You know we’re sunscreen nerds, here at Care to Beauty. From face sunscreen to eye contour sunscreen to body sunscreen… we love a good layer of sun protection. Today we’re talking lip sunscreen. Do you need to apply SPF on your lips? What is the best lip balm with SPF? How much protection do you really need?
Keep reading, and we’ll provide answers to all of these questions!
Lip sunscreen: Do you even need it?
The short answer is yes, you do need lip sunscreen. The long answer is more complicated. The facts are the following: the skin of your lips is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face. It is also very vulnerable to sun damage; just think of your lower lip, which is constantly exposed to the sun bearing down all day!
These reasons alone should be enough to convince you that your lips are at least as worthy of sun protection as the rest of your face. If you’re going to apply SPF to your face every day, why skip your lips?
But there’s another, scarier reason to pay closer attention to your lips, and that has to do with skin cancer. Skin cancer develops primarily in areas of sun-exposed skin, and the lips are definitely included on that list. Furthermore, skin cancer on the lips can be particularly dangerous, so it’s never a bad idea to double down on sun protection if you can.
With that being said, let’s look into some options to protect your lips from the sun!
Lip balms with SPF50 and above
We’re starting out strong with three lip balms with SPF50 or SPF50+. Remember that SPF50 protects from 98% of UVB radiation, but only if you apply enough of it and keep reapplying through the day! Luckily for us, lip balm is one of the easiest products to reapply. Just roll out or squeeze your tube of lip balm, swipe a few times (more is more), and you’ll be good to go.
Here are our three favorite lip balms with SPF50 and above:
Avène Hydrating Lip Balm SPF50+
A lip sunscreen for sensitive skin
This bestselling lip balm is much more than just a lip balm with SPF–it’s a full-on lip sunscreen! The moisturizing formula with Avène Thermal Spring Water and vitamin E keeps the lips comfortable and hydrated in the sun, while SPF50+ protects against solar radiation.
Finally, because it’s formulated without alcohol and fragrance by French pharmacy brand Avène, your know this lip balm will be a great choice for sensitive skin.
Hello Sunday The One For Your Lips Lip Balm SPF50
A vegan lip balm with SPF50
Some products seem to have it all figured out, and this is one of them. With a formula that combines hydrating hyaluronic acid, antioxidant vitamin E, and broad-spectrum filters that protect against UVA/UVB, visible light (aka blue light), and infrared light, this lip balm does it all.
The sheer gel formula comes in a practical gel tube for easy application, and it’s, of course, vegan, as expected from vegan brand Hello Sunday.
(Not a fan of squeeze tubes? We’ve got a couple more vegan lip balms with SPF that come in a stick formula: try the Catrice Sunclusive Lip Balm SPF15, or the MIMITIKA Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF20.)
Uriage Bariésun Moisturizing Lipstick SPF30
A French pharmacy lip balm with SPF
When looking for hardworking sunscreens, the Bariésun range from Uriage is always a safe bet. Look no further than the Uriage Bariésun Moisturizing Lipstick SPF30, a lip sunscreen with impressive credentials: waterproof SPF30, suitable even for sensitive lips. As if that weren’t enough, the formula is also pleasant to apply. Enriched with avocado and borage oil, this protective lipstick makes sure your lips stay comfortable… even in contact with water!
Lip balms with SPF30
SPF30 protects from 97% of UVB radiation, which is considered to be very high protection. As always, don’t forget to reapply throughout the day to maintain the level of protection!
ISDIN Fotoprotector Lips SPF30
An antioxidant lip balm
This lip balm from ISDIN brings your lips a true cocktail of comfort and protection: shea butter and panthenol to keep the lips hydrated and protected from drying and chapping, and vitamin E to provide antioxidant benefits and help maintain the skin’s health in the sun.
The practical stick formula provides high UVA/UVB protection, and it’s super easy to reapply as often as necessary throughout the day.
Labello Sun Protect Lip Balm SPF30
An iconic lip balm with SPF30
For many of us, the Labello Original Lip Balm in the classic blue tube is all we need from a daily lip balm. However, Labello offers a great alternative if you’d like to boost your lip care with strong sun protection.
The melt-in formula offers 24-hour hydration, while sun filters keep your lips protected from the damaging effects of UVA/UVB radiation while you’re out and about.
Australian Gold Lip Balm Coconut Flavor SPF30
A comfortable (and flavorful!) coconut lip balm
Inspired by the relaxed and laid-back Australian way of life, Australian Gold is a sun care brand that provides you with a unique sun protection experience–needless to say, they also offer a fantastic lip balm!
With an extremely moisturizing formula that features ultra-nourishing natural oils, this lip balm maintains the hydration and softness of your lips all day long. The coconut flavor creates a pleasurable experience that feels undeniably summery, a good match for the high SPF30 protection.
Lip balms with SPF20 and under
SPF20 protects against 95% of UVB radiation, and SPF15 against 93%. You may think the difference between SPF values isn’t that large after all, but we’d argue a different side. When discussing high-exposure areas (and your lips are virtually always exposed to the sun), the difference between the 93% protection provided by a product with SPF15 and the 98% provided by a product with SPF50 becomes significant. A small percentage of a lot… is a lot!
That being said, there are still plenty of options on the market for lip balms with SPF20, SPF15, and under. Below, we offer you three options, so you’ll be able to choose your ideal match:
Carmex Moisturizing Lip Balm Strawberry SPF15
A strawberry-flavored lip balm for every day
When talking about lip balms, we can’t not talk about Carmex. Our Care to Beauty community loves the Carmex Original Formula Moisturizing Lip Balm SPF15, but we thought we’d shake things up with this strawberry variation.
Ultra-smooth, ultra-moisturizing, and obviously ultra-flavorful, the Carmex Moisturizing Lip Balm Strawberry SPF15 is a hardworking and water-resistant lip balm that feels as joyful as it looks. Can’t go wrong with it for daily wear!
This version comes in a squeeze tube, but you can also opt for a stick formula if that’s your preference.
Neutrogena Lipstick SPF20
The everyday Neutrogena lip balm
This Neutrogena lip balm with SPF20 is so popular it’s sold in pairs. Specially developed to provide instant and lasting comfort to dry and chapped lips, this lip balm has an ultra-moisturizing formula that provides comfort with each application. All in all, it represents the full expertise of Neutrogena as a comforting, moisturizing, and repairing brand.
The dermatologist-tested composition also offers protection against harmful weather conditions, including sun exposure. With SPF20, it’s a good option for everyday wear.
Avène Couvrance Lip Balm Red SPF20
A tinted lip balm with SPF
If you’re looking for a tinted lip balm with SPF, you may not always feel like you’ve got a lot of options. Here at Care to Beauty, we love this option the best: the Avène Couvrance Lip Balm SPF20 in the shade Red. Elegant and sleek, this product provides color like a lipstick, comfort like a balm, and luminosity like a gloss, all in a single easy step.
The formula was created with sensitive lips in mind: it contains purified pigments and a blend of nourishing oils that ensure maximum tolerance.
We hope our suggestions have been useful and that you’ve found your match. Remember that, like with all skincare products, the best lip balm with SPF for you is the one you’ll actually use!
Beauty Writer & Editor