Protecting your lips from the sun is extremely important. The skin on your lips is super thin and delicate, which makes it vulnerable to the harsh UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Much like you cover your face and body in sunscreen, you should also be doing the same for your lips — no matter the weather.
But, before you start using regular SPF on your lips (don’t do it — it tastes awful), there are a number of lip balms specifically formulated to provide sun protection. As with SPF products for your body, there are a range of different formulations of SPF lip balms on the market, which enables you to choose one that suits you. For example, if you prefer a glossy lip or simply a plain lip balm, you’re catered for.
“SPF on the lips is important,” board-certified dermatologist Michael Swann, MD, told Refinery29. “Lips are actually a common place for skin cancers, and because the barrier function of the skin on the lips is less vigorous, these tumours can quickly behave more aggressively than the same tumours in other locations.”
We’ve curated some of our favourite SPF lip balms for you. These are all extremely hydrating, provide protection and don’t cause pilling or leave a sunscreen taste in your mouth.
This hydrating lip balm by Mecca Cosmetica was formulated to boost moisture levels in your lips while also protecting them from the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays thanks to the addition of SPF 50+. Use this balm is all kinds of weather as it protects your lips from the sun, wind, heat, chill and dryness.
For something a little more glossy, reach for Ultra Violette’s Sheen Screen which comes in four shades of peach, nude, shimmer and rose. Formulated with shea butter, lanolin and cacao seed butter, this product contains SPF 50+ protection while also leaving a slight sheen on your lips.
This low-fuss balm by Bondi Sands is formulated with to soothe sore lips, provide a burst of hydration and protect them from the sun with SPF 50+ coverage. An affordable balm that is great to have in your bag.
Enriched with filters to block UVA and UVB filters, Aesop’s Protective Lip Balm also contains botanical oils to nourish your lips. With an SPF coverage of 30+, this one offers slightly less protection than the others so something to note if you’re spending prolonged time in the sun.
For those who like a little colour in their lip balm, this tinted product by Lanolips is a winner as it comes in four colours. Formulated with lanolin to deeply nourish and hydrate lips, this balm contains SPF 30+ making it slightly lower on the protection scale.
While this balm by SunSense might not be as aesthetically pleasing as the other, it offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection thanks to the addition of SPF 50+. Perfect to have on you every day and use in all environments.