The 11 Best SPF-Infused Lip Balms to Wear All Year Long

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The 11 Best SPF-Infused Lip Balms to Wear All Year Long
Photo: Supergoop/ InStyle

Along with the back of the neck and tops of ears, the lips top the list of spots that often get overlooked when applying sunscreen. Even though your lips might not immediately burn or freckle, it doesn't mean you have a free pass from remembering to put SPF on them. Luckily, protecting your lips from the sun can be as easy as swiping on your favorite lip color. SPF-infused lip balms will shield them from UVA/UVB rays, plus they're often formulated with nourishing ingredients and antioxidants that'll keep dryness and cracking under control, too. And if smoothing a color on is going to keep you from neglecting your lips, there are a plethora of tinted options out there, too.To narrow the options down, we researched the best lip balms with SPF and chose ones that met our standards for formula, sun protection, and safety. The Supergoop Play SPF 30 with Acai went above and beyond when it came to protecting the lips from sun damage and it delivers tons of hydration.

Here are the best lip balms with SPF.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Supergoop Play SPF 30 with Acai

Supergoop! Acaifusion Lip Balm SPF 30 
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What We Love: It's packed with nourishing, moisturizing ingredients and it smells great.

What We Don't Love It can get melty in the sun.

This SPF 30 lip balm is formulated with antioxidant-rich acai and nourishing shea butter so that you're not just protecting your lips from UV rays, you're also hydrating and repairing them. It gets an extra dose of nourishment from honey, which helps boost moisture and shields your pout from environmental damage. To top off this already great formula, it is infused with sunflower seed oil to target premature aging and help retain moisture. It has the same glossy sheen as a lip gloss but doesn't leave behind any sticky residue and it doesn't have a bad taste to it either.

SPF Level: 30 | Tinted: No

Best Value: Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm SPF 20

Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm SPF 20 In Healthy Blush 
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What We Love: The color options are rich, but not too overpowering.

What We Don't Love: It could be higher in SPF.

If you're looking for a balm with SPF protection that's hydrating, non-sticky, and subtly tinted, this affordable staple is your best bet. It helps improve the texture and smoothness of your skin, and delivers lasting moisture. It comes in five tints and one shimmery sheer shade, all of which give a your-lips-but-better look and a boost in plumpness. While it doesn't boast as high of an SPF level as we would like, the price can't be beat and it smells good too.

SPF Level: 20 | Tinted: Yes

Best Ultra-Protection: Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+

Butterstick Lip Treatment
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What We Love: It's water-resistant and formulated especially for hot days.

What We Don't Love: It has a bit of a greasy finish.

When you're spending the day in the sun, make this UVA/UVB ray-blocking Shiseido balm part of your plans. This versatile sunscreen stick melts into skin and can be used anywhere, not just your lips. And since it's made with the brand's WetForce and HeatForce Technology, it keeps you protected from the sun even when you're in water or extreme heat. The lightweight formula makes it easy to use over or under makeup and it's dermatologist-tested to work on all skin types.

SPF Level: 50+ | Tinted: No

Best for Dry Lips: Kiehl's Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30

Butterstick Lip Treatment
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What We Love: It provides lasting moisture and it's very versatile.

What We Don't Love: It does not have a great taste.

Bursting with moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil and lemon butter, Kiehl's tinted balm keeps lips smooth, hydrated, and defended against the sun's UVA and UVB rays with SPF 30. Designed with the driest lips in mind, the balm provides soothing hydration for up to 12 hours. It has a strong color payoff and can even be used on the cheeks and eyelids for a dewy, monochromatic makeup look.

SPF Level: 30 | Tinted: Yes

Best Treatment: Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25
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What We Love: It provides instant relief for dry lips.

What We Don't Love: We wish it had a higher SPF.

Don't underestimate this tiny tube. This lip balm from Jack Black is packed with antioxidants and skin conditioners like vitamin E, shea butter, and avocado oil that heal cracked and dry lips while simultaneously protecting them from sun damage, windburn, and extreme temperatures. Its formula doesn't leave a glossy shine behind and it offers instant relief to dry, chapped lips. Its unique flavors are also a huge plus — choose between 'Natural Mint + Shea Butter,' 'Black Tea + Blackberry, 'Pineapple Mint,' 'Lemon and Shea Butter,' and unflavored 'Vitamin E and Shea Butter.'

SPF Level: 25 | Tinted: No

Best for Sensitive Skin: Vanicream Lip Protectant Sunscreen SPF 30

Lip Protectant Sunscreen
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What We Love: It's free from harmful chemicals and very gentle.

What We Don't Love: It leaves a white cast.

Those with sensitive skin know that not every lip balm plays nice with their pout, especially when sunscreen is thrown into the mix. With Vanicream's lip sunscreen, your lips are blanketed in a hydrating and soothing layer of protection that's specifically designed to not upset your skin. It's also free of fragrance, preservatives, flavoring, and irritants. Plus, the waterproof formula will keep your lips safe from the sun for up to 80 minutes.

