Saturday, May 3, 2008

Protect That Kissable Mouth

I live in the sunny South, and I take it as a given that if I am going outside, I need sun protection. I wear sunglasses when I am driving, and my foundation has sunblock, so I figure I am doing a good job.

But, according to some dermatologists, wearing lip gloss--lovely, sheer, shiny lip gloss-can actually increase a woman's chances of skin cancer. I know, I was surprised, too. Apparently, the shiny lip gloss, "...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.

She goes on to explain that, "Some dermatologists say that in the worst case, the resulting sun damage can lead to potentially fatal forms of skin cancer. Of an estimated 3,500 new cases of skin cancer of the lips are diagnosed yearly, 90 percent of them are squamous cell carcinoma. Additionally, it can strike more aggressively on the lips than on other parts of the skin and, if untreated, can cause disfigurement. In some cases, the cancer can fatally spread to other organs.”

Yuck. So now, here you are, having read this, and you are cursing me and wondering if you are doomed to a life without lip gloss, aren't you?

Well, you don't have to go that far. Several lip glosses offer sunblock, because even if you never thought about it, apparently the more savvy cosmetics companies have.

Two to try: Neutrogena's Moistureshine Lip Soother SPF 20 and Neutrogena's Moistureshine Soothing Lip Sheers, also with SPF 20 Protection.

Though I was surprised to hear what dermatologists are saying about lip gloss and sun protection, I actually already have (Yay, me!) The Moistureshine Lip Soother in a cute, summery pink, so apparently I'm ahead of the curve. I can recommend it to you without reservation, because I really enjoy how cool and light it feels on my lips, above and beyond the sun protection factor. I actually bought it in the first place because I noticed it has aloe vera in the ingredients, and I am a HUGE aloe fan--we have a plant in the backyard, and it is really like a wonder drug for sunburns.

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