Benefit-full-finish-lipstick-review-swatches-photos-spring-2011-closeupThink lipstick is just a way to experiment with your look or detract from a bad hair day? Think again. Apparently, your favorite lip product could save your life.

According to celebrity dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu, lipstick could be a way to save yourself from skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer, which affects 2.8 million Americans each year. While it’s not as deadly as melanoma and it’s treatable when caught in the early stages, research suggests that forms of it can be aggressive, spread quickly, and could result in death.

Dr. Wu explained where BCC is most commonly found.

“(Basal cell carcinoma) tends to occur on sun-exposed areas like the face and the back of the hands. The nose, forehead, and ears are the most common areas, and the lower lip.”

But why?

“I think it’s because it’s a mucus membrane and often their lower lip is fuller than their upper, so it’s more exposed to the sun,” Wu said. So how does lipstick keep you safe?

“It’s really important to wear sunscreen on your lips. But if you’re wearing a thick, opaque lipstick, then that will block you as well as any sunscreen,” Wu said. Not all lip products are created equal, though. Like Dr. Wu mentioned, the lipstick must be opaque, and if you prefer gloss, you need to load up on sunscreen underneath. “If you like to wear shiny, sheer glosses, there is some research suggesting that the gloss may magnify the UV rays,” Wu said.

So there’s your official excuse to go out and load up on all your favorite lipsticks!


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