With so many different types of sunscreen out there, identifying the perfect one can be tricky. You may even wonder if there are sun care products designed specifically with men in mind. In reality, whether you identify as a man, woman, or non-binary, your basic sun care needs are the same.

That said, there are some factors to keep in mind. For instance, when searching for the best sunscreen for men, you'll want to consider body and facial hair. Facial hair—and the testosterone that causes it—can lead to thicker skin, excess oil production, acne, and trapped dirt on the skin's surface. Luckily, there are sunscreens out there that tick all the right boxes. Here's how to find the one for you.

How to Find the Best Sunscreen for Men

Sun care is for everyone; you just have to find the product that speaks to you and your skin. Follow these tips on how to evaluate your skin concerns and lifestyle to find the sunscreen you'll be excited to wear every day.

1. Go Hybrid

If you have a beard, you might think that it provides enough protection against the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Unfortunately, that's just not true. Those UV rays can still penetrate through to the skin and cause some serious damage if not protected. So, you need to wear sunscreen daily and work it into your facial hair. That said, many sunscreens leave behind a white cast, which can be noticeable on a dark beard.

To avoid this, New York City-based board-certified Dermatologist Rachel Maiman, MD, recommends a hybrid sunscreen. Physical sunscreens, she explains, don't absorb into your skin that well, leaving residue behind. Instead, opt for something like EltaMD's UV Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+. It's a super lightweight hybrid sunscreen that blends in easily while providing ultimate sun protection.

2. Figure Out Your Skin Type

As with any product you'll be putting on your face every day, you need to identify your skin type so you can find the right ingredients that target your personal skin concerns. When comparing male vs. female skin, there's no biological difference in skin types: dry, oily, sensitive, combination, and aging apply to all sexes. Once you figure out your skin type, you can find a sunscreen that keeps your skin happy and healthy.

  • Oily: If you have an oily skin type, your face is often shiny, especially in the T-zone (across your forehead and down your nose to your chin) due to excess oil production. Or, you may frequently deal with acne. In these cases, avoid heavy ingredients like silicone, petrolatum, and mineral oil. Instead, look for an oil-free sunscreen like the EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41.
  • Dry: Dry, itchy, flaky, or tight skin or a rough texture are signs of a dry skin type. Sunscreens with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides will give your dry skin a boost.
  • Sensitive: If you frequently experience stinging, burning, rashes, bumps, redness, peeling, or itchiness from products, you might have sensitive skin. Opt for sunscreens with niacinamide, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Aging: As you get older, you'll start to notice more fine lines and feel your skin sag. Consider retinols and antioxidant-rich products in general for skin care, but hydrating sunscreen like the EltaMD UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 will help with the added dryness that comes with aging.
  • Combination: Combination skin means your symptoms are a mix of all of the above. Find a product that balances out your skin's moisture, like EltaMD's UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40.

3. Don't Skip Your Scalp

You likely don't think about protecting your scalp, but your scalp is skin, too—and should be treated just the same. This is especially important if you're bald or balding. Nothing is worse than sunburn on the top of your head. Luckily, your scalp doesn't need its own special sunscreen. Before you head outside, simply apply your regular sunscreen to your face and use a little extra so it can extend to your scalp. Go for a water-resistant sunscreen like the EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50. Made with athletes in mind, it won't sweat off or sting your eyes while you're swimming, skiing, golfing, hiking, or just enjoying the great outdoors.

Don't forget to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. If you're unable to, make sure you cover your head with a hat, hood, or scarf.

4. Follow General Sunscreen Rules

Remember that no matter your gender, general sunscreen rules still apply. Chat with the EltaMD Elysebot to find a sunscreen that you're excited to wear every single day and follow the Skin Cancer Foundation's recommendation of using a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher every day.

When considering the right sunscreen for men, just take the time to evaluate your needs and get into the habit of being serious about sun safety. Protecting your skin will help you look and feel your best—so you can head out into the day healthy, strong, and ready for whatever comes your way.

Author

  • Audrey Noble is a New York City-based reporter specializing in features, celebrity profiles, and beauty topics. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Harper's BAZAAR, Allure, Vanity Fair, Refinery29, and more. She is a University of Southern California alumna with bachelor's degrees in print journalism and creative writing.