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6 Reasons Why All Men Should Care About SPF

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Karlton began covering men's style and grooming topics for The Adult Man since 2020 as a writer. He's also written for other popular men's publications such as The Modest Man and Effortless Gent. Karlton is an LA-born, New York-based lover of culture and optimism. Perpetual watch-wearer. Always holding a martini or a football, Karlton's favorite subjects in school were recess, PE and prom. Read full bio.

Published: Jun 7, 2024
6 min read
Model Applying Oars Alps Sunscreen

Growing up in LA, wearing SPF was a way of life. Despite this, I have two distinct memories that opened my eyes to just how important sunscreen is.

One was when I got back from a ski trip with a sunburn. Until then, I only ever thought to protect myself from the sun in warmer contexts.

Another memory is when my grandfather, who always wears SPF, developed a spot on his upper arm. Fortunately, our doctor got to it before it became an issue. 

As it turns out though, Pa was applying sunscreen only up until the hem of his sleeve. And, your sleeve hikes up and down throughout the day. Even that limited exposure turned out to be detrimental.

Fellas, you need to wear SPF. 

Here are the most important reasons why.

SPF Helps Prevent Skin Cancer

Black many applying Oars and Alps sunscreen

I’m starting with the obvious and most important here. SPF helps block UV rays, the radiation of which can cause skin cancer.

There’s a lot of scientific research that implies that twice as many men die from melanoma. Not to be grim, but either we’re more susceptible to getting sick or we’re just less responsible than the fairer sex.

And cancer? Not a good way to go. Frankly, this should be enough to get you to start wearing SPF daily.

A Clean SPF Often Has Added Health Benefits

Model Holding Oars Alps Sunscreen Spray 1
The Oars + Alps Hydrating Antioxidant SPF 30 Spray

Not all SPFs are made the same. First off, you want one that has broad-spectrum protection. Any sunscreen, however, is better than none—at least for sun protection. This means it protects you from ultraviolet A radiation, as well as B radiation, which is stronger.

You’d also do well to find a nice, clean formula.

That’s why I like brands like Oars + Alps, who avoid the nasty chemicals that even a lot of expensive brands use. And men, avoid anything with phthalates. They disrupt your hormones, including reducing testosterone levels. 

Oars + Alps even has an anti-aging, moisturizing sunscreen that has hyaluronic acid in it, which replenishes your skin. It has healing effects on scars, which is why I like using it on my face. 

Oars + Alps Everyday Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer With SPF 37

If you’re looking for a potent combination of moisturizing face cream and SPF, Oars + Alps’ SPF moisturizer is an excellent choice. SPF 37 ensures durable protection even with a high UV index, and high-quality ingredients like hyaluronic acid and Vitamins B5 and E reduce the signs of aging while keep your skin moisturized.

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If, like me, you’re not great with a razor, I implore you to find SPF with hyaluronic acid in it.

It Keeps Your Skin Looking Good 

Bald model spraing Oars Alps SPF

Listen, I like a good tan too. And I know that a certain amount of sun is good for you. Still, even when you’re wearing sunscreen, that certain amount of sun gets through. You’ll still get that vitamin D. 

On top of that glow, SPF prevents discoloration, reduces hyperpigmentation, and even helps fix uneven skin tone.

And while I believe we men get better with age, you don’t want to look 80 when you’re only 50. Wearing sunscreen helps fight premature aging caused by the sun.

SPF is an important part of a good skin regimen. Which brings me to my next reason.

The Sun is Sneaky

Dark and pale arms with Oars Alps Sunscreen

You need to wear sunscreen all year long. Just because you don’t see sun during a gray winter day, doesn’t mean the rays aren’t subtly coming through as the clouds move. 

And I know what you’re thinking. Why would I slather greasy sunscreen on myself if the sun isn’t particularly strong today? Well, the right sunscreen won’t feel uncomfortably oily. More on that next.

Also, anyone who, like me, ever got sunburnt while skiing understands this. Remember my grandfather, who almost got sick despite being an avid SPF wearer? Even when you’re careful, the UV rays might find a back door.

You’re exposed every day. Even if it’s just a little bit a day, perhaps you live in Seattle, that’s still a lot when you take into account your entire life.

Formulas Have Come a Long Way When It Comes to Greasiness

Model Holding Oars Alps Go Stick Clear Sunscreen
The Oars + Alps Go Stick Clear Sunscreen

Okay, some formulas have come a long way. I too hate that feeling that most sunscreens leave on your body. It doesn’t melt into your skin the way moisturizer does and just leaves this greasy film.

I’m going to spotlight Oars + Alps again because they’re really the gold standard when it comes to clear, non-sticky SPFs. They don’t use oils and it’s the hyaluronic acid that does the moisturizing. It works smarter, not harder. 

They’re also sweat resistant, so they won’t sting your eyes when you perspire.

Another way brands like Oars + Alps ensure a comfortable and frankly, not gross, feel? Innovative hands-free application formats.

Their Hydrating Antioxidant SPF Spray comes out efficiently yet delicately. 

My absolute favorite part is that it can be sprayed upside down. Again, just because a place on your body is hard to reach for you, doesn’t mean it’ll be hard to reach for that sneaky sun. Make sure you get the back of your ears and scalp.

The Go Stick Clear Sunscreen is equally as convenient, greaseless, and bulkless in your backpack. So few sunscreen brands use this format, which is a shame because it travels well.

Oars + Alps Go Stick Clear Sunscreen

Water and sweat resistant for 80 minutes, the Go Stick Clear Sunscreen is equally greaseless as it is convenient. So few sunscreen brands use this go stick format, which is a shame because it travels so well.

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I also like that the scents are subtle and fresh. I don’t understand why sunscreens almost always smell either like chemicals or a pina colada.

The Right Formulas Can Help Fight Sun Sensitivity

Model Spraing Oars Alps Hydrating Antioxidant Sunscreen Spray on His Legs

If you’re particularly sensitive to the sun, or worse yet have an actual sun allergy, avoiding direct sunlight is the best way to go.

However, that’s not always realistic. 

Good sunscreens can help improve your sun sensitivity. However, you have to choose the right sunscreen. This means it should be at least 30 SPF. Moreover, it can’t contain ingredients that can react with the sun and increase your photosensitivity, which I’m afraid so many sunscreen formulas do. 

I’m no doctor. But, if you find that you always wear SPF, yet still burn, this is something to look into. Perhaps you’re extra sensitive and just using the wrong product.

Retinol, for example, can cause photosensitivity for some people. Meanwhile, a natural zinc oxide is less likely to cause skin reactions.

Again, this is why it’s important to go for clean, oil-free, and natural formulas with your sunscreen.

Here’s what I want you to take away from this, in order of importance.

First, you should care about SPF and wear it often. And by often, I mean every day really.

Second, not all sunscreens are made alike. The higher the SPF, the better. Go for broad spectrum protection. And for the love of your skin and your handsome face, go for a formula that’s clean, natural, and avoids chemicals that may zap your testosterone.

And finally, the sunscreen industry has come a long way. Perhaps you stopped wearing SPF because you hate bulky packaging, inconvenient applicators, weird fragrances, or the greasy feel. 

Well, that’s no excuse not to keep your skin healthy. But, you have some great options now, and therefore, no more excuses not to care about SPF.