You're a seasoned pro when it comes to knowing which sunscreen to use and how, but does that care extend to your lips? If not, don't feel bad about it. "Lips are often overlooked when it comes to sun protection," says Kathleen S. Viscusi, MD, co-founder and partner at the Dermatology and Surgery Specialists of North Atlanta. "While many people routinely apply lipstick and lip balms, our well intentioned efforts to hydrate and enhance our lips may actually give us a false sense of security, as many of these products typically lack any true sun protection," she adds.
Here's why it's important to protect your pout from UV rays: "It's a little known fact is that the lips are more vulnerable to skin cancer than other areas of the body. The lower lip requires even more special attention due to its increased exposure to the sun from overhead. In fact, skin cancer in this area is considered high risk and can be particularly aggressive when found," cautions Viscusi.
How do you choose the best lip balm with SPF?
Look for broad-spectrum UVA/UVB coverage. "When it comes to any form of SPF, I always recommend broad-spectrum UVA/UVB coverage, as this combination provides the most complete protection," says Viscusi. Double-check the labels for those key words.
Go higher on SPF whenever possible. "I always advise my patients to try and stick to products with SPF 30 and higher," says Viscusci.
Know your sensitivities. "If you have sensitive skin, I’d avoid any products that contain any unnecessary chemicals or additives, which are common in many lip products, or any potentially triggering ingredients like menthol, camphor, and yes, sometimes beeswax," she adds.
When in doubt, go for a mineral formula. "I personally use mineral based lip sunscreens that include ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are not only hypoallergenic but also environmentally and coral reef-friendly, as they do not contain oxybenzone or octinoxate," explains Viscusi.
"And if you’re here looking for ways to protect your skin and your lips, you’re already ahead of the curve! There are so many great choices, from tinted lip balms to super hydrating options," she assures. On that note, here are 15 lip balms with SPF to protect and hydrate your pout all year long.
The 15 Best Lip Balms with SPF
1. Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Best for Dry Lips
Yes, Aquaphor has its own SPF lip balm that promises to quench your pout with hydration and protect it against UVA and UVB rays. Swap out your regular tub for this variety—the only difference you’ll notice is in the health of your lips.
2. SUPERGOOP! PLAY Lip Balm SPF 30 with Acai
Supergoop! Just reformulated all of its products to be reef safe, including this acai-flavored lip balm. It’s loaded with good-for-skin ingredients like honey, shea butter and sunflower seed oil to nurture while deflecting harmful rays.
3. JACK BLACK Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25
This lip balm may taste minty fresh, but there are actually a ton of other antioxidants in the ingredients. Grapefruit and ginger were added to refresh and soothe, while shea butter and avocado oil bring lip-softening and conditioning properties. You’ll want to keep one of these in every bag.
4. COOLA Liplux SPF 30
We love Coola’s SPF products, so we knew this nourishing lip balm would become an instant fave. It even gets the coveted Clean at Sephora seal, so you can ensure the ingredients are non-toxic.
5. Kiehl’s Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30
If you want a hint of color without wearing a super pigmented lipstick, this Kiehl’s lip treatment fits the bill. It comes in five juicy shades of pink and one sheer formula for a natural-looking flush with the added reassurance of sun protection.
6. Vanicream Lip Protectant Sunscreen SPF 30
Vanicream’s Moisturizing Cream has over 6,000 positive reviews on Amazon, so we had high hopes for its lip balm. And boy, did it deliver. Just like the moisturizer, it’s dermatologist recommended and free from irritants, making it safe for those with sensitive skin.
7. Fresh Sugar Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 15
This buttery lip balm comes in an array of sheer summery hues, but we’re partial to the rosé shade, which is a favorite of Meghan Markle’s.
8. Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Color Balm SPF 50
Another tinted option to add to the list, Colorescience’s balm boasts an unprecedented SPF 50 for the lips, which is the highest level of protection we’ve seen in a lip product.
9. Neutrogena Revitalizing and Moisturizing Tinted Lip Balm with Sun Protective Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen
We’re all for the instant gratification of a protected, balmy-looking pout, but we’re also thinking about the long-term benefits. If you’re looking for a product that acts like skincare for your lips, this restorative balm is it. It claims to improve the texture of your lips after just one week of use.
10. w3ll people Nudist Lip Butter SPF 15
Only use mineral sunscreens? This nourishing SPF lip butter is made with non-micronized zinc (plus other conditioning ingredients like jojoba seed oil and aloe) to keep skin soft, flake-free and protected.
11. ChapStick Lip Moisturizer and Skin Protectant SPF 15 (3 Pack)
There’s probably one of these classic ChapSticks rolling around in every purse and on every car floor—and for good reason. It’s hydrating, convenient and packs in SPF.
12. Burt's Bees 100% Natural All-Weather SPF15 Moisturizing Lip Balm
While we’re partial to the coconut and pear flavor, the all-weather SPF 15 version allows us to go about our day without worrying about a potential lip burn (ouch). Plus, it delivers all the same nourishing ingredients and comes in a two-pack, so it’s what we’d call a double whammy.
13. Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 30
For a mineral, reef-safe formula (meaning it's good for your skin and our oceans), this creamy balm also features vitamin E, shea butter, jojoba oil and a SP30 to keep your pout protected from dryness and the sun.
14. EleVen by Venus Williams Perfect Form Lip Balm SPF 15
Another mineral option that we love to swipe on our lips is this silky balm from EleVen by Venus Williams. It combines SPF 15 with shea butter and bayberry fruit wax to soften chapped lips, while delivering UVA/UVB protection.
15. Alba Botanica Moisturizing Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 25
Packed with vegetable and nut oils and plant waxes, this emollient balm glides on seamlessly and melts into parched lips, coating them in a combo of chemical and mineral sunscreens and loads of moisture in a few swipes. The $3 price tag makes it a mainstay in our beach bags.
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