Subscriptions and Orders $35+ Ship Free |
30 Day Money-Back Guarantee

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien

Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

Sunscreen for Men: What Happens if You Don't Wear Sunscreen?

Sunscreen for Men: What Happens if You Don't Wear Sunscreen?

Sunscreen for Men: What Happens if You Don't Wear Sunscreen?

 

by

If you’re reading this, you’re either burned to a crisp or sunscreen curious. Either way, welcome to the party. You’re about to deep dive into everything you’ve ever wanted (or not wanted) to know about how men’s skin works, how the sun affects it, and which sunscreens work best for your skin. 

Not wearing sunscreen means a whole lot more than just getting the occasional, painful burn. The lasting effects of sun damage get carried into every new decade and can make your skin look older than you actually are. 

To better understand what the sun can do to your skin, you first need to know a little about what's going on under the epidermis. 

Men’s Skin 101

Men have skin too, but if you shop your local drugstore for men’s skincare products, you’ll find way less available than products marketed to women. Sometimes, products marketed to men aren’t even formulated for our skin. 

Companies regularly create products for use on women’s skin and market them to men simply by switching the label or removing a rose scent and replacing it with pine, as if we’re that easily fooled. 

Okay, sometimes we are, but the fact remains these products usually never work, and there’s a good reason: male skin is different from female skin. 

Men’s Skin Has a Different pH Balance

The pH balance of a substance is the measure of how acidic or alkaline the substance is. The scale runs from 1-14—the lower the pH scale, the more acidic the substance. 

For instance, battery acid has a pH of 1. Drain cleaner has a pH balance of 14. Water is 7, placing it right in the middle, which makes it neutral. 

The perfect pH balance of a man’s skin is 5.5-6.5, which makes it more alkaline than women’s skin, which is balanced between 4.5 and 5.5. 

Products geared to women focus on keeping women’s skin in that slightly acidic range. These products don’t work well for men’s skin because they work against our natural pH balance. 

Men’s Skin Grows Facial Hair

Men grow facial hair, which makes the structure of their skin different from women’s. This has benefits and setbacks. Facial hair (if you grow it out) can act as a natural sun protectant that might even protect you from photoaging.

Facial hair is sturdy and can help give the skin on your face more support, which can prevent the onset of early sagging. In terms of fine lines and wrinkles, areas of your skin that are covered with facial hair tend to wrinkle less. 

Sounds great, right? 

Grow a beard and keep your skin looking more youthful. However, other not-so-great skin issues go hand-in-hand with the ability to grow facial hair. Ingrown hairs, razor burn, and skin irritation are common problems that men deal with constantly from puberty through adulthood. 

Men’s Skin is Thicker Than Women’s

Men’s skin is naturally thicker than women’s because of the presence of testosterone. Because our testosterone levels are higher, men’s skin is typically 20-25% thicker than women’s. It’s also more collagen-rich, meaning it’s less likely to show the visible signs of aging as quickly as a woman’s. 

Men’s Skin is Oilier Than Women’s

Sebum is the natural oil your skin produces to lubricate your skin, and men’s skin produces double the sebum that women’s skin produces. That means that products targeted to reduce oil and shine in women simply won’t be effective for us because they aren’t strong enough. 

Our skin is also more porous, and our pores tend to be larger, which means we are more likely to deal with breakouts and blemishes. 

How Men’s Skin Burns

Men’s skin may be more sensitive than women’s. Studies are ongoing, but research has shown that male skin may contain less antioxidants than women. Antioxidants protect our skin against free radicals, and the sun is one of the strongest sources of free radicals. 

How the Sun Affects Men’s Skin

Just because your skin is thicker than women’s skin doesn’t mean it won’t still burn or show visible signs of photoaging. Here’s a breakdown of what happens to your skin if you don’t wear sunscreen. 

You’ll Be Exposed to Ultraviolet Rays

The sun gives off three different types of rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. These rays are damaging to your skin and responsible for increasing your risk of skin cancer. 

UVC rays are the most damaging but are absorbed by the upper layers of the atmosphere before they ever reach the earth’s surface. UVA rays cause the visible signs of sun damage, and UVB rays are linked to skin cancer (although they too cause your skin to age faster than it has to). 

Sunscreen helps protect you against these rays, so if you aren’t wearing it, you’re essentially telling the sun to bring the damage. 

You’ll Experience Photogaing

Photoaging refers to the visible effects of sun damage on your skin. This includes:

  • Skin sagging due to loss of collagen and elastin
  • Fine lines 
  • Deep wrinkles
  • Hollows on the cheeks and under the eyes
  • Leathery, rough texture
  • Sunspots and freckles

You might not notice these effects until you’re older, but the sun exposure you receive now has a cumulative impact on your skin. If you don’t wear sunscreen to protect your skin, you’ll end up with leathery, worn skin that looks a decade older than your actual age. 

You’ll Get a Sunburn

It basically goes without saying that if you stay in the sun too long, you’re going to get a sunburn. But a sunburn does more damage than just making you red and uncomfortable. 

