Do you need sunscreen for eyes and lips? Here at Supergoop! we like to call your eyes and lips VIPs––Very Important Places––when it comes to sun protection. There are actually a lot of misconceptions about how you should care for these sun-sensitive spots, and whether or not you even need special products to keep them safe.
Here, we address some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding this topic…along with a few tips on how we like to keep them safe. (P.S. The whole idea that sunscreens will cause stinging and burning in your eyes is a total myth, thanks to our innovative formulas.)
Here’s exactly why your eyes and lips are VIPs…
The skin around your eyes is actually much thinner and more delicate than the rest of the skin on your face. Go ahead and touch it…it feels thinner than the skin on your cheek, right? “The skin on our eyelids is the thinnest layer of skin compared to any other area on our body,” says New Jersey based dermatologist Dr. Jennifer David. “This makes it very susceptible to irritation from harsh topical products and sun damage from ultraviolet radiation.”
And the same goes for your lips. “The skin on the lips is also very thin and lacks sweat glands, therefore it does not have the usual protection layer of sweat and body oils to keep the skin smooth, inhibit pathogens, and regulate warmth,” says David. “For these reasons, the lips dry out faster and become chapped faster, and this makes them also very susceptible to sun damage.”
Both of these areas are where dermatologists find a lot of cases of skin cancer because people neglect to apply SPF to their eyes and lips. In fact, these tend to be the first spots derms check for skin cancer, and according to the Columbia University Department of Ophthalmology, statistics show that five to 10 percent of all skin cancers occur on the eyelids.
But skin cancer aside, if you don’t protect your eyes and lips from the sun, then you’ll also begin to see signs of aging on these places. Because of the delicate nature of the skin, it’s more prone to developing fine lines and sagging in comparison to other areas of your face and body.
How to avoid the “I’ve got sunscreen in my eyes and they’re stinging!” debacle:
We hear you! The whole “sunscreen in eyes” concern is usually why people avoid wearing SPF on this area. It’s tricky using traditional sunscreens around your eyes because the formulas tend to slide down and seep into them. But here at Supergoop!, we’re all about creating products that solve all problems when it comes to providing superior sun protection – and that means working hard on formulas that offer protection without sacrificing how good they feel.
So how do you create an eye cream with SPF that won’t sting your VIPs? The key is using mineral actives to provide the sun protection. The reason why so many sunscreens cause stinging is because the formulas are primarily chemical-based. Our new Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40 uses only non nano zinc oxide as the sunscreen active in its formula, which means it won’t sting or irritate your eyes.
Bright-Eyed also contains a ton of ingredients that nourish your eyes, helping them to look brighter and more awake. The formula contains South African resurrection plant, an excellent moisturizer that adds a boost of hydration to fine lines, while a pomegranate blend and mica extracts work to brighten your eye area.
Your lips + SPF = a match made in heaven.
It’s also super important to wear SPF on your lips! The more they’re exposed to the sun without protection, the more damaged they will become. You may think that because your lips are naturally darker than the rest of your skin, that they have more melanin, which means it’s OK if you go on with your day without putting sun protection on them…but that’s wrong. Your lips actually don’t have any melanin in them at all––the darker color is from blood vessels––and that makes them even more vulnerable to sun damage.
On top of the risk of skin cancer, extended sun exposure gradually breaks down your collagen and results in thinning lips. So wearing SPF on your lips will help protect them from both skin cancer and signs of aging.
The good news is that it’s easy to start wearing sun protection on your lips: Just replace your usual non-SPF lip balm with our SPF-infused lip balms. Our Mint Fusion Lip Balm is a great winter pick––it’s a clear formula that uses shea butter and sunflower seed oil to moisturize while providing SPF 30 protection. Our Acai Fusion Lip Balm has a light pink tint and contains the same moisturizing formula, as well as SPF 30. The best part about both of these balms is that they provide broad spectrum protection against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays (most lip balms with SPF only protect against UVB rays).
P.S. You don’t even have to give up your favorite lipstick…
Let’s be real…we would never ask you to give up your favorite lip color at the expense of SPF (ha!). That’s why we’ve created our Lipscreen, a clear lip gloss with SPF 50 that layers perfectly on top of your signature shade. It has zero stick and nourishes the lips too, thanks to hydrating kelp extract and sunflower seed oil.
P.S. If you tend to wear lip gloss without sun protection, then you’re doing your lips a serious disservice. A study revealed that wearing shiny lip gloss may attract more light, directing even more UV rays to the lip area. So if you’re a gloss person, switch over to our Lipscreen ASAP and you’ll be covered.
SPF for my eyes and lips? Done and done. But wait, there’s more…
After you’ve committed to wearing SPF around your eyes and lips, you should also get into the habit of always wearing sunglasses when you’re outside. They help block out the sun’s damaging rays, prevent squinting (which leads to fine lines) and keep you stylish in the process. Also, commit to getting an annual skin check with your dermatologist so they can take a close look at your eyes and lips to make sure you’re in the clear!
+What other parts of the body do most people forget to put sunscreen on? What’s your favorite sunscreen for eyes and lips? Educate us in the comments!