lip balm with SPF and start the day with a combination sunscreen and moisturizer. A favorite of mine is EltaMD’s UV Clear, which combines hyaluronic acid (moisturizing agent), zinc for sun protection and niacinimide for inflammation. Be sure to re- apply every couple of hours as the sunscreen portion will wear off after an hour or two.
#4 looking good
You buy all this gear to catch fish, but who doesn’t want to look good?! No one is expecting to look like Brad Pitt in “A River Runs Through It,” but, beyond sunscreen and moisturizers, have you ever considered using a serum at night? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. After you wash your face, try a low level retinol or an anti-oxidant based serum. These products will help your body to maintain production of collagen which is the part of your skin that is responsible for laxity ie sagging skin. If you want help with what to use we custom tailor skincare programs for men (and women). Try the quiz when you have a minute. You won’t be disappointed.
Face masks/shields and polarized sunglasses are a good step, but they don’t do anything for the skin itself. Take a few extra minutes of your day and invest in your body. It’s yours and yours alone. If you don’t, who will?
Do you know a fisherman who needs to read this? Please forward it on: