Summer is around the corner. I can already feel the excitement in the air. A lot of activities await everyone. You’ll need to go shopping for beach shorts and sunglasses, dust your surfboards and get in touch with old friends.
Well, amidst all this chaos, don’t forget to add sunscreen to your buying list.
You’re probably going to spend a lot of hours outside, exposed to the sun’s rays. While the heat feels great, it can have adverse effects on the body.
Sunburn and cancer are some of the risks that you’re exposing yourself to.
Luckily, we have sunscreens. These fantastic lotions form a protective shield on our skin and guard us against the sun’s harmful UV Rays.
Applying sunscreen allows you to enjoy the satisfying sun’s rays without fear of skin problems.
But there are thousands of products in the market, and it’ll probably take you days before you find the right one. To save you the hassle, I have compiled a list of the top five best sunscreens for men. Sunburn should be a foreign term henceforth!
5 Best Sunscreens For Men – Our Top Picks
What Are the Benefits of Using Sunscreen?
What are you getting yourself into when you use sunscreen?
Sunscreen comes with lots of benefits. Here are a few of them.
Protection From The sun
One of the most common and notable advantages of using sunscreen is that it protects your skin from harmful UV rays. Sunscreen works by preventing the penetration of UV rays, which trigger a number of skin problems.
Mild sunburns can have adverse effects, and you shouldn’t take it lightly. That’s why you need to wear sunscreen whenever you’re out for considerable amounts of time.
Yes, sunscreen gives you an even complexion.
One of the effects of sunburn is that it leaves you with uneven tones.
Luckily, using a premium sunscreen or face moisturizer (you can refer to my article of best moisturizers for men) will help solve this menace.
Reduces The Risk of Getting Cancer
Did you know that you’re risking getting skin cancer (melanoma) by exposing yourself to harmful UV rays?
This type of cancer can be very aggressive and life-threatening, especially to young people in their 20s.
Prevent yourself from this cancer by wearing sunscreen every time you’re out in the sun for long periods.
Protection From Premature Aging
Getting exposed to the sun can ruin your fantasy of having the radiant and youthful skin that you’ve always wanted. The result is increased fine lines and wrinkles on the skin, making you appear older than you are.
Sunscreen helps eliminate these wrinkles and fine lines, maintaining your younger look. Wouldn’t you want that?
Pro Tip: When using sunscreen, apply eye cream to the wrinkles and fine lines. Also, wash your face every morning.
Recipe For Healthy Skin
Sunscreens use ingredients like keratin, which are essential in promoting healthy skin. Keratin is a protein that leaves the skin healthy in terms of appearance and functionality.
How to Choose the Best Sunscreen for Men?
1. Type of Sunscreen
There are two types of sunscreen: body sunscreen and face sunscreen. There has been a debate on whether you can use the two interchangeably.
The answer is No!
As men, we love the idea of using one product for the entire body, like a body lotion.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be applied with sunscreen. You’ll need different sunscreens for your face and body.
Face screen is made lightweight and non-comedogenic. This means that it won’t clog your pores but get absorbed easily. The face sunscreen works similarly to the body sunscreen.
The difference is that this one is made to decrease sensitivity. It will not trigger any breakouts and will work excellently even with sensitive skin.
Pro Tip: Don’t use your body sunscreen on the face. This is especially the dry-touch sprays since they’re loaded with alcohol. They can quickly dry out your face.
Body sunscreens differ from the face ones in that they’re thicker, come in larger volumes, and most of them are comedogenic.
This means that they will allow dust and pollutants to clog your skin unless you wash them off.
There are, however, some sunscreens that have been given the green light for use on both the body and face. Such products use ingredients from both categories, which is a positive sign.
Pro Tip: Look for sunscreens that are usable on both the face and body to save you that extra cash.
2. Skin Type
Your skin type determines your vulnerability to skin cancer and sunburn. It also determines what product you’ll go for.
For instance, if you have dry skin, the last thing you don’t want is to go for a sunscreen product that will dry your skin further.
Here are a few tips to get you going.
Dry skin is common in many men, especially those who are aging.
If you possess such skin, look for moisturizing components and properties in sunscreen.
Examples include hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, which counter-attack drying effects that the sunscreen may come with.
Oily skin is common in young people and those who are prone to acne breakouts. There are specific ingredients in sunscreens designated to fight off this condition.
You can also purchase non-comedogenic sunscreens as these are designed specifically to deal with oily skin and acne breakouts.
Also, thinner sunscreens are better for this skin. They have lightweight compounds and will not clog your pores.
A huge percentage of sunscreens are designed for sensitive skin.
These contain titanium oxide and zinc oxide. The two ingredients reflect the sun’s rays rather than absorbing. Moreover, they do so without causing any irritation.
Men with pale skin should be more concerned and choosy with the sunscreen they’re getting.
Why? Because they are at a higher risk of acquiring sunburn and other serious conditions like cancer (source).
You should be more concerned about the SPF rating, which should be 20 minimum.
The advantage of having normal skin is that you can use just about any product. Look for sunscreens with a minimum SPF rating of 15 to be on the safer side.
3. Ingredients To Go For
Ingredients are also among the most important things to look for in sunscreens. Sunscreen’s active ingredients affect the product’s texture and defensive capability.
With this, there are ‘good‘ ingredients and ‘bad‘ ones.
What should you go for, and what should you avoid?
I tell you all about this.
Zinc Oxide is one of the most important ingredients in sunscreen. Why, because it helps to reflect away sun rays. Also, Zinc Oxide helps fight inflammation and irritation and is excellent for men with sensitive skin.
Ecamsule is in charge of eliminating wrinkles and fine lines, to leave you looking younger than ever.
Benzophenone comes with broad-spectrum protection. This means that sunscreens with this ingredient are excellent for blocking most of the sun’s rays.
Cinnamates also come with broad-spectrum protection. A combo of this ingredient and benzophenones is what helps fight sunburn and melanoma.
Pro Tip: Not every sunscreen will feature every ingredient mentioned above. Most will come with two or three of the ingredients.
4. Ingredients To Avoid
There are, however, some ingredients that you should keep off!
These ingredients are found in low-budget products and will do more harm to your skin than help you.
Avobenzone is an ingredient found in some sunscreens and serves the purpose of reflecting both UVA and UVB rays.
It’s also among the least offensive ingredients you’ll come across. So, what makes it a big turn off?
For starters, avobenzone breaks down very quickly when exposed to the sun. It normally offers only 30 minutes of protection.
This makes it easy for UV rays to penetrate deep into the skin layers and causing long-term damage.
To fight this, manufacturers normally combine avobenzone with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The combination may work but is still restricted in the US by the FDA.
Cynoxate is a yellow liquid. It absorbs the UV radiation that is responsible for premature aging, development of melanoma, and sunburns.
While all these functions are excellent, cynoxate causes skin sensitivity over time. It leads to irritation and inflammation.
Pro Tip: Other ingredients that you should keep off include Paba, parabens, homosalate, and dioxybenzone.
What fragrance does your sunscreen hold?
Some men would rather have a non-pungent product. This is normal. Always check out the fragrance of the product before purchasing it.
Some products like NIVEA ENERGY (confirm with my list) come with pleasant and non-overpowering scents. This might also be another good option.
6. Broad-Spectrum Coverage
In my list, you’ll note that I have labeled some products as offering ‘broad-spectrum coverage’ protection.
What this means is that the product will protect you from both types of radiation, UVA, and UVB.
These sunscreens are better as they offer more protection. Products with low SPF ratings and those that are not broad spectrum need to have a warning mark on their labels.
What are non-comedogenic sunscreens?
These are products that won’t clog your pores. Clogged pores result in oily skin and acne breakouts.
So if you suffer from either of these two, try looking for non-comedogenic sunscreens.
Thin lotions and sunscreens are also considered to be non-comedogenic.
