summer skin protection from damaging sun rays

Skin care is something most men neglect until you experience a problem. However, your skin is actually your largest organ, and its health directly affects everything else. If your skin is dry and cracked, you open the body to infections that can easily spread. The best way to care for this organ is to give it regular TLC, even for us guys. While we all know we need to wash our face, good summer skin care goes much deeper.

Understanding the Basics of Skin Care

Caring for your skin includes washing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. Yes, that sounds a little feminine routine, but it is what is needed to maintain your skin. Here’s what it actually entails and why it’s important. Washing your skin is pretty self-explanatory. You need to remove the dirt and oil from your body to keep your pores open. It also keeps your skin looking young and fresh for all the important events in your life. Once you clean your skin, you need to exfoliate. If you’re like me, you probably had no idea what this actually means. This is simply removing the dead cells from the surface of your skin. Exfoliating is important to unclog your pores and allow other products to penetrate more deeply. Finally, you need to moisturize your skin, especially if you shave regularly. The largest key to healthy skin is keeping it properly moisturized. This helps it not only continue looking healthy, but also keeps it from being irritated and itchy.

sun at a baseball game

Summer Skin Care For Men Is About More Than Just Sunscreen

One of the things most men don't consider is that protecting your skin from sun damage is more than just simply slapping on some sunscreen and heading outside. In fact, while there are some great chemical products out there, the best solution if you are expecting prolonged exposure is to wear a long sleeve shirt, pants, wide brimmed hat, and good quality sunglasses. Obviously, this works better for some activities - fishing or hiking for instance - than it would a day at the beach. Wearing extra clothing can also be hot if you are sitting in the sun at a mid-day baseball game or expect to get wet at the pool or beach.

In those circumstances, there are three primary areas where chemical sun protection can help you.

Everyday Face Moisturizers with SPF - healthy skin will be more resistant to damaging rays as well as aging in general. Make sure to pick a moisturizer that has at least SPF 30 to help reduce sun damage even if you aren't expecting prolong exposure.

Sunscreen and SPF Lip Balm - these products are designed specifically to protect your body from the sun. While you are probably familiar with sunscreen, a good lip balm is essential as well if you are planning to be in a harsh environment such as being out on the water.

After Sun Skin Protection - even if you don't think you got enough sun exposure to damage your skin, even moderate exposure can dry it out and accelerate aging. Products like Oars and Alps After Sun Cooling Spray are a great option here and contains Kukui Oil and Alpine Caribou Moss provide potent antioxidants like Vitamins A, C and E that help the skin repair itself after exposure to UV rays.


Why Regular Care Matters

It is easy to let a skin care routine slip, especially when you are busy. However, the health of any part of your body is about giving it regular attention. When you fail to give your skin regular TLC, oil and dirt build up, clogging your pores. This is not only unsightly, but leads to pimples, which can easily lead to infections. It may also lead to a buildup of dead skin, which is then more difficult to remove. This excess dead skin prevents moisturizers from penetrating and hydrating your skin properly. Be sure to keep up on all three components of your skin care routine. Give special attention to the parts of your skin that get direct sunlight during the summer months.


Protecting From the Sun

We all know that the sun can be damaging to our skin, including leading to cancers of the skin like melanoma. However, most men ignore this risk, thinking that it won’t affect the most manly of men. However, the radiation from the sun mutates human cells with repeated exposure. This is why applying sunscreen is so important. As you consider your sunscreens, take some time to learn more about what you’re applying to your skin, and its benefits and risks. There are two primary types of lotion-type sunscreen: physical barrier and chemical sunscreens. Physical barrier sunscreens are typically thicker, and block the sun’s rays at the surface of the skin, before they can penetrate. Chemical sunscreens penetrate more deeply into the skin and absorb the radiation as it begins penetrating. There are also physical barrier accessories you can purchase to help protect from the sun. This includes shirts, hats, and shorts. If you are going to be out in the sun frequently, consider using clothing that offers sun protection, then applying a quality sunscreen to the skin that’s still exposed.


Dealing with Sunburn

If you do happen to get a sunburn, be sure to treat it quickly, and more than just a cold shower. Rather, sunburns tend to dry the skin out even more due to the inflammation to comes with them, so moisturizing becomes even more important. Try using a product with aloe vera or something with high-quality lavender. In my home we use jojoba oil mixed with lavender, which helps sooth the burn and hydrate the skin simultaneously.

oars alps mens skin care products

Exercise Care With Your Products

Keep your body as health as you are keeping your skin by using natural skin care products Oars and Alps is one of our favorite, providing a full line of sun protection without the risk of harmful chemicals. Proper summer skin care is more than simply one element. It's the whole package and that includes protecting yourself, but also protecting the environment and your general health as well. 

As you consider your skin care products, exercise caution on what you choose. Many products use various chemicals that are known to disrupt endocrine function, lead to cellular mutation, and even promote skin tumors. In fact, the FDA is currently asking for more information from cosmetic manufacturers on the following chemicals commonly found in sunscreens:

  • Ensulizole
  • Homosalate
  • Octocrylene
  • Octinoxate
  • Oxybenzone

The folks at Oars and Alps go farther than most others out there and while I knew to look for sunscreens that are so called "reef safe" because they avoid various chemicals, I didn't realize just how many sunscreens had so many different chemical substances in them even if they avoided the worst offenders. 

Sustainability is important and it all comes down to doing the right thing to protect those places that we love. That starts with ourselves, our families, and our friends and should extend to our favorite beaches, fishing spots, hiking trails, and camping spots too.