Sunscreen: these areas are often forgotten!

Update 8 may 2024

Unfortunately, skin cancer is on the rise and the Netherlands is in the top 5 with the most skin cancer in Europe. Most of us know that you have to apply a good sunscreen. But some places on the body are less well rubbed or forgotten, which means that you have a greater chance of sun damage and even skin cancer in the long term.

Sunscreen – forgotten areas

1. Eyelids
The skin on your eyelids is thin and fragile. Even though we often wear sunglasses, UV radiation can still reach this sensitive skin. Don’t forget to gently apply a sunscreen suitable for the face to your eyelids.

2. Lips
Lips have no natural protection against the sun and can burn quickly. Use a lip balm with a sunscreen to protect your lips from harmful UV rays.

3. Ears
Ears are one of the most overlooked places when it comes to sunscreen. The top of the ears in particular is often skipped, while this area is very sensitive to sunburn. Make sure you apply sunscreen on your ears well.

4. Anterior Hairline/Scalp
The front hairline and scalp, especially in people with thin hair or bald spots, are vulnerable to UV radiation. Use a spray sunscreen or wear a hat for extra protection.

5. Décolleté
The décolleté is often exposed to the sun, especially in summer. The skin here is thin and sensitive, making it prone to sun damage and wrinkles. Don’t forget to rub this area generously.

6. Neck
The neck, especially the back and sides, is often skipped. This area gets a lot of sun, especially if you are outside. Protect your neck well with sunscreen and consider wearing a hat for extra shade.

7. Shins and backs of knees
Shins and knees, including the backs of the knees, are areas that are often forgotten. These areas can burn quickly, especially during activities such as cycling or walking. Make sure you rub these areas well.

8. Backs of hands
The backs of the hands are constantly exposed to the sun, especially during driving and other outdoor activities. Regularly apply sunscreen to your hands to protect them from UV rays.


It’s important to know that for protection against visible light (also known as HEV light or blue light), sunscreens must be visible on the skin. This means that the sunscreen must form a visible layer to be effective. Ingredients such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and iron oxide provide a physical barrier that remains visible on the skin, providing protection against visible light. Although it may seem less aesthetically pleasing, this visible layer is crucial for maximum protection.


Protecting your skin from visible light, also known as high-energy visible light (HEV light) or blue light, is just as important as protecting against UV radiation. Although the harmful effects of UV light are well documented, the impact of HEV light on the skin is becoming increasingly clear. Here are some reasons why it makes sense to protect your skin from visible light as well:

1. Oxidative stress:
HEV light, like UV light, can cause oxidative stress in the skin. This means it increases the production of free radicals, which can lead to cell damage. Oxidative stress is a major factor in premature skin aging and can lead to wrinkles, fine lines and dull skin.

2. Deeper skin penetration:
Unlike UV radiation, which mainly affects the surface of the skin, HEV light can penetrate deeper into the skin. This can lead to damage to the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, which affects the skin’s structure and elasticity and contributes to premature aging.

3. Hyperpigmentation:
HEV light can contribute to hyperpigmentation, such as melasma, sunspots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is because HEV light can stimulate melanin production, leading to dark spots on the skin. This is especially a problem for people with darker skin, who naturally have more melanin and can therefore be more susceptible to pigmentation problems.

4. Protection for all skin types – but more for:
Although everyone can benefit from protection against HEV light, it is especially important for people with dark skin (Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI). These skin types naturally have more melanin, which gives them some protection against UV rays, but they may be more sensitive to hyperpigmentation caused by HEV light.

Sunscreen, Iron Oxide, Uva Filter, Dark Skin Asian Skin Visible Light

Protecting these often forgotten areas is essential to keeping your skin healthy and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Be alert and thorough when applying sunscreen and make it a daily habit. This way you can fully enjoy the sun while protecting your skin properly.

Also read:Applying sunscreen


Pratt H, Hassanin K, Troughton LD, et al. UV imaging reveals facial areas that are prone to skin cancer are disproportionately missed during sunscreen application. PLoS One. 2017;12(10):e0185297.

Picture of Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu, een vooraanstaande dermatoloog, is de drijvende kracht achter Iconic Elements. Hij heeft sinds 2004 zijn expertise ingezet om een veilige en effectieve huidverzorgingslijn te creëren, geschikt voor zowel gezonde huid als huidproblemen. Iconic Elements, opgericht in 2016, is de eerste brede skincare lijn in Nederland ontwikkeld door een dermatoloog. Als medisch specialist streeft Dr. Wu naar het bevorderen van het welzijn van mensen door hoogwaardige en effectieve huidverzorgingsproducten te bieden. De proefdiervrije en vegan producten vermijden schadelijke chemicaliën en bevatten natuurlijke ingrediënten.
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