Mens skin care and the sun

In our rapidly urbanized lifestyle, mens skin care has increased in interest tenfold as the benefits are acknowledged more, even if just for easier shaving and a more attractive skin to serve egos and convenience.

However, although men traditionally spend less time caring for their skin than women do, they also on average, tend to spend more time outdoors. This not only damages their skin but places more stress on the skin through hazardous conditions. These conditions can be from sport and/or work activities and so taking care of their skin has huge health benefts.

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Mens skin care and overall health

Your skin is the largest organ you have because it not only serves as a protective layer against the elements, it also breathes and perspires to provide overall temperature control for your body.

It will be also called upon to do a lot of detoxifying once the kidneys and liver are overtaxed! Typically this manifests in a red itchy skin around the torso. When this happened to me, I thought it was a reaction to something eaten or even an allergic reaction, but turned out it was just the skin telling me my system was overloaded with toxins!

So, our skin often reveals a great deal about our general health and diet through simple observation, and provides conclusions that might take multiple medical tests to reveal.

So, looking at life more holistically, in order to really have the best looking skin, men's skin care can involve more than just external grooming. It requires an investment in health basics and a view on longevity together with a healthy respect for the sun.

Ultimately best practice requires the use of a non-toxic, non-chemical based daily routine that includes:

Mens skin care: sun protection

mens skin careMens skin care involves good sunscreen choice

Once summer comes around and the outdoors beckon, it’s really easy to forget about your skin care.

Time spent at the beach, poolside, cycling, hiking, sailing, surfing, or participating in any outdoor sports requires a routine for applying sunscreen.

Overdoing the sun and acquiring sun damage to the skin causes premature aging and, of course, potentially the dreaded skin cancer. Knowing which sunscreen to choose is an important factor for men's skin care, as it is not just about the highest SPF.

There are 3 main things to look out for when selecting a sunscreen:

  • UVA and UVB balanced protection
  • No toxic chemicals
  • Water resistance capability

Selecting a sunscreen without any UVA protection as far as I am concerned is a complete waste of time and money. I would rather wear no sunscreen and protect myself with clothing or just stay in the shade!

If you have too much UVB protection (SPF over 50) it is also very difficult to get a balanced high protection from the UVA rays. UVB rays cause your skin to redden when you have had too much and ultimately result in a sunburn. This alerts you to get out the sun.

With a high SPF you effectively stay in the sun longer without burning and this allows the UVA rays a longer time to do their damage. This means deeper and more penetrating harm and the cause of DNA damage that can result in skin cancer.

So a balance of UVA and UVB is best.

Ideally choose SPF no higher than 40 and the highest possible UVA protection

Best mens skin care sunscreen: zinc oxide based

flammable sunscreenToxic flammable sunscreen

Without knowing all the details where toxic chemicals are concerned, the best bet is to look for a sunscreen that uses zinc oxide ONLY. ie. No other chemical sunscreens in combination with the zinc.

No other petrochemicals or synthetic preservatives either.

If possible, look for added benefits like antioxidants that will not only help fight any potential DNA damage caused by excessive sun, but will attend to a healthier overall system to deal with all the toxins that come your way in our modern lifestyles! e.g.. environmental pollution!

Use the right amount of sunscreen and generally reapply every two hours. About an ounce, depending on your size and height. Not using enough is a common cause of sunburn.

Applying a little extra to vulnerable areas such as the face, ears, back of the neck and if shaven or balding, the head.

Water resistance qualities will help here, especially if very active outdoors. However, no sunscreen is completely water proof though, unless full of synthetic polymers that block your skin pores, so make sure to reapply after being in the water.

Mens skin care: skin type is important

Skin type 2 or 3 manMen with fair skin need extra skin protection

If you have a skin type of 1 or 2, i.e. fair-skinned, easily burns and doesn't tan much, with blond or red hair and blue or green eyes, you must know that you are at a bigger risk for sun damage.

Sunscreen is an absolute must, especially a non-toxic one of course. But extra precautions are also needed if planning on taking in some serious sun:

  • Stay out of the sun during peak times (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.), unless specifically looking to boost your Vitamin D levels
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat offering good protection for your head, back of your neck and face
  • Never leave home without your quality sunglasses. Remember that just because your sunglasses are darker, does not necessarily mean they protect against the sun's UV rays
  • Avoid tanning beds, unless you are sure they are the right UVB ray type and not too intense. They are just as dangerous as natural light, if not more so

Precautionary mens skin care

If you notice any change in your skin, don't hesitate to get them checked out by your doctor or a dermatologist.

Those with skin types 1 or 2 are well advised to make regular appointments to have their skin thoroughly checked over. Examples of changes are:

  • new moles
  • existing moles that have recently changed shape, color or size
  • scaly or crusty growths that won't go away
  • areas of skin that are rough and coarse

Remember - although stopping the action and fun to have to slather on the sunscreen may seem frustrating, but believe me, it's not just about good mens skin care... it could help save your life!

Mens skin care References:

The Grooming Lounge

Mens skin care

Summer skin care

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