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 Dr. David Bank, M.D., Founder and Director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, they are even more vulnerable because the skin on them doesn't produce as much melanin as the rest of your skin. Melanin is what protects us from the sun's harmful UV rays, so be smart and apply a lip balm with SPF 30 on a regular basis, advises Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in the Department of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.
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 Cynthia Rowland, 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."
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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