Don’t Forget These Spots When Applying Sunscreen

Protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun is essential. However, there are some areas that we often forget to apply sunscreen, leaving them susceptible to skin cancers.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), most adults need about 28 grams of sunscreen to cover their entire body. Surprisingly, though, many people only apply 25-50% of this amount. It’s time to step up our sunscreen game and ensure we’re adequately protected.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather, and reapplying every two hours. If you’re swimming or sweating, it’s important to reapply afterwards. These simple steps can have a significant impact on your skin’s health.

However, certain spots like the scalp, lips, ears, neck, and chest often tend to be overlooked, despite being high-risk areas for skin cancer. Let’s explore these forgotten spots and understand why they deserve our attention.

Ears often ignore sunscreen

The ears are a common area for skin cancer, yet they’re often overlooked when applying sunscreen. The ear’s many folds make it challenging to protect, but it’s essential to do so. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to minimize your risk and ensure you cover all the front and back ear areas. Don’t rely solely on long hair for protection. Wearing a hat with a brim and seeking shade whenever possible are additional measures you can take.

Head skin

If you think your hair is enough to protect your scalp, think again. The scalp is the highest point of the body, making it more prone to burns than other areas. To prevent skin cancer, sunscreen should be applied to the scalp and hairline. Look for sunscreens specially formulated for the scalp that won’t leave any residue or greasy feeling. Don’t forget to wear a wide-brimmed hat when you’re out in the sun for added protection.


The thin skin around the eyes is susceptible to both skin cancer and signs of aging. Unfortunately, many people skip applying sunscreen to their eyelids due to sensitivity concerns. Look for a mineral sunscreen containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, or choose a sunscreen made for sensitive skin. Additionally, using an eye cream with SPF can provide extra protection. Investing in sunglasses with UV protection will also help shield your eyelids from the sun’s damaging rays.


Your lips are skin too, and they can develop skin cancer. Applying a lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher is a simple yet effective way to prevent this. Make it a habit to apply lip balm with SPF every day and reapply it every two hours or more often if you’re swimming.

Neck and chest

While many of us diligently apply sunscreen to our faces, we often neglect our neck and chest. However, an article in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology reveals that about 20% of all melanoma cases are found in the head and neck region. Don’t forget to extend your sunscreen application to these areas and protect them from potential skin cancer.


Unless you’re wearing full-coverage shoes like sneakers, your feet are also exposed to the sun. The upper part of our feet often receives sunlight and requires sunscreen protection. Even the soles of our feet, usually more protected, can be exposed to harmful UV rays. When walking barefoot on the beach or any other scenario where the soles of your feet are exposed, remember to apply sunscreen. Research shows that up to 3 to 15% of melanoma skin cancers occur on the feet or ankles.

By remembering to apply sunscreen to these often-forgotten spots, you can significantly reduce your risk of skin cancer. Keep in mind that prevention is key when it comes to your skin’s health. So, before you head out, make sure you’ve covered all the bases and protected yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

To learn more about skincare and healthy habits, visit Stay safe and have fun in the sun!

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