St. Mark's Hospital - April 23, 2019

No one can deny the convenience of spray-on sunscreen, but if you think a quick spray is all you need, you may be in for an unpleasant sunburn. To be effective, spray-on sunscreens must be properly applied and most products don’t provide an even or thick enough layer to adequately protect your skin, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Sunscreen lotions with an SPF of 30 or higher will always be your best bet for skin protection, but these guidelines can increase the effectiveness of spray-on options.

DO rub it in well to make sure your skin gets the coverage it needs.

DO use other forms of sun protection like a hat, long-sleeved shirt or pants, and beach umbrellas.

DO wear water-resistant sunscreen and reapply it every two hours when outdoors.

DON’T use sprays on children, who may accidentally inhale the spray, which can irritate the lungs. Instead, spray sunscreen on your hands and rub it on the child’s skin.

DON’T use on windy days. Wind makes it difficult to apply evenly and increases risk of inhalation.

DON’T spray near open flames like grills or fire pits. Spray-on sunscreen contains alcohol, which is flammable. You’re susceptible even after the sunscreen is rubbed in. If sparks are thrown, you could get burned.