Summer time is the most common time of year to apply sunscreen, but the sun can damage your skin at any time so it’s best to keep stocked up on the protective lotion.
A good sunscreen will keep your skin looking young and healthy, and protect it from harmful UV rays which can make your skin age rapidly.
The best sunscreen to pick is the one which works best for your lifestyle. The type of sunscreen you need if you play sports a lot and sweat often might be different from the one which is best for sensitive or oily skin, so choose carefully based on the factors most relevant to you.
Best Sunscreen for Men
- Best Sunscreen for Men Reviews
- Ultimate Buyer’s Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions About Sunscreen
- Final Word
Let’s dive into our top men’s sunscreen picks. Here they are…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Sunscreen Picks for Men
- Our Top Pick: Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch
- Runner Up: EltaMD UV Sport
- Best for Sports: Neutrogena Sport Face
Best Sunscreen for Men Reviews
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch (👑 Top Pick)
Neutrogena is one of the best, most recognisable skincare brands around and its Sheer Zinc sunscreen is an excellent product.
As a hypoallergenic sunscreen, you can use this lotion even if you have sensitive skin. This will be a relief for many as finding the perfect skincare products for sensitive skin can be challenging. Recommended by dermatologists, it can be a lifesaver for anyone with sensitive skin who struggles to find the right sunscreen. It’s even been awarded a Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association, so you know that it is designed to work with your skin rather than against it.
Neutrogena’s zinc reinforced sunscreen is best at what it does: protecting the skin from UVB rays. The 100% zinc oxide it contains provides skin protection from UVB rays, so your skin will stay looking healthy even when you spend the whole day outside in the sun. This is in addition to the 50 SPF, which offers better protection than those with lower SPF. Finally, there’s Purescreen technology which is formulated to absorb, reflect, and scatter sunrays so they can’t penetrate the skin and so reduces the risk of showing premature signs of aging.
This is a natural product which is free from many of the undesirable chemicals and fragrances that are commonly found in other sunscreens. The Sheer Zinc mineral sunscreen is free from parabens, fragrance, irritating chemicals, and is made with Dry-Touch technology. This technology ensures that when the sunscreen dries on your skin, it doesn’t leave a greasy finish. Not only is a greasy finish unflattering, but it isn’t the best for maintaining healthy youthful skin.
- 50 SPF
- 3 fl oz
- Suitable for sensitive skin
- Made with 100% zinc oxide
- Purescreen technology
- Oil-free and hypoallergenic
- Scent-free, parabens-free, free from harmful chemicals
EltaMD UV Sport (🥈 Runner Up)
EltaMD UV Sport is our choice for runner up, as it’s a stellar sunscreen lotion which promises to keep your skin healthy even if you sweat a lot.
There’s a reason why this sunscreen was given the name UV Sport, and it’s due to its aptitude for outdoor activity. Even if you don’t play sports in the sun often, this sunscreen could be perfect for you if you are prone to sweat under the intense rays of the sun. As a water-resistant product, you won’t have to deal with it dripping into your eyes as you move around. Nor will it rinse off easily should you go for a quick dip in the water or sweat profusely.
Like our top pick in this list from Neutrogena, the UV Sport sunscreen from EltaMD boasts the mineral zinc oxide in its formula. This helps provide better protection against both UVA and UVB sun rays. This makes it a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which, according to reputable sources, reduces the risk of showing signs of aging on the skin and minimises the risk of skin cancer.
As a full body sunscreen which is suitable for all skin types, it could be the only one you ever need. Rather than buying a separate face and body sunscreen, this one is apt for the whole body. That means you can chuck it in your sports bag and apply it everywhere with minimal fuss and maximum sun protection.
- 50 SPF
- 3 fl oz
- Suitable for all skin types
Neutrogena Sport Face (⛹️♂️ Best for Sports)
As you can imagine from the name, Sport Face sunscreen from Neutrogena is a fantastic form of sun protection when practising sports and doing outdoor exercise.
As an SPF 70+ sunscreen, Sport Face offers the best protection from UV rays you can find. This should put your mind at ease if you plan on spending a whole afternoon running around in the peak heat of the sun. If you’re concerned about signs of aging on the skin or getting sunburnt, then there are few sunscreens as effective as this one for preventing both.
Highly water-resistant, this sunscreen is intended for periods of intense activity, and won’t be affected by any amount of sweating. That means it will protect the skin even if you rub it, wipe it, or throw water on it. This should come as a relief for anyone who practises sport regularly in the midday sun and needs to know that the sunscreen they use will do the job whatever happens on the field.
