With the increased awareness of the damages that excess exposure to the sun can cause, many people hold the misconception that we need to slather SPF all over us whenever we leave the shelter of our homes. Our lips, however, don’t necessarily need a layer of SPF all the time.
Now when I say that our lips don’t need SPF, I mean SPF, which, has a slightly different meaning from being blocked from the sun. To make things clearer, if you’re indoors, you don’t need SPF. But say you do want to head outside for a breather or a walk in the park, an alternative is to use a highly pigmented lipstick without SPF. The particles of your lip product will act as physical shields to protect your lips from the sun, and you don’t need re-applying just like how you would with an actual SPF-inclusive product.
The reason some lip products have SPF is because they don’t completely prevent the sun’s rays from reaching your lips. Such products are lip balms, whether tinted or not; sheer lip stains and lip gloss. When a highly pigmented lipstick also contains SPF, chances are, you’re being taken in by a marketing gimmick and aren’t actually getting any more sun protection than if the product does not contain SPF.
To test whether your lipstick is opaque enough, find a transparent sheet of plastic and smear some product on it. Then place it under sunlight and look out for a dark shadow. If you see one where the lipstick is applied, then you know your lips will be out of harm’s way.