Responsible beach and lake goers are used to the tired routine of slathering sunscreen haphazardly over the most reachable parts of their bodies before jumping into the water. But did you know you might be leaving out an important part of your body in your sunscreen routine? Our lips are easy to ignore, but this carelessness can be costly.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the lips are often home to two of the most common skin cancers, basal and squamous cell carcinoma. The lower lip is more prone to cancerous events, and males are 3 to 13 times more likely to develop cancer due to the nature of their occupation, alcohol, and tobacco usage.
In spite of their darker color, lips have almost no melanin, giving them no protection from the sun. This means they rely on you to take care of them! The good news is, there are several easy ways to prevent your lips from taking dangerous sun damage. Try these tips to give your lips a healthier and happier existence this summer.
4 Ways to Protect Your Lips From the Summer Sun:
1. Skip the gloss
Glosses and lip product with shine have the same effect that the shiny surface of rivers, lakes, and oceans do on a sunny day. Instead of protecting you, these shiny glosses actually increase your chances of sun damage and lip cancer by directing the rays towards your lips instead of away. Opt for a more matte product like beeswax or paraffin, preferably with SPF. These products have the added benefit of locking moisture into your lips longer and more effectively than thinner products.
2. Blend products
If you just have to use gloss, there’s a way you can use it without risking the health of your lips. Try putting on a colored SPF lipstick first before topping it off with some shine. This locks in the protection and keeps that glossy look you love.
3. Use the right SPF
This can be tricky, as many stores only carry lip products with SPF 15 or 20. Keep looking until you find a minimum of SPF 30. Your lips will thank you.
4. Apply regularly
It can be easy to get wrapped up in your summer fun, but don’t forget to reapply your protection. Every two hours is ideal, but it might be best to apply more often in wet conditions.
With these tips, you and your lips can enjoy a safe summer for many years to come.