You slathered on SPF before you hit the beach and yet you still come back with pink eyelids, scalded side-boob, or a seared hairline. Even if you consider yourself a sunscreen savant, it’s easy to overlook a few of your body’s nooks and crannies. And just a little bit of neglect can still do damage in the form of sunspots, wrinkles and skin cancer, says Dr. Debra Jaliman, a Manhattan-based dermatologist and author of Skin Rules. Here’s how to put a stop to burns in the most unexpected spots.
The Hot Spot: Around your eyes and eyelids
Sunscreen can sting your eyes so, consciously or not, we often avoid applying it near this delicate area. “In addition to premature wrinkles I am seeing a lot of skin cancer around the eyes, which requires a very complicated and extensive surgery,” says Jaliman. “Even if you’re wearing big wrap-around sunglasses, they won’t completely protect your eye area.”
The SPF Solution: DDF Protective Eye Cream
Made specifically for that area, this sunscreen won’t burn—and neither will you. It has broad-spectrum SPF 15 and is formulated with moisturizing Shea butter and fatty acids to reduce the appearance of any accidentally acquired wrinkles from summers past—and prevent future ones.
The Hot Spot: The tops of your hands
Think about it: Your hands are exposed to sunlight every single day, all year long. So, it’s no surprise that they’re one of the first places you’ll see signs of sun damage. “People can show aging and sunspots on their hands much sooner than they show it on their face or body,” Jaliman explains.
The SPF Solution: Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 40
Avoid the dreaded Young Face Old Hands Syndrome with this nourishing non-greasy formula that moisturizes with argan oil while its omega-7 fatty acids reduce inflammation caused by the sun. The pump bottle makes it super easy to apply and even fits in your car’s cup-holder—perfect for the times you’re stuck in traffic on the way to the beach.
The Hot Spot: Your hair part
A double-braided ‘do might be the best beach-day hairstyle except for one little problem: a bright red strip of skin down the center of your scalp at the end of the day. “Squamous cell carcinoma is very common on the scalp for exactly this reason,” says Jaliman. Her advice? Wear a hat when you can, but otherwise apply sunscreen to any part of your scalp that’s exposed, just as you would with any other part of your body.
The SPF Solution: COOLA SPF 30 Sport Spray for Body
This SPF is lightweight enough to spray on your hair without making it look greasy, and goes on clear. It’s made with an organic plant formula, so it’s safe to use on that sensitive part of your head. Plus, you won’t mind inhaling its fresh citrusy scent all beach-day long.
The Hot Spot: Around the edges of your suit
We’ve all been there: You diligently apply SPF, but then your strap slips. Or your bottoms ride up. Or your bikini top scrunches and a little side-boob sneaks out. An hour later, you have approximately two-square inches of bright pink pain to live with for the next week or so.
The SPF Solution: Cotz Pure SPF 30
This physical sunscreen means serious business. Its zinc oxide and titanium dioxide safely deflect the rays while a subtle tint gives your body a natural-looking sheen. Jaliman recommends applying sunscreen when you’re naked so you don’t miss those spots that get exposed when your suit shifts
The Hot Spot: Your neck
You apply face sunscreen from your chin up, body sunscreen from your shoulders down but… what about that space in between? Your neck is one of the easiest spots to forget about, says Jaliman, making it one of the most vulnerable areas for burns and sun damage.
The SPF Solution: Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Moisturizer
Technically, you can slather this organic, water-resistant sunscreen all over your body—and it works for all skin types. But we love it for your neck because it blends in seamlessly (there’s no white residue from the zinc oxide) and contains aloe leaf juice to smooth any fine lines that may be starting to settle in.