Along with the back of the neck and tops of ears, the lips top the list of spots that often get overlooked when applying sunscreen. Even though your lips might not immediately burn or freckle, it doesn't mean you have a free pass from remembering to put SPF on them.
Luckily, protecting your lips from the sun can be as easy as swiping on your favorite lip color. SPF-infused lip balms will shield them from UVA/UVB rays, plus they're often formulated with nourishing ingredients and antioxidants that'll keep dryness and cracking under control, too. And if smoothing a color on is going to keep you from neglecting your lips, there are a plethora of tinted options out there, too.
"It is important to use SPF in a lip balm because the skin on our lips is sensitive," dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar tells InStyle. "Our lips, like the skin elsewhere on our bodies, is susceptible to skin cancer and sun damage." Aguilar is a fan of SPF-infused lip products because they make reapplying a breeze. "Most of us don't apply SPF to our lips or use an SPF-based lip balm but almost all of us use a lip balm on the daily. So it's time to start purchasing lip balms that contain an SPF so we are protecting our lips without much thought or even a second step."
The 15 Best Lip Balms With SPF
- Best Overall: Supergoop Play SPF 30 with Acai
- Best Tinted: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15
- Best Drugstore: Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm SPF 20
- Best SPF 30 and Higher: Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+
- Best Lipstick: Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner SPF 15
- Best for Extra Dry Lips: Kiehl’s Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30
- Best Unisex: Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25
- Best Organic: W3ll People Nudist Lip Butter SPF 15
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Vanicream Lip Protectant Sunscreen SPF 30
- Best Mineral: Sun Bum Mineral Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 30
- Best Sport: Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 50
- Best Lip Gloss: Colorescience Sunforgettable Lip Shine SPF 35
- Best for Daily Use: Coola Liplux Lip Balm SPF 30
- Best for Cold Sores: Quantum SuperLysine+ Coldstick Lip Treatment and Protectant SPF 21
- Best With No White Cast: Cotz Lip Balm SPF 45
What to Look for in Lip Balms With SPF
Just like sunscreen for your face and body, it's essential that your lip balm has at least SPF 15. If you really want to keep your pout safe, Aguilar recommends going for SPF 30 or higher. "SPF 30 does a better job and is ideal for preventing premature aging and protection," she explains. "Anything lower is simply not enough protection."
And like anything in beauty, there are some ingredients you should be wary of. According to Aguilar, you should avoid "extremely drying and irritating" ingredients like "camphor, menthol, fragrances, flavors, phenol, and even salicylic acid, which is an exfoliant that can make your skin more sensitive to the sun." Instead, make sure that your SPF lip balm contains nourishing and hydrating ingredients like shea butter, honey, jojoba oil, vitamin E, and aloe that will restore moisture, relieve chapped lips, and soften your skin. Oh, and make sure you're reapplying lip sunscreen every two to three hours, or "as soon as the lip balm starts to rub off," per Aguilar. Keep scrolling for the best SPF lip balms to wear all year round.
Best Overall: Supergoop Play SPF 30 with Acai
This SPF 30 balm is formulated with antioxidant-rich acai and nourishing shea butter so that you’re not just protecting your lips from UV rays, you’re also hydrating and repairing them. It gets an extra dose of nourishment from honey, which helps boost moisture and shields your pout from environmental damage. Reviewers love that it has the same glossy sheen as a lip gloss but doesn’t leave behind any sticky residue. Many have also shared that it doesn’t have a bad taste and that it has improved the softness of their lips over time.
Best Tinted: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15
This balm comes in 12 shades and offers a sheer, popsicle-stained tint. Inside, meadowfoam and black seed currant oils hydrate, while grapeseed oil softens and defends your skin against free radicals and environmental stressors. And to prevent future moisture loss, it uses sugar to keep everything balanced — and give the balm its signature sweet taste. There’s even a clear option for those who aren’t a fan of tinted balms. Many share that they’re fans of the formula’s satiny, non-glossy finish and buildable tinted shades. “It’s a sheer color so you can control the intensity and it provided the moisture to my massively dry lips,” wrote one.
