Keep your skin safe all summer by remembering to apply SPF in frequently forgotten spots
One of the best things about summer is all that fun in the sun, from beach days to barbecues to long walks in the park. It seems as though this year, in particular, we just can’t wait to get outside! But more al fresco time comes with a greater risk of damaging your skin—and even getting skin cancer. That’s why practicing skin-health safety is a must.
“Apply your sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside,” advises Elizabeth Bahar Houshmand, MD, a Dallas-based board-certified dermatologist. “Wear sunglasses, sun protective clothing (i.e., long sleeves if possible) and wide-brim hats.”
Next time you slather on your sunscreen, it’s important to remember to apply it to the spots that are most commonly missed, including the hands, tops of ears, scalp, feet and lips. “In the warmer months, more of your skin is exposed to the sun,” Dr. Houshmand says. “These forgotten areas have some of the most sensitive skin on your entire body since they are not normally exposed to direct sunlight. These sensitive areas burn much more easily and can have some of the most painful burns.” Dr. Houshmand breaks down how to tend to these often overlooked areas.
“You can use a sunscreen or a hand cream with SPF,” Dr. Houshmand says. “I also like to wear sun protective gloves, which helps to avoid photodamage. Prevention is the best!” Try: AHAVA Age Perfecting Hand Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 (ahava.com) nourishes with Dead Sea ingredients, evens skin tone, smooths texture and reduces the appearance of dark spots.
Particularly for those with long hair, applying sunscreen to your scalp can be tricky. But it’s still necessary, especially for those with thin hair. “Most people don’t want their hair to look greasy but there are lots of great products designed to protect your scalp from the sun,” Dr. Houshmand says. Try: COOLA Scalp & Hair Mist Organic Sunscreen SPF 30 (coola.com).
Yes, your eyelids can get sunburned. The skin there is super thin, making sunburn even more painful. “This can be a sensitive area, as sunscreen typically stings when it comes near your eyes,” Dr. Houshmand says. “Stay away from your lash line and wear your sunglasses.” Try: EleVen by Venus Williams Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 (credobeauty.com) is super lightweight, making it perfect for delicate eyelids.
“It’s easy to forget to apply sunscreen to your feet, but remember they can get sunburned also, especially with flip-flops and sandals, because the skin on your feet will be exposed to sunlight,” Dr. Houshmand says. Try: Raw Elements Face + Body Tube SPF 30 (rawelementsusa.com) delivers UVA and UVB broad spectrum protection and is water resistant for 80 minutes.
“Lips are one of the most sensitive areas of your body and the skin tends to be thinner,” Dr. Houshmand says. “Sunburn on your lips is painful! If you will be out for a while or exercising outdoors, a lip balm with SPF would be key.” Try: Solara Suncare Pout Protector Moisturizing Lip Serum SPF 15 (thedetoxmarket.com), a zinc oxide formula packed with antioxidants to protect your pucker from sun, pollution, free radicals and blue light, leaving a sheer shine behind.
“Get into the habit of taking some of the sunscreen you use on your face and applying it to your ears,” Dr. Houshmand says. “Males especially need to remember the tops of their ears and women with shorter hair should do the same. If you have longer hair, the tops of your ears may be covered, but you still need sunscreen.” Try: The Love Sun Body 100% Natural Origin Moisturizing Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 30 (lovesunbody.com) is a sheer, moisturizing formula with over 20 percent non-nano zinc oxide that won’t leave a white cast.