Best SPF Lip Balm + Why You Need Lip Sun Protection

By Emily M.| Last updated on August 18, 2023
best spf lip balm
⏱️ 7 min read

This is an objective, non-biased article. We base our product choices on various factors, such as product reviews, ingredient analysis, and overall reputation of brands. It does, however, contain affiliate links for featured products.

When it comes to skincare, we often focus on protecting our face and body from the sun’s harmful rays, but one crucial area that is often overlooked is the lips.

Lips are very sensitive and prone to sun damage, which is why incorporating a high-quality SPF lip balm into your daily routine is essential.

We’ve selected the best lip SPF products to help keep your lips nourished, hydrated, and protected year-round. With options that include hints of tint, glossy shine, and satin finishes, let’s delve into the best SPF lip balm products!

What to Look for in a Sunscreen Lip Balm

With so many options, choosing the best SPF lip balm for you requires some consideration if you’re specific about your preferences.

When picking a lip sunscreen, look for:

  • a higher SPF level,
  • UVA + UVB protection,
  • the longevity of the lip balm’s protection,
  • water resistance is a big plus if you’re on the beach,
  • additional benefits, such as tinted formulas or added vitamins and nutrients for extra nourishment.

Best SPF Lip Balm Top List

Here are our top picks for the best lip balm SPF lip balm – divided into categories:

1. Best Water Resistant: Supergoop Play Lip Balm SPF 30

Supergoop is renowned for its sun protection products, including their Play Lip Balm.

Although the product is water-resistant, you won’t feel like your lips are covered with film as the product isn’t too thick. Plus, thanks to its amazing ingredients – shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and antioxidant-rich honey – it melts right into the lips.

It provides broad-spectrum SPF 30 coverage, so it’s perfect for any outdoor activity such as a day at the beach. And it’s reef-friendly!

• It’s waterproof        • Light formula rich in great ingredients           • It’s reef-friendly

• It’s waterproof 
• Light formula rich in great ingredients
• It’s reef-friendly

2. Best Dermatologist-Approved: EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 36

EltaMD’s sunscreen is among the best-rated sunscreens when it comes to dermatologists’ recommendations, so it’s no surprise their lip balm made it onto the best lip sunscreen list.

This product is gentle and helps soothe as well as hydrate. The formula has glycerin, which helps draw the moisture in the skin, as well as vitamin E which helps support the skin barrier, and zinc oxide which delivers protection against harmful UV rays.

• Recommended by derms        • It’s soothing           • Highly moisturizing

• Recommended by derms  
• It’s soothing
• Highly moisturizing

3. Best Lip Oil SPF: COOLA Organic Liplux Lip Oil Sunscreen

If lip balms aren’t really your thing, there are also lip oils that contain sun protection.

COOLA Liplux lip oil is a dual-purpose product that combines the benefits of sun protection with the look of a lip-enhancing gloss.

The product has a lightweight texture that glides on without feeling greasy or heavy. It’s made from organic ingredients, as a blend of natural plant oils, camellia and jojoba, which collectively work to lock in moisture and prevent dryness.

• Super lightweight        • Non-greasy           • Lip gloss effect

• Super lightweight  
• Non-greasy
• Lip gloss effect

4. Best for Cold Weather: Aquaphor Lip Protectant + Sunscreen

Tried and true, Aquaphor lip SPF is extra effective at battling dry and flaky lips – and it’s a very affordable option.

Aquaphor lip repair balm with sunscreen is formulated with nourishing vitamins and shea butter, and includes broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, which makes it a great heavy-duty product for cold winter months.

Yes, you need sun protection in cold weather too!

• Very affordable        • Nourishing formula           • SPF 30

• Very affordable
• Nourishing formula
• SPF 30

5. Yummiest: Sun Bum Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 30

If you like lip balms delicious fruit scents in a lip balm but still want reliable sun protection – look no further!

Sun Bum’s fruity sunscreen lip balms come in a variety of sweet summery fruit flavors, from mango and watermelon to key lime and coconut – all of which are infused with SPF 30 protection.

So not only do they give you a taste of summer on your lips, but they also protect your sensitive skin from the sun’s rays. Plus, they are formulated with hydrating aloe vera and vitamin E, which help provide an extra dose of hydration.

• Smell really yummy        • Great hydration & nourishment           • SPF 30

• Smell really yummy
• Great hydration & nourishment
• SPF 30

6. Best Natural: Burt’s Bees Island Getaway Sun Care SPF 30 Lip Balm

Burt’s Bees lip balms are a go-to by now. They’re made from 100% natural ingredients. Formulated without parabens, phthalates, petrolatum and SLS, this clean ingredients product is ocean and coral-reef-friendly.

They offer broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection and while it’s a zinc oxide-based formulation, the product also contains shea butter, responsibly sourced beeswax, and other botanicals – plus a softly tinted color.

So if you’re a fan of the regular Burt’s Bees lip balms, it’s time you make the switch to one with SPF! And if you order them as this set, you get an after-sun soothing lip balm that’s meant to help your lips recover.

• 100% natural        • Come in a convenient set           • SPF 30

• 100% natural
• Come in a convenient set
• SPF 30

7. Best Lip Gloss SPF: Neutrogena MoistureShine Lip Soother Gloss with SPF 20

This lip moisturizer gloss provides instant relief for dry, chapped lips thanks to its soothing and cooling hydrogel formula that helps lock in moisture.

It’s formulated with glycerin, cucumber, and chamomile that aid in keeping lips moisturized, as well as a broad spectrum SPF 20 sunscreen that protects your lips.

This product nicely marries sun protection with tinted lip shine, which results in a beautiful, high-gloss sheen that’s quite long-lasting but non-tacky. It comes in several shades that add a lightly colorful glow to your lips.

• Cooling formula        • Glossy shine but not sticky           • Comes in several shades

• Cooling formula
• Glossy shine but not sticky
• Comes in several shades

8. Best Luxury: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick

If you’re looking for something a bit more luxurious, Elizabeth Arden Lip SPF is full of vitamins and minerals that help your lips stay soft and smooth – and protected!

The texture is rich without being heavy, sinking into the lips to provide deep, lasting moisture. The soothing effect is almost immediate and any dryness or chapping seems to disappear within moments of application.

Reviews also claim a little goes a long way, making the tube quite long-lasting.

• A little bit is enough        • Rich but not heavy           • Great formula

• A little bit is enough
• Rich but not heavy
• Great formula

The Importance of Using Lip Sunscreen

The lips are often overlooked when it comes to sun protection, probably because we’re not aware of their vulnerability to UV radiation.

They lack the melanin that provides some natural protection against UV rays, so using sunscreen lip balm to shield your lips from the sun can help maintain their health, and prevent dryness and chapping because it keeps the moisture barrier intact.

The skin of our lips is much thinner in comparison to the rest of the face, which actually makes them more prone to sunburn and sun damage. This is why protecting your lips from the harmful effects of the sun is just as crucial as protecting the rest of your skin with an SPF.

Not only do the lips age faster because the UV rays break down collagen and elastin (which is what causes sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles – as well as loss of volume), but research shows that lip skin cancer can actually be more aggressive.

Also, pre-existing lip conditions worsen with UV exposure. Sun-damaged lips are more susceptible to infections, cold sores, and environmental stressors, so prioritizing lip sun protection is also important for health reasons.

Final Note on SPF Lip Balm

Remember to regularly reapply lip sunscreen, especially after eating, drinking, or wiping your lips, to ensure continuous protection throughout the day. You know how fast lip products can get worn off – reapply often!

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