SPF blind spots: how to protect your skin from the sun

woman applies spf
By Ellie Taylor 16th May 2022 Category: Advice

Our expert dermatologists at sk:n provide insights on the SPF blind spots, what to look out for and some of their favourite SPF products to protect your skin

With summer on the horizon we’re all beginning to enjoy catching up with friends, hitting the beach or soaking up the sun in our garden. However, it’s important to make sure we’re prepared and keep our skin covered and protected.

Melanoma is the 5th most common cancer in the UK[1], but if you’re careful, the risk of developing the disease can be dramatically reduced.

Our experts discuss the dangers of SPF blind spots and the signs to look out for.

SPF blind spots

The most common areas that people neglect when applying SPF protection are the backs of the hands, ears and in cases of baldness, the scalp. All of which are common areas for skin damage and skin cancer.

It’s crucial that we’re not missing these areas and we cover all our exposed skin. There are spray SPF sunscreens that can help reach those blind spot areas such as the ears, or you can ask a friend to apply it for you. When it comes to the scalp, SPF protection is a must for areas not covered with a thick layer of hair. A brimmed hat is also a great solution, especially for those people with a history of skin damage or who are at risk of skin cancer.


Moles Matter – what to look out for

In western countries like the UK, where there is a greater population of fair-skinned people and increasing levels of UV light, people should be vigilant with regards to the risks associated with the sun.

Firstly, everyone should watch out for any change in existing moles. The ABCD acronym is a good way of remembering how to check for any changes and when to be concerned:


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  • A – Asymmetry – the two halves of the area may differ in shape.
  • B – Border Irregularities – the edges of the area may be irregular or blurred, and sometimes show notches.
  • C – Colour Change (particularly blue, grey or black) – this may be uneven. Different shades of black, brown and pink may be seen.
  • D – Diameter – most melanomas are at least 6mm in diameter. Report any change in size, shape or diameter to your doctor.

If in doubt, we always recommend consulting an expert with any changes to your moles. It’s also important to be aware of any new lesions, such as a new freckle or mole, particularly if this is accompanied by changing colours or rapid growth.

If after exposing your skin to the sun you spot any of these changes or new legions, consult a dermatologist.

Find out more about moles with this guide.


Products to protect

It’s essential to protect the skin from high levels of UV radiation, and don’t forget, UVA waves can still penetrate through windows – even in winter – so it’s advisable to keep protected all day long.

We would recommend using sunscreen with adequate SPF protection (minimum factor 30) which will need to be topped up after 4 hours, if continuously exposing the skin to sunlight throughout the day.

We would also advise seeking the shade regularly, wearing light clothing and avoiding the peak sun hours (between 12-3pm) to help decrease the overall exposure.


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Heliocare and Medik8 are great brands for sun protection as they include protection against UVA and UVB rays, blue light, and have high levels of SPF protection, all while looking after your skin.

Here are just a few products we’d reccomend:

Heliocare Advanced Cream SPF50+ is a multitasking sunscreen which features Fernblock®, a supercharged antioxidant extract derived from a fern with the ability to withstand the sun’s rays.

Heliocare 360 Invisible Spray SPF50+ is ideal for reaching those SPF blind spots. The spray has a sand and water-resistant formulation and can be applied from any angle, ensuring easy application. It’s even effective on wet skin.

Heliocare 360 Water Gel SPF50+ is a water-based gel formula which absorbs quickly and dries to an invisible matte finish, so it’s ideal for layering with other skincare and make-up products.

Medik8 Advanced Day Total Protect SPF30 this advanced day cream incorporates a pollution shield, UVA sunscreen, and additional blue light defence to protect again screen-induced damage.

For more information on these products, visit The Skin Experts. Or if you’re worried about new or existing moles and you would like to speak with a specialist dermatologist at one our sk:n clinics, please visit here to find out more.

[1] Cancer Research UK – http://www.cancercentre.ox.ac.uk/may-is-skin-cancer-awareness-month/

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