My greatest beauty weakness is lip gloss. I love trying new colors, textures, scents and tastes... plus it's so easy to sneak in a purse or pocket and touch up on-the-go! I almost bought a cheap, cookie-scented chapstick yesterday, till I remembered my new goal of sorts: seeking lip products with SPF.
You likely heard the fuss a few months ago that SPF-free gloss may increase your chance of lip cancer by making it easier for UV rays to penetrate the lips. The linked ABC News article (May '08) has several doctors explaining the roots of this belief. But it also points out that the lack of "large, targeted studies proving or disproving this theory....[makes the doctors quoted and the] American Cancer Society reluctant to draw fixed conclusions."
So, it's currently a theory. A scientific theory, of course, not one out of nowhere. And it seems to me to have an obvious logical basis - oil on your skin encourages burning, so why wouldn't shiny, oily gloss on your lips? But who knows to what degree does gloss have an impact, if any? I don't. That's why there are specialists to do clinical trials on these things!
Either way, it's important to protect your skin and especially your precious lips from too much sun exposure.
"Lips don't produce sebum, or oil, like skin does, and that leaves them particularly susceptible to sun damage -- in the form of wrinkling, loss of volume, and, of course, skin cancer," wrote dermatologist Leslie Baumann MD in the Miami Herald (July '08). "...even if you can't abandon your favorite glossy gloss, it's crucial that you apply a layer of lip balm with SPF first." (Clearly, that's only one doctor's opinion -- authoritative, but not gospel.)
How am I acting in light of all this? Well, I'm not yet giving up my favorite lipstick shades or stopping myself from testing the latest hues. I usually wear lipstick at night or indoors anyway! However, I'll go for products with SPF when I can...particularly when an SPF and non-SPF product are equally attractive before taking the protection into account.
Thankfully high-end and low-end companies alike are producing a slew of lippes with SPF nowadays. Thus, in the case of my cheap cookie balm, I knew I could find something as good or better with the added protection.
In fact, I already have. Here are three products I own -- off the top of my head, I probably have more -- that are SPF friendly.
--Tarte's 24/7 Lip Sheer in Tea Time ($14, SPF 15) This is my newest HG product, and really my first HG balm/tint. I love the color though it gets a bit dry. I prefer applying it with something more moisturizing as a base. Active Ingredients: 7.5 percent Octinoxate, 6 percent zinc oxide. **Recommended
--Sephora's Operation Smile Lip Baume ($5, SPF 15) This was a gift from my sister and I think an LE product, which makes me sad because I've had it for at least two years and am starting to run out. It's a clear balm with petroleum, lanolin, beeswax and a bunch of oils. Active ingredients: octyl methoxycinnimate, octyl silicylate (sp? for octyl salicylate), benzophenone. **I've read conflicting/unclear info about this formula for sun protection, but I'm just telling you about products currently in my stash and encourage you to read more...maybe even educate me if you have links to definitive info.
--e.l.f. Super Glossy Lip Shine ($1, SPF 15) Proof that for the same price as my cookie chapstick I could get something with sun protection. I picked this up at a dollar store in NYC...have only tried it a few times, it's a tad sticky for my taste but a decent gloss overall, especially for the price. Active ingredients: 2 Hydroxy 4 Methoxy Benzophenone, Octyl 4-Methoxy Cinnamate, Titanium Dioxide **Yes, I know there's nicer glosses with SPF. I wanted to cite this one since it is the same price as the cookie balm (which was on clearance! and this is only a buck regularly).
Will you go out of your way to get lippies with SPF? Are there any products you'd recommend?