The summer is coming upon us quickly, and that means more and more time to spend in and enjoy, the outdoors. Hopefully it also means you've been stock piling (and greasing yourself up in) sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreen. Sadly, most beach goers who lather on sunscreen will overlook one essential spot on their body, their lips.
If this doesn't seem like common knowledge to you, relax you are/were not alone. A recent survey by the University of Texas Medical Branch Dept of Dermatology, evaluated the use of lip protection and knowledge of UVL (ultraviolet light) as a risk factor for lip cancer in an outdoor environment, namely, the beach. Finding that only 37 percent of those who applied sunscreen also used lip protection, unaware even that sun exposure could lead to lip cancer.
Ultraviolet rays are the most important risk factor when it comes to skin cancer – UV rays are associated with 90 percent of all non-melanoma skin cancers says the Skin Cancer Foundation. Lips have no melanonin, making them more susceptible to sun damage caused by UV exposure. Signs of sun damage on the lips develop overtime as a result of excessive sun exposure over the years. The suns UV rays can impact the production of collagen on your lips which can result in the formation of wrinkles on and around the area as a sign of early aging and sun damage, says the Mayo Clinic.
How to keep your lips luscious
It's important to keep lips soft, smooth, hydrated and healthy during the summer to protect them from sun damage. The application of a lip balm and continually drinking water can help facilitate your protection against UV rays. However, do not just apply an lip balm on sunny days – it is important to use the stuff every day, even if its cloudy – UV rays can get through a cloudy sky. Also, make sure to apply and reapply every day at least once every few hours, says the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)
Tip 1: If your lips become dry and start to peel, use some sugar and olive oil to exfoliate your skin and remove the accumulated dead skin cells.
Tip 2: Look for a lip product that has a base of beeswax, petroleum jelly, or paraffin. These products will seal moisture and stay on your lips longer in comparison to thinner balms and glosses.