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Should You Have SPF in Your Lip Balm?

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Yes, you must have SPF in your lip balm. While we diligently apply sunscreen to protect our faces and bodies from the sun’s harmful rays, the delicate skin on our lips often goes overlooked. The truth is, these face the sun all day long when we are outdoors and are equally prone to tanning and other side effects. 

We will delve into the reasons for incorporating SPF into your lip care routine and discuss the importance of applying sunscreen properly. We will also cover when and how to do so.

Why Do You Require SPF for Your Lips?

The skin on your lips is not the same as the rest of your body. It is only 3-5 layers deep as compared to almost 16 layers of the facial skin. Your lips are also one of the most sensitive parts of the human body, with millions of nerve endings.  

That’s not all. There’s more to the unique characteristics of the lips. First, they lie at the periphery of the mucous membrane and the facial skin. There are no pores on it, which eliminates the potential for self-lubrication, making the need for moisturizing and protection even higher.

Yet another reason you need an SPF is photoaging. Note that collagen maintains the plumpness and youth of our skin including lips. But with growing age, our skin loses this protein. The sun’s UVA rays also accelerate the aging process.  

So, if you want to have young and supple lips, an SPF is essential. Fortunately, you can use a lip balm to overcome the woes. 


Why Use a Lip Balm with SPF?

Lips need special care. These products are made to take care of your lips and protect the sensitive skin of this part. They are also softer, smoother, and easier to put on than other sunscreens. The latter may feel thick and greasy on the lips. Plus, several lip balms contain extra moisturizing ingredients to nourish your lips and stop them from getting dry.

Also, regular sunscreens can get on your food, drinks, or clothes easily, but lip balms are stickier and less likely to do that. So, it’s a good idea to use lip balms.


How to Select an SPF Lip Balm 

Make sure that the SPF of your lip balm is 30 or above. This is the minimum SPF you should look for. Use a higher SPF if the environmental conditions are more challenging in your area. Besides this, check the following when selecting your lip balm.

Hydrating agents: Aloe, glycerin, or petrolatum prove helpful if your lips are prone to dryness or the weather is cold or harsh. These components keep your lips hydrated for a long. 

Avoid irritants: Added fragrances can play havoc with sensitive skin. Even a few natural fragrances, such as those found in essential oils, may irritate some individuals’ lips. Only a fragrance-free SPF lip balm may help in such situations. 

Mineral sunscreens: For sensitive lips, choose a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients are considered safe. 

Broad-spectrum protection: UVA rays cause skin aging, while UVB rays are known to cause skin cancer and sunburn. For this reason, your lip balm should offer protection against both. 

Water-resistance: Even if water activities aren’t on your agenda, regular intake of water and other liquids can potentially remove your lip balm. Choosing a water-resistant lip balm ensures its longevity regardless of your hydration routine. 

When to use lip balm with SPF?

Whether you are stepping out of the house or not, applying sunscreen is of paramount importance. There are a few more occasions when you should apply a lip balm. These include:


This is a daily activity wherein people often forget to apply an SPF. Remember, the glass may stop UVB rays from penetrating, but the UVA rays can still make their way in. An SPF lip balm will make sure your lips aren’t affected.


The harmful UVA and UVB rays can reflect off surfaces like outdoor swimming pools or the ocean bed. Leaving your lips unprotected exposes them to the dangers of these sun rays, not to mention the potential dryness from water exposure. The only way to combat this is by using a lip balm with SPF.


Engaging in gardening tasks, whether a bit of pruning or some digging, may not consume much time, but it involves being outdoors. It’s essential to recognize this fact. Neglecting your lips during these moments would be a mistake, especially when the sun’s rays are directly hitting your face.

Winter holidays

If you partake in winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing, it’s crucial to protect your lips from the sun’s rays. While it may feel warm even when the sun is out, these rays are more intense in the alpine regions. 


Whether you are sunbathing on the beach, on your lawn, or in a public park, always slather your lips with an SPF. Failing to do so can accelerate aging and dehydration, making your lips look lifeless. Lip cancer is also one reason why lip protection with an SPF is suggested

How to apply lip balm with SPF?


  • Clean your lips with a gentle cleanser and remove any previous products. 
  • Scrub your lips if they appear dry or flaky.
  • Slather sufficient amounts of lip balm on your lips. Ideally, a thin, even layer is all you need for effective sun protection.
  • To receive best results, apply lip balm with SPF 15 minutes before going out.
  • Apply again every two hours or more frequently. Make sure you do so after eating, drinking, or when staying for an extended period in the sun.

Parting Thoughts

Consistency is the key when it comes to protecting your lips from the sun. Make applying lip balm with SPF a habit, even when it’s overcast, as UV rays can penetrate the clouds. Follow these steps to protect your lips from the sun, as well as to keep them moisturized, and healthy.

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