Despite our best efforts to protect our faces from the sun, a new study suggests we’re doing it wrong and leaving a vulnerable part of the face exposed.
The study finds people tend to neglect their eyelids when using certain sunblocks.
When they switched to moisturizers combined with SPF, they eased up on covering their eyelids, an area vulnerable to skin cancer.
“It’s not enough for us just to simply ask, ‘do you apply sunscreen or a moisturizer with sunscreen to the face?’ but actually walk a patient through where and how they should be applying it,” says Dr. Adam Friedman of the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
It’s unclear why people avoided their eyes when using the SPF moisturizers, but it may be that chemical sunscreen ingredients can sting.
Doctors say mineral sunscreens may be a better fit for sensitive eyes.
“The mineral ones, ones that just have zinc or titanium, tend not to burn so much,” Dr. Friedman says.
No matter what kind of sunscreen you use, dermatologists say something is better than nothing, and if you really want to protect your eyes, invest in a pair of sunglasses and a hat.