Getting just five or more sunburns in your entire lifetime doubles your risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. 

You Could Get Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is more prevalent in men than women. Men are also more likely to develop melanoma than women. It gets worse. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, men are more likely to become at risk of developing melanoma than women. 

Even if you don’t develop melanoma, you could develop a basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. The best-case scenario for either of those skin cancers is removing the spot, which will likely leave you with a sizable scar. 

Do Men Really Need Sunscreen?

The answer is a resounding yes, and you need to wear it daily. 

Every dude older than six months should be wearing high-quality sunscreen, even if you feel you aren’t in the sun much. You can get sun exposure even when you drive in your car or work by a window. 

Fortunately, you probably don’t need to wear anything higher than an SPF 30 on a daily basis. Even if you’re in the sun, dermatologists recommend SPF 30 applied properly to give your adequate sun protection. 

To properly apply your sunscreen, you need to use about an ounce to cover every area of your body exposed to the sun. If you’re in direct sunlight, you’ll need to reapply as directed on the package. Additionally, if you sweat or get in the water, you’ll need to reapply. 

Which Sunscreen is Best for Men?

There are two different types of sunscreen available to give you protection against harmful UV rays: chemical and physical. Which is best for men? Let’s find out. 

Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreen contains chemicals that absorb UV rays and turn them into harmless heat waves. Your skin then releases these heat waves. The chemicals most commonly used in chemical sunscreens are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate.

While these chemicals effectively shield your skin from the sun, they also come with some pretty unpleasant side effects. For instance, octisalate makes your skin more absorbent, which means any other ingredients in your sunscreen will be more easily absorbed into your skin. 

Additionally, the chemicals in these types of sunscreens have been shown to remain in the bloodstream and tissues of users weeks after they discontinued using the products. 

There are definitely better options, and physical sunscreen is the place to start. 

Physical Sunscreens

Physical sunscreens work differently than chemical sunscreens. Instead of absorbing UV rays and chemically reacting with them, physical sunscreens deflect UV light when it touches your skin. 

The two most popular physical sunscreens are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is generally better tolerated, better for your skin and body, and has a broader UV protection spectrum than titanium oxide. 

You can get the protection of zinc oxide in Disco’s Moisturizing Mineral Sunblock. Our sunblock contains clean ingredients that help give you coverage while simultaneously keeping your skin hydrated and working to reverse and repair the effects of previous sun exposure. 

Also, our sunscreen won’t ever leave you looking pasty. Our formula rubs in easily and absorbs quickly, so you never have a white cast on your skin.

Our sunscreen includes:

  • Zinc oxide. A natural, safe ingredient that physically protects you from the sun’s most damaging rays without irritating your skin or clogging your pores. 
  • Tripeptide. Tripeptide helps repair skin that has been damaged by the sun by rebuilding the dermal structure and stimulating collagen production. 
  • Niacinamide. This derivative of vitamin B3 helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while simultaneously helping problematic skin see less breakouts. Niacinamide is also great for correcting your skin tone and bringing back its balance. 

What you won’t find in our sunscreen are any harsh chemicals that irritate your skin or harm your body. Because using something for protection that ends up hurting you, in the end, makes zero sense. 

The Takeaway

No matter your age, you need to wear sunscreen, man. Men’s skin is sensitive to the sun, and we develop life-threatening skin cancers at a rate much higher than women’s. Disco≈’s mineral sunblock makes it easy for you to add sun protection to your daily routine. 

 

Sources:

Solar Protection Provided by Beards | Academic 

What Is the Difference Between Male and Female Skin? | Dermatology Associates 

Melanoma Strikes Men Harder | AAD 

The Trouble With Ingredients in Sunscreens | EWG 

Invigorating Body Wash
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 21 reviews

10.1 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Smell good. Look good. Feel good. Kick off this magical self-confidence combination with a soothing hot shower. Formulated with all-natural ingredients like restorative Aloe and Papaya, soothing Horsetail, and anti-oxidant Chamomile, the Disco Body Wash will have you feeling so fresh and so clean (clean.)
----- Hydrating and refreshing spa-scented, luxurious body wash. It's time to upgrade from your middle school bar of soap.

Select your plan

  • $20.00
  • $36.00 save 10% most popular
  • $51.00 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout
Natural Deodorant
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 18 reviews

2.6 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Damn, you smell good. Reserve a spot on the bathroom shelf and gym bag for this aluminum-free, all-natural, highly-effective stank-fightin' deodorant—your skin and shirts will thank you. Best of all, it's aluminum-free and all-natural, with simple ingredients like odor-neutralizing Eucalyptus, antibacterial Tea Tree Oil, and moisturizing Aloe.

----- Aluminum-free deodorant that fights off BO and odor using a powerful trio of all-natural ingredients.

Select your plan

  • $12.00
  • $21.60 save 10% most popular
  • $30.60 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout
Charcoal Face Cleanser Stick
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 52 reviews

2.1 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Cleanse your face of the day’s muck with a powerful combination of moisturizing coconut oil, exfoliating Phytic Acid, and detoxifying charcoal. Simple is sexy: our unique Face Cleanser Stick cleans deep beneath the surface and nourishes your skin at the flick of the wrist.
----- Rids your face of dirt, toxins, and excess oil. Also makes for a great post-workout companion.

