Thursday, July 9, 2009

When it Comes to The Sun, Even a Man Has to Know His Limitations...

We all dig the sun, and boaters have to deal with it all the time. We've talked about how important sunglasses can be for protecting your eyes, but it's a pretty good idea to look after your skin as well - and that's where a decent sunscreen comes in handy. Whether your Mister Pale-Freckles or Mr. Road Construction Tan, it's a good idea to use something on your skin - at least at the start of every summer season. Burnt skin doesn't look good or feel good; and nobody wants skin cancer, so it's best to play it smart and use an adequate level of protection. Here's some things to remember for guys:

The skin is also an excellent accountant -- every moment you spend out in the sun adds up slowly -- like money in the bank. Unfortunately, the payoff down the road may be potential skin damage in the form of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation (okay, dark spots) and premature ageing...as well as the potential for skin cancer, which can be very serious.

Defend yourself the easy way by limiting exposure to the sun and protect the skin with sunscreen. Don't forget the top of your head (especially if you're shaved, bald or your hair is thinning) can be protected with a hat. Keep a baseball cap or panama hat handy and wear it every once in a while.

All sunblocks guard against UVB rays to stop your skin from burning and most also block UVA2 rays. Look for products which contain Avobenzone (Parsol 1789) to ensure your skin has the best protection against damaging sunlight. You're not a baby - so a lower level of protection (SPF4 or 8) might be good enough, unless your skin is really sensitive.

Men are particularly vulnerable to sun damage after shaving. Two to three layers of skin are shed when you shave, and that leaves skin more sensitive to the sun. This shouldn't be a problem, since a lot of you guys never shave on the wekends anyway...

Avoid alcohol-based aftershave prior to sun exposure -- this can lead to hyper pigmentation spots appearing on your skin (think liver spots, but not permanent).

Me, I go with the classic Coppertone SPF 4. Gives me all the protection I need and no other smell says "beach" better than this stuff. In fact, it's even a pretty good after-shave, except that the smell doesn't last that long. It keeps your skin from drying out and it's non-greasy, too -- so I don't have to worry about a beer slipping out of my hands when I'm relaxing on the dock or at the local waterside tiki bar.

BTW, I didn't notice till after I posted it that the blonde in the Coppertone ad is actually Sharon Tate. If you don't know who that is, then it doesn't matter...

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