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A guy’s guide to sunscreen

Listen up men, rain, hail or shine, sun protection is hands down your best anti-ageing, skin preserving product. Yep, you read that right. Maybe your partner has bathroom shelves packed with serums, creams and oils and is begging you to Netflix and sheet mask on a Friday night, that’s ok, go right ahead, but it’s what you do every day to protect the underlying collagen network that will determine how your skin will age- prematurely, or not.

Can sunscreen help prevent skin ageing in men?

Sunscreen is obviously your go-to when you are outdoors and wanting to prevent burning, but SPF does so much more than that. Sure, it’s vital to slip, slop, slap and prevent melanoma, especially in Australia, but if it’s prevention of lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and preserving skin quality you are after, SPF needs to be on the daily. Let’s look at why.

Your skin is supported from underneath, with a network of collagen and elastin fibres that keep it firm, smooth, and free of lines and wrinkles. Collagen and elastin are like building blocks; to have a strong and stable surface skin structure and youthful appearance, those building blocks need to be kept healthy and strong. Heads up fella, sunlight, in particular the UV light rays in sunlight, break down the collagen in your skin faster than natural ageing. Around 80%-90% of skin ageing is thought to be caused by the sun in fact! Sunlight is the main source of UV radiation, with 95% of the UV rays that we are exposed to being UVA rays and the rest UVB. UVA light rays are the heavy hitters in terms of degrading that supportive collagen tissue underneath the surface of your skin. They penetrate the deeper layers of the skin (dermis) and cause an abnormally high amount of elastin to build up. This causes the production of enzymes called metalloproteinases and they break down collagen. Without the strong building blocks underneath the surface, the skin starts to wrinkle and sag. On top of that bad news, UV light causes the formation of free radicals in the skin, they cause oxidative stress and also activate the enzymes that break down collagen. Think about what happens to the flesh of an apple once it’s cut open… that browning and shriveling you see is damage from oxidative stress and free radicals. No one wants that happening to their skin!  And just because you might be indoors or driving in a car, don’t get complacent, because UVA light rays get right through glass and into the skin where they cause their problems.

What sun protection is best for men?

What to do if you don’t fancy looking like your neighbour’s Pug any time soon? Use sunscreen every single day. It needs to be the good stuff, so SPF50, which filters out 98% of damaging UV light, is your new best friend. It should be the last step in your morning skincare regime, and you should reapply throughout the day; around every 2 -4 hours, but more often after swimming, exercise and towel drying. There are two types of sunscreens, mineral blocks and chemical blocks. They are both good, they just work differently. The mineral sunscreens contain minerals like Zinc oxide which reflect and scatter UV light away from the skin, whereas chemical style blocks absorb UV light and prevent it getting into the skin. Which one is for you? Mineral sunscreens tend to have a slightly heavier texture than the chemical sunscreens, that’s the nature of the minerals used in the formula. We have both types.

Ultra-Protection Sunscreen SPF 50+ is a very high protection sun block designed to use every day. Although it is a mineral block, it’s not sticky or greasy and it does not leave a white mask-like finish like many mineral-based sunscreens do. Light weight texture and highly effective at the same time. It comes in a 75ml tube, so it’s best to use on the face. Remember to spread over your ears, lips, throat and back of your neck.

Face & Body Sunscreen SPF50+ comes in a bigger 200ml tube. It is an ultra-light texture and so a little goes a long way, making it perfect for both face and body. This one has patented technology inside. It promotes the skins natural Vitamin D producing function (yes, your skin produces Vitamin D naturally in the presence of sunlight) with its Activated Vitamin D technology. It blocks out the ageing UVA light rays, but let’s in enough UVB light so the skin can still produce Vitamin D, necessary for many healthy body functions, including boosting immunity. This one is a chemical style sun block; it’s reef safe, paraben free, nanoparticle free and cruelty free like every other Aesthetics Rx product. 

There it is; how to get one up on preventing accelerated skin ageing guys. So get to it and apply your SPF every morning, starting now!

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