Cancer From Your Lip Gloss?


That shiny glossy lip gloss women love to slather on their lips is probably hurting your lips more than protecting them.

The slick, shiny nature of the gloss could be making the sun’s UV rays hit even harder on your lips, some experts say. And of course, wearing any lip product without SPF doesn’t help protect your lips either.

Lip glosses can make more of the light rays penetrate directly through the skin instead of getting reflected off of the skin’s surface,” says Dr. Christine Brown, a dermatologist at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. The resulting sun damage can lead to potentially fatal forms of skin cancer. An estimated 3,500 new cases of skin cancer of the lips are diagnosed each year, and 90 percent of those cancers are squamous cell carcinoma. While that form of cancer isn't usually particularly serious, it can be more aggressive on the lips than on other parts of the skin.

Sun damage can also cause premature aging, making the already thin skin on your lips even thinner. Brown spots that look somewhat like freckles can form on lips that have been damaged by the sun's rays.

So what is the solution? What can you do for your dry lips? Use a lip gloss with SPF. And if your favorite lip gloss does not have SPF, then you can always get lip balms with sunscreen and reapply often. That way, you can use whatever lipstick or gloss you love and still protect your lips.

What's even better still? Using a balm, gloss, or lipstick that also includes vitamin E, which is both a rich moisturizer and a powerful antioxidant that can fight whatever sun damage you do incur.

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