Best Drugstore: Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm SPF 20
If you’re looking for a balm with SPF protection that’s hydrating, non-sticky, and subtly tinted, this drugstore staple is your best bet. It comes in five tints and one shimmery sheer shade, helps improve the texture and smoothness of your skin, and delivers lasting moisture. Plus reviewers say that it gives you the perfect your-lips-but-better color and a boost in plumpness, too.
Best SPF 30 and Higher: Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+
When you’re spending the day in the sun, make this UVA/UVB ray-blocking Shiseido balm part of your plans. This versatile sunscreen stick melts into skin without leaving a greasy, filmy residue and can be used anywhere, not just your lips. And since it’s made with the brand’s WetForce and HeatForce Technology, it keeps you protected from the sun even when you’re in water or extreme heat. Reviewers say that the lightweight formula has a nice glide to it, and some have been using it as a highlighter over their makeup. Talk about multipurpose!
Best Lipstick: Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner SPF 15
This cruelty-free lipstick glides on like a balm, but has an impressive color payoff that’s buildable. As its name suggests, it conditions your lips using an ultra-hydrating blend of cocoa butter, sesame oil, and vitamin E. These ingredients also act as an antioxidant armor for your skin and keep free radicals and other environmental stressors from causing damage. The formula comes in six shades, ranging from classic red to vampy berry. According to its hundreds of five-star reviews, the formula is creamy, moisturizing, and long-lasting. As for the shades, they’re “gorgeous for both day and night” and “perfect for a natural look.”
Best for Extra Dry Lips: Kiehl’s Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30
Bursting with moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil and lemon butter, Kiehl’s tinted balm keeps lips smooth, hydrated, and defended against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays with SPF 30. Designed with the driest lips in mind, the balm provides soothing hydration for up to 12 hours. Reviewers say that its color payoff is so good, it’s replaced their favorite lipstick in their makeup bags. Some beauty lovers have even been using its tinted shades on their cheeks and eyelids for a dewy, monochromatic makeup look.
Best Unisex: Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25
Don’t underestimate this tiny tube. This lip balm from Jack Black is packed with antioxidants and skin conditioners like vitamin E, shea butter, and avocado oil that heal cracked and dry lips while simultaneously protecting them from sun damage, windburn, and extreme temperatures. Its formula doesn’t leave a glossy shine behind, and according to reviewers, it offers instant relief to dry, chapped lips and really locks in moisture. Its unique flavors are also a huge plus — choose between Natural Mint + Shea Butter, Black Tea + Blackberry, Pineapple Mint, Lemon and Shea Butter, and unflavored Vitamin E and Shea Butter.
Best Organic: W3ll People Nudist Lip Butter SPF 15
With organic jojoba, sunflower, red raspberry, and carrot oils at the center of this plant-powered balm, your lips get a nourishing boost of hydration that doesn’t quit — plus a gorgeous wash of color, if you choose one of the tinted options. It’s also formulated with aloe, which not only increases moisture but also soothes irritation. Reviewers praise the vegan balm’s buttery-smooth texture and are impressed with the color payoff.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Vanicream Lip Protectant Sunscreen SPF 30
Those with sensitive skin know that not every lip balm plays nice with their pout, especially when sunscreen is thrown into the mix. With Vanicream’s lip sunscreen, your lips are blanketed in a hydrating and soothing layer of protection that’s specifically designed to not upset your skin. In fact, it’s one of Aguilar’s favorites. “It is a wonderful sun-protecting lip balm for those with sensitive skin,” she shares. “It’s free of fragrance, preservatives, flavoring, and irritants like formaldehyde.” Its waterproof formula will keep your lips safe from the sun for up to 80 minutes. Reviewers love that it’s fragrance-free, unscented, and non-sticky, highlighting that it’s extremely moisturizing as well.
