While applying sunscreen on your skin before heading out under the sun is a no-brainer, most of us tend to forget to protect the lips from the harmful effects of prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.
In addition to being a favorite sensation point, lips are functionally delicate and require extra care. While the face has more than 15 cellular layers, the lips have only about five.
The reason why lips are mostly red or pinkish in color is due to the thinness of the skin on the lips, which allows blood vessels to show.
Because the skin covering the lips is very thin, lips are prone to damage, which manifests in the form of dryness and chapping.
Seemingly innocent actions such as brushing your teeth or licking your lips can cause irritation, now imagine what direct exposure to the sun can do.
Another interesting fact about lips is that they do not have sweat glands and therefore do not naturally produce protective oils, which further exposes this part of the body to extensive drying. Experts note that lips lose up to 10 times more moisture than any other part of the body.
All these factors considered, it is important to protect lips using lip balm containing sunscreen to minimize sensitivity and ensure optimal lip health.
Sunscreens For Sensitive Lips
When selecting the best sunscreens for sensitive skin, look for lip balms that offer adequate protection against the sun, moisturize, and protect the skin from irritation.
Protection Against The Sun
The best lip balm offers broad-spectrum protection against UV rays. Look for lip balms with labels indicating that the product offers UVA/UVB protection or one that offers broad-spectrum protection.
This type of lip balm will protect your lips from the effects of UV, which include burning, fine lines, blemishes, loose skin, aging, and cancer.
According to dermatologists, you should look for a lip balm with an SPF rating of 15 when you are not exposed to the sun for long durations and SPF 30 during those blistering summer days when you spend more time in the sun.
Physical vs. Chemical Sunscreen
Sunscreens can be physical or chemical. Physical sunscreen protects the skin by reflecting harmful UV rays away while chemical sunscreen penetrates the skin and prevents the sun from damaging the inner layers of the skin.
Opt for lip balms with physical sunscreen. This type of sunscreen is more effective at preventing harmful UV rays from penetrating the skin.
Physical sunscreens contain fewer harmful ingredients and are especially helpful for people with sensitive skin and lips. Additionally, physical sunscreen can serve you for longer.
Because chemical sunscreens absorb well into the skin, they usually do not leave that typical white cast on the skin or lips. This type of lip balm is especially great if you want to preserve your makeup.
However, many chemical sunscreens contain toxic ingredients that can irritate your lips and worsen your sensitivities. Opt for lip sunscreens with few ingredients and non-toxic compounds.
Finally, look for lip sunscreen that not only protects your skin from the effects of UV light but also moisturizes your skin.
Dry lips can cause painful blisters and chapping, which if left unattended to can increase the risk of lip infections.
Best Sunscreens For Sensitive Lips
If you are looking for lip sunscreen with a higher SPF rating, Loving Naturals SPF 30+ is an excellent choice.
This lip balm is essentially a physical sunscreen and contains zinc oxide as its main ingredient to offer broad-spectrum protection against UV rays.
Loving Naturals contains natural and non-toxic ingredients, making this a suitable sunscreen for sensitive skin.
Another plus for this lip balm is that it will not affect your makeup and will not leave a white residue. Use the sunscreen as a base and go on to apply your lipstick or lip-gloss as usual.
This sunscreen has a subdued scent, moisturizes, and is water resistant. However, be sure to reapply every 1 or 2 hours for optimal protection.
On the downside, some users may find this lip balm to be a bit sticky. To get around this, apply a sufficient amount of lip balm and thoroughly rub into the lips for a nice finish.
The Loving Naturals lip balm may also contain sesame seed and macadamia seed oil, so watch out of for these if you are allergic.
- Contains all natural ingredients
- Contains high concentration of zinc oxide for UVA/UVB protection
- Suitable for use with makeup
- Slightly waxy
- May leave a white cast
This lip balm by Body Shop not only has a sweet fragrance, it also has the dermatologically recommended SPF 15 rating. This lip sunscreen, therefore, promises broad-spectrum protection against the effects of the sun.
The Body Shop lip balm also contains vitamin E, an important ingredient that protects your lips against free radicals, which accelerate the symptoms of aging including fine lines, wrinkles, loose skin, and blemishes around the lips.
- Long shelf life
- Sweet fragrance
- Contains vitamin E
- Broad spectrum
- Slightly waxy
After extensive research, we found these to be the best sunscreens for sensitive lips. You will notice that these lip balms do not contain toxic ingredients, offer broad-spectrum protection, and moisturize all excellent qualities of a good lip sunscreen.