You work hard to protect your skin, which means you’re probably applying sunblock on a daily basis. But what you might not realize is that the sun’s damaging UV rays can harm more areas than you might think.
Even though you’re slathering sunscreen on your face, arms and legs, there are sneaky, sometimes-forgotten places that are just as susceptible to burns. Make sure you give extra attention to the following six areas to avoid a potentially dangerous careless mistake.
Most people forget to protect their scalp until it’s too late — meaning until soreness and then dry, flaky skin sets in. One of the most life threatening forms of melanoma can occur on the scalp, according to one study, so remember to protect this area by using an SPF mineral powder specifically created for your scalp with a handy brush applicator that won't leave your hair matted and oily. Plus, it never hurts to cover up with a fashionable floppy hat.
For something so small, ears can still pose a huge risk when it comes to sun damage and skin cancer risk. While it may take a little more time and patience to make sure sunscreen gets into every crevice and corner of your ear, it’s important to cover all your bases in order to lower your risk of melanoma.
If you’re applying sunscreen to your face, chances are you’re stopping at your jawline. Nip this mistake in the bud by continuing the application all the way down to the bottom of your neck, as the skin there is more fragile and most likely forgotten when it comes to moisturizing and sun protection.
Lips naturally have very little protection from the sun’s rays because they lack melanin. That’s why it’s important to use a lip balm armed with sunscreen in order to protect and moisturize your kisser – and chances are the lip gloss you’re carrying in your clutch isn’t going to cut it.
Back of Hands
You’re already using your hands to apply sunscreen to the rest of your body, so take a few extra seconds to rub some on the backs of your hands while you’re at it. Not only does it protect you from cancerous UV rays, it will also help slow the aging process by decreasing the number of fine lines and age spots on your hands.
Top of Feet
There’s nothing worse than a flip-flop sunburn – we’ve all been there, done that and showcased the ugly tan lines. Even if you think your feet will be buried in the beach sand, it’s imperative to apply sun block to them to prevent serious burns and melanomas.
Check out our Womanista Approved list of face sunscreens -- and remember to use them on your neck, scalp and ears, too!