According to NHS statistics, men are significantly more likely than women to develop skin cancer, and they are nearly twice as likely to die from the disease. Skin cancer mortality rates in men have tripled since the 1970s. Men also have a higher rate of non-melanoma skin cancers, which are less serious but still require treatment.
While there isn’t a single factor at work here, is it time to have some more serious discussions about male suncare?
Many women will be able to recall men and boys among their friends and family who, all too often, dismiss suggestions that they apply sun lotion, only to end up as red from embarrassment as they are from a dangerous burn later in the day.
According to a 2017 YouGov poll, men are twice as likely as women to forego protection, with 31% saying they do not use sunscreen compared to 15% of women. The study also discovered that while 47% of women are at risk of using ineffective sun cream, the figure rises to 58% among men.
Altr’s founder, Alex Doyle, believes that “gender norms are incredibly important in all of this.”
“Women are held to a completely different standard of beauty than men,” he says. “Men have not been subjected to the same level of pressure as women to take care of their skin.”
“About 20 years ago, the concept of men’s skincare as a whole was laughed at, and even moisturising was thought to be effeminate.” This is now standard practise among men under the age of 40, and the market is rapidly developing to catch up with the female market.”
So, what should men do? “Guys should find an SPF moisturiser that they like and use every morning before going outside,” Ms Cannon advises. “Ideally, it should have at least SPF 30 and a good UVA rating.” When spending extended periods of time outside, sunscreen should be applied to all exposed skin.”
Skin cancer is most likely to affect skin that can be reached by the sun, such as the scalp, face, ears, neck, chest, arms, and hands, according to the Mayo Clinic, an academic medical centre. Another commonly vulnerable area is the legs – and don’t forget about your lips. If you’re bald or have very short hair, you should apply SPF to your head as well.