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Your Luscious Lips

What’s a pouty, perky and commonly overlooked area of skin care?


Seat belts, helmets and sun block – we’ve become used to and accepting of all three. But more than 75% of people overlook an important and potentially worrisome area of their skin – their lips.

Christine Brown, MD, staff Dermatologist at Baylor University Medical Center, points out that while most people use sunscreen, they tend to forget their lips; further, she states that the balms and glosses we apply so routinely to the lips actually attract the sun’s rays, increasing light penetration through the lip surface – occasionally with dire results. The lips are not only more susceptible to aging from chronic sun damage, but are also more prone to developing serious cancers. Furthermore, when skin cancer occurs on the lower lip it has the potential to be much more aggressive and metastasize to surrounding lymph nodes.

Dermatologists advise that people should avoid wearing glossy lipsticks in the sun altogether unless they have a layer of sun protection underneath.

For people who are planning to be outdoors for more than 20 minutes at a time – they really should have a specific lip sun block with an SPF of 30 ideally, says Dr. Brown.

We agree with Dr. Brown – you need to get a lip balm or a lip screen that has an SPF 30-35. You should apply it in the morning under any lipsticks or lip glosses and then reapply it every 80-90 minutes throughout the day just as you would a lip color.

Signs that you may have developed a skin cancer on your lip include any change in color or the development of an area of persistent flaking or peeling – both necessitate a visit to the Dermatologist.