The unique Helioplex and electrolyte complex which form part of this sunscreen help nourish the skin throughout the day, and keep it hydrated. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, your skin can start to dry out, so it’s important to ensure that it is well-hydrated and the electrolyte complex should take care of that.
Dermatologists recommend this sunscreen for a variety of reasons, mainly because it is compatible with the skin during activity, and isn’t going to clog the pores or bring about unwanted outbreaks. It’s also oil-free, and PABA-free, so it should leave the skin looking as healthy as ever even after a day in the sun.
- 70 SPF
- 2.5 fl oz
- Formulated with Helioplex and electrolyte complex
- Oil-free and parabens-free
Salt & Stone
Salt & Stone is a sunscreen designed specifically for use on the face, and is SPF 30 for those with more resilient skin.
If you don’t have pale skin, then there’s a good argument for using an SPF 30 sunscreen instead of a higher one. Also if you plan on using the sunscreen for a shorter duration of time, then a lower SPF like this one is ideal.
What we like about Salt & Stone’s sunscreen is that it’s mineral-based and reinforced with moisturising ingredients like cacao seed butter to keep the skin healthy and hydrated. Featuring non-nano zinc oxide, you can expect broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB sun rays from this sunscreen. That means you should be sufficiently safe from the aging effects the sun can have on your skin, as well as enjoying a reduced risk of developing skin cancer with regular use.
There’s even soothing botanical ingredients in this sunscreen, which can help to reduce inflammation in the face and the redness associated with sun exposure.
With a name like Salt & Stone, you’d be pretty disappointed if this sunscreen weren’t suitable for a day at the beach. Fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint in that regard. This sunscreen is water-resistant up to 80 minutes, and doesn’t leave a white residue behind leaving you looking like a snowman. It also has a non-greasy texture, so you won’t appear shiny to those around you.
Finally, Salt & Stone is formulated without all those artificial ingredients that can harm the skin like fragrances, sulfates, and parabens. It’s also 100% cruelty free and natural, so you know exactly what has gone into making this sunscreen.
- 30 SPF
- 1 fl oz
- Suitable for dry skin
Ultimate Buyer’s Guide
While it might not seem necessary to have a buyer’s guide for sunscreen, there’s actually a fair few factors that you’ll need to take into account to get the best product for your needs.
Your skin is an important organ that you don’t want to take risks with. Not only can you reduce your chances of developing skin cancer with the right sunscreen, but you can also help ensure it stays healthy and looks youthful long into the future.
Your skin complexion is important to know for several reasons.
Firstly, if you have any kind of skincare routine, especially for your face, then you need to know what products to use and which ones to steer clear of.
If you use an oily skincare product and you have oily skin, then the results aren’t going to be what you hoped for.
Knowing your skin type can also help the effectiveness of anti-aging creams as well as moisturising products, so it’s important to know if you want to stay youthful too.
But for the purposes of applying sunscreen, knowing your skin complexion will help you make the right choice when it comes to picking out the one which will work with your skin rather than against it.
- Oily. If you have oily skin, you will likely be more prone to acne outbreaks, and spots or pimples. This is something you can prevent if you buy the right sunscreen, since some will have ingredients that take care of the oil and minimise the risk of unwanted outbreaks.
- Dry. Dry skin is especially prone to being burnt by the sun. To keep the skin well hydrated and better able to fight off sun damage, you’ll want one with moisturising ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.
- Sensitive. Sensitive skin can make using skincare products challenging, but if you find sunscreen with zinc oxide, you should be fine. Zinc oxide will reflect the UV rays so they shouldn’t come into contact with the skin.
- Normal. You’re blessed if you have normal skin, as you won’t need to worry too much about which sunscreen to go for. So long as you make the effort to reapply it as often as necessary, you should be able to preserve your skin’s health easily enough if you’re sensible about it.
Certain ingredients will be much more effective than others when it comes to protecting the skin from UV rays.
You should look out for these ingredients on the label of the sunscreen before you decide to invest, as they can make a big difference in the product’s effectiveness.
Zinc oxides are featured in several of our top picks for men’s sunscreens, and are essential ingredients for an effective product.
The role of zinc oxides is to reflect the sunrays, and in the process protect your skin from unnecessary harm.
They deflect UVA rays, and can really help if you know that you have sensitive skin.
Benzophenone is an ingredient which can give you the broad spectrum protection which helps fight off both UVA and UVB rays, protecting against signs of aging as much as sunburn.
