Best Moisturizing SPF Lip Balms and Sunscreen

By now you’re probably aware of how incredibly important it is to wear sunscreen, even when you aren’t at the beach. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying 1 ounce of sunscreen, or enough to fill a shot glass, to exposed areas of the body to prevent sunburns, photoaging, and skin cancer.

Woman applying lip balm with ocean in the background
Henry Arden / Getty Images

Skin cancer can affect any part of the body, even our lips. The skin on our lips is extremely thin, making them more prone to damage not just from the sun, but from extreme cold, extreme heat, and wind. Just like the rest of our bodies, our lips benefit from sun protection, too. Sun exposure destroys collagen, a protein that is abundant in the lips, over time, eventually making lips thinner. SPF lip balm protects the skin and collagen.

Next time you go outside, apply a lip product that touts SPF protection. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing SPF 30 or higher.

Why You Need to Wear SPF Lip Balm

Not all lip care products are created equal. In order to protect your lips from the sun, a product must contain SPF. Many people think lipgloss and lipstick shield lips from the sun, but many don’t provide any sun protection. Still, given how seriously our culture takes sun safety, there are many products with added SPF that allow you to protect your lips from the sun and look good at the same time.

Depending on how sensitive your skin is, applying a layer of sunscreen to your lips might be too irritating. Lip care products that contain SPF are formulated specifically for lips: in addition to protecting against harmful UV damage, they also repair and moisturize.

Top SPF Lip Products

You probably already wear lip balm anyway, so why not switch to one that offers SPF? The best way to provide protection against the sun for your lips is to make sure that any lip care product you use—lipstick, gloss, or balm—contains SPF. Lips are hydrated and protected without the smell of sunscreen. Some great products that will shield your lips from the sun include:

  • Aquaphor Lip Protectant + Sunscreen: SPF 30; broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection; made with shea butter and castor seed oil; fragrance-, dye-, and paraben–free
  • Alba Botanica Lipcare: SPF 25; hypoallergenic; made with 100 percent vegetarian ingredients; no animal testing
  • Carmex Daily Care Lip Balm: SPF 15; relieves dry, chapped lips with cocoa butter; made with petrolatum for long-lasting hydration
  • Coola Liplux: SPF 30; broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection; formulated with more than 70% certified organic ingredients; made with moisturizing raspberry and avocado butters, vitamins, and antioxidants
  • Nivea Recovery Medicated Lip Care: SPF 15; broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection; protects and repairs lips; made with shea butter, jojoba oil, and avocado oil
  • Yes to Pomegranate Naturally Smooth Lip Balm: SPF 15; broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection; made with aloe, cocoa, and shea butter; 99% natural; paraben-, petroleum-, SLS-m and cruelty-free
1 Source
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  1. American Academy of Dermatology. Sunscreen FAQs.

By Lisa Fayed
Lisa Fayed is a freelance medical writer, cancer educator and patient advocate.