Best Mineral: Sun Bum Mineral Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 30
Mineral sunscreen fans, this zinc oxide-based lip balm from Sun Bum that sits pretty on top of your lips is for you. It forms a protective barrier and blocks out the sun’s UVA/UVB rays, leaving behind a natural-feeling matte finish. The formula uses shea butter, argan oil, candelilla wax, beeswax, and jojoba oil to keep things soft and smooth. Reviewers say that it leaves a slight white cast at first, but assure that it goes away if you pat it in with your fingers. “It works better than any other product that uses zinc oxide that I’ve tried,” one Amazon shopper writes. “The other products are drier than toast and this one actually moisturizes one’s lips comfortably.”
Best Sport: Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 50
Regardless of your outdoor sport of choice, you’ll need a tough formula to keep your lips safe from the sun. This lip balm from Coppertone covers your lips with broad-spectrum SPF 50 and is built to last — even in the water. It also contains a skin-healthy blend of aloe vera and vitamin E, so you can hit the field, court, or waves with lips that are moisturized and protected against free radicals. In their reviewers, Amazon shoppers raved over the lip balm’s travel-friendly size and non-greasy feel. According to one reviewer, it worked “fabulously” on vacation and helped prevent sunburns and sun blisters.
Best Lip Gloss: Colorescience Sunforgettable Lip Shine SPF 35
A lip gloss, sunscreen, and plumper all in one? Colorescience’s Sunforgettable Lip Shine is a stunning gloss that’s formulated with zinc oxide to block out UVA and UVB rays, peptides to enhance plumpness, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and soften. It’s also got vitamin E, which means your lips will be protected from free radicals. And did we mention that it’s waterproof for 40 minutes and available in a clear gloss, plus three flattering shades? One reviewer writes, “I really like this lip gloss. I was very happy to finally find a lip gloss with a high-enough SPF! It’s not super sticky, provides nice coverage.”
Best for Daily Use: Coola Liplux Lip Balm SPF 30
Looking for a lip sunscreen that doesn’t feel like a lip sunscreen? This SPF lip balm from Coola is designed for daily usage and masters the no-SPF feel with its creamy formula, which features a moisturizing duo of avocado and raspberry butters and doesn’t have the uncomfortable goopiness or graininess that some other SPF lippies have. Rich in antioxidants, the waterproof lip balm smoothes and soothes lips while keeping them protected with broad-spectrum SPF 30. One happy reviewer shares, “This is hands down the best lip balm I have ever tried. It keeps my lips soft and moisturized for a long time. With other products I’ve tried my lips feel dry again after a few minutes.”
Best for Cold Sores: Quantum SuperLysine+ Coldstick Lip Treatment and Protectant SPF 21
If you’re prone to cold sores, this two-in-one product will simplify your lip care routine: Its versatile formula fights cold sores and shields your lips from the sun using SPF 21. With amino acid lysine as its all-star ingredient, the treatment balm squashes all traces of infection and soothes the affected area. It has another layer of antibacterial goodness from tea tree oil, and it combats dryness with an intensely hydrating blend of safflower, castor seed, and jojoba oils. “I tend to get cold sores in the summertime, but haven’t had one pop up ever since I tried this chapstick. Smells good and hydrates the lips,” one reviewer says. Another shopper shares that it helped them “prevent sun rash issues.”
Best With No White Cast: Cotz Lip Balm SPF 45
Mineral sunscreen, in all of its forms, is notorious for leaving a chalky white cast behind, especially on darker skin tones. Thankfully, sunscreen brand Cotz found a way around this in its SPF 45 lip balm, which has a practically untraceable application. Reviewers say that it’s surprisingly hydrating and actually leaves their lips feeling “softer than they had been in years.” Plenty of Amazon shoppers also vouch for its staying power, with one sharing that it stays put during summer and winter outdoor activities: “I fish, ski, garden, water aerobics, snow shoe, snow ski, sled, and this product goes everywhere with me.”
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