Most people think they will be adequately protected if they put sunscreen on their face and body before going outside. Unfortunately, hours later, a few unlucky ones find they missed important areas – and now they’ve got a lobster red sunburn there to prove it.
Those of us who can relate to this have probably learned a lesson or two about the importance of applying sunscreen thoroughly. All of the negative ways the sun can damage your skin are well documented, and we know regular SPF use is key to protecting it. The problems arise when we think we are good and put sunscreen all over our bodies, but some key spots are missing. To make sure our whole body is adequately protected, we asked the experts about the most common areas where people forget to put on sunscreen.
Almost everyone remembers putting sunscreen on their face, but they can leave out important facial features, namely the lips. Dr. Dendy Engelman, dermatological surgeon at Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, explains that lips are one of the most forgotten areas. Unfortunately, the skin on the lips is one of the thinnest on our entire body, which means burns are likely. To avoid burns, apply sunscreen or a lip product with sun protection factor before going out.
Even those with long hair should make sure their necks are protected. Dr. Ava Shamban, Beverly Hills dermatologist and founder of SKINxFIVE, points out that this is an often overlooked point when using sunscreen.
The ears may be small, but they shouldn’t be overlooked because they can sting. Dr. Karyn Grossman, prominent dermatologist and creator of KARYNG, explains that the ears are often left unprotected like the neck. However, it is important that sunscreen application extends beyond the face and towards the ears.
Engelman explains, “Get in the habit of applying sunscreen to your face every day. When it becomes part of your routine, it is less likely to be forgotten on days with more sun exposure. You can’t put on too much sunscreen. So make sure the exposed skin is covered. “She adds,” Apply it in the mirror before heading out on your day. This will help you spot places where you forgot to use them. “It also gives the product time to absorb before exposure to the sun.
Contrary to what some might think, hair doesn’t completely protect the scalp from the sun. Not even those gifted with thick, long manes can skip sunscreen. Engelman explains, “Even with hair, there is a risk that your scalp will burn and later peel off. Apply sunscreen to your scalp at least 30 minutes before sun exposure or cover it with a hat. Spray or powder sunscreens are great for the scalp. “Try Clarins Sunscreen Care Wide SPF 30 Oil Spray ($ 25.65). It is a non-greasy dry oil that can be applied to the hair and body.
Razor burn seems like a walk in the park compared to burned armpits, where movement causes discomfort. To prevent this from happening, apply a thick layer of sunscreen to your armpits. Wait a few seconds before putting your arms down to allow the product to absorb.
It may not burn like the scalp, but protecting your hair from the sun is just as important. It’s especially important for people with dyed or chemically treated hair. “The best way to protect hair is to wear a hat,” explains Grossman. “Look for SPF hairsprays that you can splash in in the sun. Spray liberally, then pull your hair up in a pony or bun. Shiseido Ultimate Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Face / Body Sunscreen Spray ($ 40) comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle that can be used from curls to toes.
Reapplying sunscreen to your hair is just as important as reapplying it to your skin. Grossman suggests following the same rules for sunscreen for the skin, reapplying SPF every one to two hours and after swimming.
Even a pair of boyshort bikini bottoms or a retro longline swimsuit won’t completely protect your bum. Bathing suits shift, which can expose the cheeks to the harmful rays of the sun. Apply sunscreen to your derrière with your back at the same time to reduce the chance of skipping the area.
We apply sunscreen with our hands, but our experts have found that hands are one of the most forgotten areas for SPF application. Provide adequate protection by covering all sides of your hands with a thick layer of sunscreen. And remember to reapply it after washing your hands. Another easy hack is to swap out your regular hand lotion for a formula with skin-protecting ingredients.
Chest and cleavage
The chest area is another point that all three experts have identified as a sadly neglected area. It is important that the entire chest area is protected with a generous layer of sunscreen. This includes necklines, shoulders, breasts and necks. Be sure to cover areas that are hidden by swimsuit straps as the straps will shift. It is helpful to put on sunscreen before putting on a swimsuit to make sure everything is completely covered.
The sandal season requires sun protection on the feet. That includes the tops, sides, and even the bottoms. Heels and foot pads can sometimes get burned while lying on our stomachs on a beach towel.