So you've made your sun protection routine part of your lifestyle. You wear sunscreen on the daily, and we're not just talking about the light SPF that's part of your foundation. You slather sunscreen on your exposed skin before you leave the house every day, even if you're just planning on sitting in front of the picture window in your office. You wear UV 50+ sun protective clothing to block 98 percent of the sun's UV rays. But there is probably one part of your body that stays unprotected, even though you do your best to protect yourself from sun exposure. Are you forgetting SPF for your lips?
Are Your Lips Protected?
Your skin tans when it's exposed to certain UV rays. That tan is caused my melanin, a compound in your skin that also protects it from further sun exposure. (But don't be fooled and think that this makes getting a tan safe. There's no such thing as a safe tan.)
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 81 percent of cancers on the lips occur on the lower lip. The more sun exposure you've had in your lifetime, the more your risk goes up.Lips don't contain much melanin. That means that they can't naturally fight back against sun damage.
The Worst Lip Product For Skin Cancer
If you apply and reapply gloss all day long, you're actually increasing your risk of skin cancer if the gloss doesn't contain SPF protection. Lacquered lips magnify the UV rays that connect with your skin. It's like putting a prism in front of your lips and directing more of the sun's rays to that specific area. Remember the baby oil tanning craze of the late '80s and early '90s? Putting shimmery or clear gloss on your lips is like smearing baby oil on and going out in the sun.
Unless your gloss has SPF 15 or higher, steer clear.
Opaque and matte lipsticks are better than nothing, even if they don't contain SPF. But the best protection for your kisser is a lipstick, balm or gloss with SPF 15 or higher.
What's the Best SPF For Your Lips?
The good news is that there are thousands of lip products out there that do contain the recommended levels of SPF. SPF for your lips isn't hard to find. Whether you prefer a glossy shine or just some natural moisture, you can find the right lip product to protect your lips. We love Supergoop! lip products. They feel great on your skin, they provide adequate protection and they're natural enough to be used on your kids.
So today, on International Kissing Day, pucker up and protect your pout.