6 Crucial Places You Should Be Applying SPF

Natasha Burton
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Getty Images / Kaspiic

Getty Images / Kaspiic

Summer is on the horizon, which means it’s almost time for beach days, bikinis, picnics and frolicking in the great outdoors. We all know by now just how important it is to apply sunscreen whenever we’re exposed to the sun’s rays. But it can’t ever be stressed enough how crucial proper application is to ensure your SPF is really doing its job. That in mind, we chatted with dermatologist Fayne L. Frey, MD about some of the most important places that many people actually forget to slather on sunscreen.

MORE: Sunscreens That Don’t Feel Gross On Your Skin

Your scalp: Yes, hair does protect the scalp, but if you part your hair, scalp skin is vulnerable. Of course, wearing a hat is also advised, but always apply sunscreen to any part of your scalp that sees the sun—if you end up with skin cancer on your head, it can quickly spread to your brain, which is beyond terrifying.

Your lips: Sun damage on lips in common—as you might know first hand if you find yourself reaching again and again for the chapstick after a day at the beach. Lip balms with SPF 30 or higher are always advised when outdoors.

Your ears: Your earlobes need some SPF love for sure, but another common area missed by many include the rims and bowls of the ears (any skin that sees the sun, essentially). Skin cancer can occur in any part of the external ear due to sun exposure.

Your feet: The tops of feet burn easily, often leaving the pattern of the flip flop straps. Apply sunscreen to the tops of the feet to avoid this painful situation.

Under your straps: It is common to apply sunscreen around the straps of a shirt or bathing suit. But all too often those straps move and the underlying skin is vulnerable. Apply sunscreen underneath those shirt and bathing suit straps just to be safe.

The backs of your knees: People often apply sunscreen on the thighs and backs of the legs and then to the shins and calves. But all too often, the back of the knees, in the crease, is overlooked. Sunburns in this sensitive area is painful, so don’t forget to pay extra attention when slathering up your legs.

MORE: Are You Applying Sunscreen The Right Way?

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