Despite best intentions, there are places on our bodies that many people forget to apply sunscreen to. If we’re accidentally leaving skin exposed, the sun can usually find a way to burn us there.
And, any sunburn isn’t good. Even Dr. Oz, who is also a fan of physical sunscreens like our partner Sunology natural sunscreen, says one sunburn is enough to cause wrinkles. One sunburn also increases skin cancer risk.
Pay special attention to the areas below next time you apply sunscreen to yourself and the kids.
10 Places We Forget to Apply Sunscreen
For some reason, I almost always forget to apply sunscreen to my hair part. It’s particularly annoying when my scalp peels after a burn and looks like the worst case of dandruff ever. It’s so easy to dab a little sunscreen exposed scalp skin, wear a hat or conceal your part by pulling your hair back.
2. Tops of Feet
Perhaps, its because we often apply sunscreen with shoes on and then proceed to take them off. Or, we skip or hastily rub on a second coat to sandy feet. Or, we’re wearing flip flops to the mall and it doesn’t occur to us to put sunscreen on them. For whatever reason, we are sunburning the tops our feet.
3. All Over and Behind the Ears
It is incredibly important to rub sunscreen on the top of our ears, ear lobes and behind our ears. Skin cancer often occurs on the ears and even inside the somewhat protected bowl area. Be thorough.
4. Behind the Neck
This easy-to-miss spot is common with women who have hair normally covering the area. Remember, hair moves around especially when swimming in the pool.
5. Top and Bottom of Eyelids
This is a tough spot for my fair-skinned daughter because I’m constantly worried about getting sunscreen in her eyes. Some dermatologists suggest using a moisturizer with sunscreen on eyelids as it may absorb a bit better. The Skin Cancer Foundation says that eyelids are the most common site for non-melanoma skin cancers. Wearing sunglasses (remember, they make sunglasses for babies now) is an awesome way to protect the eyelids, too.
Your lips can sunburn just as easily as the rest of your face. An SPF of at least 30 is recommended by dermatologists with particular attention paid to the more-exposed bottom lip. Lip cancer is one of the most overlooked skin cancers, however, its usually treatable.
7. Around the Armpits
Though sunbathing with arm outstretched is a sure way to sunburn your underarms, we also often forget to apply sunscreen in the folds of skin on the arm and shoulder area surrounding the armpits. It’s a super painful place to have a sunburn because we are obviously constantly moving our arms.
8. Under Bathing Suit Straps and Edges
No bathing suit stays exactly in place throughout a day at the beach or in the pool. Make sure to hike bathing suit bottoms up when applying sunscreen and cover skin below straps in case they move around.
9. Back of Hands
Maybe its because we’re constantly washing or disinfecting our hands, but doctors suggest this is another commonly forgotten area. Sunscreen should be worn on a daily basis here anyway to avoid sun spots and aging.
10. Back of Knees
Behind your knees is a tender spot and it’s easy to accidentally rub newly applied sunscreen off this area. Or, some people just simply forget to put sunscreen here.
How to Apply Sunscreen
We’ve been using Sunology, a natural sunscreen made with ingredients inspired by nature and free from man-made chemicals in its active ingredients, all summer long including during our trip to Maui where our sun exposure was much higher than normal. Our review is positive and we like that it goes on much clearer than many other physical sunscreen alternatives, an important aspect for everyday wear on the face.
Sunology recommends that sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every 80 minutes and immediately after towel drying.
Children 15 and under should use SPF strength of at least 30. Sunology (and my dermatologist) recommends the use of SPF 50, which is the highest ranking allowed by the FDA. Also, have a look at these sun safety tips for kids.
Another common error that parents make is re-applying sunscreen to kids and forgetting to re-apply sunscreen to themselves. A good rule of thumb… sunscreen for everyone!
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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