It’s crucial that you find sunscreen that can protect you from both types of UV rays, especially if you want to ensure your skin is fully protected from harm.
Cinnamates also provide important broad-spectrum protection, so it’s another one you should look for in any sunscreen.
Cinnamates work well with benzophenones to give you the best protection from sun exposure you could hope for.
If you play sports, engage in outdoor activities like walking and hiking, or simply sweat a lot, then there are some key factors to look out for in a good sunscreen.
As you would imagine, one of the most important qualities a sunscreen should have if you plan on running around in the sun is water-resistance.
If you’re going to be sweating a lot, the biggest issue is having sunscreen drip into your eyes, or rinsing off easily upon contact with water.
Especially if you plan on going for a dip or a leisurely swim, you’ll want to be sure that your sunscreen isn’t going to come off.
As far as the contents of a sports-suitable sunscreen goes, you’ll want to ensure you get broad-spectrum ingredients like Benzophenone and cinnamates, as they will provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
This ensures that you have the best protection possible while you’re out and about.
Another very important factor is SPF, which we’ll explore in more detail now.
There are a lot of misconceptions about SPF, the main one being that the higher the SPF the better the protection you will receive.
While in theory that may be true, with higher SPFs having a slightly higher degree of protection from UV rays, the difference between 30 and 50 SPF is minimal.
It’s important to know this, because a common mistake many people make is thinking that by putting 50 SPF sunscreen on, they are immune to the sun’s rays and can stay outside all day without getting burnt.
This is a dangerous perspective, since not reapplying the sunscreen, whatever the factor, can have adverse effects of your skin’s health.
The SPF of a sunscreen actually refers to the duration of protection. For example, if you’ve applied SPF 30 sunscreen, it will take 30 times longer for the sun to burn you.
As a result, the lower SPF sunscreen isn’t necessarily worse than a higher SPF, it just lasts a shorter duration.
With this in mind, if you plan on being out in the sun for a long time, and you don’t want to constantly stop to reapply sunscreen, then go with a higher factor.
Neutrogena Sport Face is an especially effective sunscreen for playing sports for that exact reason. As a 70+ SPF sunscreen, it will provide protection from the sun for an extended period of time, leaving you to focus on giving your best performance without needing to worry about the glaring heat of the sun.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sunscreen
Which sunscreen is best?
The best sunscreen for men has to be the Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch.
Fortified with the mineral zinc oxide, this sunscreen provides superior protection from both UVA and UVB sun rays.
As a hypoallergenic skincare product, it’s suitable for those with sensitive skin. This should put your mind at ease if you’re concerned about your skin complexion and how it might react with the sunscreen. Don’t just take Neutrogena’s word for it though, this product was granted the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association, so you know the claims are backed up by real evidence.
Is 30 or 50 SPF sunscreen better?
One common myth surrounding SPF is that the higher it is, the less burnt you’ll get and the more protection your skin will have from the sun. In reality, the SPF number actually refers to the amount of time it will take the sun’s UV rays to penetrate the skin. For example, if you’re wearing 50 SPF sunscreen, it will take approximately 50 times longer before your skin starts to burn than if you were without any sunscreen.
Having said that, a higher SPF sunscreen can keep a small percentage extra of UVB rays out. This can make a difference, but perhaps one of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming that the high factor sunscreen lets them spend more time in direct sunlight without reapplication. This simply isn’t true, as the extra protection afforded isn’t so much that you can expect not to get burnt at all.
What is the best sunscreen recommended by dermatologists?
The Elta MD sunscreen and both Neutrogena sunscreens we covered in this guide come highly recommended by dermatologists.
Elta MD’s sunscreen is great for acne and doesn’t clog the pores, which makes it easy on the skin even if you’re prone to breakouts and inflammation.
Neutrogena’s Sheer Zinc mineral sunscreen is hypoallergenic, which makes it suitable for even the most sensitive of skin. It is also formulated using ingredients that reduce the risk of outbreaks and reactions. This is backed up by the National Association of Eczema which awarded it a Seal of Approval.
The other sunscreen from Neutrogena we looked at, Sport Face, not only keeps the skin hydrated with an electrolyte complex but is praised by dermatologists as it doesn’t clog the pores and minimises the risk of undesirable outbreaks.
Choosing the right sunscreen requires more thought than you might at first realise.
You’ll need to factor in your skin complexion, SPF, and what activities you usually do out in the sun in order to find the perfect product for your skin.