On the most basic level, in your day-to-day life, you should be wearing a daily SPF moisturizer on your face, ears, neck and arms. If you’ll be outside for extended periods of time or participating in outdoor activities, then you should also be using a more heavy-duty sport sunblock from head-to-toe. Think you don’t need sunblock, even if you’ve got darker skin? Keep reading.
Difference between unprotected skin vs. protected skin
Take a look at this truck driver who had half his face in the sun and half in the shade throughout the course of his career. This is also how his face would look with half protected by sunblock, the other half unprotected.
Skin cancer is one of the easiest types of cancer to prevent and according to the National Cancer Institute, the number of cases are increasing yearly. It drives me crazy when guys don’t wear sunblock – especially if they’re my clients – because there’s nothing manly or attractive about sun spots, wrinkles, biopsies and chemotherapy.
I don’t care what your skin color is – sun damage affects everyone.
Before I show you my favorite sunscreens, let’s first go over some points to understand:
Use SPF 20 to 50
The SPF number indicates how long you can theoretically stay out in the sun before you burn, compared to your skin without sunscreen. So with SPF 20, your skin can be exposed to the sun for 20 times longer before it burns, but that’s in a perfect scenario without sweat and water washing it away. So don’t ever think you can go all day without re-applying sunblock if you’re outside doing extended activities.
Anything over SPF 50 Is Unnecessary
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and Skin Care Foundation, an SPF 30 blocks up to 97 percent of UVB rays and an SPF 50 blocks 98 percent. So don’t think that the higher the SPF, the better it is. It’s a pretty arbitrary number after 50 that’s more used for marketing purposes than anything else.
Use ‘Broad Spectrum’ Sunscreens
SPF only measures UVB rays, but scientists have learned a lot about how UVA rays adversely affect skin and can contribute to certain types of cancers. You need a product that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, also known as “broad spectrum.” If this isn’t listed clearly on the label, it isn’t a broad spectrum sunscreen and should be avoided at all costs.
Physical vs. Chemical Blockers
There’s still not a wide consensus about which type is better or safer for you in regard to cancer causing ingredients – the kind that absorb into your skin, known as chemical blockers, or the kind that sits on your skin, known as physical blockers.
Chemical blockers are more effective because they’re harder to wash or rub off, but they’ve been criticized for being pollutants that make their way in the ocean and large waterways.
Physical blockers are better for the environment, but less effective since they physically sit on top of your skin and can be rubbed off. Also, they can sometimes leave a subtle white film on your skin.
Best Daily Moisturizer + SPF
$28 – Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20
This is hands-down the best moisturizer and SPF combo for it’s price. It’s a broad spectrum, chemical blocker that blends into your skin nicely. If you buy the 8.5oz bottle, it should easily last a long time for daily use.
$350 – La Prairie Line Interception Power Duo SPF 30
This is the king of moisturizers with SPF. If your budget allows or you’re an older guy, DO NOT hesitate to get it. It really lives up to all the hype – goes on evenly, absorbs quickly, evens out your skin tone, reduces wrinkles, and protects really, really well, without making your skin shiny. Everyone of my test subjects that tried it loved it.
The added bonus is that it also comes with a powerful anti-aging night cream, which I go over in my skincare grooming routine.
If you’ll be outside for extended periods of time, then you’ll need to use these sunscreens from head-to-toe and re-apply a few times throughout the day, depending on how sweaty you get or how much activity you’ll be doing.
$15 – Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Sensitive SPF 30+
This is, by far, the best sport sunblock. It’s pretty much bomb-proof and you’ll probably be whiter than you were before going outside.
The one downside is that it leaves a subtle white hue to your skin because of the Titanium and Zinc Oxide, but it works VERY well. I recommend getting this no matter what, and use it only your body if you want to avoid the white hue on your face and then get the face version, as well.
$19 – Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen with Cellular Response Technology, SPF 50
Absolutely fantastic chemical blocker that absorbs nicely into the skin, protects against UVA and UVB rays (broad spectrum), and has a pleasant light scent. They also sell this in bigger bottles, so it will last a long while for a great price.
$36 – La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Melt-In Sunscreen
Another really good sport sunblock that goes on easily and blends in perfectly and it’s not a physical blocker so no white hue. If you’re sensitive to fragrances, then this one is for you since it’s fragrance-free. They also make a spray version if you prefer that, but just make sure you rub it in after you spray it on. Check the video above at the top of the page to see what happens if you don’t rub it in.
Hope you enjoy!