8. SPF Rating
Lastly, I have the Sun Protection Factor, which is normally abbreviated to SPF rating.
This is a unit that denotes how effective the sunscreen is at preventing sunburn. Aside from the SPF rating, it’s also important to know how long the sunscreen will remain effective (re-application period).
The SPF rating isn’t an indication of the sunscreen’s power, but rather how effective it is at blocking sun rays.
For instance, an SPF of 30 is likely to block 97% of the rays, while SPF 15 will block 94%.
Pro Tip: The SPF rating multiplied by 10 indicates how long the sunscreen will remain effective. For example, SPF 15 will be effective for 150 minutes before you start experiencing any more sunburn.
5 Best Sunscreens for Men – Reviews And Top Picks (2021)
With thousands of products in the market, you can spend days scouring to find the best sunscreen for your skin type.
Even so, you are still not guaranteed to find the right one. To save you the hassle, time, and energy, I have compiled a list of the 5 best sunscreens for men.
While there are lots of other fantastic products out there, these five stand out.
1. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen for Face & Body
Do you know the irritating oily feeling that you get after applying most lotions?
Yeah, we all hate that. There’s no more reason to endure that when Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen for Face & Body is around.
This is a high SPF rated sunscreen that offers exceptional protection from harmful UV rays.
What’s even better is that it is compatible with all skin types. Whether your skin is oily, dry, or sensitive, you are welcome to enjoy this sunscreen’s benefits.
Also, if you hate the greasy feeling that comes with sunscreens but still needs protection from the sun, this product will prove useful.
The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen is a little different from the other products on my list.
How? It isn’t your everyday lotion that you rub on your skin. Instead, this sunscreen is packaged like a deodorant stick. This makes it incredibly easy to run it across the skin.
Many testers liked this technique as they found applying the sunscreen a lot easier than other products.
Although its SPF Rating (70) isn’t the highest on my list, it’s still decent enough for those with pale skin. The benzophenone used in its ingredients gives it a broad-spectrum protective capability.
You’ll be disappointed to learn that this sunscreen’s bottle comes with only 1.5 ounces of lotion.
This amount will not last you long. The manufacturers made up for this shortcoming with its affordable pricing. You should purchase it without feeling the pinch in your pocket.
- Feels great on the skin, not greasy
- Compatible with all skin types
- Very small amounts of sunscreen in the bottle
2. JACK BLACK Double-Duty Face Moisturizer & SPF 20 Suncreen
Say goodbye to damaged skin and hello to repaired, fine complexion skin tone with the JACK BLACK Double-Duty Face Moisturizer. This is an excellent sunscreen for all skin types and works, particularly in wet climates.
The ingredients used in this sunscreen don’t cause inflammation or irritation. This makes the product ideal for sensitive skin. Zinc Oxide is the ingredient responsible for this. It reflects away harmful UV rays.
This sunscreen is also excellent for men with pale skin. It lacks oily ingredients and comes with an SPF rating of 45. The rating is high enough to block away most of the sun’s rays.
Therefore, if you have fair skin or live in a sunny climate, this is a great pick.
Did I also mention that the sunscreen is non-comedogenic?
Yes, it is, thanks to its non-oily ingredients. So there is no need to worry if you’re the type to experience acne breakouts all the time.
The re-application time of this sunscreen is also awesome. Whereas some products require you to reapply them every 15 minutes, this one is after 60 minutes.
Another notable feature is that the manufacturers opted to use Vitamin C with this product instead of benzophenones. The result is soothing, sensational, and vibrant skin.
All in all, the JACK BLACK Double-Duty Face Moisturizer is an excellent option for all skin types. Men with sensitive skin will, however, find it most useful.
- An excellent choice for sensitive skin
- Decent re-application times
- Ideal for wet climatic conditions
- Good texture
- Not very effective at broad-spectrum protection
3. Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen
The pretty, adorable bottle of this sunscreen is a reflection of its incredible performance.
The sunscreen serves two main purposes. One, it will moisturize your skin to prevent it from drying and cracking. And secondly, it also protects the skin from sun damage.
