Mama Sol Explains It All: Best Sunscreens for Lip

Mama Sol Explains It All: Best Sunscreens for Lip

In a world of products that promise everything from super-glossy, plumper lips to transfer-proof color that survives dinner, coffee, and dessert (however you define dessert, wink wink), it’s easy to forget that your lips need daily sunscreen too. And yes, lips can totally get sunburned, especially if you’ve got sensitive skin.


So if you’ve got chronically dry and chapped lips and want to get that broad-spectrum protection, Mama Sol’s done the homework on the best sunscreen for lips. Enjoy the extra credit: a low SPF 10 rating isn’t going to cut it; you need legitimate active ingredients like non-nano zinc oxide.


Lips are a popular spot for skin cancer, so everyone should wear sunscreen regardless of skin type or pigmentation. We’re focusing on the best mineral lip balms with SPF that can be used by all, including pregnant and nursing moms.





If you need a refresher on all things SPF, check out the American Academy of Dermatology’s breakdown on what to look for in a lip sunscreen.


SPF Level

o   Sun Protection Factor (SPF) measures how well a sunscreen protects you from getting a sunburn. SPF ratings only speak to UVB rays.

o   For example: SPF 30 means that if your unprotected skin usually burns in 10 minutes, using SPF 30 sunscreen correctly will protect your skin for up to 300 minutes.

o   A minimum of SPF 15 is generally recommended for lips. If you spend more time outside and have sensitive skin prone to sunburn, choose SPF 30-50.

o   Just know that higher SPF doesn’t necessarily mean better sun protection and it can give a false sense of security. It all comes down to reapplying early and often.


Broad-Spectrum Protection

o   This ensures protection from both UVA and UVB rays, guarding against sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.


Mineral Active Ingredients

o   We feel the best sunscreen for lips is a mineral formula.

o   Look for non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, mineral sunscreen active ingredients that are gentler for sensitive skin.

o   They’re also reef-safe.

o   Non-nano zinc oxide is even safe for babies (who need protection starting at 6 months), so it’s important to stay away from harmful chemical ingredients.

o   Of the 16 currently marketed active ingredients in sunscreen, the FDA only labels two as generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE): zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

o   Mineral sunscreen provides a physical layer of protection by sitting on top of skin instead of being absorbed.

o   Say no to oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are found in chemical sunscreens and endanger coral reefs. Hawaii’s banned them for a reason.

o   Avoid other potentially toxic chemical sunscreen ingredients like avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, and homosalate.

o   Chemical sunscreen ingredients are absorbed into skin; FDA studies show they linger in breast milk, blood, and urine samples for weeks after no longer being used.


Hydrating + Nourishing Ingredients

o   Sunburn combined with chapped, dry lips is not fun. Look for moisturizing ingredients like aloe, vitamin E, shea butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, and other natural seed oils.

o   Antioxidants like squalane and hyaluronic acid help combat sun and environmental damage from free radicals and pollution while soothing and moisturizing lips.

o   For example: Hyaluronic acid attracts moisture to skin, helping keep it hydrated.


Long-lasting + Non-sticky Formulas

o   If you’re focused on long-lasting, transfer-resistant lip sunscreens, you’re more likely to choose a chemical sunscreen formula or a hybrid sunscreen formula.

o   Chemical sunscreens for lips may contain potentially toxic ingredients that also harm marine life and coral reefs.

o   Yes, mineral lip sunscreens that don’t leave a white cast and are also lightweight, comfy, non-sticky, and non-greasy do exist.

o   Some dermatologists and experts agree that you can layer lip color over sunscreen for lips and lip balm with SPF without compromising protection.

o   Choose lightweight lip sunscreen formulas, let them absorb into skin for a few minutes before applying lip gloss or lipstick, and reapply every two hours or sooner.


