Red Skin, dead skin – sunburns are neither pleasant, attractive or healthy. Preventing damage to the largest organ of your body has gained more and more attention in recent years, specifically to maintain a younger and more flawless aesthetic. Nonetheless, it is not a new fad, the early stages of sunscreen made their debut as early as ancient Greek and Egyptian civilizations. Greeks and Egyptians used natural extracts such as jasmine, rice and olive oil to protect their skin from the continuous exposure to harsh sunlight from being outside all day. Native American tribes used pine needles along with other herbs to protect from and soothe their sun-related burns. Without fully comprehending the source and reason for sunburns and other related injuries, early stages of sunscreen still existed and continued to evolve over time. The demand for a preventative product has existed for centuries, yet the lack of scientific knowledge and technology in early days made it difficult to find the right substances and chemicals to achieve this.
In 1938 a Swiss chemistry student climbing in the Alps was not the first person to suffer from a sunburn, but the first determined to find a remedy. He spent years dedicated to research related to injuries caused by the sun and potential remedies. Sunlight and UV rays are damaging enough at a regular altitude and can become an increased issue at a higher altitude. UV ray exposure increases by about 4% every 1000 ft increase in altitude. This makes it easier to burn your skin and increases the need for sunscreen.
Shortly after the need for protection against painful sunburns gained its initial attention, World War II pharmacist and airman Benjamin Green improvised and used thick and unpleasant petrolatum to shield himself and other soldiers from continuous sun rays. After his return from the war, Green alters the substance to become an effective and equally pleasant product for everyday use- the birth and first versions of men’s sunscreen. With ingredients such as cocoa butter and coconut oil, he created the first men’s sunscreen by the name of Coppertone Suntan Cream.
Same concept – different place. Around the same time as Green, the Australian chemist H.A. Milton Blake experimented with topical products aiming for the same effects, meanwhile, at L’Oreal cosmetics, chemist Eugene Schueller formulated his own version of sunscreen, based on previous men’s sunscreen.
Following the initial introduction of men’s sunscreen to the public, variations of the Suntan cream and similar products swiftly emerged. It is not until the 70’s that Piz Buin introduces additional benefits of their new suntan lotion, such as UVA and UVB filters. These new men’s sunscreens featured a mixture of minerals creating a film protecting the skin from, and preventing absorption of harmful UV rays. Previous Suntan lotions merely protected the skin from burns by creating a physical barrier. Later in the ’70s, the first sunscreen claiming to be water-resistant makes a splash in the relatively new market, bringing yet another added benefit to the table.
New products, brands, and competition rarely come without new regulations. In the ’80s the Food and Drug Administration presented its standards to regulate the safety of men’s sunscreen and the SPF scale to inform the public of the effectiveness of each product. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is the fraction of sunburn producing UV-rays that reach the skin. The higher the SPF men’s sunscreen the higher the degree of protection.
The SPF scale opened the door to a variety of new products including sunscreens of different SPF ranges, and new products in addition to the traditional lotions, such as lip balm and makeup. New products and brands also offer a variety of new bronzing shades. It is impossible to walk into a convenience store or pharmacy today, and not see a wide variety of different sunscreen products, with different ranges of SPF’s, specifically the newly emerging and highly beneficial men’s sunscreen.
Custom sunscreens for different demographics such as active individuals, men, women, and children now address their respective custom SPF and skin-type needs in a wider product range. Men’s sunscreen in specific has made incredible advances in the last years and incorporated new extracts and ingredients, specifically vitamins and antioxidants.
Regular sunscreen, as well as water-resistant products, still have excess product, which if not fully absorbed before swimming, washes into the ocean. Recently the damage of Coral Reefs by chemicals in traditional formulas of men’s sunscreens sparked an eco-friendly trend in consumer products. This has incentivized the cosmetic industry to cater to the new demand by formulating new formulas for men’s sunscreens and natural sunscreens that include fewer chemicals and more environmentally conscious ingredients.
Sunscreen has become a staple cosmetic and health beneficial product used frequently by the majority of our population. Most cosmetic brands now have their own sunscreen product, in addition to many brands that focus only on sunscreen, such as jacket men’s sunscreen. Sunscreen for men has many additional benefits such as anti-aging and color-correcting. Powerful extracts such as green tea and Alpha Arbutin reverse pre-existing sun-damage on top of preventing new ones. Other high-end extracts in men’s sunscreen including pomegranate, cucumber, and vitamin C reduce hyperpigmentation, puffiness and wrinkle depths on top of hydrating, soothing and repairing the skin. Men’s sunscreen is a win-win for your skin when investing in a product engineered by a dermatologist with carefully selected, high-end ingredients.
Since the 1930’s the sunscreen industry and product range has come a far way. From the birth of its existence and first concepts to the vast product varieties and quality of custom sun protection, products, and ingredients. Men’s sunscreen as a product has evolved immensely and the demand for fewer wrinkles, dark-spots, and burns due to sun exposure will continue to drive the need for sunscreen and creation of new products. As additional benefits of new extracts are discovered, sunscreen will be re-engineered and customized with time. Until then, make sure you continuously protect your skin from the sun with the best products and mens sunscreen on the market.