, The Right Way to Apply Spray Sunscreen

The Right Way to Apply Spray Sunscreen

, The Right Way to Apply Spray Sunscreen

After all, the most common concern is the difficulty guaranteeing that enough product has been applied to the skin for proper protection. “Spray sunscreen can be tricky to apply well, because it is hard to gauge the amount of product that has come out and how well it’s coating your skin,” Dr. Engelman says.

Blum agrees, noting that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) recommend that adults apply at least one full ounce of sunscreen to cover your body. “But it’s not easy to quantify the amount you are applying with a spray sunscreen even without taking into consideration how much you missed your body,” she explains. “Misapplication is often cited for lower SPF protection than advertised.”

The next tip is to avoid applying a spray formula into the wind. “Apply it outdoors and not in the wind,” Dr. Skotnicki says. This can be tricky. You want to apply it outdoors to avoid the possibility of inhaling any sunscreen particles, but if it’s too windy, the formula can get carried away and even less product will make it onto the skin. “Due to ventilation issues, though, I would never recommend that you apply a spray sunscreen indoors,” Blum says.

If you’d like to use a spray SPF on your face, all three experts recommend spraying the formula into your hands and then rubbing it onto the face, avoiding the mouth and eyes. In fact, even when you apply it to the rest of your body, dermatologists recommend rubbing it in to make sure all areas of the skin are evenly covered. “I suggest spraying on more sunscreen than you think you need and rubbing it in after,” Dr. Engelman says. “Regardless of the formula or applicator you have, to ensure sufficient coverage.”

With all of this in mind, the best possible way to use a spray sunscreen is as a layer of reapplication. “For maximum protection, I tell my clients to put on a lotion or solid formula first, to ensure that they are protecting all exposed skin before heading outdoors,” Dr. Engelman says. “I usually recommend using spray sunscreen as an extra layer of protection or for reapplying after putting on a base of lotion or solid sunscreen.”

What are the best spray sunscreens? 

Although there are many effective spray sunscreen formulas out there, there are a few things to keep in mind before filling your shopping cart. Dr. Engelman says an SPF of 30 is an absolute must, but if you want that extra protection with a spray formula, opt for an SPF 50. “This is because spray sunscreens tend not to coat the skin as thoroughly or evenly as lotion or solid sunscreens do,” she explains. “Especially when people do not apply enough of it.”

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