Summer is on its way.
Whether you’re packing up for a day at the beach, buying some new quality swim trunks, or simply heading out the door on a bright day, a proper sunscreen is essential to keeping your skin safe and healthy, your youthful good looks intact, and prevent you from looking like Rudolph in July.
You probably hate the idea of hitting up the beach, looking as if your mom just slathered sunscreen all over your nose.
But sunburns are no laughing matter, and if you spend a lot of time outdoors this time of year, you need to find a lightweight, moisturizing and effective sunscreen that won’t leave greasy white streaks all over your face.
And luckily for you, there’s a seemingly endless supply of sunscreen and lotions out there to choose from.
Here’s a handy table that compares the best sunscreen specially formulated for a man’s rugged skin:
The Best Sunscreen For Men Reviewed
Jack Black makes some premium lotions and skincare products for men, and Sun Guard is an oil-free, non-greasy sunscreen perfect for use with both day-to-day and outdoor activities.
Water and sweat-resistant, Sun Guard won’t run into your eyes, and provides up to 80 minutes of protection in the water before needing to be reapplied.
The oil-free lotion absorbs easily, and at SPF 45, should last for several hours of defense on even the brightest of days.
Sun Guard also had added vitamins, for some extra skin nourishment, is gentle on sensitive skin, and is totally alcohol and paraben-free. It is also smells pretty good.
This Sport sunscreen from Neutrogena has an SPF rating of 70, which makes it a very effective, broad-spectrum sunscreen. Sport Face is made with Neutrogena’s Helioplex technology, which contains avobenzone stabilized with oxybenzone and DHEN.
This blocks UVA and UVB both more effectively, and for longer periods of time, than your average sunscreen.
Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Face is sweat-resistant, so you can exercise outside all day without it running into your eyes. It is also non-comedogenic, meaning it will not block your pores or cause breakouts on your face. It is also completely PABA-free.
SPF 70 is a very high rating, and should last for several hours – but be sure to reapply throughout the day, especially if you are swimming or sweating profusely.
NIVEA Broad Spectrum Sunscreen moisturizes and conditions your skin while providing a reliable layer of protection from sunlight.
It features a lightly-scented formula that absorbs easily without leaving any greasy oils.
The broad-spectrum SPF 15 protects against harmful UVA and UVB rays during casual, everyday use, and keeps skin aging at bay.
It is also tested as hypoallergenic, and shouldn’t cause breakouts. Energy Lotion also comes in a spray bottle and is best applied by first spraying into your hand and then rubbing it evenly into your face.
PC4Men Daytime Protect from Paula’s Choice is a lightweight and moisturizing lotion with full-spectrum, SPF30 protection, effective against UVA and UVB rays.
The non-greasy, shine-free formula leaves your face feeling free and unencumbered. It is also 100% irritant-free and unscented, and contains a nourishing mixture of all-natural ingredients and antioxidants.
PC4Men is a great choice for an everyday moisturizer and sunscreen, and works especially well for oily skin, as it is so lightweight and non-oily.
A few reviewers have complained about a stinging sensation and redness if applied to sensitive skin, and say that it does not take the place of a full-on moisturizer, especially during colder months.
Banana Boat SPF30 sunscreen is an active sunscreen spray designed for men.
It contains an odor neutralizing ingredient, that is scented and intended to keep you smelling great throughout the day – even if you’re sweating like a pig.
The scent itself is very manly. The added aloe vera and vitamin E help fortify your skin, keeping it hydrated, smooth and soft.
With an SPF rating of 30 and protection from both UVA and UVB sunlight, this Banana Boat sunscreen is very effective and protective, blocking around 97% of the sun’s UV rays.
Sweat-resistant and waterproof, it will not run into your eyes, and lasts for up to 80 minutes of swimming. Men who have used it really appreciate the manly scent and definitely prefer it over other, more flowery-smelling sunscreens.
CeraVe is a broad-spectrum, SPF50 sunscreen for use on your face. It is lightweight, oil-free and non-greasy, and dries on your skin with an easy finish. It is non-comedogenic, will not clog pores, and works well with all skin types.
CeraVe also includes ceramides and niacinamide, vitamins that nourish your skin by helping produce more ceramides.
Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, CeraVe is great for exercise and intense activity.
Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF50 is specifically designed for your face, and formulated to nourish and hydrate all day, with a single application lasting for up to 8 hours.
Fragrance-free and non-irritating, it is also won’t clog pores, and is perfect for those with sensitive skin or suffering from rosacea.
Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer is lightweight and clean, is perfect for use after shaving, and still provides an excellent outer layer of defense against the sun.
It uses a combination of 5 different ingredients to provide this protection, and Cetaphil says that a single application can last up to 8 hours – just be sure to remain vigilant and check throughout the day.
Raw Elements sunscreen is all-natural and hypoallergenic, made from their EcoFormula, a blend of zinc oxide and various natural oils, such as green tea, black tea, sativa seed, and even coffee bean.
Not only is it a completely safe and non-toxic sunscreen, but actually helps nourish your skin. It is completely eco-friendly, and Raw Elements claims that it is reef safe and will not damage any natural environments you may find yourself swimming in. It is verified by the Non-GMO Project, and contains no GMO’s.
Reviewers have pointed out how this sunscreen, despite containing a high amount of zinc oxide, is very easy to apply.
Though very thick, it spreads effortlessly and dries without that thick and tacky white paste that other sunscreens leave behind. Rather, this sunscreen is surprisingly non-greasy and oil-free.
And thanks to its SPF30 rating and sweat-resistant build, it lasts for several hours of intense activity and swimming.
