Do You Use Sunscreen?
Most men don’t think of applying sunscreen when cutting the lawn, working on the garden or attending outdoor sporting events and because of that become sunburnt, which in itself has side effects including itching and scaly skin. Sunscreen is an important tool in keeping our skin protected from the harmful effects of the sun. According to a 2015 Journal of American Academy of Dermatology report, sunscreen isn’t used as much as it should be. In fact, less than 15% of men and 30% of women used sunscreen as recommended, and 42% of men reported never using sunscreen. Nearly 44% of men responded that they never use sunscreen on their faces. The report also found that men living in the Northeast were more likely to regularly use sunscreen on the face than those living in the Midwest or South. Nearly 44% of men responded that they never use sunscreen on their faces. Men and women only used 25% of the recommended amount of sunscreen.
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the most preventable risk factor for all types of skin cancer, including melanoma. Melanoma is the third most common cancer in adolescents and young adults with treatment costing of over $3.3 billion each year. People need to make sure to protect themselves from excessive sun exposure and avoid sunburns at any age. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone uses sunscreen labeled as broad spectrum, water resistant and has a sun protector factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. "Broad-spectrum” sunscreen protects against both [ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B] rays, both of which can cause cancer.
Men are reminded every spring and summer about making sure that their skin is protected from the sun. Below are some sun care and sunscreen tips to keep it protected at home or away on vacation.
- Get rid of the half-empty bottle of sunscreen from a few years ago. It could be expired and might no longer meet FDA guidelines for UV protection.
- Use a sunscreen that will go with your skin type:
- Oily Skin-use an alcohol-based product, such as Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray. This can also help to protect the scalp.
- Dry Skin-Use a moisturizing block containing aloe and titanium dioxide to block the sun’s harmful rays.
- Sweaty Skin-Use a solid sports stick, such as Coppertone SPF 55, which will not come off when sweating and will not burn eyes.
- Apply sunscreen every two hours as the UV protection in the sunscreen might not last as long as you think. Reapply sunscreen after swimming and any activity that resulted in a lot of sweating.
- If using a spray sunscreen, make sure that every area is covered completely. It is harder to tell the sunscreen coverage with a spray as compared to a lotion.
- Put on sunscreen before getting dressed for your outside activity to ensure complete coverage. If you smear the sunscreen when getting dressed, go back and reapply where the clothing meets the bare skin-especially at the collar line and sleeve openings.
- Do not forget to put sunscreen on the tips of the ears, on top of the feet, eyelids and around the lower lip. These are the areas that normally get forgotten and usually can get burnt first.
- Stay out of the sun during its peak time of 10am to 2pm. If you need to be out during this time, make sure that you are protected by sunscreen, wearing 100 % UV-blocking sunglasses, wide brim hat and darker clothing. Darker clothing reflects the sunlight.
- If outside in the sun for long periods of time, take a 15-minute shade break for every hour that you are in the sun. If you are at the beach, sit under an umbrella, farther away from the water or seek out shaded or inside areas.
- The Environmental Protection Agency provides a UV index which can let you know the UV forecast in your area or where you might be vacationing. The higher the index, the more sunscreen protection you will need.
- Don’t forget the scalp! The scalp is often the most overlooked area for sun protection. Make sure to apply sunscreen to the scalp before going out. Some men’s hair products might have a SPF factor, ask your Men’s Cuts stylist for a recommendation.
- If you get a sunburnt scalp, avoid styling products with alcohol for a few days to allow the burn to go through the healing process. Style the hair with a soft bristle brush or your fingers to prevent scratching the already tender skin on the scalp.
- Because of more activity and more sweat during the summer months, it is recommended to shampoo daily using shampoo and conditioner appropriate for the hair type.
Taking care of your skin through all seasons is very important to keep it hydrated and looking good. Men’s Cuts offers a variety of skin care solutions to use throughout the entire year. Don’t forget the sunscreen!