The Best Tinted Lip Sunscreens, Because You Don't Have To Trade Color for Protection

They range from sheer to almost fully opaque, so you can get the look you want AND avoid getting burned.

Since my lightly pigmented lips sometimes make me look like a zombie, I make it a point to never leave the house without applying or carrying some sort of tinted lip product. Now that it’s officially summer, however, I’m looking to go one step further by adding lip sunscreen to the mix.

In the past, I avoided lip products with SPF like the plague because they were usually colorless and did nothing to help define my lips (bad reason to skip out on sun protection, I know!) The result: dry, lightly burned lips summer after summer. Fortunately, these days, tinted lip sunscreens are much more common, and range from sheer to almost fully opaque, so you CAN get the best of both worlds.

For sheer coverage...

Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Lip Protectant Stick Sheer Tint Sunscreen SPF 15 in Blush

Protection: UVB (which is the main cause of sunburns) and some UVA (less intense than UVB rays but more prevalent and penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB rays)

Active ingredients: Padimate O 8%, Oxybenzone 2.4%, Petrolatum 30.2%

Although the lipstick bullet suggests otherwise, this is actually an incredibly sheer lipstick that offers the faintest hint of bright pink. Although it doesn’t pack a lot in terms of color, it’s very emollient and leaves my lips feeling super-soft.

Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm SPF 20 in Petal Glow

Protection: UVB and some UVA

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5% and Oxybenzone 5%

This lip balm brings me memories of the mauve-y, '90s lip. It’s a very subtle, sheer nude-pink that slightly lightens my lip color and adds a touch of radiance. I like that it’s simple and compact.

For sheer to medium coverage...

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 in Sugar Nude

Protection: UVB and some UVA

Active Ingredients: Avobezone 2%, Octinoxate 7.49%

This lip treatment delivers a glowy, sheer, light brown tint that just screams BRONZE GODDESS to me. I see this color looking amazing on people of all skin tones, but particularly on people with tan skin. Since the color is pale, however, do exfoliate your lips first to prevent any flakes from peeking through.

Jouer SPF 15 Lip Sheer in Positano

Protection: UVB and some UVA

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 6% and Oxybenzone 2%

I didn’t think a deep, sheer grape lip color would suit me, but this shade impressed me. (Is this why everyone is so crazy about a similar shade--Clinique’s Black Honey?) This lip color is moisturizing and shiny, and you have to build it up to get it to look more intense, but it’s totally worth the extra swipes. I picture myself wearing this when going out, paired with a sexy, smoky eye.

e.l.f. Lip Balm SPF 15 in Rose

Protection: UVB and some UVA

Active Ingredients: Oxybenzone 5% and Octinoxate 7.5%

This is a deep pink shade that I think would also suit a lot of different skin tones. It has sheer-to-medium coverage, which I can’t be more thankful for (especially considering the price), it’s hydrating, and it has a cooling, minty feel. On me, it’s more of a my-lips-but-better shade.

For medium to full coverage...

Vincent Longo Lipstain SPF15 Lipstick in Starlet Red

Protection: UVB and some UVA

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate and Benzophenone-3

This lip product reminds me a lot of the Revlon Lip Butters in the best possible way. It calls itself a stain, but I’d say it’s more of a nicely pigmented balm. Just like the Lip Butters, it provides buildable coverage, it softens the lips, and it glides on very easily. The shade I’m wearing, Starlet Red, is a warm reddish-orange that gives me full coverage after two layers. I have to reapply every three hours.

Sonia Kashuk Satin Luxe Lip Colour SPF 15 in Peachy Pink

Protection: UVB and some UVA

Active ingredients: Octinoxate 5%, Octisalate 2.5%, Avobenzone 1.7%

Of all the lip products I tested out, this one looks and feels the most like a lipstick since it has medium-to-full coverage depending on how many layers you apply. It also moisturizes, comes in a wide range of colors (I chose this peachy pink because SUMMER), and it’s wallet-friendly. This shade lasts about three hours on me.

For no coverage...

Maybelline Baby Lips Sunscreen SPF 20

Protection: UVB and some UVA

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5% and Octisalate 3%

If you’d rather just layer your regular lipstick on top of lip sunscreen, then this is a great and affordable option. As a warning, it does have a citrus scent, which I like, but you may not, and a shiny finish, which will affect the finish of the lipstick you layer on top.


Of all the products I tried, I have to say that the Sonia Kashuk lip color is my fave since it’s just like a regular lipstick, followed by the Vincent Longo Lipstick (so moisturizing with buildable coverage!) and the Jouer lip color (the shade is divine!).

  • How do you protect your lips in the summer?
  • What colors do you like to wear on your lips in the summer?
  • Does anyone have any tips for healing sunburned lips?