Putting on your suncream can be an arduous task, but it's incredibly important to ensure you don't cut corners when it comes to protecting yourself from the harmful UV rays from the sun.

And while we all smother over our arms and legs, are we fully covering ourselves with much-needed SPF? Here's five places we often forget to apply sunscreen, and why we NEED to remember to do it. 

1. Eyelids

'Eyelids have very thin, delicate skin, so they are prone to premature ageing more than maybe other skin areas might be,' says Dr Stefanie Williams, founder and Medical Director at European Dermatology London. 'It is important not to forget applying sun protection on the eyelids, as otherwise the skin will age even quicker.' 

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2. Ears

'The ears are typical "sun terraces," which catch a lot of sun, yet often we forget to apply sun protection here,' Dr Williams tells us. 'For that reason, the incidence of pre-cancerous lesions called actinic keratosis (AK) is high on the ear helix. I frequently see patients with AKs on the top of the ears in my clinic.'

3. Toes

'When bare feet or in open sandals, the backs of the toes can catch quite a bit of sun,' warns Dr Williams. 'So it's important not to forget these areas, although they might be a nuisance to apply cream to. If you don't, you risk burning your skin.'

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4. Lower back 

'The lower back can be difficult to reach when applying sun cream on holiday, so you might forget the odd spot, which then can burn.' says Dr Stefanie Williams. 'Melanoma skin cancer is most common on the back in men and on the lower legs in women. But nevertheless important to protect the back well in women too, especially as it's difficult to keep an eye on your moles there.' 

5. Face 

Although eyelids and ears have already been mentioned, Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai, consultant Ophthalmologist & Ocuplastic Surgeon, tells us how your face can be more prone to skin cancer than other parts of the body. 

'Typically the face is a high risk area where you can also get more aggressive skin cancers like melanomas,' she tells us. 'This is because people enjoy the sun without adequate UVA and UVB protection, whether they are on the beach or on the ski slope.'

But how much suncream do you need to protect yourself? 

According to Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai, consultant Ophthalmologist & Ocuplastic Surgeon, you only need about three tablespoons worth to protect your entire body, however what SPF factor you choose is key. 'It is important to note that even if you decide to go for a lower SPF on your body you should always go for the highest possible protection on your face,' Dr Shah-Desai tells us. 'Cutting edge sunscreens not only protect against UVA and UVB rays, they also offer anti-ageing properties and reverse and repair DNA damage.'


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