The 15 Best Lip Balms With SPF of 2023

Nourish and protect sensitive skin with picks from Sun Bum, Aquaphor, Fresh, and more

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Best Lip Balms With SPF

Byrdie / Lecia Landis

We’ll answer the question on everyone’s mind first—yes, you do need SPF in your lip balm. After all, the skin on your lips is just like the skin on the rest of your face and is susceptible to burning, sun damage, and even skin cancer.

Because lip skin is thinner and more delicate, however, a lip burn is seriously painful (just ask anyone who’s experienced one). And somewhat ironically, many people forget that they need to apply sunscreen to this sensitive area. You’re likely using a lip balm already, so why not make it one that contains SPF? There are more standout formulas out there than ever before, ones that are so darn good you’ll forget you chose them for their protective prowess.

We consulted with Dr. Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist to determine what to look for in lip balms with SPF, evaluating them on formula, active ingredients, shades, and level of protection. Each pick on our list contains at least SPF 15, but we aimed for those that contain SPF 30 protection. Additionally, we chose formulas loaded with hydrating ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil to make lips smooth and soft. In making our selection, we also noted SPF lip balms that are free-from scent, because some people may want to avoided heavily fragranced options depending on lip and skin sensitivity. We cross-referenced Dr. Garshick's recommendations along with Byrdie editor picks, top-rated products, and fan-favorites that offer the best value.

Best Overall

Sun Bum Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 30



What We Like
  • Extremely creamy

  • Comes in multiple fruity flavors

What We Don't Like
  • Can easily get melty if it gets too hot

Super, super creamy, this balm, a favorite of Byrdie’s Commerce Editorial Director Jessica Mahgerefteh, hydrates lips just as well as it shields them from damaging UV rays. Credit a base made with aloe and cocoa butter for mega-moisture. But arguably the best part is the lip-smacking fruity flavors—coconut, pineapple, banana, pomegranate, key lime, and mango—that are incentive enough to keep swiping this on. Use it alone or layer it over any lip color for added protection.

Price at time of publish: $4

SPF: 30 | Shades: N/A | Byrdie Clean: No  | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Drugstore

Aquaphor Lip Protectant & Sunscreen Ointment SPF 30

Aquaphor Lip Protectant & Sunscreen Ointment SPF 30


What We Like
  • Very affordable

  • Preservative- and fragrance-free

What We Don't Like
  • Contains petrolatum, which may be off-putting to some

Your beloved tube o’ Aquaphor just got a major upgrade, thanks to a dose of broad-spectrum sun protection. Still, it delivers those same hydrating benefits, with plenty of shea butter, glycerin, and beeswax to quench a parched pout. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick, this one is a great option for those with dry or cracked lips. "The ointment maintains all the great benefits of Aquaphor with the added bonus of SPF 30 protection," she says. "It's also free of fragrance and preservatives, making it especially good for those with sensitive skin."

Price at time of publish: $5

SPF: 30 | Shades: N/A | Byrdie Clean: No  | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Tinted

EleVen by Venus Williams Perfect Form Lip Balm SPF 15

EleVen by Venus Williams Perfect Form Tinted Lip Balm

Courtesy of EleVen by Venus Williams

What We Like
  • Comes in both clear and two tinted options

  • Relies on non-irritating mineral sunscreen ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Only delivers SPF 15

Formulated with 20% zinc oxide, this silky tinted balm offers SPF 15 protection from UVA and UVB rays while shea butter and bayberry fruit wax deeply nourish and soothe the lips. It’s available in two universally flattering pink shades, and the lineup also includes a clear shade and a vibrant red, so there’s a shade for every situation or occasion. Plus, we love that the packaging is made from PCR and other recyclable materials.

Price at time of publish: $19

SPF: 15 | Shades: 3  | Byrdie Clean: Yes  | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Runner-Up, Best Tinted

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment

Sugar Lip Balm


What We Like
  • Comes in a huge variety of colors

  • Creamy, hydrating formula

What We Don't Like
  • Only delivers SPF 15

This beloved cult classic may be lauded for its creamy texture and gorgeous, sheer color, but did you know that it also boasts an SPF 15? All of the 12 shades—ranging from clear to rosy to berry to red—have it, ensuring that your lips stay protected. Though it is those beautiful tints that keep us coming back to this tube anytime we want just a little something to perk up our pout. 

Price at time of publish: $24

SPF: 15 | Shades: 12  | Byrdie Clean: Yes  | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Natural

W3ll People Nudist Lip Butter

Nudist Lip Butter
What We Like
  • Relies on zinc oxide as its sunscreen ingredient

  • Full of hydrating oils

What We Don't Like
  • Stick could be a bit thicker

Given the fact that we inevitably end up ingesting some of the products we put on our lips, it makes sense that you might want to go with a clean lip balm. This one fits the bill, using several different organic oils for hydrating purposes. Even the sun protection is natural, non-micronized mineral zinc, a rarity given that many lip products use chemical sunscreen ingredients. It comes in both a clear version, as well as two tinted options.

