We’ve all done it. Stood in front of the mirror after a long day in the sun and let out an audible sigh/oopsies for the patches of red that have suddenly transpired after that post-beach hot shower.
Whether you inadequately applied sunscreen in the first instance, failed to regularly reapply throughout the day, or straight up ‘forgot’ about those damaging UV rays, here’s a list of the most commonly forgotten bits of your body that are still prone to burning (and so sore when they do get burned).
The top of your head, like any other skin on your body, is susceptible to sun damage. If you aren’t wearing a hat, firstly, why not, and secondly, no your luscious locks are not enough to protect your scalp from burning. Take a small amount of face sunscreen and apply it to your hair part, and if you’re bald, just lather that whole noggin of yours.
Those sticky-outy things on the side of your head, yep thooose. A reminder that your ears are exposed to the sun while walking, driving, sitting by the window desk at work, so start extending that daily sunscreen application all the way to the edges to include ears, jawline, neck, scalp.
Have you been protecting the protective layer of your eyes? Feels novel, but without a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and a layer of SPF, you’re practically begging our (bad) friends UVA and UVB to get burning. Our eyelids are really delicate too, so while sunburn in this area is going to sting, we also recommend being gentle with the sunscreen application too.
For some reason we focus primarily on the cheeks, nose and forehead, forgetting our lips which are actually made of highly sensitive tissue. The skin on our lips is super duper thin, meaning it’s far more delicate than the rest of our bodies, and very susceptible to skin cancer if repeatedly damaged. Time to invest in a good quality SPF lip balm, stat!
So you put sunscreen on your arms, but did you go all the way down to your fingertips? Don’t lie… The tops of our hands are just as vulnerable to burning as the rest of our long limbs, and they're typically one of the first areas of the body to show signs of ageing (freckles, sunspots, accentuated veins, wrinkles, sagging skin).
Your feet don’t see the light of day for months on end (thanks, winter) then suddenly you’re sporting sandals at the office and walking barefoot from the beach to the pub come Saturday. The tops of our feet need a lick of protection too if you want to avoid the whole peeling meets bad-birkenstocks-tan vibe.
Back of the knees
If you’re someone who also screens the top of the leg then the bottom half, portioning out that SPF, you’ll know how easy it is to miss the back of the knees in between. Not to mention this part of our body tends to get quite sweaty so any sunscreen that was applied is likely to be removed and/or rubbed off much quicker. There’s nothing worse than a nasty burn in those bendy creases! Makes walking, working out, sitting at a desk much more uncomfortable. You’ve been warned.
You’re laying on your back, a sugary summer romance novel extended above your head, and suddenly those supple armpits of yours are entirely exposed to the sun's harsh rays. We’ll be the first to admit it’s not yet a habit to apply sunscreen here (we recommend applying before deodorant so your skin has time to absorb the product) but any whiff of a potential sunburn here and we’re scared.
Avoid prolonged sun exposure, and make sure you re-apply frequently in accordance with directions. Remember, sunscreen is only one component of sun protection so always wear a hat, protective clothing and eyewear when you’re in the sun.