Dedicated to Jesse and other manly men. Plus why everyone needs SPF.

October 27, 2008

I was at a friends once hanging out while he was getting ready for work and he was applying body lotion to his face. My instant reaction was ‘omg what are you doing, that’s for your body!’  I sometimes forget that most men don’t know the benefits of using skincare specifically made for your facial area and skin type.

So what items should men have in their routines? A good cleanser. Any brand or price range is fine…a $30 cleanser isn’t always better then one that’s $6. You should also have a good moisturizer with SPF, or at least be using an SPF. Every skin type (oily, dry, combination, optimal) can benefit from using a moisturizer. Oily skins CAN be dehydrated. Other items that might be beneficial are an eye cream to help with dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles (and to simply keep the aging process at bay). Treatments are also great: something with salicylic acid if you’re acne prone, a night time moisturizer if you are drier, or perhaps a pre-shave oil if you have thicker facial hair.

With that said…let me explain a little bit on the topic of skincare, particularly about sunscreen, the most important thing you can do for your skin daily, besides washing it.

Skin cancer is the leading cause of death among the cancers. What can help prevent skin cancer? Using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (aka sun protection factor), covering up,  and staying out of the sun during peak hours

How often should you apply sunscreen? The “average” time calculated it takes most people’s melanin to react to the sun after unprotected exposure is 10 minutes. If you apply an SPF of 15 you will get 150 minutes of UV protection. SPF15 x 10 minutes = 150 of UV protection. Every time you REAPPLY sunscreen, you don’t get the same amount of protection. Your protection time is actually cut in half. So lets say you reapply your SPF 15 after 150 minutes…you’ll get 75 minutes of protection. The higher the SPF, the longer amount of protection you have. The FDA did a study in 2004 and concluded that an SPF of 60 isn’t much different then an SPF of 30, so in the next few years you’ll see most sunscreen packaging change to SPF 30+, meaning that it’s 30 or higher. The terms sunblock, waterproof, and all day protection are also being ended as these terms were found to be false.

How much should I use? You should be using two table spoons on your face and one ounce on your body (approx. a shot glass full). LADIES: this also true if your moisturizer or foundation contains SPF. If you can’t imagine putting two table spoons of foundation on, it’s probably best to switch to a separate SPF.

Right now there are several sunscreen options on the market. Formulas are much more advanced then they were a few years ago.

One of my favorite forms of sunscreen is a physical block. It sits on your skin and the sun’s rays bounce off if it. You can go outside right after application and can reapply even in while in the sun. Most “broad spectrum” sunscreens contain both a physical and chemical block. My fave product is Peter Thomas Roth mineral SPF 30…it comes in a brush applicator and is quick to apply. There’s also a Hawaiian Tropic broad spectrum SPF that I like as well.

A chemical block, found in most lotion type sunscreens, don’t actually filter out the sun’s rays. With this kind of sunscreen, the rays still penetrate the epidermis and are then neutralized by synthetic chemicals in the product to prevent sunburn and premature aging. With these you will see instructions to apply 30 minutes before going outside. It is very important to wait 30 minutes (or whatever time the directions specify) so that your skin can fully absorb it.

It is actually more healthy to be pale then to have a “healthy” glow from a tan. A suntan is, essentially, a sunburn that didn’t reach it’s full potential of becoming red. Tanning beds also contain UV rays and you must, must, must protect your skin while laying in one, just as you would if you were in the sun. Even on cloudy days, UV rays can penetrate the ozone layer and clouds and cause damage to your skin.

There are also ways to help reverse environmental aging due to sun damage but that’s a whole other topic. If you have any q’s def. feel free to ask =) I have facts and percentages galore and can recommend products (drug store and high end products alike).

As for Jesse, well, he’s still using body wash on his face and body lotion as moisturizer. Why? He likes as little steps as possible and it’s easier/efficient for him to have products that work double-duty. If you have a guy in your life who happens to have similar beliefs, check out the men’s skin care line Jack Black. They have an all in one hair, face, and body wash. Ojon also features the Tawaka Line where the shampoo can be used on the face and body and their conditioner can be used as a body cream or on the face. Also a lot of brands these days are coming out with skin care for men who like to keep it simple so shop around if you can.

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