by rdh-admin on May 20, 2014.
We’ve all seen what too much sun can do – the lobster-colored skin, the “interesting” tan lines and the peeling. Given enough time, all of that unprotected sun exposure can lead to sunburn, skin cancer or wrinkled and leathery skin; we’re looking at you George Hamilton. Protecting your skin from the sun is a must for every man. You’ve heard the argument for sunscreen a thousand times before, but do you really know what SPF means and what number you need?
The SPF (sun protection factor) number tells you two things: the first is an indication of its ability to absorb UVB rays. The second is a multiplier for about how long you can stay in the sun based on how long it normally takes before you start getting red. The math looks like this: 10 minutes x SPF 8 = 80 minutes to learn how to balance on that infernal paddleboard. Of course, there are other factors at stake here – the time of day, genetics, sweating, repeated falls in the water – they all have an effect on how long your sunscreen will last.
In general, dermatologists recommend that you apply at least SPF 15 for daily use. Not all sunscreen protects against UVA rays, so check the label for UVA- and UVB-fighting ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Pro Tip: Always apply sunscreen before you start to feel that tingling, sun-baking-your-skin sensation. Reapplication of sunscreen is necessary after about 2 hours. You’re not a reptile – shedding skin is not natural or attractive – so always apply the appropriate amount and level of sunscreen.