Who is it for?
Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen is an excellent choice for men with normally dry skin who require sun protection. Although its SPF rating is a bit low, 30 is still decent and capable of blocking 97% of the sun’s UV rays.
I love the fact that its re-application period is after 80 minutes. This makes it the longest-lasting product on my list. To be honest, this duration is quite impressive.
Although this sunscreen comes with a bunch of ingredients, none of them causes allergies. In fact, the sunscreen is oily free and non-comedogenic. It’s an excellent option for men with acne breakouts.
If your sensitive skin reacts poorly to synthetic chemicals and ingredients, this here is your product. It includes aloe vera in its ingredients, which serves as a moisturizing agent.
One last thing with this sunscreen is that you get eight ounces with its purchase. Talk about value for your money!
To add icing to the cake, its price is reasonable. Buy this product, and you won’t change it for a very long time.
- High amounts in the bottle, eight ounces.
- Has moisturizing effects
- Great for sensitive skin
- Not oily and feels very nice on the skin
- Low SPF ratings compared to its competitors
4. NIVEA Men Energy Lotion – Sunscreen for Face
Who doesn’t know NIVEA?
The reputable company has been in business for decades and climbed up the ranks as one of the best companies. Therefore, I don’t have to do all the work of convincing you how efficient the brand is.
That’s the advantage of going for brands. Their products speak for themselves. Moreover, you can be assured of good customer service and a full refund if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase.
The case is similar with the NIVEA Men Energy Lotion; although, I highly doubt whether you’ll be returning it any time for whatever reason.
If it’s the performance, this sunscreen is incredible. Its pricing is reasonable, considering the quality. In the real sense, there’s nothing to complain about it.
On top of protecting you from the sun, this sunscreen also revitalizes your skin, making you smoother and younger.
Also, as expected, the sunscreen comes with an appealing fragrance, which is light and non-overpowering.
This sunscreen also gets absorbed into the skin quickly.
- Decent pricing
- Has a light, non-overpowering fragrance
- Gets absorbed into the skin quickly
- Has a greasy feeling after applying it
5. Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen
Closing my list is another incredible product from Neutrogena – proof of how effective and efficient the brand is.
What you’re settling for with the Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen is a product that doesn’t use any oil ingredients in its formula.
Even so, it still manages to score a high SPF rating for excellent results. A high SPF rating means that more of the sun’s rays are blocked (virtually 99%).
If you have pale, sensitive, or oily skin or you simply want to block 99% of the sun’s UV rays, this is your product. Its major ingredients are benzophenones and Zinc oxide.
Benzophenone provides broad-spectrum protection against UVB rays while Zinc oxide deals with UVA rays.
This sunscreen is sweat and waterproof and becomes an excellent choice for men who spend lots of hours in the sun playing sports or working. It’s also a great pick for swimmers who spend lots of time outside at the poolside.
The sunscreen contains a secret electrolyte complex ingredient that restores and nourishes the skin’s balance. This makes your skin appear younger and have a better pH rating.
A huge downside to this product is that its bottle only contains a few ounces of lotion. However, to make up for this, the product’s price is subsidized.
- Sweat and waterproof
- An excellent choice for sensitive skin
- Highly decent SPF ratings
- Small amounts of sunscreen in the bottle
Here is a video explaining some of the common mistakes people make when wearing sunscreens. (Source)
Who said you can’t enjoy a perfect summer holiday without the fear of getting sunburns?
This might have been the case two decades ago, but not now. The market is full of incredible products that will reflect 99.9% of harmful UVA and UVB rays. My list contains some of these.
Which is my overall best sunscreen?
The answer is simple: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen for Face & Body. From its price to performance and application method, everything is there to love with this product. Although its bottle only contains 1.5 ounces of product, it is still worth it.
Keep in mind all the factors that I gave when choosing the best sunscreens for men, especially with the ingredients.
You don’t want to apply a low-quality product and finding yourself at an appointment with your dermatologist.
How do you fight off sunburn?