Why should you care about sun protection for your lips?

Dr Bianca Piscioneri


Lips are a vital part of the communication zone of the face and yet we often neglect to care for them in the right way. Here at GGDS we take lip care seriously and I know just how important properly protected, hydrated and healthy lips are in helping to boost a captivating and confident smile. Sunlight can feel pleasant on our face and yet, it is a major risk to the overall health and premature ageing of the lips regardless of how mild we think the light may be.

Unlike the skin on our face, lip tissue is very delicate. It is much thinner with fewer layers and lacks the protective function of sweat glands and other natural skin oils. The lips dry out faster and, in everyday life, they are exposed to many external and internal stresses, including greater susceptibility to sun damage.


"This is why protecting your lips should be part of your daily routine..."


Australia has one of the highest rates of skin and lip cancers in the world. The sun is a major risk factor for this, as well as for premature ageing of the lips, including damage to DNA in the cells and to collagen - the key firming and structural protein in the skin and lips. The breakdown of this protein in turn can result in sagging, wrinkles, blotches and loss of volume, loss of elasticity and dry rough lips.

Sunlight has many different types of rays which reach the earth through the atmosphere. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are the most damaging to our lips and skin. We can feel the sun's warmth and light however, UV radiation is a silent and invisible killer that can be high even on cooler and overcast days. This is why protecting your lips should be part of your daily routine regardless of season or time of the year.

UVA + UVB Explained

Both UVB of at least SPF 30 and UVA protection is necessary as part of the overall sun smart habits. UVB is connected to the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) and is responsible for producing sunburn on our skin and lips. UVB penetrates and damages the outermost layers of the lips.

Having a very thin outer layer, the lips are even more vulnerable to UVA rays damage which penetrates the lips more deeply than UVB. Both UVB and UVA are risk factors for cancer, however, UVA rays are far more numerous. There are approximately 500 times more UVA rays in sunlight than UVB.


"UVA rays play a greater role in premature skin and lip ageing..."


This is very important to know and it means that, in addition to protecting your lips from UVB rays, it is crucial to also protect your lips and lip contour - the transition zone between the pink colour of lips and face skin - from the damaging effects of UVA rays. UVA rays play a greater role in premature skin and lip ageing including wrinkle formation or photoageing.

It is well established among the top global experts in skin and lip care including dermatologists that the single highest factor in ageing and health are both the UVB and UVA rays.

For me this has been a long standing frustration in just how important UVA protection is for lips and yet, it is missing in an overwhelmingly large number of lip products available to the Australian consumers such as lip balms and lipsticks; products which are regularly used everyday and yet do not offer adequate protection.

UVA rays are omnipresent, that is that they are always there during day time hours regardless of the season. They penetrate clouds, home, office and car windows and this means that our lips are exposed to high levels of UVA during our lifetime.


"...our lips are exposed to high levels of UVA during our lifetime."


UVA rays are everywhere and are the same strength throughout the year, regardless of the season or time during daylight hours. They are penetrate clouds as well as home, office and car windows, so this means that our lips are exposed to high levels of UVA during our lifetime.


How do I protect my lips from the sun?

It is very important that sun protection for the lips and lip contour is practised on a daily basis in order to help prevent premature ageing and to reduce the risk for cancer and other pathology.

I would strongly encourage making UVB and UVA sun protection of your lips a must do part of your morning routine. Apply the products straight after brushing your teeth and diligently reapplying through the day. Here at GGDS, we have many years of experience and expert knowledge on lips and how well hydrated, protected healthy lips contribute to our overall health and well-being every day.

At GGDS, our Hydra Re-New Lip Care is specially designed to offer superior, long lasting hydration and protection from UVA and UVB rays. This SPF 30 lip balm contains a powerhouse of ingredients that are formulated to provide a boost of antioxidants and anti-ageing properties so that your lips can feel naturally fuller, more hydrated and supple while also being protected from the sun.