The Best Sunscreen Lotion for Men

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Build sun protection into your daily routine by using a moisturizing lotion that contains sunscreen.
Build sun protection into your daily routine by using a moisturizing lotion that contains sunscreen. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Protecting your skin from overexposure to the sun’s rays helps prevent skin cancer as well as premature ageing. Wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and a loss of elasticity can all be exacerbated by not using sunscreen. Those with fair skin also burn easily without protection. Men and women can use the same sunscreen lotions but men may have separate requirements from a product, especially if using it on the face.

SPF

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is graded as a number for consumers to easily see how well a product protects against ultraviolet radiation and sunburn. Sun lotions come between SPF2 and 50, with SPF15 being an everyday standard. Whichever you choose, ensure you buy a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which blocks UVA as well as UVB radiation, for fuller protection from skin cancer. Most men wear fewer barrier products on their face, such as skincare preparations and makeup, so this broad spectrum protection is extremely important.

Men's Ranges

Sun lotions from men’s ranges, such as Menscience or Anthony Logistics, take into account particular male concerns, including shaving. Greasy creams make acne on the body or face much worse as they contribute to blocking pores. Men who shave may suffer from ingrown hairs and related spots. Heavy sun lotions worsen this problem. So choose a sunscreen lotion from a men’s line if you would like a light and non-comedogenic product.

Everyday Use

The choices for daily sunscreen wearers are to buy a moisturizing lotion containing sunscreen, or to use a separate sunscreen product over moisturizer. Popular with men, Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF15 is a light, hydrating fluid that offers sun protection as well as daily nourishment. This unisex product is also scent-free, so ideal for men wanting a basic regime. However, if you do a lot of summer outdoors activity, such as cycling or working outside, the sunscreen part of your daily lotion may not stay protective. Sunscreen ingredients can break down over a day, as well as become worn away by perspiration. In this case, choose a separate sunscreen lotion, such as Dr Brandt’s UV SPF30, which is an oil-free formula in portable packaging. Apply this over your regular moisturizer, then as needed throughout the day, without the danger of blocking pores or making skin oily.

On Holiday

Choose a higher SPF lotion if going to a hotter climate on holiday. Current advice is to apply sunscreen lotion 30 minutes before going out, then again 30 minutes in to the sun exposure. If you swim or perspire a lot, you’ll also need to reapply your sunscreen frequently, so buy one that is in a conveniently portable bottle. This is really important to remember on activity holidays. Most men have more body hair than women, so do not assume that sharing your partner's lotion is the best idea. Choose a gel or spray-on fluid rather than a creamy sunscreen lotion so that the product does not get caught in the hairs and fail to sink in properly. If using a tinted sunscreen lotion, beware that these products often contain shimmer.

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