How to Use Spray Sunscreen Safely

Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the most UV protection from your sunblock.

The main benefit of spray sunscreen is its quick application, making it a popular choice for squirmy kids and impatient adults. But despite the convenience, there are extra precautions needed that don’t apply to lotion-based sunscreen. Here’s how to safely and effectively use spray sunscreen without sacrificing UV protection.

Only Apply Outdoors

Formulated without PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nanoparticles. Babyganics

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One very important rule of spray sunscreen is to never spray it indoors. It can affect your air quality and make floors slippery, which is particularly dangerous for little feet that like to run. For kids, consider applying lotion at home and then adding a spray sunscreen on top once outdoors. When you’re outside and ready to spray, hold the nozzle close to the skin and spray until you see a white cast appear—then rub it in to ensure proper coverage.

Point Away From Your Face

This formula guards against UVA and UVB rays. Coppertone

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Instead of spraying sunscreen directly towards your face, mist a generous amount onto your hands and then apply, taking extra care to stay away from your mouth, nose and eyes. Don’t forget to add an SPF-enhanced lip balm.

More Is More

This one staves off moisture for up to 80 minutes. Banana Boat

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Spray sunscreen is effective in protecting your skin from the sun if you apply an adequate amount—but that can be tough to tell when using an aerosol can versus a lotion application. A good rule of thumb is to spray each body part for approximately six seconds, or until it looks white.