Chances are, if you’re heading outside this summer you’re factoring in SPF sun protection, or know that you should be. Sun protection has come a long way in the last few years, and is no longer limited to those heavy, sticky creams or sunblocks. Men can now choose from sprays, which feature a much lighter, aerosol based application for quicker, streamlined dispersal. However, while the days of overzealous lotions are finally behind us, technology driving new formulas and water resistant varieties, applying sunscreen correctly is still a vital component of your skin care arsenal. It doesn’t matter if you pick the most expensive or promising brand on the shelf, if you apply sunscreen incorrectly, you’ll join the league of 44,000 men facing a very real and positive melanoma (skin cancer) test this year. Why risk it?
Below, Male Standard has devised 5 quick tips on how to up your sun protection game this summer. These are tried and tested methods to applying sunscreen in a way that won’t clog up your day!
Tip 1: Apply Spray On Sunscreen Indoors
While spray on sunscreen seems like a convenient on-the-go solution, the harsh reality is that spray on applicators are quite ineffective when applied outdoors due to wind factor. Even on a lightly breezy day, there’s no guarantee that you’re actually applying any sunscreen at all. Don’t believe us? We applied and re-applied like a boss at the beach, only to return home lobster pink. The obvious reason? It was a windy day and we were probably spraying away our good efforts into the wind all along. Don’t make our rookie mistake – if you want to lather up poolside, be sure to reapply your spray on sunscreen in the changing facilities where you know for sure you’re getting the right application, and always at home before you leave. That tanned arm in the car window is also at risk on-route and looks ridiculous when the rest of you is another color.
Tip 2: Pick Water Resistant Sunscreen
You might have reached for the ‘waterproof sunscreen’ in the past, but now you’ll know better. No sunscreen is actually waterproof, and if the manufacturer is making such claims, chances are you’re taking a big risk on their overall quality and guarantee. Instead, look for water resistant on the label, alongside the key words ‘broad-spectrum’ to ensure that the sunscreen you choose has been created by professionals who truly care about your health. Water resistant sunscreen still needs to be reapplied often when on or near water (when fishing, sunbathing, or generally near areas where water reflects the suns harsh rays), but stands up to clinical trials. Neutrogena® Ultimate Sport® Spray Sunscreen SPF 100+ provides superior broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection that resists wear off from water, rubbing, sweat, or wiping.
Tip 3: Only Use a Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
As noted, you need to choose a broad spectrum sunscreen, no matter what formula you choose. To much chagrin, many sunscreen manufacturers only provide protection against some sun rays, not the ones that cause melanoma. While we duke it out on how these brands can be allowed to stay on the shelves, do you and your friends or family a service by pointing them in the direction of broad spectrum that covers all the bases. At best, you could save their lives, at worst you’ll at least know the money you’ve invested will be put to good use. If in doubt, look for reputable brands such as Neutrogena to ensure that you’re getting the level of protection you’ve been sold. If it doesn’t state broad-spectrum on the labelling, you can kiss goodbye any assurance the rest of the product will do anything other than make you smell like coconuts.
Tip 4: Always Go With a Higher SPF
Due to the nature of spray on sunscreen, you’ll want to choose a higher SPF as a precaution. Even if you apply sunscreen indoors, the thinner application means that even good intentions can run the risk of less protection. Neutrogena offer SPF 100 as a total protection against the sun, and are one of the few providers who market high-level SPF sunblock to adults. If you have trouble locating anything above SPF 70, take a trip in the kids aisle and we bet you’ll find what you’re looking for. For those with light or fair skin, red hair, a history of skin cancer, tumors, or pigmentation troubles, you’ll also want to avoid direct sunlight and be sure to wear a hat. This is also sage advice for most men, including those with ethnic skin who yes, can still burn. Dark headed dudes should also go one higher than they think, even when looking to bronze. All your SPF is going to do is save your life, not prevent you from tanning — interchangeable rays, folks. It’s all in the science of sunscreen. Go big or go home!
Tip 5: Reapply More Often Than You Think
Good advice for any sunscreen protection, but especially valuable for spray on sunscreen, is to reapply the formula more often than you think. As spray on SPF protection is super quick and easy to use, this shouldn’t be a problem for you, right? Many manufacturers print their recommended applications times on the back of the label, but Male Standard always recommends every 20-30 minutes in midday sun. You can reapply this often throughout the day also. One of the biggest reasons we love Neutrogena® Ultimate Sport® Spray Sunscreen SPF 100+ is that it only takes a few second to apply thoroughly to all exposed skin and you are good to go, so reapplication doesn’t have to interrupt whatever you are doing that day. And yes, while we screwed up the first time, by following these five tips we’ve stay safe all summer long. Now you can do the same!
Leave a comment below and let us know what spray on sunscreen you’ll be sporting this summer!