Putting on sunscreen, while necessary, is quite frankly a drag. That extra step can make you late for work or leave you feeling sticky…and let’s not forget the dreaded white cast that some sunscreens leave behind. To make matters worse, we’ve all been guilty of shortcutting the process, and the result is a surprise burn in some weird location. Here are the top five places most people forget to apply sunscreen. Which ones have you missed?
#5 Your scalp
It’s natural to think that your hair is protecting your scalp from the sun’s scalding rays, so skipping your head seems logical. Besides, putting liquid sunscreen on your head sounds like a recipe for a bad hair day. Every dermatologist knows that your scalp contains the same pigment-producing cells as the rest of your skin, and any area of the body with those melanocytes can develop skin cancer. Don’t panic, though. Dry brush-on sunscreen powder, like the SPF 50 from Colorescience, works on your head just as well as your face. It even comes in a variety of colors, so you can protect your part without the goop.
#4 Your piggies
Be honest. When was the last time you put sunscreen on your feet when you were planning to wear flip flops or sandals? Can’t remember? You’re not alone. For some reason, we all forget our feet, but sunburnt toes are the worst. Just try putting on your running shoes the next day, and you’ll vow to be more diligent. If you think your feet are protected just because you’ll be moving around and not actively laying in the sun, think again. Sunscreen those piggies, too.
#3 Your hands
In the winter, you probably use hand lotion a couple times a day to fight off dryness and cracking. But when it comes to sunscreen, the hands are often forgotten. Oh, sure, your palms are well coated, but when was the last time you walked around with your palms up? Um, never (we hope). The skin on your hands is very thin, which already means its prone to dryness and the early signs of aging. Make sure you protect your hands as well (before you put on your rings) to keep from getting a surprise burn. And be sure to reapply often if you’re in and out of the water.
#2 Your ears
If you follow the advice in #5, then your ears will be somewhat protected by the brim of your fancy new hat. But if you’re playing sports and have your hair pulled back, your ears are in the sun’s direct path. According to the American Cancer Society, one fifth of all squamous cell cancers occur on the hands, face, neck, lips, and you guessed it, the ears. Ever burned those? If you have, you know that it makes sleeping on your side impossible. Skip the pain and heartache by applying sunscreen there as well. Hear us?
#1 Your arms and legs
Of all the places to forgot, most of us only semi-forget about our arms and legs. These body parts are on display during most of the year, not just the summer, and that makes them even more prone to developing skin cancer. Somehow, we think that a hint of color won’t cause any harm. That logic couldn’t be more wrong. We’re all better off remembering that the damage we do to our bodies now may not surface for years to come. The cumulative effect of unprotected sun exposure may not necessarily lead to cancer, but you can be assured that it plays a role in advanced skin aging (and no one wants that).
To your skin health,
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