It might seem like a simple task, but latest studies show that we keep missing a vital area when we apply sunscreen – spots on the face. Generally, people miss about 10 percent of their face when they’re putting it on.


The research was carried out by the British Association of Dermatologists, and presented at their annual conference.


The study found that the most overlooked area was around the eyelids. This is where 10 percent of cancers can occur according to the experts.


The University of Liverpool conducted a trial involving 57 men and women, and used a backlight and special camera to see the areas they missed.


It was discovered that people missed around 9 percent of their faces — most commonly because they skipped spots around the eyes. About 13 percent of people missed their eyelids, and 77 percent of people missed spots between the inner corners of the eyes and the bridge of the nose.


“It’s worrying that people find it so hard to sufficiently apply sunscreen to their face, an area which is particularly at risk of skin cancer due to the amount of sun exposure it receives. Our research shows that simple health messaging can help improve this problem, and we hope that industry groups and public health campaigners can take this on board,” explained Dr Kevin Hamill, from the University’s Department of Eye and Vision Science, on their website.  


“Ongoing work is looking into makeup formulations and longevity of coverage.”



Even when participants returned for follow-up tests, this time receiving extra information about skin cancers of the eye region, there was a slight improvement in eyelid coverage, but none for the area between the eyes and nose. Even after the caution, the subjects still left an average of 7 percent of their face unprotected.


Doctors recommend not putting sunscreen onto your eyelids, and sticking to wearing UV protected sunglasses.  


“We still want people to enjoy themselves outdoors, but to go back to the basics of sun protection,” explained Matthew Gass, of the British Association of Dermatologists.


“Thoroughly apply and reapply sunscreen with a minimum of Factor 30 and good UVA protection, to wear protective clothing such as a T-shirt or a hat, to wear sunglasses that show the CE mark, and to spend time in the shade when the sun is at its hottest (12pm-3pm).”


We have a sun care guide so you know how to protect yourself and your little one in the summer heat. 



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