You know the drill: if you're going to be spending time in the sun—whether at the beach bronzing or at soccer practice with your best friends—SPF is a must. So you slather the sunscreen of your choice on your arms, legs, face and chest, and voilà! You're ready to go.
Or so you think. Most people who wear SPF don't get complete protection from the sun's damaging UV rays, says Dr. Mona Gohara, a board-certified dermatologist and associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale. Why? "There are so many different spots on the body that people don't think to apply sunscreen to, like the elbows or the to the tops of the ears," Dr. Gohara points out.
Skin cancer remains the most common form of cancer in the U.S., according to the CDC, and a history of sunburns—including burns on oft-overlooked body parts such as your elbows or ears—hugely increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Read on for a complete list of all the areas we so often skip over in our SPF application, so you can have fun in the sun—without worrying.
Of course you can't just run sunscreen through your strands (even dry shampoo couldn't fix that mess!), but you can make sure that the areas where hair is sparser, like your upper forehead and hairline, are fully protected. "Lately, I've noticed practically a mini epidemic of skin cancer on the upper forehead in people who don't apply SPF to this area for fear of a bad hair day," says Dr. Dennis Gross, go-to skin expert and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Dermatology. When slopping on SPF on your face, massage it into the skin a full inch into your hairline for complete coverage. Dr. Gross also suggests sweeping your hair into a side ponytail or topknot, rather than parting your hair in the middle so that sensitive scalp skin isn't directly exposed to the sun. Man buns accepted, too!
Copper eyeshadow can look totally rad, but burned, red lids? Not a good look, and definitely dangerous for such delicate skin. Dr. Gohara recommends prepping with a primer packed with SPF for added protection like Shiseido's Refining Makeup Primer, then glossing over the area with a thicker-consistency stick for that coverage won't budge (AKA get in your eyes—ouch!).
Your face SPF application often stops short of the earlobes and outer ridges of your ears, but keep going! "The ear region naturally has very little protective pigment," Dr. Gross says. "As a result, the area burns easily and is high-risk for skin cancer." Aim to cover each and every nook and cranny.
Like your ears, lips don't have the ability to tan, making them more susceptible to sunburn. And unfortunately for you (and us!), that deep coral shade of lipstick you so look forward to rocking in the summer doesn't offer any protection whatsoever from the sun's rays. Always wear a balm with at least SPF 25 to ensure adequate coverage.
The back of your neck and knees
While these areas aren't nearly as hard to reach as your shoulder blades, they often don't get the full swipe of SPF needed for sun protection. Now is not the time to be stingy with your sunscreen—apply as vigorously to these areas as you would your face.
The areas under your clothes
Contrary to popular belief, clothing—especially cotton items—won't shield your body from the sun's rays. Look for beachwear or sport gear that is specifically designed block out UV rays, like the highly opaque microfibers of Cover Swim, which provide a physical barrier between you and the sun.
Your hands and feet
Don't skimp on the SPF for your hands and feet—apply as generous dollop to each as you would your face. Try Hand MD Daily Hand Renewal, which offers SPF 30 protection while reversing sun spots from the hundreds of times of forgotten SPF application.
- ^ history of sunburns (www.teenvogue.com)
- ^ Shiseido's Refining Makeup Primer (www.sephora.com)
- ^ Cover Swim (coverswim.com)
- ^ Hand MD Daily Hand Renewal (hand-md.com)
- ^ The Best Makeup With SPF (www.teenvogue.com)
- ^ Teen Vogue's Editors Test the Latest in SPF (www.teenvogue.com)
- ^ The Game-Changing Sunscreen That Will Actually Work on Brown Skin (www.teenvogue.com)
Source : http://www.teenvogue.com/beauty/skin-care/2015-06/how-to-apply-sunscreen
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