How Much SPF Is Needed to Protect Lips?

How Much SPF Is Needed to Protect Lips?

How Much SPF Is Needed to Protect Lips?

Sunscreen has made its mark as a quintessential part of many people's skincare routines. Daily sunscreen application can help prevent sunburn and signs of premature aging like wrinkles, brown spots and irregular pigmentation.1 With various types like tinted, gel-based, mineral and more, the choices for sunscreen products are endless.

When choosing a sunscreen, it's also important to look for a product that has enough Sun Protection Factor (SPF) to keep your skin protected. But when it comes to finding a lip balm to protect your lips from the sun, does the SPF level matter as much? Learn what SPF is ideal for lips and how to choose the right lip balm for you.

Why Are SPF Lip Balms Important?

Your lips are susceptible to getting sunburned, too. Lips are among the most frequently forgotten spots for sunscreen application.2 Since it's advised to avoid putting sunscreen around the mouth, it's easy to forget your lips in the process.2 Your lips can also get chapped if they are exposed to the sun for too long, and a good SPF lip balm helps to prevent and treat sunburnt chapped lips.3 SPF lip balms come in handy because they can be applied directly onto the lips to keep them moisturized and protected from the sun's harmful rays.

What Is the Recommended SPF for Lip Balms?

A lip balm with SPF will help prevent sunburn on your lips. For the most possible sun protection, opt for a lip balm that has at least 30 SPF.3 If your lip balm does not have 30 SPF, the FDA recommends using products with an SPF of at least 15 to protect from UVB radiation.2 The difference in protection will vary based on what level of SPF your lip balm has. An SPF 15 sunscreen blocks around 93% of UVB rays, and SPF 30 blocks around 97%.4 If you are fair-skinned or tend to burn easily, look for a lip balm with an SPF closer to 30.2

Do You Need to Wear an SPF Lip Balm in the Winter?

We don't often think to wear sunscreen when we're layered up to stay warm, but it's still possible to get sunburned during winter months.1 And, even if your skin is covered by your coat or gloves, your face and lips are still exposed to the sun. Wearing sunscreen and SPF lip balm is also important if you participate in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, especially if you're in a place that's at a higher elevation.1

Best Practices for SPF Lip Balms

If you're in the market for a lip balm with SPF, look for active ingredients like titanium oxide and zinc oxide.3 Remember to reapply your SPF lip balm after eating, drinking or licking your lips to ensure that the sunscreen stays on your lips.5 Sunscreens tend to wear off after two hours, so be sure to reapply your lip balm at least every two hours.2 Pay close attention to your lower lip, as it is much more likely to be exposed to sunlight.5 The average shelf life of sunscreen products is three years, so check the expiration date of your lip balm before using it.2

Using a broadband SPF lip balm like ChapStick Active 2-in-1 Lip Moisturizer can keep your lips from getting sunburned, no matter what the temperature is outside. ChapStick Active 2-in-1 contains zinc oxide to protect your lips against UVA/UVB rays and contains moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, aloe and vitamin E to keep your lips feeling soft. Choose between unscented, wild berry and mint flavors or get all three with the Active 2-in-1 3 Ct Pack.

What Are Some Alternative Ways to Protect Your Lips from the Sun?

After putting on some SPF lip balm and sunscreen, you can take additional measures to keep your skin and lips away from the sun. Wearing a broad-brimmed hat and limiting your time in the sun can help you protect your skin.2 The sun's rays are most intense between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so it may help to stay indoors during this time frame if you can.2 Some weather apps for smartphones can show the UV index in your area, which can give you a more accurate assessment of when to stay inside.

Taking the proper measures and wearing a lip balm with SPF can protect your lips from sunburn. Visit the ChapStick News Nook to find more informative articles on lip care, ChapStick products and more.

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