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 boobs??!!Sorry, but yeah, probably. It’s just 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.
Spotty BoobsWhy: Low v-necks, sheer fabric and itty bitty bikinis leave the vulnerable skin on your chest and tops of boobs exposed to UV assualt on the reg. “Discoloration on the chest is due to unprotected sun exposure, including accumulated damage caused by sporadic exposure in the car and while walking in and out of buildings,” explains dermatologist Leslie Baumann, CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami, Florida.What to do: Targeted products with brightening ingredients such as kojic acid, licorice extract, soy or niacinamide can help, says Dr. Baumann. “I recommend applying morning skincare products before getting dressed, and using your regimen on the entire face, neck and chest. The most important thing is daily sunscreen to keep the spots from getting darker.” For even more prevention, she recommends covering up with a scarf while dining outside or at sporting events.Try these: Aveeno Positively Radiant Targeted Tone Corrector, $15, with soy to fade spots; NIA 24 Sun Damage Prevention 100% Mineral Sunscreen, $49, has brightening nicotinic acid, a powerful cousin of niacinamide, in it; Neutrogena Age Shield Face SPF 70, $11, contains antioxidants to neutralize free radicals that cause discoloration.
Discolored HairlineWhy: So, you have a mysterious brown headband up at the top of your forehead? “This is a common issue because the very top of the forehead gets a lot of sun damage, but many people don’t like putting sunscreen there because it makes the hair greasy,” explains dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi, Co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, DC.What to do: Dr. Tanzi says 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 boobs (see above) work here, and additionally, Baumann says chemical peels and IPL treatments in a derm’s office can help. She recommends a prescription retinoid or hydroquinone for severe cases.Try these: Dr. Brandt BB Matte SPF 30, $39, stays put, controls shine and adds a tint to even out dark patches; Olay ProX Tone Correcting Protocol, $43, includes a brightening cream, targeted spot treatment and daily SPF 30 sunscreen, all packed with brightening ingredients; Neova DNA Damage Control SPF 40, $45, is a super lightweight sunscreen, and is sheerly tinted and contains sun damage-repairing enzymes; E.L.F. Studio SPF 45 Sunscreen, $6, is a loose mineral powder that’s perfect for midday touchups.
Old FeetWhy: Baumann sees this a lot because she lives in Miami, where people wear sandals all year long, but anyone who loves the freedom of wearing flip flops is prone to haggard feet. “The skin on the tops of the feet is thinner than the skin on legs,” she explains. “Sun damage here can range from rough texture and fine lines to pigment changes.” If you spent most of your youth running around outside while barefoot, you can start to see premature aging as early as your 20s.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.Try these: Coppertone ClearlySheer Sunny Days Spray SPF 30, $10, leaves a matte finish; SkinCeuticals Sport UV Defense SPF 50, $40, is designed to resist rubbing; Guinot Longue Vie Foot Cream, $28, smoothes rough skin with sweet almond oil and shea butter.QUIZ: Assess Your Skin Cancer Risk