Price at time of publish: $15

SPF: 30 | Shades: 4  | Byrdie Clean: Yes  | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Colorescience Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Color Balm SPF 50

What We Like
  • Works great on lips, cheeks, and eyes

  • Has an impressive SPF 50

What We Don't Like
  • Not for those who don't want a lip balm with color

  • On the pricier side

What’s better than a multi-purpose color stick that you can swipe on lips, cheeks, and eyes? One that contains SPF, of course. This newbie delivers gorgeous pigment on all those spots—it comes in three shades, a berry, blush, and bronze—along with a hefty dose of sun protection. Not to mention that you can easily layer and mix and match the colors wherever you apply them. Although this is one of the more pricier options on our list, we think its pigmented high-SPF formula justifies the spend.

Price at time of publish: $69

SPF: 50 | Shades: 3  | Byrdie Clean: Yes  | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Budget

Carmex Classic Medicated Lip Balm SPF 15

Carmex Classic Medicated Lip Balm SPF 15

Courtesy of Carmex

What We Like
  • Very affordable

  • Works great during both the summer and winter

What We Don't Like
  • Camphor & menthol scent may not be appealing to all

Byrdie Associate Editorial Director Holly Rhue recommends stocking up on this affordable option; a three-pack of this classic stick rings in at just a few bucks. Pick up a whole bunch and keep one in every purse, pocket, you name it. It’s the original beloved formula, which boasts camphor and menthol to help soothe chapped lips, but with added SPF 15 sun protection.

Price at time of publish: $5

SPF: 15 | Shades: N/A  | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Runner-Up, Best Hydrating

MDSolarSciences Hydrating Sheer Lip Balm SPF 30

MDSolarSciences Hydrating Sheet Lip Balm


What We Like
  • Very moisturizing but non-sticky

  • Contains SPF 30

What We Don't Like
  • On the pricier side

  • Not for those who don't want a lip balm with color

Dr. Garshick is a big fan of this hydrating balm from MDSolarSciences. “It comes in a few different shades and offers SPF 30 protection, all while also providing hydration with avocado, shea, and olive butters,” she says. “It’s also gentle, so it’s safe to use even by those with sensitive skin.” While all of its six shades are universally flattering, we’re especially loving Ruby, a gorgeous red with blue undertones. Plus, the formula is creamy, not sticky, and is 100% vegan and gluten-free.

Price at time of publish: $20

SPF: 30 | Shades: 6  | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Splurge

Clé de Peau UV Protective Lip Treatment

Clé De Peau UV Protective Lip Treatment SPF 30

 Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

What We Like
  • Feels luxurious

  • Contains additional protective ingredients besides sunscreen

What We Don't Like
  • Contains fragrance

As the name suggests, this is truly more of a lip treatment than a basic lip balm. The ingredient list is similar to that of a in a fancy moisturizer, boasting smoothing Japanese pearl, tone-evening theanine, plus an array of herbs and botanicals. These all work together to improve the look of lips, while sunscreen and antioxidants offer necessary protection. The natural rose scent is subtle and sophisticated, and this also pulls double duty as a great lipstick primer.

Price at time of publish: $65

SPF: 30 | Shades: N/A  | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Gloss

Supergoop! Lipscreen SPF 40

Supergoop! Shine On Lip Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 50


What We Like
  • Contains SPF 40

  • Works well on its own or layered over other lip products

What We Don't Like
  • Has a little bit of a weird taste

Gloss fans will appreciate the sheen this protectant delivers. While you can use it on its own, it’s best swiped over your go-to lip color, instantly imparting a soft shine, and, most importantly SPF 40 protection from the sun's rays. It also has sunflower oil for added hydration, never a bad thing.

Price at time of publish: $22

SPF: 30 | Shades: N/A  | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

If you’re going to be out in direct sun all day, it’s best to avoid any kind of shiny finish on your lips as it can attract rays. Save this for everyday use instead.

Best Oil

COOLA Classic Liplux Organic Hydrating Lip Oil Sunscreen SPF 30

COOLA Classic Liplux Organic Hydrating Lip Oil Sunscreen SPF 30

Courtesy of Dermstore

What We Like
  • Extremely moisturizing

  • Works well on its own or layered over other lip products

What We Don't Like
  • Some reviewers point out that it doesn’t last particularly long

For those who prefer a lip oil, Dr. Garshick suggests reaching for this product from sun care experts COOLA. “It combines SPF 30 protection with lip hydration, as it contains vitamin E and camellia and jojoba oils,” she says. “It leaves the lips looking healthy and plump while still being protected. It also contains an antioxidant-rich plant complex for additional protection.” Plus, the universally-flattering golden shade looks great on literally everyone.

Price at time of publish: $18

SPF: 30 | Shades: N/A  | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Sport

Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 50

Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 50
What We Like
  • Affordable drugstore pick

  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes

What We Don't Like
  • Can feel a bit waxy

Be sure to swipe this on before your next outdoor run, swim, or beach volleyball game. It’s hydrating, yes, but more importantly, it delivers an impressive SPF 50 to protect your pout from getting scorched during your workout. Not to mention that it’s also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, so you don’t need to worry about reapplying it if you’re swimming or sweating.