SPF Level: 30 | Tinted: No

Best Mineral: Sun Bum Mineral Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 30

Lip Protectant Sunscreen
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What We Love: It has a non-greasy finish and doesn't taste bad like most mineral sunscreens.

What We Don't Love: It's not very long-lasting and needs to be reapplied often.

Mineral sunscreen fans, this zinc oxide-based lip balm from Sun Bum that sits pretty on top of your lips is for you. It forms a protective barrier and blocks out the sun's UVA/UVB rays, leaving behind a natural-feeling matte finish. The formula uses shea butter, argan oil, candelilla wax, beeswax, and jojoba oil to keep things soft and smooth. While it does leave a slight white cast at first, it eventually goes away if you pat it in with your fingers.

SPF Level: 30 | Tinted: No

Best Sport: Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 50

Lip Protectant Sunscreen
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What We Love: It's very high in SPF and it is waterproof.

What We Don't Love: It may irritate sensitive skin.

Regardless of your outdoor sport of choice, you'll need a tough formula to keep your lips safe from the sun. This lip balm from Coppertone covers your lips with broad-spectrum SPF 50 and is built to last — even in the water. It also contains a skin-healthy blend of aloe vera and vitamin E, so you can hit the field, court, or waves with lips that are moisturized and protected against free radicals. It has a non-greasy feel and is the perfect travel-friendly size to take it with you on vacation or wherever you go.

SPF Level: 50 | Tinted: No

Best Lip Gloss: Colorescience Sunforgettable Lip Shine SPF 35

Lip Protectant Sunscreen
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What We Love: It has a shiny, glossy finish and offers subtle color.

What We Don't Love: It may be too pricey for some.

A lip gloss, sunscreen, and plumper all in one? Colorescience's Sunforgettable Lip Shine is a stunning gloss that's formulated with zinc oxide to block out UVA and UVB rays, peptides to enhance plumpness, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and soften. It's also got vitamin E, which means your lips will be protected from free radicals. And did we mention that it's waterproof for 40 minutes and available in a clear gloss, plus three flattering shades? What more could you want!

SPF Level: 35 | Tinted: Yes

Best for Daily Use: Coola Liplux Lip Balm SPF 30

Butterstick Lip Treatment
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What We Love: The color payoff is strong and it has a sheer finish.

What We Don't Love: It can get cakey with reapplication.

Looking for a lip sunscreen that doesn't feel like a lip sunscreen? This SPF lip balm from Coola is designed for daily usage and masters the no-SPF feel with its creamy formula, which features a moisturizing combination of Cupuaçu butter and raspberry and jojoba seed oils. Plus, it doesn't have the uncomfortable goopiness or graininess that some other SPF lippies have. Rich in antioxidants, the waterproof formula smoothes and soothes lips while keeping them protected with broad-spectrum SPF 30.

SPF Level: 30 | Tinted: Yes, 3 shades

Best Transparent: Cotz Lip Balm SPF 45

Butterstick Lip Treatment
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What We Love: It minimizes sun damage and it goes on smoothly.

What We Don't Love: It's not very moisturizing.

Mineral sunscreen, in all of its forms, is notorious for leaving a chalky white cast behind, especially on darker skin tones. Thankfully, sunscreen brand Cotz found a way around this in its SPF 45 lip balm, which has a practically untraceable application. It is also water-resistant, long-lasting and non-greasy.

SPF Level: 45 | Tinted: Yes

What to Keep in Mind

SPF Protection

Just like sunscreen for your face and body, it's essential that your lip balm has at least SPF 15. If you really want to keep your pout safe, dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar recommends going for SPF 30 or higher. "SPF 30 does a better job and is ideal for preventing premature aging and protection," she explains. "Anything lower is simply not enough protection."

Formula

In addition to protecting your lips from sun damage, you'll also want to make sure your lip balm is very hydrating and moisturizing. The key to this lies in the formula. Be on the lookout for products that contain hydrating ingredients like honey, antioxidants, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and oils.

Safety

Like anything in beauty, there are some ingredients you should be wary of. According to Aguilar, you should avoid "extremely drying and irritating" ingredients like "camphor, menthol, fragrances, flavors, phenol, and even salicylic acid, which is an exfoliant that can make your skin more sensitive to the sun." Instead, make sure that your SPF lip balm contains nourishing and hydrating ingredients like shea butter, honey, jojoba oil, vitamin E, and aloe that will restore moisture, relieve chapped lips, and soften your skin.

Your Questions, Answered

Is lip balm with SPF necessary?

Protecting your lips from sun damage is just as important as protecting any other part of the body is. "It is important to use SPF in a lip balm because the skin on our lips is sensitive," Aguilar says. "Our lips, like the skin elsewhere on our bodies, is susceptible to skin cancer and sun damage."

Does lip balm with SPF expire?

Like all beauty products, a lip balm with SPF will eventually expire. Check the expiration date of a product or replace your balm with a new one after a year.

How often should you apply lip balm with SPF?

Protecting your lips from the sun is unfortunately not a one-and-done thing, especially if you are going to be out in the sun for a long period of time. It is best to reapply lip sunscreen every two to three hours, or "as soon as the lip balm starts to rub off," says Aguilar.

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