Select your plan

  • $16.00
  • $28.80 save 10% most popular
  • $40.80 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout
Exfoliating Face Scrub
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 13 reviews

2.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Feel the soothing blend of aloe, apricot, chamomile, and papaya on your face while you clean daily muck build-up. Detoxify your complexion and promote the growth of robust skin with this gentle anti-inflammatory exfoliant by sloughing away dead skin cells.
----- Exfoliates your face of dead skin cells and fights in grown hairs and razor burns.

Select your plan

  • $22.00
  • $39.60 save 10% most popular
  • $56.10 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout
Hydrating Face Moisturizer
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 21 reviews

2.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Skincare is selfcare. Hydrate and lock in moisture with nourishing Vitamin E. Brighten up your complexion with antioxidant-rich Vitamin C. Keep your youthful charm with wrinkle-fighting Macadamia Oil. Future you will thank you for using this lightweight anti-aging Face Moisturizer.
----- Hydrates your money maker and keeps you looking young later in life. Moisturizing is important, guys.

Select your plan

  • $24.00
  • $43.20 save 10% most popular
  • $61.20 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout
Repairing Eye Stick
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 156 reviews

0.4 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Bye-bye dark circles and puffy eye bags. If the eyes are the window to the soul, you gotta take care of your window frames. Use this powerhouse blend of depuffing caffeine, anti-oxidant brightening Pycnogenol, and anti-aging Niacinamide to combat fine lines, wrinkles, and crow's feet.
----- Our best-selling Repairing Eye Sticks fights dark circles and puffy under eye bags. We hear it also feels good to apply when you’re under the influence. Just a rumor though.

Select your plan

  • $32.00
  • $57.60 save 10% most popular
  • $81.60 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout
Purifying Face Mask
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 15 reviews

3.5 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

The verdict is in: skincare is sexy. The Disco Face Mask is the MVP for healthier skin and is carefully formulated with organic, earthy ingredients like restorative mineral-rich Bentonite Clay, detoxifying and impurity-busting Charcoal, and soothing Willow Bark Extract. Put your best face forward, one face mask at a time.
----- Powerful mixture of acne and inflammation fighting ingredients. Did we mention it's also incredibly relaxing? Treat yo self.

Select your plan

  • $34.00
  • $61.20 save 10% most popular
  • $86.70 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout
Basics Set
Rated 4.8 out of 5
Based on 8 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This Moisturizer-Face Cleanser Stick-Body Wash Deodorant cleansing set is the formula for full-body wellness and a top-to-bottom clean. A balancing blend of essentials, this combo of must-haves keeps you cleansed, moisturized, refreshed, and smelling your best.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout
Starter Set
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 24 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This mix of complexion-boosting must-haves is the foundation for a skincare routine that always reaches max potential. A Face Cleanser Stick-Face Scrub-Face Moisturizer combo cleanses, exfoliates, and moisturizes for your most well-rounded cleansing rituals to date.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout
Anti-Aging Set
Rated 4.7 out of 5
Based on 15 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This purifying and illuminating Anti-Aging Set enhances your skincare routine with a boost of brightening essentials. Specially formulated to exfoliate and fight wrinkles, the Face Mask-Eye Stick combo is the natural, paraben-free answer to better brighter, younger-looking skin.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout
Regimen Set
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 25 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This full-fledged Regimen Set is the complete picture: a Face Cleanser Stick-Face Scrub-Face Mask-Face Moisturizer-Eye Stick mix made to up the ante on your skincare rituals. Discover a deeper clean with toxin-fighting exfoliation, complexion-purifying masking, and moisture-rich eye and complexion rejuvenation.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout
Body Set
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 6 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This Body Set is just what you need to feel--and smell--your most clean. Unlock your full-body refresh with the all-natural, paraben-free Body Wash-Deodorant combo that takes cleansing and purifying to another level of fresh.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout
Vice Bundle

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This mix of complexion-boosting must-haves is the foundation for a skincare routine that always reaches max potential. A Face Cleanser Stick-Face Scrub-Face Moisturizer combo cleanses, exfoliates, and moisturizes for your most well-rounded cleansing rituals to date.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $35 | 100% Secure Checkout

Recent Articles

featured

Founder Series Part 1: Starting Up & Redefining Skincare for Men

The Founder Series will investigate the story of Ben’s process and journey of building Disco, a science-backed skincare brand for men. In Part 1, we’ll explore the initial challenges of creating something from nothing, finding product-market fit, and honing in on your personal values, expertise, and passions to create a true value proposition for consumers.

featured

What Causes Body Acne?

Oh no...the dreaded bacne. If you struggle with acne in other parts of the body than the face, you are not alone. And trust us, it’s not because you have poor hygiene. But that could be a part of the equation.

Something went wrong, please contact us!

Your Cart

Subtotal: