12 best SPF lip balms to moisturise and protect your pout this summer


by Akhila Thomas |
Updated on

The founder of Tropic Skincare, Susie Ma and a beauty expert with over 20 years of experience, Hayley Walker explains why lips are often overlooked when it comes to sun protection and how to keep them looking youthful and safe from sun damage.

If you have been stocking up on sunscreens, SPF creams and hydrating balms to keep yourself and the family safe on sunny days out, well done on warding off sun damage. Skipping sunscreen can cause blemishes, spots and speed up your skin’s ageing process in the long run. This is why it is important not to miss out on protecting your lips with SPF lip balms as well.

The founder of Tropic Skincare, one of UK’s biggest names in industry, Susie Ma highlights the importance of using lip balms.

“The skin on your lips is considerably thinner and more susceptible to damage, so using an SPF product for lips is a great way to protect the delicate skin while also hydrating and nourishing lips."

Hayley Walker, a beauty expert at Justmylook with over 20 years of experience in the industry adds, “SPF lip balms provide essential moisture and also offer protection from UV rays that accelerate signs of ageing and UVB rays that can lead to sunburn.”

“Opting for an SPF lip balm with the right ingredients such as aloe vera and shea butter can help moisturise and soothe sun-damaged lips,” she says.

Depending on your lifestyle and skin type, you may a certain kind of lip balms with specific ingredients that would work better for you. A water-resistant one would be perfect if you spend a lot of time in the sea or engaged in activities like paddleboarding or rafting. If you are prone to having chapped lips, opting for a hydrating SPF lip balm would be best to stay safe in the sun.

Best SPF lip balms at a glance

Bondi Sands Juicy Watermelon Lip Balm SPF 50+

Best value SPF lip balm

Carmex Strawberry Lip Balm SPF 15 

Best lip balm with high SPF

Ultrasun SPF 50 Lip Protection

Best waterproof SPF lip balm

Balmy Fox SPF 25 Sun Protection Lip Balm

Apart from these top picks, we also have SPF lip balms that are long lasting and tinted or glossy options more suited for events. Along with expert advice on how often to reapply, what level of SPF you need and recommended products that are tried and tested, we have put together this guide to help you find the best SPF lip balm for your needs.

The Bondi Sands Juicy Watermelon Lip Balm comes with an SPF of 50+ and it tops our list of the best lip balms out there due to the high protection and lip care it offers at a great price. This product is also expert recommended by Hayley Walker from Justmylook as she finds it very effective for sun protection while also keeping the lips looking juicy with a nice fruity scent as well. The formula is hydrating, making it perfect for dry lips and several customers found the lip balm to be helpful in keeping their lips nourished when outdoors. A reviewer who is a swimming instructor recommends the product and added that it has reduced the dry texture of her lips. The lip balm is also quite thick, meaning it does not melt quickly in the sun and requires fewer reapplications. The cherry on top is that it is available in a range of flavours and scents to choose from.

Pros

  • Available in 5 flavours and scents
  • Has high SPF of 50+
  • It is quite thick, meaning it does not melt quickly in the sun and requires fewer reapplications

Cons

  • Some reviewers found the thick texture a bit heavy and difficult to get it off

Best value SPF lip balm

Best SPF lip balms
Price: $8.00

The Carmex Strawberry Lip Balm SPF 15 offers great value for the price as it moisturises and protects your lips. The formula is not very thick and therefore feels very hydrating and prevents dryness. However, some reviewers felt that they had to reapply it a couple of times as the product does not go on as thick as they expected. It also comes with a strawberry flavour and scent which some users found to be quite strong. So, if you are not a fan of strawberry scented balms, then it might be worth exploring other options on the list.

Pros

  • Offers great value for the price as it moisturises and protects with SPF 15
  • The formula is not very thick and therefore feels very hydrating and prevents dryness

Cons

  • Some reviewers felt like it needed constant reapplication
  • The strawberry scent and flavour is quite strong

Best lip balm with high SPF

Best SPF lip balms
Price: $19.79

This Ultrasun Lip Protection SPF 50 is perfect for anyone looking for extra protection with a high SPF that also comes with the soothing ingredients of a good lip balm. This product offers high levels of UVA and UVB protection and is also equipped with ingredients like Shea butter, Argan oil and vitamin E that help in nourishing your lips. 

The Ultrasun Lip Protection SPF 50 was tested by our Beauty and Wellness writer Akhila Thomas and she said: “The lip balm deeply moisturises and creates a solid layer of protection that is also quite long-lasting. The product stayed on for several hours while I travelled and had a cup of coffee. I only had to reapply after a meal. The consistency of the balm is thick enough and it comes with a mild, pleasant scent.”

Pros

  • Offer high SPF protection and hydration
  • The balm is equipped with ingredients like Shea butter, Argan oil and Vitamin E

Cons

  • The scent is quite mild if you prefer flavoured lip balms

Best waterproof SPF lip balm

This Balmy Fox SPF 25 Sun Protection Lip Balm comes in a compact little tub that can fit in a small pocket or small bag when you are out on the water or engaged in sports. This high factor SPF mineral sunscreen is vegan and completely free from parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances and SLS. 

Our Beauty and Wellness writer Akhila Thomas tested this lip balm and said: “The formula is quite creamy and hydrating. It creates a nice protective barrier that is water-resistant and is sure to stay on while you are out taking a dip in the ocean, swimming or paddleboarding. The only drawback I noticed was that the product leaves a mild white cast on the lips that is common with mineral-based SPF products."

Pros

  • The formula is hydrating and waterproof
  • It is quite long-lasting

Cons

  • The product leaves a mild white cast on the lips, that is common with mineral-based SPF products

The Lanolips Lip Ointment with Colour SPF 30 Rhubarb is the perfect option if you are looking for a product that also adds a hint of colour to your lips. This lip balm is enriched with the brand’s signature ingredient - lanolin, that helps to cure dry lips. With a sheer fruity colour, this tinted lip balm is sure to keep your smile pretty and protected. However, some reviewers found that the formula felt too thick, more like a lip gloss than a balm, so if you are looking for a more thinner product, we have listed other products that would meet your needs.

Pros

  • Enriched with the brand’s signature ingredient - lanolin that helps to cure and hydrate dry lips
  • Tint looks good on your cheekbones as a highlighter as well

Cons

  • Some reviewers found that the formula felt too thick, more like a lip gloss than a balm

Best long-lasting SPF lip balm

This Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen Lip Balm Coconut SPF 30 is a good choice if you are looking for a long-lasting lip balm that also smells heavenly. With added Aloe and vitamin E, this balm is sure to protect and moisturise your lips. 
This balm was tested by our Beauty and Wellness writer Akhila Thomas and she said: “The consistency is thick enough to feel that it will last for a good couple of hours saving you the trouble of constant reapplication. The scent with hints coconut and florals is quite pleasant. As a lip balm that claims to be water resistant for 80 minutes, it does not budge when exposed to water making it perfect for beach days or water sports.”

Pros

  • Added with Aloe and Vitamin E to protect and moisturise your lips
  • Long-lasting to save the trouble of constant reapplication
  • It is water resistant for 80 minutes

Cons

  • The smell is strong and might not be for those who prefer a flavourless lip balm

Best moisturising SPF lip balm

Created by Tropic Skincare, this lip balm is expert recommended by the founder Susie Ma who says that this product works to defend against UV rays, while also softening and conditioning your lips with Kalahari melon seed oil, aloe and shea butters.
This lip balm was tested by our Beauty and Wellness writer Akhila Thomas and she said: “The formula is especially soft, creamy and hydrating making it a perfect option for those who have dry or chapped lips. I also liked the subtle fruity scent that is not too overpowering, and the product lasts for a long time too. With this lip balm, you get all the benefits of a great lip balm, with an added layer of sun protection in just one step."

Pros

  • Long-lasting and softens your lips
  • Enriched with Kalahari melon seed oil, aloe and shea butters

Cons

  • The rotation action of the stick is a bit fiddly and it takes some time to get the product back into the stick if you have pushed it up too much

Best lightweight SPF lip balm

Dr Paw Paw Lip Balm SPF is a good option is you are looking for a lip balm that feels light on your lips. This product was tested by our Beauty and Wellness writer Akhila Thomas and she said: “With a gentle scent that does not stand out too much, this lip balm is perfect for people who do not like lip balms that feel too thick or sticky. With a thinner formula, this lip balm hydrates and keeps your lips from becoming dry. The product is also enriched with natural ingredients like the Paw Paw fruit and it does a good job protecting you against UVA and UVB rays."

Pros

  • Has a lightweight forumla
  • Enriched with natural ingredients like the Paw Paw fruit

Cons

  • Does not have a tint

Best hydrating SPF lip balm

 
If you are on the lookout for an SPF lip balm that also does the job of a moisturising balm, the Boots SPF+ Moisturising Lip Balm SPF50 is a perfect choice. Our Beauty and Wellness writer Akhila Thomas tested this SPF lip balm and said: “With a smooth and thinner consistency than most balms, it truly hydrates chapped lips and prevent dryness. With a high SPF and long-lasting formula, this lip balm would be perfect for those beach days to keep your lips nourished. The balm is also enriched with Shea butter to enhance the moisturising effect and it offers protection from UVA & UVB rays which can cause premature skin ageing and sun damage."

Pros

  • Comes with a high SPF of 50
  • Long-lasting and enriched with Shea butter to enhance the moisturising effect

Cons

  • Does not have any tint

Best vegan SPF lip balm

The Balmy Fox SPF 25 Sun Protection Lip Balm is a perfect choice if you prefer to use a vegan-friendly lip balm for sun protection. As a completely plant-based product, this lip balm works to protect lips from UVA/UVB rays and also heal chapped and sore lips. It is also 100% natural and made using natural oils, waxes, and butters. An added advantage is that it is water-resistant as well, making it very long-lasting.

Pros

  • It is a plant-based product that is 100% natural and made using natural oils, waxes, and butters
  • It is water-resistant and long-lasting

Cons

  • There are no reviews for this product yet

Best premium SPF lip balm

This Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Sheer Tint Lip Colour helps provide sun protection while also nourishing them as the formula is infused with emollients and antioxidant vitamin E. Reviewers have shared that this product does not feel sticky or oily. One user added that she uses it as a lipstick base and it really helps the lipstick last longer. In her experience, using a brush to dab it on top of a lipstick helps stop transfer as well. If you are on the lookout for a premium product that will serve as a nice layer of moisturise and sunscreen under your lipstick, this lip balm with its subtle hint of colour and a velvety feel will leave your lips feeling soft all day.

Pros

  • Enriched with emollients and antioxidant vitamin E that moisturises lips
  • Has a subtle hint of colour

Cons

  • Falls into a higher price range but well worth it if you can afford it

Best multi-purpose SPF lip balm and lotion

With the Soltan Active 2 in 1 Face Cream & Lip Stick SPF 50, you get two products in one, saving you the hassle of carrying a sunscreen and lip balm separately. This product was tested by our beauty and wellness writer Akhila Thomas and she said: “The tube has a small stick of lip balm on top which can be unscrewed to reach the tube of sunscreen on the bottom. It is a really handy product for travelling or for carrying in your bag. One application lasts upto 8 hours, including 3 hours in the water which is really great when you are on the move or on vacation. With both the lip balm and sunscreen offering UVA & UVB protection, this product is a must-have when it comes to sun protection."

Pros

  • Comes with sunscreen and SPF lip balm in one product
  • Multi-purpose tube makes it a good travel option

Cons

  • The quantity of lip balm is lesser than in most other products

FAQs

How often do I need to reapply SPF lip balm?

Beauty expert Hayley Walker says it is important to apply SPF products generously. “Ensure that you fully cover the lips before entering direct sunlight and reapply after eating, swimming or every two hours to prevent sun damage. As we approach warmer days, I strongly recommend purchasing an SPF lip balm to ensure your lips remain protected as well as hydrated,” she added.

Should I use an SPF lip balm if is cloudy or raining outside?

This is a very common query and the answer is that you need to apply your SPF products even on rainy or cloudy days as harmful UV rays can still reach the earth’s surface through the cloud cover. This kind of indirect exposure to UV rays is still potent enough to cause skin damage. So don’t let the clouds fool you and make sure you layer up with an SPF lip balm when you head out.

Meet the experts

Susie Ma is the founder and CEO of Tropic Skincare, a natural beauty brand that aims to create products that are ethical and effective from powerful tropical ingredients. As an entrepreneurial venture that started when she was fifteen and experimenting with skincare recipes in her kitchen, the brand has been flourishing for over 20 years now.

Hayley Walker is a beauty expert with over 20 years of experience in the industry working with Justmylook, a beauty and wellness brand, as a trusted advisor when it comes to sharing tips and guidance about skincare, makeup, nails, holistic wellness and the latest beauty trends.

Akhila Thomas is a digital writer at Yours.co.uk and her areas of interest are beauty, fashion, food, wellness and lifestyle. She has previously written for magazines like Leftlion, Women’s Health and t’Art and worked extensively with art, culture, fashion and social media trends. She also likes to travel and explore new cultures and cuisines.

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