Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

How to Avoid Sunburn

Grooming_Beginngers guide to sunblock_HERO.jpg

Q: Even though I wear a sublock with an SPF 30, I still get burned to a crisp. I don’t spend much time in the sun but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Should I be spending more money on a fancier product or am I just allergic to sunlight?

Andy, Pinner

Our expert Ahmed Zambarakji answers your questions below:

A: Looking like a crippled Sith Lord is not a strong look. But, perhaps more importantly, figures for malignant melanoma are four times what they were 30 years ago, so it makes sense to invest in a quality sunblock. That doesn’t mean spending a fortune, though.

There are plenty of affordable broad-spectrum sunblocks out there for you to choose from (my personal recommendation for you would be one of the SPF 50s from La Roche Posay’s Anthelios range) but, it doesn’t matter whether you spend a fiver or five hundred quid on a formula - the trick is in the application of said product.

Most people don’t slap on anywhere near enough sunscreen to cope with an entire afternoon spent comatose on a lilo. You need at least 2mg of product per sq cm to get the kind of protection that’s advertised on the bottle (about a sixth of a 200ml bottle, provided you’re not a WWF wrestler or the morbidly obese subject of a Channel 5 documentary). Most apply half – if not less – of the desired amount, which effectively turns a factor 50 into a factor 15.

The next thing to pay attention to this year is when you first apply the product (and how often you reapply). Don’t wait until you’ve found the perfect spot before you gratuitously slather yourself with sunscreen. Sunscreens need time to react with your skin, so cover yourself in the stuff a good half an hour before you even step out of your front door.

You’ll need to top up throughout the day, though, so take the bottle with you. Even the most resilient of sunblocks – including the ones misleadingly labeled ‘waterproof’ – will slip after you’ve been for a quick dip or broken out in the sweats.

Last but not least, avoid using last year’s leftovers. Sunscreens go ‘off’ just like food, so you might as well baste yourself in Flora if you think you’re saving pennies by waiting for that bottle from 2003 to finish.

Find Ahmed at theexfoliator.com

(Image: Getty)



Sunblock for beginners


How to grow a beard


Chest shaving for beginners


The winners of the ShortList Grooming Awards with House of Fraser

And the winners are...

31 May 2017

The 11 best moisturisers for men

Because your face deserves better

by Sam Diss
30 May 2017

A guy’s guide to skincare - by a girl who just really wants to help

Just a girl, standing in front of a bunch of guys, trying to make them moisturise twice a day

by Lauren O'Neill
15 May 2017

Supermodel Paul Sculfor tells us how to be the perfect catch

Tips from a man who knows better than anyone

20 Mar 2017

Meet the judges for the 2017 ShortList Grooming Awards

We're back with the best new products for 2017

17 Mar 2017

5 of the biggest men's hair trends for 2017

You're not actually going to get a six-pack, so settle for a slick new haircut instead

by Jamie Carson
03 Jan 2017

8 express grooming treatments for the discerning yet curious man

When you want to look good but just don't have the time

by Jamie Carson
13 Dec 2016

Manscaping; what is it, how to do it and how short is TOO short

After a lifetime of assuming that all guys went au naturale, Josh Burt realised that everything he knew was wrong

by Josh Burt
13 Dec 2016

Trim your pubic hair? Science claims you’ve probably got an STD

You're 80% more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease, new research suggests

by Jamie Carson
06 Dec 2016

What to do when you’re going bald

We round up the best ways to deal with hair loss

by Jamie Carson
17 Oct 2016