Do Lips Need Sunscreen?

Do Lips Need Sunscreen?
When applying sunscreen, many people focus on their shoulders, arms, back, legs and face. However, your lips are also susceptible to sunburn.1 Learn why lips are susceptible to sunburn, how to prevent getting a sunburn your lips and how to take care of them if you do.

What Can Happen If You Don't Apply Sunscreen?

Whether you're running outside, swimming in the ocean or hiking a scenic trail, your body is exposed to sun's rays whenever you're outdoors. UV rays can cause sunburn to any part of your body. When the amount of exposure to UV rays from the sun is greater than the ability of a person's melanin to protect the skin, it results in sunburn.3 UV light damages skin cells, and the immune system responds by increasing blood flow to areas that may have been damaged. This causes inflammation, and your skin may be painful and hot to the touch.1

Due to differences in melanin, a light-skinned person's length of exposure for a sunburn is shorter than a dark-skinned person's. Depending on your skin tone, sunburn may occur anywhere between fifteen minutes of exposure to a few hours.1 When your lips or any part of your skin is sunburnt, symptoms may include:1

  • Swelling
  • Peeling skin
  • Blisters
  • Headache, fever, fatigue and nausea (when the sunburn is severe)

How to Prevent Sunburn on Your Lips

Avoid Sun Exposure

Excessive sun exposure may cause sunburn. The sun's rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, so you should limit your outdoor exposure during those hours. When you can, seeks shade, wear sunglasses, hats or clothing that may help prevent sunburn.

Apply Sunscreen and Lip Balm Containing SPF

To help protect your lips, you should apply lip balm and sunscreen containing SPF.2 Apply sunscreen and lip balm thirty minutes before heading outdoors.1 Cover all your exposed skin with sunscreen while avoiding your eyelids.1 Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours to help ensure its effectiveness.1 You can enjoy the sunshine knowing that Chapstick's Active 2-in-1 includes mineral-based SPF that creates a physical layer to protect lips from the sun.* It locks and seals moisture with nourishing shea butter, aloe and Vitamin E and prevents sunburn.

*Mineral-based sunscreen may leave a white cast due to zinc oxide.

How to Treat Sunburn

  • Drink more water: When you have a sunburn, fluid is drawn to sunburnt areas and taken away from the rest of the body. To help avoid dehydration, drink extra water.4
  • Use a moisturizer to help soothe sunburned skin: Moisturizers containing aloe vera, soy or a hydrocortisone can help alleviate pain.4
  • Keep your skin cool: Try using a clean towel soaked in cool tap water. Alternatively, you can take a cool bath with baking soda. While you are healing from a sunburn, cool the skin for ten minutes several times a day.1

Excessive sun exposure can affect your lips just like any other part of your skin. Avoid sunburn by using sunscreen and taking other precautions. For more health and wellness advice, visit the Chapstick News Nook.

  1. Sunburn. Mayo Clinic
  2. Sunscreen FAQs. American Academy of Dental Association
  3. Sunburn. Medline Plus
  4. How to Treat Sunburn. AAD.

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