We all know the importance of protecting our skin against overexposure to the sun. But did you know that your lips are at a much greater risk of developing skin cancer than the rest of your skin? The skin on your lips is paper thin and extremely delicate, which makes them extra vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays.
Skin cancer of the lips accounts for 10 percent of all skin cancer cases. Over 3,500 new cases of skin cancer of the lips are diagnosed each year. Whether you’re skiing and snowboarding this winter, laying out next summer, or just cruising around town anytime of year, here are a few things you can do to help you keep your lips protected:
Choose your lipgloss carefully – Because of it’s shiny, reflective nature, some dermatologists claim that applying lipgloss and then going in the sun is the equivalent of taking a magnifying glass and focusing the concentrated sun rays directly on your lips. Wow. I’m a lipgloss junkie and I’ve never realized how harmful some lip products could be. If you’re going to wear lipgloss, choose one that has a high level of SPF included in its formula.
Use a high SPF Chapstick or lip balm – If your absolute favorite lipgloss doesn’t have SPF in it, you MUST find a chapstick or baselayer lip balm that has it so that you can wear the protective product underneath. Look for an SPF level on the label, or for ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (sunscreens that will provide the protection your lips need). We would recommend wearing a lip balm with at least SPF 30 underneath all your lip colors at all times. The bonus: these products will keep your lips extra moisturized too!
Opt for a lipstick instead – Since lipsticks have more pigment than lipglosses, using one will provide you with better sun protection. Matte lipsticks especially have an advantage over glosses because they are less reflective and have the most coverage of lipstick formulas.