Do you have childhood memories of your parent or relative applying thick, greasy sunscreen to your face and body? The type that would sting your eyes and attract sand like a magnet? Thankfully, sunscreen formulations have become much more sophisticated in recent years. From sprays to sticks, there's a formula for just about every skin type and need.

But does spray sunscreen work as well as those gooey lotions of the past? Absolutely! As long as you use them correctly, spray sunscreens have many benefits. Read on to discover some of their best features.

Spray Sunscreen Basics

Spray sunscreens have gained significant popularity thanks to their convenience, ease of application, and high efficacy against the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. But does spray sunscreen work like a traditional lotion? Spray formulas are just as protective, but they need to be applied with care. Since many go on clear, it can be easy to miss patches of skin or apply less than the recommended amount.

To apply a spray sunscreen correctly, leave about an inch of space between the nozzle and your skin and apply generously. Then, rub it in to ensure full coverage.

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Benefits of Spray Sunscreen

Fancy adding a spray formula to your summer routine? Read on to learn more about the benefits of spray sunscreen.

1. Convenience

The ease and convenience of spray sunscreens make them a great option for everyone in the family. If you have kids, you know how tricky it can be to apply sunscreen when your little one is wriggling (or even running away). A spray allows you to cover more surface area as quickly as possible before they break free. Sprays also tend to leave behind less mess, making reapplying sunscreen at the beach or on a summer jog a breeze.

2. Faster Absorption

Spray sunscreens tend to be more lightweight, and they often go on clear and dry quickly. This means you don't have to wait as long before getting dressed like you do with some thicker lotions and creams to avoid staining your clothes. You also don't need to worry about the kids jumping on the sofa or bed immediately after you've applied sunscreen, leaving smears and stains in their wake.

3. Flexible Coverage

It's easy to miss those tricky areas of the body (ears, scalp, neck, chest, and hands) when applying sunscreen. Since these parts of the body are nearly always exposed to the sun, this can leave them at greater risk of skin cancer. A sheer spray sunscreen is an easy way to protect these areas. For example, applying a sheer mist to your scalp with your fingers can leave behind less residue than a traditional lotion would.

4. New Innovations

Sunscreen formulations are always moving forward, and new innovations are making sprays more effective and pleasurable to apply than ever before. For example, EltaMD UV AOX Mist Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 has a white-to-clear technology that allows you to see where you're applying sunscreen before drying clear with no streaks or patches.

Enriched antioxidants also provide additional skin benefits, like preventing premature aging, while Coconut Fruit Extract and Aloe Vera boost hydration. Meanwhile, it's free of chemical propellants, is nonflammable, and features a nozzle with 360-degree sprayability, making it even easier to reach those tricky areas.

Forming Sun-Safe Habits to Last a Lifetime

Now you know spray sunscreens are just as effective as traditional sunscreens when applied correctly, so you can feel confident about adding this convenient, lightweight option to your trusted sun protection toolkit. After all, finding your preferred sunscreen for every situation is a vital step toward forming healthy, sun-safe habits. So grab your bottle, your sun hat, and your sunglasses and enjoy the sunshine!


  • Catherine Hufton

    Catherine Hufton is a UK-based freelance journalist and writer who has worked for some of fashion's most iconic companies and written for the world's best known magazines and newspapers. Beginning her career at Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion over 12 years ago, she has created content for L'Oréal, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, The Telegraph and more.

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