Lips Need Sun Protection Too

By Minji

  • Yes, lips need SPF too
  • Lip skin and the skin around it, is thinner and more delicate than other parts of your face, so it’s even more important to develop good skincare habits
  • Make sure to add that lip balm with SPF 30 to your bag before you head out!

It’s actually almost annoying to have to think about, but lips need sun protection too. The skin on your lips, despite seeming so unique and different, is no different than the skin on the rest of your body and is prone to burning, sun-related damage, and even skin cancer.

Actually, lip skin and the skin around it, similar to the eye area, is thinner and more delicate than other parts of your face, so it’s even more important to develop good skincare habits to keep this area healthy and glowing. Sun damage leads to skin losing its elasticity and aging prematurely, and unprotected lips are no exception. If you don’t adequately protect your lip skin from the sun, prolonged sun damage can make the skin appear even thinner and more wrinkled.

Lucky for us, with all the lip balms out there with SPF, it’s not too hard to apply sunscreen to the lips.  Dermatologists recommend that you use one with 30 or higher SPF, which actually is not hard to find in the market these days.  Also, reapply frequently.  If the recommendation for sunscreen on your face is to reapply every 2-3 hours, for lips, you should reapply hourly, since with all the drinking, licking, etc. activity, you’re probably losing more and it’s so much easier to reapply.  

I don’t like how hard lip balms can sometimes strain the lip area during application (especially during the cold winter months) so I’ll stick to a softer moisturizer or oil type. Lip moisturizer should be something you always have with you to make sure your lip area is well-hydrated at all times, similar to carrying a hand cream everywhere.  

Being mindful of lip skin also applies to how you brush your teeth, drink your beverages, etc. The seemingly harmless habit of drinking through a straw can cause unnecessary wrinkles. When you drink through a straw, you end up pursing or scrunching your lips harshly and if you repeat often enough, it can create wrinkles from the repetitive muscle motion. Also when you’re brushing your teeth, be mindful about pulling or tugging on your lip skin unnecessarily. 

Goes without saying that for the same reason, you should at all cost avoid smoking.  Be wary of other life activities that make you tense up your lips. I recently have been practicing fluttering my mouth for breath during workouts instead of swishing air out of my mouth which makes me wrinkle up my lips. Drinking tea that’s too hot is another time that you might be tensing up your lips. I’ve also noticed that if you take bites of food that are too big, you will end up having to purse your lips harder to contain it all, so smaller bites are better (not just for lips, but for health and etiquette too). 

Like I said, it can sometimes feel like a bit much to focus on things like lip skin, but with these easy tips, it shouldn’t be too difficult to take good care of your lips for overall skin health. Make sure to add that lip balm with SPF 30 to your bag before you head out!