If you don’t use an SPF lip balm, you probably should
We’ve tracked down the best ones
Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / March 23 2020
You’re killing it on the wear-sunscreen-on-your-face-everyday front (we feel like proud parents), but there’s one thing you’re probably forgetting to protect – your lips. Are you applying SPF on these guys, too? Did we hear a ‘no’? Shame on you. Only kidding, it’s easy to forget. But we’re not going to let you off easy – because it is actually super important to start slathering SPF on your lips.
“Lips can get a sunburn, too. Our lips have a thinner top layer of skin (epidermis), and less melanin (our bodies’ natural protective colouring) than the rest of our skin. So UV can penetrate deeper,” says clinical researcher Hannah English. The skin on our lips is particularly sensitive, and like the skin on our bodies, it is also susceptible to hyperpigmentation and skin cancers, which makes a SPF lip balm crucial to anyone concerned about sun protection (read: everyone).
Not only this, but not protecting your lips basically speeds up the whole ageing process around this area. “UV exposure contributes to the breakdown of structural proteins like collagen and elastin, so lip lines begin to appear more prominent and volume can be lost as we age. Because we move our mouths all the time, talking and eating, the area is quite prone to lines anyway. Elastin is what helps our skin bounce back, and lines begin to appear as it degrades,” explains English.
The good news is that protecting your lips is pretty simple. You don’t have to walk around with zinc plastered all over your lips à la Shane Warne, you just need to apply a quality SPF lip balm every couple of hours. “Wearing an SPF lip balm will keep lips looking fuller for longer,” says English. “It has been found to help prevent cold sores, too, if you’re prone.”
Wondering what kind of SPF lip balm is best? English says, “Honestly, the most important thing is to find one that’s comfortable, SPF 30 or above, and that you will use regularly. If it’s marketed in Australia, then it’s met our strict (but fantastic) regulatory requirements. I found a small study that suggested women who apply lip sunscreen more than once per day had half the risk of lip cancer compared to women who apply once per day or less. So, it’s easy to reduce your risk!”
Put one of these in your bag, desk, pocket, car, vanity and bedside table. Obsess over them. Love them. Collect them. Your lips will thank you for it.
Mecca To Save Lips Superscreen Protective Lip Balm with SPF50+
We think this guy is the jam, and English agrees. “I really like the SPF lip balm from MECCA, it doesn’t taste like sunscreen and it moisturises lips just enough.” Mecca To Save Lips Superscreen Protective Lip Balm with SPF50+ is basically the two-in-one formula everyone needs – it has all the moisturising benefits of your usual lip balm, with the added UV protection of a sunscreen. Nice.
Sunsense Lip Balm SPF50
If you know you’re going to be outdoors for the day, chuck this in your bag. Boasting broad-spectrum protection (that is, protection against both UVA and UVB rays), Sunsense Lip Balm SPF50 is super mighty on the sun protection front. It contains moisturising vitamin E and cocoa butter, and is a whopping four hours water resistant – so if you want to jump in the pool and not immediately re-apply, you totally can.
Lanolips Tinted Balm SPF 30
See? SPF lip balms CAN be pretty! This Lanolips Tinted Balm SPF 30 gives your lips a sheer tint of colour (in a cute, non-sticky way), while keeping them hydrated, nourished and protected from the sun.
Aesop Protective Lip Balm SPF30
This hydrating little number from Aesop is enhanced with UVA and UVB filters to shield your lips from the sun’s rays, while added botanical oils help soften, hydrate and nourish dry lips. The best part? Aesop Protective Lip Balm SPF30 leaves no annoying white residue – only a pretty gleam.
NIVEA Sun SPF30 Ultra Care & Protect
NIVEA Sun SPF30 Ultra Care & Protect is a serious crowd-pleaser. Made with nourishing sunflower extract, it provides protection against UVA and UVB rays and is perfect for everyday wear. Plus, it’s a total steal.
Ultra Violette Sheen Screen SPF 50 Hydrating Lip Balm
Ultra Violette make amazing sunscreens, and now they also make amazing SPF lip balms. Ultra Violette Sheen Screen SPF 50 Hydrating Lip Balm comes in four delightful shades, including Peach, Rose, Nude and Shimmer. They're the perfect choice if you're after a hint of tint, and look pretty alone or on top of a matte lipstick.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. Wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear when exposed to the sun. Prolonged high-risk sun exposure should be avoided.
On the hunt for a great sunscreen? Check out our round-up of the hardest-working sunscreens that’ll protect your skin all summer long (and beyond).
What’s your pick out of these SPF lip balms? Share with us in the comments below.
Main image credit: Getty
Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.