Water-Resistant + Sweat-Resistant Formulas

o   Daily lip balm with SPF and lip sunscreen is essential, but you may also need options that stand up to swimming, running, working out, and other water activities.

o   No matter what SPF level you use, choose a minimum of SPF 30. An SPF of 15 is

o   If you regularly spend a lot of time outside and have sensitive skin that burns easily, choose SPF 50.

o   There is no such thing as waterproof or sweatproof sunscreen for lips—the FDA doesn’t allow sunscreen to be labeled as such.

o   Sunscreen products can claim up to 40 or 80 minutes of water resistance. That means after 40 or 80 minutes, the level of protection decreases so you need to reapply at that time.


Dermatologist Recommended and Allergy-Tested Formulas

o   Choose lip sunscreens that have been tested on a range of skin types, especially sensitive skin.

o   Dermatologist recommended options address a range of skin types and needs.

o   For those with sensitive skin, look for hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free options.

o   Mineral active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are gentler and great for sensitive skin and those with allergies.

o   Chemical sunscreens are more likely to trigger allergies and reactions in those with sensitive skin.


Tinted + Flavored Lip Sunscreens

o   For color plus broad-spectrum skin protection, there are many formulas with a range of neutral to bold shades.

o   Organic natural flavors can be subtle, from coconut to strawberry.

o   Don’t compromise SPF level for color or flavor; you can always later lip color over sunscreen.

o   You may be more likely to use a daily SPF lip balm if it’s tinted, fragrant, or flavored.

o   Who doesn’t want to pretend they’re on a tropical vacation or eating dessert while also getting sun protection for their lips?


Budget-Friendly + Travel-Ready Lip Sunscreens

o   It’s possible to have good, effective lip sunscreen that works while not breaking the bank—we know what it’s like to have champagne tastes on a tap water budget, trust us.  

o   Look for lip balm with SPF multipacks and sunscreen bundles with face, body, and lip sunscreens.

o   Split a lip sunscreen multipack with a friend or two. Everyone needs lip SPF daily, so you’re essentially doing a public service.

o   Lip sunscreens are the most portable sunscreens ever.







Kinfield Liplock SPF 15 Balm


Blue Lizard Mineral Lip Balm SPF 15


Mama Sol


100% Mineral Lip Oil

SPF 20


Colorescience Sunforgettable

Total Protection Color Balm

SPF 50



Best For


Best Flavor + Scent



Best Water-Resistant Formula


Best Non-Sticky Lip Oil with SPF


Best Multipurpose Balm with Color + SPF




















·  Subtle natural flavor from organic strawberries

·  Vegan

·  Hydrating + nourishing


·  Great for water and active sports

·  Vegan, moisturizing with 8 natural oils

·  Natural coconut flavor


·  Plumps for fuller-looking lips

·  Vegan, non-sticky shine + hint of color

·  No white cast


·  SPF 50

·  Use on lips, eyes, cheeks

·  Great color payoff and blends well into skin







·  Can leave light white cast

·  SPF 15



·  Can leave a light white cast for some


·  Not water-resistant


·  Some say longevity, wears off sooner than liked










80 minutes






40  minutes


In the chart above, we share four of the best mineral sunscreens for lip. Okay, so we’re a bit—fine, totally—biased since we’re naming ourselves as the best mineral sunscreen lip oil, but we love these other options for their hydrating, lightweight, and effective formulas. It’s easy to forget our lips when we’re so focused on applying face and body sunscreen, so we’re here to remind you: Lips need broad-spectrum sun protection and love, too.


Whether you’re choosing a mineral lip sunscreen for its water resistance, color range, hydration, or flavor, what matters most is that you wear it daily. Because Mama Sol says so. (But also because of all those dermatology organizations and science.)

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment


Lip Care Routine

Lip Care Routine

What’s more annoying than chapped lips? Not being able to locate a single one of your 50 lip balms or finding one stick uncapped, smushed,...

Read more
Women holding pregnant baby - Mama Sol product

Birthday gifts for pregnant women

Welcoming a new life into the world is a joyous occasion, and what better time to celebrate than on the birthday of an expecting mother?...

Read more