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What is The Correct Way to Apply Sunscreen?


What is The Correct Way to Apply Sunscreen? 


The importance of sunscreen must be addressed. As awareness of skin cancer and premature ageing rises, so does the necessity of protecting our skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

While people are more aware of the importance of using sunscreen, another major challenge is its application. Many individuals need to learn the proper application of sunscreen such as the essential areas that need slathering. 

Not to forget that proper application extends beyond just slathering it on visible parts of your body. This article highlights the essential areas to apply sunscreen for maximum protection. 


The Essential Areas to Apply Sunscreen


Face and Neck

The face and neck are the most exposed parts of the body, receiving a high amount of UV radiation. This constant exposure makes these areas susceptible to sunburn, premature ageing, and skin cancer.

  • Forehead and Cheeks: These areas are noticeable and exposed to direct sunlight. Apply a generous amount of broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
  • Nose: An often-overlooked area, the nose is prone to sunburn due to its high exposure.
  • Ears: Both the tops and behind the ears should be covered as they are often neglected.
  • Neck and Décolletage: The neck and upper chest area are sensitive and frequently exposed to the sun, making them essential.

Scalp and Hairline

Many do not consider these areas important for protection, especially those with a bald head or thin hair. The scalp can easily burn, leading to discomfort and increasing the risk of skin cancer. Apply sunscreen along your part line if you have one. A spray sunscreen can be convenient for this purpose. Also, the edge of the hairline is often missed but can burn easily.

Hands and Feet

These extremities are often exposed and can suffer from significant sun damage. Apply sunscreen to the backs of your hands. Don’t forget the tops of your feet, especially if you wear sandals or go barefoot.

Arms and Legs

While applying sunscreen to the arms and legs is common, thorough coverage is necessary for effective protection. The upper arms are highly exposed and should be covered generously. While the lower legs are often overlooked, they need sunscreen.


The lips are susceptible to sunburn. Not protecting them from harmful sunrays can lead to long-term damage.

While some are comfortable using their normal sunscreen, you can use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 to protect your lips from UV rays.

Eyes and Eyelids

The skin around the eyes is thin and delicate, making it prone to damage and premature ageing. To protect them, use a sunscreen formulated for sensitive areas around the eyes. Wearing sunglasses with UV protection also protects this area.

Under Clothing

Clothing can provide some protection, but not all fabrics offer complete UV protection. Apply sunscreen under thin or light-coloured clothing. UV rays can penetrate these fabrics and cause skin damage.

Additionally, UV rays can penetrate wet swimsuits, so apply sunscreen to these areas before dressing.

Back and Shoulders

These areas are highly exposed, especially when wearing swimsuits or tank tops. Apply or spray thoroughly to the shoulders and the back area.


5 Tips for Effective Sunscreen Application

  1. Choose the Right Sunscreen: Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. An SPF of at least 30 is recommended.
  2. Apply Generously: Most people don’t use enough sunscreen. Use about one ounce (a shot glass full) to cover the entire body.
  3. Reapply Regularly: Reapply every two hours, or more if swimming or sweating.
  4. Check Expiry Dates: Sunscreen loses its effectiveness over time. Ensure your sunscreen is not expired.
  5. Use Additional Protection: Complement sunscreen with other protective measures, such as wearing hats, sunglasses, and UV-protective clothing.



Applying sunscreen correctly and thoroughly is crucial for effective sun protection. Focusing on often-missed areas such as the scalp, and ears can ensure enough coverage and minimize the risk of sunburn, premature ageing, and skin cancer. Always choose a high-quality sunscreen, apply it generously, and reapply regularly to maintain optimal protection. Remember, the sun's harmful effects can accumulate over time, so consistent and thorough sunscreen application is essential for long-term skin health.


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