Sun Protection: Myths vs. Facts

Make sure you know the difference before you head outside to soak up the rays (12 Photos)

Jordan Lite on Jun 14, 2010 at 12:30PM

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Sun Protection: Myths vs. Facts

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Myth: Lip Gloss and Lipstick Protect You from UV Damage

Fact: Most lipsticks and glosses don’t contain any SPF, and may actually worsen UV exposure. Like once-popular sunbathing oils, lip gloss or lipstick “increases your susceptibility [to damage] because it attracts the heat -- you’re frying your lips,” says plastic surgeon Michelle Copeland, M.D. If you must have color when you’re on the beach, apply a lip balm with SPF before you put on a lipstick or gloss, she says. Signs of skin cancer include persistent, scaly, crusty areas above or on the lip, or a red patch above the lip or near the lip line. “If it’s been there a month, have a doctor take a look at it,” Copeland says. “These lesions, if you get them early, don’t spread.”

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