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6 Places You're Forgetting To Apply SPF

You're definitely forgetting #2.

June 23, 2022

One whole shot glass. 

That’s how much sunscreen you should be using on your body when you’re having a day in the sun–at the beach, the pool, the lake, etc. 1.5 ounces, or enough to fill up a shot glass. You might be thinking, that’s so much sunscreen. Where the heck am I supposed to put all of that

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re pretty vigilant about applying SPF to your face and neck every day. After all, there’s no better way to prevent sun damage and photoaging, and you want to keep your skin looking its best. 

But there are probably some areas you’re forgetting, and you’re falling short of that “one shot glass” amount. As the weather warms up, and we’re spending more time outside, the risk of a bad sunburn–or future photoaging–increases. So here’s a handy checklist of the common areas where people forget to apply SPF. 

Six Places You're Forgetting to Apply SPF

  1. Tops of the feet: You may not think of your feet as needing sun protection, but they do. When wearing sandals or going barefoot, remember to apply SPF to your feet, including your toes!
  2. The soles of your feet: This one is definitely not intuitive, but you should apply SPF to the soles of your feet if you’re going to be barefoot. This is particularly important if you have a darker skin tone. People with darker skin tones are at increased risk of developing acral lentiginous melanoma, a rare type of skin cancer that shows up in unexpected places, like the soles of the feet. This can happen with minimal exposure. So even if it seems kind of silly, we promise it’s worth protecting the soles of your feet, especially for folks with darker skin tones. And take it from those of us who have fallen asleep face-down in the sand. Getting a sunburn on the soles of your feet? Brutal. 
  3. Your ears: Even though they’re close to your face and get a lot of sun exposure, people commonly forget to apply SPF to their ears. It can be kind of weird to apply SPF to your ears because they have so many nooks and crannies–putting your hair up while you do this can help. Get in the habit of applying your SPF from the “outside in”--start with your ears and the sides of your face, and work inwards towards the nose, forehead, and chin. If you’re going to be in the sun for a long time, we recommend you wear a cute wide brimmed hat. Bucket hat, cowboy hat, big glamorous Hollywood diva hat–any of these can add more protection for your ears and your face, too. 
  4. Eyelids: Your eyelids can get sunburned just like every other part of your face. In fact, your eyelid skin is some of the thinnest skin on your whole body, so it’s extra sensitive to sun damage! But we know it’s tricky to apply SPF around your eyes. Choose a water-resistant, physical SPF formula to apply on your eyelids so the product won’t run into your eyes. If that doesn’t work for you, sunglasses with UV protection can help protect this delicate area, but not as effectively as SPF applied to the skin. 
  5. Your lips: Like your eyelids, your lips are sensitive and delicate. But SPF products also taste pretty gross, so what’s the best way to protect your lips without getting a mouthful of SPF-taste? We say, use a lip balm with SPF 25 or higher and reapply it every two hours or as directed on the packaging. Whatever you do, don’t wear gloss or glossy lipsticks in the sun. These products make sunburns worse.
  6. Back of your hands: Along with your face and neck, the back of your hands are the first place that shows aging. Why? Like your face, your hands tend to be exposed to the sun constantly when you’re outside, even if the rest of your body is covered up. Plus, our hands are exposed to the sun while we’re driving. So, even in winter, you should apply SPF to the backs of your hands. One of the best ways to ensure you apply SPF to your hands is to look for a dedicated hand cream with SPF 30 or higher. Keep a bottle in your purse or in your car to reapply throughout the day. And don’t forget in between your fingers!

So there you have it: five common places we forget our SPF. Take an extra second as you’re applying your SPF and ask yourself, is there any skin that’s getting exposed that I haven’t covered yet? Better yet, ask a friend for help!

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