Spray sunscreen is the invention that finally got my oldest son to be willing to wear it, even when I wasn’t around to remind him. However, days after he returned from Boy Scout camp with a nearly empty can, I saw a news report that made me rethink using it again. Sure, spray sunscreen is super convenient, especially if you have wiggly kids, but understanding it better is important so you can make the best choice for yourself and your family. Check out these facts about it and you’ll see what I mean.
1. They Can Cause Allergic Reactions
According to University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority, spray sunscreen is much more likely to cause an allergic reaction than creams or lotions. That’s because most of them absorb the sun’s rays while they protect your skin. In contrast, physical sunscreen deflect the sun’s rays away from your skin, leaving you less prone to a skin reaction. If you ever notice a rash, itching or other allergy symptoms after using a spray sunscreen, stop use and find a different product.
2. It Might Sting Eyes
Can you imagine spraying sunscreen directly on your face? Me neither. You can spray it into your hands, then rub it on your face and ears, but that sort of defeats the purpose of the product. Getting sunscreen in your eyes is definitely not going to feel good, so be cautious.
3. You Still Have to Rub It in
When you use spray sunscreen, it might seem super convenient, but just spraying alone might result in missed spots. After spraying the sunscreen on your body, you’ll need to rub it in to be sure you get it all over your exposed skin. So go ahead and spray, but be sure you spread it evenly all over your body before heading out into the sunshine.
4. Uneven Application
When you spray it, most of the spray goes in one central spot, which means the areas directly around it won’t get as much. As I said in the above step, you’re going to have to do a little work to make sure the sunscreen gets everywhere.
5. Same Main Ingredients
The good news is that spray sunscreen contains the same main ingredients as traditional versions. That means you can likely count on it to provide broad spectrum protection as long as you use it correctly. That means following the advice in the previous steps, but also reapplying every couple of hours and after water exposure.
6. Use on Dry Skin
You know you should reapply sunscreen after getting out of the pool or ocean, but you might not realize that you have to towel off first. If you spray the sunscreen right on wet skin, a lot of the product will slide back off as the water drips off your body. Make sure you wipe all the water off your skin before spraying it again.
7. Inhalation Dangers
A new report from the United States Food and Drug Administration cautions against using spray sunscreen because of the dangers of inhaling the ingredients. The risks are especially high in kids who have smaller bodies and are less likely to hold their breath while you spray. This can cause all sorts of issues in your body. Use traditional sunscreen to lower the risk.
Do you use spray sunscreen? I admit that it is much easier to get my kids to let me apply it when I squirt it right on their bodies, but I prefer cream sunscreen. Will you make a switch?