What You May Not Know About the Sun
It seems we revisit this topic every year, but it’s incredibly important and many of us men still haven’t sufficiently learned just how important. I’m talking about protecting your skin from the sun.
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation there are approximately 39,000 new cases of melanoma in men each year in the U.S. compared to the 29,000 in women. If cancer is not impetus enough to get you to don sunscreen, keep in mind the sun’s rays have been proven to cause deep wrinkles, pre-mature aging and those ever-appealing brown spots. Many of us don’t like the thought of adding one more step to our morning routine, but it’s easy and you’ll be glad you did down the road. I promise.
What You Need to Know
When looking for a good sunscreen there are a couple things to keep in mind:
- Not all sunscreens are not created equal – the FDA seems to keep refining their ruling on sunscreens making it almost impossible to keep up, so here’s a quick and dirty breakdown:
- Only look for sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays, and have an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15, otherwise your just slathering on a useless cream.
- Only sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB can be labeled “broad spectrum.”
- “Waterproof” and “sweatproof” are now labeled by the FDA as “exaggerations of performance.” A sunscreen may claim it’s “water resistant” if it offers 40 or 80 minutes of protection, based on standard testing.
- The FDA is capped the highest SPF value at 50, unless a company can provide scientific results supporting a higher number.
- Sunscreens can’t claim to provide more than two hours of protection without reapplication.
- One sunscreen application isn’t enough – If you are going to be exposed to the sun throughout the day, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., you need to reapply every couple of hours.
- Tanning booths can be worse than actual sunlight – Don’t just stay out of the sun. Stay out of the tanning booths! Just think “New Jersey Tanning Mom.” Need I say more?
- Watch the reflections – In addition to the rays beating directly on your skin, the sun reflects off sand, water, concrete, pavement and even snow to cause double the damage.
- Wear sunscreen year round – Sunscreen isn’t a summer fad. You need broad spectrum sun protection all year, even when it’s cold. We recommend you slather on an SPF 30 mineral sunscreen (like zinc oxide) every day.
Learn more about natural mineral blockers: RA for Men EnviroProtect. This moisturizing cream compliments your sun protection regimen and contains sun supportive ingredients.