Whether it’s your go-to gloss or your favorite red lipstick, you probably have a signature lip color. But while the flattering formula is tempting, what you actually need to swipe on daily is a lip balm with SPF. “Sunscreen is important for lips because they are prone to sunburn and skin cancer just as the skin is,” explains David E. Bank, MD, dermatologist and director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. “Lips have almost no melanin, which is a pigment that protects against UV radiation.”
Because of your pout’s delicate disposition, it’s a hotspot for skin cancer. “The most common types are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma,” he says. “Per the Skin Cancer Foundation, it’s more common on the lower lip.” Because of this, Dr. Bank recommends reapplying a lip product (ideally with SPF 30 or higher) at least every two hours — and any time after you’re eating, drinking, talking, or licking the lips. It’s also crucial to wear it under any shiny glosses or lipsticks since, according to Dr. Bank, the sheen from the oil will attract the sun’s rays, amplifying UV damage.
So, exactly what balms should you stock up on this summer? Check out these top notch lip protectors.