Can you believe there was once a time when people lay out in the sun with abandon, slathering tanning oil over their bodies and generally not caring about SPF? Thankfully we now fully understand the repercussions of sun exposure, and the importance of wearing SPF every day. (Read: It helps prevent skin cancer and premature skin aging.) Even so, it turns out there are actually a few places that are often overlooked when we sunscreen up. We talked to Dr. Howard Sobel, director of Sobel Skin Aesthetic Dermatology Center, to see the sensitive places we’re forgetting to apply SPF.
It’s especially important to hit these sensitive places during the summer, when more of your skin is exposed to the sun.”These forgotten areas have some of the most sensitive skin on your whole body since it is not normally exposed to direct sunlight. These sensitive areas burn much more easily, and can have some of the most painful burns,” says Dr. Sobel. Yikes. Now before you freak out, allow us to fill you in on these neglected regions so you can protect yourself properly in the future.
Also, pro tip: Put sunscreen on at least 30 minutes before you actually go into the sun, says Dr. Sobel. He also suggests reapplying every two hours if you’re outside, and more frequently if you are swimming or sweating. Got it? Good. Now keep reading to see the five common places you forget to apply sunscreen, according to Dr. Sobel—plus our product picks.
Okay, maybe you don't exactly forget to apply sunscreen to your scalp so much as you avoid it because it will make your hair look greasy/ruin your hairstyle/etc. Fair enough—except not really, because there are lots of great products designed to protect your scalp from the sun without turning your hair into a crunchy mess (anyone who has ever tried to spray sunscreen along their part knows what we're talking about). Try a powder sunscreen—which, bonus, doubles as a dry shampoo—or a leave-in conditioner that includes SPF.
Yeah, apparently your eyelids can get sunburned. Yikes. But since sunscreen typically stings when it comes near your eyes, it makes total sense that you would avoid putting it on this sensitive area. The solution: a really gentle SPF, like the ones we've included here.
Lips are one of the most sensitive areas of your body, and the skin tends to be thinner. Read: If you get a sunburn on your lips, it's going to hurt. A lot. A simple swipe of SPF-infused lip balm, reapplied throughout the day, is an easy way to keep them both hydrated and protected from UV rays.
This is another common area people forget to apply SPF to, according to Dr. Sobel. Get into the habit of taking some of the sunscreen you use on your face (because you already do that every single day, right?), and applying it to your ears.
It's easy to forget to apply sunscreen to your feet, but if you've ever tried to put shoes on over a foot sunburn you know the pain is terrible. And since you can't forego footwear for days until the burn heals, it makes more sense to just protect your feet in the first place. Try a non-greasy body sunscreen (wouldn't want you slipping out of those aforementioned cute sandals), and apply 30 minutes before going out in the sun. And don't forget the soles of your feet, because those can definitely get burned as well.