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Sun Care: Man's Best Friend

By: Jennifer Linder, MD
Posted: January 30, 2009, from the February 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Recently, men’s hesitancy to visit physicians has been slightly improved due to highly publicized pharmaceuticals for common male diseases. This is an opportunity for physicians, clinicians and skin care professionals to initiate discussions about skin cancer risk factors and encourage clients to take precautionary measures, such as regular broad spectrum sunscreen use, limited midday exposure and routine full-body skin examinations by a dermatologist.

Sun protection products must contain avobenzone, titanium oxide, zinc oxide or encamsule to ensure UVA coverage, as the SPF number on a sun protection product refers only to the amount of protection offered against UVB rays. Many medically focused skin care products available today combine lightweight moisturizers and sunscreens, resulting in products that are not thick and fragranced, as some drugstore sunscreens tend to be. Recommend light sunscreen moisturizers with a matte finish that do not leave behind any residue on the skin. This is a good choice for men and will increase their compliance with daily use.

In order to make using products for skin health an easier leap for men, educational efforts and collateral materials should be designed to speak in the male communication style. Men typically respond positively to messages that are clear, straightforward, and driven by facts and results. Make your discussions short and to the point. Offer products that are designed and packaged specifically for men to make the purchase and use of protective skin care products an easy shift. Using tools in your business to make men’s purchases effortless will increase the likelihood of them becoming comfortable as long-term skin protection purchasers.

Guidelines for better skin

Sunscreen acceptance is one of the most important first steps in getting male clients to integrate skin care into their daily routines. Once this hurdle has been overcome, a good second step is a gentle cleanser to help keep the skin clear of bacteria, excess oil and debris. Men want ease of use, so a product that can be kept in the shower and also used for body cleansing will make this addition to their regimen easier.

As men become comfortable with these categories of skin health products, it is more likely they will believe and accept the benefits of other anti-aging and antioxidant-based products. Adopting a simple yet complete daily regimen will not only strengthen men’s skin and provide increased environmental protection, but will also help them stay looking younger longer.