MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sunscreen is a must in the summer. But some of us apply with lotions and others with spray.
So, Bev from Mendota Heights asks: Which is better?
Allina Health dermatologist Dr. Liz Farhat uses both spray and lotion on her kids.
“I really like the lotion sunscreens, especially for the face,” Farhat said. “And then, you know, arms, legs. I use spray sunscreen on my kids because it’s very easy to get on, and you can reapply it really easily when they’re swimming.”
A 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found lots of people do not use sunscreen because they do not like how it feels.
Depending on the type of sunscreen, it blocks the UV rays or absorbs them. Both the lotion and the spray work the same way, but come in a different vehicle.
Dr. Farhat says people who are very concerned about maximum coverage might want to stick with lotion because people tend to be more consistent with it.
“But if it’s between using the spray and using nothing at all, I think the spray is perfectly safe to use and it’s much better than not using sunscreen at all,” she said.
The FDA does regulate sunscreen and says people should not use the spray on their faces. Consumer Reports recommends using the spray carefully.
“You really don’t want to be inhaling the sunscreen,” Farhat said.
One of the biggest mistakes people make with their sunscreen is not reapplying every two hours if a person is in the sun. Both the spray and lotion need reapplication.
Another mistake is that people do not use enough or fully rub it in. The FDA says people should use 1 oz. of lotion — the equivalent of a shot glass — to cover their entire body.
Dr. Farhat says people should make sure they have moisture on the entire surface of the skin with the spray. In both cases, it’s important to rub it in.