Beyond the Burn: The Essential Role of Sunscreen for the Modern Man

Beyond the Burn: The Essential Role of Sunscreen for the Modern Man

Remember when…

As kids we were told in summertime that while at the pool, the beach, or playing sports we had to wear sunscreen. We were told that sun exposure caused skin cancer, tanning beds were awful, and that we should limit our sun exposure to the mornings and late afternoons. 

But wait, haven’t there been recent studies showing that we need more exposure to the sun, not less? And in fact, you may have heard that science has developed, and that earlier recommendations about sun exposure may have been incorrect? Let’s dive in and look at the science of the sun and why decisions you make now can allow you to look younger and healthier for years to come.

First things first, we need to have a basic understanding about UV rays from the sun. It turns out UV rays come in two forms: UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply and contribute more to premature aging and cancer. UVB rays tend to cause more superficial damage. Both can damage your skin cells at the molecular level by breaking up the DNA chains. Sunscreen, and particularly the SPF component, provides a protective barrier than absorbs, reflects, or scatters the radiation from the sun. More on that bit about reflected or scattered sunlight to come, because it turns out to be a major culprit.

But while UV rays can cause harm, there are also some serious benefits from exposure to sunlight. Sunlight provides much needed benefits including:

  • Vitamin D which is important for your immune system, bones, and even protect against cancer
  • Improves your sleep cycle
  • Improves your mood
  • And may even increase sex drive – hell yeah!

But not so fast…

As the saying goes, all things are good in moderation. As it turns out, the amount of sunlight you get is important but also when you get it and even where you get the sun exposure.


For starters, most people recognize that they need to apply sunscreen while they are in direct sunlight. This is the type of sunlight you are exposed to while at the beach or watching a baseball game. It gets really hot, and we can even feel the burn. As such, our natural response is to seek shade, apply sunscreen, or limit our exposure.

But the same can’t be said for another culprit: indirect sunlight. Indirect sunlight tends to be tougher to recognize. Because the rays of light are refracted, they loose energy. This means that the indirect or refracted rays simply are not noticed by us as much, but they can still do serious harm.  Examples of this indirect sunlight include sunlight reflecting off water, snow, or any metallic or glass surface. If you live in a city you are going to get sunlight exposure from all over at the sunlight reflects off the water, buildings, and even vehicles passing by.

And not surprisingly, the most common part of her body to receives indirect sunlight exposure is our face. All too often, our face is left unprotected and unexposed to the elements. It’s for this reason that is so important that your daily routine, especially during the summer months, includes a facial moisturizer with SPF.

As it turns out, sunscreen has had quite the history. In ancient times, humans recognized the potential harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays. Egyptians would use natural products like rice bran, jasmine, and lupine to shield their skin from the sun. Fast forward to a trek in the Alps in the 1930s where an Austrian chemist named Franz Greiter was climbing Mount Piz Buin and suffered a terrible sunburn. He invented a new product called “Gletscher Crème” (Glacier Cream) to try and combat the effects of the sun’s rays. As any skier will attest, sun burns during skiing often are much worse than any seen on the beach.

And again, this makes perfect sense. While on a beach vacation you are more likely to get exposure to direct sunlight, notice the exposure, and apply sunscreen. But that is not the case when skiing or snowboarding. Snow reflects sunlight causing exposure of shorter waved refracted sunlight. This type of sun exposure may not be as noticeable as direct sunlight on a tropical vacation, but the damage can be just as harmful – especially if you face is left unexposed without sunscreen.

But we have come quite a way since the days of ancient Egyptian techniques to ward off the sun and our Austrian chemist Franz Greiter’s Glacier Cream. And thanks to Franz Greiter, we now have sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. The SPF number refers to the ability of the product to protect against UVB rays. For example, an SPF of 30, such as what we use in our moisturizer, means that you can stay in the sun 30 times longer than a sunscreen without any SPF before burning and it blocks approximately 97% of UV rays.

Did you know that men are actually at higher risk for skin cancer (melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma) compared to women? We also have a higher rate of mortality following a diagnosis of skin cancer. Yet, studies have shown that men are less likely to wear sunscreen than women. This is likely caused for two reasons:

  • Men tend to be outdoors more than women
  • Men have failed to apply sunscreen as often as women

Regular SPF use will help prevent that sunburn while you’re out on on the golf course, at the beach, or doing yardwork around your house. It can reduce your risk of skin cancer by about 40-50% when wearing SPF 15 or higher and reapplying at appropriate intervals. Additionally, it prevents premature aging signs on our face such as wrinkles and dark spots giving us a much healthier, more youthful appearance. Using our SPF moisturizer is a great way to make sure that you are not only moisturizing your face, but also providing protection against the sun that you need. You can feel confident that you are combating aging and degradation of your skin to look your best for years to come.


How to Evolve Using Our SPF Moisturizer

  1. Use a facial cleanser such as our Age Defying Bamboo Charcoal Cleanser (link here) to clean away any dirt or oils.
  2. Apply the SPF moisturizer with your fingers rubbing in small circles to cover your face, ears, and neck.
  3. If outside and exposed to sun for long periods of time, reapply every 1.5-2 hours for best protection.
  4. Rinse off at the end of the day and apply our Ultra Night Lift Cream to repair and revitalize your skin.
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