Men’s Skincare: Sun-Proof Your Summer in 3 Steps

With the spring starter course behind us, it’s officially the season of sunshine — and sun damage. Whether you’re prone to sunburns or not, ultraviolet light causes problems for everyone. And, with frequent jaunts to the cottage and plenty of outdoor activities, keeping a grooming regimen through the summer is easier said than done. The simplest way to build a summer skincare routine is to keep things light, easy, and packable; the less time you spend nursing a sunburn or smoothing a razor rash, the more time you have to enjoy. Here’s how to build a no-stress skincare routine that will keep you hydrated, healthy, and burn-free.

Start With A Gentle Wash

dior sauvage cleanser

Any skin routine worth your time will start with a solid cleanser. Washing your face, while important all year long, is essential for the summer. Rinsing off residual sunscreen and outdoor grime will keep your pores clear and maximize absorption of any moisturizers or gels. The optimal choice is a matter of skin type (and perhaps the local weather, too). If you’re prone to peeling, check out gentle, hydrating options to keep your skin feeling smooth in spite of the dry air. Meanwhile, foaming cleansers are great for oily skin, ridding your pores of excess debris with a simple morning massage.

Dermatologica Daily Milkfoliant Exfoliator

Dermatologica Daily Milkfoliant Cleanser
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Have you ever heard of Allure’s ‘Best of Beauty’ Awards? No? Well, now you have — and you’re looking at a blue-ribbon winner, too. The Daily Milkfoliant Exfoliator by Dermatologica is a curious creature. Key ingredients like coconut milk and oat bran extract sound almost like a breakfast recipe, but — paired with hyaluronic acid — they provide a soft and smooth balance while dusting off dead skin cells and debris. To use, just shake a small dash of powder onto your hands and mix with water. Then apply to the face and rinse. ($92)

Dior Sauvage: The Cleanser

dior sauvage cleanser
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Each pump of Dior Sauvage Cleanser is loaded with fresh ingredients — naturally occurring charcoal and cactus extract are instant standouts — specifically formulated for men’s skin. When mixed with water, the brooding black gel becomes foamy and white, leaving behind smooth, refreshed skin and a subtle scent in its wake.

In April, SHARP got the inside scoop on the entire Sauvage collection. “While there are cleansers out there that’ll dry you out, this one will help to purify your skin,” says Dior Sauvage Grooming Ambassador Vince Garcia. “And a cool thing is that its scent isn’t very strong, because people like me — with sensitive skin — often break out when they try a new, fragranced product. With this one, I didn’t. I was instantly fine with it.” ($55)

Don’t Skip Your Daily Sunscreen

Just 20% of Canadians slather on sunblock each time they leave the house. It’s an understandable figure — rhetoric around sunscreen tends to focus on direct, prolonged exposure — but if you’d like to get ahead of the game, don’t save your sunscreen for beach days. Not only does a daily dollop of sunscreen greatly reduce the risk of skin cancer, but it also gives your skin a fighting chance against dark spots, wrinkles, and redness from the sun.

Beaches of Kalamaki, Crete, Greece.

Which Sunscreen Should I Use?

We know — there’s a million options out there. If you’re feeling overwhelmed in the sun-care aisle, though, don’t fret: any sunscreen is better than none. However, we can offer a few general tips. First off, understand what you’re protecting against: there are two main types of UV rays to look out for — UVA and UVB. To protect against both types, opt for a ‘broad-spectrum’ sunscreen.

Next, keep the ‘sun protection factor,’ or SPF, in mind — this refers to the duration of protection. The ideal SPF number varies from person to person. As Dr. Wang of the Skin Cancer Foundation explains, a sunscreen’s efficacy is specific to each person: “Ideally, with SPF 30, it would take you 30 times longer to burn than if you weren’t wearing sunscreen,” says Dr. Wang. The lower the SPF number, the more frequently you’ll need to reapply. So, if you’re looking to minimize prep time, choose a broad spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF — bottles marked ‘sport’ often boast greater water (and sweat!) resistance, which makes them a helpful companion for active days in the sun.

Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50

skinceuticals sheer physical defence sunscreen  men's spf 50
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With broad-spectrum, 50 SPF protection, SkinCeuticals checks all of our boxes. Key ingredients like zinc dioxide and titanium dioxide — don’t be afraid of the mad-scientist sound — provide mineral protection from both UVB and UVA rays. That said, it’s the transparent finish that truly won us over; squeeze a pump or two of sunscreen and, just a few pats later, there’s not a white streak to be found. ($59)

Koa Mineral Sunscreen

Koa Mineral Sunscreen
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Another broad-spectrum gem? Koa’s Mineral Sunscreen. The formula is optimized for active wear, laden with natural accents like wild chamomile that leave a soothing feel with each application. Koa designs each product with the environment in mind, sourcing vegan ingredients and staying away from artificial scents and colours. ($48)

Maintain With Hydrating Moisturizer

moisturizer for men's summer skincare

Like many men’s skincare products, moisturizing creams are far from one-size-fits-all. A variety of lifestyles and skin types — combination, oily, dry… you know the drill — means that everyone’s hydrating fix looks a bit different. Still, there’s a few valuable rules of thumb to keep in mind. Summer, in addition to the extra sunshine, brings unforgiving humidity and high temperatures. This, coupled with increased sweating and outdoor activity, makes your skin more prone to debris. After a clarifying face wash, the last thing you’ll want to do is create more buildup with a heavy moisturizer. Instead, choose a lightweight solution to keep your summer skin routine in check.

Shiseido Men Total Revitalizer Light Fluid

Shiseido Men Total Revitalizer Light Fluid
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Bottled inside a sleek silver cylinder, Shiseido Men’s lightweight moisturizer cuts straight to the point. The feather-light formula targets key areas of concern — wrinkles, dullness, sagging, and roughness — with a blend of rice bran oil and cornflower extract, offering serious hydration without weighing your skin down. Compact and clarifying, it’s ideal for those looking to keep their routine as simple as possible. ($96)

Symbiome The One Restorative Cream

Symbiome The One Moisturizer natural for men
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Not all creams are created equal. While many products are packed with pore-clogging additives, Symbiome’s progressive brand philosophy is about keeping everything au naturel. Sustainably-sourced ingredients like Sanoma Leaf Oil supplement your skin’s natural defence barrier, while antioxidants and ferulic acids fend off damage from pollutants. (USD $125)