Five Summer Skincare Tips for Men

A dermatologist tells us what guys need to do to keep skin healthy.

“Women may spend too much time in the mirror,” says dermatologist Madeline Krauss, “but men may not spend enough.”

Krauss, of Wellesley’s Krauss Dermatology, isn’t talking about vanity—she’s talking about skincare. Though most beauty and skincare products are targeted toward women, it’s actually older white men who are at greatest risk for melanoma, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. But all men, regardless of age and race, need to put more thought into protecting their skin, Krauss says.

“I think that part of what’s driven women’s sun protection is a desire to have younger looking skin, and I think men have been kind of behind the eight ball about that,” Krauss says. “Men tend to ignore their skin cancers and melanomas much more than women.”

So, guys, it’s time to get up to speed on your skincare regimen. Here are Krauss’ best skincare tips for men:

1. Invest in a moisturizer with sunscreen. Krauss says many of her male patients are good about applying sunscreen before sports, but neglect to apply SPF when just hanging out or working outside. “If they could be encouraged to use a daily sunscreen on their face, that would go a long, long way,” she says. Krauss says everyone, regardless of gender, should use broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and preferably one that contains fast-acting zinc.

2. Wear a hat. If your hairline isn’t what it used to be (you know who you are), Krauss says it’s important to wear a baseball hat when spending time outdoors. “Squamous cell cancer of the scalp is a huge issue for men and it can be extremely dangerous and even fatal,” Krauss warns. “As men lose their hair, if they’re not wearing a baseball cap, they’re really damaging their scalp.”

3. Use anti-aging products—just not in the summer. Krauss recommends retinol- or glycolic acid-based products for anti-aging, but only from September to May, since they make the skin more susceptible to sun damage. During the summer months, she says Skin Ceuticals antioxidant serum, applied before sunscreen, is a good alternative.

4. Go to the dermatologist before it’s too late. Self-explanatory? Perhaps. Worth repeating? Definitely. “Once they’ve had a skin cancer removed or a pre-cancerous leison treated in the office, I do find that men are quite compliant,” Krauss says. “But a lot of them don’t see the point of coming in for that initial visit.”

5. Invest in SPF-boosting clothing. Since many men forget to apply sunscreen, Krauss says clothing infused with SPF can be a saving grace. She recommends products from Solumbra or Coolibar.