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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 because summer is in full swing, we’re here to give you a refresher course on all things sun protection, as you’re likely spending more time outdoors. Consider your SPF a summer skin care essential! And despite being pretty diligent about applying sunscreen to your face, arms, and legs before slipping into a tank top and shorts, there are a few important areas on your body that you could be overlooking. Here, we’re sharing some basic sun protection measures you should be taking as well as five areas you should make sure to apply sunscreen before heading out for the day.
Before we get to where you should be applying sunscreen, let’s cover a few of the basics first. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 (or higher) as directed daily. But that’s not all. You should also reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. And, there are a few other sun protection measures you should take as well: Limit your amount of time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are the sun’s peak hours), seek shade, and cover up exposed areas by wearing long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
When it comes to applying sunscreen, keep the following rule in mind: According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), you should apply at least one ounce of sunscreen to fully cover all exposed areas of your body. 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 Bright Reveal Brightening Day Lotion SPF 30, a facial moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF. Pack it with you in your purse 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.
You might be a pro at applying sunscreen to your face and large 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 spots:
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.
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 trust us, a sunburn won’t feel so great 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.
You may not need to use sunscreen on the bottoms of your feet, but the tops are a whole other 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.
While you probably won’t want to smooth a regular old sunscreen onto your lips—and you shouldn’t, for that matter—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, so skip to it.
We’ve learned this lesson the hard way—you don’t want a sunburned scalp. Trust us, trying to brush your hair when your scalp is red and angry is a major pain—literally. 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, why not cover up with a broad-brimmed hat? The hat will also provide an extra layer of protection for your face, so you really can’t go wrong.
Of course, even the best-laid plans can go awry. 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, according to the AAD, you can take frequent cool baths and showers to help get relief. Avoid staying in the tub for too long, which can be drying—and steer clear of harsh soap, which could irritate your skin further. Using a moisturizer formulated with aloe vera could also help provide some soothing relief. Finally, wear loose, soft, breathable clothing to help avoid further skin irritation.
Okay, let’s recap: Applying sunscreen should be part of your daily skin care routine, as should other sun protection measures such as limiting your amount of time spent in the sun. Remember to apply sunscreen to areas like your neck, ears, and the tops of your feet—and don’t forget about protecting your lips or scalp, either. Got it?
Well, now that you’re on your way to becoming a sun protection pro, check out our article, 6 Skin Care Hacks to Help You Stay Sun Safe This Summer, for more easy tips.
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