Should You Wear SPF On Your Lips? If You Haven't Been Using One, It May Be Time To Start

Lucas Ottone/Stocksy

I'm pretty confident in stating most of us know by now just how important it is to wear SPF. And I don't just mean when you're heading off on holiday; when it comes to your face, I mean come rain or shine. Whatever the weather, damaging UV rays are able to penetrate the skin, accelerating ageing and causing potential long term problems. But when it comes to your face, there are certain areas where it's unclear if you need to wear SPF. For example; should you wear SPF on your lips? Let's take a look see.

Unsurprisingly, the answer is actually yes; you should try and wear SPF on your lips as well as on your face. The overwhelming reason for this is that the lips are particularly sensitive to the sun and the damage it can cause. "People forget to protect their lips," Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care, and associate clinical professor in the department of dermatology at George Washington University Medical Center, told Allure. "Skin cancer in this area can be particularly dangerous, which is why everyone needs lip balm with SPF."

Board-certified dermatologist Michael Swann, MD, agrees, telling Refinery29:

"SPF on the lips is important. Lips are actually a common place for skin cancers, and because the barrier function of the skin on the lips is less vigorous, these tumours can quickly behave more aggressively than the same tumours in other locations."

So in short, yes, it is extremely important to provide UV protection for your lips — especially when you are in hotter climates and are directly exposed to the sun. Our lips should be treated like our face, but because our lips dry out so quickly, it's a good idea to reapply our chosen balm more often for full protection.

Luckily for us, there are so many options now when it comes to SPF lip formulas. Here's a few of my favourites.

Burt's Bees 100 Percent Natural All-Weather SPF15 Moisturising Lip Balm



A 100% natural formula that forgoes parabens, phthalates, petrolatum and SLS, this moisturising formula leaves a matte finish and has an SPF 15.

Base Lip Solve


Feel Unique

Designed not only to be a great no-frills lip balm, this formula protects from the sun and is made with those prone to cold sores in mind. It uses liquorice root, which is proven to target cold sores.

Aesop Protective Lip Balm SPF 30



A back to basics chapstick that's way more sophisticated than those you used to use as a teen, this minimalistic balm feels as good on lips as it looks on the 'gram. Oh, and it has SPF 30.

COOLA Liplux SPF 15 Peppermint Vanilla


Cult Beauty

With a fresh vanilla and peppermint flavour and smell, this not only does wonders when the sun's out, but is also so addictive I challenge you not to reapply every five minutes.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment


John Lewis

These cult lip balms are beloved by everyone in beauty, and come in a huge range of tints and hues. This original balm floods lips with moisture and has an SPF 15.