- Sun Damage and Lip Care
Sun Damage and Lip Care
Sun Damage and Lip Care
We hear about the dangers of too much sun exposure all the time, but the statistics still shock. About 90% of the 600,000 new cases of skin cancer reported each year are sun related. Your lips are one of the most vulnerable parts of your body. Because they are on your face and they are almost always exposed to the sun, hats, sunglasses and scarves; the accessories we often use to provide protection, generally don't shade the lips. Young lips are even more defenseless.
Lips have a very thin layer of skin - much thinner than other parts of the body. Lips have very little melanin, the pigment that helps protect against the sun. As a result, lips can burn easily though they hardly ever tan. The sun can also impact the collagen in your lips. Collagen is a protein which gives your lips (and all of your skin) some body. Collagen is also needed to stop wrinkles from developing on and around your lips. Too much sun can cause early aging and inner damage you may not even see.
People with cold sores have to be especially careful about sun exposure. Cold sore breakouts are easily triggered by too much sun. This situation can be prevented by using an effective lip protection balm.
People often lick their lips when they get dry or too hot. In fact, this can make the problem worse as the saliva forms a lens which only intensifies the sun's rays on the skin.
The sun can be a danger year round. The sun's rays are divided into two types; UVA and UVB. The UVB rays decline in cooler months, but that's not the case for the UVA rays. They are just as powerful in February as they are in August. Reflective surfaces such as water, sand and snow will make the negative effects stronger. Skiers beware - snow reflects more than any other surface!
Protecting your lips from the sun is actually fairly simple. A lip balm with a sunscreen is the best bet. The strength of the sunscreen, measured in SPF numbers, tells you how much protection you are getting. An SPF 21 means that it will take your lips 21 times longer to burn than they would without the sunscreen. Experts say that lip care sunscreens should be applied at least one-half hour before going out and then reapplied regularly during the day.
There are many lip care products available that provide sunscreen protection. One of the most common ingredients in these products is PABA which can cause allergies to develop in some people making the lips burn more easily. Look for a PABA free product. We recommend Super Lysine Plus Coldstick from Quantum Health. It provides SPF 21 sunscreen protection, is in a bees wax base and has herbs and nutrients to protect your lips as well as a sunblock. Super Lysine+ ColdStick comes in three flavors - tangerine, strawberry and original.