Woman has ‘automatic lip filler’ after putting Aquaphor on her lips while in the sun: ‘learned the hard way’

One woman dealt with the repercussions of applying a particular product while out in the sun.

Ava Wasula (@avawasula) recently shared a TikTok in which she’s seen sporting swollen, sunburnt lips.

“PSA don’t put aquaphor on ur lips in the sun,” she writes.

“I mean it looks good though so”

Ava’s video, which has over 1.4 million views and 172,100 likes, has garnered attention from TikTok users — specifically those who seem impressed with Ava’s results.

“psa: do put aquaphor on in the sun,” one user commented.

“I want natural lip filler like yes,” another wrote.

“I mean it looks good though so,” someone replied.

“don’t put it on sunburns either it traps the heat,” a TikToker wrote, to which Ava responded, “learned the hard way.”

Given the response from TikTokers, who seem in favor of using Aquaphor in the sun, Ava posted another video cautioning against it.

“this is y u should NOT do it,” she writes alongside a series of photos showing the damage to her lips.

Why does this happen?

According to Elizabeth Hale, M.D., the co-founder of CompleteSkinMD in New York City, not all lip care products actually protect against sun damage. In fact, some products may even put you more at risk.

“Lips are an important part of the skin to protect because they are exposed every single day, year-round. They are at particular risk for a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma,” Dr. Hale tells Men’s Health. “Most lip balms, glosses and things like Vaseline or Aquaphor do not contain sun protection… In fact, they can increase the likelihood of sunburn and damage, kind of like applying baby oil to your skin.”

The best way to prevent damaging your lips is by wearing lip balm with SPF 30 or higher, ideally.

“People forget to protect their lips,” Elizabeth Tanzi, the founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care, tells Allure. “Skin cancer in this area can be particularly dangerous, which is why everyone needs lip balm with SPF.”

Ron J. Karni, M.D., an ENT-otolaryngologist in Houston, Texas, also notes that sun exposure “is a well established risk for development of lip cancer.”

“This helps explain why 90% of lip cancers occur on the lower lip, since it has a higher level of sun exposure compared to the upper lip which is shielded by the nose and is angled slightly downwards,” Dr. Karni writes for UTHealth Houston‘s McGovern Medical School.

How do you treat it?

Should you notice a sore or something unusual on your lips, it’s best to visit a dermatologist as soon as possible. However, if your lips are mildly sunburnt, there are ways to alleviate the symptoms yourself.

“If you find yourself with a mild sunburn, you can use a cool compress on your lips to alleviate some of the swelling and bring down the heat in your lips,” Corey L. Hartman, M.D., and board-certified dermatologist at Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, tells Allure.

Applying aloe vera on your lips can also relieve irritation. Do not, however, reach for lip products with petroleum, like Vaseline, at this stage.

“Those will actually seal in the heat and prolong the burn and any painful symptoms,” Dr. Hartman says.

Moral of the story? When it comes to protecting your lips from UV exposure, be prepared, and don’t skimp out! Always reach for lip products that have SPF.

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