lip-gloss-cancer.jpg Contrary to popular belief, lip glosses and balms might be harmful to the lips. According to a recent research conducted at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, cosmetic lip balms and glosses attract the ultraviolet rays of the sun thereby increasing the risk of developing skin cancer.

Study Highlights
a. The skin on lips is very thin.
b. It is more prone to ageing from sun damage.
c. Moreover, lip cancer is the most common and aggressive form of skin cancer.
d. Shiny lip balms and glosses are believed to attract the ultraviolet rays on to the lips.
e. The clear and shiny glosses ensure that there is increased light penetration through the lip surface.
f. This increases the risk of skin cancer on the lips.
g. Skin cancer on the lower lip is especially serious as it could be very aggressive and metastasize to surrounding lymph nodes.
h. Dermatologists advice that glossy lipsticks should be worn only after the application of sun protection.

Signs of lip cancer
a. Consult a dermatologist if the color of the lip surface changes or area turns opaque or white.
b. Persistent peeling or flaking of a spot on the lip could also indicate cancer.
c. A sore on lips that lasts for more than 2 weeks should be checked.

Prevention of skin lip cancer
a. Doctors recommend sunscreen on lips as a preventive measure.
b. Lip balm with SPF 30 sunscreen, matte lipstick instead of lip gloss, products with Titanium Dioxide and lipstick and gloss with Zinc Oxide are recommended.
c. Avoid lipsticks that contain the chemical phthalates.

Phthalates-free lipsticks
a. Ecco Bella's Vitamin E Lip Smoother. Cost: $15.
b. Dr. Hauschka. Cost $21.
c. Perfect Organics Vegan Lip and Cheek Shimmer. Cost: $19.
d. Honeybee Gardens Truly Naturals. Cost: $10.
e. Jane Iredale's PureMoist LipColours. Cost: $19.