Have you ever bitten your lip? It’s amazing how much it can hurt. That’s because our lips are one of the most sensitive spots on our body. The point is, they need protection just as much as the rest of our skin. Potentially even more.
Here’s why: our lips barely have melanin, the pigment that gives our hair, eyes, and skin color. Melanin sort of acts as a natural SPF, so if you don’t have a lot, then SPF is a must when you’re in the sun. If that’s not enough reason to protect your lips, then how about this? Did you know that wearing regular non-SPF lip balms can actually cause UV rays to penetrate your lips deeper? Yup, good ol’ chapstick might not be such a good idea after all.
Just like how the sun can age your skin, it can also age your lips. Unprotected sun exposure not only makes the lips appear thinner, it can also lead to a loss in elasticity. Protecting them with SPF keeps the lips looking healthy and vibrant, while also decreasing your risk of skin cancer or other skin conditions. You want to use broad spectrum lip products that protect from burning rays, known as UVB, and the rays that age your skin, known as UVA.
It’s important to know how to protect your lips when you’re wearing lipstick or lip gloss. Shiny glosses with little pigmentation do the same as non-SPF lip balms—they attract UV rays. If you’re wearing only a gloss, try to find one with SPF. If your favorites lack the necessary sun protection, be sure to wear a product with SPF underneath. More pigmented lip products, like opaque lipsticks, will give you better sun protection. Take a lipstick you love, top it off with gloss, and you’ve got a recipe for sun protection.
Here are some suggested lip products with SPF:
If you aren’t in the habit of wearing SPF on your lips, it’s not too late to start! It’s important to know that the sun’s rays are the strongest from 10AM to 4PM, and to get the most protection you want to reapply at least every two hours.