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You've been preached to over and over about the significance of slathering sunscreen on your face and body, but the truth is, the one area that needs it the most is the same area that often gets completely forgotten — yep, that's right, your pout! Read on to find out why you absolutely must show your lips some SPF love this season and year around.

To prevent skin cancer

Believe it or not, your lips (especially your lower lip) are just as vulnerable to skin cancer as any other part of your body. In fact, says [Link Removed] Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in the Department of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.

To keep them from cracking and peeling

Your lips are soft tissue, and for that reason, can easily be sunburned, wind-burned and dehydrated due to the harsh environmental elements this time of year. That's why using products that produce added moisture and sun protection is so important, points out [Link Removed] founder of the Facial Magic System and Luscious Lips Pump. "If you're experiencing cracking, peeling or dryness, lightly brush your lips with a children's toothbrush, and then apply a non-petroleum lip product with an SPF of at least 30. Re-apply frequently throughout the day and refrain from licking your lips," she advises. "Now that winter is approaching, you should also turn the heater in your car away from your face, toward your feet, to keep that pout hydrated."

To slow down the signs of aging

Did you know that the area around your mouth is the most frequent area to show early signs of aging? According to Dr. Ruthie Harper, M.D., it's true! "Once aging occurs here, it's extremely hard to turn back the hands of time," she notes, "making an ounce of prevention (SPF) that much more valuable than a pound of cure!" In other words, don't forget to protect your pout with sunscreen if you know what's good for you.

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