Serious talk for just one sec. According to mass studies conducted in recent years, skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer type in the United States. We all know to slather on the sunscreen before laying ocean-side for a few hours, and we know smoking means surrounding our tender outer layer with enough pollutants to make it shrivel up by age 40. What we haven’t fully grasped are the places on our bodies we’re forgetting to protect. Places like the tops of our feet and scalps are super susceptible to sun exposure.
Would you believe me if I added lips to the list? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, our lips are a hugely “overlooked site for non-melanoma skin cancers,” including the two most common skin cancers types. Say it ain’t so! The good news is that products we use on our lips more and more commonly include SPF (that’s Sun Protection Factor, btw), and colorful pops of sunscreen are all over the place in lipstick, gloss, balm and stain form. Here are some faves.
Baby Lips SPF 20, Maybelline, Under $4
What started as a collection of four juicy sheers and two clears has grown to include a giant variety of medicated tints and fun neons. The original Peach Kiss is my favorite for its nude shade and Summer-peachy scent.
Pure Sheer SPF 15 Lip Treatment, NARS, $25
Angélique is a rosy, semi-gloss shade that offers SPF 15 and does an amazing job as an under-color primer or alone as a subtle flush. NARS is pricey, but it’s a titan in the lip-care game for a reason.
Lemon Drop lip balm SPF 15+, EOS, Under $4
The bright scent and smooth application of the famous domed balm is a summer must-have.
Lip Sheer SPF 15, Jouer, $22
Jouer’s products are feminine and reminiscent of a time when ladies wore their hair up in handkerchiefs to the beach. It’s thin, it’s smooth, it’s caring for your lips and imparts the prettiest pop of color.
MEGA SHIELD™ LIP COLOR SPF 15, Wet n’Wild, Under $3
Salsa Lessons is a vibrant red that I am surprised I don’t hear more about. Mega Shield is layerable, smooth and an essential pairing for your matching red nails.
Super Lustrous Lipgloss SPF 15, Revlon, Under $7
Revlon’s library of pinks, plums, oranges and reds is no joke. The “lustrous” part of this gloss’ name means it uses the sun to your advantage and bounces shimmer-y light off your lips in a major way.
Satin Luxe Lip Color SPF 16, Sonia Kashuk®, Under $10
Parisian Pink is berry on pale lips, fuschia on pink lips and mauve on dark lips. It’s cheapest at Target, where it maintains a 5-star review across the board. The “luxe” part is FOR REAL.
JUICY LIP BALM SPF 15, Wet n’Wild, Under $3
I bought this chubby balm in Strawberry because it reminded me of smell-good middle school make up. Re-purchased for the bubble-gum pink pigment and juicy hydration.
Studio Lip Balm SPF 15, e.l.f., $3
I’m not surprised by e.l.f.’s amazing quality and wallet-friendly price tag anymore, but that doesn’t mean I’m not super appreciative. The clear version of this balm glides on and leaves behind a minty tingle similar to Too Faced’s $30 Lip Injection gloss.
‘Lipstain‘ SPF 15 Lipstick, Vincent Longo, $23
A pricier option for a reason. Lipstain is sort of a phenomenon in that it is a sheer, hydrating stain. Not a goopy mess, not a thin layer that kisses off onto a wine glass, but something between a stain and a balm that stays on all night.