To avoid irritation and SPF running into your eyes when you sweat, cosmetic chemist Ginger King recommends seeking out a physical sunscreen in a balm form, such as Green Goo’s Solar Goo, as opposed to a chemical one or one in lotion form. It will stay put much better. Be sure to layer the sunscreen onto your eyebrows, too, Libby adds.
“Of course, sunglasses always help because you are not only protecting the eyelids, but you are also protecting the eyes,” King also notes.
A frequently missed area for sunscreen among the patients of Robert Finney, board-certified dermatologist at Entière Dermatology in New York City, is the lips. (Libby also lists them off as a commonly skipped place.) “This is concerning because it has been shown that if you get skin cancer on the lip, it can behave more aggressively than other areas of the body,” he explains.
The easiest way to avoid getting squamous cell carcinoma on your lips is by swiping on an SPF-infused chapstick frequently throughout the day. Be sure to give your lower lip extra love as it gets hit with the most sun, Finney notes. Our product pick: the Thrive Causemetics Sunproof Intensive Lip Balm SPF 24.
Another high-risk area for aggressive skin cancer that Libby mentions is the ears. Just because you believe your hair is covering them is doing the trick to protect them from the sun, they’re still exposed to UV rays. “We see many skin cancers on the ears, including the rims of the ears, earlobes, and even inside the ears,” Choi adds. Behind your ears is just as susceptible to skin cancer, too, so don’t forget to run sunscreen on that area too.
In addition to SPF, wide-brimmed hats yet again come in handy for shielding this part of your body.
When you’re slathering sunscreen on your face, are you also bringing some down to your neck? Choi’s patients often forget to, jumping straight to their arms and chest. Stop doing yourself this disservice. Don’t neglect your neck.
The back of your neck is also an important spot to remember — no matter what length your hair may be. “Believe it or not, we see skin cancer here even in [people] with long hair,” Choi says.
Choi and Libby agree the tops of the hands are often overlooked and have become one of the most common places for skin cancer. “People either apply it here and then wash it off, so it’s no longer on or effective,” Choi theorizes. “People also forget to apply it here, even when they’re just driving. UVA rays go right through windows year-round.”