Bathing suit season is here and that means it's time to slather on the sunscreen as we head outdoors to play. It's easy to cover the basics ... head, shoulders, knees and toes. But what about your back? You know, that elusive spot below your shoulders and above your hips that you simply can't reach no matter how hard you try?

Not surprisingly, that's the spot that so many of us miss. The folks in these photos know that pain all too well. Check out these epic sunscreen fails and then keep scrolling for tips on getting sunscreen on right.

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Sunscreen tips

Now that you've seen what can happen when you don't get it right, here are some tips for putting sunscreen on your back so that you don't have your own epic fail.

Ask a friend. This may seem obvious, but it needs to be said. If you have a buddy who can take a quick swipe at your back, you have the best shot at getting solid sunscreen coverage. Just make sure they actually rub in the sunscreen rather than just spray your back and walk away.

Use a gadget. This method is best used at home before you get to the beach or the pool (unless you don't mind some very curious stares). Find something in your house that has a long handle (think back scrubber, spatula, or fly swatter), cover it with a washcloth and add a dollop of sunscreen to the cloth. Move the gadget up and down along your back and then side to side to be sure you're covered.

Roll in it. Apply a decent amount of sunscreen to the center of a large washcloth or hand towel. Lay the towel, sunscreen side up, on your beach towel and then lie on top with your backside down so that the sunscreen gets on your back. Roll or wiggle around a bit to spread out the coverage. If the towel is long enough, you can rub it along your back just like you were drying off.

15 hilarious sunscreen fails
Check out these sunscreen fails and find out how to apply sunscreen to avoid your own epic fail.