We all know that applying sunscreen is a must to protect our skin from serious damage, including burns, dark spots, and premature aging. The sad part is not all of us are diligent about applying SPF, unknowingly neglecting certain areas of the body. We fail to slather sunscreen on a lot of overlooked spots, increasing our risk of sun damage.
Here are the 7 often missed areas for sun protection:
1. Neck and chest
It’s great that you always remember to apply sunscreen on your face, but skincare and sun protection shouldn’t stop at your jawline. You also need to slather SPF on your neck and upper chest. Both areas are frequently exposed to the sun, making them vulnerable to sun damage.
Neglecting the neck and chest can also betray your age with wrinkles, dry and sagging skin, and age spots. This only makes it important to slather broad-spectrum sunscreen on your neck and exposed chest. Don’t forget to reapply if you’re spending extended time outdoors.
While we may do a decent job in applying sunscreen to our faces and shoulders, many of us frequently neglect the ears. UV rays can hit the top of the ears and can get sun damaged, especially if they are unprotected. Ears are, in fact, one of the most common locations for skin cancers.
Always apply sunscreen on the tops of your ears and reapply whenever needed. Get extra protection by wearing a wide-brimmed hat made of tightly-woven fabric instead of loosely woven ones.
3. Back of your hands
Your hands are among the first areas of the body to display signs of aging. In fact, according to a study, most people can tell a person’s age by looking at their hands. Sun damage can lead to premature aging and exacerbate aging on the hands. They can develop age spots and wrinkles and look dry and scaly with prominent veins.
Your hands are constantly busy and can receive a lot of sun exposure. This is true whether you’re driving a car, working near windows, or spending time outdoors. This is why you should make it a point to apply sunscreen to your hands. Be sure to reapply after washing them or when you’re swimming or engaging in a sweat session.
The skin around your eyes is thinner than the rest of your face. Despite this fact, the area, especially the eyelids, is often neglected when applying sunscreen, according to a 2019 study. It is also worth noting that about 5% to 10% of all skin cancers occur in the eyelids, according to statistics.
The Skin Cancer Foundation says most sunscreen is safe to use on the eye area, including the eyelid region. But as the area is delicate and sensitive, it is recommended to use mineral sunscreens made with zinc or titanium oxide. Such formulas suit sensitive skin and won’t sting the area when you sweat.
While the hair on your head provides some sort of protection, it isn’t enough. It is still ideal to apply SPF to this area, especially if you’re going to be outdoors for a long period. You may be able to use regular sunscreen on your scalp, but you can also use powdered sunscreens (which act like dry shampoo) or scalp sprays.
You can also wear a hat to protect not just your head, but also your face, ear, and neck. Choose a wide-brimmed hat that covers your face and neck and make sure that it is made of a tightly woven fabric. This provides extra protection from the sun and doesn’t let the UV rays through.
6. Tops of your feet
Feet are often forgotten and neglected when applying sunscreen. This is despite the fact that the tops of feet are exposed to the UV rays when wearing flip-flops or any type of skin-baring footwear. They are also highly susceptible to melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.
Be sure to apply SPF to the tops of your feet and toes. This is a must if you want to avoid sunburn or sandal pattern marks on your feet, as well as lower your risk of skin cancer. Make it a habit to apply sunscreen from head to toe when you’re at the beach, pool, or outdoors.
Yes, your lips need sun protection too. UV rays can damage your lips and cause them to become dry, cracked, and discolored. Using a moisturizing SPF lip balm with SPF 15 or SPF 30 can help, as well as reapplying every two hours.
It is also recommended to stay super hydrated, especially when you’re out in the sun or when it is really hot. Exfoliating them can also help to remove any dry or chapped skin to keep you from picking it.
Practice sun safety
Be diligent when applying sunscreen and don’t neglect these areas. If you’re in the market for a new SPF for your face, we recommend Dr. Sylvia’s Clear Defense SPF 45 and Sheer Defense Tinted SPF 46. Both are broad-spectrum formulas and offer protection against UV and infrared damage. They can also help reduce redness and blotchiness.
Here are a few other tips on staying safe in the sun:
- Limit sun exposure, especially between 10 am and 3 pm.
- Use an umbrella or seek shade.
- Wear clothes that cover exposed skin.
- Wear wraparound sunglasses with UV protection
- Use your sunscreen correctly.
Read our previous post to learn the dos and don’ts of sun protection.
For more skincare tips and product recommendations, browse through our blog. You can also contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore today and book a consultation with our aesthetic doctor to find out how you can further protect your skin and treat sun damage.