Historically speaking, men have been averse to wearing sunscreen. Guys often will only use it at the beach, pool, or not at all. Often, men don’t even consider using it on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter if you work on an oil rig in the ocean or an office job in the city. You need to wear sunscreen. Here’s why.
Why should I care?
Unless you live in a cave or an underground base we all get exposed to the sun. Light hits our skin in the form of photons. These photons are measured in nanometers (nm) which determines what they hit and how they are absorbed. Ultraviolet light has a relatively short wavelength, measuring between 10-400 nm, and is mostly absorbed in your skin. When these photons hit your skin, they cause damage on a molecular level by way of creating free radicals. In turn, these free radicals destroy cells. Now, you are probably thinking “I have billions of skin cells so what’s the big deal?” While that is true, every time the sun destroys one your body must replace it.
Depending on which dermatologist you speak with, 60-90% of aging is caused by the sun. Since we are exposed to sun throughout our life, there is a cumulative effect that damages collagen and elastin. Ever seen an elderly person that has lax, flat skin? That is largely a result of sun damage. Collagen and elastin are kind of like the structure within a house. The elastin works like the framework, keeping your skin bouncy, elastic, and providing structure. Collagen is like the walls of a room. They hold the structure together. Both are equally important and get damaged with sun exposure. That’s bad. With more damage your skin the laxer your skin will become.
Hyper-what? Hyperpigmentation is what happens when you get brown spots on your skin. When light hits your skin ,cells in the skin called melanocytes create and release melanin. This melanin is your body’s natural sunscreen. It is brown in color because that is where UV and some infrared light is absorbed. Smart design, huh? So, even if you chose not to use sunscreen your body will. Problem is that the melanin tends to stay there. To get rid of it you need to get a laser done. And, while that’s no big deal, it’s much easier to just use sunscreen which takes the place of melanin.
That’s right. You can get pimples by not wearing sunscreen. The reason is because UV light helps bacteria grow on your skin. Bacteria that is naturally on your skin gets trapped with oil (sebum) from your body. This combination creates a minor infection and boom: zits galore. Sunscreen can help here. It will block the UV light from absorbing into the bacteria on your face and some sunscreens have niacinimide in them which helps keep inflammation at bay.
This is no joke. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation 76,380 cases of melanoma were diagnosed last year. Of those cases 61% of them were men. During that same time 10,130 melanoma deaths were reported of which 6,750 or about 67% were men. If this isn’t enough of a reason to put on sunscreen, I’m not sure what is.
What to use
Not all sunscreens are equal. There are two kinds; physical block and chemical. Physical blocks are made of titanium and zinc. The light literally bounces off of them. Chemical sunscreens absorb the light into the substance, so we suggest using physical sunblocks only. Our favorite hands down is Sunforgettable by Colorescience. This stuff is amazing. It’s dry,,,and you literally brush it on your skin. No more junk on your hands. Takes 20-30 seconds to brush your whole face and neck. Best part? It’s SPF 50 and you can swim with it on. You should also reapply every two hours and it is the easiest thing to do. It can be done at a stoplight. It’s that fast. No more oil all over your skin. Try it. One stick of it lasts 3 months. It’s amazing.
To wearing sunscreen and saving your life,
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