By now, you’ve heard us tell you time and time again that applying sunscreen should be part of your daily skin care routine. And since summer is in full swing, you need to consider your SPF a summer skin care essential.
You may already be pretty diligent about applying sunscreen to your face, arms, and legs before stepping outside, but there are a few important areas on your body that you could be overlooking. So, we’re sharing some basic sun protection measures you should be taking as well as five areas you should make sure to apply sunscreen on before heading out for the day.
What You Need to Know About Sun Protection
Before we get to where you should be applying sunscreen, let’s cover a few of the basics first. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), you should wear a broad-spectrum (which can protect from both UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater as directed daily, and reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.
The AAD also recommends limiting your amount of time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are the sun’s peak hours), seeking shade, and covering up exposed areas by wearing long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
How to Apply Sunscreen to Your Face and Body
When it comes to applying sunscreen, keep the following rule in mind — you should apply at least one ounce of sunscreen to fully cover all exposed areas of your body (according to the AAD).
For your face, you can consider using a moisturizer with SPF to cut back on the number of steps in your beauty routine. Try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30, a facial moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum SPF. Pack it in your bag so that you can reapply throughout the day as directed. As for your body, the AAD recommends that you consider using a spray sunscreen on hard-to-reach areas such as your back.
5 Places You Shouldn’t Forget to Apply Sunscreen
You might be a pro at applying sunscreen to your face and exposed areas like your arms and legs, but you could be forgetting a few other important spots. According to the AAD, it’s important to remember to apply sunscreen to your neck, ears, and the tops of your feet. Additionally, your lips and scalp need sun protection, too. Here’s how to protect those areas.
How to Apply Sunscreen to Your Neck
Just as a lot of people forget to take care of their décolletage by extending their moisturizer to their neck and chest, the same happens with sunscreen. Of course, this just won't do since when your face is exposed to the sun, your neck usually is too. So, remember to carry your sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF down past your chin.
How to Apply Sunscreen to Your Ears
Your ears may not seem very important when it comes time to applying sunscreen, but think again. They can burn just like anywhere else you have skin, and a sunburn there will hurt even worse the next time you go to put on your headphones or rest your head on your pillow. If you’re worried about getting your hair greasy from the sunscreen, opt for a super-convenient sunscreen setting spray.
How to Apply Sunscreen to Your Feet
You may not need to use sunscreen on the bottoms of your feet, but the tops are a totally different story. Anytime you’re going barefoot or wearing shoes that leave the tops of your feet exposed — even partially — you’ll want to give them a quick spritz or slather with sunscreen. Apply your sunscreen of choice — making sure to cover your toes, too — and you should be good to go as long as you reapply regularly.
How to Apply Sunscreen to Your Lips
While you shouldn't smooth a regular old sunscreen onto your lips, your pout still needs sun protection. That’s where lip balm formulated with broad-spectrum SPF comes in. Protecting your pout can go a long way in keeping your lips smooth and primed for lip makeup application.
How to Apply Sunscreen to Your Scalp
We’ve learned this lesson the hard way — you don’t want a sunburned scalp. You can go about protecting your scalp a few ways. The obvious one is wearing sunscreen. While we don’t recommend rubbing sunscreen onto your hair, a powder sunscreen is perfect for dusting a little SPF onto your part.
An even easier option is to rock a hairstyle without a part. Throw your hair into a messy bun or a ponytail with no part in sight. Lastly, you can cover up with a hat. The hat will also provide an extra layer of protection for your face, so you really can’t go wrong. If you have a bald bald head, applying sunscreen may be easier, but so is getting a sunburn there. We suggest keeping a hat handy in case you forget to reapply.
What to Do If You Get a Sunburn
Even with all of these precautions, a sunburn is still possible. If you happen to get a sunburn, there are a few steps you can take. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the first thing you should do is head indoors, as you don’t want to expose your skin to any more sun.
Then, you can take frequent cool baths and showers to help get relief, according to the AAD. Avoid staying in the tub for too long, which can be drying, and steer clear of harsh soaps that can irritate your skin further. Using a moisturizer formulated with aloe vera could also help provide some soothing relief. Finally, wear loose, breathable clothing to help avoid further skin irritation.
Edited by: Shannon Stubbs, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn
Discover more tips & tricks