Price at time of publish: $8

SPF: 50 | Shades: N/A  | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Unisex

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25


What We Like
  • Comes in multiple-delicious flavors

  • Comes in mess-free squeeze tube

What We Don't Like
  • Finish may be a bit too glossy for some

Packed with emollients and conditioning ingredients—think shea butter, vitamin E, and avocado oil—it’s choice for hydrating even the most chapped of lips. Bonus points for the addition of antioxidants that act as back-up for the sun protection it provides. There’s a flavorless option, but we suggest one of the yummy flavors—mint, lemon, grapefruit, and ginger, or black tea and blackberry.

Price at time of publish: $8

SPF: 50 | Shades: N/A  | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Multi-Tasking

Cocokind Tinted Lip Shield

Lip balm


What We Like
  • Offers multiple different benefits

  • Color is sheer and universally-flattering

What We Don't Like
  • Tube could be a bit larger

There’s really nothing this one tube can’t do. It packs a punch of broad-spectrum SPF 24 to shield your lips against both UVA and UVB rays. There are also antioxidants in the mix for an extra level of protection, plus tons of moisturizing oils. The finish is perfectly glossy (though not in the least bit tacky), as is the sheer wash of peachy-pink color that enhances lips in a gorgeously natural way.

SPF: 24 | Shades: 1  | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Flavored

Vacation Bananas Foster SPF 30 Lip Balm

Lip balm


What We Like
  • Deliciously sweet flavor

  • Great price point

What We Don't Like
  • Only comes in a clear shade

This brand is known for making sun protection products that are both super effective and smell amazing. Their protective lippie is no exception, delivering a nice level of SPF 30, coupled with an addictingly sweet scent and flavor. (As the name suggests, it’s inspired by the classic NOLA dessert, with notes of banana, brown sugar, and vanilla.) The ultra-creamy, non-greasy texture is a win, too; we just wish it came in a tinted variety.

Price at time of publish: $5

SPF: 30 | Shades: N/A  | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Final Verdict

We’re giving top honors to the mega creamy Sun Bum Lip Balm SPF 30. The aloe and cocoa butter base deeply nourishes and moisturizes your pout while protecting it from damaging UV rays. Plus, the fruity flavors are absolutely delicious! When we’re looking for something with a bit of color, we’re reaching for the MD Solar Science Hydrating Sheer Lip Balm SPF 30. Not only does it boast SPF 30 protection, but it also deeply hydrates with a trio of plant butters and imparts beautiful, sheer pigment. And finally, when we’re planning to get sweaty, there’s no better choice than the Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 50. It provides impressive SPF 50 protection and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it a great choice for any outdoor or water-related workouts.

Meet the Expert

Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD is a Board-certified dermatologist at MDCS: Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Centers, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology, at Cornell University.

What to Look For in Lip Balms with SPF

Adequate SPF Protection

According to Dr. Garshick, it’s important to find a lip product that provides adequate sun protection, which, in her opinion, is SPF of at least 30. “In general, it's recommended to treat your lips with the same protection you would the rest of your skin as they can be susceptible to sun damage, leading to skin cancer and aging,” she says. “I recommend SPF 30 or higher, and also to reapply every two hours or sooner if swimming or sweating.”

A Hydrating Formula

Dr. Garshick also says to look for products that are hydrating. “Because the lips are thin, they can become more susceptible to dryness, so it’s helpful for any lip balm, with or without SPF, to help hydrate the lips to boost overall moisture,” she says. “This feature can also make it more enjoyable and easy to wear SPF on your lips as it often makes it easy to apply and reapply and keeps them looking hydrated and plump.” 

Avoid Heavy Fragrance

Lastly, Dr. Garshick recommends avoiding any product with heavy fragrance if you have sensitive skin. “Because the lips and the skin around the lips is thin, it can make it more susceptible to irritation,” she says. “For this reason, those with sensitive skin should stick with products with minimal fragrance or other common skin allergens to prevent any reaction or sensitivity from developing.”

  • Is it safe to use lip balm with SPF?

    Generally, yes. There is some evidence to suggest adverse effects from certain sunscreen ingredients, like homosalate, and PABA, but other studies have found no evidence of harm. If you're concerned about any potential health risks, pick a lip balm that contains mineral sunscreen like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide instead of a chemical sunscreen.

  • Does lip balm with SPF expire?

    Like all lip balms (and beauty products), lip balms with SPF do expire. Generally, it's a good idea to toss your SPF-containing lip balm after a year and replace it with a new one.

  • Is SPF lip balm necessary?

    Yes, according to dermatologists. Lips are susceptible to the same kind of damage and premature aging caused by the sun as the rest of your skin. Also, because they are thinner than the skin on other parts of the body, they can be even more vulnerable to the sun's rays.

  • How high of an SPF do I need in my lip balm?

    Generally, it's recommended to use a sunscreen with at least SPF 15. You might want to use a product with a higher SPF depending on how much direct sun exposure you get on a daily basis.

  • How often should I reapply it?

    Just like you would reapply sunscreen on the rest of your face, your lip balm with SPF should be reapplied every two hours.

How We Researched

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough lip products with SPF from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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