There’s no avoiding the sun. It’s everywhere you look…everywhere you go. It shows up outside your window every morning. In fact, it probably rises before you do. It hangs around all day…following you…waiting for you…
And, this time of year, it stays up pretty late. Hovering overhead, the sun always seems to have you in its sights…radiating heat, providing light, and showering you with its spectacular rays.
We’re obviously having some fun here, but the truth is the sun is incredibly important for a variety of reasons. We won’t go into detail here…you can get that info in science class. But it’s a fact that without the sun and its many benefits, there would be no life on Earth. We would not exist. So the sun and its rays deserve our praise.
However, the sun also has the potential to be extremely dangerous, so it’s also worth us respect. It has been written that fear is the beginning of wisdom. Well, there’s definitely some truth to that statement, but we’re not interested in scaring anybody or causing panic. But we absolutely do want to educate about both the risks and rewards of this popular star. After all, it has also been written that knowledge is power.
So let’s take a look at a few common questions and perceptions about the sun. We’ll break them down, provide the real facts and hopefully help arm you with the information necessary to protect yourself.
Do you still have to wear men’s sunscreen if you’re going to be in a shady area?
Most people believe that seeking shelter from the sun’s rays under a tree or even under an umbrella will protect you. While this obviously reduces your sun exposure, it absolutely does not put you in the clear.
First, the sun’s rays are still able to penetrate openings between tree branches and batches of leaves, just as they are able to seep through the umbrella’s canopy fabric. Even clothing does not offer 100% protection from the sun.
Also, the sun will find you even when hunkered down in the shade because its rays bounce or reflect off items and other immediate surroundings and are redirected toward you. This opens your skin up to sun exposure and makes it vulnerable to the damage caused by ultraviolet rays.
So, yes, being in the shade on a sunny day is better than being in direct sunlight; but, no, it does not mean you are not at risk of sun damage or that you shouldn’t wear men’s sunscreen.
Are people who tan easily without burning still susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer?
Absolutely, yes. There is a strong belief that individuals with fair skin that tend to burn easily are at greater risk of developing skin cancer and suffering from other effects of sun exposure, and there is some data to support that. However, those with golden tans are very much at risk as well.
Our skin changes color — whether it be red, tan, or any shade in between — as a result of sun exposure because the sun’s UVB ultraviolet rays alters our body’s DNA. The ensuing cell abnormalities are what ultimately lead to the formation of skin cancer and other damage.
So, yes, while those “Hollywood” tans look fabulous, they are not a sign of good health and there very well could be trouble brewing.
Does the SPF number on the men’s sunscreen bottle represent the percentage of ultraviolet rays that it blocks?
This one sounds good and seems like it could be true but, unfortunately, it’s not.
There are sunscreens on the market with sun protection factor ratings of 100, but they do not block 100% of the sun’s rays. There are no sunscreens or other forms of skin protectants that successfully block all ultraviolet rays. Dermatologists recommend wearing men’s sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50 when spending time in the sun. A men’s sunscreen with a 50 SPF actually blocks 98% of the sun’s harmful rays. That’s certainly a great form of protection but it’s not 100%.
Products with an SPF higher than 50 may offer even more protection, but the difference is negligible and immeasurable. Jacket sunscreen has an SPF of 50+, which should bring great comfort knowing that you are receiving maximum protection.
Are there really certain ingredients used in men’s sunscreen that actually do more harm than good?
This is a great question but unlike the others, it’s not a simple “yes” or “no” answer. An individual wearing a sunscreen, regardless of its contents, will have greater protection against the sun’s rays and the harm they have the potential to cause than an individual not wearing any men’s sunscreen.
However, there are certainly some chemicals that are used in many brands of men’s sunscreen that have been shown to have toxic properties, causing damage to the skin and, in some cases, possibly being linked to cancer.
So, the answer? No matter what the ingredients are in a particular men’s sunscreen, the product will provide protection from the sun. So that is not more harm than good. But some ingredients have the ability to cause other serious health concerns, so products made with those toxins should be avoided, as they can do more harm than good.
Fear not, there is a simple solution to this not-so-simple situation. Use men’s sunscreens that are made with natural, non-toxic ingredients. They may be few and far between, but they do exist. In fact, Jacket men’s sunscreen is on the list. Don’t forget your Jacket!
Is it true that sunburns only occur during the middle or hottest part of the day?
This is such a common mistake, and the answer is a definite “no.” As a rule of thumb, if you can see the sun, it can see you. And if it can see you, its rays are reaching you and affecting your skin.
In fact, the sun can see you even when you can’t see it. Don’t be fooled into thinking your safe on cloudy days. The truth is, about 80% of ultraviolet rays pass through clouds, which means they are reaching you.
So, while it’s true that the sun may be its strongest during mid-day hours, typically 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can absolutely suffer sun damage, including sunburns, earlier and later in the day.