I like to take a pragmatic approach to sunscreen use. Especially for men, the first step is to own some sunscreen and have it where you need it! Put some in your golf bag or with your running shoes or in your car (or all of the above).
The second step is to try a few different brands so you find at least one that you like. For example, my wife likes ones that are more moisturizing...but I like some types for my face and other for my arms and body that have more hair! I also like using hats and sun protection clothing so I don't need quite as much sunscreen!
Finally, the other key, now that you have what you need, is to get in the habit of using it. A little bit of sun is fine for vitamin D, but taking extra vitamin D supplements can also make sense for some people. In the end, life is too short, so enjoy the day, don't be afraid of going outdoors, just protect yourself!
The regular use of sunscreen is a critical step for reducing the risk of developing skin cancer and preventing the premature aging of the skin caused by sun exposure.
Despite what we know about the harmful effects of UV radiation from the sun, rising rates of skin cancer and actinic keratoses indicate that more people than ever are spending too much time in the sun without sufficient sun protection.
Advances in sunscreen formulations make it easier than ever to use sunscreen each and every time you are out in the sun.
Keep the following sunscreen tips in mind.
Most sunscreens in stores are “chemical sunscreens”. They use chemicals that interact with the skin to absorb UV radiation. “Physical sunscreens” use inert minerals to deflect or scatter the UV radiation, like microscopic mirrors.
Common ingredients of “physical sunscreens” include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or iron oxide. Many formulations will combine these ingredients to provide a wide range of UV protection.
Physical sunscreens are less likely to cause allergic reactions and they start working immediately once they are applied to the skin. This makes them useful options for children with sensitive skin or who are too impatient to wait before going out in the sun.
Although past formulations were unsightly (often leaving a white film on the skin), newer "microfine" formulations are invisible after being applied. Microfine titanium dioxide is effective at protecting from both UVA and UVB rays.
These products were once referred to as “sunblocks” but that terminology was thought to be misleading since they do not offer 100% protection and they too require regular re-application.