The 5 Best SPF Lip Balms
People finally seem to be catching on to the fact that our lips are just as susceptible to sun damage as the rest of our faces. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate a lip balm with sunscreen into your morning routine (even better: Keep one on your person at all times). The best SPF lip balms will contain an SPF of 30 or higher, in accordance with the American Academy of Dermatology’s guidelines, as well as hydrating ingredients to prevent dryness and cracking. And balms don’t have to be all business, because in recent years, they’ve gotten jazzy updates in the forms of yummy scents and lip gloss-like finishes.
Ahead, you’ll find five of the best lip balms with sunscreen to choose from, including basic, under-$5 balms and all-natural formulas that smell (or dare we say taste?) as good as they feel. Just remember to reapply your balm of choice frequently if you’re out in the sun (the Skin Cancer Foundation says every two hours, but I’d say whenever you feel it wearing off).
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1. The Best Basic Lip Balm
Basic in the best way, this Vanicream lip balm has a long-lasting, water-resistant formula (up to 80 minutes!) with an SPF of 30, courtesy of zinc oxide. Dimethicone works to prevent dryness and make lips feel smooth, and like all Vanicream products, this balm was made with sensitive, allergy-prone skin in mind (it contains no fragrance, flavoring, dyes, lanolin, parabens, or other common irritants). Its angled tip makes for mess-free application, and its $6 price tag makes it a no-brainer choice.
Just keep in mind that this balm might leave behind a slight white cast on your lips, which is unfortunately common with most zinc oxide-based sun protectants, though this should fade once you rub it in. Amazon reviewers particularly love that it has no taste or scent, and that it leaves lips feeling soft.
2. The Best Protective Lip Balm
Aquaphor’s classic lip protectant is a great, year-round balm for people who tend to experience dry, chapped lips (it’s also a particularly great choice for skiers). This thick, protective ointment contains moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, beeswax, castor seed oil, and glycerin, and has an SPF of 30. In addition to helping prevent chapped lips, it also treats existing dryness. Plus, you can’t beat it’s $4 price tag.
3. The Best "Natural" Lip Balm
Available in two scents — original or vanilla/peppermint — this COOLA lip balm has an SPF of 30 and is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. It’s a bit expensive for a lip balm, but that’s because of the high quality ingredients in the formula, several of which are organic, and almost all of which are entirely plant-based. You’ll find lots of moisturizing botanicals and antioxidants in here, like raspberry butter, avocado butter, coconut oil, and aloe. On paper, it sounds good enough to eat (but you know, please don’t).
Though it is reef-safe and cruelty-free, keep in mind that this natural lip balm isn’t vegan, since it contains beeswax.
4. The Best Vegan Lip Balm
Want a little extra zip for your lip? These Sun Bum lip balms come in all sorts of fun scents, including key lime, mango, watermelon, coconut, and banana. The water-resistant balms have an SPF of 30 and contain moisturizing ingredients like aloe, cocoa butter, and vitamin E. Plus, they’re gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan!
5. The Best Tinted Balm That Doubles As A Gloss
There are quite a good number of tinted lip balms on the market, but tracking one down with an SPF of 30 or higher is tricky. That’s why the Colorescience Sunforgettable Lip Shine is such a great buy. The water-resistant formula has an SPF of 35 and contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and peptides to simultaneously hydrate and plump your lips. The shiny finish is akin to a gloss, but it’s more moisturizing than sticky. Choose from four tinted shades, or get it in clear.
Editor’s note: Check out more great tinted lip balms with sunscreen, here.
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