Summer is here and that means one thing… sun! We might not be the luckiest with the weather here in the UK but according to the Office for National Statistics, us Brits jetted overseas 70.8 million times in 2016 alone which was an 8% rise compared to 2015, so is likely to be even more this year.
Whether you’re lapping up the sun here in the UK or somewhere a little more exotic, sun protection is key and something that a lot of men just don’t take seriously enough.
We don’t just want you to be stylish this summer but healthy and happy too which is why we’ve teamed up with some of the country’s sun care and skin experts to ensure you’re ready to enjoy the rays this year without causing yourself any damage!
The Facts About Men and SPF
Too many men in the UK see SPF or sun cream as an optional when in fact it is actually essential for protecting yourself. Unlike other products such as cleansers and moisturisers that are more for improving the appearance of your skin, SPF is for protecting your skin from life-changing damage but currently, not enough men look at it like that!
North West Cancer Research have recently launched their #suncreamselfie campaign to raise awareness for how important using sun protection really is and as part of this campaign, they conducted a survey amongst 900 people in the north west of England and north of Wales and found out some pretty shocking statistics about men and their sun care habits!
According to this survey, 89% of men never wear sun cream whilst in the UK, no matter how hot it gets and 10% of the men surveyed even admitted to not wearing sun cream at all, even on holiday.
For the men that said they did wear sun cream, 25% of them said they usually used an SPF of 15, one of the lowest factors you can buy. The surveying team went on to further quiz men’s knowledge of the sun protection products they’ve been using and nearly 50% said they don’t reapply sun cream regularly enough and 68% admitted they don’t know the difference between UVA and UVB protection.
These statistics are quite telling about the way the modern man looks at sun protection, even though the gents of today are taking their grooming routines more seriously than ever before.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, we’ve got some expert advice for how you can turn those bad habits around and become an expert at staying safe in the sun!
How to Stay Protected in the Sun
Lloyds Pharmacy are one of the best-known chemists in the UK and their pharmacist and skincare expert Anshu Bhimbat has shared some top tips on how to keep yourself protected whilst still enjoying the warm weather!
Anshu told us how you should apply SPF half an hour before actually heading out into the sun and then shortly after getting out under the rays to ensure you’ve given yourself the best chance of being fully protected. She also advises that a man should use a blob of sun cream that is equivalent in size to a golf ball or six teaspoons to cover the whole body, so any less might not be enough!
You should be reapplying sun cream every 2 hours for optimum protection and Anshu warned us how ‘water resistant’ SPFs aren’t friction resistant, so if you dry off with your towel or find yourself wiping away sweat, it’s time to reapply!
Lloyds Pharmacy want to emphasise that if your skin is dehydrated, you could be more prone to skin damage, so as well as using enough SPF, you need to drink enough water too! They also highlight that if your skin is already sun damaged or you have a history of skin cancer, always wear SPF 50 or above and stay in the shade where possible.
Which SPF is Right for Me?
If you’re new to the world of SPF, it might be slightly baffling trying to determine which products and protection factor is right for you. One thing to remember is that it is better to wear an SPF with a factor higher than your skin requires than one that is too low and that it isn’t just your skin that is exposed that should be covered with SPF, always do your whole body!
Lloyds Pharmacy have created a simple guide to help you determine what SPF is right for your skin and hair type:
With all these top tips and great pieces of advice, there’s no excuse to not stay safe in the sun this summer! We hope you’ve found this useful if you were feeling a little lost when it came to the world of SPF for men and now you’ve got all the information you could ever need to look and feel good in the sun!
If you want to show off your new knowledge of sun protection and get involved with a great cause at the same time, share your #suncreamselfie on Instagram or Twitter and use the hashtag as well as tagging @northwestcancer and spread awareness about the importance of sun protection!
If you found out about the campaign through this article, we’d love to know, so tag @slaters1973 in your selfies too!