Shaving Science

How to Protect My Face From the Sun if I Have a Beard?

Handsome bearded man overlooks the sea wondering how to protect his face from the sun

We all know that we shouldn’t allow UV rays from the sun to reach our unprotected skin. Not only can this cause sunburn, peeling, brown spots, loss of elasticity and premature wrinkles, but it can also increase your risk of skin cancer.

But do you have the same level of risk if you have a beard?

Will My Beard Protect Me from the Sun?

It’s been thought that men with thick, bushy, full-coverage beards – think the Viking beard style – are protected from the Sun’s rays. However, a study conducted at the University of Sothern Queensland found that while a bushy beard did offer some form of protection from UV rays, the amount of protection offered wasn’t enough to make it a viable alternative to sunscreen.

A Viking beard can be a great confidence-booster, but when it comes to UV ray protection, it’s important not to become overconfident and slack on the sunscreen.

The Bearded Guy’s Guide to Sun Protection

  • Apply sunscreen to your beard, not just the skin around it, regardless of the length and thickness of your beard. This will help to prevent sunburn in less thick areas – it doesn’t matter how small gaps are, UV rays can find a way in
  • Always apply cream in a circular motion, as this will help it to reach the skin underneath the beard. If you have a particularly long beard, you may even want to spread the sunscreen on using a brush
  • Think twice before growing a new beard on holiday; the skin underneath will tan much slower than the rest of your face, which could look very uneven if you shave it off again
  • Always remember to pack your razor or beard trimmer so you can keep on top of the edges of your beard to help keep your tan lines as neat and even as possible
  • Moisturise your beard and your skin after you’ve been in the sun, as the heat can dry out and damage your beard. Use our King C. Gillette Beard Balm or Beard Oil to keep yours in check

Why Sun Protection is Not Just for Summer

Sun protection shouldn’t just be for scorching days or holidays. UV rays can also hit your skin on cloudy winter days – and all year round.

To protect your skin every day, you should apply sunscreen or a moisturiser with SPF protection as part of your grooming routine every morning, particularly on your face.

Handsome man with an impressive beard applies sun protection

Sun Lotion or Sun Spray?

Sun spray can seem like the easier option as it’s a little less messy to apply, but it’s important to make sure you’re spraying your face thoroughly without leaving any gaps.

Sunscreen can help you to get full coverage more easily – just make sure you’re using plenty, so you’re not leaving any areas unprotected.

When Should I Apply Sunscreen?

Sunscreen needs a little time to take effect. After it’s been applied, it can take around 30 minutes to work, so it’s best to apply it when you’re getting ready to go out rather than when you’re already out in the sun.

What Does SPF mean?

SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’ and provides an indication of how long your skin can be exposed to the sun without damage. Sun lotions and sprays typically extend this amount of time by the figure specified by the SPF rating.

For example, if you turn red after 10 minutes without sunscreen, this length of time will be extended to 500 minutes by SPF 50.

Sunscreen on orange background. Plastic bottle of sun protection and white sun-shaped cream.

However, it’s important to bear in mind that this length of time is reduced when you’re visiting countries in the southern hemisphere, where the sun’s rays are significantly more intense. Also everyone’s skin reacts differently so you should always consult a medical professional if you have any concerns.

King C Gillette

King C Gillette

King C Gillette