I discovered a new product category the other day: men’s facial sunscreen! How long has this been a thing? At first glance, it sounds smart: Men get razor burn and they need protection from UV rays, too. However, it feels like facial sunscreens shouldn’t be gendered at all—what would prevent a woman from experiencing similar “razor burn”-like side effects (from threading or waxing)? I have some theories about this, but that’s for another time and another post. Mostly I suspect it has to do with the fragrance—a men’s sunscreen is probably much less likely to smell floral than a woman’s sunscreen. But in an ideal world, all sunscreens would be equal-opportunity (not gendered), and fragrance-free.
What is Neutrogena Men’s Triple Protect Face Lotion?
Neutrogena Men’s Triple Protect Face Sunscreen is a chemical sunscreen that offers SPF 20 protection. The “Triple Protect” in its name hints at the three concerns it addresses: razor irritation, dry skin, and aging. It also claims that it is non-comedogenic and will not sting when applied to freshly shaven skin, as directed. That sounds great, but let’s take a closer look at the ingredients to how this men’s facial sunscreen accomplishes all of its Triple Protection capabilities.
Neutrogena Men’s Triple Protect Face Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 20 ingredients
Active ingredients: avobenzone (3%), homosalate (12%), octisalate (5%), octocrylene (1.7%), oxybenzone (3%)
Inactive ingredients: water, octyldodecyl neopentanoate, glycerin, glycine soja (soybean) seed extract, emulsifying wax nf, glyceryl stearate, peg-100 stearate, dimethicone, silica, phenoxyethanol, panthenol, tocopheryl acetate, ethylhexylglycerin, caprylyl glycol, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, bisabolol, fragrance, camellia oleifera leaf extract, methylparaben, allantoin, disodium edta, sodium hydroxide, butylene glycol
My Dad the Chemist’s review of Neutrogena Men’s Triple Protect Face Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 20
I sent an email to my dad and let him know about the three types of skin concerns this sunscreen claims to address. Here was his response!
Dear Emily, it’s a good SPF 20 sunscreen formula with less irritating issue, Oxybenxone is the most irritating sunscreen but @3% may not be too bad, plus Bisabolol is great anti-irritating Agent, camellia oleifera leaf extract and allantoin are good for anti-inflammatory , all these three ingredients help their claim, looks like a decent formula to try.
He also sent a follow-up email:
Dear Emily, I forgot the other “anti-aging” claim, which all sunscreen above SPF 15 can support the claim because it protects from sun damages,( wrinkles, brown or black spot), in addition, Glycine Soya seed extract, which is rich in vitamin E, allowing to help protect the skin from free radical damage and reduce the effects associated with the aging process such as wrinkles and fine lines.
So it looks like any sunscreen above SPF 15 can claim that it is anti-aging, because it helps protect against the aging effects of UV rays (wrinkles and brown/black spots). Interestingly this is the first time my dad has mentioned that oxybenzone was the most irritating sunscreen. Perhaps because this sunscreen specifically claims to address the need for anti-irritation (anti-razor-burn) capabilities, he found it odd that it included this potentially irritating ingredient.
According to my dad, the beneficial and/or anti-aging ingredients in this formula, which could help it protect against three common skin concerns (razor burn, dry skin, and aging) were:
- glycine soya seed extract: rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damage associated with free radicals
- bisabolol: an anti-irritation agent
- camellia oleifera leaf extract: anti-inflammatory effect
- allantoin: anti-inflammatory effect
Nice, I learned about a few new ingredients today. After looking at the ingredient database it seems that this is the first time My Dad the Chemist has featured a product with glycine soya seed extract (though Bliss Triple Oxygen Radiant Protection Energizing Serum came close with glycine soja oil).
Bisabolol is also in these other products:
- CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50
- Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 30
- AcneFree Sensitive Skin Kit Toner (read more about it here
This is actually the first time camellia oleifera leaf extract has been mentioned on this blog, though I have reviewed several products that contain a very similar ingredient, camellia sinensis leaf extract. Both ingredients are types of green tea extracts, which provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Other men’s grooming product reviews
- Other sunscreen product reviews
- What is allantoin, and why is it used in skincare products?