Brush On Block Broad Spectrum Sunscreen is a mineral-based, powder sunscreen that, unlike other spray-on or lotion sunscreens, merely brushes on to your skin using the included brush.
It is made with titanium oxide and zinc oxide, for natural healthy protection that is subtle and practically invisible.
Waterproof for up to 80 minutes of swimming, Brush On Block is also great for sweat and sports, and does not run into your eyes. The SPF30 rating is more than adequate for blocking UVA and UVB rays for several hours.
Brush On Block also works very well for thinning hair, if you wish to apply it to the top of your head, and the extremely compact size fits well in your pocket or bag.
Epicuren X-treme sunscreen is based on propolis, the beeswax-based compound produced by honey bees. Propolis helps create a thick and moisturizing sunscreen with ample (45 SPF) protection, but does not leave behind any kind of sticky film or residue.
It leaves the skin smoother and more supple, and gives your skin with a bit of glow.
Epicuren is designed for those who are very active and love being outside, staying water and sweat resistant for long periods of time.
The propolis is also very beneficial for those who are already suffering from a sunburn, as the beeswax and other natural compounds are soothing and beneficial for damaged and dry skin.
Many users also say that it works well for rosacea. (Keep in mind, it is not recommended for those with allergies to bees or bee products).
Face Shield is healthy, gentle sunscreen from the guys over at Every Man Jack, who are dedicated to creating natural and superbly performing skincare.
Their sunblock and facial lotion hydrates and moisturizes your skin, rather than drying it out with harsh chemicals. It features absolutely no parabens, phthalates, or dyes and is completely non-comedogenic.
FaceShield is completely unscented, and made with chamomile, aloe vera, vitamin c & e, among other ingredients, to create a smooth and enriching cream for your face.
With SPF 20, it is one of the stronger hydrating sunscreens. Apply 15 minutes before sun exposure, and it should last for several hours.
Heliocare 360 is an ultra-light and sheer, fluid sunscreen offering SPF50, broad-spectrum protection. It is very easy to apply, and dries into your skin without leaving any peeling residue or film.
Completely alcohol and paraben-free, Heliocare 360 is enriched with Fernblock, Heliocare’s combination of natural, anti-oxidant ingredients that includes tropical ferns from Central America.
Fernblock helps fight the free radicals produced by sun exposure and skin damage (sounds fancy). It also has a Vitamin C, E and Green Tea.
Heliocare 360 is one of the most effective sunscreens for combatting skin aging, and reviewers love its ease of use and light scent. It is also non-comedogenic and lets your pores breathe.
If the usual white sunblock makes you look like a pasty ghost, Vertra Men’s Kona Gold is a foundation-based sunscreen, that combines the benefits of makeup with SPF38 sun protection.
It’s natural beige color blends in well with tanned skin, for a natural-looking, easy appearance. Instead of white streaks caked on your face, you’ll look tanned, healthy and natural.
The thick nature of the foundation keeps it substantial, and lasts for all-day protection from the sun.
Kona Gold is also sweat resistant, for exercise, and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes of swimming.
Before you hit that ‘Buy Now’ button, we wanted to put together a little guide that explains why sunscreen specially formulated for a man’s skin actually makes sense for you:
How Men’s Skin Differs:
Men actually have thicker skin than women, thanks to our increased androgen and testosterone levels, which give our skin a much tougher texture.
Men’s skin also has more collagen, and as the amount of collagen in our skin is directly related to aging, men’s skin can often appear younger than a woman’s of the same age.
However, we men tend to be lazy, and we don’t usually put as much effort into caring for our skin as women do. As a result, this difference in skin age is barely noticeable.
That’s why sunscreen is so important, especially if you wish to maintain a youthful appearance. UV light dramatically speeds up the aging process, and can add years the skin’s age.
Using sunscreen properly isn’t as obvious as you might think.
It’s easy to feel that, that since you’re only heading out for a little while, you don’t need any sunscreen.
But for the best protection, you should apply sunscreen every day – not just when you’re spending a day at the beach.
But the effects of the sun sneak up easily. It only takes about 15 minutes to start burning on a bright day, and UV rays don’t take a break from September to April.
If applying sunscreen every day seems like a lot of work, or you don’t think you’ll remember to add it to your morning routine, there are a lot of aftershave balms and facial moisturizers with sunscreen built in – usually between 15 and 30 SPF.
This should be adequate for daily activities, where sun exposure is not prolonged or intense. Find a lotion you like, and apply it after shaving to keep your face young and fresh all-year round.
If you are bald or balding, you need to be especially vigilant. Your head will be exposed to harmful UV rays in all seasons, and you need to either wear a straw hat, panama hat, sun hat, or start applying sunscreen daily.
If you are quite fair-skinned, or come from a country in Western or Northern Europe, you will be even more susceptible.
Lastly, if you come from a family with a history of skin ailments, protecting your skin should be of utmost importance.
Be careful not to go out without a hat, wear long sleeves if you can, and be sure to apply sunscreen to any uncovered areas. You should always check yourself once a month and book an appointment with your dermatologist should anything look suspicious in order to ensure that your skin is in tip-top shape.
Sunscreen Ratings Demystified
You’re probably familiar with terms on your sunscreen like “SPF30” or “SPF15”, but what does that actually mean?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and is the rating used to determine how much protection from the sun a sunscreen offers.
SPF15 blocks about 93% of all harmful UVB rays. SPF30 blocks around 97%, while an SPF50 might block 98%.
Keep in mind, however, that even if it is rated with a high SPF, sunscreen should still be re-applied every few hours. Sweat, water, clothing and poor application will all cause sunscreen to wear off over time, and you should reapply every few hours if you’re staying outside for long periods of time.