This is the major (and harmful) sunscreen mistake you're probably making 2 years ago

This is the major (and harmful) sunscreen mistake you're probably making

It seems summer is (finally) on its way, and the sun is set to shine all weekend long.

Which means it's not only time to root out the sandals and dust off the barbeque, but also nip into your nearest chemist and pick up some sunscreen (throw last year's one in the bin, as it won't offer you sufficient protection).

We are all now, I am sure, aware of just how important it is to  protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays, and how children's thin, fragile skin is extra vulnerable.

But it seems there is still one major mistake so many of us make when it comes to applying sunscreen.

A new study recently found that most people don’t apply enough sunscreen on one of the most sensitive parts of the face: the eye area. According to researchers at the University of Liverpool in England, people leave about 10 percent of their face uncovered on average. In fact; their ultraviolet-sensitive camera showed the most missed areas included spots between the eyes and nose bridge and eyelids. Besides some gnarly sunburns, these spots you’re missing could have some pretty serious implications down the line; as the eyelids are where 5 to 10 percent of all skin cancers occur, the researchers say.

According to study co-author Kevin Hamill, this avoidance of the eye area can probably be chalked up to the fact that many sunscreens can run into your eyes and irritate them. But, as Hamill recently revealed to TIME.com, this  might just be force of habit. “It wasn’t a conscious decision,” he says. “Most people thought that they were effectively covering the eyelids.”

However, Hamill did recommend a few solutions to better protect your eyes.

  1. Put on some UVA/UVB proof shades. Apart from protecting eyes from UV damage, sunglasses can also keep the sun’s rays from reaching the sensitive skin around the eye area.
  2. Apply non-irritating sunscreen. Water-resistant formulas will stand up to sweat and water.
  3. Use lots of sunscreen, and reapply often. It can be easy to forget but make sure you’re reapplying every two hours. “That way even if you miss a spot first time around, or rub some off, you’re likely to get it the next time,” Hamill says.