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We're all aware of the havoc that unprotected sun exposure can have on our skin. From sunburns to more long term damage including collagen and elastin breakdown as well as an increased risk for developing skin cancer.  We take great care in protecting our faces and bodies, but one very vulnerable part is often overlooked.  

Millions of sunscreen users often fail to realize how significant the sun's impact can be on their lips. Lips are even more prone to the effects of the sun than the rest of your body. Yet a recent study at the University of Texas revealed that over 70% of people in the U.S. don’t apply any sun protection on their lips at all.  

Why Lips Are More Vulnerable To Sun Damage

2 factors account for the vulnerability of your lips to sun damage. First, the skin on your lips is very thin. And unlike the skin covering the rest of your body, your lips contain little melanin (skin pigment). When UVB rays hit your skin, your skin is capable of producing melanin to offer some amount of protection. Your lips aren’t able to do this effectively. So, while your body may tan, your lips can burn and peel.

The second reason lips are especially prone to sun damage is the fact that you can never hide them. While the rest of your body can be protected with hats, clothes and even sunglasses, your lips are always exposed to the sun. And while UVB rays may diminish during the winter, UVA rays continue to be produced year round, exposing your lips to potential damage.  

Solutions For Lip Protection

As with the rest of your body, the same rules apply in selecting sun protection for your lips. Look for a broad spectrum UVA/UVB lip balm that contains photostable (meaning they won't degrade upon sun exposure) sun filtering agents. Water resistant formulations may be your best bet given the job our lips are prone to take on.  

Here are some solutions worth considering:
[Link Removed] – non-chemical sun filters titanium dioxide and iron oxide deliver great protection for those seeking a chemical free product.  

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 

Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


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