How to Protect Your Lips from the Sun

June 12, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — familydental @ 3:40 pm
Woman on beach, applying lip balm

As summer temperatures rise, you may hear frequent reminders about how important it is to use sunscreen and take other measures to avoid getting sunburnt. Sadly, though, there is one part of the body that often gets overlooked — the lips. They are delicate and could easily incur burns. They may even develop skin cancer or oral cancer if they are often overexposed to UVA and UVB rays. What steps can you take to protect your lips from the sun? Here are some suggestions:

Wear SPF

Regular sunscreen, such as what you put on the majority of your skin, can protect your lips just like it protects the rest of your body. However, it has a few drawbacks. It may have an unpleasant taste, and it might cause irritation and dryness because lip skin is so delicate.

As an alternative, use a moisturizing lip balm that features SPF. Some protective lip balms have an SPF of 15, while others feature SPF 30. The former only blocks out 93% of the sun’s harmful rays, while the latter can filter out 97%. Therefore, it is best to use an SPF 30 product if possible.

Reapply Your SPF

Many people remember to apply SPF before they head outside. However, they may be prone to forget to reapply it. Regular sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours or so (more often if you are sweating a lot or spending time in the water). SPF lip balms may need to be reapplied every hour because they can be wiped away if you are eating or licking your lips.

Wear a Hat

A hat can be a valuable tool for protecting your face and lips from the sun. Here are a few tips to help you choose a suitable hat:

  • Mesh hats and hats with decorative cutouts are not as effective as more solid, thicker options.
  • Try to choose a hat that is labeled as featuring UPF 50 or higher.
  • Be sure the hat’s brim is wide enough to provide shade for your lips. Sunhats and baseball caps work well.

Stay Inside During the Hottest Part of the Day

The middle portion of the day, usually between 11 A.M. and 4 P.M., tends to be when the sun’s rays are most intense and most likely to cause harm. If possible, stay indoors during that stretch of time.

It is also smart to use your weather app to check the UV index before you head outside; it is a measurement of how strong the sun’s ultraviolet radiation is. It can give you an idea of how much protection you need to avoid getting burnt.

Your lips play an important role in your smile and your oral health! Take steps to protect them when you are enjoying the summer sunshine.

Meet the Practice

Family Dental Practice of Bloomfield proudly provides general oral health services to our community. If you need to be screened for oral cancer, or you have other concerns about the well-being of your smile, we are ready to serve you. Contact our team at 860-263-0441.