There you are, living your life and so proud that you’ve gotten into the habit of using daily sunscreen, when one day you look down and, Wuhhhhhh? Are those sun spots on my feet??!!
Sorry, but yeah, probably. It’s so easy to consistently miss spots either accidentally or because you don’t think they get enough sun exposure to warrant sunscreen application. And since sun damage is cumulative (five minutes here, 10 there, over the course of a lifetime really adds up), it’s super important to take extra care to cover neglected skin as to keep your entire face and body looking young and fresh for as long as possible.
We’ve zeroed in on three body parts where sun damage commonly sneaks up. If you already see damage there, you can take steps to undo it, and if you don’t, then there’s no time like the present to take a proactive approach.
Why: V-necks, sheer fabric and itty bitty bikinis leave the vulnerable skin on your chest exposed to regular UV assault. Even sporadic exposure from the car or walking in and out of buildings contributes to this damage and discoloration.
What to do: Targeted products with brightening ingredients such as kojic acid, licorice extract, soy or niacinamide can help. Follow your normal skincare routine, but bring it down to the chest, and daily sunscreen is key to keep the spots from getting darker. For even more prevention, cover up with a scarf while dining outside or at sporting events.
Why: So, you have a mysterious brown headband up at the top of your forehead? This is a common issue because the top of the forehead gets a lot of sun exposure, but people don’t like putting sunscreen there because it makes the hair greasy.
What to do: The best way to prevent this is with a hat, but at the very least, be sure to blend your sunscreen all the way up to your hairline. Matte or cream-to-powder formulas won’t gunk up your hair. To fade discoloration, the same ingredients that work on your chest (see above) work here, and additionally, chemical peels and IPL treatments in a derm’s office can help. Severe cases could benefit from a prescription retinoid or hydroquinone.
Why: Anyone who loves the freedom of wearing flip flops is prone to haggard feet, and the skin there is thinner than on the legs. Sun damage here can range from rough texture and fine lines to pigment changes.
What to do: Apply sunscreen and let it dry before slipping into sandals. Sunscreen formulated for active lifestyles and sports stays put longer, and handy sprays make it easy to coat your legs and feet. At night, wash and scrub your feet thoroughly and apply foot cream to keep skin soft and young.